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Redmi A1 Review: Good Entry-Level Smartphone

Redmi A1

Xiaomi's latest contender in the entry-level smartphone market the Redmi A1 is a power-packed smartphone with dual cameras, a huge battery, a large display, and a capable chipset in its category.
The Redmi A1 is a smartphone priced at only ₱4,499, this entry-level device has a lot to offer in terms of features, and it's available in three different colors: Light Green, Light Blue, and Black.

Redmi A1 Specs

Android 12 (Go edition), MIUI 12
6.52-inch HD+ display, 720 x 1600 pixels, 20:9 ratio
2.0 GHz Mediatek MT6761 Helio A22 (12 nm)  Quad-core processor
PowerVR GE8320
32GB storage expandable storage up to 1TB via microSD card
8MP + QVGA rear camera
5MP selfie
Dual SIM, Dual standby
Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n, hotspot
GPS L1 | Glonass G1 | BDS B1I | Galileo E1
Bluetooth 5.0
FM radio
Headphone Jack
micro-USB 2.0
5000mAh Battery, 10W Fast Charging
Colors: Black, Light Green, Light Blue

Redmi A1 Unboxing
It comes in a simple white box with the branding at the front and the standard tech specs on the bottom of the box.

Redmi A1

Box Contents:
Redmi A1 (2GB + 32GB) in Light Blue color
SIM Ejector tool
User Guide and Warranty information
micro-USB Cable
10W Charger
No: wired earphones

It's a bit disappointing that neither wired earphones nor a protective case is included in the box. At the very least, Xiaomi should have thrown in a simple case as a freebie.

Redmi A1 Design and Built
For its low price, it makes sense that this device would be stripped down to the bare essentials. The plastic back cover features a textured, single-tone finish that looks nice with its matte surface so it doesn't get dirty easily.

Redmi A1

The dual camera with the LED light is oriented vertically and is practically flush with the shell, while the Redmi branding is positioned at the bottom. The Redmi A1 feels good in the hand; it's slim, light, and fits easily in the pocket.

Redmi A1

 There is a micro-USB connector at the bottom, beside a headphone jack and microphone, it's a bit odd that the speaker grille is placed at the top.

Redmi A1

The volume and power buttons are on the right side, while the triple SIM slot that supports two nano-SIM and one microSD card is placed on the left side.

Redmi A1 Display
The Redmi A1 featured a 6.52-inch HD+ LCD display with a 60Hz refresh rate. There is a front-facing camera that is housed in a waterdrop-shaped notch. The overall viewing experience is this device is nice and the viewing angles as also good.

Redmi A1

It's Widevine L3 certified, which is suitable for SD streaming platforms such as Netflix. With its 400 nits of brightness, outdoor use in bright sunlight is slightly impaired, although indoor use is good.

Redmi A1 Performance
It's powered by the unimpressive MediaTek Helio A22 processor with only 2GB of RAM. and 32GB of internal storage. MediaTek Helio A22 combines four ARM Cortex-A53 processors working at up to 2.0GHz with an IMG PowerVR GE-class GPU and either LPDDR4x or LPDDR3 memory.

Redmi A1

As a result of the limited amount of RAM, there is a slight latency while switching between certain apps. However, the addition of Google's lightweight Android Go platform, which requires fewer system resources, improves the overall navigation experience.

This device is only capable of running low-end games, thus it is to be expected that you won't be able to play PUBG or other popular shooting games.

Redmi A1

Xiaomi has removed the bloatware MIUI overlay and replaced it with the more stock Android 12 Go. The app includes mobile-friendly versions of a handful of popular apps. The general overall UI experience remains good for everyday use.

Redmi A1

Additionally, there is a single, decent top-firing speaker, however, there is no fingerprint reader for authentication, but it does support the usual PIN and Face-unlock using the front-facing camera.

Redmi A1 Camera
The rear camera sensors consist of an 8-megapixel main camera assisted by an AI lens that improves color reproduction. Whether it is daytime or overcast, the sensor captures details effectively. It has a quick shutter speed, however, it takes a while to focus on a subject. Dynamic range and exposure control are at most decent, with a tendency for highlights to be overexposed.

Redmi A1

Low-light shooting is not advised since the image quality looks mediocre and is not Instagram-worthy. Photos taken under artificial lighting tend to be oversaturated and lacking in detail. The 5-megapixel front-facing camera does a decent job of capturing and reproducing face features.

Battery Performance
The Redmi A1 is equipped with a 5,000mAh battery, which is one of its strong features and will last at least two days. Thanks to its efficient chipset and HD+ LCD display. 

Charging the battery using the included 10W charger takes about two hours since it still uses the old micro-USB interface, it would have been nice to see this device have a type-C port for faster data transfer and charging.

Budget-friendly price
Simple design
FM radio
Large display
Long battery life
Smooth performance 

Average camera
Unimpressive performance
Limited storage
Loaded with bloatware

The Redmi A1 is a good budget-friendly entry-level smartphone with a clean Android UI, ergonomic design, and long battery life. This may not be the price segment to consider if you intend to do heavy work and gaming or require high-quality cameras.  But it's a good option if you are looking for a low-cost Android Go smartphone for beginners. 

The new Redmi A1 is priced at only ₱3,999 an early bird price from October 29 to November 13, 2022. Its regular price is ₱4,499, which is still very reasonable given its features and capabilities. As an added, post-promo bonus, Xiaomi will give Bluetooth speakers as freebies to buyers after November 13, until supplies last. 

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