Xiaomi Mi A2 vs Redmi Note 5 Pro: Xiaomi recently introduced its second Android One-powered smartphone, Mi A2 in India. The mid-range handset from the Chinese brand came with a bunch of upgrades primarily in terms of processing hardware, camera and display. The metallic unibody designed Mi A2 features a 5.99-inch IPS display with 18:9 aspect ratio offering extra screen real estate to consume content. The phone features vertically stacked dual rear cameras comprising of a 12MP primary camera lens and a 20MP secondary lens with a f/1.75 aperture for brighter images in low light.
Launched for a price of Rs 16,999 for the 4GB RAM/64GB storage model, the Mi A2’s first sale will kick off today (August 16) on e-commerce portal Amazon India and Xiaomi’s official site, Mi.com. Considering the price, the new Xiaomi Mi A2 Android One smartphone has a few rivals to compete with in the Indian smartphone market, the foremost noteworthy contender being Xiaomi’s own popular budget device, Redmi Note 5 Pro.
Xiaomi Mi A2 vs Redmi Note 5 Pro: Design and display
Xiaomi Mi A2 and Redmi Note 5 Pro looks quite identical from the front and rear side. Both the handsets feature vertically stacked dual rear cameras, circular shaped fingerprint sensor and Mi logo inscribed at the bottom of the back panel. However, the antenna bands run along the curvature on the former, while on the Redmi Note 5 Pro, it dissects the top and bottom part of the rear panel.
In terms of display, Xiaomi Mi A2 and Redmi Note 5 Pro feature a similar screen size of 5.99-inch and come with an aspect ratio of 18:9. Both the phones have on-screen navigation buttons and a resolution of 2160 x 1080 pixels. However, the display on the Mi A2 has Corning Glass 5 on top for added protection.
Hardware and components
Xiaomi Mi A2 runs Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 660 processor paired with Adreno 512 GPU for graphics. The chipset fabricated on 14nm process comes with 4 x 2.2GHz Kyro 260 + 4 x 1.8GHz Kyro 260 cores. The processor within the Mi A2 promises smooth rendition of gaming and graphics-heavy tasks. Meanwhile, Redmi Note 5 Pro is powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 processor which is designed for mid-range smartphones. The chipset includes eight Kyro 260 cores clocked at 1.8GHz promising efficient overall performance but not as powerful as the 660.
Surprisingly, the Mi A2 lacks a few components as compared to the Redmi Note 5 Pro. For instance, the microSD slot for storage expansion and a much needed 3.5mm audio jack.
Camera and software
As far as the imaging sensor is concerned, Xiaomi Mi A2 bears dual camera setup at the back comprising of a 12MP Sony IMX486 sensor and a 20MP Sony IMX376 secondary sensor with each lens having a f/1.75 aperture. The dual camera sensors come with PDAF (phase detection auto-focus) and LED flash support. Up front, it has a 20MP camera that includes AI portrait mode, Beautify 4.0 and LED selfie light for clicking brighter images in low-light. The cameras on the Mi A2 offer impressive photos with good colour reproduction in proper lighting condition.
The Redmi Note 5 Pro packs dual rear cameras with a 12MP primary sensor and a 5MP secondary sensor. The primary lens has f/2.2 aperture and the secondary sensor comes with f/2.0 aperture. Up front, it gets a 20MP sensor similar to the Mi A2, however, the aperture is different. The front camera supports Beautify 4.0 and LED selfie light. The cameras on the Redmi Note 5 Pro offer decent output in good lighting conditions too.
On the software front, Xiaomi’s new Mi A2 handset edges ahead of the Redmi Note 5 Pro. The Mi A2 runs a stock version of Android Oreo OS offering clutter-free Android UI experience. Further, the handset is a part of the Android One program which means users will get regular software updates for the next two years. In comparison, Redmi Note 5 Pro still runs Android Nougat based on the company’s proprietary MIUI 9. Although Xiaomi has made improvements to its custom ROM skin, MIUI is quite strewn compared to Android One. Besides, the Chinese OEM has not shared any timeline as to when it will roll out Android Oreo on the Redmi Note 5 Pro. In contrast, Xiaomi is said to deliver Android Pie update for the Mi A2 in the coming months.
Battery and storage
With a 4,000mAh battery underneath its hood, Redmi Note 5 Pro takes a lead in the battery department. The phone provides more than a day’s worth of usage on a single charge. Meanwhile, Xiaomi Mi A2 packs a standard 3,010mAh battery that isn’t expected to survive beyond a day. However, the benefit of having the Mi A2 is that its supports Qualcomm Quick Charge 4.0 (Indian variant) and comes with USB Type-C port. The Redmi Note 5 Pro, on the other hand, has a micro USB 2.0 port for charging and supports Quick Charge 2.0 technology.
As for storage, Mi A2 offers single RAM/storage option- 4GB RAM/64GB onboard storage (non-expandable) for the Indian market currently. Xiaomi has promised to bring the high-end variant 6GB RAM/128GB storage of Mi A2 in the country at a later time. Redmi Note 5 Pro, meanwhile, offers 64GB storage paired with two RAM options – 4GB and 6GB.
Price in India
Xiaomi Mi A2 has been priced in India at Rs 16,999 for the base model having 4GB of RAM and 64GB onboard storage. You can grab Redmi Note 5 Pro high-end model for the exact price as the Mi A2. The Redmi Note 5 Pro 6GB RAM/64GB storage version comes for a price of Rs 16,999; while the base variant that packs 4GB RAM/64GB storage tags a price of Rs 14,999.
While one expected the Mi A2 to be a clear winner in this race, it isn’t. Xiaomi Mi A2 does win over Redmi Note 5 Pro in terms of processing power, Android UI experience and overall camera performance. However, the phone misses out on a few components like 3.5mm headphone and microSD slot that are present on the Redmi Note 5 Pro. Not to forget the comparatively lower battery capacity on the Mi A2. For a similar price, users can get additional RAM, microSD slot support that can accommodate further 128GB of expandable storage, significantly bigger battery on the Redmi Note 5 Pro. In contrast, the Mi A2, though supports Quick Charge 4.0, does not bundle a fast charger which means user will have to buy one separately.
To sum things up, in case you prefer a clean, bloat-free Android experience, faster hardware and cameras that offer better dynamic range and can trade off with 3.5mm audio jack, microSD slot and battery capacity, then Mi A2 is the phone for you. Else, Redmi Note 5 Pro still remains a solid alternative.