Jio GigaFiber Registrations, Xiaomi Poco F1 Leaks, Mi A2 Sale, Samsung Galaxy Note 9 India Launch Date, and More News This Week


Jio GigaFIber registrations opened this week, Xiaomi Mi A2 went on sale for the first time in India, and Redmi Note 5 Pro finally went on open sale, among other news, in yet another busy week in the world of technology. To start off with the biggest newsmaker, the Jio GigaFiber registrations opened up as scheduled, on August 15. For now, users can only express their interest in the broadband service, and areas with the most interest will get priority in the official rollout later this year. While the company has not revealed any Jio GigaFiber plans officially, but details of the alleged preview offer have leaked online. This leak suggests the preview offer will last 3 months provide users 100GB data at 100Mbps, with users getting ‘Data Top-Ups’ that take their monthly data limit up to 1.1TB. Users will have to pay a sum of Rs. 4,500 to avail the Optical Network Terminal, Jio GigaTV and smart home solutions, which will be refunded if the user decides to terminate the connection.

Airtel, of course, responded to the Jio GigaFiber broadband registrations by bolstering its own broadband service. The operator is now providing users home broadband plans with no FUP limit across several cities, such as Delhi-NCR, Mumbai, Kolkata, Ahmedabad, Jamnagar, Chandigarh etc — before this, the truly unlimited broadband was only available in Hyderabad. However, while the old FUP limits are not in place anymore, the company still has a limit on how much data consumers can use in a month — 3.3TB. Separately, Airtel is giving its prepaid users Amazon Pay balance worth Rs. 51 on recharges of Rs. 100 and above; similarly, postpaid subscribers get the same balance for using any myInfinity plan.

Jio Phone 2 went on sale for the first time in India on August 16, a day after its scheduled first sale. The Jio Phone 2 flash sale was, predictably, rather short as the handset went out of stock within minutes of becoming available for purchase. Buyers had to pay the full Jio Phone 2 price in India of Rs. 2,999 to purchase the device. The next flash sale for the model will be held on August 30, again only on Jio.com. Lastly on the Jio front, those waiting for WhatsApp and YouTube apps on the Jio Phone platform will have to wait a little longer as the two apps’ rollout will happen in batches. While the company had announced that WhatsApp will not be coming to the platform on August 15 to most users, it was a surprise that even YouTube was delayed for a majority.

 

Xiaomi Poco F1 was in the news as the company confirmed the handset will be launched in India on August 22 and will be a Flipkart exclusive in the country. The smartphone was spotted on Geekbench, showing the handset will have Snapdragon 845, 6GB RAM, and Android 8.1 Oreo. Previous leaks say the Xiaomi Poco F1 will have a 5.99-inch full-HD+ display, IR Face Unlock, 12-megapixel + 5-megapixel rear camera setup, 2-megapixel selfie camera, 6GB of RAM, and 64GB storage and 128GB storage options.

Redmi Note 5 Pro finally went on open sale in India, about half a year after it first became available for purchase in the country. Both the 4GB RAM and 6GB RAM variants of the Redmi Note 5 Pro are now up for purchase via Mi.com and Flipkart, though not all colour options are available.

Xiaomi Mi A2 went on sale for the first time in India this week, bringing its second Android One phone to the country. Only the 4GB RAM and 128GB internal storage variant of the handset was available for purchase in the first sale, with the Mi A2 price in India set at Rs. 16,999. It comes with a launch offer giving users cashback of Rs. 2,200 and 4.5TB of complimentary data. There is no word on when the 6GB RAM and 256GB storage option will go on sale in the Indian market. Xiaomi Mi A2 (Review) also received its first software update, which brought 60fps video recording as well as the August Android security patch

Xiaomi Mi A2 vs Nokia 7 Plus: Which Offers the Best Bang for Your Buck?

 

Also this week, XIaomi launched a new variant of its premium Mi 8 smartphone, this one featuring 8GB of RAM. This model has 256GB of internal storage, while the rest of the specifications remain the same as those of the previously released variants. As for the price, Mi 8 8GB variant costs CNY 3,299 (about Rs. 33,500) and is already on sale in China.

The company also unveiled the Mi Pad 4 Plus tablet, featuring a 10.1-inch display with 1920×1200-pixel resolution and 16:10 aspect ratio. Key features of the new Xiaomi Mi Pad 4 Plus include Snapdragon 660 SoC, 4GB RAM, 64GB and 128GB storage options, 13-megapixel rear camera, 5-megapixel selfie camera, and an 8,620mAh battery. It costs CNY 1,899 (roughly Rs. 19,300) for 64GB variant and CNY 2,099 (around Rs. 21,300) for the 128GB model.

Samsung Galaxy Note 9 India launch event will be held on August 22, and Gadgets 360 has learnt the event will be attended by DJ Koh, President and CEO of Samsung’s IT & Mobile Communications Division. Earlier this week, Koh also said the handset’s 4,000mAh battery is completely safe, showing the shadow of the the exploding battery of 2016’s Galaxy Note 7 and its worldwide recall still haunts the company.

 

The handset also received its first software update ahead of its release; this update brings the August 2018 Android security patch and a toggle for super slow-motion recording mode, one of the highlights of the phone’s rear camera. Separately, Koh has confirmed the first Samsung phone with 5G support will not be the Galaxy S10, even though the next year’s flagship will be supporting 5G. This means another Samsung smartphone with 5G will be launched before the rumoured March 2019 launch of the Galaxy S10, likely the long-awaited foldable smartphone or the Galaxy A series models. In a good piece of news for Samsung Galaxy Note 9 is that DisplayMate has rated its display as the best on a smartphone yet and earned the A+ grade, with praises showered on the brightness, colour accuracy, and viewing angles.

Online consumer rental platform RentoMojo is now giving users the option to rent a smartphone for as long as two years. It also offers the option to own the device after two years of renting. So, consumers will have to pay Rs. 4,299 for 24 months to get the iPhone X for the maximum duration, while it will cost a monthly payment of Rs. 9,299 for a 6-month rental. Other handsets on offer include Google Pixel 2, Samsung Galaxy S9, Samsung Galaxy Note 8, iPhone 8, among others.

Google is under fire after a report this week claimed Google Maps tracks its users’ location even after they have turned off location tracking. This location tracking without consent affects both Android and iOS devices, and was reportedly confirmed by researchers at Princeton University. Even with Location History paused, some Google apps automatically store time-stamped location data without asking, the report claims. The company said, “we continue to use location to improve the Google experience when they do things like perform a Google search or use Google for driving directions.”

Google Is Tracking You: How to Stop It and Delete Past Location Data

Separately, Google has offered help to Android users suffering in the Kerala floods by helping people send their location, which makes it easier for rescuers to find them. Android device users can open Google Maps and create plus codes with their location — these codes can be shared not just online but also offline. Telecom operators Jio, Airtel, Vodafone, Idea, and BSNL have also offered relief in the form of free data and automatically credited talk time for prepaid users, and bill payment extensions for postpaid users.

Motorola launched a new smartphone series in China this week, with the first model being named the Moto P30. The Moto P30 has an iPhone X-like notch and a 6.2-inch display with 18.7:9 aspect ratio, Snapdragon 636 SoC, and a glass back with gradient colour design. Other features include Android 8.0 Oreo, 6GB RAM, microSD support up to 256GB, 16-megapixel + 5-megapixel dual rear cameras, 12-megapixel front camera, 3,000mAh battery, and USB Type-C port. The Moto P30 price is CNY 2,099 (about Rs. 21,400) for the variant with 64GB of internal storage, and CNY 2,499 (approximately Rs. 25,400) for 128GB storage option.

Another smartphone launched this week was the Oppo F9, which has a V-shaped waterdrop display notch and the MediaTek Helio P60 SoC. The key Oppo F9 specifications include a 6.3-inch full-HD+ display, Android 8.1 Oreo with ColorOS 5.2, 64GB internal storage, microSD card support, 16-megapixel + 2-megapixel rear cameras, 25-megapixel front camera, and 3,500mAh battery. It Oppo F9 price is VND 7,690,000 (about Rs. 23,300) for the variant with 4GB RAM and the price of the 6GB RAM variant had not yet been revealed.

The Vivo Y81 also launched in India early this week and is already on sale in India via the official online store as well as Flipkart and Amazon. The Vivo Y81 price in India has been set as Rs. 12,999. It features a 6.22-inch HD+ display, octa-core MediaTek MT6762 chipset, 3GB RAM, 32GB storage, microSD support up to 256GB, 13-megapixel rear camera, 5-megapixel front camera, 3,260mAh battery.

 

 

Rounding up the other news this week from the world of smartphones, the OnePlus 6 received an update that fixed the display flickering issue that users had reported late last month. The Oxygen OS 5.1.11 update for OnePlus 6 also brings improvements for HDR mode and other bug fixes.

The Huawei Mate 20 Lite specifications and price have leaked, suggesting it will have a 6.3-inch HD+ display with V-shaped waterdrop notch, octa-core Kirin 970 chip, 6GB RAM, 64GB onboard storage, 20-megapixel + 2-megapixel rear cameras, 24-megapixel + 2-megapixel front cameras, and 3,650mAh battery. As for the price, it is said to start at EUR 400 (about Rs. 28,000). More details of Honor 8X have leaked online too, with features such as a 7.12-inch full-HD+ display, 1.8GHz octa-core processor, 16-megapixel + 2-megapixel cameras on the back, 8-megapixel front camera, and 4,900mAh battery.

The Nokia 6.1 received a price cut in India this week, which brings down the price of the 3GB RAM and 4GB RAM variants by Rs. 1,500 each. This means the two variants now cost Rs. 15,499 and Rs. 17,499, respectively. This move comes just a week ahead of the launch of the Nokia 6.1 Plus model in India. The Samsung Galaxy J7 Prime 2 price in India was also slashed this week, with the smartphone now available at Rs. 11,990 on Flipkart and Samsung Shop.

The iPhone 2018 models also leaked this week, with the new report claiming the upcoming iPhones will start at about $699 (about Rs. 49,000). The base 2018 iPhone model with 6.1-inch LCD panel is said to have a starting price of around $699 to $749 (from Rs. 49,000 to Rs. 52,600); it is claimed to have 64GB and 256GB storage options and 3GB RAM. The model with 5.8-inch OLED screen will reportedly have a starting price tag of $899 to $949 (from Rs. 63,000 to Rs. 66,000), while the 6.5-inch OLED model will be targeted at the “premium business segment” and have a price tag starting at $999 (about Rs. 70,000). The latter two models are said to come in 64GB, 256GB and 512GB storage options and have 4GB of RAM. These two will also support Apple Pencil, a separate report says.

