Xiaomi Mi A2: Packing the punch

  • Tech talk with Gadgetbyte
- Pratima Adhikari

Oct 2, 2018-

Smartphone users are consistently on a hunt for updated phones that don’t leave a hole in their wallet. They want phones that are affordable, chic and durable. But, not all phones that promise value for money live up to the customer’s faith. A new mid-range phone that promises performance features, and quality has just arrived in town. Let’s see if Xiaomi Mi A2, available in the market for Rs 30, 999, is worth your money.


MI A2 looks very elegant and sleek. The good news is it feels as good as it looks in your hands. The smooth metallic back finish is a treat. Unfortunately, the slenderness has come with a cost-the headphone jack is gone. But the problem doesn’t come without a solution—a dongle is included in the box alongside earphones. When you turn the phone over, you notice that the design is also minimalist at its best. At the back, there is a fingerprint sensor, a set of cameras, the Xiaomi branding and nothing more.


Display wise, the Mi A2 is a 6-inch giant—roughly the size of your palm. It comes with an IPS LCD panel with FHD resolution; this means you get a bright and vibrant display, which I reckon is enough for normal usage. But, if you are used to AMOLED displays, you will certainly feel like something is missing here. On the brighter side, the device offers you good sunlight visibility; this means you can use your device outdoors with little to no strain on your eyes. The phone also comes with good viewing angles. You can view contents comfortably even when the phone is tilted or not directly facing you. What’s also impressive is Xiaomi’s call on ditching the notch. It is a good display experience overall.


The Mi A2 comes with a dual-camera of 12 20 MP on the back. The secondary 20 MP sensor is implanted for the background blurring effect. Both sensors are Sony IMX sensors and have an f/1.75 aperture. Lower the aperture, better the low light images. With both the apertures of the sensors same and comparatively low, the cameras produce good images at daylight as well as during night time. The cameras are also equipped with AI technology to produce better pictures with the help of machine learning. The device manages to capture a lot of details and colours in pictures.

The Xiaomi has upped its selfie game this time around with a 20 MP sensor accompanied by soft LED flash and Auto HDR. The cameras also come with the Portrait mode for great selfies with blurred background. The front camera takes reasonably detailed photographs and produces good and powerful images. Only the Auto HDR fails to function properly at times but other than that, you get good shots overall.

Performance and Software

At the core of this smartphone is Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 660 processor, which is among the celebrated chips for mid-range smartphones. On normal usage, the chipset powers the device quite well. Switching between apps, multitasking or even gaming can be done effortlessly on this phone. You don’t have to worry about hitches such as your phone freezing. However, intensively heavy games do make the phone stutter a bit if played for a prolonged duration.

The phone sports a fingerprint sensor at the back which is pretty snappy. However, you don’t have a facial unlock feature on this device so, the security options are limited. The Mi A2 has a notification LED that only glows in white colour, not so convenient.

Storage wise, you get 4 GB of RAM with 64 GB of onboard storage. The storage justifies the price. Sadly, there’s no option for storage expansion via microSD card here which may be a downside for multimedia enthusiasts. There’s also a 6/128 GB version but it’s not available in Nepal. If available, the feature would have been a deal breaker.

On the software side, the phone comes with Android Oreo 8.1 out of the box. This is the second Android One device Xiaomi has introduced so far. Being a device that runs on Android One, you can expect software updates for two years and security updates for three years from Google directly. This means that the device will get Android Pie before other devices. Also, with Android One, you get a clean interface without redundant and unnecessary apps that aids faster performance.


The Mi A2 is juiced up by a 3,000 mAh battery powering the FHD screen. My endurance test revealed that the battery doesn’t last a whole day, but it does almost reach the mark. In an attempt to maintain its slim and small appearance, the battery size has been kept small. The good news is the device supports quick charge technology.


The MI A2 is a deeply impressive deal from Xiaomi. Now that we have Xiaomi officially here in Nepal, we can expect a timely launch of products at reasonable and consistent pricing with other countries. And if you talk about the Mi A2, it’s definitely a deal breaker for the price range. Attractive, snappy performance, good cameras, and acceptable battery life do make the phone worth your money. Hence you can shortlist the device if you are exploring a new phone in the price range.  

Published: 02-10-2018 07:58

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