A Xiaomi phone with stock Android? Yes, that’s exactly what Xiaomi has launched in an event in New Delhi today. For the first time, the Chinese phone maker has strayed out of its MIUI ecosystem and embraced stock vanilla Android wholeheartedly. The result is the Mi A1, Xiaomi’s Android One phone. Google has tailored the software to provide the best Android experience on the device while Xiaomi has provided the hardware for it. This is also the first dual camera phone by Xiaomi to be launched in India and that is a big deal. At Rs 14,999, the Mi A1 is going to be a Flipkart exclusive and will be available from September 12 from 12 Noon. You also get 200GB bundled 4G data from Airtel

Design

1/6Design
Design
The Mi A1 looks identical to the Mi 5X that was launched in China a while back. And while it is not bezel-less as was rumoured, the Mi A1 looks a lot like the OnePlus 5, at least from the back. There is the same horizontal dual camera setup interrupted by a rear mounted fingerprint sensor in the middle. The phone itself is carved out a single block aluminium and perfected to give a hand feel that feels very smooth. At 7.3mm of thickness and 165 grams of weight, the phone feels very much at home in the hand.

Display

2/6Display
Display
A 5.5-inch full HD LCD panel is the window to all the awesomeness on the Mi A1. While the display doesn’t dazzle, it’s not too bad either. It is amply bright and legible under direct sunlight but the contrast ratio leaves a lot to be desired. There is also a 2.5D Corning Gorilla Glass panel that blends into the metal body to keep the display protected.

Hardware

3/6Hardware
Hardware
The Mi A1 has the same hardware specs as the Redmi Note 4. And that’s not bad in any way. One of Qualcomm’s most efficient mid-range processor powers the phone coupled with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage. That, combined with stock Android makes the phone run from the get go. The fingerprint sensor is also one of the fastest in that segment and the phone comes with a dedicated 10V power amplifier that augments the sound of the loudspeaker without losing out on clarity.

Camera

4/6Camera
Camera
Xiaomi has nailed it with its choice of dual camera setup. While most phones at its price range offers the RGB+Monochrome combo, the Mi A1 comes with the Wideangle+Telephoto combo that can be leveraged to provide 2X lossless zoom. The phone sports a 26mm f/2.2 wideangle lens along with a 50mm f/2.6 telephoto lens, both of 12-megapixel resolution. The camera app on the phone is by Xiaomi which offers various shooting modes and filters. Interestingly, this is also the only dual camera that allows the user to switch lenses in the pro-mode.

Software

5/6Software
Software
Like we stated before, this is the first Xiaomi phone with stock Android. The Mi A1 is a phone under the Android One project that was launched by Google to provide the same experience as the Pixel and Nexus phones under budget. As a result, the updates will be handled by Google and Xiaomi has claimed the Android Oreo update will arrive by the end of this year. Because it is supervised by Google, the Mi A1 is also one of the most secure phones out there as it is bound to receive regular security updates.

That being said, the UI misses out on the bells and whistles of the MIUI. Mi fans who had gotten used to features like automatic OTP copying, displaying IRCTC messages like actual tickets, etc. might get skeptical. But rest assured, Android is best enjoyed in stock, vanilla form

Battery & Price

6/6Battery & Price
Battery & Price
The Mi A1 is powered by a 3,080mAh battery that can power you through the day and some more. While it’s not as capacious as the Redmi Note 4, because of the efficient processor and stock Android, the power consumption is cut down by a lot which makes the battery on the phone just about enough to make the phone your daily driver. At Rs 14,999, a budget Android phone can’t get any better than this. The phone has launched in three colour variants - Black, Gold and Rose Gold and it will be available on Mi.com, Mi home stores, offline retail partners and on Flipkart. The first flash sale happens on 12th September, 12 noon.