Xiaomi Mi A1, the test with Android P

Xiaomi Mi A1, the test with Android P


 

December 23rd 2018 is a date to remember for all owners of Mi A1: finally arrives the long-awaited upgrade to Android 9.

 

Upgrade ad Android Pie

 

I immediately downloaded the update and I launched a couple of immediate tests, which were the nerve points of the phone: battery and camera check.

 

But let’s proceed with order. First of all, the Launcher: the new home screen is in fact a certified copy of Pixel 3. Clean, simple, minimal.
For those who have chosen Android One, it is definitely a centered and functional design.
The graphics of the shortcuts are also updated, in my case immediately configured with the dark theme.

 

a1-en

a1-2-en

 

A slide on the left immediately brings you the news screen of the Google app (which seems to me much faster and reactive than before on updating the contents).
Configurable at-a-glance widget at the top of the screen.

 

Important news in the App screen, there are the last two outgoing calls you have made.

 

Another thing that I really like: the active app screen includes at the bottom of the Google search and the list of the most used apps.

 

a1-3-ena1-4-en

 

1 GB of update, an important download, which also adds adaptive auto-configuration features with on-screen prompts to automatically set behaviors that the phone perceives as “usual”, such as closing down notifications of successful screenshots.

 

Adaptive Battery

 

A new feature of Android P is the automatic battery management, which analyzes the use of the App and limits the consumption of energy. It’s a “smart” app, that is, it modifies its automatic behavior based on how you use the phone.

 

It will take time to figure out if it is really useful, but in the meantime I have uninstalled Nap Time to give it a real chance.

 

For now I can say that with 1 hour and 37 minutes of screen use, I consumed 41% of the charge.
I have the blue tooth active with the Mi Band 3 always connected, which certainly affects the results, but doing a quick calculation means you can wait 3 hours and 45 minutes of intensive screen use (camera, video, connection speed test, screenshot …).

 

a1-5-en

 

It is indicatively the same result I had with Android Oreo, so the judgment on the adaptive battery is postponed until Pie has enough data to be able to better manage the charge.

 

Camera

 

I am strongly undecided about giving this judgment.
It does not seem to have changed anything, neither in the phone settings nor in the software version, but the quality of the photos seems to me to have improved.
Quickly shooting a couple of close-ups at Jack (the home Whippet: P) and comparing the result with the gCam, the quality difference seems to be much diminished.

 

a1-6-en
Jack with the Mi A1 stock camera
a1-7-en
Jack with the gCam Arnova 8.3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I will do some testing in a working context to understand better, but as you can see below, it seems that the Mi A1 camera has improved.

 

Video

 

Also in this case it seems that the difference between the Stock Camera of Android P and the gCam (Arnova 8.3) has been reduced and that the quality on video 4k is more similar.
You still note the sluggishness and stabilization is still limited (we are always talking about a € 180 phone …) but if Nougat and Oreo was not minimally imaginable to use the stock camera, now seems a viable option, especially for the management of brightness that appears to be significantly improved.

 

The “20 Band” question

 

There has been much talk of the bug that would have caused the delay in the distribution of the update to Pie: on some terminals the upgrade blocked the operation of band 20, ie the frequency that makes 4G work.
Someone even reported problems with WiFi.

 

In these 8 hours of use from the update I objectively noticed that: Someone even reported problems with WiFi.

 

  • The phone is generally more sensitive to changes in signal strength and in some areas of the house signals less available field.
  • There is no real deterioration in operation, as you can see from the screenshots of the speed tests, indeed, the 4G despite signs less field, works at 20% more speed than before.
  • Leaving the automatic selection of the network it happened that the Mi A1 hooked up to the Hedge line (hence roaming on TIM). By manually selecting the network on which to operate, this does not happen.

 

Super news of this update: the app to listen to the radio.
Operation is simple, but it is bound to the use of headphones, because obviously the earphone cable is used to receive the signal.

 

The automatic station search function scans the frequency range and stores the available frequencies.
You can edit the found stations, rename them or enter them in the favorites list.

 

The sound is good, of DAB quality. The rustles are reduced to a minimum and the integration with my Mi Piston Basic headphones is perfect.

