Xiaomi Mi A1 (Android One) Smartphone in Malaysia

Xiaomi Mi A1 Android One smartphone
Xiaomi Mi A1 Android One smartphone
Xiaomi Mi A1 Android One smartphone

Mi A1, the Xiaomi’s first Android One smartphone to be available in Malaysia for RM1,099. Two colours are available: Black and Gold.

What is Android One?

Android One is a hardware and software standard created by Google for Android devices. Android One smartphone runs Pure Android with no bloatware.

The security and system updates are handled by Google, ensuring your phone receives the latest security updates.

Mi A1 comes with Android 7.1.2 Nougat and upgradeable to Android 8.0 Oreo by the end of 2017. It will receive a minimum of two years of OS upgrades.

Xiaomi Mi A1 specs

Mi A1 has the same hardware as Xiaomi Mi 5X.

The rear dual camera are 2x 12MP sensors with wide-angle and telephoto lenses. It has 5.5-inch FullHD display and a full-metal body. It is powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 625, octa-core processor, 4GB RAM and 64GB storage, supports up to 128GB microSD memory card. Built-in non-removable 3080mAh battery.

Where to buy Mi A1?

Online pre-orders for Mi A1 has started at Xiaomi official store @ Lazada. The first sale date is 21st September 2017. You can also buy Mi A1 offline from Mi Premium Reseller (Queensbay Mall), Mobile To Go (SS2 PJ) and Direct D outlets on the same day.

Thought

The first thing I like about Mi A1 is that it runs pure Android. Most (if not all) pre-installed apps by phone manufacturers are useless and waste of storage space. I also like its full-metal body. Glass back phone not only a smudge magnet but also slippery, higher chance to break.

Currently, I am using Xiaomi Redmi Note 4, which recently upgraded to Android 7 Nougat. For me, Mi A1 (5X) and Redmi Note 4 have similar hardware specs.

They are both powered by same processor, RAM, storage space and screen size. The main difference is one (Mi A1) with dual camera, and the other (Redmi Note 4) has larger battery.

Mi A1 is only RM150 more than Redmi Note 4 (RM949). If I would buy a new phone now, it will be the Mi A1.

(I simply could not afford a laptop-price phone)

Xiaomi launches their most beautiful flagship Mi Note in Malaysia

Malaysia Mi Note Launch -- Steve & Louis

Xiaomi, China’s leading smartphone company who believes that high-quality technology doesn’t need to cost a fortune, is living up to its promise by giving Malaysians a chance to own a stunning 5.7 inch full HD display, 64 GB Mi Note at a very affordable price.

Malaysia Mi Note Launch -- Steve & Louis
Steve Vickers (General Manager, Xiaomi Southeast Asia) and Louis Shue (Product Manager for Xiaomi in Malaysia and Singapore)

Steve Vickers, General Manager, Xiaomi Southeast Asia, said, “We are truly excited to bring Mi Note, Xiaomi’s most beautifully designed flagship to Malaysia. We believe that Mi fans in Malaysia will appreciate such high-quality innovation made available to them at an incredible price.”

Before we dive in on the design and performance, Vickers shared what some of the tech critiques have to say:

Premium with a touch of glass

Mi Note front view
Mi Note front view

Mi Note’s 3D back panel is crafted from Corning Gorilla Glass 3 and has a curved ergonomic shape with aluminium frame. The trend now is for curved edges and Mi Note has this as well. The rounded edged are added to the 2.5D front panel, extending the smoothness from back to the front. This gives you a better grip of the smartphone.

During the launch, two demo videos were shown to test the durability of the glass. Needless to say, Mi Note survived the metal ball drop and drop test with glass in tact and not a scratch on its ultra-thin 6.95mm frame.

Mi Note’s 5.7” Sharp full HD display has an incredible contrast ratio of 1400:1, delivers richer colours and crystal-clear view for a spectacular viewing experience even under harsh sunlight thanks to Xiaomi’s Sunlight Display Technology.

Built for performance

This sleek beauty is fitted with a 3,000mAh Sony/LG 4.4V high-density Li-ion battery. It also comes with Quick Charge 2.0 which means it charges 75% faster than conventional methods. To meet the needs of heavy users, Mi Note runs on a quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 2.5GHz processor and 3GB LPDDR3 RAM. LPDDR is a type of double data rate synchronous DRAM for mobile computers.

