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    Moondrop MIAD01 review: A unique phone that’s aimed at audiophiles

    When cellphone producers ditched the 3.5mm jack on their gadgets, the justification was to create room to fit in bigger batteries and greater antennae. That excuse would not maintain up in 2024, significantly when you think about {that a} small cellphone just like the Zenfone 10 someway has a 3.5mm jack, a 5000mAh battery, and all of the extras you want in a contemporary cellphone.But all different manufacturers already moved away from the analog jack, and are as an alternative pushing their wi-fi earbuds as a method to hearken to music on the go. Outside of some price range and mid-range gadgets, you will not discover the 3.5mm jack on most telephones lately. This is what Moondrop needs to repair. The audio producer is nothing if not daring in its imaginative and prescient, and its newest product is the MIAD01, an Android cellphone that has a 3.5mm jack in addition to a balanced 4.4mm port — which is remarkable.In addition to the ports, the MIAD01 has a good DAC, and the design is intriguing to say the least. I wasn’t certain in regards to the feasibility of such a tool, however I used the MIAD01 for the higher a part of per week, and it has a number of distinctive benefits. While there is not any scarcity of dongle DACs just like the Fiio KA13, with the ability to plug in any IEM or headset right into a cellphone is simply way more handy, and the MIAD01 has standout sound high quality. It can be capable of drive demanding planar headsets with out breaking a sweat, and that is simply an added bonus.However, the MIAD01 additionally has to do all the opposite phone-related options along with audio playback, and that is the place it would not measure as much as common telephones. The software program would not have any customized options, the cameras simply aren’t definitely worth the trouble, and the {hardware} is not fairly the very best on this section. But in the event you do not care about all of that and simply want a cellphone for each day use that additionally doubles as a transportable audio participant, the MIAD01 has rather a lot to supply.Moondrop MIAD01: Pricing and availability(Image credit score: Harish Jonnalagadda / Android Central)Moondrop launched the MIAD01 in China in April 2024, and the cellphone is now on sale globally. It is out there in a single variant with 12GB of RAM and 256GB of storage, and it prices $399 at audio retailers like HelloFiGo. While the cellphone is bought with 256GB of inner storage, it has a MicroSD slot that permits you to add as much as 2TB of further storage — very best in case you have lots of offline music.Moondrop MIAD01: Design and display screen(Image credit score: Harish Jonnalagadda / Android Central)The MIAD01 has a definite visible design, and the cellphone is decked out in a gray colour scheme that has the identical sci-fi aesthetic as the remainder of the model’s merchandise. The orange accents for the ability and quantity buttons give the design a bit of little bit of added aptitude, and I like the truth that the cameras on the again do not jut out from the design.(Image credit score: Harish Jonnalagadda / Android Central)The defining attribute of the MIAD01 is the presence of 3.5mm and 4.4mm ports on the prime, and to accommodate the analog connectors, Moondrop elevated the thickness of the highest third portion. This is an efficient design selection because it finally would not have an effect on usability, and since it extends to your complete width of the cellphone, there is no such thing as a wobble when utilizing it on a desk.(Image credit score: Harish Jonnalagadda / Android Central)The again and sides are made out of plastic, however the construct high quality is respectable, and the buttons have good tactility. There is not a lot in the way in which of branding both; you get the Moondrop emblem together with the mannequin title on the again. (Image credit score: Harish Jonnalagadda / Android Central)Another attention-grabbing design selection is the dual-curved OLED panel; the curvature is simply sufficient that you simply get the advantages of a curved display screen, however not a lot that it limits usability. There is sufficient room on the edges to carry the cellphone comfortably, and this enables the MIAD01 to distinguish itself a bit of higher.(Image credit score: Harish Jonnalagadda / Android Central)What is not nice is that the curved design would not prolong to the again, so that you’re left with an asymmetrical aesthetic that is simply uncomfortable. Sure, the cellphone appears cool, however the flat again tends to dig into the palm, and it makes holding and utilizing the MIAD01 way more awkward than it must be.