As scheduled, eBay India stopped taking any more orders starting August 15, and the last date for raising eBay Guarantee claims is August 30. Flipkart will be launching a new site to fill the gap eBay is leaving in India. eBay will also keep an archive of your purchase history on My PaisaPay and My eBay until further notice.

Microsoft has created a software for the CBSE to prevent exam paper leaks. The software ensures papers are not leaked until at least half an hour before the exam, and if the papers are leaked after that, then the leak can be traced using the watermark. The new Microsoft software has already been tested this year in the compartment examinations held for class 10.



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Jio GigaFiber Registrations, Xiaomi Poco F1 Leaks, Mi A2 Sale, Samsung Galaxy Note 9 India Launch Date, and More News This Week


Jio GigaFIber registrations opened this week, Xiaomi Mi A2 went on sale for the first time in India, and Redmi Note 5 Pro finally went on open sale, among other news, in yet another busy week in the world of technology. To start off with the biggest newsmaker, the Jio GigaFiber registrations opened up as scheduled, on August 15. For now, users can only express their interest in the broadband service, and areas with the most interest will get priority in the official rollout later this year. While the company has not revealed any Jio GigaFiber plans officially, but details of the alleged preview offer have leaked online. This leak suggests the preview offer will last 3 months provide users 100GB data at 100Mbps, with users getting ‘Data Top-Ups’ that take their monthly data limit up to 1.1TB. Users will have to pay a sum of Rs. 4,500 to avail the Optical Network Terminal, Jio GigaTV and smart home solutions, which will be refunded if the user decides to terminate the connection.

Airtel, of course, responded to the Jio GigaFiber broadband registrations by bolstering its own broadband service. The operator is now providing users home broadband plans with no FUP limit across several cities, such as Delhi-NCR, Mumbai, Kolkata, Ahmedabad, Jamnagar, Chandigarh etc — before this, the truly unlimited broadband was only available in Hyderabad. However, while the old FUP limits are not in place anymore, the company still has a limit on how much data consumers can use in a month — 3.3TB. Separately, Airtel is giving its prepaid users Amazon Pay balance worth Rs. 51 on recharges of Rs. 100 and above; similarly, postpaid subscribers get the same balance for using any myInfinity plan.

Jio Phone 2 went on sale for the first time in India on August 16, a day after its scheduled first sale. The Jio Phone 2 flash sale was, predictably, rather short as the handset went out of stock within minutes of becoming available for purchase. Buyers had to pay the full Jio Phone 2 price in India of Rs. 2,999 to purchase the device. The next flash sale for the model will be held on August 30, again only on Jio.com. Lastly on the Jio front, those waiting for WhatsApp and YouTube apps on the Jio Phone platform will have to wait a little longer as the two apps’ rollout will happen in batches. While the company had announced that WhatsApp will not be coming to the platform on August 15 to most users, it was a surprise that even YouTube was delayed for a majority.

 

Xiaomi Poco F1 was in the news as the company confirmed the handset will be launched in India on August 22 and will be a Flipkart exclusive in the country. The smartphone was spotted on Geekbench, showing the handset will have Snapdragon 845, 6GB RAM, and Android 8.1 Oreo. Previous leaks say the Xiaomi Poco F1 will have a 5.99-inch full-HD+ display, IR Face Unlock, 12-megapixel + 5-megapixel rear camera setup, 2-megapixel selfie camera, 6GB of RAM, and 64GB storage and 128GB storage options.

Redmi Note 5 Pro finally went on open sale in India, about half a year after it first became available for purchase in the country. Both the 4GB RAM and 6GB RAM variants of the Redmi Note 5 Pro are now up for purchase via Mi.com and Flipkart, though not all colour options are available.

Xiaomi Mi A2 went on sale for the first time in India this week, bringing its second Android One phone to the country. Only the 4GB RAM and 128GB internal storage variant of the handset was available for purchase in the first sale, with the Mi A2 price in India set at Rs. 16,999. It comes with a launch offer giving users cashback of Rs. 2,200 and 4.5TB of complimentary data. There is no word on when the 6GB RAM and 256GB storage option will go on sale in the Indian market. Xiaomi Mi A2 (Review) also received its first software update, which brought 60fps video recording as well as the August Android security patch

Xiaomi Mi A2 vs Nokia 7 Plus: Which Offers the Best Bang for Your Buck?

 

Also this week, XIaomi launched a new variant of its premium Mi 8 smartphone, this one featuring 8GB of RAM. This model has 256GB of internal storage, while the rest of the specifications remain the same as those of the previously released variants. As for the price, Mi 8 8GB variant costs CNY 3,299 (about Rs. 33,500) and is already on sale in China.

The company also unveiled the Mi Pad 4 Plus tablet, featuring a 10.1-inch display with 1920×1200-pixel resolution and 16:10 aspect ratio. Key features of the new Xiaomi Mi Pad 4 Plus include Snapdragon 660 SoC, 4GB RAM, 64GB and 128GB storage options, 13-megapixel rear camera, 5-megapixel selfie camera, and an 8,620mAh battery. It costs CNY 1,899 (roughly Rs. 19,300) for 64GB variant and CNY 2,099 (around Rs. 21,300) for the 128GB model.

Samsung Galaxy Note 9 India launch event will be held on August 22, and Gadgets 360 has learnt the event will be attended by DJ Koh, President and CEO of Samsung’s IT & Mobile Communications Division. Earlier this week, Koh also said the handset’s 4,000mAh battery is completely safe, showing the shadow of the the exploding battery of 2016’s Galaxy Note 7 and its worldwide recall still haunts the company.

 

The handset also received its first software update ahead of its release; this update brings the August 2018 Android security patch and a toggle for super slow-motion recording mode, one of the highlights of the phone’s rear camera. Separately, Koh has confirmed the first Samsung phone with 5G support will not be the Galaxy S10, even though the next year’s flagship will be supporting 5G. This means another Samsung smartphone with 5G will be launched before the rumoured March 2019 launch of the Galaxy S10, likely the long-awaited foldable smartphone or the Galaxy A series models. In a good piece of news for Samsung Galaxy Note 9 is that DisplayMate has rated its display as the best on a smartphone yet and earned the A+ grade, with praises showered on the brightness, colour accuracy, and viewing angles.

Online consumer rental platform RentoMojo is now giving users the option to rent a smartphone for as long as two years. It also offers the option to own the device after two years of renting. So, consumers will have to pay Rs. 4,299 for 24 months to get the iPhone X for the maximum duration, while it will cost a monthly payment of Rs. 9,299 for a 6-month rental. Other handsets on offer include Google Pixel 2, Samsung Galaxy S9, Samsung Galaxy Note 8, iPhone 8, among others.

Google is under fire after a report this week claimed Google Maps tracks its users’ location even after they have turned off location tracking. This location tracking without consent affects both Android and iOS devices, and was reportedly confirmed by researchers at Princeton University. Even with Location History paused, some Google apps automatically store time-stamped location data without asking, the report claims. The company said, “we continue to use location to improve the Google experience when they do things like perform a Google search or use Google for driving directions.”

Google Is Tracking You: How to Stop It and Delete Past Location Data

Separately, Google has offered help to Android users suffering in the Kerala floods by helping people send their location, which makes it easier for rescuers to find them. Android device users can open Google Maps and create plus codes with their location — these codes can be shared not just online but also offline. Telecom operators Jio, Airtel, Vodafone, Idea, and BSNL have also offered relief in the form of free data and automatically credited talk time for prepaid users, and bill payment extensions for postpaid users.

Motorola launched a new smartphone series in China this week, with the first model being named the Moto P30. The Moto P30 has an iPhone X-like notch and a 6.2-inch display with 18.7:9 aspect ratio, Snapdragon 636 SoC, and a glass back with gradient colour design. Other features include Android 8.0 Oreo, 6GB RAM, microSD support up to 256GB, 16-megapixel + 5-megapixel dual rear cameras, 12-megapixel front camera, 3,000mAh battery, and USB Type-C port. The Moto P30 price is CNY 2,099 (about Rs. 21,400) for the variant with 64GB of internal storage, and CNY 2,499 (approximately Rs. 25,400) for 128GB storage option.

Another smartphone launched this week was the Oppo F9, which has a V-shaped waterdrop display notch and the MediaTek Helio P60 SoC. The key Oppo F9 specifications include a 6.3-inch full-HD+ display, Android 8.1 Oreo with ColorOS 5.2, 64GB internal storage, microSD card support, 16-megapixel + 2-megapixel rear cameras, 25-megapixel front camera, and 3,500mAh battery. It Oppo F9 price is VND 7,690,000 (about Rs. 23,300) for the variant with 4GB RAM and the price of the 6GB RAM variant had not yet been revealed.

The Vivo Y81 also launched in India early this week and is already on sale in India via the official online store as well as Flipkart and Amazon. The Vivo Y81 price in India has been set as Rs. 12,999. It features a 6.22-inch HD+ display, octa-core MediaTek MT6762 chipset, 3GB RAM, 32GB storage, microSD support up to 256GB, 13-megapixel rear camera, 5-megapixel front camera, 3,260mAh battery.

 

 

Rounding up the other news this week from the world of smartphones, the OnePlus 6 received an update that fixed the display flickering issue that users had reported late last month. The Oxygen OS 5.1.11 update for OnePlus 6 also brings improvements for HDR mode and other bug fixes.

The Huawei Mate 20 Lite specifications and price have leaked, suggesting it will have a 6.3-inch HD+ display with V-shaped waterdrop notch, octa-core Kirin 970 chip, 6GB RAM, 64GB onboard storage, 20-megapixel + 2-megapixel rear cameras, 24-megapixel + 2-megapixel front cameras, and 3,650mAh battery. As for the price, it is said to start at EUR 400 (about Rs. 28,000). More details of Honor 8X have leaked online too, with features such as a 7.12-inch full-HD+ display, 1.8GHz octa-core processor, 16-megapixel + 2-megapixel cameras on the back, 8-megapixel front camera, and 4,900mAh battery.

