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Xiaomi Mi A3 common issues and how to solve them

xiaomi mi a3 problems

Xiaomi Mi A3 is a long-awaited addition to Xiaomi’s Android One roundup. However, once it was out and we all witnessed that low-res Super AMOLED display, many people saw it as a downgrade to this already classic line of stock Android devices made by Xiaomi. And it seems that there are a whole lot of minor issues with the Xiaomi Mi A3. Nothing major, no dealbreakers (if you can live with the display), but software issues nonetheless.

We made sure to locate basically every noticeable bug and list them here for our readers that own the Xiaomi Mi A3. Of course, with applicable solutions or at least tips to alleviate the problem at hand.

Note: All the issues mentioned in this article are individually reported cases, which doesn’t mean any of the problems will occur on other devices. If you’re looking to buy this phone, DO NOT consider these problems. In the case of this particular device, based on our experience, if you like that stock Android experience and don’t mind the resolution, go for it. It’s a great bang for the buck.

1. Wi-Fi and Mobile Data issues

Various Wi-Fi issues were reported on the dedicated forum and XDA. It seems some users are not able to connect to their wireless routers while others experienced quite slow bandwidth speeds. If that’s the case for you, try these steps:

Moving forward, Mobile Data issues are even more prominent. Namely, some users had a hard time utilizing 4G network capabilities. If you are among them, here’s what you can try to resolve this:

  • Delete all networks and try reconnecting.
  • Set the AP band to 2.4 GHz.
  • Restart your router.
  • Reset your APN and get a new configuration from your mobile carrier.
  • Reset Network Settings. Open Settings > System > Reset Network Settings.
  • Wipe the cache partition.
  • Reset the device to factory settings.

2. Bluetooth issues

Some concerned users described Bluetooth connectivity on Xiaomi Mi A3 as a “hot mess”. The issues they mentioned relate to the unstable connection when the device is paired with a car, Bluetooth speakers, and even wearables. If you are experiencing issues with Bluetooth on Xiaomi Mi A3, try these steps to address them:

  • Remove pairing and establish it again. Navigate to Settings >Bluetooth and delete all paired devices. Pair the handset with the device again and try again.
  • Reset Network settings. Open Settings > System > Reset Network Settings.
  • Disable Automatic pairing. Pair individually with a device when you want to use it.
  • Boot into safe mode and try connecting via Bluetooth.
  • Update the system.
  • Reset your phone to factory settings.

Also, others are unsatisfied with the max volume on Bluetooth earbuds. Even at the max settings, the volume is too low for some. You can fix this by disabling Absolute Bluetooth volume in the Developer options.

3. Headphone volume is too low

In comparison to volume on devices paired with Bluetooth, there’s not much you can do with the wired alternative to make it louder. The highest volume is predetermined and if you need to make it better, you can solely ask Xiaomi to tackle this in a future update.

An alternative is to tweak the sound in-depth with mods, but the device needs to be rooted. We can’t suggest doing so unless you are well-informed on the matter and don’t mind losing your warranty.

4. Missing navigation buttons as an option

Yeah, that’s a sad reality. We understand that Android Pie comes with its own gestures system, but Xiaomi should’ve included on-screen navigation buttons like on their previous Android One devices.

Luckily, you can use one of many third-party gesture apps that should allow for customization and can help you bring back Navigation buttons. One of them is Navigation Bar, and you can find it on the Play Store. Alternatively, you can use the Custom Navigation bar (Play Store link).

5. Battery draining fast

There’s hardly any device out there in this price range that has more things going for its battery longevity. The 6.1-inch AMOLED 720p display and impressive 4030 mAh battery make Xiaomi Mi A3 one of the most promising handsets when it comes to battery longevity and Screen-on Time.

However, the software might be an issue, as some users reported battery draining much faster than usual. If you have battery life issues with Xiaomi Mi A3, check these tips to mitigate them:

  • Open Developer options and disable Mobile Data always on.
  • Prevent some secondary apps from working in the background.
  • Disable Wi-Fi and Bluetooth overnight.
  • Use Greenify or any other third-party application to limit the background processes.
  • Update your device or reset the device to factory settings.

6. The fingerprint scanner is slow or unresponsive

First of all, the whole 720p AMOLED affair was and still is surrounding this device. The 286ppi and PenTile OLED matrix are subpar for some while others prefer its vibrant colors.

Was it worth using a suboptimal display resolution just to introduce this novelty called the in-display fingerprint scanner? We are not sure. However, it cuts deeper knowing that the said fancy fingerprint scanner is not working as intended for some users.

Some users claim that the fingerprint scanner isn’t working well when the Night light (Reading mode) is enabled. Others stated that it works slowly and it takes more than usual to unlock the device.

