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Xiaomi Mi A2 goes on sale on August 23, here are 10 things you need to know about this Android One phone

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Xiaomi Mi A2 goes on sale on August 23, here are 10 things you need to know about this Android One phone

Yes, the Mi A2 could have done better in some areas, but hey, no phone is perfect.

The Xiaomi Mi A2 is finally here and it's every bit as fantastic as the Mi A1 that it replaces. It goes on sale again tomorrow, that is August 23. While Xiaomi does make some compromises in order to give the Mi A2 a premium design while keeping the price relatively affordable, the phone comes with enough goodies to warrant your attention. The Mi A2, more importantly, gets almost all those things right that you will want to see right in a value-for-money smartphone. This means good performance and outstanding cameras for the price.

Yes, the Mi A2 could have done better in some areas, but hey, no phone is perfect.

The Mi A2, just to refresh it for you, is an Android One phone. In other words, just like other Android One phones -- there are Nokias too made by HMD Global -- and pure Android phones like the Google Pixels, the Mi A2 runs a clean "googly" software. Now, this software is one selling point of the phone but that is not all it offers. Here is a quick look at the Mi A2 -- for a more detailed impression check out the India Today Tech review of the Xiaomi Mi A2.

1. The Xiaomi Mi A2 is a looker. There are no two ways about it. The front is big and almost bezel-less and there's a vertically-aligned dual camera module on the back. The phone comes with U-shaped antenna lines that will be hard to notice unless you're out looking for them. And yes, it sports an all-metal design that means that the Mi A2 looks and feels like it has been carved out of a single block of aluminium. It can be slippery, but then Xiaomi ships a clear case in the box, so that's nice too. The Mi A2 is available in a choice of 4 colours in India: gold, blue, black and rose gold.

2. The build quality is fantastic. The Mi A2 is the most affordable phone to ship with Corning Gorilla Glass 5 protection on the front, which means technically it should hold up well if you happen to drop it screen facing down.

3. The Mi A2 comes with a 5.99-inch FHD+ IPS LCD display that has a resolution of 2160 x 1080 pixels. It also gives the phone 403ppi density, which is something that you should not bother about because even 300ppi is good enough. Xiaomi has shaved off bezels around the screen, and that makes the Mi A2 smaller compared to regular 6-inch phones. Also, the Mi A2 uses an unusual aspect ratio of 18:9, as against the more traditional 16:9. The screen is one of the weak spots of the Mi A2, something we noted in the review as well. The Mi A2 screen lacks contrast and it's brightness levels leave a lot to be desired.

4. The Mi A2 carries the legacy of the Mi A1 forward. in other words, it comes with Google software and promise of timely OS updates directly from Google with some help from Xiaomi. It is an Android One phone after all. But there are areas where Xiaomi has tried to improve the Android Oreo that is inside the Mi A2. The phone comes with Xiaomi's Mi Feedback and Mi Remote apps. The purpose of the Mi Feedback app is to let users report issues with the phone and the Mi Remote app allows users to use the IR sensor in the phone. The Mi Remote app can be uninstalled, the Mi Feedback app can't. There are three more Xiaomi apps -- Mi Drop, File Manager and Mi Store -- pre-installed on the Mi A2. Also, the camera app is the one created by Xiaomi and not Google.

5. The Xiaomi Mi A2 is powered by a 2.2Ghz octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 processor. Sounds impressive, and works well enough. On paper, the Mi A2 is the most powerful phone at its price in the Indian market right now. And in practice too, it is one fast phone. Basically, if you are worried about the performance of the Mi A2, you shouldn't. It's a beast.

6. Xiaomi has not brought all variants of the Mi A2 in India. Only the 4GB RAM and 64GB storage version is available here. Do note that the Mi A2 does not support expandable storage. The Mi A2, however, gives users unlimited high-quality storage through Google Photos. There's also Google Drive and Google Docs. All these features come bundled with the Mi A2 because it's an Android One phone.

7. While the 3,000mAh battery inside the Mi A2 lasts one full day, although with some struggle, it can't match the battery performance of Redmi Note 5 pro. The Mi A2 seems like a step-down in this regard, which is a little disappointing considering Xiaomi phones are known for good battery life.

The India Today Tech battery loop test gave lasted just 10 hours on the Mi A2. Most users with regular usage will be able to pull one day on the Mi A2, but that's all that you're going to get out of it. The Mi A2 India variant supports Qualcomm's Quick Charge 4.0 technology but Xiaomi is not bundling a Quick Charge 4.0 compliant charger in the box.

8. One big reason to buy the Mi A2, if you are looking for one, isn't its clean Android software or blazing fast performance. Instead, the reason is the camera performance.

The Mi A2 comes with two cameras on the back. One uses a 12-megapixel sensor (Sony IMX 486 sensor) and another a 20-megapixel sensor (Sony IMX 376 sensor). Both the sensors have a lens with f/1.75 aperture. The main sensor has large pixels while the secondary sensor supports pixel binning that technically results in decent photos in even low light. The dual-camera setup is paired with a dual-LED (dual-tone) flash. But the star attraction here is how the two cameras can sense ambient surroundings and intelligently switch between the sensors: the 12-megapixel sensor is used in good light, the 20-megapixel sensor kicks in low-light conditions.

While the two cameras switch automatically depending on the available light, it is also possible to manually choose the sensor you want to use for a particular shot. It's safe to say that the Mi A2 offers best dual camera implementation on a mainstream phone right now, even though those who have used the Mi A1 will miss its 2X zoom lens. On the front, the Mi A2 sports a 20-megapixel camera with LED flash which is the same as the one inside the Redmi Note 5 Pro.

9. Xiaomi has launched the Mi A2 in India at a price of Rs 16,999. This is for the 4GB RAM and 64GB storage variant. The Xiaomi Mi A2 is only available online.

10. The Xiaomi Mi A2 is available for purchase through flash sale model for now although in future Xiaomi may sell it in open sale. For now, Xiaomi is going to sell the Mi A2 once every week (probably more when there is more stock or if there's a promotional sale) until stocks last. This means that getting a hold of a Mi A2 won't be easy, at least initially.