(Image credit score: Harish Jonnalagadda / Android Central)There’s an excellent cause that each different cellphone that has a curved display screen has symmetric curves on the again, however that is not the case right here, and it finally makes utilizing the MIAD01 tedious. On that observe, there is not any ingress safety of any type, however that is a given contemplating the cellphone has analog ports.Rounding out the design, the MIAD01 has twin SIM card slots along with a devoted MicroSD slot, supplying you with the power so as to add as much as 2TB of storage above and past the 256GB of built-in storage.(Image credit score: Harish Jonnalagadda / Android Central)Switching over to the display screen, the MIAD01 has a 6.7-inch OLED panel with 120Hz refresh. It has good colours and distinction ranges, and whereas the brightness stage is not the very best in its class, I did not see any points on this regard. There’s stereo sound, however because the system is proscribed to Widevine L3, it would not play streaming content material at 1080p — it maxes out at 720p.(Image credit score: Harish Jonnalagadda / Android Central)As the software program itself is barebones, you do not get many customization choices. The cellphone has an always-on mode, however you simply get a digital clock and unread notification icons together with the battery stage. The display screen refresh is ready to Auto out of the field, however you possibly can manually toggle between 60Hz and 120Hz.(Image credit score: Harish Jonnalagadda / Android Central)On the entire, I just like the design of the MIAD01, and the one concern with the cellphone is the shortage of curves on the again.Moondrop MIAD01: Sound high quality(Image credit score: Harish Jonnalagadda / Android Central)Obviously, a key speaking level of the MIAD01 is the audio potential. As I discussed above, the cellphone has a single-ended 3.5mm jack along with the balanced 4.4mm port, and the latter particularly is attention-grabbing. The cellphone has loads of energy to spare, and having used it with the likes of the Fiio FT5, Moondrop Venus, and different planar headsets, I did not see any points on this regard.The MIAD01 is simply as dependable at driving delicate IEMs, and there is not any background hiss in any respect. I examined it with the Fiio FX15, Thieaudio Prestige LTD, Sennheiser IE200, and a half-dozen different IEMs, and it was terrific all through. You get twin Cirrus Logic DAC {hardware}, and the MIAD01 is just like the MoonRiver 2 dongle DAC on this regard. If something, the sound is sort of an identical, and also you get a impartial sound with a touch of heat. The DAC has good dynamics and imaging, and the general sound is refined — it’s equal to the very best dongle DACs. (Image credit score: Harish Jonnalagadda / Android Central)If you like a heat signature, there is a service dubbed AudioConsole that comes bundled with the cellphone, and it enables you to emulate a tube amp sound. The distinction is noticeable, however I desire the default sound attribute. The cellphone would not have AptX codecs, so that you’re restricted to the same old SBC and AAC along with LDAC.What I like the very best is that the cellphone has granular quantity adjustment, not like Android’s asinine slider. There’s a nifty toggle that means that you can stream music within the background, and you need to use it with any audio and video streaming service.Moondrop MIAD01: Hardware and battery(Image credit score: Harish Jonnalagadda / Android Central)Moondrop says the MIAD01 is powered by MediaTek’s Dimensity 7050, however the system data exhibits it’s utilizing the MT6877V (Dimensity 1080) as an alternative. Both platforms use the identical set of cores: there are two Arm v8 Cortex A78 cores that go as much as 2.6GHz, together with six Cortex A55 cores that hit 2.0GHz. You get a Mali-G68 GPU, and it positively exhibits its age when enjoying demanding titles.To Moondrop’s credit score, the MIAD01 would not have noticeable lag in each day use. It handles mundane duties like searching and social media with relative ease, and since the interface would not have any overt customization, it’s fluid. However, this isn’t a gaming cellphone, and in the event you play something however informal titles, you may see lots of jitter and unstable framerates.Swipe to scroll horizontallyCategoryMoondrop MIAD01OSAndroid 13Display6.7-inch 120Hz OLED, 2400 x 1080, HDR10+ChipsetMediaTek Dimensity 1080, 6nmRAM12GB LPDDR4XStorage256GB UFS 3.1, MicroSD slot as much as 2TBRear digital