UPDATE: Malaysian availability revealed. It’s available for pre-order on 16 September.
Xiaomi launched a brand new “flagship” smartphone in India today and it’s called the Xiaomi Mi A1. You might be looking at this phone, thinking, isn’t this just a Mi 5X? Well, while you might be right based on the smartphone’s hardware, it’s a whole nother story when it comes to the device’s software.
Back in July, Xiaomi launched a handset called the Mi 5X which was basically the Redmi Note 4 with the Mi 6’s dual-camera setup. However, while that device runs MIUI, this new handset will be running stock Android.
On the hardware end of things, nothing much has changed. The Xiaomi Mi A1 has a 5.5-inch Full HD display up front with a Snapdragon 625 processor inside paired to 4GB of RAM and 64GB of expandable internal storage. You also get the same 3,080 mAh battery inside (that charges via USB Type-C), which is a little disappointing.
Besides that, the Mi A1 comes with a dual-camera system that marries a telephoto lens and a regular lens much like the Mi 6 does. Both sensors are 12 megapixels and give the phone the capability to capture bokeh-fied “portrait mode” photos.
Xiaomi’s new phone also boasts audio prowess in the form of a DHS Audio Calibration Algorithm and a standalone audio amplifier.
It’s also draped in an all-metal body, weighing just 165g, that comes in three different colours — gold, rose gold and black. On the back, you’ll also find a fingerprint scanner for quick unlocks. To distinguish this phone from the Mi 5X, Xiaomi says they’re including a pyrolytic graphite sheet which improves heat dispersion and supposedly drops overall temperature by 2-degrees Celsius.
But that’s not all. Now we get to the handset’s trump card: Its software. This time, Xiaomi’s partnering with Android One on this project, which means that the Mi A1 will be powered by pure stock Android with a few pre-installed Xiaomi apps.
This also makes the Mi A1 one of the most powerful Android One smartphones yet. Since it’s running stock Android, Google says that the Mi A1 will receive at least two years of OS upgrades to the latest version of Android software. Google promises that the Mi A1 will be upgraded to Android Oreo before the end of the year and will be one of the first phones to get Android P.
Alongside the launch of the Mi A1, Google also said that they will be expanding Android One to beyond just the super-entry-level smartphones. In fact, they say it will span a broad range of devices and price points.
The Xiaomi Mi A1 will be priced at INR14,999 (around RM998). Although no date was announced, Xiaomi has revealed that they will indeed bring this handset to Malaysia. We will keep you updated on local availability when we hear more.
What do you guys think of the Mi A1? Is it the Xiaomi you’ve always been waiting for?
UPDATE: Xiaomi Malaysia has revealed that the Mi A1 will be hitting Malaysian shores through offline and online channels beginning late September.