The announcement of Xiaomi’s Android One phone, the Mi A1 earlier this week was met with a lot of excitement, though offset by the fact it wasn’t officially coming to Australia. That’s fine, because third party electronics distributors are starting to list them on their website.
The Xiaomi Mi A1 is a heck of a handset, in terms of software and hardware. On the software side it runs stock Android 7.1 with an update to Oreo coming soon, and all the updates including monthly security updates will be delivered by Google. It has some smarts from Xiaomi built-in to the camera app with various modes designed to fully utilise the dual-camera on the rear of the phone but that’s it.
The hardware is also compelling with a 5.5″ FullHD (1920×1080) resolution display with 2.5D curved Gorilla Glass on the front, and powered by a Snapdragon 625 processor with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage under the hood. The phone also includes an IR port, a 10V Smart Audio amplifier for bigger sound on the speakers, and the design includes a fingerprint resistant black version, or you can purchase it in Rose Gold or plain Gold.
The camera is also quite serious with dual 12MP sensors on the rear, one of them wide-angle, and the other telephoto which giving you 2x Optical, and 10x Digital zoom. The sensors are large – 1.25um pixels – allowing for 56% increased light intake by each pixel for better low-light photography. The dual-camera setup allows for stereoscopic imaging and deep learning algorithm or basically: bokeh effects.
|Key Specifications:||Xiaomi Mi A1|
|Screen technology||IPS LCD|
|Resolution||1,920 x 1,080|
|MicroSD||Yes, up to 128GB|
|Android OS||Android 7.1|
|Dimensions||155.4 x 75.8 x 7.3mm|
Now, before you rush in wanting to buy one, the Mi A1 isn’t ‘perfect’ for Australian use with a key 4G LTE band missing from the radio setup of the device. The Specs for the Mi A1 list supported LTE Bands as:
- FDD-LTE B1/B3/B5/B7/B8/B20
- TDD-LTE B40/B41(2555-2655MHz)
Australia typically uses Band 3 (1800MHz) which is one of the more widely used LTE bands across all three carriers, but Telstra, Optus and soon Vodafone all operate on the 700MHz Band 28 spectrum, which is conspicuously absent from this list. That said, it should operate fine with support for Vodafones Band 5, Optus’ Band 40 TD-LTE 4G Plus network and some lesser used bands like Band 1, Band 7 and Band 8. So, if you’re willing to do without Band 28 support – you’re ready to order.
You may also need to look at a compatible adapter for the power plug as it’s obviously not designed for our market you’ll likely end up with a power plug designed for somewhere else. Not a big deal, just something to remember.
So. Where can you order from?
We’ve found two places (thanks to Lee) – Gear Best and BangGood who will ship a Xiaomi Mi A1 to Australia. The pricing is slightly different between the two, but the shipping date seems to be anywhere from the 10th to 22nd of September, remember Xiaomi said it would go on-sale on the 12th of September.
You can order the Xiaomi Mi A1 from Banggood in Black, Gold or Rose Gold colour options for AU$320.11 with free shipping to Australia. Banggood is shipping the handset out of their Hong Kong office, with their ETA for stock arrival set at September 20th. If you want to order from BangGood you can check it out on their website here.
GearBest has a slightly better offer with pre-orders for the Xiaomi Mi A1 priced at $306.75, again with free shipping to Australia. GearBest is also shipping devices from their Hong Kong office with shipments due to begin between September 10th to September 22nd. You can find links to the three colour options on GearBest here:
The Xiaomi Mi A1 is a very, very well priced handset and promises to be a great handset. If you’re in the mood to order and want to submit a review let us know.
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