Announced in July, the Xiaomi Mi A3 is the company’s latest Android One smartphone. That means the Mi A3 runs a clean version of Android 9 Pie and should get monthly security updates, with updates to Android Q and R also guaranteed.
Even though the Mi A3 is the new kid on the block, that doesn’t mean you should ignore its predecessor. A little over a year old at this point, the Mi A2 still packs enough grunt to warrant a purchase in 2019. The Mi A2 is also an Android One smartphone and should get at least another year of monthly security updates, along with Android Q.
To that end, let’s see how the Mi A3 compares vs the Mi A2.
Xiaomi Mi A3 vs Xiaomi Mi A2 specs
|Xiaomi Mi A3||Xiaomi Mi A2|
1,560 x 720 resolution
2,160 x 1,080 resolution
|SoC||Qualcomm Snapdragon 665||Qualcomm Snapdragon 660|
|GPU||Adreno 610||Adreno 512|
microSD card slot
No microSD card slot
Triple lens setup
8MP f/2.2 ultra-wide
2MP f/2.4 depth
Dual lens setup
12MP f/1.8 wide
20MP f/1.8 low-light
|Audio||Headphone jack||No headphone jack|
18-watt fast charging
18-watt fast charging
|Sensors||In-display fingerprint sensor, accelerometer, gyroscope, proximity, compass||Rear-mounted fingerprint sensor, accelerometer, gyroscope, proximity, compass|
|Biometric authentication||Optical in-display fingerprint sensor||Capacitive fingerprint sensor|
|Connectivity||Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac|
LTE band 1/2/3/4/5/7/8/20/28/38/40
|Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac|
HSDPA 850/900/1700 (AWS)/1900/2100
LTE band 1/2/3/4/5/7/8/20/38/40
|Software||Android 9 Pie|
|Android 9 Pie|
|Dimensions and weight||153.5 x 71.9 x 8.5mm|
|158.7 x 75.4 x 7.3mm|
|Colors||Kind of Grey, Not Just Blue, More Than White||Black, gold, blue, red, rose gold|
Starting with the display, the differences boil down to the type and resolution. The Mi A3 goes with AMOLED, though the HD+ resolution is lower than the Mi A2 display’s Full HD+ resolution. That said, the Mi A2’s display is IPS LCD. That means colors won’t be as vibrant and they are on the Mi A3’s AMOLED display.
It’s as if Xiaomi took a step forward, then took a step backward when it comes to the display. The RAM situation is also a bit perplexing. The Mi A3’s base variant features double the storage of the Mi A2’s, but RAM is stuck at 4GB. Meanwhile, you can get up to 6GB of RAM if you get the 128GB version of the Mi A2.
Moving to the processor, the Mi A3 features the Snapdragon 665 chipset. The Mi A2’s Snapdragon 660 is slightly older, but you won’t notice much of a difference in the real world. The biggest advantage the Snapdragon 665 features is support for 48MP images, which brings us to the cameras.
On the Mi A3, we have a 48MP primary sensor, an 8MP ultra-wide sensor, and a 2MP depth sensor. According to Ryan’s impressions in our Xiaomi Mi A3 review, this setup is quite decent, resulting in plenty of good shots in a variety of conditions. Moving to the A2, we were pleasantly surprised with its primary 12MP sensor and disappointed with its secondary 20MP sensor meant for low-light situations.
Shifting to the battery, the Mi A3 features a large 4,030mAh battery. The capacity almost dwarfs the 3,000mAh battery inside the Mi A2, though both phones feature 18W fast wired charging. Finally, the Mi A3 sports an in-display fingerprint sensor, which is really not that good. The Mi A2 features a rear-mounted fingerprint sensor.
At the end of the day, you won’t go wrong with either phone. The Mi A3 is the newer phone, so you’ll be more future-proofed than you would with the Mi A2. That said, the older phone holds up surprisingly well against its successor.