Xiaomi Mi A2 vs Xiaomi Mi A1: Lot of new hardware but those who have A1 need not upgrade
Xiaomi launched Mi A2, a phone powered by Android One instead of MIUI as it is a norm for Xiaomi phones, on Tuesday at an event in Madrid, Spain. The Mi A2, which is the second Android One phone from Xiaomi, is the successor to the Mi A1 that was launched last year. Needless to say, the Mi A2 comes with improved and updated hardware compared to what we saw in the Mi A1.
The Mi A2 comes with iPhone X-like vertically aligned dual rear cameras, Android 8.1 Oreo-based on Google's Android One, 20MP selfie camera, a 5.99-inch full HD+ display and Snapdragon 660 chipset. Xiaomi has launched the Mi A2 with a starting price of 249 Euros, which roughly translates to Rs 20,000.
Xiaomi India has confirmed that the Mi A2 will be launching in the country on August 8, and chances are that in India its price is going to start from Rs 19,999.
Compared to the Mi A1, the Mi A2 Android One phone comes with a taller display and thinner bezels around the screen. The Mi A1 sports a 5.5-inch full HD display, that uses a 16:9 aspect ratio. The Mi A2, on the other hand, comes with a tall 5.99-inch full HD+ display with an aspect ratio of 18:9. Compared to the Mi A1, the newly launched Mi A2 not only comes with better camera setup but also better hardware which makes the phone much faster. The Mi A1 is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 chipset, the Mi A2, on the other hand, comes packed with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 SoC.
Let's take a quick look at all the differences between the Xiaomi Mi A1 and Mi A2:
-- The Mi A2 boasts of a bigger display than the Mi A1. Yes, we said that earlier. But it is worth repeating. The Mi A2 comes with a 5.99-inch full-HD+ display with a 2160x1080p resolution, 403ppi pixel density, and an aspect ratio of 18:9. The Mi A1, on the other hand, comes with a 5.5-inch full-HD display with a 1080x1920p resolution and an aspect ratio of 16:9.
-- The Mi A2 is more powerful than the Mi A1. The Mi A2 comes with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 processor paired with an Adreno 512 GPU, which is also inside phones like the Nokia 7 Plus. The Mi A1 runs on a Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 chipset, which this time is in the Xiaomi Mi A2 Lite, another phone that was launched alongside the Mi A2 in Madrid on Tuesday.
-- The Mi A1 was available in 4GB RAM model. Interestingly, Xiaomi has launched two RAM models of the Mi A2, the base models come with 4GB RAM, while the top-end variant packs a 6GB RAM.
-- The Mi A2 comes in three storage models. The base variant comes with 32GB of internal storage, the mid-range model packs 64GB storage, and lastly, the top-end model includes a 128GB of internal storage. In comparison, the storage option for the Mi A1 is limited. The Mi A1 is available only in one variant with 64GB, which is further expandable by up to 128GB via a hybrid micro-SD card slot.
-- The biggest improvement that Xiaomi has brought to the Mi A2 when compared to the Mi A1 is in the camera department. The Xiaomi Mi A2 comes with a dual rear camera setup, wherein one camera uses 12MP Sony IMX 486 sensor with f/1.75 aperture and the second one packs a 20MP Sony IMX 376 sensor with f/1.75 aperture for portrait shots. The Mi A1 also comes with dual cameras on the rear panel, but the lenses are slightly slower and image sensor older. The smartphone packs two 12MP sensor on the back coupled with a wide-angle f/2.2 lens and an aperture of f/2.6.
-- The Mi A1 was a camera-centric phone, but the Mi A2 also adds a few selfie tricks to the mix, claims Xiaomi. Compared with the rear cameras, the major improvement that Xiaomi has brought to the Mi A2 is in its selfie camera. The Mi A1 comes with a 5-megapixel selfie shooter, the Mi A2, on the other hand, comes with a big 20MP selfie camera. The front camera of the Mi A2 comes with lots of AI features. The Mi A2 is also capable of capturing selfie portrait shots, not only that the phone can also click group selfie portrait pictures, claims Xiaomi.
-- The only similarity that both the Mi A1 and Mi A2 have in common is the software. Both the Mi A2 and the Mi A1 runs on a stock version of Android 8.1 Oreo which is certified by Google's Android One program. In simple words, the Mi A1 and Mi A2 deliver a pure Android experience to the consumers.
-- Surprisingly, the Mi A2 comes with a smaller battery than what the Mi A1 has. The Xiaomi Mi A2 is backed by a 3,010mAh battery coupled with QuickCharge 3.0 support, The Mi A1, on the other hand, comes with a 3,080mAh battery but has no fast charging support.
-- Other features like USB Type-C, rear-mounted fingerprint sensor, 4G VoLTE support, a dual SIM support are the same in both Mi A1 and Mi A2. Oh, it is important to note that the Mi A2 lacks the 3.5mm headphone jack.
-- As for pricing, the Mi A2 just like the Mi A1 falls under the mid-range category. The Mi A2 comes with a starting price of 249 Euros for the 4GB + 32GB storage, which roughly translates to Rs 20,000. The 4GB + 64GB of the Mi A2 comes with a price tag of 279 Euros (roughly Rs 22,500), while the 6GB + 128GB has been launched for 349 Euros (roughly Rs 28,000). The Mi A1 India price is much cheaper than that of the Mi A2. In India, the Mi A1 sells -- or used to sell when it was available -- with a price tag of Rs 13,999.
Xiaomi is all set to launch the Mi A2 in India on August 8, and most likely, the phone will be priced under Rs 20,000.
-- The Mi A2 comes in three colours - Black, Blue and Gold. The Mi A1 was also selling in three colours in India, which are Black, Gold, and Rose Gold.
Should the Mi A1 users upgrade
In one word: No. One of the major appeals of the Mi A series phones is their software. If you bought the Mi A1 or plan to buy the Mi A2, you will probably do so because of the pure Android software that is available in the two phones. And right now, both run the Android Oreo 8.1, which means neither has an advantage over the other.
In some other areas, the Mi A2 is an improvement. The design of the Mi A2 is more premium, and it surely has a few extra photography tricks. But overall, in terms of still image photography and performance, both the A1 and the A2 are going to be very similar.
Then you have to consider the price: the Mi A2 is definitely going to cost a few thousand rupees more than what you paid for the Mi A1. If there would have been an upgrade program from Xiaomi for the Mi A1 users who want to move to Mi A2, we would have factored in that. But no such program exists right now. And in any case, the Mi A1 is just one year old. It's worth using it for one more year.