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Xiaomi Mi A3 Review: Powerful Yet Affordable Pack

Sanjeev Dulal 16 Sep, 2019

Xiaomi recently launched the new mid-range Mi A3, which is an Android One phone with a triple-lens 48MP camera, in-display fingerprint sensor and 4,030mAh battery. The company has followed a similar trim with Mi A series when it proceeds to Android One. The Mi A1was a rebranded Mi 5X for global markets running pure Android, and last year’s Mi A2 series was a remake of the Mi 6X series. Basically, Xiaomi takes an existing product it sells in China, switches out MIUI for Android One, and releases it globally.

Pros Cons
  • Low price
  • Android One software
  • Good build materials
  • It has a wide-angle camera
  • Long-lasting battery
  • Low-resolution display
  • Slow in-display fingerprint scanner

Mi A3 Specification Overview

  • Display: 6.08-inch Super AMOLED with Corning Gorilla Glass 5 protection
  • Resolution: HD+ (720 x 1560 pixels); 19.5:9 aspect ratio @286PPI pixel density
  • Chipset: Snapdragon 665; 11nm Mobile Platform
  • CPU: Octa-core 2.0 GHz Kryo 260
  • GPU: Adreno 610
  • RAM: 4/6GB
  • Storage: 64/128GB; expandable memory up to 256GB with micro SD
  • Software & UI: Stock Android 9.0 (Pie)
  • Rear Camera: Triple Camera setup – (48MP primary camera, f/1.8 aperture, PDAF) + (8MP ultra-wide-angle) + (2MP depth sensor), LED flash
  • Front Camera: 32MP, f/2.0
  • Sensors: Fingerprint (under display), accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass
  • Battery: 4030mAh battery with 18-watt fast charging

Mi A3 Build & Design

One of the best parts of the Mi A3 is its design. Mi A3 has an eye-catching design that looks classy. The handest is available in three color variants of More Than White, Kind Of Grey and Not Just Blue. More Than White looks absolutely beautiful and impressing.

Mi A3 design front

Mi A3 follows the glass-sandwich tradition with sparkling metal fences which makes the phone feel far more costly than it actually is. The phone adds another sensor next to main-sensor which adds a camera bump. The handset comes with Gorilla Glass 5 protection over the display and on the back panel and also on the camera lenses. Xiaomi calls this “triple” Gorilla Glass 5 protection.

Mi A3 design back

There’s a single speaker placed at the bottom next to the USB-C charging port, and the grille to the left is solely for aesthetics. There’s another grille above the camera cutout for the earpiece, but it doesn’t double up as a secondary speaker. That said, the only speaker gets adequately loud, and the audio quality was satisfyingly good — I didn’t notice any falsification with the volume turned all the way up. Xiaomi got rid of the 3.5mm jack in the Mi A2, but the analog jack makes its return in the Mi A3. It’s a pleasing change, and you also get an IR blaster at the top.

Mi A3 Performance

The new Mi A3 is powered by Snapdragon 665 chipset, which is powerful than SD 660 which powered is successor Mi A2. Mi A3 didn’t get a huge bump on the performance but still, the chipset is powerful enough to drive your daily activities. The new chipset supports the 48MP camera capability which the company has utilized properly.

Mi A3 performance

The two versions of Mi A3 comes with new and improved LPDD4X RAM with 4GB and 6GB capabilities. Considering the price of the device, the utilization of these capable RAM is fair enough. The phone is well able to hand all the daily tasks such as gaming, video playback but doesn’t work well with intensive tasks.

The device also got an in-display fingerprint scanner which sits slightly lower on the screen compared to some of the other smartphones with the same technology. However, it isn’t inconvenient but it is comparatively slow to unlock the smartphone.

Mi A3 benchmark score

While testing the benchmark scores, we found out the Mi A3 comes in par with the recently launched phones at the same and some higher price level. The handset managed to score 141,132 points in AnTuTu, and Geekbench 4’s single-core and multi-core tests gave us 1,504 and 5,386 points respectively. It managed 51fps and 13fps in GFXBench T-Rex and CarChase respectively.

