You’ll never see mid-range phones the same way as before
With flagship smartphones becoming more and more expensive lately, most of us regular individuals like to be more practical with our smartphone choices. Fortunately for all of us, brands have been beefing up their mid-range lineup with phones that offer decent performance-level specs without breaking the bank. In fact, we have reviewed a bunch of mid-range phones within the Php11k to Php16K lately, and so far we’re quite impressed with what they have to offer.
With Android One finally getting what it truly deserves with the Xiaomi Mi A1, the mid-range smartphone market is now stronger than ever. While we have yet gotten our hands on a unit (they say that the Mi A1 is the global version of the Mi 5X), we have thought of comparing it to two of our favorite mid-range phones we have reviewed so far: Samsung’s Galaxy J7 Pro and Huawei’s GR5 (2017). Before we get started, here’s a quick overview of their specs:
Samsung Galaxy J7 Pro Specs
- 1.6GHz Exynos 7870 octa-core processor
- 3GB of RAM
- Mali-T830 GPU
- 5.5-inch Full HD Super AMOLED display; 1920×1080 resolution
- 32GB of expandable storage (up to 256GB)
- 13-megapixel rear camera, f/1.7 aperture, Autofocus, LED flash
- 13-megapixel front camera, f/1.9 aperture, LED flash
- 4G, LTE
- Dual SIM
- WiFi, Bluetooth
- GPS, A-GPS, GLONASS
- Fingerprint scanner
- Android 7.0 Nougat
- 3,600mAh battery
Xiaomi Mi A1 Specs
- Snapdragon 625 octa-core processor
- Adreno 506 GPU
- 4GB RAM
- 5.5-inch Full HD IPS display, 2.5D Corning Gorilla Glass, 1920 x 1080 resolution
- 64GB storage, expandable via microSD
- 12-megapixel wide-angle primary camera, 12-megapixel telephoto (2x zoom) secondary camera, LED flash
- 5-megapixel front camera
- 3G, LTE
- WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, A-GPS, Fingerprint scanner, USB Type-C, IR blaster
- Android 7.1.2 Nougat (Android 8.0 Oreo within 2017)
- 3,080mAh battery
Huawei GR5 (2017)
- 2.1GHz Kirin 655 octa-core processor
- 3GB of RAM
- 5.5-inch full HD IPS display, 1920 x 1080 resolution
- 32GB of expandable storage
- 12-megapixel rear camera with 2-megapixel secondary camera
- 8-megapixel front camera
- Dual SIM
- 3G, LTE
- WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, A-GPS, Fingerprint scanner
- 3,340mAh battery
- Android 6.0 Marshmallow, EMUI 4.1
Internals: The Mi A1 slays it through
While all three models sport mid-range processors with almost the same performance, the Mi A1 wins in this department by offering a 4GB RAM and 64GB internal storage configuration, while the GR5 2017 and J7 Pro just sport a 3GB RAM and 32GB internal storage configuration.
Display: It is an even fight
No need to debate in this department: As all three models sport a 5.5-inch Full HD display, they are guaranteed to deliver vibrant colors and crystal clear images, regardless if it is an IPS (for the GR5 2017 and Mi A1) or an AMOLED (for the J7 Pro) panel.
Camera: A close fight between the Mi A1 and J7 Pro
While we were impressed with the capabilities of the GR5 2017’s dual rear cameras, the J7 Pro took things a notch by going for a wide f/1.7 aperture instead of a dual camera setup. As for the Mi A1? Its dual 12-megapixel cameras is an interesting feature set with its 2x optical zoom. Between the J7 Pro and the Mi A1’s camera setup, it is a matter of preference on whether you want stellar low light performance (J7 Pro) or more creative freedom (Mi A1).
Battery: Long legs for the J7 Pro
With the J7 Pro sporting large 3600mAh battery (300mAh bigger than the one found in the Note 8), Sammy’s mid-range offering is guaranteed to last you for more than a day. Bundle that with support for quick charging, the J7 Pro is the most power-efficient from the three.
Verdict: Xiaomi, please release the Mi A1 in the Philippines!
With BGR’s Chris Smith tagging the Mi A1 as the “best Android One iPhone ever” (pun intended), we really, really hope that Xiaomi brings this device to our shores (after all, it is the global version of the Mi 5x). Its specs definitely redefine the mid-range smartphone game, and we can’t wait for other brands to come up with phones that are as good—or even better, than what the Mi A1 has to offer.