Who needs Nexus phones when Google’s budget-focused Android One program is set to “span a much broader set of devices and price points”, starting with the “flagship dual camera”-sporting Xiaomi Mi A1?
As expected, the most high-profile Android One release yet is essentially a rebranded Mi 5X running the purest form of the world’s most widely used mobile operating system. Well, close enough, as the Mi A1 does retain one key MIUI software element.
Namely, the Chinese smartphone manufacturer’s proprietary camera app, which Xiaomi believes can squeeze the finest performance out of the “new” 5.5-incher’s 12 + 12MP rear shooter arrangement.
The MIUI camera app is paired with unlimited Google Photos cloud storage, but you also get 64 gigs of local digital hoarding room to help record every important moment of your life, day in and day out.
Boldly advertised as similar to the high-end photographic equipment on the back of the iPhone 7 Plus, the Mi A1’s main snapper combines telephoto and wide angle lenses to produce a “DSLR effect”, Portrait mode, 2x optical zoom and up to 10x digital zoom.
The rest of the features aren’t half bad either, including a large 1080p screen, “high quality” audio, octa-core Snapdragon 625 processor, 4GB RAM, 3080mAh battery and rear-mounted fingerprint reader.
“Created by Xiaomi and powered by Google”, the all-metal mid-range handset comes with a “simple, secure and fresh software” promise, as well as an Oreo update guaranteed by the end of the year. Most importantly, the Android 7.1.2 Nougat-based phone is headed for a massive 37 countries around the world (no US, unfortunately), debuting in India soon at the low price of Rs. 14,999 ($235).