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