Trends & Guides

Is the Mi A1 Xiaomi’s Best Budget Phone Yet?

12 November 2017 | Reymart Jan Sarigumba

Xiaomi’s collaboration with Google not only makes the Mi A1 a compelling option but also the right device with impressive specs and features for those on a budget. Find out why the Mi A1 is the best budget phone you can currently buy in Malaysia.

This 2017, Xiaomi is going to crush its rivals with its powerful recent offerings like the Redmi Note 4, and now the Mi A1. With the Mi A1’s stunning specs and features, you’ll get more bang for your buck!

Design and Display

Design-wise, the Mi A1 looks similar to other Xiaomi devices but it has some elegantly crafted trimmings including its premium metallic feel and solid construction. Aside from that, it sports a 5.5-inch IPS display that delivers impressive visuals and contrast. With its vivid and bright screen, users won’t have any issues using it in broad daylight.

Hardware and Battery

Like the Redmi Note 4 and Mi Max 2, the Mi A1 is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 processor that offers a balance of performance and efficiency. It’s also coupled with a 4 GB RAM to make the device snappy and able to handle demanding apps and graphics-intensive games.

In terms of battery life, Xiaomi fans expected the Mi A1 to wield a larger battery compared to its predecessors, but Xiaomi has kept the capacity modest by providing the Mi A1 with a 3,080 mAh battery. Although it’s not exceptional, it offers impressive standby times.


The Mi A1 is one of the few mid-range phones in the market that wields a dual camera set up. But what makes it so special is that it is the first one in the series to come with a 2x lossless optical zoom, meaning it can deliver a smooth zoom experience that is essential for recording high-quality videos from a wide range of distances. The Mi A1 can also take some great portrait images with natural-looking colors and accurate color reproduction. Aside from that, it has a 5-MP front camera that is good enough for taking decent selfies.

How Does It Compare with Other Budget Smartphones?

Along with the Xiaomi Mi A1, the Redmi Note 4 is one of the best budget mid-range devices that has been released so far this year. The Sony Xperia XA1 is not far from these two which is also selling droves. So, how does the Mi A1 compare with these equally powerful devices?

The Mi A1’s strengths are its dual camera system and top-of-the-line Google software that provides timely updates. Although it has a smaller battery compared to the Redmi Note 4, it has a powerful hardware. Meanwhile, both the Sony Xperia XA1 and the Redmi Note 4 boast a good design and build quality but the Mi A1 also delivers well in that aspect. Despite having a stunning camera, the Xperia XA1 fails in other departments such as display quality and the lack of fingerprint scanner. On the other hand, the Redmi Note 4 may have the best battery life among the three devices but it has a subpar camera quality.

In terms of price, the Mi A1 costs a bit higher at RM 879 compared to the Redmi Note 4 (RM 699) and lower than the Sony Xperia XA1 (RM 969). All in all, judging by the Mi A1's specs, it excels in almost all departments unlike Redmi Note 4 and Sony Xperia XA1 - both of which have their own set of apparent weaknesses. If you are in the market for a budget mid-range device that ticks almost all the right boxes, then the Mi A1 would be the ideal choice.

Xiaomi Smartphones in Malaysia

Xiaomi Redmi 6 RM 429.00 * FOR PROMO PERIOD, PLEASE REMARK COLOR UPON CHECKOUT. TQ! FOR PROMO PERIOD, PLEASE REMARK COLOR UPON CHECKOUT. TQ! * Colors Available: Black / Gold / Gray (** Kindly Remark the color you want, if not we random color give**) Xiaomi Redmi 6 (3GB RAM/32GB ROM) Original Import Set (Global Rom) NETWORK Technology GSM / CDMA / HSPA / LTE LAUNCH Announced 2018, June Status Available. Released 2018, June BODY Dimensions 147.5 x 71.5 x 8.3 mm (5.81 x 2.81 x 0.33 in) Weight 146 g (5.15 oz) SIM Hybrid Dual SIM (Nano-SIM, dual stand-by) DISPLAY Type IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors Size 5.45 inches, 76.7 cm2 (~72.7% screen-to-body ratio) Resolution 720 x 1440 pixels, 18:9 ratio (~295 ppi density) Multitouch Yes - MIUI 9 PLATFORM OS Android 8.1 (Oreo) Chipset Mediatek MT6762 Helio P22 CPU Octa-core 2.0 GHz Cortex-A53 GPU PowerVR GE8320 MEMORY Card slot microSD, up to 256 GB (uses SIM 2 slot) Internal 32 GB, 3 GB RAM CAMERA Primary Dual: 12 MP (f/2.2, 1.25 μm) + 5 MP (f/2.2, 1.12 μm), phase detection autofocus, LED flash Features Geo-tagging, touch focus, face/smile detection, HDR, panorama Video 1080p@30fps Secondary 5 MP, 1080p SOUND Alert types Vibration; MP3, WAV ringtones Loudspeaker Yes 3.5mm jack Yes - Active noise cancellation with dedicated mic COMMS WLAN Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, WiFi Direct, hotspot Bluetooth 4.2, A2DP, LE GPS Yes, with A-GPS, GLONASS, BDS Radio FM radio USB microUSB 2.0, USB On-The-Go FEATURES Sensors Fingerprint (rear-mounted), accelerometer, proximity, compass Messaging SMS(threaded view), MMS, Email, Push Email, IM Browser HTML5 - XviD/MP4/H.264 player - MP3/WAV/eAAC+/FLAC player - Photo/video editor - Document viewer BATTERY Non-removable Li-Po 3000 mAh battery

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