Xiaomi was in Spain on July 24 to announce the successor to the highly impressive Xiaomi Mi A1, the Mi A2. Unlike last year’s model, though, the Xiaomi Mi A2 came in the company of Xiaomi Mi A2 Lite. As you’d expect, the Xiaomi Mi A2 and Mi A2 Lite are comprehensive upgrades over their predecessor and in its efforts to spread the Android One love to more markets, Xiaomi also announced that at least 40 countries will be able to buy the two phones locally.
The Mi A2 and Mi A2 Lite have their differences and some similarities too. From an aesthetic angle, you’ll meet an 18:9 aspect ratio on the former and 19:9 aspect ratio on the latter, which also has a notched display screen. There are more differences on the inside, where the powerful Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 runs the show inside the Mi A2 while the Mi A2 Lite keeps the Mi A1’s Snapdragon 625. There’s Android 8.1 Oreo on both devices and since they are part of Google’s Android One program, we expect them to be among the first recipients of Android P later this year.
Related: The best Android P features
Xiaomi Mi A2 and A2 Lite specs
- 5.99-inch 18:9 FHD+ LCD display
- Snapdragon 660 chipset
- 4GB or 6GB RAM
- 32GB, 64GB or 128GB storage
- Dual 12MP + 20MP main camera
- 20MP front camera
- 3010mAh battery
- Android 8.1 Oreo
Mi A2 Lite
- 5.84-inch 19:9 FHD+ LCD display
- Snapdragon 625 chipset
- 3GB or 4GB RAM
- 32GB or 64GB storage
- Dual 12MP + 5MP main camera
- 5MP front camera
- 4000mAh battery
- Android 8.1 Oreo
Now let’s break these two down:
Xiaomi Mi A2: The best of Android One
Xiaomi Mi A2, like any other Xiaomi phone, is designed to be a performance beast. The phone ships with a 5.99-inch FHD+ display screen with an 18:9 aspect ratio and on top is the latest Corning Gorilla Glass 5 technology to protect the screen from scratches and cracks in case of accidental falls. Thanks to the 2.5D curved glass, the edges of the Mi A2 display effortlessly merge into the metallic frame that joins it to the slightly curved back panel.
Although there’s a new Qualcomm Snapdragon 710 in town, the fact that the Mi A2 borrows a lot from the Xiaomi Mi 6X meant that it was never going to join the Mi 8 SE in rocking this new chipset. On the brighter side, the Snapdragon 660 processor is as powerful and fast as flagship chipsets from the recent past, for instance, the Snapdragon 820/821 that powers the likes of Samsung Galaxy S7, LG V20, OnePlus 3/3T, Google Pixel and Pixel XL, among others.
The SDM660 is then mated with a humongous 6GB RAM and 128GB of internal storage, but there’s an entry-level variant with 4GB RAM and 64GB of internal storage. Perhaps one of the biggest letdowns of the Mi A2 is the lack of expandable storage, but still, the available base storage won’t be easy to fill up for many people out there.
Compared to the Mi A1, one of the areas that have received major improvements is the camera. The dual-lens setup still keeps its place on the back, but this time you get a 20MP secondary lens to pair with the 12MP main sensor and a massive 20MP unit takes the place of the 5MP unit used on the front of the Mi A1. Similar to the Redmi Note 5 Pro, you also get AI-backed portrait mode on the Mi A2.
For a 6-inch smartphone, having a 3010mAh battery in the Mi A2 is definitely a deal breaker for many out there. To rub salt in the wound, the phone also ditches the 3.5mm audio jack, but on the brighter side, you get a USB-C port for charging, data transfer and audio connectivity alongside the latest Bluetooth 5.0 technology.
Related: The best Android One phones to buy right now
Xiaomi Mi A2 Lite: Come for the notch, stay for the big battery
In addition to being a toned-down variant of the Mi A2, the Mi A2 Lite also comes with a slightly different design language, at least on the front panel. There’s a notched display screen that is also smaller at 5.84 inches, but it’s definitely sharper thanks to sharing the same FHD+ resolution with its bigger counterpart.
On the inside, the now-familiar Snapdragon 625 rules alongside 3GB and 4GB RAM options. Due to the higher energy demands of the Snapdragon 625 compared to the 660, the Mi A2 Lite gets a much bigger 4000mAh battery unit; something most will feel should have been replicated in the Mi A2. Although slightly tweaked, we don’t expect to get significantly different camera performance on the Mi A2 Lite compared to the outgoing Mi A1, which still gave out great shots.
While many will be happy the Mi A2 Lite keeps the 3.5mm audio jack, the tradeoff is that you don’t get a USB-C port, which is the kind of disappointment that some can still live with.
Xiaomi Mi A2 and A2 Lite price and availability
As pointed out at the beginning, Xiaomi Mi A2 and Mi A2 Lite were unveiled in Spain, which also happened to be the first market of availability. During the launch event, Xiaomi confirmed that the phones will be sold in at least 40 countries across the globe (no mention of the U.S. market), but of course, some markets are unlikely to get both devices – at least not at the same time.
In India, the Mi A2 duo will be unveiled on August 8 and while we still don’t know the price, one interesting tidbit is that unlike other markets where the Mi A2 ships with support for Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0 for fast battery charging, India gets the faster and better Quick Charge 4.0. Strange indeed!
In Europe, the entry-level Xiaomi Mi A2 is valued at €249 while the midrange version is valued at €279. To get your hands on the 6/128GB variant, you’ll need just €349, which rightly puts the phone in the Nokia 7 Plus territory, but with superior performance specs.
To buy the Xiaomi Mi A2 Lite in Europe, you’ll need €179 for the base model while the high-end variant of 4GB RAM and 64GB storage will cost you just €229. This should put the Mi A2 Lite up against the likes of Xiaomi Redmi 5 Plus (Redmi Note 5 in India) and Asus ZenFone Max Pro M1 that share similar price tags.
It’s going to be an interesting smartphone market indeed!