Xiaomi Mi A1 at Rs 14,999 or Redmi Note 4 at Rs 13,000: Which is a better smartphone?

By: | Updated: September 19, 2017 11:46 AM

Xiaomi just announced the Mi A1 smartphone, but how different is it from the Redmi Note 4 device?

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In a very short span of time, Xiaomi has managed to become one of the biggest smartphone brands in India. The way it has captured the Indian budget and mid segment customers is a study in business. From the Mi series to the Redmi phones, Xiaomi has managed to unveil several devices in the market in small gaps yet managed to gain massive sales. Xiaomi’s favourite segment is the smartphones under Rs 15,000. While it already had the hugely popular Redmi Note 4 in the market, it has now announced the Xiaomi Mi A1 mobile.

Xiaomi believes in flash sales, and the Redmi Note 4 sells like hot cakes when it is available. The company’s vice president and India head Manu Kumar Jain recently said that the phone broke all records in the first and second quarter. It is undeniable that the Redmi Note 4 offers something most phone still cannot, in that range. This is the reason why a phone launched in January, still manages to sell more than new devices. This also suggests that Xiaomi is offering something more, or perhaps something different in its Mi A1 smartphone and it is upto the users to decide which features they prefer in a mobile. The company recently partnered with Google for its Android One project to bring our the all new Xiaomi Mi A1. Here is a list of differences between Mi A1 and Redmi Note 4:

Xiaomi Mi A1 vs Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 ‘Software’: The main visible difference between the phones will be the Android. While the Redmi Note 4 used the company’s own skin called MIUI, the Mi A1 will come with a stock version of Android, called Android One. While most people have loved the MIUI skins, there is a crowd which prefer the pure Android experience. Both of them have their own qualities. But Xiaomi usually prefers to keep the same updates for all its phones. This may have two problems, that your phone interfaces look all the same, and many Android features get killed in order to maintain balance. While this enables a smooth and secure interface to work on, you may be missing out of many features. Additionally, Android updates get delayed on Xiaomi smartphones.

However, now with Android One, you get a fast UI which is also quick in receiving updates. While the Mi A1 will come with Android Nougat, users will get the Android Oreo as soon as it is rolled out and probably Android P after that. Meanwhile, the Redmi Note 4 may take some time for that. When it comes to the Redmi device, it still has the Android 7.0, while it arrived with Android Marshmallow. But chances are high that there may not be an Android Oreo update in the phone. Xiaomi has always been clear about the fact that it won’t allow Android updates just to increase their number. The company prefers to “make phones better”. So it is clear that Android doesn’t define the Redmi phone. But it is different with the Mi A1.

Mi A1 will cater to the buyers who prefer to get newer software versions as soon as possible. Having said that, the Redmi Note 4 is in no way inferior. Even though it may not be quick in updating the OS, it keeps upgrading its MIUI interface and you see visible changes in your phones time and again. The MIUI is so powerful that you barely notice even when there is an Android update. This differentiates the audience of both the phones.

Xiaomi Mi A1 vs Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 Hardware: When it comes to the design and build, both the smartphones feature almost the same things. However, the Mi A1 has a more sophisticated appearance, but Redmi Note 4 is not bad at all. Even at the launch event, Xiaomi went on comparing the Mi A1 with iPhone 7 and OnePlus, and it does not look much different than the premium devices and that too at a lower cost.

Both Redmi Note 4 and Mi A1 have the same processors inside, but the latter has only one storage variant, 4GB RAM and 64GB ROM. MEanwhile, the Redmi device comes in three models- 2GB RAM, 3GB RAM and 4GB RAM. In terms of battery, the Redmi Note 4 has a bigger battery at 4,100mAh while Mi A1 has 3080mAh.

The biggest difference is the camera. While the Redmi Note 4 has a 13MP rear camera with f/2.0 aperture, the Mi A1 has a dual camera setup (12MP + 12MP). With the optical and digital zoom, the Mi A1 is clearly aimed at the newly popular dual camera feature which came with the iPhone 7. The camera will be able to create DSLR like images and is a big upgrade for the simple Redmi Note 4 camera. However, the Redmi device in itself has a decent camera which does its job.

Verdict: Mi A1 is an ideal choice right now, as it offers clean unadulterated Android. However, if you are a Xiaomi fan, you would still want to use the MIUI interface and that makes the Redmi Note 4 an obvious choice. So, if you are not hard brained about using a stock Android, the Redmi Note 4 is still offering solid specifications and features and at a lower cost. In terms of hardware, with better camera, design and build, Mi A1 is a clear winner. But the Redmi Note 4is a solid phone which offers a much bigger battery at a lower cost. So, if you are not much inclined to the camera features, Redmi Note 4 won’t disappoint.

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