Here's why it makes sense to upgrade to Xiaomi's Mi A2

Here's why it makes sense to upgrade to Xiaomi's Mi A2

Bruce McAvoy

Xiaomi has had an interesting journey into the first half of 2018 with products like the Redmi Note 5 Pro, Redmi 5 and the LED TV range. Now, as we enter the second half, the Chinese electronics manufacturer has already unveiled the successor to the last year's Mi A1, the Mi A2.

The Mi A1 is a milestone in Xiaomi's exponential growth and immense popularity around the globe. For starters, the Mi A1 is Xiaomi's first product that doesn't work in their own ecosystem. It's a part of Google's Android One program which means that it runs stock Android which enables it to get monthly software patches and regular updates. Along with this, the A1 is a pretty powerful smartphone with zero bloatware and optimizations that make for a smoother experience. It is the purest way to experience the goodness of stock Android without any compromises. Second, Xiaomi priced it right.

These two factors were enough to lure the Indian consumers. 10 months later, here we are in the world of minimal bezel smartphones, larger, notch-ed displays, glass bodies, bigger batteries and the ongoing extinction of the headphone jack. Xiaomi announced the Mi A2 in India on August 8 and it builds upon the success of the A1.

Wide 18:9 aspect ratio display

The Mi A2 features a 5.99-inch display in an aluminum chassis that measures a bit over 6-inch and has an 18:9 aspect ratio. The IPS panel is full HD+ (2160 x 1080 pixels) in resolution with a pixel density of 403 ppi and is topped by a layer of Corning's Gorilla Glass 5.

To recap, the Mi A1 featured a smaller 5.5-inch full HD display with a 16:9 aspect ratio and a layer of Gorilla Glass 3.

The display on the Mi A2, with larger screen estate, makes for a great smartphone for media consumption. The full-screen display which has lately become a standard for smartphones of 2018 allows more controls, eventually boosting the user's experience on the smartphone.

Under the hood

The Mi A2 rocks a fairly impressive Snapdragon 660 chipset which has an Artificial Intelligence Engine (AIE) that contributes to the AI experiences on the A2. This is paired with an octa-core Kryo 260 CPU whose four cores are clocked at 2.2GHz while the rest of the four cores run on 1.8GHz.

This Kryo CPU provides more than 20% performance than the previous ones and manages power efficiently. It is also due to the fact that the processor is fabricated on a 14nm FinFET architecture. For graphics render and gaming, the A2 is backed by Adreno 512 which boasts of up to 30% more graphics performance.

Topped up with Qualcomm's AIE which make up the base for AI experiences in camera, security, gaming among others. The Mi A2 also supports Aqstic and aptX audio codecs which is great for audio enthusiasts.

This hardware combined with 4GB/6GB of RAM and 64GB/128GB internal storage make the Mi A2 a really powerful smartphone, one that you will be able to depend on in the long run. Xiaomi's choice of going with Snapdragon 660 adds a lot of value to the A2. The processor in question has made it to the likes of Nokia 7 Plus, BlackBerry Key2, BlackBerry Evolve X, Oppo R11, Vivo x21 and more, which are all pricier than the Mi A2.

Powerful cameras

Xiaomi Mi A2 has one of the most powerful camera hardware in this budget. On the rear, it boasts of a primary 12-megapixel camera with Sony IMX486 sensor, large 1.25μm pixels and a wide f/1.75 aperture. This is coupled with a 20-megapixel depth-sensing camera with Sony IMX376 sensor and supports pixel binning using 2μm pixels for low-lit environments.

On the front, the A2 has a 20-megapixel selfie camera with f/2.2 aperture. It also leverages AI capabilities in AI Beautify 4.0 and AI background blurring which is essentially the portrait mode.

On paper, the camera prowess of the Mi A2 blows the competition out of the water but is it able to perform as good, we will find out when we test the smartphone.

Quick Charge support

The Mi A2 has a battery capacity of 3,010mAh which supports quick charging. The processor's capability to harness the battery efficiently and with stock Android running in tandem, the A2 should provide a good battery life.

Going by its price of ₹16,999 (4GB RAM), the Mi A2 is an evolved beast altogether.