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Xiaomi Mi A2 Vs Mi A2 Lite vs Mi A1: Battle between Android One smartphones

25 July 2018 6

After a long streak of rumors and leaks, the Chinese giant Xiaomi wraps off the cover from their much-awaited Android One smartphones Mi A2 and Mi A2 Lite in a dedicated event in Spain. Last year Xiaomi unveiled Mi A1 as the only Android One smartphone. The device was amongst the best selling smartphone from Xiaomi that's why this year we have two Android One smartphone from Mi A2.

As the name suggests the Mi A2 is the latest best offering from Xiaomi under Google Android One program whereas the A2 Lite is the toned down variant. Another reason to release two Android One smartphone could be Xiaomi wanted to target two kinds of niche customers, One those who are willing to pay more for premium level experience on their Android One smartphone and second kind of customers are those who want all goodies of Android One and Xiaomi hardware on an entry-level smartphone.

At the launch event, the company already confirmed not both variants will be available in all regions. For instance, the Mi A2 and A2 Lite will be available for Europe but for the Indian customers, only the Mi A2 will be released in the first half of August. Another important aspect is what kind of improvements new Mi A2 and A2 Lite are bringing on board in terms of specs, design, camera, UI experience as opposed to predecessor Mi A1.

Like always whenever a new smartphone is announced we put it in head-to-head competition against the predecessor and other smartphones of the same niche. Today we will compare the latest Mi A2 against the Mi A2 Lite and Mi A1 to know in detail the real differences and similarities between the two devices.

Design

In terms of design all three devices are different from each other, you can easily differentiate one from the other. Starting with the Mi A2, the device is featuring a unibody metal design with aluminum chassis and rear body. The front-facing glass is protected with the Corning Gorilla Glass to avoid accidental damages. Following the latest trend, the Mi A2 comes with a 2:1 display that's why the bezels are slightly trimmed as opposed to the predecessor.

The Volume controllers and power button are on the right edge whereas the SIM tray and MicroSD card slot is on the left edge. On the bottom edge, you will get a USB-C port for connectivity and charging. It lacks the traditional 3.5mm headphone jack like most of the latest smartphones from Xiaomi. The rear side is adorned with dual cameras placed vertically on the top left corner. Due to on-screen navigation buttons, the device has a fingerprint scanner on the rear side in the center. Being a budget-friendly smartphone it lacks the water and dust resistance capability.

The Mi A2 is rebranded Mi 6X whereas the Mi A2 Lite is based on the Redmi 6 Pro. Unlike the Mi A2, it features a more advanced design with a notch at the top of the display. The rear design is exactly similar like the Mi A2 except for the antenna lines which are quite prominent on the top and bottom. For connectivity, it has a Micro-USB port.

The Mi A1 was announced as a rebranded Mi 5X with stock Android OS. The device achieved much attention due to its premium unibody metal design. It features a 16:9 display that's why bezels are significantly thicker as opposed to the latest smartphones. It also has USB-C port for connectivity and charging. On the rear side, it has dual cameras setup placed horizontally on the top left corner.

Display

As far as display is a concern the Mi A2 is featuring an IPS LCD display of 5.99-inches with a Full HD+ screen resolution of 1080 x 2160 pixels. The display pixels density is 403 pixels-per-inch. Following the latest trend, the display aspect ratio is 2:1. The Mi A2 Lite also has an IPS display with a notch at the top that's why its aspect ratio is 19:9. The display panel is of 5.84-inches with a Full HD+ screen resolution of 1080 x 2280 pixels and pixels density is 432 pixels-per-inch.

On the other hand, the Mi A1 has an IPS LCD display of 5.5-inches with a Full HD+ screen resolution of 1080 x 1920 pixels. The display aspect ratio is 16:9. Xiaomi is offering all kinds of displays, either you like 2:1 panel with bezels, notch display or a thick bezels design. All the devices have pixels density above 400

Hardware

Under the hood, the Mi A2 is running on the Qualcomm's Snapdragon 660 SoC whereas the other two Mi A2 Lite and Mi A1 have the Snapdragon 625 chipset. The Mi A2 is available in three configurations, the entry-level variant has 4GB RAM with 32GB storage, the standard model with 4GB RAM and 64GB storage and the top-tier 6GB RAM model with 128GB storage. All three variants support memory expansion using MicroSD card.

The Mi A2 Lite is also available in variants, the base variant has 3GB RAM with 32GB storage whereas the top-tier model has 4GB RAM with 64GB storage. Both the variants native storage is further expandable via MicroSD card. Last but not the least the Mi A1 comes in configurations with 4GB RAM and either 32GB or 64GB storage. Its storage is also further expandable. All three devices support dual-SIM and 4G LTE connectivity.