Trigger happy folks

The 13MP rear camera that comes with Optical Image Stabilisation (OIS) will ensure no blurry images. One point to note is that the OIS is not protruding and is flat, which gives the smartphone a sleek look. The 4MP front camera with 2-micron large pixels which is 40% larger than other average camera, is best for selfies and even comes with a Beautify mode, which intelligently guesses a person’s age and gender in order to apply 36 smart filters.

Staying connected

Instead of carrying two smartphones, you can now manage calls and messages on two separate SIM cards with Mi Note’s 4G dual SIM, dual standby that fits micro and nano SIMs. Users are able to tailor preferred network and data settings for each card with intelligent dual SIM features, like creating custom SIM labels. Mi Note also automatically selects which SIM to use when you call or text someone based on history.

Mi Note’s 4G dual SIM, dual standby that fits micro and nano SIMs.
Mi Note’s 4G dual SIM, dual standby that fits micro and nano SIMs.

For the love of music

Mi Note is packed with a professional Hi-Fi audio system for minimal-loss, studio-grade sound quality. It has a dedicated sound card for 24-bit/192KHz lossless playback support and a unique two-stage amplifier to ensure a high degree of quality when using headphones with levels as high as 600 ohms.

Price

RM 1,549, inclusive of GST

Availability

Mark 28 July on your calendar and go to www.mi.com to place your orders. For more info, visit http://www.mi.com/my/minote/

Force to be reckoned with

Having sold 34.7 million smartphones in the first half of 2015, up by 33% year-on-year sales, Xiaomi is a company to be reckoned with. One of Wired’s headline, “Xiaomi’s great new phone is a lot like iPhone. Apple should take note”. Xiaomi is certainly moving in the right direction to collaborate closely with leading world-class suppliers like Corning, Qualcomm and Sharp for the Mi Note.

Finally…

HAPPY FIRST ANNIVERSARY to Mi Malaysia!

Launched end May 2014, Mi Malaysia has their own Mi fan club. Here’s a photo of them excitedly showing off the Mi Note at the recent launch in KL.

Malaysia Mi Fans
Mi fans were all fiery red with excitement over the new Mi Note. Who wouldn’t be?

[box type=”note”]This article is written by Geek Mommy, who tries to makes sense of the tech world for the less techie while managing a household, a part-time job & keeping a toddler busy.[/box]

Redmi 1S vs Redmi Note: Which Xiaomi Budget Smartphone is Better?

RedMi1S vs RedMi Note
RedMi1S vs RedMi Note
RedMi1S vs RedMi Note

After several Mi 3 sales sold out in minutes, Xiaomi Malaysia to launch two cheaper smartphone models in July 2014 – Redmi 1S and Redmi Note.

  • Redmi 1S is 4.7-inch Android smartphone, price is RM419. Sale starts on 8 July 2014.
  • Redmi Note is 5.5-inch Android 4.2 smartphone, price is RM509. Sale starts on 22 July 2014.

Since the price difference is only RM90, which Xiaomi phone is better? In this article, you will learn the Redmi 1S and Redmi Note specs differences and my recommendation.

Specs: Redmi 1S VS. Redmi Note

Let’s have a glance of Redmi 1S and Redmi Note specs in the table below:

Compare Redmi 1S vs Redmi Note specs
Compare Redmi 1S vs Redmi Note specs

Redmi Note win over Redmi 1S in hardware specs. It has more RAM (2GB), bigger 5.5 inch display (same resolution). The cameras are much higher resolution than Redmi 1S – 13MP main camera and 5MP front camera. It also has bigger battery capacity (3200mAh).

With all the advantages, Redmi Note is still slimmer (9.45 mm) than Redmi 1S. Despite the 5.5-inch body, Redmi Note is only 41 gram heavier than Redmi 1S.

CPU: Qualcomm VS. Mediatek

The other main difference between Redmi 1S and Redmi Note is the processor (CPU). Redmi Note is powered by MediaTek MT6592 Octa-core 1.7GHz, whereas Redmi 1S is powered by Qualcomm MSM8228 Snapdragon 400 Quad-core 1.6GHz.

Based on my past experiences, I have a bias toward Qualcomm mobile processors. Smartphones using Qualcomm processors are generally more stable and better performance.

On the other hand, I (and many tech media friends) do not like Mediatek processor. Mediatek mobile processors are often found in budget smartphones. Somehow, the performance is less ideal (regardless core number and clock speed) and apps tend to have compatibility problems.