The Nokia 6.1 received a price cut in India this week, which brings down the price of the 3GB RAM and 4GB RAM variants by Rs. 1,500 each. This means the two variants now cost Rs. 15,499 and Rs. 17,499, respectively. This move comes just a week ahead of the launch of the Nokia 6.1 Plus model in India. The Samsung Galaxy J7 Prime 2 price in India was also slashed this week, with the smartphone now available at Rs. 11,990 on Flipkart and Samsung Shop.

The iPhone 2018 models also leaked this week, with the new report claiming the upcoming iPhones will start at about $699 (about Rs. 49,000). The base 2018 iPhone model with 6.1-inch LCD panel is said to have a starting price of around $699 to $749 (from Rs. 49,000 to Rs. 52,600); it is claimed to have 64GB and 256GB storage options and 3GB RAM. The model with 5.8-inch OLED screen will reportedly have a starting price tag of $899 to $949 (from Rs. 63,000 to Rs. 66,000), while the 6.5-inch OLED model will be targeted at the “premium business segment” and have a price tag starting at $999 (about Rs. 70,000). The latter two models are said to come in 64GB, 256GB and 512GB storage options and have 4GB of RAM. These two will also support Apple Pencil, a separate report says.

As scheduled, eBay India stopped taking any more orders starting August 15, and the last date for raising eBay Guarantee claims is August 30. Flipkart will be launching a new site to fill the gap eBay is leaving in India. eBay will also keep an archive of your purchase history on My PaisaPay and My eBay until further notice.

Microsoft has created a software for the CBSE to prevent exam paper leaks. The software ensures papers are not leaked until at least half an hour before the exam, and if the papers are leaked after that, then the leak can be traced using the watermark. The new Microsoft software has already been tested this year in the compartment examinations held for class 10.



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Xiaomi Mi A2 vs Nokia 7 Plus: Which One Offers the Best Bang for Your Buck?


Until some time ago, if you wanted to experience stock Android, you had to buy a Nexus or a Pixel device. Things changed with the introduction of the updated Android One programme, starting with the Xiaomi Mi A1 (Review), the first smartphone under this initiative in India. Priced at Rs. 14,999, you got decent hardware, including a Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 processor, 4GB of RAM, and 64GB of storage, along with stock Android and the promise of regular updates. If you wanted more power than that but still weren’t willing to upgrade all the way to a Google Pixel device, you didn’t really have a choice. That’s the gap in the market that HMD Global filled when it launched the Nokia 7 Plus (Review) under the Android One programme this year.

When we reviewed the Nokia 7 Plus, we were happy with what it offered. It felt like a Nexus device in the mid-range segment. It also didn’t really have much competition. Now, Xiaomi has launched a successor to its Mi A1 smartphone with similar hardware to the Nokia 7 Plus. The new Mi A2 also has a Snapdragon 660 processor, 4GB of RAM, and 64GB of internal storage. What makes the Xiaomi Mi A2 (Review) interesting is its price. At Rs. 16,999 it undercuts the Nokia 7 Plus by a massive Rs. 9,000 margin. But has Xiaomi cut corners to achieve price, or is it simply better value for money? We compared the Nokia 7 Plus and Xiaomi Mi A2 head-to-head to find out which one offers the best bang for your buck.

 

Xiaomi Mi A2 vs Nokia 7 Plus design

Looks are entirely subjective, but there are a quite a few similarities in the construction of these smartphones. Both have metal unibodies with dual cameras at the back and both feel premium in the hand. HMD Global has given the back of the Nokia 7 Plus a ceramic coating for a smooth finish while hiding the antenna lines. We found the Xiaomi Mi A2 to be slippery, while the Nokia 7 Plus was fairly easy to handle. Both phones comes with cases in their boxes, which can be used to keep them safe. The Nokia 7 Plus is available in two colour variants while the Mi A2 gives you four options to choose from.

Button placement is identical on the two phones. The power buttons are easy to reach but you may need to stretch a bit to get to the volume buttons. Both these phones have a USB Type-C port at the bottom along with a loudspeaker and the primary microphone. At the top, the Nokia 7 Plus has a 3.5mm headphone jack which the Mi A2 lacks, but it does have an IR emitter. You get a USB Type-C to 3.5mm headphone jack dongle along with the Mi A2, which you will need if you want use your existing headphones. The Nokia 7 Plus comes with headphones in the box, while the Mi A2 doesn’t.

NokiaXiaomiBack Xiaomi Mi A2 vs Nokia 7 Plus

 

Both these phones have vertical dual camera setups at the back, but the one on the Mi A2 juts out quite a bit. The Nokia 7 Plus is also slightly heavier than the Mi A2. If we have to pick between the two purely based on design, we would pick the Nokia 7 Plus. It feels better built, and has copper design accents that make it stand out. The Xiaomi Mi A2 looks a lot like the Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 Pro.

Xiaomi Mi A2 vs Nokia 7 Plus specifications and software

When you take a look at the spec sheets of these phones, you will see a lot of similarities. Both are powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 660 processor, and both have 4GB of RAM as well as 64GB of internal storage. One advantage that the Nokia 7 Plus pulls over the Mi A2 is that it has a hybrid dual-SIM tray which lets you expand storage by up to 256GB, while the Mi A2 has non-expandable storage.

Both phones have full-HD+ displays with 18:9 aspect ratios. The Nokia 7 Plus has Gorilla Glass 3 for protection, while the Xiaomi Mi A2 has Gorilla Glass 5. We preferred the quality of the 7 Plus’s display which had better colours and was brighter compared to that of the Mi A2. Both phones also have two SIM slots and support 4G as well as VoLTE on both.

You get support for Bluetooth 5, Wi-Fi 802.11ac, GPS, A-GPS, and GLONASS. The Nokia 7 Plus also has NFC, and the Mi A2 boasts of its IR emitter. The battery capacities are different on these devices – the Nokia 7 Plus has a 3800mAh battery while the Mi A2 has a smaller 3000mAh battery. We observed that the Nokia 7 Plus takes the same time to charge as the Mi A2 despite this, thanks to the supplied fast charger. The Mi A2 boasts of Quick Charge 4+ technology but the bundled charger isn’t compatible and you’ll need to supply your own to take advantage of this feature.

Nokia 7 Plus Review

 

As both these smartphones are a part of the Android One programme, both run on Android 8.1 Oreo with the August security patch at the time of writing this article. There are very few customisations and apps installed on both these phones, but we found that the Nokia had more usable gesture features. You can expect timely software updates with both these devices. HMD Global should be quicker to roll out Android P for the Nokia 7 Plus, since this phone is already part of the Android P Beta programme.

Xiaomi Mi A2 vs Nokia 7 Plus performance and battery life

With both these devices running identical hardware, we were not surprised to see that they scored similarly in our tests. The Mi A2 scored 133,467 in AnTuTu, while the Nokia 7 Plus scored 137,573. In Geekbench 4’s single-core and multi-core tests, the A2 scored 1,645 and 4,840 respectively, while the 7 Plus scored 1,590 and 5,780 respectively. These phones exhibit virtually identical performance while scrolling through the UI and multitasking.

Both phones have fingerprint scanners at the back that are easy to reach, and both are equally quick to unlock. The Nokia has the bigger battery and better battery life. In our HD video loop test, the 7 Plus went on for 13 hours and 31 minutes, while the Mi A2 could only do 8 hours and 13 minutes. Even with ordinary usage, the Nokia 7 Plus offered better battery life. Charging is quick on the Nokia 7 Plus thanks to the supplied fast charger, while the Mi A2 only gets a 10W charger.

Xiaomi Mi A2 Review

 

Xiaomi Mi A2 vs Nokia 7 Plus cameras

Both of these smartphones have dual camera setups at the back, but have different configurations. The Nokia 7 Plus has a 12-megapixel primary camera with 1.4 micron pixels and a 13-megapixel secondary sensor with a telephoto lens. The Xiaomi Mi A2 has a 12-megapixel primary sensor with 1.25 micron pixels and a 20-megapixel secondary sensor with pixel binning technology. Xiaomi and HMD Global have both tweaked their respective camera apps to offer different features and settings. Both phones have a Pro mode that lets you control different parameters before shooting, and the Mi A2 also lets you choose which lens you want to shoot from. The 7 Plus has ZEISS optics at the front and the back.

When shooting outdoors in bright light we found that the Nokia 7 Plus managed metering and colours better than the Mi A2, resulting in better images. Zoom in to an image and you will notice that the 7 Plus captures better details as well. When shooting with Auto HDR, the Mi A2 indicates when it is using HDR but the 7 Plus does not do that.

 

Xiaomi Mi A2Nokia 7 Plus

 

In macros, the Mi A2 can focus on small objects very well while the Nokia 7 Plus fails to get this right. The Mi A2 also managed to get better details in comparison.

 

Xiaomi Mi A2Nokia 7 Plus

 

In low-light shots, it is the Nokia that comes on the top again with better details. Even objects at a distance appear sharper when photographed with the Nokia 7 Plus, while the Xiaomi Mi A2 falls slightly behind.

 

Xiaomi Mi A2Nokia 7 Plus

 

When shooting portraits, the Nokia 7 Plus switches to its telephoto lens and uses the primary camera for depth. It manages good edge detection and a good bokeh effect in the output. You will need to get quite close to the subject when shooting a portrait with the Mi A2. The output is also good and well detailed.

Selfies are better on the Nokia 7 Plus, with comparatively better colour reproduction than the Mi A2 can manage. The Mi A2, however, has a selfie fill light that helps in low-light. Both phones max out at 4K for video recording and has EIS when shooting at 1080p. The Mi A2 also has the ability to shoot at 60fps at 1080p, while the Nokia 7 Plus can only do 30fps. The quality of video is similar but we liked the audio that the 7 Plus records, as it uses three microphones with Nokia OZO audio enhancement.

Verdict
The Nokia 7 Plus (Review) is better equipped than the Xiaomi Mi A2 (Review). It has a 3.5mm headphone jack, bundled quick charger, and expandable storage. Barring macros, the camera is better and so is the battery life, compared to the Xiaomi Mi A2. The major advantage that the Mi A2 has is its pricing. Xiaomi has managed to price it super aggressively at Rs. 16,999 which is excellent value for money.

