Xiaomi Redmi A1 Quick Review

The Xiaomi Redmi A1 is the company's latest entry-level smartphone and is also the poster boy of the Redmi A Series. It has an introductory price of Php 3999; and after the promotion period, it will be offered at Php 4299 SRP. There are lots of interesting stuff with this device, for one it is powered by a capable MediaTek Hello A22 chipset and runs with Android 12 Go Edition.

Xiaomi Redmi A1 Quick Review

Xiaomi Redmi A1 Review

We know Xiaomi as a company that offers good hardware in a very affordable price standpoint, and the Redmi A1 is no exception. I took the smartphone for a spin and checked out what its promising specs sheet has to offer. Join me in this quick review of the Redmi A1.

Design

Just like Xiaomi's other entry-level phones, the Redmi A1 sports a basic candy bar design with waterdrop notch on the front panel. The backing of the phone uses a leather-like material which easily negates fingerprints; however, there's no denying the fact that this is made of polycarbonate plastic. With these, handling and ergonomics of using the device are quite good. We have the Black colorway; if it's not your cup of tea, you can choose between Light Green and Light Blue colors.

Xiaomi Redmi A1 Review

Being in this segment, I'm quite surprised that the device has a good build quality. This 192-gram device has a unibody design, and sections of the phone do not creak when pressed together. Placements of ports and buttons are the usual - the power button and volume rocker on the right; the SIM tray with dedicated microSD card slot on the left; the microUSB port, microphone, 3.5-mm audio jack are on the bottom; and the loudspeaker on the top side.

Xiaomi Redmi A1 Quick Unboxing

The back panel houses the dual camera setup. I'm also surprised that the phone at this price touts two cameras. There's an 8MP main sensor and a depth sensor; there's also an LED flash that accompanies these cameras.

Display

This 9.1-mm smartphone packs a 6.52-inch display with HD+ 1600 x 720p resolution and a standard 60Hz refresh rate. It also features 120Hz touch sampling rate and peak brightness of 400 nits. The display quality is passable; colors are washed out but the contrast is okay. I think the display is good enough for a budget phone.

Xiaomi Redmi A1 Review

I did several sessions of YouTube and Netflix streaming. The handset has a Widevine L3 certification for SD viewing, however it does little in my experience. Using the phone outdoors is quite okay, just don't put it under direct sunlight as legibility becomes poor. For a casual streaming and content consumption, the display could offer good overall experience.

Xiaomi Redmi A1 Review

Hardware and Performance

Other basic tasks are handled well by the MediaTek Helio A22 chipset that is coupled with 2GB of RAM. The phone is generally everything you'd expect for an entry-level device, but it could be smoother than most of its peers. This is due to the software optimization that we'll discuss later in this review. 

If you plan to put more multimedia files in this phone, you're in great luck. The Redmi A1 supports up to 1TB expandable storage on top of its 32GB native ROM. The smartphone can also run popular games like Mobile Legends: Bang Bang using the lowest refresh rate and smooth graphics settings; the game is quite playable without heat building up at the back of the phone. 

Xiaomi Redmi A1 Quick Review

There's little to complain about the mono speaker in this price. It shoots decent audio but it could tend to get tin-ish on extreme volume levels; with this, I suggest you use headphones in consuming content via wired (yes, it has a 3.5-mm audio jack) or wireless. The phone also comes with dual SIM slots, supports 4G LTE connectivity and even VoLTE.

It's also worth noting that the Redmi A1 does not come with a fingerprint scanner but you can use face unlock instead for biometrics.

Camera

Xiaomi tagged Redmi A1's 8MP primary camera as an "AI Lens" which means that it could intelligently configure shooting scenarios and boost color treatment. The camera took good photos in a well-lit environment with enough details and colors. 

Xiaomi Redmi A1 Camera Review

Shutter speed is fast, however the sensor struggles to focus on subjects - you need to be patient to get a good shot. The quality drops in lowlight and the sensor could overexpose some bright parts in the frame. Dynamic range and contrast may lack a bit but the overall performance of the camera is good in this price standpoint. On the other hand, the 5MP front camera does a good job in producing selfie shots for social media use. 

Here are some sample photos that we took using the Redmi A1:

Redmi A1 Sample Photo

Redmi A1 Sample Photo

Redmi A1 Sample Photo

Redmi A1 Sample Photo

Redmi A1 Sample Photo

Redmi A1 Sample Photo

Redmi A1 Sample Selfie Photo

Software and Battery

The Xiaomi Redmi A1 is powered by the Android 12 Go Edition. This forked version of Android is developed to cater to phones with modest hardware. With this, Xiaomi has left the MIUI in the cutting room to give way to smoother experience and better performance for entry-level phones. This results to faster app launches, easy app sharing, and more privacy features present in the Redmi A1 compared to its contemporaries. The Android 12 Go Edition also provides better battery management which reflects to the phone's long battery life.

Xiaomi Redmi A1 Review

Speaking of the battery, the Redmi A1 packs a 5000 mAh battery which is quite common for entry-level smartphones nowadays. The battery life could easily last for a day and could even extend to another day on fair to moderate use. The device is rated with 10-watt charging so expect to fully charge the phone for over two hours.

Should You Buy Xiaomi Redmi A1?

The Xiaomi Redmi A1 is a refreshing take on an entry level device. The hardware may be modest but the use of Android 12 Go Edition makes the whole experience in using the phone quite splendid. If you're looking for a phone that could handle basic tasks, put up good selfies, and won't die on you for a considerable amount of time, the Redmi A1 would be a good choice under Php 5K.

As mentioned, you can get the Xiaomi Redmi A1 for an introductory price offer of only Php 3,999; after which it'll go back to its Php 4,499 SRP.

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