This year there have been some exciting developments in relation to the Android One initiative. For starters, Google has teamed up with some interesting new partners to produce affordable Android One handsets. Secondly, it has finally brought the program to the US.
In what follows, we take a look at two smartphones from the new wave of Android One devices. One is the first Android One phone to be sold in the US, while the second is produced by the Chinese company, Xiaomi and isn’t (yet) officially available in the States. Below you’ll see how they compare against one another.
On the outside
In terms of pricing, the Moto X4 is a middle-range smartphone, but in terms of specs, the phone skews more towards the high-end. For starters, the phone takes advantage of an anodized aluminum frame with IP68 rated protection against water. It also includes a 5.2-inch display with 1920 x 1080 resolution.
As for the Xiaomi Mi A1, this is basically a re-branded Mi 5X with an unmistakable iPhone-esque design. It’s made of metal and comes with curved edges and corners. The 5.5-inch LTPS IPS LCD display of the device is as nice as you can hope to see on a budget device such as this.
Although calling it “budget” brings about some negative connotations from the low-cost, low-quality devices of old, today a budget smartphone doesn’t necessarily have to mean anything more than “affordable price”. Case in point, the Mi A1 offers a fullHD resolution which puts it on par with flagships like the OnePlus 5 or Sony Xperia XZ1.
Both models retain the 3.5mm headphone jack. However, the Xiaomi Mi A1 has its fingerprint scanner living on the back, while on the Moto X4 is embedded within the home button.
On the inside
The Moto is offered with 3GB of RAM + 32GB storage, while the Xiaomi has a bit more to offer in this department, coming with a 4GB of RAM + 64GB storage configuration. Both support a microSD card slot for memory expansion up to 256GB and 128GB respectively.
There is a 3,000 mAh battery keeping the Moto X4 alive and a 3,080 mAh one inside the Xiaomi Mi A1.
The two phones are special among Android One crowd because they include a dual camera setup. On the Moto X4, it’s comprised of a 12-megapixel sensor with f/2.0 + a secondary 8-megapixel sensor with f/2.2, phase detection autofocus, dual-LED flash. As for self-portraits, users can take advantage of the 16-megapixel selfie snapper with f/2.0.
The Xiaomi Mi A1 takes advantage of a dual 12-megapixel camera with phase detection autofocus, 2x optical zoom, and dual-LED flash. It also includes a less impressive 5-megapixel selfie camera.
Since these are Android One devices, you’ll get the clean Google-made Android experience in both cases. Xiaomi has slipped in some apps, one for Xiaomi support and another for built-in remote control. Yes, you’ll also find the Xiaomi Mi camera experience on board.
As for the Moto X4, it’s the first Motorola phone to bake Amazon Alexa into the device. Other additional features include the Moto Key – a special tool that lets users access password-secured websites with the touch of a finger.
Motorola has also worked with French startup Tempow to deliver an improved Bluetooth experience on the device. So you can now pair up to four audio devices to the phone including headphones, speakers or stereo systems.
While both phones launched with Android 7.1 Nougat on board, they will soon be upgraded to Android 8.0 Oreo. And they will also get Android P next year.
The Android One Moto X4 is offered through Google’s Project Fi for $399 in Super Black and Sterling Blue. However, according to recent information, the phone is facing productivity delay with Project Fi shipments being pushed back.
An unlocked version of the Moto X4 will be coming to the US at some point.
As for the Xiaomi Mi A1, the device is available for purchase from retailers like Gearbest for around $248 a pop.