The active Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi recently released Mi6 and it keeps pushing out new models. The new Xiaomi Mi A1 drops its own Miui user interface in favour of Android One, the concept that Google launched three years ago.
Android One is manufactured by a third-party, but Google drives the entire process from design to development and promotion. This operating system is the purest form of Android and is ideal for low-cost phones that don’t need all the bells and whistles that more expensive ones require. For example, it doesn’t come with a lot of pre-installed apps, but it does offer basic Google services including the AI-powered Google Assistant. The 5.5-inch Xiaomi Mi A1 is one of the first phones in the world to employ Android One.
This phone strongly resembles Mi 5X, a model that predominantly targets the Chinese market. The hardware specs reveal a powerful phone that matches those of more expensive phones. Mi A1 utilises a Snapdragon 625 SoC, 64 GB of disk storage and 4 GB of RAM memory.
The battery capacity is 3,080 mAh and the dual rear camera features two 12 MP resolution cameras. Being an Android One based phone has its advantages: free unlimited storage of Google Photos.
The phone costs €195, which converts to NZ$370 inclusive of GST. The flagship Xiaomi Mi6 costs more than double at $785 including freight (though it does have 128 GB of RAM compared to 64 GB for Mi A1).
Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like Xiaomi will sell it directly in New Zealand. However, we expect traders to parallel import the phone into NZ from countries like Hong Kong and Singapore.