Google may have missed the bigger picture with Android One 2.0

Google may have missed the bigger picture with Android One 2.0


The Mi A1 was given the tagline, "created by Xiaomi, powered by Google", confirming the device will run the Android operating system.

As for the rest of the story that has been leaked in various forms over the past weeks, this is what we are looking at.

But Android One never took off in India: Before Xiaomi Mi A1, there were only four smartphones available in the country.

Coming to the front, the Mi A1 comes sporting Xiaomi's trusted 5.5-inch 1080p display protected by a 2.5D Corning Gorilla Glass sheet that has previously been seen on phones like the Redmi Note 4.

What else new, though? As with all Android One devices, you also get a near stock Android experience and the promise of fast updates.

The Xiaomi Mi A1 is available in Black, Gold and Pink color options and is priced at INR14,999 (around USA $234/€196) and should be available all around the world as of September 12. The smartphone arrives in three colors: Black, Gold, and Rose Gold, and can now be purchased from the Xiaomi website.

For the camera combination, there is a 13-megapixel + 5-megapixel rear camera setup.

Although this was certainly a grand idea, it proved a hard sell in India, where the program was first launched with a $100 smartphone. Not because it comes with an impeccable set of specifications or due to the fact that the price, like always, is well below what people were anticipating or because the company straight up put an iPhone 7 Plus next to it during the presentation.

Google offers the stock Android experience (most handset makers add their own layer of customisation) and regular security updates as part of the Android One OS. The device has a 64GB onboard storage which the users can expand up to 128GB through inserting a Micro SD Card in the Hybrid dual SIM slot. One of the rear cameras is a wide-angle lens while the other is a telephoto lens.

Add to the mix, what looks like a more than capable flagship level 12-Megapixel dual camera module and good looks all at a price of Rs 14,999 and it's easy to see why we have a victor on our hands.

Xiaomi unveiled the Xiaomi Mi A1 Android One phone during the event in New Delhi.

Like other Xiaomi phones, this phone also comes with 2GHz octa-core Snapdragon 625 processor with Adreno 506 GPU. The back houses the circular fingerprint at the centre, MI branding at the bottom and LED flash on top corner.

Perhaps, Google is once again late with Android One, 2.0. The upcoming smartphone Mi 7 by Xiaomi will also don sensors for the light, compass, accelerometer and gyroscope to use maps and location finder.

This chip is paired with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage, along with a 3,080mAh battery that charges over USB-C. MIUI devices also get security updates much later than a Nokia phone, or even a Moto phone.

There's no word on the full list of "40 markets", but called out in the press release were "Indonesia, Vietnam, Russia, Poland, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Ukraine, and Mexico".

XiaoMi's senior vice president Wang Xiang described Mi A1 as "a strategic device" in the company's global expansion and goal to offer consumers "choice" in the way they experienced its handsets. But at a price of Rs 14,999, the Xiaomi Mi A1 is not really a ideal device. It also has 3.5mm audio jack and comes with a dedicated 10v amplifier. It will go on sale from 12 September.

  • Terrell Bush