The new Android One of the Chinese company from the 18 July is officially available in Italy. Many have already talked about it, starting with phrases like: "I feel the best buy air". Yet there are compromises.
I have defined this Xiaomi Mi A3 as the Sushi, and just like this dish can like it or not, but the curiosity to try it is great and so due to a limited budget we find ourselves in the classic All You Can Eat. Will we have been delighted or will the stomach ache take over? Find out in our full review.
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The sales package of the Mi A3 appears with a sober white cardboard featuring the product name and the Android One logo on the profiles while the front of the device shows the 3 sales colors (pearl white, electric blue and dark gray). Inside the package we find the following equipment:
- Xiaomi Mi A3;
- Pin for removing the SIM tray;
- Silicone cover;
- Product warranty instructions and user guide;
- USB Type-C data charging / transfer cable;
- 5V-2A output wall charger (10W).
Before proceeding with the review I report the SAR values of the product, as many are interested in the subject:
SAR Limit 10g: 2 W / Kg
Head SAR value: 0,301 W / Kg
Body SAR value: 1,097 W / Kg (distance of 5 mm)
SAR Limit 1g: 1,6 W / Kg
Head SAR value: 1,03 W / Kg
Body SAR value: 0,99 W / Kg (distance of 10 mm)
Hotspot: 1,07 W / Kg (distance of 10 mm)
Design and construction quality
Xiaomi Mi A3 compared to the previous generation shows how the company has made significant progress by offering an improved device both in design and in the hardware sector. Mi A3 is a smartphone that is pleasant to handle thanks to its rather small dimensions equal to 153.5 x 71.9 x 8.5 mm for a weight of 173 grams.
The grip is decidedly optimized thanks to the re-tightening of the rear body and tapered edges made of polished aluminum, which can be appreciated both in terms of resistance and from an aesthetic point of view. The back is made of glass that enjoys good oleophobicity and the color of Kind of Gray of our specimen gives particular elegance to this terminal, while the chromatic effects and plays of light that other colors give are definitely noteworthy.
Note the inscriptions perpendicular to the profiles related to the brand, to the Android One logo and to the room, or rather the 3 rear rooms which are joined by the dual tone LED, which protrude in a non-invasive way, thus allowing the use of the device on surfaces flat without this showing annoying dancers movements.
Coma script, on the right edge we find the volume rocker and power button while on the left is housed the SIM tray that houses 2 SIM in nano format or 1 SIM and a micro SD card to expand the internal memory, on condition that it gives up the functionality Dual SIM Dual Standby.
Particularly appreciated is the equipment on the upper profile where in addition to the second microphone for the suppression of ambient noise we also find the IR transmitter to control TV and other electronic equipment but also the now sought-after 3,5 mm jack in order to exploit your favorite earphones / headphones .
On the bottom there is the main microphone, the USB Type-C port with OTG support and the mono type speaker. You will have certainly noticed the absence of the fingerprint which was positioned under the display which in the case of Mi A3 is a unit from 6,01 inches equipped with a drop notch in which a camera selfie is inserted.
The frames are rather optimized for the category to which Mi A3 belongs, but one cannot fail to notice the rather pronounced chin as well as the step between the panel and the side frame. However on the upper frame we also find the various sensors, ear capsule and a small monochrome notification LED.
The new Mi A3 is also renewed in display technology. In fact it is equipped with a 6,01 Super AMOLED inch panel but unfortunately the resolution stops at only HD + (720 x 1560 pixel, 286 ppi), a feature that does not find any marketing logic, considering also the PENTAI type matrix. All in all the panel is able to offer a discreet use of multimedia contents and a good yield in terms of chromatic fidelity. Excellent visibility in direct sunlight as well as the backlight shear which is quite wide.
Even the light sensor works excellently, being able to promptly calibrate the display always at the right point. Since the display of Mi A3 enjoys AMOLED technology, the viewing angles and responsiveness of the touch screen (10 points) are excellent. In a positive sense it should also be noted that the frames do not cut portions of the display, such as on POCOPHONE F1.
