The clone of the iPhone 7 Plus, created in cooperation with such industrial giants as Xiaomi and Google, could not go unnoticed. Advertising at every turn should at least interest an Android fan.
What is Xiaomi A1 and why is it so good?
Among Chinese smartphones, the novelty looks very attractive. Among the main advantages of Xiaomi A1:
- iPhone 7 Plus design;
- balanced filling;
- double chamber;
- A “clean” version of Android with the promised support of Google itself.
- the price is only 18,999 rubles, or 15,990 for a promotion.
In fact, this smartphone was the first Xiaomi to run on “pure” Android without the proprietary MIUI add-on.
Fact: Xiaomi A1 is part of the Google Guaranteed Support program, and will receive guaranteed updates for 2 years from the software developer, not from China. But its advantages are not limited to this.
In fact, you have already read about this smartphone. In China, it is called Xiaomi Mi 5X, and has been actively sold for half a year.
The only difference between A1 was the operating system – instead of the popular proprietary MIUI, Google’s clean firmware is used.
As its modification for the Chinese market – Xiaomi Mi 5X, which we have already talked about. But the replacement of the firmware and positioning for the European market have changed a lot in the device.
As a result, Xiaomi A1 offers the full range of features of Apple’s most popular handset. And it costs 3 times cheaper and is sold on every corner. Great deal for an iPhone 7 Plus clone.
How Apple design is changing Android smartphones
Among all Chinese smartphones, it is Xiaomi A1 that comes closest to the traditional stylistic decisions of Apple. Everything is copied, up to the gratings.
Fact: Thanks to copying the iPhone, Xiaomi has released its most user-friendly 5.5-inch smartphone.
However, a desperate fan will immediately notice an unpopular 3.5 mm mini-jack for Apple and an infrared sensor window for controlling home appliances.
Even more noticeable is the fingerprint scanner on the back of the Xiaomi smartphone. Instead of the usual Apple sensor under the screen, the navigation keys “Menu”, “Back”, “Home”. What is more convenient is a big question.
A closer look at the A1 reveals other equally significant differences. There is no mechanical sound mode switch, and the buttons are from the budget Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 and 4X.
But if this sweet couple is made almost according to the same measurements, the A1 dimensions (thickness) were deliberately adjusted to fit the iPhone. So more convenient – fortunately, an economical processor allows you to use a battery with a smaller capacity than in the Redmi Note line.
This kind of “life hack” easily deceives at first impression. Looking at the excellent Full HD IPS display, the keys are the last thing to remember.
The picture quality is almost better than the original iPhone, probably due to the higher number of pixels per unit area of the screen. And one diagonal with Plus masks A1 even better.
The result of this “mimicry” under the iPhone was ease of use – it no longer seems like a “tablet phone”.
Fact: Xiaomi A1 is more comfortable than the original. It is shorter and narrower than the original iPhone 7 Plus at the same thickness.
What does Google support and pure Android give?
We love Apple for constantly working on bugs. So here it is – direct Google support for the Xiaomi A1 means fast development and getting updates everywhere. Almost an iPhone!
Of course, Xiaomi is not HTC or LG. Their A1 is not a Nexus. Therefore, despite all the promises, Android 8.0 Oreo is still not available for it. So the promises of Google are bogus to be tested.
In addition, the advantages of Android over MIUI for active Xiaomi users (who managed to try out the company’s proprietary add-on), it is more of a disadvantage than an advantage. We will analyze this point in a separate article-comparison.
On the other hand, pure Android is the most convenient green robot option. Most manufacturers use branded add-ons in the form of an “optimized” desktop and a bunch of additional programs.
In “pure” Android from Google, there is nothing but the services necessary for each user to access programs and content. Which, if desired and with the proper level of paranoia of the user, are easily “cut out” without dancing with a tambourine.
An additional advantage familiar to all Nexus users is the maximum possible optimization of the operating system. No lags, no slowdowns.
Until the user fills it with rubbish, pure Android works longer, faster, better than all variants of this system. And no amount of fraud by smartphone manufacturers will change that.
