SINGAPORE - Xiaomi's first near-stock Android phone, the budget Mi A1, will finally be available in Singapore on Oct 14, over a month after it was first launched in India.
The budget smartphone will go for $349 here, despite sporting an array of features usually seen in high-end flagships, such as rear dual cameras and an all-metal design.
It is the first phone under Google's Android One initiative to be released in Singapore. This means that the Mi A1's software is pure Android, with minimal additions from Xiaomi, and will be among the first phones to receive future software updates.
The stock Android experience is usually reserved for Google's high-end Nexus and Pixel flagships, which start from $1,000. However, the tech giant has recently been ramping its Android One initiative, which aims to put stock Android onto lower-end and mid-tier phones at budget prices.
The Mi A1 ships with Android Nougat 7.1.2, and is close to stock Android, with none of Xiaomi's own MIUI operating system skinned over the phone. However, there are some slight Xiaomi apps in the phone, such as the Xiaomi infra-red blaster app, a Mi community and feedback app, and also the camera app.
The Xiaomi-developed camera app is necessary, as the stock Android camera app does not support dual cameras. On A1's back are two shooters: one wide angle lens, and the other a telephoto. Both feature 12-megapixel image sensors, while the front selfie camera has a 5-megapixel sensor.
The Mi A1's 5.5-inch full high-definition display is encased in an all-aluminium body. It runs on a Snapdragon 625 processor with 4GB of RAM. It also comes with onboard 64GB storage and a microSD card slot.
The smartphone also comes with a 3,080mAh battery, a dedicated headphone amplifier that can support headphones up to 600ohms, a USB Type-C port and a rear fingerprint sensor.
Pre-orders for the phone start on Oct 7 at authorized Mi Store outlets in Suntec City and Causeway Point.