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Xiaomi announces Mi A2 phones running Android One

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Photo by Tom Warren / The Verge

Xiaomi has announced the Mi A2 and Mi A2 Lite, two new phones running Android One. Google’s stripped-down operating system was originally intended for low-end devices, but the Mi A2 phones are firmly mid-range and should provide a solid stock Android 8.1 experience.

Just as last year’s Mi A1 was based on the China-only Mi 5X, the Mi A2 has basically identical hardware to the Mi 6X. Both phones are 7.3mm thick and share a 6-inch 18:9 1080p LCD, a Snapdragon 660 processor, a 12- and 20-megapixel dual camera setup, a 20-megapixel selfie camera with a flash, USB C, and a 3,000mAh battery. The Mi A2 is available with up to 128GB of storage and 6GB of RAM.

The Mi A2 Lite is a smaller and cheaper variant with a notched 5.84-inch 19:9 1080p LCD, a Snapdragon 625 processor, 12- and 5-megapixel dual cameras, a 5-megapixel selfie camera, a 4,000mAh battery, and Micro USB charging. It’s 8.75mm thick, with storage maxing out at 64GB and RAM at 4GB.

For some people, the Mi A2 Lite may actually be the more attractive device regardless of price. Its notched display means there’s more usable screen space, it has a headphone jack (unlike the Mi A2), and the Snapdragon 625 paired with a much larger battery should result in excellent endurance. The tradeoffs, though, will be in performance, build quality, cameras, and charging port. I’ve been using a Chinese Mi 6X for a while and overall it’s a really impressive phone considering what it costs.

The Mi A2 phones are launching first in Spain, following Xiaomi’s expansion into the country last year. The Mi A2 will cost €249 (~$290) for a device with 4GB RAM and 32GB of storage, €279 (~$325) for 4GB/64GB, and €349 (~$408) for 6GB/128GB. The Mi A2 Lite has a 3GB/32GB version for €179 (~$209) and a 4GB/64GB model for €229 (~$267) in Spain. Availability starts this month, and Xiaomi says the phones will come to 40 countries; India is likely to be a priority, given that the Mi A1 was largely focused on that market.