Android One in Chinese, or Xiaomi Mi A2 Lite after 4 months of use.
I know, I know, the premiere of Mi A2 Lite was almost a year ago, but I have had my copy since Black Friday. This review is not intended to compare this phone with the latest flagships or to mix it with mud. I just want to express my opinion about this device and tell you whether it is worth buying at the moment. From the machine, I emphasize that I am not an expert, and the devices I used are a total b-brand rebrand, a used medium from 2013 and the Honor flagship from the time when Huawei was at the price level of the current Xiaomi, and their cameras could match at most middle class.
For starters, it’s worth mentioning the specification. The device has a screen with a diagonal of 5.84 inches and a resolution of 1080 by 2280 pixels, which gives us 432 pixels per inch. The screen is made in IPS TFT technology in 19: 9 aspect ratio and has a notch inspired by the iPhone X. At the bottom of the front part of the device we can see a rather large beard, which for some reasons had to be used here. The heart of the device is the almost three-year-old Snapdragon 625 with Adreno 506 graphics supported by (depending on the version) 3 or 4 GB of RAM. In addition, there are cameras: double on the back of the device (12 + 5 MPx) and a 5 Megapixel mesh on the front. Our data can be stored in memory with a capacity of 32 or 64 GB (depending on the price version) and on a memory card with a capacity of up to 256 GB.
What’s there to mention? The phone was packed in a rather aesthetic box reminiscent of iPhone boxes. In the set with the phone we get a thin silicone case, a charger and a key to the SIM wheelbarrow, which I unfortunately misplaced somewhere in my set. However, we do not get any headphones in the set
The device is made of matte aluminum unibody, and its only drawback may be the protruding camera. Nothing creaks, squeaks or hums.
On the back of the device, apart from the already mentioned camera, we can find a fingerprint reader and the manufacturer’s logo, nothing more. On the sides of the device there are buttons to change the volume and the power button. These are physical buttons, and their click is noticeable, although not to a great extent. Unfortunately, they are located on the right side of the device, and not like in Samsung or Apple devices, spread out on both sides. At the top we find a 3.5mm mini jack and an infrared LED that will allow us to use the device as a remote control for our devices. At the bottom there is a microUSB charging socket, which nowadays does not make such an impression, and Motorola One from a similar price range (I have the 4/64 version) already has USB type C. When it comes to charging, it can be mentioned that the device supports Quick Charge technology version 3.0 and the battery of the device is 4000 mAh. There are holes imitating speakers on both sides of the charging port, but only the right side produces sound. There is only a single mono speaker in the Device.
As I mentioned in the previous point about the battery, it’s time to continue the topic. The phone’s battery lasts for about 48 hours of combined use, but when using apps like Snapchat or playing games on this device, that time can drop to 24 hours. I will also mention that the time of the screen on varies from 7 to 10 hours on a single charge, and just charging the phone fully with the charger from the box takes about 2 hours, which is not a great result, but let me remind you that we are dealing with a phone up to 1000 zlotys.
It is worth mentioning that for some time I have been noticing terrible drops in battery performance, but it’s probably because I change apps often.
Performance and software
The device is quite efficient for its price range. You can say that this is due to the pure Android contained in this device, as it is part of the Android One program. We will definitely not play any demanding titles on the highest graphics settings on this, and Fortnite does not support this device in its beta. The terrible problem of the device is its updates. Theoretically, the Android One program was supposed to provide us with very fast system updates, but this is not the case. Android 9 Pie only arrived on this device in December 2018 officially as part of an uncontrolled leak and has quite a lot of bugs so far, while the so-called Security Patches do not reach us until the end of the month (about 20 days after Google’s release).
It is also worth mentioning that after 4 months of use, I did not notice that the phone slowed down in any way and it is unlikely to be.
Now we come to the part that many people care a lot about. Of course, we are talking about cameras, as well as photography itself. But let’s start with the camera app, which is the same as in other mid-priced Xiaomi smartphones. We don’t have any manual mode here, and the only configuration option is to change the quality and aspect ratio of photos and videos, and to constantly change the contrast, sharpness and brightness settings (in movies, these options do not exist and are replaced by the ability to change the time interval with timelapses). The camera has a portrait mode, timelapse and slow motion.
Let’s start with the front camera, it allows you to blur the background of photos and includes the function of so-called digital makeup. I don’t have much to compare the photos to other devices in this price range, but I can say that they are enough to be inserted in Social Media, the same with the rear one. Let me just remind you that the portrait mode is great at “catching” objects. Here are some photos taken with this device:
With portrait mode off, the photos look like this:
With portrait mode:
However, I can’t say too much about movies, the device has image stabilization, but unfortunately only EIS. You can’t complain about videos recorded “by hand”, but videos recorded during, for example, a run are terribly shaky and poorly watched. It is worth mentioning that the phone can record 1080p videos in 60 frames per second, but I have not tested it, the same with the night mode. I put a video, but only in 30 FPS, because I didn’t record anything, but at least EIS can be checked:
At the moment, the phone costs, depending on the version, from PLN 900 to PLN 1000 (900 for the 3/32 version and 1000 for the 4/64 version), so it is not very worth its price, because we have Redmi Note 7 at this price from Xiaomi itself in the 4/128 version with a much better Snapdragon 660 and for a little more (PLN 1050) we will also get a great Redmi Note 6 Pro. Certainly, the advantage of this device is clean, unsophisticated Android 9.0 and that’s it. The design is also not captivating to some extent, it just looks like 90% of smartphones in 2018.
My rating is:
Price-quality ratio: 9/10
The main image of the article comes from mi.com