In 2018, Xiaomi launched the Mi A2, which was a great budget phone with stock Android interphase. But due to its lower-resolution display, lack of a headphone port, and drab design, the more affordable Mi A2 Lite offered a far better value.
In an attempt to fix these issues, the company recently unveiled the Mi A3. The smartphone is good: It features software and battery that are compelling and is an Android One device as well
However, it isn’t that great as it is compromised in areas, such as resolution display and in-display fingerprint scanner, which may not sit well with everybody.
At a starting price of $199, let’s find out if the Xiaomi Mi A3 is worth it.
Introducing Xiaomi Mi A3
Xiaomi Mi A3 Key Specs
- 6.088-inch AMOLED display
- 1560 x 720p resolution
- 19.5:9 aspect ratio
- 2GHz Octa-Core Qualcomm Snapdragon 665 Processor
- 4GB RAM
- 64GB/128GB Storage with microSD card support
- Android 9.0 (Pie) with Android One
- 48MP + 8MP + 2MP rear camera
- 32MP selfie camera
- 4030mAh battery with Quick Charge 3.0 support and 18W Fast Charge
Design and Build
Eye-catching with all that bling-bling finish, the design is the best part of this device. It has three colour options, which are More Than White, Not Just Blue and Kind Of Grey.
The major reason the Xiaomi Mi A3 sports classy looks is due to the “triple” Gorilla Glass that is used in the smartphone. This Gorilla Glass 5 support is not only featured on the back panel but also over the display as well as on the camera lenses.
This capability, Xiaomi says, is “triple” Gorilla Glass 5 protection. While it may not be that fancy the way the maker presents it, it does add to the overall appeal and finish of the handset.
Other than the stunning design and impressive build quality, the size of this is all but perfect. Unlike the Mi A2 that was big, the Mi A3 feels compact in hands. Even though the Mi A3 is made of glass and metal, it is relatively compact and lightweight.
While Xiaomi made a lot of “mistakes” with the Mi A2, there is only a handful in the Mi A3. The new phone uses sMOLED panel but only features 720P display.
This display is HD, though the company says it is HD+ as the device packs 1560 pixels vertically on the screen. It gets a resolution of 1560 x 720 px, lower than the typical 1080P displays in the smartphones that come with this price range.
For instance, the Redmi Note 7 Pro’s screen supplies a resolution of 1080 X 2340 px.
The end result of this is, you will enjoy OLED in the Mi A3 but have to take the lack of sharpness and resolution in your stride. Though most of the time, this sMOLED display comes with deep and dark colours, while watching a video in high-resolution or reading something on the smartphone, the lack of sharpness becomes apparent.
The Xiaomi Mi A3 has a 6.08-inch display, though FullHD would have been better. As a result of its relatively low brightness, its display is also very reflective.
These are not major issues since the bulk of the smartphones within this price range has some of these problems.
Hardware and Software
The Mi A3’s chipset is the Qualcomm Snapdragon 665 that also powers the recently launched Realme. The processor is Snapdragon 660’s sequel, featured in the Mi A2.
The Qualcomm Snapdragon 665 is based on an 11nm fabrication process and comes with 4 Kryo 260 cores that are clocked at 2GHz as well as another 4 Kryo 260 cores that have a maximum clock speed of 1.8GHz.
The Xiaomi Mi A3 is sold in 2 variants: 1 version has 4GB of RAM and 64GB of ROM and the other, 4GB of RAM and 128GB of ROM.
The main highlight of this mobile device is its software. As a part of Google’s Android One program, the Xiaomi Mi A3 gets clean software. You won’t find any MIUI, MIUI ads, and 3rd-party apps on it.
Another benefit the Mi A3 offers as an Android One smartphone is that it is eligible to be upgraded to 2 upcoming Android generations, which are Android 10 and Android 11.
As of now, the Mi A3 ships with Android v9 Pie. But the manufacturer has confirmed it will be one the first smartphones to get Android Q update, globally. Even so, as an Android One phone, it will also receive faster security updates.
As the Mi A2 featured good cams for the price, we expected Xiaomi to up the ante in the Mi A3 as regards camera specs. The manufacturer went for a triple camera setup on the new device. This comprises a 48-MP Sony IMX 586 sensor for the main cam, an 8-MP secondary cam featuring a wide-angle lens with an 1180 field-of-view, and a 2-MP depth sensor.
The camera app of the Mi A3 offers multiple shooting modes, which include Portrait, Panorama, Night, and Pro, other than the typical photo and video modes.
