10 Things About Mi A3 Before You Buy: Better Than Realme 5?
The third generation Mi A series smartphone, Mi A3 is all set to launch on August 21. Can Mi A3 repeat the same success as Mi A1 or Mi A2? Interestingly, Mi A3 will directly take on the upcoming Realme 5 smartphone with a similar set of specs. Unveiled in Spain last month, Mi A3 will land land in the country next week.
So, should you be buying the new Mi A3, or go for the new Realme 5 with a quad camera system? Let’s find out.
Mi A3 has its own set of positives and negatives. The Android One interface definitely makes a big difference, while the only-HD+ display could be a deal breaker for many. The smartphone comes with a complete glass body, a new processor, larger battery, triple camera system and more.
Here’s everything in-depth you need to know about Mi A3 before you buy.
It’s The Same Mi CC9 Smartphone, Rebranded As Mi A3
Mi A3 is a rebranded newly-launched Mi CC9 smartphone. Mi A series smartphones has always been a spin-off of existing Mi series smartphones and not an entirely new device. The previous generation Mi A series smartphones: Mi A1 and Mi A2 were rebranded Mi 5X and Mi 6X respectively without MIUI.
As Xiaomi has now discontinued making Mi X smartphones, the newly launched Mi CC series is taking up the same place. As launched in Spain, the same Mi CC9 is coming to India unchanged.
Glass Body With A New Gradient Design & 3D Back Glass
It’s a complete glass body covered by Corning Gorilla Glass 5, 3D rated. Unlike the current Redmi glass body smartphones, the Mi A3 feels very premium and the 3D glass curves make it easy to hold all throughout including the curves.
Coming to design, the smartphone features an all new colour combinations on the out with gradient finish.
The new design does have a spooky look, and you will notice the differences in colour tones while moving the device. Also, the rim between the glass is made up of plastic. But that doesn’t make much of a difference.
In-Display Fingerprint Sensor, And Yes, The Headphone Jack Is Back
Thankfully, the company has added back the 3.5 mm jack headphone jack back to Mi A series. In a blatant attempt to make Mi A2 more premium, the company discarded the headphone jack. Well, Xiaomi soon understood its mistake, and Mi A3 sports a hole on top for your beloved wired earphones.
Also, the company has added an in-display fingerprint sensor under the screen glass.
It’s going to be Xioami’s only budget smartphone in the country to feature an in-display fingerprint sensor. It’s quite fast, and with the AMOLED panel, you have to option to have an always-on screen, so that you can unlock your smartphone without tapping.
The Compact Size: Perfect For One-Hand Use!
Mi A3 is very compact given the current set of smartphones available in the market. Mi A3 features a thickness of around 8.5 millimeters, and the screen is perfectly sized with the overall ergonomics. The increasing screen sizes have churned up the smartphone sizes, and for someone like me, it takes a lot to handle such devices in crowded places.
The compact screen size makes it perfect to be used with a single hand, and the higher screen to body ratio makes sure you can consume content without any issues.
HD+ AMOLED Display: Is It That Bad?
This could be a big deal breaker for many, but honestly, it’s really hard to notice the difference. The company surisplingly used a HD+ only display for Mi A3, but it’s an AMOLED panel. If you look really really close, you may see the difference between a Full HD panel, but for day to day use, it’s perfect.
The screen size does offer a higher screen to body ratio with a thin chin down under.
It’s a circular notched display in an 19.5:9 aspect ratio measuring 6.08-inch. The HD+ AMOLED offers 530 nits of brightness. The broad daylight visibility is more than okay and viewing angles are absolutely fine.
Hardware & Performance: Snapdragon 665 Okay?
The Mi A3 runs on Qualcomm Snapdragon 665. The chip stands between Snapdragon 660 and Snapdragon 675. While it does have a bit more to offer than its predecessor, the new chip comes with added artificial intelligence capabilities. With Android One to take up the power, the Snapdragon 665 offers some great performance in terms of mid-end games and extensive multitasking.
The new Snapdragon processor is coupled with 4GB of RAM, with storage options to choose from.
There’s two options to choose from, a base model with 64GB storage, and a higher-end model with 128 GB of storage. This time, you can add up to the overall storage. There’s an additional micro SD memory card slot to add up expandable storage. Again, there’s no extra space for a memory card, it’s a hybrid slot.
Software: The Biggest Strength
The biggest USP of Mi A3 is its seamless software. It’s an Android One smartphone running on Android 9.0 Pie with guaranteed Android Q upgrade.
Google will be offering guaranteed upgrades for the next two years since launch.
Pure Android offers a clean operating system layer without any additional customizations.
Also, the Mi A3 has no ads, a big plus for any Xiaomi user. The company hasn’t officially confirmed that Mi A3 won’t come with ads, but we didn’t have any ads on our unit. Even the other reviewers also haven’t yet found any ads on any Mi A3 unit in the country.
Cameras: The 48MP Powered Three Camera Setup!
The smartphone comes with a three camera system featuring a 48-megapixel main Sony IMX 586 sensor with a focal length of f / 1.79, coupled, a secondary an 8-megapixel wide-angle sensor and finally a third 2-megapixel wide-angle lens.
If you see any similarity, yes it’s the same 48MP sensor as Redmi Note 7 Pro with the depth sensor. Here you get an additional wide-angle lens, which again is handy at times, but lacks details.
Inside the water drop notch, the company has used a 32-megapixel with an f / 2.0 aperture.
The smartphone does an awesome job when it comes to daylight photography. The photos in artificial lighting also did above average, and it can capture some cool portraits. The AI capability help the smartphone to join four pixels to form larger ones of 1.6 microns and offer a great low light performance.
Battery: Final Upgrade!
Unlike the previous two Mi A smartphone, finally the third Mi A device will come with a much bigger battery. Also, the previous generation A smartphones maintained the legacy of the new-age Type C ports, and Mi A3 carries the same. Mi A3 comes with a Type C USB connector supporting up to 18 watts fast charging.
As an add-on, the company will be packing in a 18W fast charger inside the box.
Coming to the battery, it’s a large 4,000+ mAh unit, an upgrade over the 3,000mAh batteries from Mi A1 and Mi A2. The battery capacity has been increased to 4030 mAh, and it can easily run up to two days on a single charge on moderate usage.
The use of a HD+ has helped to increase the battery life, while the new Snapdragon 665 has made the device more efficient. Finally, with Android One on top, the smartphone will be able to perform well offering a good backup throughout.
Let’s Talk About The Pricing: Can Mi A3 Make It To The Top?
The newly launched Xiaomi Mi A3 in Spain starts at €250 again, the previous Mi A2 price. If converted, that would be around INR 17,450. So the Mi A3 India price should be about the same as last year. But interestingly, Mi A2 wasn’t as successful as Mi A1 due to its overpriced models.
While Mi A1 had less competitors in 2017, the success of the predecessor pushed the makers to launch it at a higher price in 2018.
Even after being launched at a starting price of Rs 16,999, the smartphone is now selling at a starting price of as low as Rs 9,999. The company can’t go wrong again with the Mi A3 India pricing.
Already there is very tough competition in the segment, and a wrong choice of the price would throw Mi A3 out of the league. Realme’s upcoming Realme 5 series is already seem to be packing a punch, while the regular Realme 5 is said to be powered by the same chip Mi A3, and that too with a four camera setup and at a lower price than it.
Most importantly, the company has used a HD+ only display on top with just a slightly improved processor. Anything over 11,000 or 12,000 rupees could turn out to be a big bummer for Mi A3 in India. The smartphone is launching on August 21, and it’s soon going to be interesting fight between Mi A3 and Realme 5 in India.