Xiaomi Mi A3 Review — First Android One Smartphone With Triple Cameras
Offering a stock Android experience with it being an Android One smartphone, the Xiaomi Mi A3 is the latest mid-range smartphone from Xiaomi, supplying upgrades to the camera and battery performance from its predecessor.
4GB + 64GB: RM899
4GB + 128GB: RM999
+ Long lasting battery life!
+ Android One
+ Decent cameras
+ Option to add storage via microSD (lacking from predecessor)
+ Beautiful rear design
- 720p display
- Camera's shutter speed is a bit slow
- fingerprint sensor could be better
The Xiaomi Mi A series has been recognized as the company’s Android One lineup designed for those who want a stock Android experience. One of the biggest changes that we see with this year’s Mi A3 is the addition of an in-display fingerprint scanner as well as the triple AI camera setup. This makes the Xiaomi Mi A3 the first Android One smartphone to feature such a package. What else is there to the Xiaomi Mi A3? Let’s get started.
We got our hands on the ‘Not just Blue’ variant of the Xiaomi Mi A3. Straight out of the box, you’ll find:
- TPU case
- SIM Eject tool
- USB Type-C cable
- 10W charger
- User Manual
- The Xiaomi Mi A3 smartphone itself
On the front, we can see that Xiaomi tried to offer as much screen real estate to users, with them opting for a Dot Drop notch. While they have upgraded from the IPS display of the Mi A2 to an AMOLED display, the Mi A3 offers only HD+ resolution (720p).
On the right, you’ve got your usual volume rocker as well as the power button.
Switching over to the left side, there’s only the SIM / microSD tray available.
On the bottom, you’ll find the USB Type-C port that sits just in between the two speaker grills.
On top, there’s the IR blaster, a 3.5mm headphone jack, and a microphone hole.
As you can see on the back, Xiaomi came up with an eye-catching design. Other than that, the triple camera fits at the top left horizontally while the Xiaomi branding is located on the bottom-left corner.
Xiaomi Mi A3 Specifications
|CPU:||Snapdragon 665 Octa-core (4 x 2.0 GHz Kryo 260 Gold & 4 x 1.8 GHz Kryo 260 Silver) 11nm|
|Display:||6.088″ HD+ Super AMOLED (720p) Dot Drop notch, NTSC 102.7%, 19:5:9 ratio|
|Storage:||64GB/128GB UFS 2.1|
48MP f/1.8 (wide angle), 8MP f/2.2 (ultra-wide lens), 2MP f/2.4 (depth)
PDAF, HDR, panorama
AI beautification, AI HDR, Portrait mode
|OS:||Android 9.0 Pie, Android One|
|Connectivity:||Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (2.4 GHz + 5 GHz)|
|Battery:||Li-Po 4030 mAh (non-removable)|
18W Quick Charge 3
|Dimensions:||153.5 x 71.9 x 8.5 mm|
In the Antutu benchmark, the Xiaomi Mi A3 scores pretty much what we expect from a mid-range device with its Snapdragon 665 chipset. Suprisingly, the Redmi Note 7 got better scores than it despite using an older Snapdragon 660.
As for Geekbench’s CPU performance, we can see that its SoC falls a bit short to the 660’s single core results but then again, it’s still pretty decent.
The Adreno 610 graphics tops MediaTek’s representative in the form of the OPPO F11 Pro and realme 3. Interestingly, it failed to beat its predecessor, the Mi A2.
Switching over to PCMark’s Work 2.0 benchmark, we can see that the Mi A3 does indeed perform better than the Redmi Note 7 and also the Xiaomi Mi A2.
Now this is where the Xiaomi Mi A3 really shines; battery life. It’s surprising that it even managed to beat the realme 3 Pro by a substantial amount, even though the latter is packing an efficient Snapdragon 710 chipset and a slightly bigger battery capacity. It could be due to the fact that the Xiaomi Mi A3 comes with a lower resolution (at 720p), thus saving more battery.
Now we all know that benchmarks are a way to get a glimpse of how well a device performs. In real life usage on the other hand, I was more than satisfied with the battery performance. Even though the device only packs 4GBs of RAM, the phone never failed in giving a fluid experience for my daily tasks. Furthermore, with the device being an Android One smartphone, it does help in that department.
In real life usage, I easily got past a day without charging, even with me using the phone like I’d normally do for both work and social life. At one point, I even got the smartphone to last me 40 hours (from last full charge), where I was using it for only my social media browsing and messaging.
It’s worth noting that although the Mi A3 supports 18W fast charging, they only provide a 10W charger inside the box. We took the liberty of testing of how much juice you can get from 30 minutes of charging for the both of them. With its available 10W, the device gets recharged to 23% while the 18W charger will reach 27% instead.
Although the Mi A3 seems to have downgraded in display resolution, it does offer an upgrade from the previous Mi A2. It comes with a 3.5mm headphone jack as well as the option to expand the smartphone’s storage. The Mi A3 feels just nice on the hands, though the sides are covered with a plastic material. Despite offering an AMOLED panel, you can see pixelation when reading text on the display due to its lower resolution.
One thing that I was not satisfied with the device is its fingerprint sensor. I have to say that the in-display sensor isn’t the fastest that I’ve tested so far. I wish it was a bit faster on that end.
It’s nice to see that more and more mid-range smartphones are getting some love in terms of design and the Mi A3 is no exception. The unit that we got is the ‘Not just blue’ variant and it certainly looks beautiful with its iridescent colors. Though the sides of the phone are plastic, the back is made from glass.
The UI is what you’d expect from an Android One smartphone, where everything is neat and simple. A great option if you like it that way. Stock Android also helps to bring fluidity in the overall experience. As mentioned earlier, despite the phone packing only 4GB RAM, it is decent enough for the smartphone.
The Xiaomi Mi A3 is actually the first Android One smartphone to come with triple rear cameras, where it sports a 48MP Sony sensor, an 8MP ultra-wide angle, as well as a 2MP depth sensor.
If you’ve used a Xiaomi smartphone before, the software in the Xiaomi Mi A3’s camera will present itself as something similar, with barely any changes being made. It’s easy to to navigate through but I wished that they’ve made the 48MP mode to be visible at the front, instead of tapping to find it.
In outdoor environments, the Mi A3 is capable of producing decent photos, with shots showing sharpness and detail. The same can’t be said when taking pictures in low-light conditions (as expected), especially in indoor areas. Another thing that I’ve noticed is that the shutter speed for the camera (on Auto) is a bit slow, so you might find it difficult when shooting moving subjects. Still, the camera offers decent performance for your social media needs. You can check out the full sized shots here.
So is the Xiaomi Mi A3 worth getting? Well it depends. If you are looking for a mid-range Android One smartphone with a long-lasting battery life, it is definitely a worthy choice. If you’re the kind who wants the best display quality, then it might not be the best option for you. Personally I don’t mind the 720p resolution because I mainly find myself watching videos on my PC instead. It’s not a bad smartphone per se but I think that Xiaomi could have done more to make it a more attractive choice. For that, I award the Xiaomi Mi A3 with our Bronze Pokdeaward.