Xiaomi Mi A3 Review: Perfect Choice stock Android lovers

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When it comes to making Android One smartphones, Xiaomi has followed a similar pattern since the launch of its first smartphone running on stock android, Mi A1 which was actually a rebranded Mi 5X for global markets. Last year, the company has announced the Mi A2 which was again a refreshed version of the Mi 6X series. Basically, Xiaomi is following the tradition of taking an existing smartphone it sells in China, ditches out MIUI, and launch it globally as a new smartphone running on stock Android.

Following its tradition, Xiaomi ha launched the Mi A3 smartphone which is the global version of Mi CC9e but with Android One. No matter what tradition Xiaomi follows, all the smartphones from the Mi A proves to be one of the best smartphones from Xiaomi. Mi A3 comes with the latest and high-profile hardware and features and is available at a very justifiable price range.

Even after having good sets of specifications, it has to face some tough fights from the other brands like Oppo, Realme, and Samsung who had already shipped their best product in this range. Will it survive in the tough competition? Do you really need to prefer Mi A3 over Realme 3 Pro (Review), Oppo K1 (Review), or Samsung Galaxy M30? Let’s review it to find out!

Design and Display

Let’s start with the design itself. The Mi A3 comes with a glass sandwich design, an improvement over metal-clad Mi A2 to give it a premium look. To protect the glass from minor scratches, Xiaomi has added Corning Gorilla Glass 5 protection which has been applied on the front and back as well as on camera. Like most of the Xiaomi smartphones, the Mi A3 also comes with small dewdrop design at the top that houses the selfie camera.

Mi A3 comes with a plastic frame that comes with a chrome finish. It comes in three color variants – Not Just Blue, More Than White and Kind of Grey. Let’s talk particularly about the front panel. Mi A3 features a 6.08-inch AMOLED display with 1560 x 720 pixels of screen resolution and 19.5:9 aspect ratio. Colors are vivid and punchy and have the perfect tone of brightness that makes the display content visible under any kind of light. 

Xiaomi Mi A3

Xiaomi has intelligently placed the functional buttons and ports on this device. At the right side of the smartphone, there placed the volume and the power buttons while the left side of the panel has only a hybrid SIM tray. At the top of the panel, it has a 3.5mm headphone jack, a secondary microphone, and an IR emitter that can be used to control IR-based appliances. 

Lastly, at the bottom, it has a USB Type-C port at the bottom with two grilles, though only the one on the right is a loudspeaker. At the back panel, a triple rear camera module is placed at the top left corner. The Mi A3 does not have a Mi A2-like rear-mounted fingerprint scanner since it sports an in-display one instead.

Specifications and Softwares

As for the specifications, the Xiaomi Mi A3 is powered by an octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 655 SoC which we have already seen in the recently launched Realme 5. SD 665 is the successor of SD 660 which was powering the Mi A2. Snapdragon 655 is based on an 11nm fabrication process and has four Kryo 260 cores clocked at 2GHz with another four Kryo 260 cores clocked at 1.8GHz.

Xiaomi Mi A3 comes in two variants,  one with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage, and the other with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. The Mi A3 uses UFS 2.1 storage technology for fast sequential read and write speed. Connectivity options available on Mi A3 include dual 4G with VoLTE, dual-band 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5, support for GPS, GLONASS, and the usual suite of sensors.

One thing which is quite surprising is the screen resolution. Xiaomi has shipped the Mi A3 with an HD+ display panel instead of a Full-HD+ display which was available in both of its predecessors. But to recover this downside, the company has fixed a Super AMOLED panel instead of LCD panels that were there in Mi A1 and Mi A2.  

Since the Mi A3 is a part of the Android One program, it runs stock Android instead of MIUI. It comes with a Mi Community app, along with a few Google apps. There is no app to use the IR emitter with, so you will have to download one yourself. This is the perfect smartphone for stock Android lovers. The Mi A3 will receive major Android OS updates for two years, and security updates for three years.

Camera

One of the most attractive features of the Mi A series of smartphones is their camera. To meet the people’s expectations, Xiaomi has shipped the Mi A3 with triple rear cameras. The triple rear camera module on Xiaomi Mi A3 includes a 48-megapixel Sony IMX 586 sensor for the primary camera and an 8-megapixel secondary camera with a wide-angle lens with a 118-degree field-of-view. At last, there is a 2-megapixel depth sensor. 

It is hard to believe Sony IMX 586 sensor on a smartphone at this price range as this sensor is found on some premium phones including OnePlus 7 and Redmi K20 Pro. At the front, there is also a 32-megapixel selfie shooter. Apart from the normal photo modes, the camera app on Mi A3 comes with multiple shooting modes including Portrait, Night, Panorama, and Pro. It also has quick toggles for HDR, AI, the flash, and filters.

