It looks like a Mi A3 Lite, and suggests a change in strategy

Today is an important day with the arrival of the Xiaomi Mi A3, because one of the great moments of the year in regards to technological releases of mid-range smartphones has been starring in the company for two years when he launches a terminal of his family Xiaomi Mi A.

The Xiaomi Mi A1 was the pioneer, and always be remembered as the terminal where the company embraces Android One, something that seemed impossible. With the Xiaomi Mi A2 Lite and Mi A2 came the consolidation of the idea, and something else. The Xiaomi Mi A not only stood out for having a very pure Android, but for being superior to its competitors in practically all sections, and at a groundbreaking price.

With this Xiaomi Mi A3 (and an expected brother Mi A3 Lite), the expectation of finding the terminal to recommend par excellence was higher than ever after the jump last year in aspects such as camera and power. However, after knowing all its specifications, the feeling that remains is that we are facing a good terminal, but that "It is not a Xiaomi Mi A3, but a Xiaomi Mi A3 Lite"Let's see why.

Xiaomi Mi A3, a good terminal that does not evolve as expected

The Xiaomi Mi A1 arrived with a Snapdragon 625, 4 GB of RAM and 64 GB of storage in its superior model, and a Full HD screen. With the Xiaomi Mi A2 Lite, the company adapted that base to the new times, adding a large 4,000 mAh battery. The Xiaomi Mi A2 surprised us because it did not evolve with respect to the Xiaomi Mi A1, but it jumped. The Snapdragon 660 with which it arrived He was not the heir of 625 of the previous generation, but of the 650 and 652 that were one step above, betting on much more CPU and GPU power, surpassing even the first one of the 800 series as the 821.

Given the evolution, The logical thing was to think not that this year there will be another leap like that of the Xiaomi Mi A1 to Mi A2, but at least, the bet will remain with equivalent specifications in the context of 2019 (and that Xiaomi has implemented in the terminals that we create base of the hypothetical Mi A3 and Mi A3 Lite, the Xiaomi CC9 and the CC9e). However, the Xiaomi Mi A3, the only one presented, is based on the CC9e, which makes it our expectation, and the reality of the presentation, that this Mi A3 looks like a Xiaomi Mi A3 Lite, and even with respect to what will have supposed to evolve since the Xiaomi Mi A2 Lite can evolve, for example on the screen.

This is what the Xiaomi Mi A3 gives us for 249/279 euros, in contrast to what was expected as the successor of the Xiaomi Mi A2:

  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 665: Like everything Qualcomm does lately, and in the absence of testing it, we are facing a very capable SoC, which any user who is happy with a Snapdragon 660 will make him happy. However, beyond improvements such as going from 14 nm to 11 nm, it does not seem like a real successor to that chip, as 821 was not 820, and 835. In the performance tests we have seen in the CC9e (same hardware as the Mi A3), the chip yields even below the Mi A2. We didn't expect a Snapdragon 730, but it's a 710/712, or at least a little jump with 675.

With the Xiaomi Mi A2, Xiaomi promoted that the 6 GB of RAM reached the family, but the Xiaomi Mi A3 only has variants with 4 GB of RAM.

  • 4 GB of RAM: launching the base model with 4 GB of RAM is something that was expected of the supposed Mi A3 Lite, and it really does not seem a problem that the Xiaomi Mi A3 has them in its base configuration. If it is that if we go up the price range, 128 GB arrives, but 6 GB of RAM are not sighted. Xiaomi has eliminated an option that last year was available for 349 of 6 GB / 128 GB, and that would have made perfect sense in the top model. 6 GB of RAM, until next year.
  • HD + screen: we arrive at true point of involvement of the Xiaomi Mi A3, and not even when compared to the Mi A2, but when compared to the Xiaomi Mi A1 or terminals of the 2015 company such as the Xiaomi Mi 4i, which in 2015 already had a Full HD panel. It is not about obsession with numbers: Xiaomi itself has been one of the "guilty" of raising the bar in this section and putting up with almost the high-end in sharpness. Not be the case of the Mi A3, which with 286 pixels per inch does not exceed 300 pixels per inch that Steve Jobs set as the minimum to consider a screen "Retina" there for 2010 with the iPhone 4. To make the case clearer before the one we meet: The Xiaomi Mi A3 only has one point per inch more than the Samsung Galaxy Note of 2011.

  • Absence of NFC: Until now, when Xiaomi launched terminals based on models sold in China, it is understood that there was no NFC chip, because all mobile payments are managed in another way. However, the Xiaomi CC9, whose base was expected to shape the Mi A3, s has an NFC chip, and In 2019 it seems essential that a terminal of 249 euros has it in Spain, especially when it was one of the great shortcomings of the Xiaomi Mi A2.

Why, despite not being expected and its apparent defects, the Xiaomi Mi A3 be highly recommended

The data of the density of the screen of the Xiaomi Mi A3 of 286 pixels per inch will become something very commented on as a negative aspect, and it can be even more if we take into account that almost like 99% of OLED screens of recent smartphones, it probably has a PenTile matrix, which instead of three subpixels for each pxel, has two, which subtracts even sharper regarding the RGB matrix of its predecessors.

This, and the comments, make the Xiaomi Mi A3 not leave us the same taste in the mouth as a priori the previous ones left us in their presentations, but in spite of everything, and counting on the great and fast sales that Xiaomi terminals usually experience in price, it is a large terminal in its range in 2019.

It is difficult to ignore the recoil of the Xiaomi Mi A3 screen, but it aims to be the most enjoyable terminals of the year in its range

Although the Snapdragon 665 may be a bit slower than the Snapdragon 660, The Xiaomi Mi A3 has, like its Chinese brother, with UFS 2.1 storage, compared to eMMC 5.1 last year. This, if well optimized, will make tasks such as loading games and applications, or installing them from the Play Store, run faster.