Mi A3 cameras

This time, Xiaomi has added triple camera setup on the Mi A3. Xiaomi used to use the dual camera on their Mi A series phones and now comes the triple camera setup. 48-megapixel Sony IMX 586 sensor is the primary sensor on the device and an 8-megapixel secondary camera comes with a wide-angle lens with a 118-degree field-of-view. The third one is a 2-megapixel depth sensor for the depth effect on the portrait shots. The Sony IMX586 sensor is also found in premium phones such as the OnePlus 7 and Redmi K20 Pro. For selfies, the Mi A3 has a 32-megapixel front shooter.

Mi A3 Camera

The Android One device has a good camera interface which shares almost the same interface of Redmi smartphones that runs on MIUI. There are various shooting modes – Portrait, Night, Pro, Panorama, apart from the usual photo and video modes. The handset offers quick toggles for HDR, AI, flash and the filters and is very convenient to use. For the 48MP photo, you need to switch to the 48-MP mode but the regular photo mode only captures the 12MP photos and the 48MP pictures are pixel-binned shots for good clarity.

A3 camera sample ai turned on Mi A3 camera sample ai turned off
Camera Sample (AI Turned On) Camera Sample (AI Turned Off)

Talking about the picture quality, the photos taken in daylight comes with good detail. Mi A3 does everything to make a quick focus on the subject and set the right exposure. The HDR functionality on the camera didn’t perform as expected as it changes the photos aggressively. The wide-angle sensor does a good job of capturing wider frames but you need to sacrifice the details that you get in the primary sensor.

Mi A3 edge detection sample

mi a3 front camera portrait
Edge Detection Sample Selfie Camera Portrait Shot

 

mi a3 night mode sample mi a3 night mode sample ai turned on
Night Mode Turned Off Night Mode Turned Off

Low light shots with the Mi A3 looks acceptable until and unless you lose your patience. The device takes slightly longer to take a shot and the night shots sometimes result in motion blur. 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.

Mi A3 Software and Battery

What sets Mi A3 apart is undoubtedly the software. Like every other Android One device, the Mi A3 has a clean user interface with no bloatware.

Android One is the best part of the Mi A3.

One of the most significant benefits of operating a pure version of Android is the rapidity with which updates can be rolled out since they don’t first need to be adapted to fit the custom interface. Android One phones are always the best to get security patches, new features, and operating system updates.

Mi A3 battery

The Mi A3 delivers good battery life compared to the Mi A2. With our regular usage, which consisted of running all benchmarks, taking photos and videos, each full charge lasted us about a day and a half. The supplied 10W charger managed to take the Mi A3 to 27 percent in 30 minutes, and to 54 percent in an hour. We would recommend that you invest in an 18W fast charger if you wish to speed this up.

Pricing and Availability

The starting price of Xiaomi Mi A3 is €250 and for the higher variant is €280 in the international market. The price of Mi A3 in Nepal is Rs. Rs.23,999 for 4/64GB variant and Rs. 27,999 for the 6/128GB variant. With this price, the two variants of the device sit in the list of best phones under Rs.30,000 and the best phones under Rs. 25,000 in Nepal. The phone is available in offline stores as well as in Daraz.com.  

Conclusion

The Mi A3 is a good-looking and solid device overall. The 3.5mm jack is a welcoming feature, the larger 4030mAh battery is also a delightful bonus, but the foremost reason you should think the handset is for the software. Xiaomi knows how to make great hardware, but MIUI is not liked by everyone, so the fact that you get Android One on Xiaomi hardware is pretty exceptional, and that fascination hasn’t carried off with the Mi A3.

Sure, the 720p display is underwhelming, and I still don’t understand Xiaomi’s reasoning for switching to a lower-resolution screen. The in-display fingerprint reader is similarly annoying, but when you look at it as an overall package, the pros outweigh the cons. If you value clean software and don’t mind the in-display reader, the Mi A3 is a solid choice.

mi Xiaomi review mia3review

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