Xiaomi partnered with Google over an Android One last year, the Mi A1. The phone combined Xiaomi's hardware capabilities with the simplicity of Android One, making it one of the best budget phones of 2018.
A year on, Xiaomi is renewing its collaboration with Google to launch two Android One phones. The Mi A2 and Mi A2 Lite feature comprehensive upgrades from the Mi A1, and Xiaomi is set to make both devices available in over 40 markets around the world.
The key difference between both phones — from an aesthetic standpoint — is that the Mi A2 has a standard 18:9 display, with the Mi A2 Lite offering a 19:9 panel with a notch up top. Internally, the Mi A2 is powered by the Snapdragon 660, whereas the A2 Lite is running the now-familiar Snapdragon 625. On the software front, both devices are running Android 8.1 Oreo, and the fact that they're a part of the Android One platform means they'll be one of the first phones to pick up the Android P update.
Here's what you need to know about Xiaomi's latest Android One phones.
Xiaomi Mi A2/Mi A2 Lite: Specs
|Category||Xiaomi Mi A2||Xiaomi Mi A2 Lite|
|Operating System||Android 8.1 Oreo|
|Android 8.1 Oreo|
|Display||5.99-inch 18:9 FHD+|
(2160x1080) IPS LCD panel
Gorilla Glass 5
|5.84-inch 19:9 FHD+|
(2220x1080) IPS LCD panel
|SoC||Octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 660|
4x2.2GHz Kryo 260 + 4x1.8GHz Kryo 260
|Octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 625|
Eight Cortex A53 cores up to 2.0GHz
|GPU||Adreno 512||Adreno 506|
|Rear camera||12MP (f/1.8, 1.25um) + 20MP (f/1.75, 2.0um)|
PDAF, LED flash, 4K video recording
|12MP (f/1.8, 1.25um) + 5MP (f/1.8, 1.0um)|
PDAF, LED flash
1080p video recording
|Front camera||20MP (f/1.75, 2.0um)|
AI portrait mode
LED Selfie light
|5MP f/2.2 lens|
AI portrait mode
|Connectivity||LTE with VoLTE|
Wi-Fi 802.11 ac, Bluetooth 5.0
|LTE with VoLTE|
Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.2
3.5mm audio jack
Quick Charge 3.0 (USB-C)
Fast charging (5V/2A over Micro-USB)
|Fingerprint||Rear fingerprint sensor||Rear fingerprint sensor|
Xiaomi Mi A2: The new performance beast
The Mi A2 features a 5.99-inch FHD+ 18:9 display backed by a layer of Gorilla Glass 5. The 2.5D curved glass allows the edges to seamlessly merge into the mid-frame, and the phone also has subtle curves at the back to make it easier to hold.
Xiaomi has been using the Snapdragon 660 platform for over a year now, and the Mi A2 is the latest to feature the chipset. The Snapdragon 660 is notable for being just as fast as flagships SoCs even from just a few generations ago, and it's safe to say that it is one of Qualcomm's best in this category.
There's a 3010mAh battery under the hood, up to 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, Wi-Fi ac, Bluetooth 5.0, and a USB-C port. The camera is where things get interesting: the primary 12MP IMX 376 sensor is mated to a 20MP module with large 2.0um pixels. The front camera also has a similar 20MP sensor with 2.0um pixels, and as just like the Redmi Note 5 Pro, the Mi A2 has an AI-enabled portrait mode.
Xiaomi Mi A2 Lite: Notched display, incredible battery life
The Mi A2 Lite isn't just a variant of the Mi A2 with toned-down hardware — the phone sports a cutout at the front to accommodate the camera module and the requisite sensors.
Xiaomi has said in the past that it favors the Snapdragon 625 for the chipset's balance between efficiency and performance. The manufacturer rolled out more than a handful of phones powered by the chipset — including last year's Mi A1 — so there's not going to be a performance differential between the A2 Lite and what we saw last year.
Essentially, the Mi A2 Lite has the same underpinnings as its predecessor, albeit with a refreshed design for 2018. However, the one downside is that the A2 Lite has a Micro-USB port, a puzzling choice considering the Mi A1 had a USB-C charging port.
Xiaomi is moving away from the ubiquitous headphone jack in its premium models, but the jack is intact on the budget-focused devices. As such, although the Mi A2 doesn't have a 3.5mm jack, the A2 Lite has the analog port.
Xiaomi Mi A2/Mi A2 Lite: Pricing and availability
There's enough differences between the Mi A2 and A2 Lite that Xiaomi is targeting two diverse set of users with its latest Android One phones.
The pricing reflects that as well, with the decked-out version of the Mi A2 running up to $410. The Mi A2 Lite, meanwhile, starts off at $210. Here's the pricing breakdown for the all variants Xiaomi will have up for sale:
- Mi A2 (4GB/32GB): €249 ($290)
- Mi A2 (4GB/64GB): €279 ($325)
- Mi A2 (6GB/128GB): €349 ($410)
- Mi A2 Lite (3GB/32GB): €179 ($210)
- Mi A2 Lite (4GB/64GB): €229 ($270)
Xiaomi mentions that it will make both devices available in over 40 markets around the world, and we should be hearing more about region-wise availability later this month. Xiaomi is huge in India, so we should see the brand launching both devices in the country shortly.
Given the cost-conscious nature of the Indian market, it's likely we'll see the base variant of the Mi A2 Lite debuting at under the $200 price point. Anywhere at the ₹10,999 ($160) figure should make it a great option considering the Redmi Note 5 shares a similar hardware foundation.
As for the Mi A2, the phone directly goes up against the $375 Nokia 7 Plus, so it'll be interesting to see what price point it slots in.
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Harish Jonnalagadda is a Senior Editor overseeing Asia at Android Central. He leads the site's coverage of Chinese phone brands, contributing to reviews, features, and buying guides. He also writes about storage servers, audio products, and the semiconductor industry. Contact him on Twitter at @chunkynerd.