Xiaomi's second smartphone to come packed with the Android One software, Mi A2 has been getting attention in India since it was launched in Madrid last month. Expectations with the Xiaomi Mi A2 are high as it succeeds Xiaomi Mi A1, a market favourite last year. An interesting point about this device is that there is no other smartphone with the same chipset in this price bracket. Xiaomi has been emphasising on the camera unit present on the Mi A2, with available camera samples pointing towards a strong performer in the optics department.
But the strong spec list will not be enough to give the Xiaomi Mi A2 an undisputed claim to the top spot in the upper end of the mid-range segment. The Honor Play, a recent launch with a similar price tag, seems to be a more than capable competitor for the Mi A2. A powerful Kirin 970 processor which does duty on higher priced devices and focus on efficient performance for gaming needs make the Honor Play a viable alternative to the Mi A2.
Here's a look at how these two likely competitors size up against each other:
While the mid-range segment is populated by devices running the power-efficient Snapdragon 636, Xiaomi has decided to go with Qualcomm's mid-range powerhouse Snapdragon 660 for the Mi A2. The octa-core processor features four Kryo cores clocked at 2.2 GHz and another four at 1.8 GHz. The graphics workload is handled by the Adreno 512 GPU. The Snapdragon 660 has been spotted in several other devices like the Vivo X21, Nokia 7 Plus and many more, as well as, one of the recently launched Blackberry smartphones, the Evolve X, all of which exceed the price tag on Xiaomi Mi A2 by a wide margin.
While Mi A2 packs quite a powerhouse under the hood, the Honor Play gets the edge with Huawei's in-house Kirin 970 SoC. This chipset does duty on flagship devices like Huawei P20 Pro, Huawei P20, Huawei Mate RS Porsche Design and more. The emphasis on performance is due to the fact that the Honor Play is meant to woo the budding class of mobile gamers. The Honor Play comes equipped with GPU Turbo feature which claims to boost performance by 60 per cent and cut down power wastage by 30 per cent.
Both processors come equipped with AI capabilities which are a major selling point for both the devices. On the operating system front, the Mi A2 comes packed with Android One out of the box, whereas the Honor Play comes with EMUI 8.2 based on Android 8.1 Oreo.
The Xiaomi Mi A1 impressed critics and users alike with its camera capabilities, leaving some big shoes for the Mi A2 to fill. Xiaomi recently shared images of celebrities clicked with the Mi A2 to showcase the imaging capabilities of the device, and they look pretty good.
The Xiaomi Mi A2 features a dual camera setup at the back with a 12MP Sony IMX486 sensor and a 20MP Sony IMX376 sensor with pixel binning technology. This technology merges four pixels into a bigger pixel for better colour reproduction in low-light conditions. The Mi A2 comes with smart lens selection feature which automatically changes the sensor being used depending on the lighting conditions. The front camera is a 20MP Sony IMX376 sensor, again with pixel binning technology.
The Huawei Honor Play has a 16MP sensor primary camera at the back with a 2MP secondary sensor for collecting depth information. The camera unit can sense 22 different categories and 500 more scenarios with AI and adjust the settings accordingly. Both devices feature 3D portrait lighting.
While the Xiaomi Mi A2 sports a tall display with 18:9 aspect ratio and no notch, the Honor Play comes with a notched display and 19.5:9 aspect ratio. The Xiaomi Mi A2 has a 5.99-inch FullHD+ screen, whereas the Honor Play has a 6.3-inch panel with similar resolution. The Mi A2 is the first Xiaomi phone to come with Gorilla Glass 5 protection.
Xiaomi has launched only one variant of the Mi A2 with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage at Rs 16,999. A higher placed variant with 6GB RAM and 128GB internal storage will be launched sooner, the company as promised.
Meanwhile, the base variant of Honor Play with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage comes with a price tag of Rs 19,999. The higher variant of the device with 6GB RAM and 64GB internal memory will be available for Rs 23,999.
Edited by Vivek Punj