How does Xiaomi’s dual camera work?
The main advantage of Xiaomi A1, according to company representatives, was to be a unique dual camera developed by Samsung.
The source claimed that the new product will receive a camera from the flagship Xiaomi Mi 6. This is the only Chinese smartphone that can compete with it in photo quality.
In fact, everything is not so rosy. A1 is 2 times cheaper than Mi 6 – as are its components. And its camera uses OmniVision modules instead of the original Samsung ones.
The implementation of the dual camera is the same – far-focus and wide-angle lenses are combined into one optical system. You can switch between them to shoot at 2x zoom or at a normal distance.
With high-quality lighting, the smartphone allows you to take beautiful artistic pictures. Switching to a wide-angle camera for a 2x zoom, unlike many supposedly “dual-camera” smartphones, gives real results. And, without defects!
Simultaneous work allows you to create good portrait photos. The edges suffer a little, but is that a problem for social networks?
In dark rooms, HDR mode and a two-color flash help out. Without them, there are too many artifacts. So the evening street shooting of dynamic scenes for A1 will be a challenge.
So the miracle in the form of an ultra-cheap camera phone did not happen. On the other hand, A1 shoots not much worse than the iPhone or the flagship Xiaomi. And it does not let you forget about the two-fold (minimum!) difference in price.
It is curious that the full analogue of A1 with Chinese firmware, Mi 5X on MIUI, shoots noticeably worse.
How to live with a budget smartphone?
When releasing a smartphone with the name of the flagship (the Mi series, from which Xiaomi A1 legs grow), the company representatives forgot to say that the hardware in it will not be flagship at all.
Instead of the expected Snapdragon 835 or at least 820, Xiaomi A1 offers a budget 625 model.
So what? Xiaomi A1 easily copes with any task of a modern smartphone. As already mentioned, the firmware “flies” no worse than on Samsung or Nexus. Heavy applications or games won’t be a problem either.
In general, thanks to 4 GB of RAM and a polished OS, A1 is much faster than all its counterparts. In this, only iPhones will compete with him.
Fact: Xiaomi A1 performance margin is enough for the entire guaranteed operating system support period – no less than 2 years. Without lags and brakes.
But a weak processor has a very positive effect on the operating time. A day without recharging is not the limit for Xiaomi A1. At maximum load, it will easily work for 5 hours without interruption. Well, if you watch a movie via Wi-Fi – exactly the season of “Game of Thrones”. Although the budget “xiaomi” can even more.
Much more critical is not the size of the battery, but the inability to expand the memory. Only 64 gigabytes, and no flash drives or other modifications. So you have to use the unlimited Yandex cloud for photos, or native Google.
Fact: for Android smartphones 64 GB is comfortable and sufficient.
Why I bought Xiaomi A1 instead of iPhone
Of course, no Xiaomi still falls short of Apple smartphones. Although the efforts are commendable. Another thing is that the current prices for the iPhone, and in particular for the 7 Plus model, are beyond reasonable – the psychological barrier for most Russians still fluctuates around 15-20 thousand.
Just in this limit is Xiaomi A1. Convenient, balanced and with guaranteed Google support. Have you seen Nexus for 16 thousand? Not? So Xiaomi A1 is exactly what he is.
In addition, the cooperation between Google and Xiaomi provides additional quality assurance. Ghostly – but still.
Using pure Android, Xiaomi engineers managed to release the fastest and most comfortable Chinese smartphone. Already in the middle price segment – for sure. He also photographs better than all state employees.
Good suggestion, Xiaomi. Balance, price, support and Russian guarantee – this is what we have been waiting for. Here it is, “iPhone” for Russia – Xiaomi A1.
Life hack: In Russia, Xiaomi A1 can be bought for 18,990 rubles. If you buy before January 8, you will get a Xiaomi Mi Power Bank 10,000 mAh external battery for free. Usually it costs 3,000 rubles, so the cost of a smartphone will be only 15,990 rubles. The action takes place here.
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