Likewise, we must highlight the inclusion of the audio jack and the expansion slot for microSD cards that we did not expect in a Xiaomi Mi A3, after the absences of last year. This, which can be expected from a Xiaomi Mi A3 Lite, reinforces the idea that we are really facing a mobile phone from a range lower than that of the Xiaomi Mi A2, although for the end user they are advantages that we applaud.

As for the screen, which as we say is probably its most negative aspect, leaves the good news that now Xiaomi assembles AMOLED panels in terminals of these prices, which will be well received by lovers of pure black. The fever by OLED technology is very strong, and Xiaomi does not seem to have cared to sacrifice sharpness at the cost of integrating its other advantages. Regarding the panel of the Mi A2, of about 400 nits, the Xiaomi Mi A3 incorporates a high brightness mode (according to the Chinese website in the CC9e) that reaches 530 nits, an important leap.

Although Android One can be tied for hardware, remain the star of the Xiaomi Mi A3, and that is already a lot

In addition to the 4,000 mAh that may offer an exquisite autonomy, it is necessary to mention an aspect that who writes this, and probably to many other users, makes the Xiaomi Mi A3 ahead of other alternatives, and it is nothing other than Android One. Beyond prices, it is what made us fall in love with the Xiaomi Mi A1 and the Mi A2, and will probably do it again with Android Q when it is updated.

Nor should we forget that the new panels integrate fingerprint reader on screen that, faster or not than the Mi A2, It represents a comparative advance in terms of technological avant-garde. It is an extra cost, and its inclusion be celebrated by many users. On the cameras we can only elucubrar, but the Xiaomi Mi A2 managed to be far superior to its competitors in many sections in the capture of photography, and the Xiaomi Mi A3 s brings the expected in that sense to return to take its place, despite lacking in its triple telephoto camera that curiously s had the Mi A1.

The Xiaomi Mi A3 is a turn in the family strategy, but there may still be surprises

The Xiaomi CC9 was called to be the Xiaomi Mi A3. Although it has not come like this, there are rumors that it could give life to a superior model, which we hypothetically call Xiaomi Mi A3 Pro.

As we have seen, Xiaomi has not continued with the Xiaomi Mi A3 not only a strategy of much evolution in key sections, but of continuity. A year later, we can consider that the bet reduces the ambitions that were had with the Xiaomi Mi A2, to which the market responded very favorably. We cannot know the reasons that have led Xiaomi to this appreciated change of course, but for the first time, the impression is that the company has sought not to boost its range.

Around Xiaomi, there has always been a debate about the gap that their new terminals have in their own family. The Xiomi Mi 9T "steps" on the Xiaomi Mi 9 SE, as the Mi Mix 2S stepped on the Mi 8, or as a hypothetical Xiaomi Mi 9T Pro could step on the Xiaomi Mi 9. However, until now the company's response has always been, although unpredictable, determined. Many price bands have coincided, and the message we have captured has been to want to sell the largest number of units with an attractive offer for any type of user.

The Xiaomi Mi A3 that was expected had everything to be the most definitive mid-medium range in its context of the entire smartphone era

With the Xiaomi Mi A3, on the one hand it can be argued that since it is really for us a Xiaomi Mi A3 Lite, what Xiaomi has done by launching at the same price of the Mi A2 has been to look for more profit margin per unit (although components such as the AMOLED screen make the jump more expensive it should be cushioned to spare). But, if server has to give its vision, I will not talk so much about searching for more money per terminal sold, which certainly comes, but "fear", for the first time, to detract from the rest of its offer. Xiaomi has said that not exceeding 5% maximum profit in its terminals, so if we believe in your message, it will have to be the second. In fact, comparing yuan prices of the Xiaomi CC9 equivalent to the Xiaomi Mi 6X, which was the Chinese base of the Mi A2, it can be said that Xiaomi in China continues to sell as cheaply as ever, or even more, taking into account the cost overrun of the panel OLED of CC9.

This also suggests another possibility: that from the Chinese company do not want to have their winning horse with Android One, and instead seek to enhance MIUI with the Redmi Note 7 below and the Mi 9T above.

If the Xiaomi CC9 has arrived as Xiaomi Mi A3 by 249, compared to what we have received, with a quality Full HD + panel, cameras at the height of higher models such as Mi 9 SE and Mi 9 T, except for not having a telephoto lens , these models (and the lower ones) will have suffered commercially when compared. A Xiaomi Mi A3 with 6 GB of RAM, 64 GB of UFS 2.1 storage, triple good camera, 4,000 mAh, Snapragon 710/712/730 for 249/279 euros, which could be expected, would have been the largest pump in the range middle of the smartphone era. Too good to take it to practice? Only Xiaomi knows.

Xiaomi and the psychology of hype are intimately related, and the Xiaomi Mi A3 can be a "crack" in its history, because we miss too much

The problem I observe for Xiaomi with this terminal is not so much that the Mi A3 is not sold, but the company is surrounded by the disappointment of a great launch. Until now, it was a company that deluded greatly with each launch, a fact that has made it exist its Mi Fans and a word of mouth of the most powerful in the industry. If optimism takes you on blasts, pessimism can lead to problems, and the magnificent legacy of the Xiaomi Mi A can be questioned.

Surprise may be a superior model talked about in rumors, that will come to have the specifications we have talked about, and that we will mention as Xiaomi Mi A3 Pro. That s will be the genuine and expected Mi A 2019, but if the movement with the Mi A3 has had to do with a hole in the family, Where would that fit at the highest price, with the Mi 9T at 329 and potentially downgraded in the face of a hypothetical launch after summer?