Android One program couldn’t reach the height Google first intended to when it was launched two years back. During the first phase, Google targeted the budget segment, which doesn’t seem to have worked out, and it is now shifting its focus towards the mid-range segment that has seen a lot of traction in the recent past. Xiaomi Mi A1 is a device in line with that strategy change and is also the first Xiaomi device to launch under the Android One program.
The Xiaomi Mi A1 was launched today at a global event in New Delhi and it also marks the arrival of the A series from the Chinese brand. In terms of hardware, the phone is exactly like the Mi 5X launched in China in July. The only difference is that Mi A1 will come running stock Android 7.1.2 out of the box.
Talking about the software, like any other Android One phone, the Xiaomi Mi A1 will also get the latest Android updates straight from Google. MIUI, on the other hand, was much criticised for not releasing the Android updates even months after their initial release. Xiaomi has confirmed that the phone will get Android Oreo before the end of this year, which would make it one of the first devices in this segment to get the update. To our surprise, Xiaomi also confirmed that Android P will also be coming to the device soon after it is released next year.
Besides the vanilla Android experience, another USP of the phone is its rear camera system. Xiaomi has included two 12MP cameras, one with a wide-angle lens and the other with a telephoto lens, similar to the iPhone 7 Plus. With those cameras, the phone will be capable of taking pictures in portrait mode, with bokeh effect, and 2x optical zoom among others.
Xiaomi Mi A1 has a full metal body with a 2.5D glass on the front. There is a full HD display of 5.5-inch with Gorilla Glass 3 along with three touch capacitive Android navigation keys below it. The phone is powered by Snapdragon 625 processor, has 4GB of RAM, and 64GB of internal storage. It supports 4G VoLTE but has hybrid dual-SIM card slots.
The fingerprint scanner sits on the back, while the infrared sensor is placed on the top. There is a 5MP camera on the front and the phone does come with a 3.5mm headphone jack with a dedicated 10V amplifier. It has a battery of 3080mAh and can be charged via its USB Type-C port.
Xiaomi has priced the phone at Rs. 14,999 and will be available in Black, Gold, Rose Gold color options. The Mi A1 will be available across a range of offline sellers, including Mi Home stores, and will be exclusively available online from Mi.com and Flipkart.com starting September 12 at 12 noon. Airtel users will get an additional 200GB data with the purchase of this device. The company plans to launch the device in many more countries in the coming months.