7.9 Awesome

The Xiaomi Mi A2 is a powerful mid-range smartphone. From its build quality to its performance, the Xiaomi Mi A2 comes with Android 8.0 and doesn’t disappoint but lacks microSD card slot and 3.5mm headphone jack and comes with a below average battery life. The TechSeer will give it a 7.9 out of a solid 10.

  • Design 8.3
  • Display 8.0
  • Camera 7.5
  • Hardware & Performance 8.1
  • Battery Life 6.5
  • Value for Money 8.8

While the world seems to be swept off its feet by it’s latest flagships, Xiaomi unsurprisingly yet again manages to gain all of our attention with its exquisite mid-range smartphones. And so we ask ourselves, Why spend so much when you don’t have to? The answer is well, you don’t and you buy the Xiaomi Mi A2 (Mi 6X).

Xiaomi Mi A2 (Mi 6X) – Phone Review

In April of 2018, Xiaomi welcomed it’s latest mid-range smartphone, also named as Xiaomi Mi 6X, in China. The Xiaomi Mi 6X or what we could also call the Xiaomi Mi A2 is the successor to its well-received predecessor, the Mi A1 and on par with Xiaomi Mi Note 5 Pro. At first glance, it seems identical to other high-end flagships yet the considerably reduced price dent makes it all the more desirable.

But then again affordability isn’t the only trick Xiaomi has up its sleeve. It’s a minimal and proficient device, and it certainly checks all of our boxes. The Xiaomi Mi A2 also has a lite version, these being the second round of devices to use Google’s Android One operating system. The fact that it doesn’t use Xiaomi’s own MIUI  makes it an ideal phone to satisfy Xiaomi’s international audience. It’s safe to say we’re pretty excited.

Pros

  • Android One- great OS for an international audience
  • Impressive loudspeaker
  • Great camera quality, amazing selfie camera

Cons

  • Dim display
  • The battery doesn’t last long
  • Price & Availability

Xiaomi Mi A2 shows us that cheap doesn’t necessarily mean ugly and well the results are in front of you. The phone’s release date in Australia is yet to be revealed approximately a couple of months before it hits stores. For the 32GB variant, the cost is an approximate AU$391 and for the 64GB variant, the price hikes a bit high at AU$446 approximately. That is a bit lower compared Nokia 7 Plus and Huawei P20 Lite but almost equal to Moto G6.

The Xiaomi Mi A2 may not be available in western countries anytime soon as the company’s major audience is that of China. It will, however, expand itself to South East Asia but if you really want to get this smartphone as we suggest you should, you could try online, say Amazon or eBay.

Design

We spent about a week with this phone, exploring and testing out its limits. It is of no doubt that we’re absolutely enthralled by all that is the Xiaomi Mi A2. The metal casing comes in the colors: Black, Blue, Red, Pink, and Gold. There’s also a special edition of the Xiaomi Mi A2 in the turquoise color scheme and it’s our absolute favorite.

The entire front of the Xiaomi Mi A2 is protected with a scratch-resistant 2.3-D glass. The glass becomes slightly rounded where it meets with the metal frame. The talked about IPS display which has bezels which are actually bigger compared to today’s high-end flagships. This makes the screen-to-body ratio about 78% as opposed to Vivo Nex at 91%.

Flipping it over, there’s a lot of things to notice. For starters, there’s a camera on the top left corner- a dual module setup with a dual LED flash in between. There’s also a fingerprint reader at the back, on the central axis and pretty high up. It’s pretty easy to reach. We would suggest getting a soft silicon case for grip as the phone tends to slip quite often.

Xiaomi ditched the microSD slot for this generation as well as the 3.5mm headphone jack and needless to say it’s very disappointing. A bit of consolation might be the fact that it still is USB-C much like on its predecessor the A1.

Display

The Xiaomi Mi A2 comes with the typical display Xiaomi. It’s a 5.99-inch IPS LCD panel in a 18:9 aspect ratio with 2160x1080px resolution for a pixel density of 403ppi.

The Xiaomi Mi A2 houses a vibrant display based on LTPS LCD display technology. This very display dishes out 18:9 aspect ratio and is pretty well-supported by 1080×2160 pixels resolution. While the color accuracy isn’t great, it only has one mode with no option to change the color rendition. Apart from all this, we found the display pretty satisfying. It has a crisp viewability and features vibrant colors all the while hosting a warm-soothing tint.

The aforementioned LTPS display offers great readability in well, almost all lighting conditions. Its somewhat similar to Apple iPhone 8 true tone technology but still a bit behind. The slightly warmer hue makes it all the more attractive making it appear somewhat similar to an AMOLED panel. Yet it’s a phone for everybody if you’re not really a fan of warm displays, then select the cool one. We prefer the warm tone, it’s quite tender on the eyes.

Camera

There’s a lot going on with this phone and a lot of its huge improvements from the last generation come from the camera. Now the Xiaomi Mi A2 no doubt packs the best camera you can get at its price. Going into a phone of its price, we went in expecting one thing but we actually got something entirely different. The camera sensor has had a nice upgrade since the Mi A1, which we’d say was already the best camera you could get at its price. Yet this phone takes us on a journey through levels we didn’t think were possible at such a price.