Yes, the Nokia 7 Plus is better than the Mi A2 overall, but it isn’t worth the Rs. 9,000 premium, making it very hard to recommend if all you are looking is the most bang for your buck. If you have to pick between the two, you could buy the Mi A2 along with a Quick Charge 4+ charger, and a power bank and still spend a lot less. You will be happy with the device and the money you have saved.


Is Xiaomi Mi A2 the best Android One smartphone in India? We discussed this on Orbital, our weekly technology podcast, which you can subscribe to via Apple Podcasts or RSS, download the episode, or just hit the play button below.



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Xiaomi Mi A2 vs Nokia 7 Plus: Which One Offers the Best Bang for Your Buck?


Until some time ago, if you wanted to experience stock Android, you had to buy a Nexus or a Pixel device. Things changed with the introduction of the updated Android One programme, starting with the Xiaomi Mi A1 (Review), the first smartphone under this initiative in India. Priced at Rs. 14,999, you got decent hardware, including a Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 processor, 4GB of RAM, and 64GB of storage, along with stock Android and the promise of regular updates. If you wanted more power than that but still weren’t willing to upgrade all the way to a Google Pixel device, you didn’t really have a choice. That’s the gap in the market that HMD Global filled when it launched the Nokia 7 Plus (Review) under the Android One programme this year.

When we reviewed the Nokia 7 Plus, we were happy with what it offered. It felt like a Nexus device in the mid-range segment. It also didn’t really have much competition. Now, Xiaomi has launched a successor to its Mi A1 smartphone with similar hardware to the Nokia 7 Plus. The new Mi A2 also has a Snapdragon 660 processor, 4GB of RAM, and 64GB of internal storage. What makes the Xiaomi Mi A2 (Review) interesting is its price. At Rs. 16,999 it undercuts the Nokia 7 Plus by a massive Rs. 9,000 margin. But has Xiaomi cut corners to achieve price, or is it simply better value for money? We compared the Nokia 7 Plus and Xiaomi Mi A2 head-to-head to find out which one offers the best bang for your buck.

 

Xiaomi Mi A2 vs Nokia 7 Plus design

Looks are entirely subjective, but there are a quite a few similarities in the construction of these smartphones. Both have metal unibodies with dual cameras at the back and both feel premium in the hand. HMD Global has given the back of the Nokia 7 Plus a ceramic coating for a smooth finish while hiding the antenna lines. We found the Xiaomi Mi A2 to be slippery, while the Nokia 7 Plus was fairly easy to handle. Both phones comes with cases in their boxes, which can be used to keep them safe. The Nokia 7 Plus is available in two colour variants while the Mi A2 gives you four options to choose from.

Button placement is identical on the two phones. The power buttons are easy to reach but you may need to stretch a bit to get to the volume buttons. Both these phones have a USB Type-C port at the bottom along with a loudspeaker and the primary microphone. At the top, the Nokia 7 Plus has a 3.5mm headphone jack which the Mi A2 lacks, but it does have an IR emitter. You get a USB Type-C to 3.5mm headphone jack dongle along with the Mi A2, which you will need if you want use your existing headphones. The Nokia 7 Plus comes with headphones in the box, while the Mi A2 doesn’t.

NokiaXiaomiBack Xiaomi Mi A2 vs Nokia 7 Plus

 

Both these phones have vertical dual camera setups at the back, but the one on the Mi A2 juts out quite a bit. The Nokia 7 Plus is also slightly heavier than the Mi A2. If we have to pick between the two purely based on design, we would pick the Nokia 7 Plus. It feels better built, and has copper design accents that make it stand out. The Xiaomi Mi A2 looks a lot like the Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 Pro.

Xiaomi Mi A2 vs Nokia 7 Plus specifications and software

When you take a look at the spec sheets of these phones, you will see a lot of similarities. Both are powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 660 processor, and both have 4GB of RAM as well as 64GB of internal storage. One advantage that the Nokia 7 Plus pulls over the Mi A2 is that it has a hybrid dual-SIM tray which lets you expand storage by up to 256GB, while the Mi A2 has non-expandable storage.

Both phones have full-HD+ displays with 18:9 aspect ratios. The Nokia 7 Plus has Gorilla Glass 3 for protection, while the Xiaomi Mi A2 has Gorilla Glass 5. We preferred the quality of the 7 Plus’s display which had better colours and was brighter compared to that of the Mi A2. Both phones also have two SIM slots and support 4G as well as VoLTE on both.

You get support for Bluetooth 5, Wi-Fi 802.11ac, GPS, A-GPS, and GLONASS. The Nokia 7 Plus also has NFC, and the Mi A2 boasts of its IR emitter. The battery capacities are different on these devices – the Nokia 7 Plus has a 3800mAh battery while the Mi A2 has a smaller 3000mAh battery. We observed that the Nokia 7 Plus takes the same time to charge as the Mi A2 despite this, thanks to the supplied fast charger. The Mi A2 boasts of Quick Charge 4+ technology but the bundled charger isn’t compatible and you’ll need to supply your own to take advantage of this feature.

Nokia 7 Plus Review

 

As both these smartphones are a part of the Android One programme, both run on Android 8.1 Oreo with the August security patch at the time of writing this article. There are very few customisations and apps installed on both these phones, but we found that the Nokia had more usable gesture features. You can expect timely software updates with both these devices. HMD Global should be quicker to roll out Android P for the Nokia 7 Plus, since this phone is already part of the Android P Beta programme.

Xiaomi Mi A2 vs Nokia 7 Plus performance and battery life

With both these devices running identical hardware, we were not surprised to see that they scored similarly in our tests. The Mi A2 scored 133,467 in AnTuTu, while the Nokia 7 Plus scored 137,573. In Geekbench 4’s single-core and multi-core tests, the A2 scored 1,645 and 4,840 respectively, while the 7 Plus scored 1,590 and 5,780 respectively. These phones exhibit virtually identical performance while scrolling through the UI and multitasking.

Both phones have fingerprint scanners at the back that are easy to reach, and both are equally quick to unlock. The Nokia has the bigger battery and better battery life. In our HD video loop test, the 7 Plus went on for 13 hours and 31 minutes, while the Mi A2 could only do 8 hours and 13 minutes. Even with ordinary usage, the Nokia 7 Plus offered better battery life. Charging is quick on the Nokia 7 Plus thanks to the supplied fast charger, while the Mi A2 only gets a 10W charger.

Xiaomi Mi A2 Review

 

Xiaomi Mi A2 vs Nokia 7 Plus cameras

Both of these smartphones have dual camera setups at the back, but have different configurations. The Nokia 7 Plus has a 12-megapixel primary camera with 1.4 micron pixels and a 13-megapixel secondary sensor with a telephoto lens. The Xiaomi Mi A2 has a 12-megapixel primary sensor with 1.25 micron pixels and a 20-megapixel secondary sensor with pixel binning technology. Xiaomi and HMD Global have both tweaked their respective camera apps to offer different features and settings. Both phones have a Pro mode that lets you control different parameters before shooting, and the Mi A2 also lets you choose which lens you want to shoot from. The 7 Plus has ZEISS optics at the front and the back.

When shooting outdoors in bright light we found that the Nokia 7 Plus managed metering and colours better than the Mi A2, resulting in better images. Zoom in to an image and you will notice that the 7 Plus captures better details as well. When shooting with Auto HDR, the Mi A2 indicates when it is using HDR but the 7 Plus does not do that.

 

Xiaomi Mi A2Nokia 7 Plus

 

In macros, the Mi A2 can focus on small objects very well while the Nokia 7 Plus fails to get this right. The Mi A2 also managed to get better details in comparison.

 

Xiaomi Mi A2Nokia 7 Plus

 

In low-light shots, it is the Nokia that comes on the top again with better details. Even objects at a distance appear sharper when photographed with the Nokia 7 Plus, while the Xiaomi Mi A2 falls slightly behind.

 

Xiaomi Mi A2Nokia 7 Plus

 

When shooting portraits, the Nokia 7 Plus switches to its telephoto lens and uses the primary camera for depth. It manages good edge detection and a good bokeh effect in the output. You will need to get quite close to the subject when shooting a portrait with the Mi A2. The output is also good and well detailed.

Selfies are better on the Nokia 7 Plus, with comparatively better colour reproduction than the Mi A2 can manage. The Mi A2, however, has a selfie fill light that helps in low-light. Both phones max out at 4K for video recording and has EIS when shooting at 1080p. The Mi A2 also has the ability to shoot at 60fps at 1080p, while the Nokia 7 Plus can only do 30fps. The quality of video is similar but we liked the audio that the 7 Plus records, as it uses three microphones with Nokia OZO audio enhancement.

Verdict
The Nokia 7 Plus (Review) is better equipped than the Xiaomi Mi A2 (Review). It has a 3.5mm headphone jack, bundled quick charger, and expandable storage. Barring macros, the camera is better and so is the battery life, compared to the Xiaomi Mi A2. The major advantage that the Mi A2 has is its pricing. Xiaomi has managed to price it super aggressively at Rs. 16,999 which is excellent value for money.

Yes, the Nokia 7 Plus is better than the Mi A2 overall, but it isn’t worth the Rs. 9,000 premium, making it very hard to recommend if all you are looking is the most bang for your buck. If you have to pick between the two, you could buy the Mi A2 along with a Quick Charge 4+ charger, and a power bank and still spend a lot less. You will be happy with the device and the money you have saved.


Is Xiaomi Mi A2 the best Android One smartphone in India? We discussed this on Orbital, our weekly technology podcast, which you can subscribe to via Apple Podcasts or RSS, download the episode, or just hit the play button below.



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Xiaomi Mi A2 Gets August Android Security Patch, 60fps Video Recording via Update


Xiaomi Mi A2 has received a software update that brings the August Android security patch as well as upgrades the rear camera with the ability to record full-HD (1080p) videos at 60fps frame rate. The latest update notably comes just ahead of the availability of the Mi A2 in India. The smartphone that was launched in the country last week with a starting price of Rs. 16,999 will go on sale for the first time on Thursday. Prior to the update, the Mi A2 was supporting full-HD video recording at 30fps. The handset also includes electronic image stabilisation (EIS) to reduce blurs and compensate for device shake during video recording.

The first noticeable change that the latest software update brings to the Xiaomi Mi A2 is the arrival of the August Android security patch. The security patch level that the update includes is the August 5 one that originally arrived on the Pixel handsets earlier this month. Further, the security patch is likely to address various behind-the-scene vulnerabilities and security loopholes.

