What is it that a mid-segment smartphone should have to capture a user's fancy? The answer cannot be an easy one: There are several parameters on which smartphones are rated these days. A good camera set-up can indeed help a smartphone escape the scrutiny of detractors, but the user won't spare it if it doesn't tick all the right boxes on the performance metrics.
We recently reviewed the Xiaomi's Mi A3, which has a 48MP triple-camera set-up, Qualcomm 665 processor paired with up to 6GB RAM, and a 4030 mAh battery. What's interesting in this smartphone is that its super AMOLED display makes the Android One experience even better. The 4GB + 64 GB version costs Rs 12,999 and the 6GB + 128 GB version has a price tag of Rs 15,999.
There's more to the phone that needs mention. Let's take a look at all that the Xiaomi A3 has to offer:
Design and display
The Xiaomi Mi A3 is made to fit into your hands, and that makes single-hand use a lot easier, something rare in smartphones these days. The device, with a 6.08-inch Super AMOLED screen, also fits well in your pocket. For people on the move, this should be the near-perfect size.
The phone is also a good-looker, with a fine colour scheme on the back. It doesn't feel bulky, but that’s when you keep it without a cover. But you may end up buying a cover, as the back panel is prone to scratches.
Xiaomi has also given a Gorilla Glass 5 protection on the front screen and the rear glass panel. However, the phone doesn't support wireless charging. The charging port (Type-C) sits at the bottom along with the speaker, while the 3.5mm jack is placed at the top.
Coming to display, the 1560×720 resolution may not be the best in class, but the viewing experience is not bad. The HD+ resolution may not impress many, as there are several options in the segment with full HD display. The sunlight legibility is fine, but don't expect too much.
The phone has Widevine L1 certification, so users can easily enjoy Netflix and other OTT platforms in HD on this smartphone.
This is where the phone is strong and can easily take on rivals. There isn't anything negative to point out— the experience is fine, with hours of streaming and texting, Instagramming, gaming (PUBG is passe, Call of Duty is the real deal), and a lot of YouTube.
The only thing that doesn't go well with the script is the interface. There is no custom layering, so it's the raw version of android — something that most people look for; we couldn't really enjoy it much. Perhaps it looks a bit too simple, or maybe we're now used to custom skins, so much so that the pure Android doesn't feel good enough.
The 4030 mAh battery easily lasts about a day with the activities mentioned earlier. There is an 18-Watt charger that makes the phone ready for another day of grind in just about two hours.
The in-display fingerprint scanner is a good addition, and it works well.
Mi phones are known for their decent camera set-ups, and the Mi A3 works the same way, with a slightly better performance.
It's equipped with a 48MP primary shooter with the Sony IMX586 sensor, an 8MP ultra wide-angle lens, and a 2MP depth sensor. The camera set-up churns out crisp photos with less distortion upon zooming. The colour saturation is fine, but not very rich. However, in this price range, there is not much to pin-point when it comes to the nitty-gritty of mobile photography.
For an average user, the camera would work just fine. The ultra-wide mode doesn't distort the image quality much. Overall, it fits fine in everyday camera use.
The portraits are impressive, though. The camera maintains the thin line between fine blurring and making it too much.
The Xiaomi Mi A3 has everything that should be there in a mid-segment smartphone. However, the display resolution it offers for Rs 15,999 (6GB +128 GB) could be a dampener for some. Xiaomi has indeed kept the basics strong in this device. But the phone might miss on a few points (for keen techophiles) in the highly competitive mid-range smartphone segment. We can't blame it, though, can we? That’s the case with most of the phones these days.