At the tail-end of 2017, when Xiaomi announced it was coming to Europe, it wasn't a brand name widely well-known (or pronounceable) to many. Its MI software experience also added additional layers of unfamiliarity.
For 2018 that's set to change. The company's Mi A2 (known as the 6X in China, where it's been available for some months) utilises the Android One software platform for a clean and familiar user experience, minus any gimmicks.
The A2 is also pitched as an ultra-affordable phone, with a €249 price tag (based on its Spanish introduction; there's a chance Three will stock the phone in the UK in the future - but that's not confirmed as yet) it sits competitively in among the likes of the Moto G6.
For such an well-priced phone, the Mi A2 doesn't scrimp on the spec list. Its dual camera, with 12 and 20-megapixel sensors and f/1.75 aperture, has its finger on the pulse when it comes to current shooting standards.
Elsewhere there's a 3,000mAh battery, USB-C recharging, and a Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 processor (2.2GHz) with 4GB RAM - which all together ought to offer great performance and longevity per charge. The 32GB model is priced €249, increasing to €276 for 64GB, maxing out at €349 for the 128GB model with 6GB RAM.
Arriving alongside the headline phone is the A2 Lite, a pared down version of the device, priced €179, complete with screen notch and more capacious 4,000mAh battery.
The big question we have is about brand. Does Xiaomi have the European reputation to stand out? The A2 and A2 Lite are certainly competitive, while Android One offers greater yet appeal for such a market. Which certainly gives the Chinese brand a strong chance while its reputation builds beyond its homeland.
The Xiaomi Mi A2 will be available in blue, gold or black finishes, from 10 August in Spain.