If you are affected by this, try the steps we listed below:

  • Disable the Night light.
  • Enroll multiple fingerprints for a single finger to improve readings and responsiveness.
  • Disable the Fingerprint icon on the screen while the phone is idle. You can do so in Settings.
  • Remove all fingerprints and add them again. At least two for every finger.
  • Remove protective film or tempered glass and try unlocking the handset without them.

7. Face unlock doesn’t work

It seems that Face Unlock issues that users reported in previous months were addressed when the developer removed Google’s option and added Face Unlock from MIUI. However, some users are still having a hard time unlocking Xiaomi Mi A3 with the Face Unlock method.

You can try one of these steps to address these issues, but the only permanent solution is to wait for an update that addresses the issue (hopefully, Android 10 will sort it out):

  • Reboot your device.
  • Disable and re-enable Face Unlock.
  • Remove and add your face again.

8. Green tint and other display issues

Now, we’ve come to the focal point of this quite good device — the display. It’s all a question of taste and personal preferences, and many users don’t mind the 720p resolution of the PenTile OLED display at all. However, there seem to be a few problems with the display itself.

Allegedly, some users recognized a green tint on their displays. Since you can’t tweak contrast and colors on the Mi A3, go for a reboot. If the issue persists, reset your device to factory settings. And if it’s still present, your display might be faulty so contact your vendor.

Moving on, the pulse-width modulation (PWM) flicker at lower brightness can be quite bad for your eyes. Especially if you read for an extensive period. Xiaomi should address this on Android 10 by replacing PWM with DC brightness instead. We can just wait and see.

9. Overheating

Overheating is a major issue on any phone, and it seems that it is a Xiaomi Mi A3 issue as well. Users report that the device is quite hot on touch, especially while charging. If you are experiencing temperatures that go above 40 degrees Celsius even when the device is idle or barely stressed, we recommend requesting a replacement of the device.

If the overheating occurs only occasionally, here are some things you can try to reduce these unpleasant (and fatal in the long term) occurrences:

  • Remove protecting casing from the device.
  • Don’t use the device while charging.
  • Keep the device away from heat sources.
  • Let the device cool down after intensive gaming sessions.
  • Turn on Airplane mode while gaming to prevent low network coverage from causing overheating.
  • Make sure to use an adequate supported charger.

10. Charging is too slow

Even though it supports 18W Fast Charging, the Xiaomi Mi A3 comes with the regular 10W charger out of the box. And even with this rather slow charger (for today’s standards, of course), the battery should be full from 0 to 100 in, more or less, 2 hours and 30 minutes.

However, some users seemingly can’t meet that charging time, but their handsets require 3 or more hours to fully charge. For some, much more than that. To address this, we must stress that you should use the factory charger you got with the device. If you decide to obtain an 18W charger, make sure to get one from a trusted OEM.

After that, you can try and calibrate the battery as the battery is probably full after 2 and a half hours or so, but the readings are false. Learn how to recalibrate the battery on this or any handset by following the steps from this article.

11. Poor camera performance

We all know that Xiaomi did an amazing job in the last couple of years when it comes to hardware. Even affordable budget devices don’t lag behind much more expensive devices. The camera department is included.

However, as we learned with the Google Pixel series, good primary Sony lenses and remarkable secondary lenses that come in numbers these days (the Mi A3 has a triple camera setup with main, ultrawide, and depth sensors), won’t do much without good software.

And the Xiaomi Mi A3, like many other Xiaomi handsets, suffers from software issues when it comes to camera execution. Users reported focus issues, high exposure and lack of detail, barely functional night mode, and other things.

To avoid going through possible troubleshooting steps, we suggest just simply downloading a GCAM port and using it instead. Based on various sources, results are much better with photos taken on a GCAM port. Although, the ultrawide camera isn’t working at the time anywhere on the Stock camera app.

You can find and try out working ports on Gcam Port Hub.

12. Bootloop issues

Some users run into boot loop issues when they tried to flash an official update via fastboot. There seems to be an error with the fast boot script and some developers fixed it and posted it on XDA.

If you want to update your system to the latest release via fastboot, learn more about it in this XDA thread. You can find the fastboot ROM file for this device in the official MIUI Download section.

13. Ghost touch

Some users have reported a ghost touch issue on the Xiaomi Mi A3. If you have experienced something similar, first remove the protective film or tempered glass. If the issue persists, reset your device to factory settings.

Now, if the problem persists even after starting from scratch, we recommend contacting the responsible service or your vendor.

14. No Always-on Display and Dark mode

Sadly, even though this is almost a norm for AMOLED (OLED) Android devices, the Mi A3 lacks a built-in Always-on Display feature. There’s only something called the Ambient Display that pops only with the incoming notifications. Will the AOD find a place on the Mi A3 with an Android 10 update? Not likely.

