Exclusive: Xiaomi Mi A1’s successor is coming along with another Android One phone

The XDA-Developers forums are a popular destination for users interested in modifying the software on their Android smartphone or tablet. Custom ROMs, especially the ones based on the AOSP such as LineageOS, Resurrection Remix, or Paranoid Android, are especially popular on our forums for providing an alternative to OEM software. There’s a lot of people who love Xiaomi’s MIUI ROM for instance, but there’s also a lot of people who would prefer to have their devices run stock Android. The Xiaomi Mi A1 was the company’s first Android One device and it was really well-received by the community. People have been wondering when, or if, another Xiaomi Android One device would be coming, and now we can exclusively confirm the existence of two Android One devices from the Chinese company.

The following information is based on firmware files obtained by @FunkyHuawei, the man behind the FunkyHuawei.club service, which allows users to updateunbrick, or rebrand Huawei and Honor phones for a fee. He has shared the files exclusively with XDA-Developers, and we have examined them in collaboration with XDA Junior Member franztesca.


Xiaomi Mi A1’s Successor on the Android One program

Last week, Xiaomi launched the Xiaomi Mi 6X in China. The device has a 5.99″ FHD+ LCD panel, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 system-on-chip, dual rear 20MP+12MP cameras, and a single 20MP front-facing camera. It comes in 3 different RAM and storage variants and runs MIUI 9.5 on top of Android 8.1 Oreo. Ever since this device was first rumored to exist, various tech blogs have lumped the unconfirmed “Xiaomi Mi A2” together with the device. There was never any direct evidence for the Mi A2’s existence, but since people assumed it to exist and since the Xiaomi Mi A1 was essentially a re-branded Xiaomi Mi 5X, people assumed the same would be true for the assumed successor to the Xiaomi Mi A1. While we still can’t confirm if there’s a “Xiaomi Mi A2” or if it will indeed be a re-branded Xiaomi Mi 6X, we can confirm that there will indeed be a Mi A1 successor and that it’ll possibly be based on the Mi 6X.

Welcome “jasmine_sprout” to the Xiaomi Android One family

The Xiaomi Mi A1 was codenamed “tissot_sprout” where “sprout” signifies that the device is part of the Android One program (“sprout” is notably the codename for the first generation Android One devices.) Now, a new device’s firmware has appeared, codenamed “jasmine_sprout.” While we were unable to obtain a full dump of the device’s firmware, we were able to view a few key files from a partial dump—namely, the device’s build.prop, system applications, and permission files. Based on the following reasons, we believe that the firmware files we obtained are indeed for an Android One device:

  1. The codename suffix “sprout” is typically seen in Android One devices.
  2. There are no MIUI system applications in the build.
  3. The Android framework, SystemUI, and other system applications are stock Android-based. (Unlike MIUI apps, I was able to fully decompile them with APKTool to see what’s inside.)
  4. The file “com.google.android.feature.ANDROID_ONE_EXPERIENCE.xml” can be found in /system/etc/permissions. This is a special permission that can be read by apps to guard whether or not the app should be accessible to the device. (Apps unique to the Google Pixel phones such as Google Camera are also guarded by similar flags in /system/etc/sysconfig.)
  5. The device has A/B partitions to support seamless updates. We confirmed this by the presence of ro.build.ab_update being set to true. The only other Xiaomi device, even among its flagships, that supports seamless updates is the Xiaomi Mi A1—another Android One device.

Xiaomi Mi A1 Xiaomi Android One Xiaomi Mi A2

Given that this is definitely an Android One device from Xiaomi, exactly what will it be called? There’s unfortunately no name given in the firmware, but we have been able to piece together some clues. First of all, the device will have a Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 system-on-chip. This is evident by a comment in the build.prop file as well as lines in mmi.xml, a file that contains hardware testing parameters for diagnostic purposes in the MMI app. Second, several camera-related parameters hint at a relation to the Xiaomi Mi 6X such as the shared EXIF model (at least, for now) and the shared front-facing camera sensor. “Wayne” is the codename for the Xiaomi Mi 6X which you can verify for yourself by looking at the public list of Certified Android devices while the IMX376 is the 20MP Sony sensor that the Mi 6X uses for its front-facing camera.

Xiaomi Mi A1 Xiaomi Android One Xiaomi Mi A2
Xiaomi Mi A1 Xiaomi Android One Xiaomi Mi A2

While it’s certainly not concrete evidence, these findings do lend some credence to the idea that the Xiaomi Mi A1’s successor will be based on the Mi 6X. Whatever “jasmine_sprout” ends up as, its hardware specifications are unlikely to surprise us since Xiaomi is unlikely to release an entirely new hardware model for its next Android One device. Unlike the Mi A1, however, though this device will launch with Android 8.1 Oreo and hence support Project Treble.


A Xiaomi Redmi Android One Device?

As I stated before, Xiaomi is preparing to launch not one, but two Android One devices. Last week, Xiaomi’s CEO Lei Jun hinted at a possible Redmi Android One device, but he was careful to avoid any sort of confirmation.

“Yes, we plan to have more Android One devices. Some of our users in India seem to like stock Android, and we are willing to bring in more devices with Android One including the Redmi series.” – Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun

While we can’t confirm what this other Android One Xiaomi device will be called, we can confirm that it exists.

Welcome “daisy_sprout” to the Xiaomi Android One family

daisy_sprout” is the codename for another Android One device from Xiaomi. We believe that this is indeed another device in the program for the same 5 reasons we listed above for “jasmine_sprout.” The biggest difference is in the SoC: Whereas jasmine_sprout has the Qualcomm Snapdragon 660, daisy_sprout has the Qualcomm Snapdragon 625. This is the same system-on-chip as the Mi A1, but given that this device is likely launching later this year along with the higher-end jasmine_spout, then it’s likely that daisy_sprout will be marketed as a budget option. This is especially likely in light of the upcoming budget Xiaomi Redmi S2 device.

Xiaomi Redmi Android One

While we aren’t sure if daisy_sprout will be a Redmi Android One device such as a re-branded Xiaomi Redmi S2, it does seem possible given the statements from the Xiaomi CEO.


Conclusion

Unfortunately, we can’t offer any other information about either device at this time. We only know that they exist and what system-on-chip they will have. Still, for those of you who are fans of Xiaomi’s hardware and pricing but not their software, then you’ll be happy to know that you’ll have some decent options from the company in the near future.

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