Xiaomi Mi A3 and Mi Band 4 arrive in Malaysia
By Tan Jee Yee August 1, 2019
- Triple-camera Mi A3 prices from RM899
- The Mi Smart Band 4 features AMOLED screen, swim tracking
IT HAS not been long since the release of the Xiaomi Mi 9T (which is excellent, by the way), and Xiaomi recently announced the arrival of the Mi A3 smartphone, their latest inclusion in the Android One line-up of devices.
For the uninitiated, phones that are part of Google’s Android One programme come with stock builds of the latest Android versions as well as guaranteed software updates and security patches, great for people who want a purer Android experience with less pre-installed apps.
“Our Android One series, including Mi A1 and Mi A2, has always been highly successful in terms of immense popularity and exceptional reputation. We believe Mi A3 will continue to exceed our users’ expectations by providing an amazing Android experience at an honest price,” says Xiaomi Malaysia and Singapore country manager Allen An.
Adding to this, Google Partner Programmes director Jon Gold says: “We are thrilled to strengthen our partnership with Xiaomi to add another great device to the Android One portfolio this year. The all-new Mi A3 will deliver a software experience that is up-to-date and easy to use, with built-in malware protection and regular security updates that keep users safe.”
The middle child
The Mi A3 prices at US$217.72 (RM899) for the 4GB+64GB version, and US$241.93 (RM999) for the 4GB+128GB model. Both will be available on Aug 3, 2019 on authorised Mi Stores as well as on Lazada and Shopee.
The price places the Mi A3 squarely between the Mi 9T (which retails for US$290 in Malaysia) and the more budget-centric Redmi Note 7 (US$193.50 for the 4GB+64GB version).
This means that it won’t carry some of the Mi 9T’s more memorable features, such as a notch-less screen and motorised pop-up camera. Instead, the Mi A3 sports a 6.088-inch AMOLED display with a dot drop notch where the selfie camera is.
The fingerprint sensor will be located under the screen. Xiaomi says that this is an improved one, with a 15% increase fingerprint detection area compared to its predecessor, not to mention a 30% increase in unlock rate success “in extreme conditions – from dry fingers to strong light and ultra-low temperatures.” Remind us to try it in the snow.
The Mi A3 runs on a Qualcomm Snapdragon 655 mobile platform – one of the first devices to equip it.
This chip supports Qualcomm’s third-gen AI engine, which is said to provide twice as fast on-device processing compared to the previous Snapdragon 660. Like the Snapdragon 730 that powers the Mi 9T, the Snapdragon 665 also makes 3D face unlock possible.
The Mi A3 also features a 4,030mAh battery, alongside 18W fast charging via USB Type-C. It also features the return of a 3.5mm headphone jack, which was sorely absent in the Mi A2 (its announcement is met with applause).
Three on deck, plus a band
As for its design, the Mi A3 features a weight of 173.8g and a thickness of 8.475mm. The front display and curved back is covered in Corning Gorilla Glass 5. It comes in three strangely-named colour choices: Kind of Grey, Not just Blue and More than White.
The most significant upgrade from its predecessor is its triple-camera setup. It now has a 48MP main lens, 8MP ultra-wide-angle lens photo (with a feature that automatically detects when users are shooting large images and will recommend a switch for a more optimal shot), and a 2MP depth sensor. No telephoto lens though, but that’s understandable.
As for the front camera, the Mi A3 uses a 32MP shooter. It can merge four pixels to form large 1.6μm pixels, allowing it to capture more light in low-light conditions. As a bonus, the satisfying panorama selfie feature from the Mi 9T is here as well, letting users capture wider selfies.
The Mi A3 isn’t the only Xiaomi device arriving in Malaysia. The Mi Smart Band 4 – the latest in Xiaomi’s own line of wearables – was available starting July 31, 2019.
The Band 4 now features a full colour AMOLED display, which shows users their fitness states, messages and notifications in a glance (you can also change the display colour).
The battery is a 135mAh battery that is said to last up to 20 days on a single charge.
In addition to the usual slate of healthy and activity tracking features, the Mi Smart Band 4 now has a swim tracking mode, which can monitor swim length, time, swim strokes and SWOLF (a measure of swimming efficiency).
The price for the Mi Smart Band 4 is at RM149. It comes with a black band upon purchase, but users can purchase different coloured ones through Xiaomi.