Mi A1: Xiaomi’s new flagship is for those who prefer stock Android

Xiaomi Mi A1
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Xiaomi has just taken the wraps off a new smartphone in India today, a “flagship” device called the Mi A1. Looking a whole lot like the Mi 5X launched in July, there’s something glaringly missing from the new device, compared to other Mi smartphones. 

So, Xiaomi took the innards from the Redmi Note 4, plonked them into a new body, added a dual-camera setup and called it the Mi 5X.

With the Mi A1, it’s even simpler. Take the Mi 5X, remove MIUI and install plain vanilla Android. But it’s all good.

That’s right. Partnering Google with its Android One project, the Mi A1 runs Android at its purest form, right out of the box. It will always get the latest and best version, and also includes favourite Google services like Google Assistant, YouTube, Maps, and more. There’s also Google Play Protect built-in, to ensure your information is always secure, and your phone running clean and fast.

There is no bloatware, nor unnecessary apps (OK, there are a few Mi apps).

Android One guarantees the Mi A1 will receive at least two years of OS upgrades to the latest version of Android. Having said that, the Mi A1 will get Android Oreo before end of the year, and will also be one of the first phones to receive Android P.

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The debut of the Mi A1 makes it the most powerful device in the current Android One line-up.

The Mi A1 rocks a 5.5-inch Full HD, just like the Mi 5X. Under the hood, it is serviced by a powerful but efficient Snapdragon 625, mated to 4GB of RAM and 64GB of onboard storage.

It comes with a 12MP dual-camera system which consists of a telephoto and wide-angle lens. The telephoto lens is capable of up to 2x optical zoom. The wide-angle lens, on the other hand, comes with 4-axis stabilisation. In tandem, they deliver up to 10x digital zoom.

The “DSLR in your pocket” gives you bokehlicious portraits, a feature that seems very popular amongst phone makers currently.

The dual-SIM device features a smallish 3,080mAh battery an also features high quality audio via its DHS Audio Calibration Algorithm and standalone audio amplifier.

The Mi A1 has an all-metal body and it tips the scales at 165g. It is available in Gold, Rose Gold and Black.

Pricing and availability

The Mi A1 is priced at INR14,999/MYR998. The device will be available on the Mi online store, and Mi Home starting 12 September 2017. Malaysia is one of over 40 countries that will be getting the device, slated for a late September release.

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So, a Xiaomi device without MIUI. Will this alienate MIUI fans? Or will this bring new fans to the fold, thanks to stock Android?

What do you think?

Photos by Alexander Wong | Soyacincau #TeamMindBlow

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