Android One once quickly became popular and many new smartphones were launched under Android One. Many manufacturers, including Xiaomi, participated in the Android One ecosystem by collaborating with Google. Especially for brands whose software department was not good, this was a great opportunity. Because in the early times of Android One, smartphones received update packages directly from Google and were quitely stable. Later, the software updates were no longer distributed by Google, but by the manufacturers, and things broke down.
Android One first appeared in India in 2014 and its main goal was to price low hardware and offer users smartphones at affordable prices. Android One was launched by Sundar Pichai, the former head of product and current CEO of Google. Since Pichai is Indian, he was able to predict which phones might be popular in the country. His predictions proved to be correct, and the Android One project was very popular in India and achieved high sales figures. It was available not only in India but also in Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Indonesia, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Myanmar and other South Asian countries.
For two years, 2014 and 2015, exclusively Android One smartphones with MT6582 chipsets were released. In May 2015, Turkish smartphone manufacturer General Mobile unveiled its new Android One product with Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 chipset. The General Mobile 4G, which has a 5-inch 720p screen, supports 4G connectivity, as the name suggests. This smartphone will only be available for sale in the Turkish market. But we have already seen rebranded versions of the same product with the i-mobile IQ II sold in Thailand and the Cherry Mobile One G1 sold in the Philippines.
In 2016, only 2 phones with Android One were introduced. One is the Sharp 507SH and the other is the General Mobile GM 5 Plus. Although the two products look very different at first glance, their software is similar and they use the same platform. Both models use the Qualcomm Snapdragon 617 chipset and the kernel source codes of the two devices are similar.
2017 is the most important year for Android One. Many manufacturers launched Android One phones in 2017, including Xiaomi. As a result of the partnership between Xiaomi and Google, the Xiaomi Mi A1 model was introduced and launched in India, then globally. The Xiaomi Mi A1 attracted a lot of attention with its sufficient hardware, 3 years of software update support and rugged design.
Xiaomi’s first Android One Phone: Xiaomi Mi A1
The Xiaomi Mi A1 featured a 5.5-inch FHD display and offered a refresh rate of 60 Hz, which was the standard at the time. It is powered by the Snapdragon 625 chipset, which was introduced by Qualcomm in Q2 2016 and runs at 2.0 GHz. The 14nm Snapdragon 625 was pretty good in terms of efficiency and could run powerfully with low temperatures We should also not forget about the battery performance. Although the 3080mAh battery of the Mi A1 was weak compared to the Redmi Note 4X model of the same period, it was sufficient for use.
Xiaomi Mi A1 is actually a rebranded version of the Mi 5X. Mi 5X uses the MIUI interface, while Mi A1 has a Pixel-like stock Android interface of Google. Xiaomi Mi A1 was launched with Android 7.1.2 and received 2 major software updates, including Android 9.0. It received the last security update in August 2020 and the update support ended.
Xiaomi Mi A2 | Snapdragon 660 & 18:9 Display
Launched in 2018, the Xiaomi Mi A2 has undergone major changes compared to its predecessor, the Mi A1. The screen ratio has been increased to 18:9, the camera has been improved enormously, and the Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 chipset is preferred. As with Mi A1 and Mi 5X, Mi A2 and Mi 6X are essentially the same devices, Mi A2 is a rebranded version of 6X. As for the Mi A2’s specs, it features a 5.99-inch FHD 60Hz display with an 18:9 aspect ratio, and is powered by an octa-core Snapdragon 660 chipset that includes the Kryo 260 Gold running at 4x 2.2 GHz and the Kryo 260 Silver running at 4x 1.8 GHz.
The aluminum case design used in the Mi A1 model continued to be used with minor changes in the Mi A2 model. The rear design is similar except for the camera setup. The front, on the other hand, is quite different from the previous model. Instead of the large bezels of the Mi A1, the Mi A2 has thin bezels and the screen-to-body ratio, which was 70% in the Mi A1, increased to 77% in the Xiaomi Mi A2.
On the software side, the Xiaomi Mi A2 shipped with Android 8.1 Oreo and has received 2 major software updates, including Android 10. It received its last security update in July 2021, and update support has ended.
Xiaomi Mi A3 | Xiaomi is preparing to end the Android One series
Xiaomi Mi A3 went on sale as a model in which Xiaomi has started preparations to finish the Android One series. To be honest, the quality feel of the Mi A1 and Mi A2 is almost non-existent in the Mi A3. Although it looks quite nice from the outside, the Mi A3 has some issues on the hardware and software side. First of all, talking about its technical features, the Mi A3 has a 720P 6.01-inch AMOLED display.
The screen has a refresh rate of 60 Hz and a pixel density of 286 ppi. Compared to the Mi A2 and even the Mi A1, the quality of the screen has deteriorated significantly. The preferred chipset is the Qualcomm Snapdragon 665 chipset. This chipset is very similar to the Snapdragon 660 in the Mi A2. In terms of efficiency and stability, the Snapdragon 660 chipset is better. The Mi A3 with 4/64 and 4/128 GB RAM /storage options has UFS 2.1 standard. The battery capacity of Mi A1 and Mi A2 is around 3000mAH, increasing to 4030mAh with Mi A3.
When the Xiaomi Mi A3 received the Android 11 update, users faced a big problem. If you installed the Android 11 update on the Mi A3, your device became unusable. Although some things were fixed, other issues remained. High battery usage, features that come with Android 11 but still cannot be used with the update, etc.
Xiaomi Mi A3 is the last phone in the Android One program produced by Xiaomi. After the launch of the Mi A3 in 2019, no new Android One smartphone in the Mi A series was introduced.
Does Android One still exist?
Between 2016 and 2018, many companies that launched smartphones running Android One suddenly disappeared. Currently, the only phone manufacturer that supports Android One is Nokia. After Nokia regained its independence after Microsoft, it found the solution in Android One products. The Nokia X10 is the brand’s latest Android One smartphone model. 5 Android One devices were released in 2021 and they are all entry segment Nokia phones. So Android One is dead.