Xiaomi Mi A1: Android One at its finest


Android One at its finest.

Android One at its finest.

The Android One program aims to deliver a smooth Android experience on mobile devices even with mid-range hardware. The mission is to bring such devices to emerging countries where people can purchase an inexpensive smartphone but still get Google’s up to date patches and updates.

Just last week, Xiaomi unveiled the Mi A1, the company’s first Android One-branded device. Costing roughly 14,999 rupees (around 900 AED) in India where it was first announced, the Mi A1 brings form and function at a very inexpensive price.

The price itself makes it a very attractive option for some, especially since most premium smartphones cost four times as much as the Mi A1.

But it didn’t compromise on quality – in fact, it’s one of best designed budget smartphones we’ve seen. Granted that the design might have been inspired by other flagships, the aim is probably to make you feel you have a premium device without having to pay a lot for it.

The Mi A1 comes in Gold, Rose Gold and Black (tested here) and it is easily the best option available. The black feels more seek, and while Xiaomi mentioned that it is fingerprint resistant, smudges can easily be seen after using it. You can easily wipe it with a cleaning cloth though so no worries there.

The power switch and volume rockers are located on the right side, with the dual SIM/micro SD card try on the left. There is also a fingerprint sensor that’s conveniently located at the back at scans fingerprints so fast you’d hardly see your smartphone unlock and an IR blaster for the remote control function. Xiaomi retained the 3.5 mm audio jack (but it didn’t bundle headphones in the package) on the Mi A1 and it uses USB-C for charging and data transfers.

We Like
  • Great hardware
  • Dual cameras
  • Stock Android
We hate
  • Uninspired design
  • No headphones included in package
We Say

The Xiaomi Mi A1 is an excellent device for its price – decent hardware, a good camera and stock Android, making it the perfect smartphone to represent Google’s Android One vision.

Victor Philip Ortiz
Tech Enthusiast and Movie Buff. Has passion for all things tech - you’ll normally find him tinkering with the latest gadgets and computer peripherals. He is an avid collector of DVDs and Blu-ray discs, and recently discovered his love for gaming. Follow him on Twitter at @vp_ortiz17