Xiaomi Mi A2/Mi A2 Lite: Everything you need to know

Xiaomi's bargain prices for its Android One phones make us want one more

Xiaomi has announced the sequel to the Xiaomi Mi A1 — or rather, it has announced two sequels: The Mi A2 and the Mi A2 Lite. This is exciting because these are the brand’s second round of devices to use Google’s Android One operating system, rather than Xiaomi’s own MIUI, making them ideal for international Xiaomi fans.

Here’s everything you need to know about them.

Updates:

The final prices have been announced for the Xiaomi Mi A2 and Mi A2 Lite. The Mi A2 starts at 250 euros, or about $290, and the Mi A2 Lite at 180 euros, around $210, with prices rising for greater amounts of RAM and internal storage space.

Xiaomi Mi A2

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Xiaomi has taken its Mi 6X smartphone, thrown out the software, and replaced it with a new operating system to create the Mi A2. Xiaomi’s MIUI user interface has become Google’s Android One, an almost-stock version of the operating system. The primary benefit is receiving regular and timely software and security updates, including the next version of Android, Android P, and Android Q as well. While MIUI is one of the better manufacturer interfaces, Android One will always be preferable.

The phone’s specification follows the existing Xiaomi Mi 6X. This means a Snapdragon 660 processor with 4GB of RAM, and a choice of either 32GB or 64GB of memory, while a high-performance model will also be sold with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage space. The 5.99-inch screen has an 18:9 aspect ratio, curved edges, and small — but still visible — bezels. The resolution is 2160 x 1080 pixels.

The Mi A2’s metal unibody is just 7.3mm thick and 166 grams, and like the Mi 6X it closely resembles the iPhone X, the OnePlus 6, and several other phones with its vertically stacked dual-lens camera. The camera array is made up of 12-megapixel and 20-megapixel lenses, complete with some artificial intelligence technology for the bokeh and beauty modes.

Additionally, they both have an f/1.75 aperture, and some clever pixel technology — called Super Pixel — to increase the amount of light captured in low light situations. This uses the 20-megapixel camera lens, and is activated through manual mode. The selfie cam shares the same 20-megapixel camera lens and Super Pixel technology, but the aperture is f/2.2.

A 3,000mAh battery gives the Mi A2 its energy, there’s Bluetooth 5.0, and a fingerprint sensor on the back. The phone will come in black, gold, blue, red, and rose gold.

Xiaomi Mi A2 Lite

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The second Xiaomi Android One phone is the Mi A2 Lite, and it differs visually from the Mi A2 due to the presence of a screen notch. The phone is based on the Xiaomi Redmi 6 Pro, launched in June, and shares the same design and specification. It does not share the same software, with Google’s Android One replacing Xiaomi’s MIUI user interface.

It’s the first Android One phone to use an unusual 19:9 aspect ratio screen, giving the 5.84-inch display a 2280 x 1080 pixel resolution, along with that notch. A Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 processor and either 3GB or 4GB of RAM powers the phone, with a choice of either 32GB or 64GB storage space.

On the back is another dual-lens camera, although the spec is lower than the Mi A2. Here, a 12-megapixel lens is joined by a 5-megapixel lens. Artificial intelligence helps the camera produce high-quality bokeh shots, and a large 1.25nm pixel size helps low light images. A big 4,000mAh battery should give the Mi A2 Lite two days of use before it needs a recharge.

The body measures 8.75mm thick, it weighs 178 grams, and comes in a choice of blue, black, or gold, just like the regular Mi A2.

Release dates and prices

Following on from its first global launch event there in 2017, Xiaomi has announced the two Mi A2 phones in Madrid, Spain. This is one of several European locations where the Mi A2 phones will be sold, in addition to a larger global release in the near future.

The Mi A2 starts at 250 euros or around $290 for the 4GB/32GB version, then continues to 280 euros/$330 for the 4GB/64GB model, and finally to 350 euros/$410 for the 6GB/128GB phone. It will be released on July 27, first through Mi.com and various local outlets, followed by 40 global markets in August and onwards. Release locations include Spain, Italy, and France, along with India, Russia, Greece, the Middle East, and Mexico. For the Mi A2 Lite, Xiaomi will charge just 180 euros, which converts to around $210 for the 3GB/32GB model, and 230 euros, or $270, for the 4GB/64GB version.

The modem is tuned for mostly European carriers, and an official U.S. release is currently unlikely.

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