SmartPhones

Xiaomi Mi A2 Lite Hands-On Review

Xiaomi, just like many other Chinese companies, is well-known for providing flagship specs at affordable prices along with well-performing budget phones. So let’s put this to the test… I have used Xiaomi’s Mi A2 Lite as my daily driver for about 3 weeks, and here is my review of what it has to offer!

The Mi A2 Lite is priced at about $215 here in Lebanon, and for its price range, it surely has a lot to offer. The A2 Lite is not a regular budget smartphone, it has a FHD-res screen with slim bezels, a dual rear camera setup, a 4000 mAh battery, and runs on Android One.

The A2 Lite is using the dated Snapdragon 625 that was previously used on the A1, a capable chipset for a budget offer.

Design

The first impression you get from a smartphone is due to its design and the Mi A2 Lite is great at providing a great first impression. The A2 Lite is made of metal and has a bezel-less screen. The notch might be a plus for some people, but it sure was cringe-worthy for me. I would have preferred a full small bezel from the top such as that provided by Samsung in their bezel-less smartphones. The notch is, unfortunately, the signature design for 2018 so I won’t be giving the company a hard time for their choice on this matter.

In my recent review of Huawei’s mid-range Nova 3i, I mentioned that the LED notification light was placed in the earpiece grille in the top-notch, Xiaomi, on the other hand, did things a bit better, placing the LED notification light in the bottom bezel.

The back of the Mi A2 Lite is very similar to Xiaomi’s Redmi smartphone and not the A2. On the back, you can see the aluminum ending on plastic strips (top and bottom) that hide the antennas.

The back panel isn’t really designed well as it starts producing some cracking sounds when pressed on. Therefore, I believe, Xiaomi could have done a better job designing it.

Display

The display is a FHD display with a maximum brightness of 488 nits. The phone can be used properly on full brightness outside, as long as it’s not directly under the sun.

Battery

The battery is one of its strongest features. During these 3 weeks, I always started my day with a full battery and ended my day while having at least 20% of the power left. It took slightly more than 2 hours to fully charge the device when charging from zero.

Software

The Mi A2 Lite runs on Android One, yes… exciting! That means it provides a pure Android experience with quick updates. It should be noted that no, the Mi A2 Lite did not yet receive an Android Pie update, and is still running Android 8.1 Oreo. It surely does lag a bit while being heavily used, but it’s nothing that is deemed unbearable.

Camera

The Xiaomi Mi A2 Lite’s rear camera has a 12MP sensor with a f/2.2 lens and another 5MP depth lens. There is an LED flash present and the camera does have a Phase-detection autofocus. You can take good pictures with the Mi A2 Lite in good lighting conditions but night shots were soft and noisy. Taking the “trendy” portrait shots is easy, but it takes a while for the camera to read the scene and apply the depth effect.

On the front, the Mi A2 Lite has a 5 MP sensor for selfies, f/2.0 lens, and some AI capabilities. I wasn’t a fan of the selfie camera with the beautify mode, most selfies were very washed out.

Verdict

The Mi A2 Lite provides a lot for a cheap price tag, although I would have preferred a better chipset for a slightly snappier performance. I do recommend the phone to users that are looking for an affordable option but I should mention that I ran into two software bugs that I didn’t expect to encounter. The first was that the Mi A2 Lite totally froze and gave an error every time I tried to restart it (until the third successful try). The second bug was that I received a “software stopped working” notification, the Mi A2 Lite restarted on its own, and everything was working properly after that. Overall, and for that price, the device is highly recommended providing great battery life, decent rear camera, and a good screen. Xiaomi surely did a good job with the A2 Lite, looking forward to trying more of their devices, hoping I don’t run into any more of these software bugs.

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