Xiaomi Mi A1
The Xiaomi Mi A1 was last year’s poster child for a value budget smartphone because it combined the smooth fluidity and frequent updates of stock Android with the bang-for-buck hardware specs of Xiaomi. In theory, it was a match made in heaven and for the most part the smartphone definitely lived up to it, making it one of my go-to recommendations whenever people ask for a budget smartphone recommendation.
Its key feature lies in its software as the Mi A1 is the first handset in Google’s new revamped Android One program. This means the smartphone comes with a super slick stock Android experience and you are almost guaranteed consistent security updates and software support for two years after the handset has launched. This means, you should, at least, get Android P when it eventually launches as well.
On the hardware side of things, Xiaomi’s Mi A1 is powered by a Snapdragon 625 processor mated to 4GB of RAM with either 32GB or 64GB of internal storage.
Besides that, the Mi A1 features a dual-camera setup at the back with two 12MP sensors — similar to that on the Mi 6 flagship handset — so you have 2X telephoto zoom capabilities as well as Portrait Mode features.
UPDATE: Good news! We have updated and published a brand new Best smartphones under RM1,200 guide! It includes the new devices that have launched since this guide was published as well as the new discounted prices thanks to zero-rated GST. You can check it out here.
Xiaomi Mi A1 — 4GB RAM, 32GB storage — RM799
Xiaomi Mi A1 — 4GB RAM, 64GB storage — RM999
UPDATE: A previous version of this article originally stated that the Mi A1 does not support microSD storage expansion. This error has been rectified.