Xiaomi Mi A2 vs. Nokia 7 Plus: So close, yet so far

Three months after its launch, the Nokia 7 Plus continues to be one of the best mid-range phones in the market. There really isn't much the phone gets wrong — there's a 18:9 panel at the front, proven dual cameras at the back, 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage as standard, and to top things off, the device is powered by the Snapdragon 660. Then there's the fact that the Nokia 7 Plus — like the rest of HMD Global's portfolio — runs Android One, guaranteeing timely updates.

Xiaomi is now looking to challenge the Nokia 7 Plus with its 2018 Android One device, the Mi A2. At a high level, both devices are nearly identical: the Mi A2 also has an 18:9 display, and it features the Snapdragon 660 along with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage. The dual cameras at the back are just as capable as the Nokia 7 Plus.

That's where the similarities end. The Mi A2 is set to go on sale in India from August 16 for ₹16,999, or $250. That's $130 less than what the Nokia 7 Plus retails for in the country. Xiaomi's aggressive strategy gives the Mi A2 an edge when it comes to pricing, but the device is missing out on several features, including NFC, a 3.5mm jack, and a MicroSD slot.

Here's how the Mi A2 compares to the Nokia 7 Plus.

Xiaomi Mi A2 vs. Nokia 7 Plus: Specs

Xiaomi Mi A2 vs. Nokia 7 Plus

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CategoryXiaomi Mi A2Nokia 7 Plus
Operating SystemAndroid 8.1 Oreo
Android One
Android 8.1 Oreo
Android One
Display5.99-inch 18:9 FHD+
(2160x1080) IPS LCD panel
Gorilla Glass 5
6.0-inch 18:9 FHD+
(2160x1080) IPS LCD panel
Gorilla Glass 3
SoCOcta-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 660
4x2.2GHz Kryo 260 + 4x1.8GHz Kryo 260
14nm
Octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 660
4x2.2GHz Kryo 260 + 4x1.8GHz Kryo 260
14nm
GPUAdreno 512Adreno 512
RAM4GB/6GB4GB
Storage32GB/64GB/128GB64GB
ExpandableNoYes, up to 256GB
Rear camera12MP (f/1.75, 1.25um) + 20MP (f/1.75, 1.0um)
PDAF, LED flash, 4K video recording
12MP (f/1.8, 1.4um) + 13MP (f/2.6, 1.0um)
PDAF, LED flash
4K video recording
Front camera20MP (f/1.75, 1.0um)
AI portrait mode
LED Selfie light
Beautify 4.0
16MP (f/2.0, 1.0um)
ConnectivityLTE with VoLTE
Wi-Fi 802.11 ac, Bluetooth 5.0
GPS, GLONASS
Dual VoLTE, NFC
Wi-Fi 802.11 ac, Bluetooth 5.0
3.5mm jack, FM radio
GPS, GLONASS
Battery3000mAh battery
Quick Charge 4.0 (India)
QC3.0 (ROW)
USB-C
3800mAh battery
Quick Charge 3.0
USB-C
FingerprintRear fingerprintRear fingerprint
Dimensions158.7 x 75.4 x 7.3mm158.4 x 75.6 x 8mm
Weight166g183g
ColorsBlack, Rose Gold, Gold, BlueBlack/Copper, White/Copper

Where they're equal

Xiaomi Mi A2 vs. Nokia 7 Plus

As highlighted above, the Mi A2 and Nokia 7 Plus share a lot of the same internal hardware. The Snapdragon 660 is integral here, as it's currently the best mid-range chipset available today. That will change soon as we see more Snapdragon 710 devices make their way into the market, but for now, the Snapdragon 660 is a staple in this category.

Both the Mi A2 and Nokia 7 Plus come with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage. There's a variant of the Mi A2 with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, but that'll make its way to India at a later date.

Also notable is the fact that both phones come with Android One. With Google moving out of the mid-range market with the discontinuation of the Nexus line, third-party brands have filled the void with the current slate of Android One devices, and for the most part, the experience has been identical.

In fact, the Nokia 7 Plus' design and feature-set have lent it the Pixel 2 Lite moniker, and it wears that badge very well. With Android One, you're getting a user experience that's near-identical to that of the Pixels on a diverse set of devices that span different regions and audiences.

What the Mi A2 does better

Xiaomi Mi A2 vs. Nokia 7 Plus

Xiaomi dominates the value game, and that's evident when you see how the Mi A2 lines up next to the Nokia 7 Plus. A $130 difference is a huge deal, especially when you consider the fact that the camera on the Mi A2 is just as good as that of the Nokia 7 Plus, if not better.

It's no small feat to launch a Snapdragon 660-powered phone for $250, and Xiaomi's insistence that it won't exceed over 5% in profits from its hardware products makes it the brand to beat when we're talking about value. It is this factor that allows Xiaomi to undercut every other manufacturer.

Xiaomi Mi A2 to the left, Nokia 7 Plus to the right.