Xiaomi MI A1 Running Android 8.0 (Oreo)
It’s a really amazing phone from Xiaomi, in the midrange category. It’s built around Snapdragon 625 CPU. You may already be knowing the series of CPUs Qualcomm makes under the brand name Snapdragon.
800 Series – Top End
600 Series – Midrange
400 Series – Entry Level
We already know the fan following of Xiaomi phones because of the hardware it provides at very competitive prices. But some people didn’t like the MIUI OS that all MI & RedMi branded phones used to run. However, this phone is different as it packs the best of both worlds, well, at least theoretically. It has android OS running from Google on MI branded hardware.
When I call it a midrange phone I don’t at all mean “Low Powered”, the punch it packs is absolutely adequate, unless you’re a heavy gamer. If you’re interested in knowing the technical details of 625 CPU, take a look here.
For technical specifications of the entire phone see this. If you want even more, search in the youtube and you’ll find numerous videos talking about the specs and pros and cons of the phone.
I know that these things are mostly boring for an average user, so without further ado I’ll start with my experience with the phone after about 4 months of usage and particularly after it received the Android 8.0 (Oreo) update.
What I like
- The slimness of the phone. Nice to hold too. Just get a sandstone back cover and it feels even better in hand.
- Great build quality.
- Excellent camera, particularly the portrait mode. Well when I say excellent I’m not comparing with an iPhone or Samsung flagship phones. This is one of the best cameras in the midrange phones. See some pics below, couldn’t provide any in portrait mode though:
4. Excellent sound quality and loudness, with or without headphones.
5. Good frequency of software updates, mostly once in a month.
6. Rapid Charging has been introduced with Android 8.0 update in this phone.
7. Quality of GPS functionality while navigating.
8. Quality of display.
9. Number of sensors provided. 42 of them are there, see the spec video above.
What I don’t like
- The 5.5” display. I personally prefer 5” displays and I feel them better in my hands. However, this is a completely personal preference and many people prefer 5.5” and above sizes too. I wish it should have another variant with 5” display.
- Software quality: Android 8.0 (Oreo) looks and feels cleaner and better but I do see some issues. I have waited for a week after the update to see if the issues go away, but no, they’re still there:
- While deleting multiple SMS messages by selecting them together, they get deleted extremely slowly and some don’t get deleted at all.
- Feedback app crashes every time I try to send a feedback to Google about the issues.
- Lags sometimes, though not very frequently.
- Mobile network signal quality is not stable. Compared with another phone of different brand at the same location and SIMs.
- While calling any number it takes about 30 seconds for the first ring to go. See video evidence here.
- There is some issue with its notification system. All of a sudden about 10 or more notification alerts go off, and that’s at least twice everyday. It can’t be a coincidence that I receive so many notifications every day, at a time. Particularly when I ‘end’ the ‘silent’ mode on the phone in the morning.
- MIUI 9 is not available for this phone. The one that’s available is bit older version. Also MIUI can be installed only after unlocking the bootloader. I would have liked an option of having the latest MIUI as an official option.
However, my long experience with android phones say that there is no perfect phone out there. Just think if there is one phone that meets the requirements of everyone, then probably all other phones will have no takers. Even if you go for the best android smart phone in the world, I’m sure you’ll find some issue with it after few weeks of usage.
Hence, regarding Mi A1 I strongly feel that once the software related issues are fixed, this can be among the best midrange phones. If you ask me, yes, I’m hopeful that the software issues will be fixed, because the software for the phone is provided by Google itself and not Xiaomi.
Update 03-Mar-2018: Actually the delay in SMS deletion issue has got fixed with a ‘factory reset’. After any major update (e.g. android 7 to 8 or 8 to 9) it’s recommended to do a ‘factory reset’.
Update 07-Mar-2018: Though the delayed SMS deletion and delayed call connection problems are now gone after factory reset, some issues still remain like the notification issue, network signal quality. Now there is a new issue, the phone crash reboots too often, at least once a day, some days twice too.
Update 25-Mar-2018: Finally, I was fade up of the repetitive crashes and exchanged the A1 for an used Mi5 at in.webuy.com.
If you’re interested in buying one for all the good qualities it has, you may click below links to do so. However, I may get a commission from the online retailer if you use below link.