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Hands on review Xiaomi Mi A2

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OUR EARLY VERDICT

While you shouldn’t drop your Mi A1 for this phone, the Xiaomi Mi A2 gives non-MiUI fans another shot at entering Xiaomi’s ecosystem.

FOR

  • Decent camera
  • Large, balanced display
  • Faster processor

AGAINST

  • Increased price
  • Old school design
Xiaomi’s first big launch since the IPO is a phone that’s known for not having the company’s core identity. The Xiaomi Mi A2 is an Android One device that sports stock-like Android software, miles apart from Xiaomi’s usual MiUI implementation, a software the company really banks on to engage its community.
When it launched the Mi A1 last year, the company’s tryst with stock Android software was an experiment, but having seen unprecedented success with that device, the phone is now part of Xiaomi’s yearly cycle. Hence, the Mi A2 is an update over its predecessor and brings a healthy mix of Google and Xiaomi in one phone.

Price and availability

The Mi A2 launches in Spain immediately, at €249 for the 4GB/32GB variant and €279 for the 4/64GB variant and €349 for the 6/128GB version. The phone lands in India on 8 August, but only the 4/64GB variant is expected to be sold in the country.
There’s a Mi A2 Lite as well, which is being sold at €179 for the 3/32GB version and €229 for the 4/64GB variant. While the company has announced this phone already, it’s availability in all of Xiaomi’s markets is yet to be confirmed.

Xiaomi’s first big launch since the IPO is a phone that’s known for not having the company’s core identity. The Xiaomi Mi A2 is an Android One device that sports stock-like Android software, miles apart from Xiaomi’s usual MiUI implementation, a software the company really banks on to engage its community.
When it launched the Mi A1 last year, the company’s tryst with stock Android software was an experiment, but having seen unprecedented success with that device, the phone is now part of Xiaomi’s yearly cycle. Hence, the Mi A2 is an update over its predecessor and brings a healthy mix of Google and Xiaomi in one phone.

Price and availability

The Mi A2 launches in Spain immediately, at €249 for the 4GB/32GB variant and €279 for the 4/64GB variant and €349 for the 6/128GB version. The phone lands in India on 8 August, but only the 4/64GB variant is expected to be sold in the country.
There’s a Mi A2 Lite as well, which is being sold at €179 for the 3/32GB version and €229 for the 4/64GB variant. While the company has announced this phone already, it’s availability in all of Xiaomi’s markets is yet to be confirmed.

Design

While the Xiaomi Mi A2 retains the general look of the Mi A2, there’s a noticeable change in its identity. For one, the phone feels wider, meaning it’s not as ergonomic as its predecessor. The “hand feel” isn’t of a compact phone and lies closer to that of a phablet. It’s also slimmer and has the full metal build like last time.
The two cameras are placed vertically on the top left on the back, with a noticeable bulge. You’ll find the fingerprint sensor below it, at the center of the rear panel.
While the design has changed a bit, this looks more old school amongst a sea of notch-riddled, full-screen smartphones today. The Mi A2 is not a big screen phone with a small overall footprint. And that might actually work against Xiaomi at this point.

Early verdict

In Xiaomi’s core markets, like India and China, the Mi A2 might be the only notch-free device that anyone will care about. The company’s decision to make a stock Android device paid off last time and the phone has entered the yearly grind. The Mi A2 is an update over its predecessor, so it’s not expected to replace your Mi A1. 
However, it gives Xiaomi a shot at user acquisition, by getting customers who aren’t too fond of the company’s own software. In the long run, the Mi A2 would likely be one of Xiaomi’s many phones only, but it keeps the company relevant and grinding.
Particularly in India, the Mi A2 might be very important to Xiaomi’s cause. Since the company will hike the pricing this time, the Mi A2 will be sold at a price tier that Xiaomi has often failed to capture. In that, mid-range bracket, the Mi A2 will be a cheaper alternative to the Nokia 7 Plus, and on first impressions, Nokia is in for a tough battle.