Mi A1 is the first Android One based phone from Xiaomi

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Xiaomi has teamed up with Google to launch the first Xiaomi smartphone with stock Android. The new Xiaomi Mi A1 was launched earlier today in India as an Android One device and featuring a dual camera setup on the back. Touting it as ‘flagship dual camera’, Xiaomi launched the Mi A1 without its highly customized skin, MIUI.

Revealing more information about its partnership with Xiaomi, Google said that the Mi A1 will be available on dozens of countries across Asia, Europe, Middle East, Africa and the Americas. While Google has launched a few Android One smartphones in the past, none of its prior launches have been this high profile and across the board.

Coming to the Mi A1, it features specs identical to the Mi 5X that was launched in China. It comes with a unibody metal design and a pair of pyrolytic sheets to keep the device cool. Xiaomi claims that these sheets help reduce the phone temperature by up to 2C.

The Mi A1 comes with stock Android 7.1 Nougat out of the box, with Google promising that the phone will be updated to Android 8.0 Oreo before the end of 2017. Xiaomi, for its part, has brought its Mi Camera app to the Mi A1 – otherwise generally found only on devices running MIUI.

Xiaomi has once again used the efficient and popular Snapdragon 625 chipset for the Mi A1, reiterating its benefits during the launch. The phone comes with 4GB RAM and 64GB internal storage. Also, it has a 5.5-inch full HD panel with a 2.5D curved glass.

Flagship Dual Camera

The Mi A1 comes with 2 standout points – stock Android OS and its dual camera setup. Xiaomi has used two 12MP cameras on the back, with one being a regular one with a wide-angle lens and the second being a telephoto lens.

The regular lens comes with an f/2.2 aperture that should rule it out of the flagship camera comparisons, but it also comes with a second telephoto lens with an f/2.6 aperture. In this price range, the addition of a telephoto lens should help the Mi A1 compete with slightly higher priced phone as well.

The telephoto lens offers features like the now-popular Portrait mode, background blur and 2X optical zoom.

Assisting the rear cameras are Phase Detection Autofocus, dual tone dual LED flash and the Mi Camera app. The phone comes with a 5MP camera for selfies and video calling.

Created by Xiaomi, powered by Google

The Mi A1 has been launched by Xiaomi in partnership with Google. While Xiaomi handles the hardware aspects, Google is responsible for the software. The Mi A1 comes with a fully stock Android experience, with Google handling the software side of things. What this essentially means is that the Mi A1, a Xiaomi phone, will be directly updated to the latest versions of Android by Google.

To further hammer away this point home, Google promised that the Mi A1 will be updated to Android 8.0 Oreo before the end of 2017. While this is not too impressive given the fact that Oreo has been out for a while now, it should get updates much faster compared to other Xiaomi phones.

Essentially, this is what many Moto series of phones are. But with Xiaomi’s strong supply chain and presence in India, this partnership with Google bodes well for the Android One program.

For end users, this partnership is a win-win. You get a very well-rounded device in terms of hardware with a fast and smooth software experience. Add to this the fact that Google will be updating the phone, you can expect fast updates as well.

Pricing and Availability

The Xiaomi Mi A1 has been priced at Rs. 14,999 in the Indian market. It will be available across the country at Mi Home stores and many major retail chains like Sangeetha, Lot, Big C, Chrome, e-Zone, Univercell and others. The Mi A1 will also be available online, exclusively on Mi.com and Flipkart, starting September 12th at 12PM.

Xiaomi has launched the Mi A1 in three colour variants in India – Black, Gold and Rose Gold. As a bonus, Airtel users can get up to 200GB additional data on the purchase of the Mi A1.