Google partners with Xiaomi to revive Android One

Thursday, 07 Sep, 2017

Google has partnered Chinese firm Xiaomi to launch "Mi A1", a new handset powered by the Android One operating system, as the US-based tech major seeks to consolidate its position in emerging markets.

Xiaomi officially revealed that they would manufacture the Mi A1 in India and it supports the "Made in India" tag. It hasn't been a bed of roses all the way but Xiaomi is a name to reckon with. Google CEO Sundar Pichai who was the SVP for the company back in 2014 had launched the Android One platform at its annual developer conference. This is the first dual camera phone under Android One initiative and first Xiaomi phone with stock Android. The fingerprint scanner is located at the back of the phone. It is priced at Rs14,999 and will be available through both online (Flipkart, Mi.com) and offline stores (Mi Home, retail stores) from 12 September.

It comes with a dual-camera system similar to the one seen in the Mi 6.

The Mi A1 is, however, significantly more important to Google than Xiaomi as it essentially breathes a new life into the dying venture and in a lot of ways, represents the beginning of its next chapter.

The Redmi 5A will also include a 5-inch display offering a 1280 × 720 pixel resolution. The microphone and an infrared sensor are placed at the top of the screen. Mi A1 camera abilities were then compared to OnePlus 5 and iPhone 7 Plus camera. The display is vivid and offers rich colours. Sunlight legibility is fine and the viewing angles are satisfactory. The smartphone does feel like a pretty solid device and certainly has a high-quality finesse to it. The storage can be upgraded up to 128GB using microSD card. In early August, the phone started receiving the Android 7.0 Nougat update (MIUI 8.5) alongside the July Android security patch. This is a refreshing change as Xiaomi, till now, had its own UI. For Android One phones, Google had promised to provide regular updates for two years and also supplied reference hardware design to these companies, reported NDTV.

We asked Xiaomi whether the Mi A1 is just a rebranded Mi 5X for the global audience, and Xiaomi begged to differ. The camera can take some good-looking shots if the lighting is good. During our testing, we found the network reception satisfactory.

Other specs include a 3,080 mAh battery with a custom 380-volt charger created to protect the battery from sudden power spikes. Users will be able to enjoy the experience of a high-end smartphone with the Mi A1's dual-camera setup for a relatively lower price. In terms of core specifics, the 26mm wide-angle lens on-board the Mi 5A comes with an f/2.2 aperture while the 50mm telephoto lens boasts of an f/2.6 aperture. There is a dedicated portrait mode to capture photos with Bokeh effect. Front camera was not as impressive but it was fine.

Xiaomi hyped the camera so much in this smartphone. The Mi A1 will run stock Android.

Also what's the difference between Redmi Note 4 and Xiaomi Mi A1? Finally, in 2017, the world has got a smartphone that will help take Android One to the next level.

The Xiaomi Mi A1 costs INR 14,999, which converts to around $235.