camera 164MP Sony IMX686, f/1.9, 4K at 30fps, EISRear digital camera 28MP OmniVision OV8856 wide-angle lensFront digital camera32MP OmniVision OV32BIngress safety❌ConnectivityWi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.2, NFC, restricted Sub-6 5G bandsSecurityOptical in-screen sensorAudioSingle-ended 3.5mm, balanced 4.4mm, built-in DAC, stereo soundBattery5000mAh, 33W USB PD 3.0 chargingThe cellphone is bought in a single variant, and it has 12GB of LPDDR4X RAM and 256GB of UFS 3.1 storage. Again, it is not the newest storage or reminiscence commonplace obtainable in the present day, however there aren’t any points in usability, and with the MicroSD slot, you possibly can simply increase the addressable storage to as much as 2TB.(Image credit score: Harish Jonnalagadda / Android Central)Coming to the connectivity facet of issues, the MIAD01 has Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.2, NFC, and a restricted choice of 5G bands: 1/3/5/7/8/20/28/41/77/78. The in-display fingerprint sensor is quick to authenticate and would not have any points with reliability, however it’s situated a bit of decrease on the display screen.Switching over to the battery, the MIAD01 has a 5000mAh battery that lasts a day constantly. There’s no charger within the field, however the cellphone makes use of the USB PD 3.0 commonplace, and goes as much as 33W. It’s annoying that Moondrop did not bundle a charger within the field, however as you need to use any USB PD charger, it is not an excessive amount of of a trouble.Most different mid-range telephones have higher {hardware} and connectivity, and it is clear that Moondrop did not got down to create a robust cellphone; the main target is as an alternative on delivering the very best audio efficiency, and it managed to realize that.Moondrop MIAD01: Cameras(Image credit score: Harish Jonnalagadda / Android Central)Tuning the cameras on a cellphone takes lots of sources and energy, and it isn’t one thing smaller manufacturers can handle. This is obvious when utilizing the MIAD01; the cellphone has outdated sensors and no digital camera tuning in any respect, and the result’s that it takes sub-par pictures in any given state of affairs.What’s significantly telling is that even the model would not assume the cameras are as much as scratch, because it notes in its advertising and marketing supplies: it isn’t good, nevertheless it works. That sums up the state of the cameras on the MIAD01, and I do not actually have a lot so as to add to that.The MIAD01 has a 64MP f/1.9 primary digital camera that makes use of a Sony IMX686 sensor, and it’s joined by an 8MP OmniVision OV8856 wide-angle lens, and a 32MP digital camera on the entrance that options OmniVision’s OV32B sensor. The interface is just like what you get on most telephones; the capturing modes are organized in a ribbon on the backside, and also you get toggles all through the viewfinder.Image 1 of 6(Image credit score: Harish Jonnalagadda / Android Central)(Image credit score: Harish Jonnalagadda / Android Central)(Image credit score: Harish Jonnalagadda / Android Central)(Image credit score: Harish Jonnalagadda / Android Central)(Image credit score: Harish Jonnalagadda / Android Central)(Image credit score: Harish Jonnalagadda / Android Central)Daylight pictures are satisfactory at greatest, with the cellphone capable of ship respectable colours in out of doors eventualities with good lighting. There are points with focusing, foliage rendition is not correct, and the AI mode tends to oversaturate colours. The wide-angle lens is not definitely worth the trouble; it’s barely usable in daylight conditions, and the resultant pictures have muted colours and graining.When it involves low-light situations, the MIAD01 is objectively the worst digital camera I’ve utilized in a really very long time. There’s a lot noise that it jogs my memory of telephones from over a decade in the past, and you do not even get a Night mode.I used telephones with the IMX686 fairly a bit, and the sensor itself is not at fault — it has the potential to ship nice images. This is all the way down to the software program, and it’s doable to get respectable pictures by putting in a distinct digital camera utility. On that observe, the MIAD01 has stage 3 Camera2 API integration, so it is best to be capable to set up an aftermarket utility like GCam and get significantly better images. Moondrop MIAD01: Software(Image credit score: Harish Jonnalagadda / Android Central)It’s a monumental endeavor to design a customized Android pores and skin, and most smaller manufacturers select to make use of a vanilla interface with restricted customizability. That’s the case with the MIAD01 as properly; it has a plain UI that does not have any overt styling, and that is an excellent transfer. You get an ordinary notification pane, massive toggles, and Material You accent colours.