Win­ner all the Way

Gadgets and Gizmos (India) - - TEST BENCH -

The Mi A1 is the first An­droid One smart­phone to be launched in the mid-seg­ment (un­der ` 15,000) cat­e­gory in In­dia. Xiaomi and Google have teamed up to of­fer a de­light­ful stock An­droid ex­pe­ri­ence – no cus­tom MIUI or pre­in­stalled apps. On set­ting up the de­vice, you will see a hand­ful of apps from Google such as Gmail, YouTube, Chrome, Play Store, Duo, etc, along with the reg­u­lar util­ity apps such as cal­en­dar and cal­cu­la­tor. There is an op­tion to in­stal the Mi Re­mote app and MIUI while set­ting up. The Mi A1 comes with built-in

Google As­sis­tant. I was able to set an alarm, play mu­sic, search on the web and do a lot more, with­out hav­ing to type or launch an app. Over­all, the de­vice was smooth to op­er­ate and no lag was ex­pe­ri­enced de­spite mul­ti­ple apps run­ning in the back­ground.

Google’s An­droid One prom­ises to of­fer timely OS and se­cu­rity up­dates. The Mi A1 runs on An­droid 7.1.2 and is slated to re­ceive the Oreo up­date by end of the year. It is pow­ered by Qual­comm Snap­dragon 625 pro­ces­sor paired with 4 GB of RAM. There is also a mem­ory set­ting which dis­plays the av­er­age mem­ory used dur­ing the last three hours. Of the 64 GB of in­ter­nal stor­age, only 7.87 GB is con­sumed by Sys­tem set­tings and the rest is avail­able for use. It has a hy­brid dual SIM con­fig­u­ra­tion and the sec­ondary SIM slot can be used for the mem­ory card (upto 128 GB). Be­ing an An­droid One de­vice, the Mi A1 gets un­lim­ited stor­age space for back­ing up pho­tos and videos on the cloud – this can be turned on from the de­fault Google Pho­tos app. How­ever, the de­fault cam­era app on the de­vice is pow­ered by Xiaomi; the de­vice comes with dual cam­eras at the rear. Xiaomi has used a 12-MP wide-an­gle lens and a 12-MP tele­photo lens to ren­der the bokeh ef­fect (or depth mode), where the sub­ject is in fo­cus while the back­ground is blurred. With the Mi A1, one can ex­pect sharp images with au­then­tic colour re­pro­duc­tion.

The cam­era al­lows 2x op­ti­cal zoom and 10x dig­i­tal zoom. The Mi cam­era app also of­fers modes such as man­ual, group selfie, straighten and beau­tify, among oth­ers. While the cam­era per­for­mance was im­pres­sive in nat­u­ral light and well-lit en­vi­ron­ment, the images cap­tured in low light had a lot of noise. By de­fault, the cam­era cap­tures videos in HD res­o­lu­tion, but can be used for cap­tur­ing full HD and 4K videos as well. The 5-MP front-fac­ing cam­era, too, does a de­cent job.

The Mi A1, wrapped in all metal, boasts a 5.5-inch full HD dis­play at the front and a cir­cu­lar fin­ger­print scan­ner at the rear. The speaker grill has been placed next to the Type C charg­ing port. The 3,080 mAh bat­tery lasted me a day with some charge still left.

Bag it or junk it: A good buy; it’s se­cure, sturdy, of­fers pure An­droid, dual cam­era and good per­for­mance

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