On the back, we’ve got a 12MP+20MP camera module. The 12MP comes with a f/1.75 aperture and a pixel size of 1.25 µm. If you want to take pictures at night but fear bad picture quality, with the Xiaomi Mi A2 it’s nothing to sweat about. For night shots, it comes with a 29MP sensor with a pixel size of 2 µm. With this, the camera is able to take in more light thanks to the larger pixel size. It has a similar aperture of f/1.75.

The pictures we took were incredibly punchy and detailed and the HDR mode kicked in exactly when we needed it. This enabled the camera to cope even in challenging lighting giving us the perfect pictures. We were really excited about the portrait mode and it’s safe to say it certainly didn’t disappoint. And when challenged with no light you can switch to using the secondary 20MP camera.

Xiaomi Mi 6X uses pixel binning and the results speak for themselves. The secondary camera photos are noticeably sharper than those of the primary camera. The camera no doubt comes to par with the camera of the Vivo Nex S which is actually an $800 phone. The phone uses Xiaomi’s new Beauty Engine 4.0 which makes the pictures even more intricate than before, the features are endless. You can customize and get pictures just the way you want to. We can surely say we certainly got the pictures we wanted. All in all a marvelous camera and at its price point, it seems too good to be true.

Hardware & Software

The Xiaomi Mi A2 tops out Mi A1 by replacing the old chipset [snapdragon 625]with a better one  [the Snapdragon 660]making it much more faster and powerful. The Xiaomi Mi 6X runs on Google’s new Operating System called the Android One. This does mean that almost every application is kind of Google’s default ( say the calendar, the gallery hell even google music)

So Xiaomi decided to put in its own little twist and put up some of its own applications ( e.g the MI remote ) making it all the more original. The phone is pretty light weighing only 166 grams. That’s much lighter than the Razer Phone 2018 and only 1 gram heavier than its predecessor.

The camera though does have a sort of scaffolding on the edges making it stick out of the surface of the body of the phone thus the bump. One sad thing to say about the phone is the loss of the 3.5mm headphone slot.

The Xiaomi Mi A2 supports MIUI 9.5 based off of Android 8.1 along with Google’s security patch from this May. The interface is pretty much the same as other Xiaomi’s devices so we won’t go into detail in that department. The Xiaomi Mi A2 also gets to use gestures in place of navigation buttons. It took us some time to get used but once we did the experience elevated to a whole new level.

Battery Life

The battery life, however, gets a passing grade. The smartphone utilizes between 2 and 2.5 hours to charge fully. The Xiaomi Mi A2 also has a chipset which supports Qualcomm’s Quick Charge 3.0. This tends to quicken the process but the phone still needed a minimum of 2 hours to charge while we were playing around with it.

Xiaomi Mi A2 is powered by a 3,000mAh battery, 80mAh less than its predecessor’s, the Mi A1’s cell. The USB-C port also works as an audio connection so listening to music and charging your phone at the same time is out of the question. Well unless you’re using a Bluetooth headset. We weren’t necessarily impressed with the battery life. The phone tended to drain a bit faster. It did work for a good 3.5 hours so it’s passable but in our opinion, not that great. Honestly, if you’re getting this much for a phone of this price, a few minor setbacks aren’t that disappointing.

Audio

The Xiaomi Mi A2 houses a single down-firing speaker located behind the right grille on the bottom. However, there is no stereo action here. Which isn’t really too much of a problem since it’s mighty loud as it is. Honestly, it’s loud and the sounds don’t distort at higher pitches come into question. That’s really all that matters where audio s concerned.

Sorry to disappoint guys but it’s true, no headphone jack. We don’t know if the company’s trying to follow in the footsteps of the flagships of today. Where apparently headphone jacks aren’t that important anymore, but Xiaomi we along with we’re sure countless other people say, bring back the headphone jack. The ‘dongle’ isn’t that practical and if we lost it which happens quite a lot for such a small thing. It’d be pretty big of an inconvenience.

Overall Performance

The Xiaomi Mi A2 comes in the options of 4GB and 6GB RAM just like Samsung Galaxy S9. The one we used was the former and it’s safe to say there weren’t really any technicalities or major hiccups in the performance. Considering that this is a Chinese unit, the performance probably will be different in the international model.

As we tested out the limits of this smartphone, we decided to check out gaming too. Honestly, it’s pure bliss. While we gamed, we observed zero lag and sure there was some noise. PUBG Mobile and Fortnite ran pretty smoothly and didn’t hang or stutter running on medium graphics. The Xiaomi Mi A2 handled titles such as Asphalt Xtreme, Shadow Fight even Tekken pretty remarkably. Despite hours of constant gaming, the phone didn’t heat up and we didn’t have to wait while switching between games.

Verdict

The Xiaomi Mi A2 is a powerful mid-range smartphone. It eliminates all of its similar price competitors while coming to par with the latest flagships of today. From its build quality to its performance, the Xiaomi Mi A2 doesn’t disappoint for even a second. It has made some cuts, some of them being the missing microSD card slot, the battery and well the missing headphone jack.

It’s surely a package full of surprises. It’s a master performer and takes quite a leap from the Mi A1 and the Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 Pro. If you want a phone with the qualities of a flagship but the price of a mid-ranger the Mi A2 is definitely something you should go for.

 

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