And returning to bomb on the display resolution, this is the real negative note of this terminal, despite the presence of the Widevine 1 level certification. The details, especially of icons and widgets, are often poorly defined and sometimes in video / images you have the feeling of a sort of "blur". A pity on Xiaomi's part, but maybe it was their intent. However you will be glad to know that the drop notch does not create any annoyance in receiving notifications, always visible, also through Ambient Display functionality, with which however we cannot interact.
As anticipated a few lines on, the AMOLED technology allowed the integration of the fingerprint sensor under the display. A function that said so "cool", but in practice it could do without allowing you to increase the resolution of the display. Don't get me wrong, the integrated display works well and has improved over previous models of the same company, but at present it is still "slow" compared to more traditional solutions. Fortunately, for the release it is also available the Face Unlock, although of the 2D type, but definitely more reliable and fast, indeed so optimized that it can unlock even in conditions of pitch darkness.
Hardware and Performance
The real hardware revolution is not primarily about the new Qualcomm Snapdragon 665 SoC, but rather the renewed memories. In our sample we find 128 GB of storage type UFS 2.1 (expandable via micro SD of additional 256 GB) and 4 GB of RAM LPDDR4X, a rather generous endowment for a medium range.
The processor, the Snapdragon 665, also performs its functions optimally. We are talking about a chipset with 11nm production process with Kryo 260 architecture, based on ARM Cortex-A73, with a clock frequency up to 2.0 GHz. If we combine all this with an Android One operating system, then without any customization producer, we get a real firecracker in terms of system fuidity and responsiveness. This means that we will not have any slowdown or lag at daily level but even in more extreme situations there is no lack of joys.
Thanks also to an Adreno 610 GPU, a decent solution for games with fewer requests in terms of resources, perhaps less suitable for heavier titles, although these are usable without particular problems, if not to the renunciation of spectacular graphic effects. In these situations it should be noted that the CPU tends to warm up slightly, but nothing to worry about.
In the case of Xiaomi Mi A3 there is really little or nothing to say in terms of software. Android One is virtually free of any additional features typical of proprietary interfaces, such as MIUI. But certainly those looking for such devices do so with a view to reliability and long-term longevity. At the moment the device mounts the 9 Pie Android OS with security patches updated in August 2019 and soon we could also see the upgrade to the new Android 10.
Surely if you are Xiaomi users of the old school and therefore lovers of MIUI, you will hardly be able to live with this A3 Mi, as it lacks any extra function so you will have to resort to the installation of third-party apps.
The photographic compartment of a smartphone is one of those features on which to focus during the purchase phase and the new Xiaomi Mi A3 says its in the mid-range segment. As from "fashion" of the moment, we find a triple camera on the back that consists of a Sony IMX582 sensor from 48 megapixel, f / 1.79 as the main module which is joined by an ultra wide angle module from 8 megapixel, Samsung S5KGD1 f / 2.2, FOV 118 ° and a sensor dedicated to depth from 2 megapixel, f / 2.4.
The shots captured by this solution are detailed and well-calibrated colors. Also noteworthy are the shots taken with the Portrait mode, able to very well outline the subject in the foreground even if in this case too often the background will be "burned". The 48 megapixels are exploited with manual mode while basic shooting in 12 megapixel resolution with the aid of Pixel Binning technology. At software level, there are also gems like AI support for scene recognition, HDR (also automatic) and Night mode to better capture night shots, quite effective.
But Android One also offers the already active CAM2API so just install a simple APK to enjoy the magic of GCam, albeit with some compromises. There are many working versions, but on some the Wide lens does not work, on others the front camera but in any case you will have an alternative solution to the stock camera which in some situations gives you decidedly professional shots.
At the selfie room level we find a 32 megapixel sensor, f / 2.0 FOV 79 °, which also has functions like HDR and AI. Although there are so many megapixels in dowry, the yield is almost the same as that of other devices of the brand, that is, more than discreet in days but not very exciting in low light conditions. In particular, despite the disabled beauty effects, the software always tends to insert a sort of "halo" on the skin.
