After Mi A2, Mi A1 and Mi A2 Lite are getting April 2019 update

Since the retirement of the Google Nexus lineup, it becomes increasingly hard to find a decent mid range phone running vanilla Android with uninterrupted monthly updates. Motorola used to check all these requirements, but Lenovo ruined their reputation after acquiring them from Google.

moto_g
The original Moto G, running stockish Android

Google’s Android One program failed to get the attraction, as the initial hardware partners were not exactly the big names in the market. However, the situation changed when the Mountain View giant partnered with Xiaomi in 2017.

Xiaomi is known for their extremely pocket friendly portfolio of devices with solid hardware configurations. The OS used in them aka MIUI, however, is not a cup of tea for everybody. The Android community had this long standing demand of a Xiaomi phone running AOSP.

mi_a1_black_front_back
Mi A1

Thanks to the Android One initiative, the dream finally became true. 2017’s Mi A1 (which was based on China exclusive Mi 5X) was the first Mi branded phone running Google’s variant of Android with minor additions (like Camera, Community and Feedback apps) from Xiaomi.

The phone was initially launched with Android 7.1 Nougat, and got relatively quicker update to Android 8.0 Oreo. Although the update frequency shouldn’t be compared with Pixels (or even Essential Phone), Xiaomi rolled out Android 8.1 and subsequently Android 9.0 Pie for Mi A1.

mi_a1_pie_upate_twitter

As readers can notice, there was a noteworthy 5 months gap between the official release of Android Pie by Google and the same OTA update for Mi A1. In fact, Xiaomi often delays monthly security patches to their Android One phones.

For example, the March 2019 security patch was released for Mi A1 at the verge of month-ending. For its successors, i.e. Mi A2 and Mi A2 Lite, they needed to pull back the initial OTA update and release new builds due to showstopper bugs.

mi_a2_lite
Mi A2 Lite

A couple of days ago, the April 2019 security patch started to roll out for Mi A2 users. The update reportedly improved fingerprint reader performance for the phone. However, the Lite variant as well as A1 were left behind.

Once again, the Chinese OEM manages to keep the suspense, as the April updates are finally live for both Mi A1 and Mi A2 Lite.

mi_a1_april_2019_ota_update
Mi A1 April 2019 update

For Mi A1, the version number of the new build is V10.0.8.0.PDHMIXM. According to a user report, IDEA (an Indian wireless carrier) VoLTE service is finally working after this update.

mi_a1_idea_volte_april_update
IDEA VoLTE on Mi A1

A handful of users, who got the update, have reported that some older bugs are still present in this new build.

Another update… Nothing fixed. Wifi & Bluetooth slow speed on 2.4ghz networks remains… Netflix bug on wifi on 2.4ghz networks remains…

(Source)

The download link of the full OTA update zip for Mi A1 April update is here:

  • Device: Mi A1
  • Codename: tissot
  • Channel: Global Stable
  • Version: V10.0.8.0.PDHMIXM
  • Android: 9.0
    • Type: Recovery
      • Download: Link
      • MD5:

Both Mi A1 and Mi A2 Lite (rebranded Redmi Note 6 Pro) are powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 SoC. Xiaomi decided to stick with legacy Linux 3.18 kernel, although the community already booted fully working Linux 4.9 kernel on them.

mi_a1_pixel_experience_4.9
Mi A1 running 4.9 kernel

On the other hand, the version number of the April 2019 security patch for Mi A2 Lite is V10.0.8.0.PDLMIXM. Xiaomi engineers might incorporate similar patches for fingerprint scanner in this build, just like the non-lite model.

For sideloading fans, the download link of the full OTA update zip for Mi A2 Lite April update is here:

  • Device: Mi A2
  • Codename: daisy
  • Channel: Global Stable
  • Version: V10.0.8.0.PDLMIXM
  • Android: 9.0
    • Type: Recovery
      • Download: Link
      • MD5:

It is possible to extract the boot.img from these update zip packages and patch them using Magisk to achieve root access. However, the whole procedure is beyond the scope of this article.

Looking at the April 2019 security patch bulletin, Google fixed several arbitrary code execution vulnerabilities. However, Xiaomi is shipping April 1 patch level with these updates, not April 5.

mi_a1_april_2019_about_phone

The April 5 patches are mostly platform (Qualcomm) specific. According to Google, they maintain two separate monthly patch levels for the sake of quicker deployment.

Devices that use the 2019-04-01 security patch level must include all issues associated with that security patch level, as well as fixes for all issues reported in previous security bulletins.

Devices that use the security patch level of 2019-04-05 or newer must include all applicable patches in this (and previous) security bulletins.

Nevertheless, Google urges partners to bundle every fixes from these two patch levels in a single monthly OTA update. At this moment, I find it highly unlikely that Xiaomi is going to rollout another update with April 5 patch level.

I would like to thank yshalsager and his Xiaomi Firmware Updater project once again for tracking the firmware updates.

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Kingshuk De

I came from a mixed background of Statistics and Computer Science. My research domains included embedded computer systems, mobile computing and delay tolerant networks in post-disaster scenarios. Apart from tinkering with gadgets or building hackintosh, I like to hop on various subreddits and forums like MyDigitalLife and XDA.