Xiaomi might be best known for its MIUI OS, but what if you prefer stock Android? And yet don’t want to give up the fancy cameras and value-for-money hardware Xiaomi is famous for? Lucky you, because Xiaomi also makes Android One devices – phones that get stock Android.
The latest of the bunch is on sale now – the Mi A3 – and we reckon it’s going to replicate the success of its predecessors (the MI A1 and Mi A2).
Here’s a quick look at this new mid-range Android smartphone.
A Slick OS With Speedy Updates
We’re pretty excited about the Mi A3’s cameras and it’s very-sensible price, but we really need to speak about its OS first.
No there’s no MIUI here. Instead, as an Android One device, the MI A3 will get near-stock Android (some bits, such as the camera app, are modified but that’s pretty much it), and more importantly, it’ll get regular software updates.
So if you really love the ‘clean’ Material Design look of Google Pixels (and to a lesser extent, the OnePlus series), you’ll like the Mi A3’s stock Android 9 Pie OS. Security-conscious users should be happy as they’ll get frequent security patches, and best of all, you’ll be amongst the first to get Android 10 when it arrives later this year.
The Mi A3 Has Three Cameras At The Back
The Mi A3 has some of the best cameras ever fitted to a mid-range phone. At the rear you’ll find a 48MP camera (pics come out as 12MP as the phone combines information from multiple pixels to capture more light and reduce noise) based on the same Sony IMX586 sensor you’ll find in flagships like Xiaomi’s own Redmi K20 series, the OnePlus 7 series, and the Asus Zenfone 6 / 6z; an 8MP ultra-wide camera that street and landscape photography enthusiasts will love; and a 2MP depth sensing camera that should help create amazing portraits. There’s also an AI mode which detects the subject and tweaks settings automatically, and even a special Night Mode – just like any fancy flagship.
It’s Sorted For Selfies And Video As Well
But the magic doesn’t stop there. Flip the Mi A3 around and you’ll discover a 32MP selfie camera with the same 1-in-4 ‘Super Pixel’ tech as the rear camera, a 79 degree field-of-view, and yes, AI enhancement!
What about videos? No worries, vloggers and travel lovers, that seems to be covered, too: The rear camera can shoot 4K at 30fps and 1080p at 60fps and there’s also 720p, 240fps slo-mo video that should make for some pretty neat Instagram stories.
The Mi A3 Has Good Hardware For The Price
On to the rest of the hardware, and the Mi A3 mostly gets it right: There’s a Snapdragon 665 mid-range chip, paired with 4GB / 6GB RAM and 64GB /128GB storage, Gorilla Glass 5 protection, a pretty meaty battery (4030mAh), Quick Charge 3.0 18W fast charging (you’ll have to buy the 18W charger separately as Xiaomi bundles a 10W charger with the A3), a USB Type-C port, an in-display fingerprint sensor, and even a 3.5mm headphone jack which means you can keep using your classic audiophile-quality headphones.
Moving on to the 6.08in display, we’re happy to see it uses Super AMOLED tech, which means great contrast and colours that pop.
The only thing we’re not very pleased about is the HD+ 1560×720 resolution. Considering the Mi A2 offered a Full HD display, this is a bit disappointing.
On the other hand, the Mi A3, with its new design and skinny bezels, is more compact than its predecessor. The rest of the specs are pretty decent for a device this affordable: There’s Bluetooth 5.0, an IR transmitter, dual SIM slots with the ability to select either SIM as primary, and 802.11ac Wi-Fi.
When And Where Can You Buy The MI A3?
The Mi A3 comes in three colour variants: Not just Blue, More than White, and Kind of Grey, with prices starting at Rs 12,999 for the 4GB / 64GB version, and Rs 15,999 for the 6GB / 128GB version.
Not to forget, smartphones these days are quite fragile. If you plan to buy this phone, we also recommend protecting it with the right plan and be relaxed when your phone needs repair.
The Onsitego Spills & Drops Protection Plan covers any physical or liquid damage caused to the phone. It also covers broken, cracked and shattered screens. Click here for more information.