Xiaomi Redmi A1 Plus Review: How Good Is This Entry-level Phone?

Redmi A1 Plus was released in September 2022. It is currently the lowest smartphone in Xiaomi’s lineup of phones. The brand is not exactly known for entry-level phones, but it is having a go again after the experiment with Redmi Go back in 2019. If you have been looking for an entry-level Android phone by Xiaomi, here it is.

Let’s get the core specs out of the way. The Redmi A1 Plus uses a lowly Helio A22 chipset/processor, and has two memory variants – 2GB RAM + 32 GB ROM, and 3GB RAM + 32GB ROM. Of course, the variant with more RAM provides a fairly better performance when it comes to opening and running apps.

Redmi A1 Plus review

The IPS LCD panel is 6.52 inches in size, diagonally, and has no glass protection or higher refresh rate. The battery capacity is 5000 mAh, and there is 10W charging to go with it. There is a 3.5mm audio headphone jack. For photography and video recording, it has a 5MP selfie camera and an 8MP rear camera with a QVGA secondary lens.

Redmi A1 Plus Review: In The Box

Here are the items you get in the box when you open it.

  • The phone itself
  • 10W charging adapter
  • USB-C cable
  • SIM ejector tool
  • Documentation: Warranty card, safety information card, and a quick start guide.

The Redmi A1 Plus unit we got our hands on is the Light Blue colour scheme. We think it is the best looking of the available colours, too. Other colours include Light Green, and Black.

PS: This review was written by one of our remote team members who is not so good with photography, hence the lack of the usual photos of the device under review and of camera samples. As soon as we are able to get our hands on a unit here at MobilityArena Towers, we shall update this review with photos. Thank you for bearing with us.

Does Redmi A1 Plus have a fingerprint scanner?

If there is one feature that is often sacrificed in entry-level Android phones, it is the fingerprint scanner. Does Xiaomi sacrifice it in the Redmi A1 Plus? Thankfully, no. The company did a clever thing: it has a separate model called Redmi A1 that lacks the fingerprint scanner and costs just a little less. Everything else on the Redmi A1 and A1 Plus are the same apart from the fingerprint scanner. They look exactly the same, too, minus the scanner at the back.

This is a smart move, in my books. Every other Android phone brand should copy it: make two variants of your entry-level model – one with a fingerprint reader and the other without; don’t bump any other specs, and make the price difference very minimal.

Does Redmi A1 Plus have an IR blaster?

Xiaomi fans know that their favourite phone brand includes an infra-red port (AKA IR blaster) in their phones. Does Redmi A1 Plus have one? Sorry guys, but it does not. As an entry-level phone, Redmi A1 Plus excludes the IR blaster in order to keep the price down. If you really want an affordable smartphone with an IR blaster, you should consider one of the Redmi Note phones out there. Of course, you can buy this and add an IR blaster to it.

Redmi A1 Plus Review: Performance

When the phone powers up, you will immediately notice that Xiaomi’s custom user interface is missing. Yes; MIUI does not exist in the Redmi A1+. Instead, we have stock Android (Go Edition). The whole idea behind this is to provide better performance for the phone, considering that it uses an entry-level processor. Custom Android skins are an extra layer of work for smartphone processors to run.

As such, Redmi A1 Plus runs fairly smoothly – quite good for its class. Xiaomi fans may miss MIUI, but I believe this is a good call by Xiaomi. Its predecessor, Redmi Go, also ran stock Android; MIUI was absent in that phone, too. Launching and switching between apps is fairly painless, if you do not push it harder than you should. This is an entry-level phone, after all, and is not equipped with a powerful chipset. But you will notice the difference in performance when you open and switch between apps between the Redmi Go and its competition from other brands.

Xiaomi Redmi A1 Plus Review: Cameras

There is a reason why the best cameraphones are flagship devices: great cameras are costly. As such, you better not be buying the A1 Plus for great photography. The cameras are decent for the price range, but do not expect Nobel prize quality photos.

As such, in good lighting, Redmi A1 Plus shoots decent photos. Nothing fantastic, but in its class, it does a good job.The results are within the range of what to expect from an entry-level Android phone.

Battery Life

With a 5000mAh battery, we were expecting decent battery life. The Redmi A1 Plus did not disappoint. With a full charge, I easily went for a full day at work without needing to look for a charger. Of course, with more intensive use during the day, you will need to top it up at some point in time. And speaking of charging, what you get is 10W charging. It isn’t much faster than regular charging, but it helps. And for the price, it is a fair thing.

Final Words

Redmi A1 Plus is a breath of fresh air at the low end Android phone market. If you want an entry-level Android phone that you will enjoy using, this is one. The 2/32GB variant costs around €110 in Europe, about £ 93 in the UK, around ₦58,000 in Nigeria, and Ksh 8,999 in Kenya. If you can afford to spend a little more, get the 3GB RAM variant; it will give you even better performance.

2 thoughts on “Xiaomi Redmi A1 Plus Review: How Good Is This Entry-level Phone?”

  1. I was ogling this phone when it was first announced.

    The thing that stopped me from getting it is the Android Go Edition. Redmi 7 with 2GB ran full android, without problems.. why not this…?

    With Android Go limitations regarding app functionality (“draw over other apps not supported, GTWorld app refusing to load, etc), I couldn’t take that gamble..

    I really wanted to like the phone…

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