At the video level we can record up to 4K resolution at 30 fps, while for the 1080p we can decide between 30 and 60 fps and video encoding H.264 or H.265. There is no shortage of features like Time Lapse and Slow Motion. Theoretically electronic stabilization is available (only 1080 / 720 p 30 fps) but personally I did not find great benefits from it. Furthermore, in the fast pan phase it is possible to see some deformations of the images, probably due to the software and therefore with a possible solution with future updates. In short, a good photographic industry voted better for the acquisition of photos rather than videos.
Connectivity and audio quality
Xiaomi Mi A3 has Wi-Fi 802.11 connectivity to / b / g / n / ac Dual Band and Bluetooth 5.0, but unfortunately a big absentee is still the NFC, and nowadays you can't just turn a blind eye just because company still makes the FM radio available.
The GPS / A-GPS / GLONASS did not give any problems during navigation while at call level, I did not encounter any reception problems, good even in slightly difficult areas. Unfortunately the audio on call is a bit subdued, but still acceptable.
Instead the mono speaker has given considerable joy. The volume is really high and only at the maximum peaks do you feel a slight distortion but otherwise I found the bass quite substantial. In short, the best performance is certainly achieved through earphones thanks to the 3,5 mm jack, but the speaker allows listening to audio even in more particular situations, such as in the car while driving with the window open.
If you are wondering, I'll answer you right away: NO, Xiaomi Mi A3 is not equipped with wireless charging, but never mind because the battery it comes with is a unit of 4030 mAh. And the general autonomy, which I tell you to do ... the cocktail consisting of CPU, memory speed and operating system, guarantees users less "geeky" two full days of use. For all other 6 hours the screen will be the file of their hyperactive days.
Full charging takes place in approximately 2 hours with the supplied 10W charger, but the smartphone supports fast charging from 18W.
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Price and conclusions
The faults of which sofas Xiaomi Mi A3 at first sight would lead any user to discard this device from the list of their technological purchases but perhaps the company has once again been able to demonstrate that it is not necessary to dwell on the technical data sheet of a product.
It's true, the design doesn't shine for innovation and the implementation of an AMOLED display with HD + resolution was certainly not the idea of the century, but on balance Mi A3 is proposed as a modern device, with the best technologies to available on a medium range. Just think of the speed of the memories or the fingerprint ID on the display but above all it is the guarantee of continuous updates for well 3 years that overturn every negative judgment.
Not to mention the exaggerated autonomy of the battery but also the photographic rendering that with the addition of the GCam becomes superlative (with reference to the price range). Certainly I would never recommend this smartphone to MIUI lovers, but it could be an excellent solution for all those who love software minimalism in favor of excellent overall performance.
Unfortunately, the company has put this Mi A3 on the market at an illogical price, especially when compared to models of the same parent company. On the other hand Redmi Note 7 costs less and offers a Full HD display or the Xiaomi Mi 9 SE (with a slightly higher cost) in addition to the higher resolution also offers the NFC. Fortunately, there are alternative stores to the traditional ones that offer Mi A3 at much more fair prices for this smartphone.
So unless you find very strong discounts on the company's official channels, I advise you to buy it at full price, but with the offers you often find on the Telegram channel, the smartphone acquires a more appealing look, but keep in mind that Xiaomi Mi A3 it is absolutely not a best buy as stated by other colleagues.
Many call it a best buy, Xiaomi Mi A3 is a good terminal, with good hardware but maybe poorly cooked. Autonomy at the top and super reliability, while for the multimedia side it is tested at the photographic level but for the videos the road is still very long and winding. Mi A3 will certainly not be remembered as the Smartphone of excellence of the Asian brand.
- PERFORMANCE PHOTOGRAPHIC SCOPE
- GUARANTEED UPDATES FOR 3 YEARS
- DISPLAY RESOLUTION
- PRICE (FROM OFFICIAL STORE)
- VIDEO ACQUISITION PERFORMANCE