This time Xiaomi is in the headlines. Recently, it has announced the launch of its new flagship phone Mi A1, mainly targeting the Indian market. Most importantly, it comes with the tagline of ‘created by Xiaomi, powered by Google’. Also, Xiaomi Mi A1 promises scintillating features like:
- 5-inch 108op screen
- Metal body
- Dual-camera system that includes a secondary telephoto lens for 2x zooming and portraits with shallow depth of field.
Now, Xiaomi’s Director of Product Management, Donovan Sung explained that the reason for adding the Mi camera app was mainly for the dual rear camera. He stated that “We added our own secret sauce for the camera, which takes portrait style photos. However, we’ve gone with Google Photos, which has unlimited high-resolution storage for photos for a more seamless experience”. Further, this phone will also enlist features like Mi Store, Mi Feedback, and Mi Remote, which had previously been absent from all other Android phones.
The next feature might sound similar to the Mi 5X which was also announced for China in the recent past. Now this Mi A1 boasts of Qualcomm’s increasingly pervasive Snapdragon 625 processor — which is found to strike a great balance between performance and battery life, coupled with a fairly standard 3080mAh battery.
Also, this phone charges over USB-C, and not like the other budget-oriented offerings by Xiaomi. Also, a 380V charger has been provided by the company, designed in such a way that it claims of handling India’s frequent power spikes.
— Mi India (@XiaomiIndia) September 5, 2017
But the best is yet to come. Mi A1’s most striking feature is its software. This runs on Android, and not Xiaomi’s own MIUI layer and is a part of Google’s Android One program. Now, this Android One was launched was three years back, mainly targeting India, as Google had planned for codifying the Android experience for the low-end smartphones. Regarding the current state of this Android One, Google’s Director for Android Program Jon Gold regarded that, “Security is an important part of this Android One. Also, a better experience, along with updates and we will bring them more consistently. We will deliver those things that users need and on a much bigger scale”.
Xiaomi’s has already made a strong fan base, capturing almost 17 percent of the Indian smartphones, occupying the second position after Samsung’s 24 percent. Xiaomi’s Redmi Note 4 and Redmi 4, were the top-selling phones, fetching the company an increase of sales by 328 percent year on year.
The Mi A1 is definitely more expensive than those phones, starting at 14,999 rupees (about $234) for a 64GB model with 4GB of RAM, but in comparison to OnePlus 5, it’s less than half the price or a quarter of the price of an iPhone 7 Plus. So definitely this won’t be a top seller for the company. But, it is also true that it represents an intriguing upmarket move for the Android One program and a potentially compelling combination of software, hardware, and price.
Apart from India, Xiaomi will be releasing its Mi A1 on 12th September in more countries than usual. This includes a total of 13 markets in Asia, ten in Europe, ten in the Middle East and Africa, and four in Central and South America.