Did I tell you that I am bias?

Benchmark results

Benchmark test is the easiest way to show the performance but it does not necessary show the real user experience. And, different benchmark tools would show very different results.

Below is a Facebook photo showing the huge benchmark score different between Redmi 1S (2445 score) and Redmi Note (1464 score).

Post by Warren Lee.

However, to be fair, the Antutu benchmark scores I found online shows that Redmi Note (scored around 28,000+) has better scores than Redmi 1S (scored around 21,000+).

Xiaomi Redmi 1S Antutu benchmark result
Xiaomi Redmi 1S Antutu benchmark result (source)
Xiaomi Redmi Note Antutu benchmark result
Xiaomi Redmi Note Antutu benchmark result (source)

(I have yet receive either phone for product review.)

Xiaomi Malaysia wants to sell Redmi Note

If you have following Xiaomi Malaysia, you have notice that the company heavily promotes Redmi Note. They ran Redmi Note contest. Xiaomi Malaysia website only shows Redmi Note information but no sight of Redmi 1S, despite that Redmi 1S sale date is week earlier than Redmi Note.

Conclusion

As you can see now, the winner is clearly the Redmi Note. Specs wise, you get more RAM, bigger display, better cameras, and longer battery life for only extra RM90.

Redmi 1S 4.7″ display size is good for you who like one-hand-operate smartphone. However, the 1.6M front camera is not good enough for selfie.

Over to you: Are you Redmi 1S or Redmi Note?

Everything You Need to Know About Xiaomi Malaysia

Xiaomi Malaysia banner
Xiaomi Malaysia banner
Xiaomi Malaysia banner

At last, Xiaomi is here in Malaysia! Xiaomi Malaysia had their official launch event on 19 May 2014 (a day before its 1st sales in Malaysia). LiewCF is one of the invited media. As much as I am exciting about the new smartphone brand in Malaysia, I see many Malaysians do not know the China company yet.

Here are some information to help you understand Xiaomi Malaysia background, their products, and list of Xiaomi Malaysia service centers.

Who is Xiaomi?

Xiaomi Inc. is founded on April 6, 2010 in Beijing, China. Xiaomi is a “Mobile Internet” company, they say. They are not only selling electronics but combine hardware, software and services for ultimate user experience – “Triathlon” business model.

Xiaomi Founders
Xiaomi Founders

 

Xiaomi Inc. has 8 founders: Lei Jun, Lin Bin, Li Wanqiang, Zhou Guangping, Huang Jiangji, Hong Feng, Wang Chuan, Liu De. Some of them were working in Google, Microsoft, Motorola.

Hugo Barra, who previously was Vice President of Android Product Management at Google, left Google and join Xiaomi in August 2013 as vice president of Xiaomi Global.

Currently, the company has over 4,000 employees worldwide and valuated at over 10 billion USD. Xiaomi is definitely not another China “shanzai” company!

Xiaomi logo

Mi heart
Mi heart

 

Xiaomi means “millet” in Chinese. The “MI” in Xiaomi logo is short for “Mobile Internet”. There are other meanings, such as “Mission Impossible”. If you turn the logo upside down, the logo will become a Chinese character “心” (“Heart”), means they do products heartily. The character is one point less, which also means Xiaomi want their customers worry less.

[box type=info]Do you know that? Xiami purchased MI.COM domain name for USD$3.6 million in April 2014? It is the most expensive domain name in China. MI.COM replaces XIAOMI.COM as the official website domain of Xiaomi.[/box]

Xiaomi Products

Xiaomi only sell two products in Malaysia at the launch time – Mi 3 Android smartphone (RM 889) and Mi Power Bank (RM 36).

On 20th May 2014, Xiaomi Malaysia sold out all 4000 units Mi 3 and 5000 units Mi Power Bank in 17 minutes at first launch. 6000 Mi3 and 5000 Mi Power Bank sold out on 28 May 2014 in 15 minutes.

Redmi 1S to be available in Malaysia in June 2014. The price should be around RM450 (China price is RMB799).

