• The Xiaomi Mi A3. [credit: Xiaomi ]


Today Xiaomi announced the Xiaomi Mi A3, the latest phone in its "A" line. In the past, Xiaomi's A line has been a good bet if you're looking for a midrange smartphone. This latest model comes in at €249 (~$280) and is launching in Europe on July 24. Decent phones in the sub-$300 price range are tough to come by, so any serious device priced this low is worth paying attention to. Just looking at the spec sheet, though, we do have some concerns.
As you'd guess, the A3 is a third-generation Xiaomi A phone, and in many ways, these represent the least "Xiaomi" phones Xiaomi makes. Instead of Xiaomi's iOS-inspired "MIUI" Android skin, these phones are in Google's "Android One" program, which means they come with stock Android and get two years of OS updates. The phones usually get a wider distribution than your typical Xiaomi phones (watch out for the LTE bands, though), so even if you're not in Europe, they're usually easy to pick up on a site like Amazon.
Xiaomi is going with a notched front design for the Mi A3. There's a tiny teardrop notch at the top of the phone, a medium-sized bottom bezel, and rounded display corners. The front and back of the phone is made of Gorilla Glass 5. On the back, you'll find a triple camera setup, and on the front is an optical fingerprint reader in the display. Xiaomi is taking a page out of Google's playbook with wacky color names. There are three colors: "More than White," "Kind of Gray," and "Not just Blue." Xiaomi says there's a "nano-level holographic pattern" on the blue and white models.

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