We tested the new terminal of the popular Chinese brand that stands out for its wide infinite screen, adequate performance and a superior camera to that of its rivals.
In just a few months, Xiaomi has become one of the leading companies in many countries. For example, in Spain, last May it ranked third in sales volume only behind Samsung and Huawei, according to the data offered by the Canalys consultancy.
One of its most popular devices to date has been the Xiaomi Mi A1, a mid-range terminal that is usually found in the list of best sellers in Amazon – it is still in fourth place, and the ranking is updated daily- and which has just been renewed with the Xiaomi Mi A2.
Analysis and valuation of Xiaomi Mi A2
The design of the Xiaomi Mi A2 has been a pleasant surprise. Although it joins the trend of the infinite screens, it avoids the latest fashion: the notch or tab that the screens have at the top. In this way, it offers a cleaner viewing surface and allows you to take full advantage of it. For the rest, it should be noted the aluminum finish of its back shell, which makes it not slippery and dirt and footprints are very disguised, as well as its rounded edges, which facilitate the grip. Two more details: the fingerprint reader is located in a very comfortable place in the center of the back and there is no trace of the headphone jack.
Read more: Xiaomi Redmi Note 7 – Analysis and valuation
The screen has a size of 5.99 inches with IPS technology and Full HD + resolution. With a very balanced operation, it offers a positive viewing experience, with good contrast and vivid colors, as well as an immediate reaction to any touch with your fingers on its surface. It has two weak points: a gentle tendency to show somewhat cold targets and the level of brightness. And is that even its maximum setting is very limited when used outdoors and its automatic adjustment does not work as well as we would have liked.
The Chinese smartphone works with Android One, a version of the Google operating system based on Oreo that gives phones a predesigned interface by the internet giant and that is characterized by its simplicity of use and intuitive experience. The positive part is that, since only Google apps are included, there are no duplications or unwanted third-party applications.
The downside is that there are certain limitations when making adjustments to several of the main functions of the terminal: there is no margin to customize notifications and the screen can not be calibrated, for example. In addition, it is only possible to adjust the audio profile if a wired headphone is used (it has an adapter for it); If, on the other hand, wireless devices are used, we also notice the reduction in quality that implies that it is not compatible with Bluetooth aptX and LDAC. It’s a shame, because listening to music without wires is one of the trends of the moment.
One of the exceptions regarding the ‘own’ applications of Xiaomi that integrates the Mi A2 is its camera, which maintains the line that we had already seen in the signature models with the MIUI customization layer. Simple and intuitive, it shows the basic options clearly and integrates a manual mode with which, as usual, the best captures are obtained.
- Display: 5.99 inches, 18: 9 format, Full HD + (2.160 x 1.080p), 403 ppi, 2.5D glass
- Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 cpm 2.2 GHz + Qualcomm Adreno 512 GPU
- RAM memory: 4 GB
- Storage: 32 GB
- Camera: Dual back of 12 MP f1.75 + 20MP f1.75; Front of 20 MP with f2.2 and HDR
- Battery: 3000 mAh
- Operating system: Android One
- Size: 158.7 x 75.4 x 7.3 mm
- Weight: 166 g
- Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.0, GPS, AGPS, GLONASS, Beidu
- Sensors: Accelerometer, gyroscope, ambient light sensor, proximity sensor, electric compass, hall sensor, motor
- Others: USB Type C, dual nanoSIM, fingerprint sensor
Una de las excepciones en cuanto a las aplicaciones ‘propias’ de Xiaomi que integra el Mi A2 es su cámara, que mantiene la línea que ya habíamos visto en los modelos de la firma con la capa de personalización MIUI. Sencilla e intuitiva, muestra las opciones básicas de forma clara e integra un modo manual con el que, como es habitual, se obtienen las mejores capturas.
Оne of the exceptions regarding the ‘own’ applications of Xiaomi that integrates the Mi A2 is its camera, which maintains the line that we had already seen in the signature models with the MIUI customization layer. Simple and intuitive, it shows the basic options clearly and integrates a manual mode with which, as usual, the best captures are obtained.
Specifically, this smartphone has a double camera located vertically on the back that much resembles in aesthetics the iPhone X. On this occasion, and unlike the Mi A1, none of them is telephoto, losing the ability to take photographs with optical zoom and the ability to apply the bokeh effect (keeps focused on the subject or object in the foreground and defocused the background) through hardware. This last function is still present, although now it is done thanks to software assisted by artificial intelligence: the background blur can be customized before each capture, it is not exaggerated and the result is quite curious, although we have found some problems when there is not much contrast between the main plane and the background and in complicated elements such as hair.
On the positive side, the firm has greatly improved the images in low light. The key is that the sensors (one main 12-megapixel and one 20-megapixel) have an opening f1.75 that lets much more light. They work independently and are selected automatically according to the environmental conditions thanks to the AI. The exception is the manual mode, in which it is possible to choose between one and the other.
It is worth highlighting a curious detail about the second sensor. At first glance, it seems strange that it has a higher resolution than the main one. But it is not exactly like this: its pixels are grouped four by four to make ‘pixel binning’, a technique that allows to create a much larger one that makes the photographs have more light (although as a consequence the noise also increases a little) . We could say that in reality with it we obtain images equivalent to 5 megapixels.
The surprise has been capitalized when seeing the results of the photographs, since the quality is superior to practically all the models of the competition. In general they are clear, with realistic colors (to put a snag, sometimes not too bright), well focused, no noise … Only begins to lose clarity indoors and nightly captures, but the result is still quite acceptable.
Like a shot
Finally, let’s talk about performance. To do this, we have to refer to a Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 processor that, combined with 4 GB of RAM, have made us forget at times that it is a mobile of only 280 dollars.
Its autonomy is more adjusted. While it is true that we have always managed to arrive at the end of the day, when the use has been more intensive (many photographs, some video …) the percentage of charge remaining at night was minimal. And although it is compatible with fast charging, the included charger is not, so to enjoy this feature and charge the mobile in just over an hour and a half is necessary to get an additional one.
THE BEST, THE WORST AND CONCLUSION
- The best: Its features and operation make it one of the best mid-range phones of the moment.
- The worst: Management of the brightness of the screen and a somewhat adjusted autonomy.
- Conclusion: The Xiaomi smartphone has all the ballots to become a success in the middle range, backed by good performance, very good photographs and intuitive use.