If we particularly talk about the back camera, in one word, “Amazing”. Photos taken in daylight were Superb with great quality and details. The phone managed to lock focus quickly and set the exposure right. The HDR mode on Mi A3 gives a decent performance as it aggressively takes black areas decreasing the contrast of the overall frame.  The wide-angle sensor helps capture wider frames but you lose out on detail when compared to shots taken with the primary sensor.

The thing which was most disturbing while working with the camera was the auto-fucus features. The camera on Mi A3 was quite slow in terms of focusing on an object that is placed very close to the camera. To capture macro shots, you need to stand still for a while after hitting the shutter button to ensure that the image was sharp. 

To add more details in the images we need to switch over to the portrait mode that solved our focus issue. The phone managed good edge detection and accurate colors in this mode. The camera on Mi A3 also gave good performance in low-light situations. Low-light shots had good detail, and the noise was under control. Switching the Mi A3 to night mode resulted in brighter images with better details.

Now coming to the selfie camera. The 32-megapixel selfie camera also works amazingly to capture good selfies with good details and colors. he app has a Beautify mode which can be enabled before taking a shot. For selfie portraits, the phone managed good edge detection and did give us the option to set the level of blur. Selfies taken in low light had good detail and were well exposed.

Video on Mi A3 can be recorded up to 4K resolution with a rear camera and 1080p from the front camera. There is video stabilization when shooting at 1080p with the primary rear camera, and the output was stabilized well. In low-light, a shimmer effect was visible. There is no stabilization when shooting at 4K or using the selfie camera.

Xiaomi Mi A3 Camera

Performance and Battery Life

As mentioned above, the Mi A3 comes with an octa-core Snapdragon 665 SoC that delivers great performance on this device. While using this device, we didn’t find any lag or stuttering issues on this device. It was smoothly handling multi-tasking and was able to run any app smoothly. However, we face some sorts of issues with the in-display fingerprint sensor.

First of all, the in-display fingerprint sensor on Mi A3 is placed positioned slightly lower as compared to some of the other smartphones with the same technology. This fingerprint sensor is quite slow in terms of speed of appearance and recognition. We have used many other devices with an in-display fingerprint sensor but found this one to be performing just average. 

We ran our usual set of benchmarks to figure out where the Mi A3 fits compared to the many recently launched smartphones at the same price level. In AnTuTu, it managed to score 141,129 points, and Geekbench 4’s single-core and multi-core tests gave us 1,506 and 5,389 points respectively. It managed 52fps and 12fps in GFXBench T-Rex and CarChase respectively. These results are similar to that of scored by Realme 5. 

In terms of gaming, this is absolutely not the best phone to opt for gaming. Even though, it offers good performance if we talk about its price. To check its gaming capabilities we played PUBG Mobile. It has defaulted to low quality preset with the graphics set to Smooth and frame rate set to Medium. We jumped from the lowest setting to the Balanced graphics setting, even though, Mi A3 was able to run the game without any frame drops or lag. However, after 30-minutes of gameplay, the temperature of the device started hiking slowly. 

The Mi A3 comes with a far better battery in comparison to Mi A2. It comes with a 4030 mAh of battery capacity. It also supports Quick Charge 3.0 fast charging with 10W. In our tests, the device was able to survive for 16 hours and 13 minutes.

Mi A3 gives us this much of battery life on our daily usage that includes few hours of Gaming, social media for more than an hour, some online video streaming and YouTube and about an hour of music playback which looks fairly good along with some daily multi-taking. As for charging purposes, the 10W fast charger was able to charge the phone from 0 to 28 percent in 30 minutes, while the full charging takes about 2 hours 17 minutes.

Verdict

No doubt, Xiaomi Mi A3 is one of the best smartphones available under the 16K price segment. Even the lowest variant with 4GB RAM and 64GB storage is available at Rs. 12,999 is the best option for the users looking for a budget smartphone with good hardware and features. 

It is loaded with a great camera, display and is powered by an octa-core Snapdragon 665 SoC that delivers a good performance. But for a high-end user who is looking for the best smartphone for gaming or high-end usage, this is not the ideal smartphone to choose. 

The Xiaomi Mi A3 will only appeal to people who really value the stock Android experience and software updates, and who want good camera performance, without giving much stress to your pocket.

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86%
Superb

Xiaomi Mi A3

The Xiaomi Mi A3 is an ideal choice for the people who really value the stock Android experience and software updates, and who want good camera performance, without giving much stress to your pocket.

  • Design
  • Display
  • Camera
  • Performance
  • Software
  • Battery

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