It’s no secret that when shopping for a capable smartphone in the budget segment, the shortlist invariably mentions Xiaomi. But since the launch of the Mi 5 early last year, there’s been an absence of what you would call a premium flagship device. While there is little hope of the Mi 6 coming to India, Xiaomi did recently launch a device that it calls a flagship – the Mi A1. The new smartphone is aggressively priced at Rs 14,999, boasts a decent spec sheet, and its highlights include a dual-camera setup and near-stock Android operating system.
The Xiaomi Mi A1 is a part of Google’s Android One initiative. In other words, it runs on stock Android Nougat 7.1.2, and an Android Oreo roll out is promised before the end of this year. The Mi A1 is described as ‘created by Xiaomi and powered by Google’, and the experience of using it is vastly different from the other Xiaomi devices available in India. Having spent a considerable amount of time with it, here’s my review of the Xiaomi Mi A1.
As mentioned, the highlight of the Mi A1 is the dual-camera setup. This also happens to be Xiaomi’s first smartphone in India to come with such features. The setup includes a pair of 12-megapixel sensors where one is a wide-angle lens, and the other a telephoto lens. Both combine to shoot photos with DSLR-like bokeh effects. There is a dedicated Portrait mode that is meant for shooting photos with blurred background. Courtesy of the telephoto lens, the camera also allows for 2x lossless optical zoom. Let’s take a look at the video.