Turquaz
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Hey guys and girls. Has anyone of you bought or used Xiaomi MI A1? I am considering to buy this phone and I wanted to turn to my favourite forum to see what the experts think about the specs and performance of this extremely reasonably priced phone
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Gofre
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(Original post by Turquaz)
Hey guys and girls. Has anyone of you bought or used Xiaomi MI A1? I am considering to buy this phone and I wanted to turn to my favourite forum to see what the experts think about the specs and performance of this extremely reasonably priced phone
Xiaomi phones have become extremely popular over the last couple of years for offering extremely competitive specs and build quality for very low prices, as you've seen. There are a couple of big shortcomings to consider before diving in though:

*These phones are not sold to western markets, all the stock comes from China via grey importers. Not only does this mean you run the risk of paying VAT upon the phone's entry to the UK, which diminishes the value prospect by a decent chunk, but it means warranty and aftersales support are going to be non-existent.

*The majority of these phones come with a custom firmware built for the Chinese market, MIUI. Besides the first roadblock of everything being in Chinese (even after you've changed the default language to English, there are apparently instances where the system displays words in Chinese), there are other quirks like having to install all of Google's service apps yourself via APKs because there's no Google Play Store preinstalled, as well as changes to core Android functionality like notifications which by all accounts aren't as good. None of this is insurmountable but it's a pain to deal with and every software update brings the prospect of new quirks popping up. You can find them being sold with a "Global ROM", Xiaomi have obviously taken note of their international popularity, but it's still the same launcher and catering to the Chinese market will still be Xiaomi's top priority.

How much are you planning to buy it for?
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Turquaz
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(Original post by Gofre)
Xiaomi phones have become extremely popular over the last couple of years for offering extremely competitive specs and build quality for very low prices, as you've seen. There are a couple of big shortcomings to consider before diving in though:

*These phones are not sold to western markets, all the stock comes from China via grey importers. Not only does this mean you run the risk of paying VAT upon the phone's entry to the UK, which diminishes the value prospect by a decent chunk, but it means warranty and aftersales support are going to be non-existent.

*The majority of these phones come with a custom firmware built for the Chinese market, MIUI. Besides the first roadblock of everything being in Chinese (even after you've changed the default language to English, there are apparently instances where the system displays words in Chinese), there are other quirks like having to install all of Google's service apps yourself via APKs because there's no Google Play Store preinstalled, as well as changes to core Android functionality like notifications which by all accounts aren't as good. None of this is insurmountable but it's a pain to deal with and every software update brings the prospect of new quirks popping up. You can find them being sold with a "Global ROM", Xiaomi have obviously taken note of their international popularity, but it's still the same launcher and catering to the Chinese market will still be Xiaomi's top priority.

How much are you planning to buy it for?
Hi. Thank you so much for making such great points. I didn't know that Xiaomi makes their phones only for the Chinese market or that the menu is in Chinese.

I am buying it in Canada where some famous Canadian online retailers are selling them online with one to two year warranty at around CAD 300 inclusive of all taxes and costs.

From the reviews I've read I didn't see anyone complaining about the apps being in Chinese or any issues with the Play Store itself but the one thing that people do mention is the lack of Band 5 which one of the carriers here use for their cellular service.

I do use my phone in the UK so would that be an issue?
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_InnocentOne_
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(Original post by Turquaz)
Hey guys and girls. Has anyone of you bought or used Xiaomi MI A1? I am considering to buy this phone and I wanted to turn to my favourite forum to see what the experts think about the specs and performance of this extremely reasonably priced phone
Buy iPhoneX
It's pretty cool
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Turquaz
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(Original post by Gofre)
The majority of these phones come with a custom firmware built for the Chinese market, MIUI. Besides the first roadblock of everything being in Chinese, there are other quirks like having to install all of Google's service apps yourself via APKs because there's no Google Play Store preinstalled, as well as changes to core Android functionality like notifications which by all accounts aren't as good. None of this is insurmountable but it's a pain to deal with and every software update brings the prospect of new quirks popping up.
So does it also mean that I have to download the official malware-free ROMs direct from Xiaomi, and flash them etc etc etc to make it work in Canada/UK if I was to buy this phone?
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OceanCat
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Guys, opinions?
RoyalSheepy
NinjaSquirrel
spotify95
Doonesbury
Paracosm
Sorry if the mentions are a bit random, thought you could help or could tag someone you know who could.

also, Gofre any idea about the this: might have escaped your notice. Thanks
(Original post by Turquaz)
So does it also mean that I have to download the official malware-free ROMs direct from Xiaomi, and flash them etc etc etc to make it work in Canada/UK if I was to buy this phone?
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Elizabeth II
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(Original post by starfab)
Guys, opinions?
RoyalSheepy
NinjaSquirrel
spotify95
Doonesbury
Paracosm
Sorry if the mentions are a bit random, thought you could help or could tag someone you know who could.

also, Gofre any idea about the this: might have escaped your notice. Thanks
I'm a bit confused as to why you've tagged me?
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Doones
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(Original post by starfab)
Sorry if the mentions are a bit random, thought you could help or could tag someone you know who could.
Nope, sorry, this is much more Gofre's domain than mine.
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OceanCat
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(Original post by Paracosm)
I'm a bit confused as to why you've tagged me?
Clutching at straws, tbh
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OceanCat
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(Original post by Doonesbury)
Nope, sorry, this is much more Gofre's domain than mine.
Ah right, lol thanks. You're more tech?
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spotify95
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(Original post by starfab)
Guys, opinions?
RoyalSheepy
NinjaSquirrel
spotify95
Doonesbury
Paracosm
Sorry if the mentions are a bit random, thought you could help or could tag someone you know who could.

also, Gofre any idea about the this: might have escaped your notice. Thanks
Thanks for the tag To be honest I've never looked into Xiaomi phones before; the Mi A1 looks to be decent spec, so it depends on the price.

