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Xiaomi Mi A2 hands on: power, price, performance

Just how good can a cheap phone get and how cheap can a good phone get? Well Xiaomi for one seems intent on finding how and its latest offerings in the Android one program are pushing the boundaries even further than last year's wildly successful Mi A1, this is the Xiaomi Mi A2 hands on.
Xiaomi Mi A2 & Mi A2 Lite

This year there are to Mi A2’s the regular and a Lite version, but don't let the name fool you because there's a lot going on in the lite version the main one misses out on like a larger battery, a headphone jack and microSD expansion. This is because the Mi A2 Lite is based off the hardware for the Redmi 6 Pro which features all those essentials. The Mi A2 on the other hand is based on the Mi 6x which doesn't instead the me a 2 delivers higher-end optics in the camera for faster chipset and more impressive top memory configuration while the Mi A2 lite aims to bring Android one right down to Android goes doorstep with a 179 Euro starting price, if you want to spend a little bit more than you can enjoy the different benefits of the Mi A2, big selling point here is the bump in camera performance you've got a dual camera experience with a primary 12 megapixel sensor and a 20 megapixel sensor for better low-light performance, they share aperture so the difference is what Xiaomi is calling super pixel a fancy name for the familiar pixel winning approach we've seen other OEMs take, where for adjacent pixels are combined into one.

Xiaomi’s trick is that it then upscales the result back to a 20 megapixel image, in portrait mode the me a 2 will auto select the best camera for the conditions but the rest of the time you're going to have to toggle between cameras manually, it's hardly hassled but if you don't realize this seemingly insignificant detail you'll always be shooting at 12 megapixels and getting worst low-light shots then the 20 megapixel camera is capable of.

The front-facing camera is the same 20 megapixel sensor but at F 2.2 aperture instead of F 1.75, it also supports 2 micron super pixels and comes with front-facing HDR, AI Beauty portrait mode and a 45 hundred Kelvin selfie light.

On the Mi A2 lite the secondary and front-facing camera have five megapixel sensors putting a clear split between devices, do you value photography and performance or battery life expandable memory and a headphone jack.

Software is stock standard Android 8.1 Oreo with a promise of Android P as soon as it is available, there's only four non-google apps here including a custom camera app and a couple of new features in the settings menu, perhaps the weirdest thing to get used to if you're coming from the meet a one is the back button is now on screen and on the Left Google assistant, Google Lenz, Google Play protect, Oreo battery optimizations and project travel are all part of the package here.

Not having to worry about software at all means that Xiaomi hardware can really come to the fore, it also means multiple Android OS upgrades and regular security patches. You'll miss out on a lot of what makes Xiaomi Xiaomi in me UI but considering the me a one made the top 10 best-selling smartphones globally in February Android one clearly isn't that much of a compromise for a lot of people.

The display on the Mi A2 has grown since its predecessor at just under 6 inches, it's full HD plus like the Mi A2 lite 5.84 inch IPS LCD but the light variant has a notch while the regular version does not, there's only a mono bottom firing speaker here so perhaps more comprehensive audio support will be next year's big feature request for the Mi A3, you do get Oreo audio codec support if you're into wireless headphones though.

It'd support 5 volt 2 amp fast charging but only the me a 2 gets USB type-c while the light version sticks with microUSB, again this is partially due to their respective price points but also based on the Chinese originals upon which these phones are based, there's nothing wrong with using an existing blueprint for a low cost handset but it makes you realize just how significant Xiaomi selection of devices for future Android 1 phones will be.


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