In addition to the August Android security patch, the Mi A2 update brings support for 60fps frame rate while recording videos on full-HD (1080p) resolution. This means you can now capture more frames in a full-HD video being recorded through the Mi A2. As we mentioned, the handset was previously offering only the 30fps frame rate option for recording full-HD videos. The Mi A2 importantly sports a dual rear camera setup that includes a 12-megapixel Sony IMX486 sensor along with an f/1.75 aperture and a 20-megapixel IMX376 sensor along with a 4-in-1 Super Pixel tech and an f/1.75 aperture.

The latest Mi A2 software update comes in 380MB of size and has build number OPM1.171019.011.V9.6.10.0.ODIMIFE.xiaomi mi a2 update gadgets 360 Xiaomi Mi A2

While Xiaomi is rolling out the update to all Mi A2 units in phases, you can manually check its availability on your device. You just need to go to Settings > System updates > Check for Updates to check for the new update.

Xiaomi Mi A2 Review

It is worth pointing out that the latest update for the Mi A2 comes just ahead of its formal arrival in India. The handset was launched last week and is set to go on sale through Amazon, Mi.com, Mi Home, and Mi Preferred Partner Store starting 12 noon on Thursday. It comes with a starting price of Rs. 16,999 for the 4GB RAM and 64GB storage configuration and is available in Black, Gold, Lake Blue, and Rose Gold colour options.

 



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Mi A2 to Go on Sale in India for First Time Today via Amazon, Mi.com, and Offline Stores


Xiaomi Mi A2 (Review) will go on sale in India for the first time today at 12pm IST via Amazon, Mi.com, Mi Home, and Mi Preferred Partner Store. To recall, the smartphone was launched globally last month in Spain. The smartphone is part of the Android One initiative, which means it is certified by Google to run an optimised version of stock Android, and due for timely updates. The Mi A2 is successor to the Mi A1, and it was launched in India last week. Chinese company Xiaomi has already revealed the Mi A2 launch offers, and the smartphone went up for pre-orders last week itself.

Mi A2 price in India and booking details

The Xiaomi Mi A2 price in India starts from Rs. 16,999 for the 4GB RAM/ 64GB inbuilt storage variant. It will come with a soft case in the box. The 6GB RAM/ 128GB inbuilt storage variant was also launched, but, the smartphone will be coming soon, and no price has yet been revealed. It will be made available in Black, Gold, Lake Blue, and Rose Gold colour options.

 

Xiaomi Mi A2 launch offers include up to 4.5TB additional data from Reliance Jio, which is also offering up to Rs. 2,200 instant cashback.

Xiaomi Mi A2 specifications

The dual-SIM (Nano) Xiaomi Mi A2 runs stock Android 8.1 Oreo, and being a part of the Android One programme from Google, is certified to offer an optimised Android experience and timely updates. The company is promising “minimal preloaded apps.” The smartphone sports a 5.99-inch full-HD+ (1080×2160 pixels) display with an 18:9 aspect ratio and pixel density of 403ppi. It is protected by 2.5D curved Gorilla Glass 5. The Mi A2 is powered by an octa-core Snapdragon 660 SoC (four cores clocked at 2.2GHz and four cores clocked at 1.8GHz) coupled with either 4GB or 6GB of RAM.

The Xiaomi Mi A2 sports a dual rear camera setup, with a 12-megapixel Sony IMX486 sensor in the primary camera, featuring 1.25-micron pixels with an f/1.75 aperture. It uses a 20-megapixel IMX376 sensor as the secondary rear camera, with 2-micron pixels, 4-in-1 Super Pixel tech, and f/1.75 aperture. The rear camera setup also features a flash module. On the front, the Mi A2 bears the same 20-megapixel sensor, complete with a soft-light flash module.

Xiaomi is touting several ‘AI Camera’ features, including Portrait mode (available on the front camera as well), Beauty Mode 4.0, and face recognition. There is also a ‘Smart Lens Selection’ feature, that chooses the appropriate rear sensor based on the lighting conditions. The smartphone also offers electronic image stabilisation (EIS) for video recording. As we mentioned, the Xiaomi Mi A2 comes in two inbuilt storage options – 64GB and 128GB – depending on the variant purchased.

Connectivity options on the Mi A2 include 4G VoLTE, Wi-Fi 802.11ac (dual-band, 2.4GHz and 5GHz), Bluetooth v5.0, GPS/ A-GPS, and a USB Type-C (v2.0) port – there is no 3.5mm headphone jack on the phone. It bears a fingerprint sensor on the rear panel, while other sensors on board include an accelerometer, ambient light sensor, digital compass, gyroscope, and proximity sensor. The Xiaomi Mi A2 sports a 3,000mAh battery that supports Quick Charge 4+, however, the smartphone will ship with a regular 10W charger in the box. It measures 158.7×75.4×7.3mm, and weighs 168 grams.


Is Xiaomi Mi A2 the best Android One smartphone in India? We discussed this on Orbital, our weekly technology podcast, which you can subscribe to via Apple Podcasts or RSS, download the episode, or just hit the play button below.

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Mi A2 vs Redmi Note 5 Pro: Price in India, Specifications Compared


Xiaomi Mi A2 (Review) was launched in India this week, following a global launch as the Mi A1 successor. Mi A2, the latest Android One powered smartphone by Xiaomi, promises better hardware, design, and other new features. The key features of the handset include a 5.99-inch full-HD+ 18:9 display, Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 SoC, dual rear camera setup, 20-megapixel selfie camera, and Qualcomm Quick Charge 4+ among others. Notably, the Mi A2 price in India starts at Rs. 16,999 and Xiaomi has only launched two RAM/ storage variants of the handset in the country. At that price point, the device will compete with Xiaomi’s own Redmi Note 5 Pro smartphone whose price in India starts at Rs. 14,999.

The Mi A2 like its predecessor Mi A1 is an Android One powered handset with stock Android 8.1 Oreo, and no MIUI, which is the company’s own customised user interface that is used in handsets like Redmi Note 5 Pro. And as part of the Android One initiative by Google, the phone will receive timely software and security updates. At its price range in India, the Xiaomi Mi A2 will also compete with the Redmi Note 5 Pro. While the Redmi Note 5 Pro is arguably dominating the market with its compelling hardware and MIUI features, the Mi A2 brings a different design and stock Android with a powerful processor, all at a slightly higher price tag.

We pit the latest Xiaomi model against the smartphone that’s arguably its closest peer from Xiaomi’s current lineup – the Redmi Note 5 Pro – to see all the areas in which it differs. Here’s a look at the Xiaomi Mi A2 price in India and specifications and a comparison with those of the Redmi Note 5 Pro.

Xiaomi Mi A2 vs Redmi Note 5 Pro price in India

The Xiaomi Mi A2 price in India starts from Rs. 16,999 for the 4GB RAM/ 64GB inbuilt storage variant. It will come with a soft case in the box. The 6GB RAM/ 128GB inbuilt storage variant was also launched, but, no exact availability beyond “coming soon” and no India price have yet been revealed. It will be made available in Black, Gold, Lake Blue, and Rose Gold colour options.

Xiaomi Mi A2 Review

The Mi A2 will go up for pre-orders on Thursday (August 9) via Amazon India and Mi.com. The smartphone will go on sale for the first time on August 16, via Amazon India, Mi.com, Mi Home, and Mi Preferred Partner Stores. Xiaomi Mi A2 launch offers include up to 4.5TB additional data from Reliance Jio, which is also offering up to Rs. 2,200 instant cashback.

The Redmi Note 5 Pro was launched in India in February at Rs. 13,999, but then that price was raised to Rs. 14,999 for the 4GB RAM, 64GB storage variant, and it goes up to Rs. 16,999 for the 6GB RAM, 64GB storage variant. Colour options are Black, Gold, Lake Blue, and Rose Gold. It is available via Flipkart, Mi Home, and Mi.com through a flash sale model.

Xiaomi Mi A2 vs Redmi Note 5 Pro specifications

The dual-SIM (Nano) Xiaomi Mi A2 runs stock Android 8.1 Oreo, and features a 5.99-inch full-HD+ (1080×2160 pixels) display with an 18:9 aspect ratio, a pixel density of 403ppi, and 2.5D curved Gorilla Glass 5. The Mi A2 is powered by an octa-core Snapdragon 660 SoC (four cores clocked at 2.2GHz and four cores clocked at 1.8GHz) coupled with either 4GB or 6GB of RAM.

The Xiaomi Mi A2 sports a dual rear camera setup, with a 12-megapixel Sony IMX486 sensor in the primary camera, featuring 1.25-micron pixels with an f/1.75 aperture. It uses a 20-megapixel IMX376 sensor as the secondary rear camera, with 2-micron pixels, 4-in-1 Super Pixel tech, and an f/1.75 aperture. The rear camera setup also features a flash module. On the front, the Mi A2 bears the same 20-megapixel sensor, complete with a soft-light flash module. It bears a fingerprint sensor on the rear panel.

The Mi A2 will be available in two inbuilt storage options – 64GB and 128GB. Connectivity options include 4G VoLTE, Wi-Fi 802.11ac (dual-band, 2.4GHz and 5GHz), Bluetooth v5.0, GPS/ A-GPS, and a USB Type-C (v2.0) port – notably, there is no 3.5mm headphone jack available. Sensors on board include an accelerometer, ambient light sensor, digital compass, gyroscope, and proximity sensor. The Xiaomi Mi A2 uns on a 3,000mAh battery with Quick Charge 4+ support. Users will have to buy a compatible charger however, as the Mi A2 will ship with a standard 10W charger in the box. It measures 158.7×75.4×7.3mm while weighing 168 grams.

Meanwhile, the dual-SIM (Nano) Redmi Note 5 Pro runs Android Nougat-based MIUI 9 and has a 5.99-inch full-HD+ (1080×2160 pixels) display with an 18:9 aspect ratio and a 2.5D curved glass. There is an octa-core Snapdragon 636 SoC, paired with Adreno 509 GPU and up to 6GB of RAM. The smartphone has a dual rear camera setup with a 12-megapixel primary sensor along with an f/2.2 aperture and a 5-megapixel secondary sensor that has an f/2.0 aperture. On the front, the handset has a 20-megapixel camera sensor with a selfie LED flash.