Specs Mi A2 Mi A2 Lite Mi A1
Display 5.99-inches 5.84-inches 5.5-inches
Screen resolution 1080 x 2160 pixels 1080 x 2280 pixels 1080 x 1920 pixels
Chipset Snapdragon 660 Snapdragon 625 Snapdragon 625
RAM 4,6GB 3,4GB 4GB
Storage 32,64,128GB Expandable 32,64GB Expandable 32,64GB Expandable
Rear cameras 12MP+20MP 12+5MP Dual 12MP
Front camera 20MP 5MP 5MP
Battery 3,010mAh 4,000mAah 3,080mAh
USB USB-C Micro-USB Type-C
3.5mm headphone jack No Yes Yes
OS Android Oreo 8.1 Android Oreo 8.1 Android Oreo 8.1

Software Experience

As mentioned above both the Mi A2 and A2 Lite are not the brand new smartphones instead the company already announced both these smartphones as Mi 6X and Redmi 6 Pro respectively with MIUI layer over it. The Mi A2 and A2 Lite both are Android One smartphones with vanilla Android Oreo 8.1 straight out of the box. Both the devices bring all the goodies of the stock OS with none bloatware and ultra fast speed. On the other hand, the Mi A1 was announced with Android Nougat 7.1.1, however, it is updated to Android Oreo 8.1.

So the overall UI experience on all three devices will be the same but the Mi A2 could take lead in speed due to better hardware.

Cameras

Xiaomi confirmed that dual rear cameras on the A2 are the key selling aspect of the device. The Mi A2 comes with one of the best cameras in this niche. The primary sensor is Sony IMX 486 12MP module whereas the secondary sensor is Sony IMX 376 20MP sensor. Both the modules aperture size is f/1.75. The primary sensor has a large pixel's size whereas the secondary sensor brings the pixel binning feature which allows combining pixels to produce good results in low-light conditions.

Both the sensors are tuned with AI that's why produces amazing results in most scenarios including portrait shots using machine learning. At the launch, Xiaomi showcases how well the A2 shots are as opposed to its competitor Galaxy A8. Xiaomi stated the A2 can switch to either primary or secondary camera considering the lightening condition. The dual rear cameras are accompanied with dual LED flashlight.

Being a toned down variant the Mi A2 Lite comes with a basic dual rear cameras setup of 12MP+5MP. The primary sensor aperture is f/2.2. Both the sensors bring portrait mode support. On the rear side, you will get dual LED flashlight. However, the dual sensors on the A2 Lite are not as good as Mi A2. The Mi A1 has dual rear cameras of 12MP. The primary sensor is a telephoto lens with f/2.2 aperture whereas the secondary 12MP sensor is a zoom sensor with up to 2x optical zoom.

The front-facing camera on the Mi A2 is the Sony IMX 386 20MP module with soft LED flashlight whereas the selfie camera on the A1 and A2 Lite is 5MP. Once again the Mi A2 takes lead here with better capturing capabilities.

Battery

The Mi A2 is running on a 3,010mAh battery cell. It comes with USB-C port and supports Quick charge 3.0 fast charging. On the other hand, the battery cell on the Mi A2 Lite is a gigantic 4,000mAh cell. It has Micro-USB port so you won't have the luxury of fast charging here. The battery cell on the Mi A1 is 3,080mAh and it also supports fast charging thanks to USB-C port. It is important to mention that all the devices last easily one day on a single charge thanks to a stock version of Doze.

Price

For the European customers, the Mi A2 base variant with 32GB storage announced for 249 Euros. The 64GB model will be available for 279 Euros. Last but not the least the top-tier model with 6GB RAM and 128GB storage can be purchased at 349 Euros.

The Mi A2 Lite entry-level model with 32GB storage will be available at 179 Euros. The top-end model with 64GB storage costs 229 Euros. For the sake of reminder the Mi A1 was announced at $234, however now it is available at the significantly lower price tag on special deals and discounts. As far as colors are a concern the Mi A2 will be available in Black, Gold and Pink colors whereas the Mi A1 is available in Gold and Black colors.

Conclusion:

All three Android one smartphones from Xiaomi are offering great value for money. The Mi A2 is the most expensive amongst all, however, it brings better SoC, more RAM options, better AI cameras. The Mi A2 Lite is a toned down variant of Mi A2 but it comes with a stylish notch display with higher pixels density, stock Android experience, mid-range hardware, a gigantic battery cell and affordable price tag. The Mi A1 and A2 Lite have the same hardware under the hood, however, the A1 has a better camera, a smaller battery cell, and slightly higher pricing.

In the end, we would like to hear our readers thoughts in the comments section below regarding the Mi A2 vs Mi A2 Lite vs Mi A1. Stay tuned for more comparisons in coming days.

The Xiaomi Mi A1 isn't still available. To be notified when it becomse available click here.

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