Why Mi A2 is a disappointment -Complete review with benchmark results

Mi A2

Mi A2 is one of the much anticipated mid range device. This is the successor of Xiaomi’s Mi A1 which is the company’s first Android One smartphone. One of the reason why Mi A2 is much expected is, Xiaomi provides a powerful devices at an affordable price. Mi A2 is expected to take on Nokia 7 plus at a much lesser price. Now finally Mi A2 is released in India and already available for prebooking in Amazon India. The company hasn’t unveiled 6 GB RAM variant yet and only 4GB RAM variant is availble for Sale now and is priced at Rs.16,900.

Xiaomi doesn’t follow it’s regular flash sales strategy, thanks to them. Today Let’s see whether the device justifies it’s price tag and hype.

Design

Mi A2 ia a good looking smartphone with the great design like any other Xiaomi’s Smartphone. The metal unibody gives the premium feeling for the user. The device has 5.99′ inch Full HD+ display at 1080×2160 resolution and 403 ppi with 18:9 aspect ratio and has Gorilla glass 5 protection

Thinner design with curved edges feels very light and good to hold. The matte black seems slippery like redmi note 5. Mi A2 has USB Type C that supports fast charging.

Mi A2 has dual sim slot that supports 4G VoLTE on both slots. Unlike Mi A1, A2 doesn’t have a dedicated or even a hybrid slot for SD card. Rear finger print sensor is very fast and sits at right place which we can reach easily.

To a big disappointment Xiaomi dropped headphone jack in Mi A2. Yes, you heard it right Mi A2 doesn’t have a headphone jack. Whether Xiaomi took this decision for its thinner design or whatever it is, this is not a good sign in it’s A series. Remember Xiamoi’s affordable bluetooth headset is available only in China.

Camera

The company has really worked on the camera part and it did have a big upgrade over it’s predessor Mi A1.

Mi A2 has 12MP sony IMX486 sensor (f/1.75 aperture, 1.25um) + 20MP (f/1.75 aperture, 2.0um) set up.

The primary rear camera with 12MP and IMX 376 sensor provides better low light pictures. Whereas the secondary camera supports AI assissted portrait mode. Similar to Redmi note 5 pro, Mi A2 has 20 MP primary camera with f/1.75 apesrture ratio. The front camera aslo has AI portrait mode and has Front flash as well. The primary camera supports 4k video recording and supports EIS(Electronic video stabilisation).

The camer app UI is different from stock Android’s one. Xiaomi claims that it has tweaked the portrait mode that it will choose 12 MP for the favourable light condition and 20 MP for low light conditions.

Rear camera

The Photos taken outdoor is very decent and the device is able to lock the focus sooner, Auto focus is also quick and does it jobs fairly. HDR mode is swtiched automatically whenever it was required. In low light condition, we can see that the devices lowers the shutter speed to caoture more light. It does a decent job though not a great one and we feel that in low light condition, Mi A2 does better job Redmi note 5 pro.

Selfie

Selies are very detailed and sharp. People will like Beauty mode and thanks to the company to add HDR mode in selfie cam as well. Beauty mode lets you to choose level of beautification you need. Thanks to Gadgets 360 for sharing the camera samples. Let us see the sample images.

Primary camera supports 4K video recording with video stablization whereas seflie camera support 1080p. User have an option to switch to 30fps rather than 40gps in rear camera. But looks like at 30 fps, the device lacks locking focus.

Note: The displayed images are compressed, Please click on each imahe to get the actual quality.

Camera Samples

Cloudy condition (click to enlarge)

 

Day light focus (click to enlarge)
Low light condition
Front Portrait with beauty mode

 

You will not be disapppointed with Mi A2’s camera features and performance.

Performace and Gaming

As we mentioned earlier Mi A2 is likely to take Nokia 7+ a premium mid range Android One device. Mi A2 has the powerful Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 which is the same as Nokia 7 plus. Mi A2 runs on Stock Android 8.1 Oreo and will receive Android P updates sooner.

6 GB RAM variant isn’t available yet. 4 GB RAM variant does a decent job in performance and Gaming. There were no lags or stutter while multi tasking. 6GB RAM variant may provide better experiemce in multi tasking especially in Gaming.

With Adreno eight Kryo 260 CPU cores and an Adreno 512 GPU, the device does a decent job in Gaming. PUBG and Asphalt 8was smooth. PUBG chose the medium graphics automatcially based on the device and it was smooth for 30 minutes of gameplay without any frame drops. Asphalt 8 is played with default settings and no noticeable frame drops either. But the phone does get warmer while gaming which is common.

Let us see how Mi A2 scores against it’s competitor Nokia 7 plus.

Benchmark scores

Here is the comparision of benchmark scores.

Benchmark testMi A2Nokia 7 Plus
Antutu1,33,4671,37,573
Geekbench 4 single core16451590
Geekbench 4 multi-core48405780

We can see that Nokia 7 plus has slightly better score than Mi A2, but there is not much difference and Mi A2 is a worth competitor where Mi A2 has a better deal in price.

Battery and playback time

One more victim for the device’s thinner design is battery. Mi A2 has 3010 mAh Battery which is average for a 6 inch device. But because of stock android, we may expect better results compared to other devices which has same battery.

In the HD loop test, where the devices is continously playing HD Video, Mi A2 lasts for just 8 hours and 13 minutes which is below average. Please note that Redmi Note 5 pro survived for almost 16 hours which is double times of Mi A2.

With usual usage of Gmail, whatsapp, Instagram and FB, Power saver mode kicked in just 7 hours and 30 minutes. If you are a heavy user then you may need to carry a portable charger off power bank with you. May be Xiamoi already knew this and that is why they have put the Mi powerbank advertisement at the bottom of Mi A2 listing in Amazon India.

Mi A2 supports quick charge 4+, but you’ll get a standard charger in your box. This takes 2 hours to. fully charge your device. So you have to invest on certified quick charger again if you need it.

Hands-On

What is good

  • Camera got a big upgrade over Mi A1 and thanks to selfie portrait mode with HDR
  • Sleek design
  • Only premium mid range devices had Snapdragon 660 processor

What could have been better

Just for thinner design woth light weight, Xiaomi sacrificed 2 big featutes. Headphone jack and battery. Devices like Asus zenphone Max Pro Mi also looks think but has a whopping 5000 mAh battery and does have a headphone jack also a dedicated SD card slot.

  • No headphone jack
  • No face Unlock (May be added in future updates)
  • Poor battery performace
  • Slightly aggressive pricing (Compared with Other Xiaomi models)
  • No SD card slot and no higher memory variants available which provides no choice for users
  • Fast charger not included in the box

Our thoughts

As you’ve seen , the Mi A2 has more cons than pros. Camera is the one big helping hand but it turns out to be the only advantage of the device. Pricing has been slightly agressive and 6GB variant may have the price tag of around INR 20K. You can wait for the upcomong Nokia 6.1 plus or Honor play before settling with Mi A2.

For us, We feel Xiaomi has disappointed us by cutting the basic features like headphone jack, micro SD Card slot and battery. We’ve even got a question as except camera and processor, is it really an upgrade.