On the storage front, the Redmi Note 5 Pro has 64GB of inbuilt storage that is expandable via microSD card in a hybrid dual-SIM format. The smartphone has 4G VoLTE, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth, Micro-USB, and a 3.5mm headphone jack. Lastly, it packs a 4000mAh battery and measures 158.6×75.4×8.05mm.


Is Xiaomi Mi A2 the best Android One smartphone in India? We discussed this on Orbital, our weekly technology podcast, which you can subscribe to via Apple Podcasts or RSS, download the episode, or just hit the play button below.

Xiaomi Mi A2 vs Redmi Note 5 Pro comparison

  Xiaomi Mi A2 Redmi Note 5 Pro
Ratings
Overall NDTV Rating
Design Rating
Display Rating
Software Rating
Performance Rating
Battery Life Rating
Camera Rating
Value for Money Rating
GENERAL
Release date July 2018 February 2018
Dimensions (mm) 158.70 x 75.40 x 7.30 158.60 x 75.40 x 8.05
Weight (g) 168.00 181.00
Battery capacity (mAh) 3000 4000
Removable battery No No
Colours Black, Gold, Lake Blue, Rose Gold Black, Gold, Lake Blue, Rose Gold
SAR value 1.19
DISPLAY
Screen size (inches) 5.99 5.99
Resolution 1080×2160 pixels 1080×2160 pixels
HARDWARE
Processor 1.8GHz octa-core 1.8GHz octa-core
Processor make Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 Qualcomm Snapdragon 636
RAM 4GB 4GB
Internal storage 64GB 64GB
Expandable storage Yes Yes
Expandable storage type microSD microSD
Expandable storage up to (GB) 128
CAMERA
Rear camera 20-megapixel 12-megapixel
Rear Flash LED LED
Front camera 20-megapixel 20-megapixel
Front Flash Yes LED
SOFTWARE
Operating System Android 8.1 Oreo Android 7.1.1
Skin MIUI 9
CONNECTIVITY
Wi-Fi standards supported 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac 802.11 b/g/n/ac
Bluetooth Yes, v 5.00 Yes, v 5.00
NFC Yes No
USB OTG Yes Yes
Number of SIMs 2 2
SIM 1
SIM Type Nano-SIM Nano-SIM
4G/ LTE Yes Yes
SIM 2
SIM Type Nano-SIM Nano-SIM
4G/ LTE Yes Yes
SENSORS
Compass/ Magnetometer Yes Yes
Proximity sensor Yes Yes
Accelerometer Yes Yes
Ambient light sensor Yes Yes
Gyroscope Yes Yes
Barometer No
Temperature sensor No



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Xiaomi Mi A2 Review | NDTV Gadgets360.com


Xiaomi has launched the Mi A2 as its second Android One phone in India. Google originally started the Android One programme to deliver the stock Android experience on entry-level handsets in developing markets. However, there were no new products in India after the initial launches from Karbonn, Micromax and Spice. Google later revived Android One in 2017 to offer users smartphones running stock Android without any manufacturer customisations. The first of these in India was the Xiaomi Mi A1 (Review) which launched last year.

More manufacturers have enrolled into the program since then, but very few devices have made it to India. Nokia, an HMD Global brand, was the first to announce that its entire Android lineup would adopt Android One and all the smartphones that it announced at MWC 2018 have now launched in India. The new Mi A2 promises better hardware while still running bone-stock Android. So should the Xiaomi Mi A2 be the first choice for an Android purist on a budget? We put it to the test.

 

Xiaomi Mi A2 design

The Mi A2 is a well-designed smartphone. It has a metal unibody that gives it a premium feel in the hand. The first change you will notice compared to the Mi A1 is that it has a big 5.99-inch display with an 18:9 aspect ratio, which makes the phone tall and narrow. The sides are curved which makes it comfortable in the hand. Our Black review unit had a matte finish which resisted fingerprints to some extent. This phone is quite slippery and we would recommend that you put the case supplied in the box to use.

The power and volume buttons are on the right and offer good feedback when pressed. We found that the power button is well placed, but the volume buttons are a little too high for our liking. Xiaomi has positioned the selfie camera, earpiece, selfie light and a notification light above the display while the space below it is blank. For those curious, this smartphone has a single-colour notification LED.

The USB Type-C port at the bottom has speaker grilles on either side but only the right one houses a loudspeaker. An IR emitter that can be used to control IR-based appliance is at the top along with the secondary microphone. There is no 3.5mm headphone jack so you get a USB Type-C dongle in the box. Xiaomi claims that it has used a high-quality amplifier to improve audio output from the speaker and headphones.

Xiaomi Mi A2 Back Panel Xiaomi Mi A2 Review

 

Xiaomi has opted for a dual camera setup at the back, which is now positioned vertically compared to the horizontal setup on the Mi A1. There’s a 12-megapixel primary camera, a 20-megapixel secondary sensor, and an LED flash. This camera module protrudes quite a bit causing the Mi A2 to rock when placed on a flat surface. The fingerprint scanner is next to the camera module, at the natural resting position of either index finger. Xiaomi has opted for a 3000mAh battery to power the Mi A2.

Xiaomi Mi A2 specifications, software, and features

The Chinese smartphone maker has chosen the Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 processor to power the Mi A2. It has eight Kryo 260 CPU cores and an Adreno 512 GPU. The A2 has 4GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage. Sadly storage isn’t expandable unlike the Mi A1, and you will need to make do with the storage you get. This is a dual-SIM smartphone and has two Nano-SIM slots. There is support for 4G and VoLTE on both SIMs.

The 5.99-inch display sports a full-HD+ resolution, has a pixel density of 403ppi, and uses Corning Gorilla Glass 5 for protection. Viewing angles are decent but the display does not get very bright. You don’t get the option to tweak the output. The Ambient Display feature wakes the phone when you get a notification.

At 3000mAh, the battery capacity is lower than what most other smartphones in this segment offer. The Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 (Review) for example packs in a bigger 4000mAh battery. The Mi A2 supports Qualcomm’s Quick Charge 4+ but you only get a standard 10W charger in the box. Connectivity options on the Mi A2 include Bluetooth 5.0, dual-band Wi-Fi 802.11ac, GPS, A-GPS, GLONASS, and Beidou.

Xiaomi Mi A2 SIM Port Xiaomi Mi A2 Review

 

Xiaomi has focused on the cameras of the Mi A2. The 12-megapixel primary rear camera has 1.25-micron pixels and an f/1.75 aperture. The secondary 20-megapixel camera uses 4-in-1 pixel binning with bigger 2-micron pixels and an f/1.75 aperture. Unlike the Mi A1 which had zoom lens for 2X optical zoom with the secondary camera, the one on the Mi A2 should help in low light instead.

The Xiaomi Mi A2 runs stock Android 8.1 Oreo, and Xiaomi has added its Feedback, File Manager, and Mi Drop apps on top. While the Feedback app cannot be disabled or uninstalled, you can go ahead and uninstall the other two. The camera app has also been customised by Xiaomi and is different from the default Android app – more on that in a bit. Of course, this phone also has gets Google apps preinstalled. When we started reviewing the phone it was running the June security patch but we got a software update during the course of the review bringing us up to date with the August security patch.

If you are an Android purist, you will like the software experience on the Mi A2. It has an app drawer, and you need to swipe up to see all your installed apps. You also get Google Feed by swiping right from the homescreen and summon the Google Assistant by long-pressing the home button. We found that the phone lacks an app to let you use the IR emitter, which means that you cannot start controlling appliances right out of the box. You can download the Mi Remote app from the Play Store, but Xiaomi told Gadgets 360 that it will be rolling out an update after which the app will be preinstalled. The only gesture the Mi A2 supports is that double-clicking the power button will immediately launch the camera app.

Xiaomi Mi A2 performance and battery life

We have used the Nokia 7 Plus (Review), which has the same processor as the Xiaomi Mi A2, and was also running stock Android. The Xiaomi Mi A2 offers similar performance and we found no lag or stutter when flipping through the phone’s UI and multitasking. With 4GB of RAM, you should be able to multitask easily without the phone automatically killing apps in the background. The fingerprint scanner is quite fast and was quick to unlock the phone.

The Xiaomi Mi A2 scored 1,33,467 in AnTuTu, and 1,645 and 4,840 in Geekbench 4’s single-core and multi-core tests respectively. These scores are slightly lower on average than those of the Nokia 7 Plus, which managed 1,37,573, 1,590 and 5,780 respectively. The Mi A2 also got 24,850 in 3DMark Slingshot Unlimited and 14fps in GFXBench Manhattan 3.1.

Xiaomi Mi A2 Port Xiaomi Mi A2 Review

 

We played games such as PUBG, Clash Royale, and Asphalt 9. PUBG ran at medium settings by default and we did not have any issues with performance. We played the game for 25 minutes, surviving an entire round, and found that the phone did get warm to the touch without getting uncomfortably hot. Asphalt 9 ran at the default settings without any hiccups either.

In our HD video loop test, the smartphone ran for 8 hours and 13 minutes, which is below average. We have seen the Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 Pro (Review) and the Redmi Note 5 last for close to 16 hours thanks to their bigger batteries. With our usage comprising of active WhatsApp and Gmail accounts, an hour worth of games, some time with Instagram, and making a few calls, the battery saver mode kicked in after 7 and 30 minutes. If your usage is similar, you will need to keep the charger handy. The supplied charger takes close to 2 hours to charge the Mi A2 completely but so should invest in a Qualcomm Quick Charge certified charger to speed that up.

Xiaomi Mi A2 cameras

Xiaomi has worked on its camera app and it is different from the stock Android camera. You get Short Video, Portrait, Square, Panorama, and a Manual mode, apart from the usual Photo and Video modes. The Manual mode lets you set white balance, focus, shutter speed and ISO, and also lets you choose between the ‘regular’ and ‘low light’ lenses. Xiaomi claims that it has tweaked the Portrait mode such that it uses the 12-megapixel camera in favourable light conditions but switches to the 20-megapixel camera in low light, but we found that this did not actually happen. While one lens is in use, the other acts as a depth sensor. 

The Mi A2 is fairly quick to meter light and lock focus. Photos taken with the Mi A2 outdoors have a good amount of detail and colours are quite accurate. Zoom into an image and you can still see details without much loss. We noticed that the camera app also switched HDR on automatically when the scene required it, bringing out more details from the shadows and delivering slightly sharper results. Autofocusing is quick when taking macros and we found that the Mi A2 could focus on relatively small objects. Macros were sharp and the phone managed good separation between the subject and the background.

