Thursday , 15 November 2018
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A top recommendation – Xiaomi Mi A2

Priced at `16,999, Xiaomi Mi A2 comes with a premium design and capable Snapdragon 660 processor along with 4GB of RAM. Here is our detailed review of Xiaomi’s latest phone with stock Android

Kul Bhushan

 

There are a number of people who prefer stock Android over custom ROMs simply because of the absence of bloatware. But custom ROMs have their own advantages, for instance they bring additional features and personalisation without requiring downloading third-party applications. The catch however is that not all custom OSes promise good experience and start to lag after some time. This is most probably why the likes of Nokia and Lenovo moved to near-stock Android OS.

The champion of pure Android phones is arguably Xiaomi which last year launched Mi A1. The first stock Android-based offering Xiaomi not only delivered near excellent performance but also outshined rivals in terms of performance and camera capabilities. The partnership with Google for Android One programme also brought in regular security updates and compatibility with future Android updates. Xiaomi Mi A1 is also in queue to get Android Pie later this year.

This year Xiaomi introduced a new A-series phone, called Mi A2. While the stock Android remains the top highlight, Xiaomi Mi A2 also brings a newer design and improved performance. Starting at `16,999, Xiaomi Mi A2 launch price is higher than the last year’s Mi A1 which launched at `14,999.

Xiaomi Mi A2 is slim at 7.3mm and features a unimetal arch body design. Thanks to an 18:9 display, the front seems taller. Xiaomi Mi A2 is quite a good looking phone. The cameras on the back are a bit protruding though. But that doesn’t bother much if you slap a back cover on the phone. It’s comfortable to hold and use. Despite a slimmer form factor, Mi A2 feels quite sturdy as well.

The decision to remove the 3.5mm headphone jack could be a deal-breaker, for many. A lot of brands in the past have tried to force the trend of removing the 3.5mm headphone jack but evidently it hasn’t worked out for them. Users might have not minded having a slightly thicker phone or design alterations in order to make way for 3.5mm headphone jack.

The good thing is that there is USB Type-C fast support. Xiaomi has introduced Qualcomm Quick Charge 4.0 support for the Indian variants of the Xiaomi Mi A2. But the catch is users will have to buy a separate charger in order to use the benefits of Quick Charge 4.0.

Xiaomi also chose to remove the expandable storage from the phone. While native 64GB should more than enough for many users, but the availability of microSD keeps options open for users. The expandable storage has been a key differentiator between iPhones and Android devices.

Xiaomi Mi A2’s strength is the camera quality. Sporting 12-megapixel and 20-megapixel dual cameras, Xiaomi Mi A2 delivers impressive results in day light conditions.

The low-light performance was also impressive, a rarity in the phones below `20,000. Selfies are pretty much on par with other Android phones.

The software experience on the phone is quite fluid whereas overall performance is very impressive. From graphic intensive games to long sessions of multimedia streaming, the onboard 660 processor coupled with 4GB RAM handles everything with ease. In terms of performance, the experience comes very close to Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 Pro.

Other important things such as call quality, audio and battery life are satisfactory.

Summing up, Xiaomi Mi A2 is a good alternative if you are looking for a phone with no bloatware and premium design. But you will have to compromise on some areas like 3.5mm headphone jack and microSD slot. Also, the phone hovers above the `15,000 mark. If you have a budget lower than `15,000 and don’t mind a capable custom ROM like MIUI, Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 remains a top recommendation.

(HT Media)

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