Other features are quick toggles for HDR, the flash, AI as well as filters. There’s a 48-MP mode, which enables you to take photos at the full resolution of that sensor. The regular photo mode, however, goes back to 12-megapixel pixel-binned shots to deliver enhanced clarity. There is a 32-MP shooter at the front for capturing selfies.
The Xiaomi Mi A3’s battery life is another robust feature of this device. It offers a massive 4030mAh battery with support for 18W fast charging. But you will need to purchase the 18-watt charger, separately.
You will find a regular 10W charger in the box, and the Mi A3 should last more than 1 day on a single charge.
Xiaomi Mi A3 Complete Specs
- Announced: July 2019
- Status: Available, released August 2019
- Dimensions: 153.4 by 71.85 by 8.4 mm
- Weight: 173.8g
- Build: Premium Plastic and Metal
- SIM: Dual SIM (Nano-SIM with dual stand-by)
- Screen Display Type: Super AMOLED capacitive touchscreen, multitouch
- Screen Size: 6.08 inches, (~82.15 per cent screen-to-body ratio)
- Resolution: 1560 by 720 pixels
- Aspect Ratio: 19.5:9 ratio (~283 PPI density)
- Display Protection: Corning Gorilla Glass 5
- Notch: Waterdrop notch
- Touch Screen: Yes, up to 5 fingers
- OS: Android v.9.0 (Pie)
- Chipset: Qualcomm Snapdragon 665 (11 nm)
- CPU: Octa-core CPU (4x 2.0 GHzKryo 260 cores and 4x 1.8 GHz Kryo 260 cores)
- GPU: Adreno 610
- RAM: 4GB
- Built-in Storage Capacity: 64/128 GB
- Card Slot: Yes, expandable up to 256 GB through microSD card support
- Camera Type: Triple
- Camera Sensor: 48+8+2 megapixels
- Camera Features: CMOS Sensor, Exposure compensation, Face detection, Geo-tagging, High Dynamic Range mode (HDR), ISO control, Touch to focus, White balance presets, 2x Digital Zoom
- Video Resolution: 4K Video Recording (2160p)
- LED Flash: Yes, Dual
- Camera Type: Single Lens
- Camera Sensor(s): 32 megapixels
- Camera Features: AF Phase Detection, Auto Flash, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Bokeh Effect, Electronic Image Stabilization (EIS), Continuos Shooting, Exmor-RS
- Video Resolution: 14K Video Recording (2160p)
- LED Flash: Yes, Single
- Bluetooth: Bluetooth 4.2, A2DP
- USB: USB Type C
- Wi-Fi: Yes, Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n, Wi-Fi Direct, Wi-Fi hotspot
- FM Radio: Yes
- GPS: Yes
- NFC: Yes
- Technology: GSM / HSPA / LTE
- 4G Network Bands: LTE band 1(2100), 2(1900), 3(1800), 4(1700/2100), 5(850), 7(2600), 8(900), 20(800), 28(700), 40(2300)
- 3G Network Bands: HSDPA 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900 / 2100
- 2G Network Bands: GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900 – SIM 1 & SIM 2
- Speed: HSPA 42.2/5.76 Mbps, LTE Cat4 150/50 Mbps
- EDGE: Yes
- GPRS: Yes
- Loudspeaker: Yes
- Speaker Location: N/A
- Sound Enhancement Features: Active noise cancellation with dedicated mic
- Audio Jack Type: Yes, 3.5mm audio jack
- Battery Capacity: Non-removable Li-Ion 4030 mAh battery
- Wireless Charging: No
- Fast Charging: Yes, v3.0
- Colour Options: More Than White, Not Just Blue, and Kind Of Grey
- Sensors: Fingerprint (in-display), accelerometer, proximity, compass, ambient light
- Messages: SMS(threaded view), Push Email, MMS, Email, Instant Messaging (IM)
- IP Rating: IP53 (Dust and Splash Resistant)
- Java Support: No
- Games: Yes, Downloadable from Google Play store
- Additional Features: VoLTE (Works with Jio), MP3/WMA/WAV/RA/AAC/M4A player; WMV/RV/MP4/3GP player; Document editor (Word, PDF, Excel, PowerPoint); Voice command/dial; Push to talk; Organizer.
Price and Availability
The Xiaomi Mi A3 has been released in stores in Nigeria, India, UK, US, and other markets around the world. The price starts at $199 in the US, around €215 in the UK, Rs. 12,999 in India
The Xiaomi Mi A3 costs between ₦71,900 – ₦79,900 in Nigeria. That’s for the 4/64GB version and 4/128GB model respectively
If you really value the stock Android experience with faster software updates and need a good camera smartphone at a not-too-high price, the Mi A3 is your best bet as of now.