In low light, the Mi A2 bumps the ISO up and lowers the shutter speed to help the primary camera capture more light, instead of switching to the secondary one. Xiaomi should have taken advantage of the better sensor for low-light shots by switching automatically, but you can do this yourself in Manual mode. These photos also have decent amounts of detail but we noticed aggressive noise reduction being applied in darker areas, leading to a watercolour effect when zooming in.

Tap to see full-sized Xiaomi Mi A2 camera samples

 

Selfies are detailed and we got sharp results when shooting indoors. The selfie fill light comes in handy when shooting in low-lit conditions. HDR is available for the selfie camera and kicks in automatically when required. You can also select the level of beautification you need, and an Advanced mode which lets you tweak different beautification parameters.

Video recording on the Xiaomi Mi A2 maxes out at 4K for the primary camera and 1080p for the selfie camera. You also get the option to shoot in 1080p at 60fps rather than 30fps with the rear camera, but we found that it had difficulty locking focus at the higher frame rate. Video stabilisation is available for the rear camera, and helps you capture steady footage.


Xiaomi Mi A2 in pictures

 

Verdict
The Xiaomi Mi A1 (Review) was an obvious choice for anyone looking for stock Android on a budget. Things however have changed, with HMD Global bringing in Nokia handsets that run pure stock Android as well. Xiaomi will have to compete on pricing, and that’s exactly what it has done with this launch.

The Xiaomi Mi A2 gets the cameras right and is amongst the best camera phones at this price point. Also, the powerful Snapdragon 660 processor has so far been restricted to more expensive phones, making this phone a tempting option for someone looking for a performer on a budget.

Xiaomi has priced the Mi A2 at Rs. 16,999 which is quite aggressive for the hardware it offers. However, there are a few chinks in the Mi A2’s armour. Its battery capacity is below average, resulting in relatively poor battery life. Xiaomi has also ditched the 3.5mm headphone jack and there’s no microSD card slot, which are both things that buyers look for. If you can’t do without stock Android and want good cameras without paying too much, then the Mi A2 should check all your boxes. If you’re okay with MIUI, the Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 Pro (Review) is still a good alternative at a slightly lower price. You might also want to keep an eye on the upcoming Honor Play.


Is Xiaomi Mi A2 the best Android One smartphone in India? We discussed this on Orbital, our weekly technology podcast, which you can subscribe to via Apple Podcasts or RSS, download the episode, or just hit the play button below.



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Mi A2 vs Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 Pro: Price in India, Specifications Compared


Xiaomi Mi A2 (Review) was launched in India this week, following a global launch as the Mi A1 successor. Mi A2, the latest Android One powered smartphone by Xiaomi, promises better hardware, design, and other new features. The key features of the handset include a 5.99-inch full-HD+ 18:9 display, Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 SoC, dual rear camera setup, 20-megapixel selfie camera, and Qualcomm Quick Charge 4+ among others. Notably, the Mi A2 price in India starts at Rs. 16,999 and Xiaomi has only launched two RAM/ storage variants of the handset in the country. At that price point, the device will compete with Xiaomi’s own Redmi Note 5 Pro smartphone whose price in India starts at Rs. 14,999.

The Mi A2 like its predecessor Mi A1 is an Android One powered handset with stock Android 8.1 Oreo, and no MIUI, which is the company’s own customised user interface that is used in handsets like Redmi Note 5 Pro. And as part of the Android One initiative by Google, the phone will receive timely software and security updates. At its price range in India, the Xiaomi Mi A2 will also compete with the Redmi Note 5 Pro. While the Redmi Note 5 Pro is arguably dominating the market with its compelling hardware and MIUI features, the Mi A2 brings a different design and stock Android with a powerful processor, all at a slightly higher price tag.

We pit the latest Xiaomi model against the smartphone that’s arguably its closest peer from Xiaomi’s current lineup – the Redmi Note 5 Pro – to see all the areas in which it differs. Here’s a look at the Xiaomi Mi A2 price in India and specifications and a comparison with those of the Redmi Note 5 Pro.

Xiaomi Mi A2 vs Redmi Note 5 Pro price in India

The Xiaomi Mi A2 price in India starts from Rs. 16,999 for the 4GB RAM/ 64GB inbuilt storage variant. It will come with a soft case in the box. The 6GB RAM/ 128GB inbuilt storage variant was also launched, but, no exact availability beyond “coming soon” and no India price have yet been revealed. It will be made available in Black, Gold, Lake Blue, and Rose Gold colour options.

Xiaomi Mi A2 Review

The Mi A2 will go up for pre-orders on Thursday (August 9) via Amazon India and Mi.com. The smartphone will go on sale for the first time on August 16, via Amazon India, Mi.com, Mi Home, and Mi Preferred Partner Stores. Xiaomi Mi A2 launch offers include up to 4.5TB additional data from Reliance Jio, which is also offering up to Rs. 2,200 instant cashback.

The Redmi Note 5 Pro was launched in India in February at Rs. 13,999, but then that price was raised to Rs. 14,999 for the 4GB RAM, 64GB storage variant, and it goes up to Rs. 16,999 for the 6GB RAM, 64GB storage variant. Colour options are Black, Gold, Lake Blue, and Rose Gold. It is available via Flipkart, Mi Home, and Mi.com through a flash sale model.

Xiaomi Mi A2 vs Redmi Note 5 Pro specifications

The dual-SIM (Nano) Xiaomi Mi A2 runs stock Android 8.1 Oreo, and features a 5.99-inch full-HD+ (1080×2160 pixels) display with an 18:9 aspect ratio, a pixel density of 403ppi, and 2.5D curved Gorilla Glass 5. The Mi A2 is powered by an octa-core Snapdragon 660 SoC (four cores clocked at 2.2GHz and four cores clocked at 1.8GHz) coupled with either 4GB or 6GB of RAM.

The Xiaomi Mi A2 sports a dual rear camera setup, with a 12-megapixel Sony IMX486 sensor in the primary camera, featuring 1.25-micron pixels with an f/1.75 aperture. It uses a 20-megapixel IMX376 sensor as the secondary rear camera, with 2-micron pixels, 4-in-1 Super Pixel tech, and an f/1.75 aperture. The rear camera setup also features a flash module. On the front, the Mi A2 bears the same 20-megapixel sensor, complete with a soft-light flash module. It bears a fingerprint sensor on the rear panel.

The Mi A2 will be available in two inbuilt storage options – 64GB and 128GB. Connectivity options include 4G VoLTE, Wi-Fi 802.11ac (dual-band, 2.4GHz and 5GHz), Bluetooth v5.0, GPS/ A-GPS, and a USB Type-C (v2.0) port – notably, there is no 3.5mm headphone jack available. Sensors on board include an accelerometer, ambient light sensor, digital compass, gyroscope, and proximity sensor. The Xiaomi Mi A2 uns on a 3,000mAh battery with Quick Charge 4+ support. Users will have to buy a compatible charger however, as the Mi A2 will ship with a standard 10W charger in the box. It measures 158.7×75.4×7.3mm while weighing 168 grams.

Meanwhile, the dual-SIM (Nano) Redmi Note 5 Pro runs Android Nougat-based MIUI 9 and has a 5.99-inch full-HD+ (1080×2160 pixels) display with an 18:9 aspect ratio and a 2.5D curved glass. There is an octa-core Snapdragon 636 SoC, paired with Adreno 509 GPU and up to 6GB of RAM. The smartphone has a dual rear camera setup with a 12-megapixel primary sensor along with an f/2.2 aperture and a 5-megapixel secondary sensor that has an f/2.0 aperture. On the front, the handset has a 20-megapixel camera sensor with a selfie LED flash.

On the storage front, the Redmi Note 5 Pro has 64GB of inbuilt storage that is expandable via microSD card in a hybrid dual-SIM format. The smartphone has 4G VoLTE, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth, Micro-USB, and a 3.5mm headphone jack. Lastly, it packs a 4000mAh battery and measures 158.6×75.4×8.05mm.


Is Xiaomi Mi A2 the best Android One smartphone in India? We discussed this on Orbital, our weekly technology podcast, which you can subscribe to via Apple Podcasts or RSS, download the episode, or just hit the play button below.

Xiaomi Mi A2 vs Redmi Note 5 Pro comparison

  Xiaomi Mi A2 Redmi Note 5 Pro
Ratings
Overall NDTV Rating
Design Rating
Display Rating
Software Rating
Performance Rating
Battery Life Rating
Camera Rating
Value for Money Rating
GENERAL
Release date July 2018 February 2018
Dimensions (mm) 158.70 x 75.40 x 7.30 158.60 x 75.40 x 8.05
Weight (g) 168.00 181.00
Battery capacity (mAh) 3000 4000
Removable battery No No
Colours Black, Gold, Lake Blue, Rose Gold Black, Gold, Lake Blue, Rose Gold
SAR value 1.19
DISPLAY
Screen size (inches) 5.99 5.99
Resolution 1080×2160 pixels 1080×2160 pixels
HARDWARE
Processor 1.8GHz octa-core 1.8GHz octa-core
Processor make Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 Qualcomm Snapdragon 636
RAM 4GB 4GB
Internal storage 64GB 64GB
Expandable storage Yes Yes
Expandable storage type microSD microSD
Expandable storage up to (GB) 128
CAMERA
Rear camera 20-megapixel 12-megapixel
Rear Flash LED LED
Front camera 20-megapixel 20-megapixel
Front Flash Yes LED
SOFTWARE
Operating System Android 8.1 Oreo Android 7.1.1
Skin MIUI 9
CONNECTIVITY
Wi-Fi standards supported 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac 802.11 b/g/n/ac
Bluetooth Yes, v 5.00 Yes, v 5.00
NFC Yes No
USB OTG Yes Yes
Number of SIMs 2 2
SIM 1
SIM Type Nano-SIM Nano-SIM
4G/ LTE Yes Yes
SIM 2
SIM Type Nano-SIM Nano-SIM
4G/ LTE Yes Yes
SENSORS
Compass/ Magnetometer Yes Yes
Proximity sensor Yes Yes
Accelerometer Yes Yes
Ambient light sensor Yes Yes
Gyroscope Yes Yes
Barometer No
Temperature sensor No



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Xiaomi Mi A2 Review | NDTV Gadgets360.com


Google originally started the Android One programme to deliver the stock Android experience on entry-level handsets in developing markets. However, there were no new products in India after the initial launches from Karbonn, Micromax and Spice. Google later revived Android One in 2017 to offer users smartphones running stock Android without any manufacturer customisations. The first of these in India was the Xiaomi Mi A1 (Review) which launched last year.