(Image credit score: Harish Jonnalagadda / Android Central)The greatest annoyance is the stylized icons, and this makes the UI look a bit chintzy; that is just like what Chinese producers did a half-decade in the past. The system runs the November 2023 safety replace out of the field, however there’s an OTA obtainable that installs the May 2024 replace. However, you are still restricted to Android 13, with no point out of when Android 14 will develop into obtainable.There is not a lot else to speak in regards to the software program. The total UI is unfinished, and it jogs my memory of the Nothing Phone 1 again when it launched; you get all of the requisite options, however there is no customizability.Another egregious omission is the Play Store and related Google providers — you may have to sideload these onto the system, so if that is not one thing you are prepared to do, it is best to think about one other cellphone. Once you might have it put in, it is simple sufficient to arrange the cellphone the way in which you need.Updates are additionally an unknown, and whereas the model hasn’t shared what number of platform variations the system will obtain, it is a good wager that it will not transcend Android 15 — if that.Moondrop MIAD01: The competitors(Image credit score: Harish Jonnalagadda / Android Central)The Pixel 7a continues to be a fantastic selection if you’d like a fantastic mid-range cellphone. The Pixel 8a is now obtainable, however that system is costlier at $500, and whereas it has higher {hardware}, the Pixel 7a is a good worth — significantly if you will get it at a reduction. As with most telephones lately, there is not any 3.5mm jack on the system, so you’ll need to put money into a dongle DAC in the event you’re all for pairing the cellphone with IEMs or a balanced headset.The OnePlus 12R is a terrific possibility to think about, with the cellphone providing standout {hardware} and respectable cameras on the again. Similar to the Pixel 7a, you may want to purchase a USB DAC to get essentially the most out of the system, however if you’d like a robust cellphone with a lot of helpful options, the 12R is my suggestion.Moondrop MIAD01: Should you purchase it?(Image credit score: Harish Jonnalagadda / Android Central)You can purchase this if:You want a cellphone with 3.5mm and 4.4mm jacksYou want nice sound high qualityYou desire a cellphone that is additionally a digital audio participantYou want a MicroSD slotYou should not purchase this if:You need polished software programYou use the cameras rather a lotYou need the Play Store preinstalledYou want well timed updatesThe means I consider the MIAD01 is that it’s a modern digital audio participant with a 5G modem. The design is nearer to different mid-range telephones, and whereas the in-hand really feel is not nice because of the asymmetrical curves, it’s gentle. The greatest promoting level of the system is the truth that you get 3.5mm and 4.4mm ports, and the sound high quality is on par with most dongle DACs — no small feat. The MIAD01 can simply drive planar headsets, in order that is not a problem.There are different issues the system will get proper; the 6.7-inch 120Hz OLED panel has good colours and is nice in each day use, and the 5000mAh battery lasts a day with ease. I’d have appreciated higher {hardware}, as a result of because it stands, the Dimensity 1080 would not fairly measure as much as demanding duties. Similarly, the cameras simply aren’t in the identical league as different $400 telephones.Then there’s the software program. You get a clear interface with out an excessive amount of bloatware, nevertheless it would not have a lot in the way in which of options. You’ll have to sideload Google’s providers earlier than the cellphone turns into usable, and it is nonetheless on Android 13. Considering the state of the software program, there is not any telling when it’ll change to Android 14, a lot much less Android 15.That mentioned, the built-in ports and respectable DAC make the MIAD01 stand out fairly a bit, and in the event you’re all for a digital audio participant that doubles as a cellphone, then sure, it’s worthy of consideration. It is not pretty much as good as a standalone participant or a daily cellphone, however as a two-in-one system that permits you to hearken to high-res music on the go, the MIAD01 is unequalled.

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