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Xiaomi’s Mi A1 is the Android One handset you’ve been waiting for

Rejoice, all you fans of the stock Android experience
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06 September 2017 / 13:18IST

Xiaomi’s just dropped a bombshell. Yes, they’ve got a new device, and it’s pretty standard for the mid-range (A 5.5in Full HD display, a Snapdragon 625, 4GB RAM and 64GB storage), and there’s some ‘Xiaomi-standard’ stuff like an IR transmitter, but that’s not the whole story. The Mi A1’s also got a dual camera (12MP + 12MP) system with a standard and a telephoto lens and from Xiaomi’s presentation, it does pretty well at the ‘look at the pretty bokeh’ stuff. But while Xiaomis usually delivered some great hardware, the software experience hasn’t quite been that great - sure, MIUI does provide some useful add-ons, but (we can argue about this later), stock Android is a more intuitive experience. But wait, the Mi A1 is an Android One phone (and the first one not to be a budget device). Which means no MIUI. That’s right. You get Xiaomi hardware with a near-stock Android experience (and it's a recent release - Android 7.1.2 with a security patch from August). It’ll also be upgraded to Android O before the year’s out. A win-win, that’s what we call it. The Mi A1 (₹14,999) goes on sale September 12 - you can get it online (Flipkart and Mi India Store) or offline (Mi Homes and at Xiaomi partner stores).

Smartphones