 

 

 

 

Let’s sum up

 

I am a demanding user, I use the phone professionally and I need reactive devices, which are not problematic to use and that do not constitute a hitch in the workflow.
It is clearly early to see if this update is really improving and how it will impact on my daily life, but at the moment I am satisfied.

 

I will keep Android P “stock” for at least a month, disabling the Nova Launcher and the gCam to see the real differences compared to Nougat and Oreo, and confirm the positive impressions of this first half day.

LTE speed with half signal
LTE speed with minimum signal
WiFi speed away from the router
WiFi speed next to the router

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What I think: I think ACTIVELY miss the band 20 support, but that some lucky users like me (who use 3 as an operator) have access to 4G via other frequencies, and therefore are covered by the service ( https: //it.wikipedia. org / wiki / 4G_in_Italia )

 

FM radio

 

Super news of this update: the app to listen to the radio.
Operation is simple, but it is bound to the use of headphones, because obviously the earphone cable is used to receive the signal.

 

The automatic station search function scans the frequency range and stores the available frequencies.
You can edit the found stations, rename them or enter them in the favorites list.

 

The sound is good, of DAB quality. The rustles are reduced to a minimum and the integration with my Mi Piston Basic headphones is perfect.

 

 

 

 

Let’s sum up

 

I am a demanding user, I use the phone professionally and I need reactive devices, which are not problematic to use and that do not constitute a hitch in the workflow.
It is clearly early to see if this update is really improving and how it will impact on my daily life, but at the moment I am satisfied.

 

I will keep Android P “stock” for at least a month, disabling the Nova Launcher and the gCam to see the real differences compared to Nougat and Oreo, and confirm the positive impressions of this first half day.

 

LTE speed with half signal
LTE speed with minimum signal
WiFi speed away from the router
WiFi speed next to the router

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What I think: I think ACTIVELY miss the band 20 support, but that some lucky users like me (who use 3 as an operator) have access to 4G via other frequencies, and therefore are covered by the service ( https: //it.wikipedia. org / wiki / 4G_in_Italia )

 

FM radio

 

Super news of this update: the app to listen to the radio.
Operation is simple, but it is bound to the use of headphones, because obviously the earphone cable is used to receive the signal.

 

The automatic station search function scans the frequency range and stores the available frequencies.
You can edit the found stations, rename them or enter them in the favorites list.

 

The sound is good, of DAB quality. The rustles are reduced to a minimum and the integration with my Mi Piston Basic headphones is perfect.

 

 

 

 

Let’s sum up

 

I am a demanding user, I use the phone professionally and I need reactive devices, which are not problematic to use and that do not constitute a hitch in the workflow.
It is clearly early to see if this update is really improving and how it will impact on my daily life, but at the moment I am satisfied.

 

I will keep Android P “stock” for at least a month, disabling the Nova Launcher and the gCam to see the real differences compared to Nougat and Oreo, and confirm the positive impressions of this first half day.

 

 

LTE speed with half signal
LTE speed with minimum signal
WiFi speed away from the router
WiFi speed next to the router

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What I think: I think ACTIVELY miss the band 20 support, but that some lucky users like me (who use 3 as an operator) have access to 4G via other frequencies, and therefore are covered by the service ( https: //it.wikipedia. org / wiki / 4G_in_Italia )

 

FM radio

 

Super news of this update: the app to listen to the radio.
Operation is simple, but it is bound to the use of headphones, because obviously the earphone cable is used to receive the signal.

 

The automatic station search function scans the frequency range and stores the available frequencies.
You can edit the found stations, rename them or enter them in the favorites list.

 

The sound is good, of DAB quality. The rustles are reduced to a minimum and the integration with my Mi Piston Basic headphones is perfect.

 

 

 

 

Let’s sum up

 

I am a demanding user, I use the phone professionally and I need reactive devices, which are not problematic to use and that do not constitute a hitch in the workflow.
It is clearly early to see if this update is really improving and how it will impact on my daily life, but at the moment I am satisfied.

 

I will keep Android P “stock” for at least a month, disabling the Nova Launcher and the gCam to see the real differences compared to Nougat and Oreo, and confirm the positive impressions of this first half day.


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