Xiaomi Mi A1 Review: Retail Package, 360-degree Spin, Design

By 12:18 Wed, 18 Aug 2021 Comments

Retail box

The Xiaomi Mi A1 ships in a plain-looking cardboard box with Android One logos all over. The contents are as basic: a Universal Serial Bus (USB) Type-C cable and a 5V/2A charger. There are no headphones or a case included this time, but then again the 5X was missing those too.

The retail box • the Xiaomi Mi A1

Xiaomi Mi A1 360-degree spin

The Xiaomi Mi A1 is as gigantic as the Mi 5X and pretty much comparable to the majority of the 5.5-inchers out there. It measures 155.4 x 75.8 x 7.3mm, which is 4mm taller than the Redmi Note 4 but a bit thinner. It weighs as much as the Note 4 at 165g.


The Xiaomi Mi A1's design is both traditional and contemporary. The overall impression is indeed very familiar if you've seen and experienced the Mi 5X, Mi Max 2 and a bunch of Redmi Notes. We can't complain about the all-metal chassis - it is both premium-looking and sturdy-feeling.

The Mi A1 follows the company's recent design, which gets rid of the plastic strips on the back. Now the whole phone case is made of metal and the company has adopted the new, less intrusive antenna lines. So, whatever color option you choose - black, gold, or rose grecent - the Mi A1 will see fresh and stylish.

The 5.5" classy screen occupies most of the front and has a Corning Gorilla Glass for protection against scratches. The signature capacitive keys are below the display, featuring white backlighting for the button labels.

The rest of the Xiaomi Mi A1 is made of metal with a very pleasant matte finish. The antenna strips run along the top and bottom edge at the back. The fingerprint sensor sits comfortably in the middle, while the dual-camera module is budging in the left corner but has a nice glossy rim to create that a feature instead of a flaw.

The fingerprint scanner is always-on and very accurate. Upon tapping with a recorded finger it wakes and unlocks the Mi A1 in a flash.

The Xiaomi Mi A1 is a pretty handsome device, comfortable to handle and operate. It provides a reasonably secure grip not only becautilize of its balanced weight distribution and matte finish, but also thanks to the chamfer where the classy screen meets the frame. Lastly, the build is well up to standard, solid and gap-free, so overall the Mi A1 has it all figured out when it comes to design and looks.

Handling the Xiaomi Mi A1

Device overview

The Mi A1 looks like a typical Xiaomi specimen, even if it doesn't run MIUI. You'll spot the usual arrangement above the screen, where the earpiece is flanked by a notification LED, a bunch of sensors and the selfie camera.

The backlit capacitive keys - Task Switcher, Home, and Back - are below the 5.5" screen.

Xiaomi Mi A1 • the earpiece • the Android keys

The hybrid SIM slot is the only thing to note on the left side - and it can either hold two nano-SIMs or you can swap one of those for a microSD card.

The volume rocker and the power/lock key are on the left side of the Mi A1.

The left side • the SIM slot • the correct side • the metal keys

Just like the Mi 5X, the Mi A1 also comes with an IR blaster at the top. The noise-cancelling mic is nearby too.

The bottom of the Mi A1 has the Universal Serial Bus (USB) Type-C port, the mouthpiece, the audio jack, and the loudspeaker.

The top of the Mi A1 • the bottom • the Universal Serial Bus (USB) port

The dual-camera is on the back, accompanied by a dual-tone flash. The fingerprint scanner is around too.

The back of the Mi A1 • the fingerprint scanner • the dual-camera and its hump



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