It is well known that younger siblings are the ones most spoiled by their parents. With the Xiaomi family, the most complete smartphone is the latest addition to the global market: the Xiaomi Mi A2 Lite .
Mi A2 Lite costs about 209 euros for the configuration with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of internal memory even if the official list would see it at € 229 and is a difficult device not to recommend whose only real rival is the Redmi Note 5, also from Xiaomi.
Construction and design
It distinguishes itself particularly from the standards of the last year. Although all companies are producing more and more phablets than smartphones : with 149 mm in length and 71.6 in width the Mi A2 Lite can be easily used with one hand. With 8.7 mm of thickness and 178g of weight from the very compact “brick effect” .
The heaviness so high is due to the huge 4000 mAh battery present under the body. During our live battery we have seen how we can safely arrive in the evening even if during the day we had a much more stressful use than normal.
On the underside of the device there are two symmetrical grids with a microphone on the left and a mono speaker on the right , while in the middle there is the charging / data port in micro-usb format . Obviously a Type-C would have been preferable but we can close one eye considering the selling price.
On the upper side we find the infrared sensor to control TV and appliances along with the 3.5 audio jack . Now this door is becoming increasingly rare and having it on a device can not help but increase its value.
Another point very welcome and the Dual Sim + micro SD slot . Usually in smartphones with dual SIM support and memory expansion, the second sim slot was a “combo”. It was therefore necessary to choose whether to use either two sims at the same time or a sim + micro-SD. Here, however, thanks to a very long sim slot you can use both the two sim and memory expansion simultaneously.
Being the smallest of the house does not only bring advantages, because we will be forced to recycle the clothes of our older brother. Here the recycling of clothes is done in the design used in the back shell.
Like the “normal” A2 Mi, even in the Lite it is made of aluminum with the exception of the plastic edge and the upper and lower plates on the back to facilitate connectivity. At the center is the fingerprint sensor almost flush and the camera module vertically . Having a thickness of 8.7 mm it was possible to reduce the step of the cameras strongly present on the normal model.
Display screen and Hardware
The screen of the Mi A2 Lite is a classic 5.84-inch IPS LCD . Despite the colors are not too bright, it is still a good display for the price range. The resolution of the panel is Full HD + (2280×1080) and with proportions of 18: 9 occupies most of the front with the exception of the rather thick lower frame and the notch.
The notch now begins to arrive even on low-end smartphones but on the Mi A2 Lite is quite small and especially does not go to eliminate the possibility of seeing the icons of notifications on the left side.
In contrast to the normal A2 A2 the polarization this time was carried out properly : with polarized sunglasses you can safely see both horizontally and vertically. Another point in favor to keep in mind when choosing between the two devices.
The light sensor found it a bit ‘ too conservative . During the days of testing I had to deactivate the automatic adjustment and bringing it to the maximum you can see the display well even under the sun.
From the hardware point of view we find the now well-established Snapdragon 625 : a SoC of 2016 that manages to still be competitive in 2018 thanks to its good performance and low fuel consumption .
In pairs there are 3 GB of RAM for the model with 32 GB of internal memory and 4 GB for the one with 64 GB . We recommend the latter version as 9 GB are dedicated exclusively to the operating system, but above all because the price difference between 32 and 64 is very low.
Thanks to this hardware the opening of the app is fast and you can keep a good number of applications in the background. This provided they are lightweight, because when trying to open heavier apps such as the likes of Asphalt 9, you feel the bottleneck due to the reduced storage speed that is only of the eMMC type .
Obviously the Wi-Fi is double band , Bluetooth is present but the NFC is missing .
- Operating system: Android One Oreo 8.1
- Display: 5.84 inches 2280 x 1080 IPS LCD 18: 9
- Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 octa-core
GPU: Adreno 506
- Memory: 3 / 4GB RAM – 31 / 64GB eMMC storage
- Poster cameras: 12mpx + 5mpx – 1080p video
- Front camera: 5mpx – Full HD video
- Connectivity: 802.11 ac Wi-Fi (2.4 and 5GHz), Bluetooth 4.2, 4G LTE
Dual nano-SIM: YES
- Positioning: GPS, A-GPS, Glonass, BeiDou
- Battery: 4000 mAh
- Dimensions and weight: 149.3 x 71.6 x 8.7 mm / 178g
Mi A2 Lite Camera
The photographic department is definitely not the strength of the Mi A2 Lite . Not that the photos are bad, but after we have accustomed to performance and features above the norm, the quality of the photos is “only” in line with the price range.
On the back are the two cameras: the main 12 mpx and the secondary 5 mpx to help in shots with bokeh effect.
With daylight the results are good even if in some photos I noticed that it tends to over-expose , especially on green colors. When the HDR is activated, the shutter speed will increase and, if you do not have your hand completely still, the photos will be moved. The shots that most amazed me were those with sunset light: the Mi A2 Lite managed to calibrate the exposure well making natural colors.
At night the speech we made for HDR returns, so if you have a steady hand you can take discrete pictures. In addition to the normal increase in noise, the colors are quite mixed with a few details of nuances.
The 5 mpx front camera is able to effect the bokeh effect with a single sensor and during the day it can take good pictures.
You can only shoot movies in Full HD 1080p resolution , both with the front and rear sensors. Videos with the rear camera are electronically stabilized.
Software and OS
The software is not a point on which I would like to dwell too much: it is a “classic” smartphone with Android One .
The user experience is spotless with a few superfluous features and pre-installed apps . In addition to the various Google services we find the infrared sensor control app, the camera application, a file manager and a Xiaomi bug report.
The operating system is Android Oreo version 8.1 with security patches updated to July 1st. Security updates are guaranteed for 3 years after the launch of the smartphone and are released with speed and we expect the patches of August by the end of the month.
Like its big brother, the Mi A2 Lite is also a close friend of modders . Bootloader is quickly unlocked via fastboot and some TWRP recovery is already ready .
Once the modding on these smartphones was done mainly to install custom rom similar to Android Stock. Now that the Mi A2 Lite was born directly with Android One, what’s the point of making all these changes in 2018?
I would sincerely modderei this smartphone only to be able to activate the camera2api and install the camera application Gcam . Doing so could reduce the quality gap of the photos between the Mi A2 “Normal” and the “Lite” version.
Spending little does not mean compromising. The Xiaomi Mi A2 Lite is fluid and performing .
Two years later, this smartphone is an heir, both hardware and spirit, of the old Xiaomi Redmi 4 Pro / prime. The Mi A2 Lite shares with it the compactness, the Snapdragon 625, the 4000 mAh battery, the micro-sd expansion and the 3.5 audio jack.
Of course everything is reviewed according to the canons of 2018 with an 18: 9 display and above all with an Android One user experience.
There are so many more features that will lead users to prefer it more than their older brother Mi A2 , as long as you accept a camera that is not excellent.