Xiaomi Mi A2 First Impressions: Lots of improvements and some noticeable compromises

Xiaomi Mi A2 will launch in India on August 8, 2019

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    Xiaomi Mi A1 was one of the most well-received budget smartphone last year. It was a start of Xiaomi-Google partnership to deliver powerful hardware and clean Android user experience to masses in budget price-point. Mi A1's good market response made it quite clear that a successor is in line to disrupt the budget smartphone category in India. You must have guessed by now that we are talking about the new Mi A2, which has been announced in Spain recently along with Mi A2 Lite. We cannot say much about the Mi A2, but the Mi A2 is surely coming to the Indian market.

    Xiaomi Mi A2 First Impressions

    Xiaomi is all set to unveil the new Mi A2 Android One device in India on August 8, 2018. We do not want our readers to wait for another 10 days for the new smartphone's performance overview. That said, here we are with our first impressions of the Xiaomi Mi A2. Let's have a look.

    ALSO READ: Xiaomi Mi A2 Camera Review

    Metal Unibody design

    Xiaomi Mi A2 is a looker. The unibody metal design is seamless and feels premium from every corner. Personally, I feel this is by far the most refined and well-designed budget smartphone I have seen in a long time. The front is rather plain and is occupied by a large 5.99-inch display. The rear panel has a matte finish and feels good to hold in hands. There's a vertically stacked camera unit that extends out from the base and houses two sensors and LED flashlight.

    The rear-mounted fingerprint scanner is conveniently placed for smooth unlocking of the handset. The smartphone weighs 166 grams and is 7.3mm thick. Mi A2 is very ergonomic to hold and can be used with one hand. Xiaomi Mi A2 will be available in four colors-black, gold, blue and rose gold.

    ALSO SEE: Xiaomi Mi A2 First Impressions Video

    Bigger Full HD+ Display with Gorilla Glass 5

    One of the most significant upgrades over the last year's Mi A1 is the new Full HD+ screen. The Mi A1 sports a 5.99-inch 18:9 FHD+ display that offers a resolution of 2160x1080p and a pixel density of 403PPI. Unlike most of the handsets, the Mi A2 does not come with a notch and follows a standard screen format. The screen has 2.5 D curved Gorilla Glass 5 protection on top and is bright and vivid.

    Impressive Camera Setups

    Xiaomi Mi A1 was praised for its camera performance and the new Mi A2 is said to deliver even better pictures. The new Mi A2 sports a 12MP+20MP rear camera setup. Both the lenses work on brighter F/1.75 aperture. The 20MP secondary shooter is an interesting addition here. In addition, to offer depth sensing information for bokeh shots, the sensor also performs the pixel-binning process to produce better low-light photos. Pixel-binning technique is basically a process of combining four smaller pixels to produce one bigger 2.0µm pixel for brighter image output. I have just started using the new Mi A2 and I must say that the camera seems really capable and promising.

    ALSO READ: Honor Play First Impressions

    The Mi A2 also sports the similar 20MP front-facing camera that works on a slightly darker f/2.2 aperture. It also uses 2.0µm superpixels for low-light enhancement. Selfies captured from the front camera are impressive.

    Snappy Qualcomm SD660 with AI engine

    Mi A2 also brings a snappy chipset injected with the power of Artificial Intelligence. The smartphone is backed by a Snapdragon 660 chipset and has Adreno 512 GPU. The CPU is paired with 4GB of RAM for multitasking. I haven't come across any lags on this handset. Mi A2 feels super fast and responsive during light and strenuous tasks.

    Cleaner and Pure Android UI

    Xiaomi's collaboration with Google to deliver pure Android experience continues with the new Mi A2. The phone runs on stock Android 8.1.0 out-of-the-box and will also receive Android P update in future. The Mi A2 gets key Google features such as Google photos, Google Lens, etc. and you will also find Xiaomi's in-house apps like Mi Drop, File Manager, and a feedback app. The clean Android on Xiaomi's new phone looks and works without any performance issues.

    Quick Charge 4.0 and some trade-offs

    Interestingly, the new Xiaomi Mi A2 will ship with the latest Quick Charge 4.0 for Indian users. The smartphone comes with a 5V/2A charger and features a Type-C port. Sadly, Xiaomi has removed two very basic design elements that can prove as a deal-breaker for some users in India. The new Mi A2 does not offer a microSD card slot and also ditches the standard 3.55mm headphone jack. The smartphone has a dual-nano SIM card slot and to compensate the loss for the 3.5mm headphone jack, Xiaomi is offering a Type-C to 3.55mm jack connector in the box.

    These are two major pain points of the new Xiaomi Mi A2. We have started using the handset and will soon come out with our comprehensive review of Xiaomi's latest Android One device. The Mi A2 is set to launch on August 8, 2018, in the Indian market.

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