Android One is a low-cost line of smartphones under Google that will only run Android operating system. Having partnered with General Mobile and Sharp before, the internet giant has turned its attention to Xiaomi, one of the fastest growing smartphone manufacturer globally.
The Xiaomi Mi A1 was announced earlier this week and will be the latest smartphone to join the Android One family. For those familiar with Xiaomi smartphones, the Mi A1 is actually a variant of the Mi 5X, Xiaomi’s latest mid-range model that was launched in August for the China market.
The Mi 5X is a 5.5-inch display phone powered by an efficient Snapdragon 625 processor, features dual 12-megapixel rear cameras, fingerprint scanner at the back of the phone, 4GB RAM and 64GB storage. According to reports, the Mi 5X which costs ¥1,499 (est. ~S$309.22) sold over 300, 000 units on the first day of sale.
Google’s Mi A1 will Xiaomi’s first smartphone that will feature a stock Android operating system, Nougat for now; Oreo 8.0 is expected to roll out to the phone end of the year. Previously, Xiaomi phones only run MIUI, an Android variant OS, and contains apps that are useful only in China. Most, if not all, phones made in China doesn’t come with Google Play store due to the company’s sour relationship with the country’s government. With Mi A1, it opens up options for customers outside of China.
The Mi A1 will launch in India this week, followed by a global launch in 40 countries (Singapore included) later this year. We are expecting the Mi A1 to be priced similarly to the Mi 5X between S$300 – 340.