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Android 11 on the Xiaomi Mi A1 via ShapeShiftOS: A lackluster, near-stock experience

ShapeShiftOS ROM logo, Android 11-based ROM for Xiaomi Mi A1 (Source: XDA Developers Forum)
ShapeShiftOS ROM logo (Source: XDA Developers Forum)
Those who want a custom ROM for their Xiaomi Mi A1 close to Google's stock offering will probably enjoy ShapeShiftOS. For me, the lack of OTA updating, the stability issues that I bumped into, as well as the rather basic customization options make this piece of code unusable as a daily driver.

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Although it is the end of January 2021, the Xiaomi Mi A1 seems more tempting than ever for those looking to buy a cheap yet capable second-hand smartphone that still has some life in it. As time goes by, more and more Android 11-based ROMs for this handset show up on the popular XDA Developers Forum (click here to hit the section with everything that you will ever need for the Mi A1). Today, the time has come for ShapeShiftOS, a near-stock ROM that has recently received the "official" and "stable" labels.

The official description goes like this: "ShapeShiftOS is a custom-rom based on AOSP that aims to provide a different user interface and experience than any other ROM on the market." It is not up to me to decide if this is 100% true or not, but the overall experience is quite pleasant and straightforward. 

Without further ado, these are what I consider to be the strong and weak parts of ShapeShiftOS:

  • Positive: Easy to install, GApps included, custom clocks from Android 10, multiple (less important, in most cases) visual customizations.
  • Negative: No OTA update possibility, capacitive buttons do not light up, there are no additional wallpapers included, while recording the video that I embedded at the end of this article I bumped into a series of freezes in the ShapeShifter customization section.

In addition to the above, the Android GO version of the Camera app can be considered both a strong part and a weak one, depending on the user. I find it to be easy to use and rich enough in features, but my choice is HedgeCam.

The screenshots and the movie below should give you a better idea about this ROM. I avoided running any benchmarks this time because I see no point in it as long as there is no "fastest Android 11 ROM ever for the Xiaomi Mi A1" claim from the makers of a certain ROM. As usual, feel free to drop your comments and let me know which ROM should I try next.

Buy the Xiaomi Mi Note 10 Lite on Amazon

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Codrut Nistor
Codrut Nistor - Senior Tech Writer - 5461 articles published on Notebookcheck since 2013
In my early school days, I hated writing and having to make up stories. A decade later, I started to enjoy it. Since then, I published a few offline articles and then I moved to the online space, where I contributed to major websites that are still present online as of 2021 such as Softpedia, Brothersoft, Download3000, but I also wrote for multiple blogs that have disappeared over the years. I've been riding with the Notebookcheck crew since 2013 and I am not planning to leave it anytime soon. In love with good mechanical keyboards, vinyl and tape sound, but also smartphones, streaming services, and digital art.
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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2021 01 > Android 11 on the Xiaomi Mi A1 via ShapeShiftOS: A lackluster, near-stock experience
Codrut Nistor, 2021-01-31 (Update: 2021-01-31)