More manufacturers have enrolled into the program since then, but very few devices have made it to India. Nokia, an HMD Global brand, was the first to announce that its entire Android lineup would adopt Android One and all the smartphones that it announced at MWC 2018 have now launched in India. Xiaomi has now launched a successor to the Mi A1 called the Mi A2, and it promises better hardware while still running bone-stock Android. So should the Xiaomi Mi A2 be the first choice for an Android purist on a budget? We put it to the test.

 

Xiaomi Mi A2 design

The Mi A2 is a well-designed smartphone. It has a metal unibody that gives it a premium feel in the hand. The first change you will notice compared to the Mi A1 is that it has a big 5.99-inch display with an 18:9 aspect ratio, which makes the phone tall and narrow. The sides are curved which makes it comfortable in the hand. Our Black review unit had a matte finish which resisted fingerprints to some extent. This phone is quite slippery and we would recommend that you put the case supplied in the box to use.

The power and volume buttons are on the right and offer good feedback when pressed. We found that the power button is well placed, but the volume buttons are a little too high for our liking. Xiaomi has positioned the selfie camera, earpiece, selfie light and a notification light above the display while the space below it is blank. For those curious, this smartphone has a single-colour notification LED.

The USB Type-C port at the bottom has speaker grilles on either side but only the right one houses a loudspeaker. An IR emitter that can be used to control IR-based appliance is at the top along with the secondary microphone. There is no 3.5mm headphone jack so you get a USB Type-C dongle in the box. Xiaomi claims that it has used a high-quality amplifier to improve audio output from the speaker and headphones.

Xiaomi Mi A2 Back Panel Xiaomi Mi A2 Review

 

Xiaomi has opted for a dual camera setup at the back, which is now positioned vertically compared to the horizontal setup on the Mi A1. There’s a 12-megapixel primary camera, a 20-megapixel secondary sensor, and an LED flash. This camera module protrudes quite a bit causing the Mi A2 to rock when placed on a flat surface. The fingerprint scanner is next to the camera module, at the natural resting position of either index finger. Xiaomi has opted for a 3000mAh battery to power the Mi A2.

Xiaomi Mi A2 specifications, software, and features

The Chinese smartphone maker has chosen the Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 processor to power the Mi A2. It has eight Kryo 260 CPU cores and an Adreno 512 GPU. The A2 has 4GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage. Sadly storage isn’t expandable unlike the Mi A1, and you will need to make do with the storage you get. This is a dual-SIM smartphone and has two Nano-SIM slots. There is support for 4G and VoLTE on both SIMs.

The 5.99-inch display sports a full-HD+ resolution, has a pixel density of 403ppi, and uses Corning Gorilla Glass 5 for protection. Viewing angles are decent but the display does not get very bright. You don’t get the option to tweak the output. The Ambient Display feature wakes the phone when you get a notification.

At 3000mAh, the battery capacity is lower than what most other smartphones in this segment offer. The Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 (Review) for example packs in a bigger 4000mAh battery. The Mi A2 supports Qualcomm’s Quick Charge 4+ but you only get a standard 10W charger in the box. Connectivity options on the Mi A2 include Bluetooth 5.0, dual-band Wi-Fi 802.11ac, GPS, A-GPS, GLONASS, and Beidou.

Xiaomi Mi A2 SIM Port Xiaomi Mi A2 Review

 

Xiaomi has focused on the cameras of the Mi A2. The 12-megapixel primary rear camera has 1.25-micron pixels and an f/1.75 aperture. The secondary 20-megapixel camera uses 4-in-1 pixel binning with bigger 2-micron pixels and an f/1.75 aperture. Unlike the Mi A1 which had zoom lens for 2X optical zoom with the secondary camera, the one on the Mi A2 should help in low light instead.

The Xiaomi Mi A2 runs stock Android 8.1 Oreo, and Xiaomi has added its Feedback, File Manager, and Mi Drop apps on top. While the Feedback app cannot be disabled or uninstalled, you can go ahead and uninstall the other two. The camera app has also been customised by Xiaomi and is different from the default Android app – more on that in a bit. Of course, this phone also has gets Google apps preinstalled. When we started reviewing the phone it was running the June security patch but we got a software update during the course of the review bringing us up to date with the August security patch.

If you are an Android purist, you will like the software experience on the Mi A2. It has an app drawer, and you need to swipe up to see all your installed apps. You also get Google Feed by swiping right from the homescreen and summon the Google Assistant by long-pressing the home button. We found that the phone lacks an app to let you use the IR emitter, which means that you cannot start controlling appliances right out of the box. You can download the Mi Remote app from the Play Store, but Xiaomi told Gadgets 360 that it will be rolling out an update after which the app will be preinstalled. The only gesture the Mi A2 supports is that double-clicking the power button will immediately launch the camera app.

Xiaomi Mi A2 performance and battery life

We have used the Nokia 7 Plus (Review), which has the same processor as the Xiaomi Mi A2, and was also running stock Android. The Xiaomi Mi A2 offers similar performance and we found no lag or stutter when flipping through the phone’s UI and multitasking. With 4GB of RAM, you should be able to multitask easily without the phone automatically killing apps in the background. The fingerprint scanner is quite fast and was quick to unlock the phone.

The Xiaomi Mi A2 scored 1,33,467 in AnTuTu, and 1,645 and 4,840 in Geekbench 4’s single-core and multi-core tests respectively. These scores are slightly lower on average than those of the Nokia 7 Plus, which managed 1,37,573, 1,590 and 5,780 respectively. The Mi A2 also got 24,850 in 3DMark Slingshot Unlimited and 14fps in GFXBench Manhattan 3.1.

Xiaomi Mi A2 Port Xiaomi Mi A2 Review

 

We played games such as PUBG, Clash Royale, and Asphalt 9. PUBG ran at medium settings by default and we did not have any issues with performance. We played the game for 25 minutes, surviving an entire round, and found that the phone did get warm to the touch without getting uncomfortably hot. Asphalt 9 ran at the default settings without any hiccups either.

In our HD video loop test, the smartphone ran for 8 hours and 13 minutes, which is below average. We have seen the Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 Pro (Review) and the Redmi Note 5 last for close to 16 hours thanks to their bigger batteries. With our usage comprising of active WhatsApp and Gmail accounts, an hour worth of games, some time with Instagram, and making a few calls, the battery saver mode kicked in after 7 and 30 minutes. If your usage is similar, you will need to keep the charger handy. The supplied charger takes close to 2 hours to charge the Mi A2 completely but so should invest in a Qualcomm Quick Charge certified charger to speed that up.

Xiaomi Mi A2 cameras

Xiaomi has worked on its camera app and it is different from the stock Android camera. You get Short Video, Portrait, Square, Panorama, and a Manual mode, apart from the usual Photo and Video modes. The Manual mode lets you set white balance, focus, shutter speed and ISO, and also lets you choose between the ‘regular’ and ‘low light’ lenses. Xiaomi claims that it has tweaked the Portrait mode such that it uses the 12-megapixel camera in favourable light conditions but switches to the 20-megapixel camera in low light, but we found that this did not actually happen. While one lens is in use, the other acts as a depth sensor. 

The Mi A2 is fairly quick to meter light and lock focus. Photos taken with the Mi A2 outdoors have a good amount of detail and colours are quite accurate. Zoom into an image and you can still see details without much loss. We noticed that the camera app also switched HDR on automatically when the scene required it, bringing out more details from the shadows and delivering slightly sharper results. Autofocusing is quick when taking macros and we found that the Mi A2 could focus on relatively small objects. Macros were sharp and the phone managed good separation between the subject and the background.

In low light, the Mi A2 bumps the ISO up and lowers the shutter speed to help the primary camera capture more light, instead of switching to the secondary one. Xiaomi should have taken advantage of the better sensor for low-light shots by switching automatically, but you can do this yourself in Manual mode. These photos also have decent amounts of detail but we noticed aggressive noise reduction being applied in darker areas, leading to a watercolour effect when zooming in.

Tap to see full-sized Xiaomi Mi A2 camera samples

 

Selfies are detailed and we got sharp results when shooting indoors. The selfie fill light comes in handy when shooting in low-lit conditions. HDR is available for the selfie camera and kicks in automatically when required. You can also select the level of beautification you need, and an Advanced mode which lets you tweak different beautification parameters.

Video recording on the Xiaomi Mi A2 maxes out at 4K for the primary camera and 1080p for the selfie camera. You also get the option to shoot in 1080p at 60fps rather than 30fps with the rear camera, but we found that it had difficulty locking focus at the higher frame rate. Video stabilisation is available for the rear camera, and helps you capture steady footage.


Xiaomi Mi A2 in pictures

 

Verdict
The Xiaomi Mi A1 (Review) was an obvious choice for anyone looking for stock Android on a budget. Things however have changed, with HMD Global bringing in Nokia handsets that run pure stock Android as well. Xiaomi will have to compete on pricing, and that’s exactly what it has done with this launch.

The Xiaomi Mi A2 gets the cameras right and is amongst the best camera phones at this price point. Also, the powerful Snapdragon 660 processor has so far been restricted to more expensive phones, making this phone a tempting option for someone looking for a performer on a budget.

Xiaomi has priced the Mi A2 at Rs. 16,999 which is quite aggressive for the hardware it offers. However, there are a few chinks in the Mi A2’s armour. Its battery capacity is below average, resulting in relatively poor battery life. Xiaomi has also ditched the 3.5mm headphone jack and there’s no microSD card slot, which are both things that buyers look for. If you can’t do without stock Android and want good cameras without paying too much, then the Mi A2 should check all your boxes. If you’re okay with MIUI, the Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 Pro (Review) is still a good alternative at a slightly lower price. You might also want to keep an eye on the upcoming Honor Play.


Is Xiaomi Mi A2 the best Android One smartphone in India? We discussed this on Orbital, our weekly technology podcast, which you can subscribe to via Apple Podcasts or RSS, download the episode, or just hit the play button below.



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