Xiaomi Malaysia told us that they are working “very very hard” to bring more Xiaomi products in Malaysia. Other Xiaomi products you would be interested are:

  • Redmi Note (RMB799) – 5.5-inch Android phablet
  • Mi Pad (RMB1499) – 7.9-inch Android tablet with Retina display and NVIDIA Tegra K1 processor
  • Mi TV 2 (RMB3999) – 49-inch 4K Smart TV plus soundbar and wireless subwoofer
  • Mi Box Pro (RMB399) – world’s first TV set top box supports 4K resolution.
  • Mi Wi-Fi (RMB699) – 802.11ac wireless router with 1TB hard drive.
  • Mi Wi-Fi mini (RMB129) – small 802.11ac wireless router that look like Apple Magic Trackpad.
  • Mi in-ear earphones (RMB99) – high quality in-ear earphones

Besides electronics, other Xiaomi software and services includes:

  • MIUI ROM – highly customizable Android operating system
  • MiTalk – messaging application
  • Mi Cloud – online cloud storage

How to buy Xiaomi products in Malaysia?

Xiaomi sell their products online, and online only. They do not have a retail shop. They do not have wholesaler, distributors, etc. They do not take offline orders, even their own Mi Home only sell accessories.

You would not see phone shop selling Xiaomi phones. If there is any, then it is not officially authorized unit. Most probably sell at higher price. Do not buy.

[box type=”note”]Xiaomi only sell products on their official website — Mi.com[/box]

So, how to buy Xiaomi in Malaysia?

It is easy if you already familiar with online shopping. Xiaomi Malaysia uses PayPal to process customer payments. You do not need to sign up a PayPal account to pay. You can pay with your credit/debit card through PayPal.

Assume the Xiaomi sale starts, here are the steps to buy:

  1. If you haven’t done so, register a free Mi Account at https://account.xiaomi.com/pass/register
  2. Login www.mi.com/my with your Mi Account
  3. Add the item(s) you want to purchase.
  4. Checkout and pay with PayPal money or Credit/Debit card.

FedEx and UPS are Xiaomi Malaysia’s delivery partners. One of the delivery companies will ship your orders to your doorstep in 6-8 working days.

Why take so many days to ship? Because Xiaomi Malaysia have not a warehouse in Malaysia, yet. Your orders are shipped all the way from China or Singapore. Malaysia warehouse is in planning, by the way.

Do I have to fight for Xiaomi Malaysia sales every time? Depends on their stock number, sooner or later, you can buy Xiaomi products anytime. For example, Mi 3 in Singapore can order anytime, but Redmi and Mi Power Bank are limited stocks. In China, Xiaomi has stock for all Mi phones and China customers can buy immediately.

Mi Fans

Xiaomi’s slogan is “Just for fans” (为发烧而生) as their hardcore fans are leading the company’s every step. xiaomi hardcore fans are called “Mi Fans” (米粉, “rice noodle”). They are a strong community supporting Xiami and the company takes them seriously. Example: You could suggest a wanted feature in MIUI, and you may see it in next MIUI release. In fact, many Xiaomi staff are Mi fans before joining the company.

Xiaomi marketing strategy does not spend money on traditional advertisements. The company invest in social media marketing, instead.

Currently, Xiaomi Malaysia uses Facebook Page to communicate with Malaysia Mi fans. I heard they will have a Twitter account soon.

Xiaomi Malaysia Office

Xiaomi Office
Xiaomi Office

As far as we found out at Xiaomi Malaysia media launch event, they do not have a physical office in Malaysia just yet. As far as I know, Xiaomi Singapore team is in charge of Malaysia market as well.

Xiaomi Malaysia service centers

You can contact Xiaomi Malaysia service center daily 9am–6pm at:

  • 1–800–281–182 (free call)
  • 015–4840–7777
  • Online Chat

Or, email to service.my@xiaomi.com anytime.

Xiaomi Malaysia service centers map
Xiaomi Malaysia service centers map

 

Xiaomi Malaysia has appointed SEMS Service Sdn Bhd to have 4 service centers to collect and repair your Xiaomi products.

The first four Xiaomi Malaysia service centers are in Petaling Jaya, Ipoh, Penang, and Kota Bharu. More services centers are expected.

Xiaomi Malaysia service centers
Xiaomi Malaysia service centers

 

Mi Home, the Xiaomi owned operated service center, will be coming into Malaysia in 2015. You can have products hands-on experience and product services at Mi Home. However, it does not sell products, except accessories.

Xiaomi has their first warehouse in Singapore to shorten products shipping time in Singapore. They probably will have warehouse in Malaysia for better shipping time, too.

Ask Xiaomi Malaysia

Did I missed any info? What do you want to know about Xiaomi Malaysia? Add your questions in the comment below.