I've also looked via GSM Arena: https://www.gsmarena.com/xiaomi_mi_a1-8776.php and assuming this is the phone, it does support than Band 5 in 2G/3G/4G that the OP requires.

Don't know about the state of ROMs/firmware and any glitches, but if there are any glitches like the Chinese characters mentioned in this thread, you'll want o look into ROMs and fixes/availability before you purchase. As if you then find there is no way to solving any quirks, it could have an adverse impact on usability.

I find the lack of Google Play Store strange; isn't this used by all Android's to get the apps from? I know all of my Samsungs have used the Google Play Store before...

Turquaz
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OceanCat
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(Original post by spotify95)
Thanks for the tag To be honest I've never looked into Xiaomi phones before; the Mi A1 looks to be decent spec, so it depends on the price.

I've also looked via GSM Arena: https://www.gsmarena.com/xiaomi_mi_a1-8776.php and assuming this is the phone, it does support than Band 5 in 2G/3G/4G that the OP requires.

Don't know about the state of ROMs/firmware and any glitches, but if there are any glitches like the Chinese characters mentioned in this thread, you'll want o look into ROMs and fixes/availability before you purchase. As if you then find there is no way to solving any quirks, it could have an adverse impact on usability.

I find the lack of Google Play Store strange; isn't this used by all Android's to get the apps from? I know all of my Samsungs have used the Google Play Store before...

Turquaz
Welcome, but more so thank you for your reply, spotify.
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Turquaz
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(Original post by spotify95)
Thanks for the tag To be honest I've never looked into Xiaomi phones before; the Mi A1 looks to be decent spec, so it depends on the price.

I've also looked via GSM Arena: https://www.gsmarena.com/xiaomi_mi_a1-8776.php and assuming this is the phone, it does support than Band 5 in 2G/3G/4G that the OP requires.

Don't know about the state of ROMs/firmware and any glitches, but if there are any glitches like the Chinese characters mentioned in this thread, you'll want o look into ROMs and fixes/availability before you purchase. As if you then find there is no way to solving any quirks, it could have an adverse impact on usability.

I find the lack of Google Play Store strange; isn't this used by all Android's to get the apps from? I know all of my Samsungs have used the Google Play Store before...

Turquaz
Thank you so much Spotify.

I have seen the spec review for Mi A1 on GSMArena an while researching this phone I found another model by the same manufacturer which is Mi 6. The name may be slightly intimidating if you are buying it in the UK due to resemblance with our great intelligence service but the specs are a notch higher than the A1. Problem is its much higher in price than A1 if you want to buy the Global Version.
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spotify95
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(Original post by Turquaz)
Thank you so much Spotify.

I have seen the spec review for Mi A1 on GSMArena an while researching this phone I found another model by the same manufacturer which is Mi 6. The name may be slightly intimidating if you are buying it in the UK due to resemblance with our great intelligence service but the specs are a notch higher than the A1. Problem is its much higher in price than A1 if you want to buy the Global Version.
No worries - I didn't even know about the Mi 6, but from what it looks like, the Mi 6 has a slightly better CPU and RAM, as well as quick charging enabled and water resistance. But the Mi A1 has a bigger screen (5.5in vs 5.1in) and has expandable storage via MicroSD, unlike the Mi 6.
From what I can see, I'd personally choose the Mi A1 as it is cheaper, but doesn't seem to be missing many essentials (certainly compared to the 6).

Did you decide on which phone you want to get yet?
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Turquaz
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(Original post by spotify95)
Did you decide on which phone you want to get yet?
You are right Mi A1 is the best value for money. But Mi 6 has great specs. Question is that if I was to get the Mi 6 then I should also be looking at other Android phones too that are within the same price range e.g. OnePlus, Huawei P10, The Essential Phone; and if I was to spend a little bit more money then Google Pixel 2.
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spotify95
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(Original post by Turquaz)
You are right Mi A1 is the best value for money. But Mi 6 has great specs. Question is that if I was to get the Mi 6 then I should also be looking at other Android phones too that are within the same price range e.g. OnePlus, Huawei P10, The Essential Phone; and if I was to spend a little bit more money then Google Pixel 2.
Indeed, that is definitely the case, and manufacturers like OnePlus cram in a lot of tech for a substantially lower price tag than other major providers. Furthermore, I don't know what the update/software support is like for Xiaomi phones, but more major providers like OnePlus and Huawei are likely to offer more life support regarding future software/security updates and newer Android releases.

There are also various other phones on the Smartphone Buying Guide (at different budget levels as well) that you could compare to the Mi A1, Mi 6 etc, to see if any seem to be better for your requirements for the money (though the Xiaomi phones you've mentioned are certainly good value for money - better than the £1000 iPhone X, anyway!).
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Turquaz
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(Original post by spotify95)
Indeed, that is definitely the case, and manufacturers like OnePlus cram in a lot of tech for a substantially lower price tag than other major providers. Furthermore, I don't know what the update/software support is like for Xiaomi phones, but more major providers like OnePlus and Huawei are likely to offer more life support regarding future software/security updates and newer Android releases.

There are also various other phones on the Smartphone Buying Guide (at different budget levels as well) that you could compare to the Mi A1, Mi 6 etc, to see if any seem to be better for your requirements for the money (though the Xiaomi phones you've mentioned are certainly good value for money - better than the £1000 iPhone X, anyway!).
Thank you spotify. I will check out that link
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