Now, if the Ambient display isn’t showing all notifications, make sure to toggle “Show all notifications” instead of “Hide sensitive contents” in Settings.

Moving on, users are not satisfied with the way Xiaomi dealt with the system’s dark mode that covers only small portions of UI. You can try to force it by navigating to Developer options, but I am afraid that the Settings menu and the majority of apps won’t be affected by it.

Here’s how to force the dark mode on the Xiaomi Mi A3:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Open the About phone and scroll down until you reach the Build number.
  3. Tap on Build number 7 times and now get back to the main Settings menu.
  4. Open System and tap Advanced.
  5. Now, open Developer options.
  6. Open Night mode and set Always on.

15. Adaptive brightness issues

The first thing you should know about Android One’s Adaptive brightness (don’t mix it with the sensor-oriented Auto-brightness from MIUI), is that it takes some time to learn your preferences. After that, it should be more precise. What you need to do is correct it every time it sets the wrong brightness level.

Now, in regards to reports about fingerprint reading causing brightness spikes, you can either wait for an update to sort this out or disable the Fingerprint icon. That helped some users address the problem. Here’s how to do it in a few simple steps:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Choose Security & location.
  3. Open Fingerprint.
  4. Disable the Fingerprint icon.

16. Proximity sensor issue

This issue seems to be widespread on so many Xiaomi devices and it was present on both Mi A3 predecessors, Mi A1 and Mi A2. The issue is the proximity sensor bug that has completely wrong readings during phone calls. Some workarounds should help you a bit, but there’s no definite solution to date.

What you can do is check the position of the protective film or tempered glass and ensure that it’s not covering the sensor. After that, follow these steps:

  1. Download and install the Devcheck app (Play Store link).
  2. Run the test to confirm that the hardware isn’t causing issues.
  3. Now, in Dialer, type either *#*#6484#*#* or *#*#64663#*#*. That should open the Hardware Test menu (CIT).
  4. Select the Proximity sensor.
  5. Place your hand on the sensor at the top and then remove it from the sensor.
  6. Finally, tap Calibrate and that’s it.

17. Micro SD not detected/slow

If your SD card is slow or even doesn’t get detected, we can only recommend using it as Portable storage instead of an extension to internal storage. We understand that this will limit the capabilities (installing apps to an SD card instead of the internal storage won’t be available), but it is what it is.

After you’ve formatted the SD card, just select Portable storage and everything should work without issues.

18. Bottom-firing speaker issues

Setting your device for the first time and testing the audio output from the speaker just to be greeted with crackling and buzzing sounds is not joyful at all. This is exactly what some users run into. This happens when the volume is high.

Now, we would suggest immediately asking for a replacement as this is probably a hardware issue. However, just to be sure that the software isn’t causing it, try resetting your device to factory settings.

19. Important troubleshooting steps for Xiaomi Mi A3

Enter Safe mode

  1. Turn the device off.
  2. Press and hold the Power button and then, once the Xiaomi logo appears, release the Power button and press and hold the Volume Down button.
  3. To exit Safe mode, just reboot your device again.

Wipe cache partition

  1. Power off your device.
  2. Press and hold the Volume Down key and Power Button simultaneously.
  3. When the phone starts, use the Volume Down to navigate through the menu.
  4. Select the Recovery mode with a single press of the Power button.
  5. Press the Power button to start the Recovery mode. The Android robot with exclamation points should appear.
  6. Hold the Power Button and press once Volume Up key. The menu should appear.
  7. Use the volume buttons to scroll to “wipe cache partition” and confirm with a single press of the Power Button.

Reset Network settings

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Choose System.
  3. Tap on Advanced.
  4. Open Reset options.
  5. Tap Reset Wi-Fi, mobile & Bluetooth.

Reset the device to factory settings

  1. Back up everything from the internal storage.
  2. Open Settings.
  3. Choose System.
  4. Tap on Advanced.
  5. Open Reset options.
  6. Select Erase all data (factory reset).
  7. Confirm the selection when prompted.

With that said, we can conclude this article. Thank you for reading and we hope you found solutions for issues that were bothering you. If we forgot to mention something or you need additional help with the troubleshooting, make sure to tell us in the comments section below.

Editor’s note: This article was initially published in December 2019. We made sure to revamp it for freshness and accuracy.

Picture of Aleksandar Ognjanovic

Aleksandar Ognjanovic

Managing editor at Mobile Internist. @lemmingspain My fascination with mobile technology, particularly Android and iOS, began years ago and continues today. I'm captivated by the constant evolution in the smartphone industry and its impact on our daily lives, always anticipating the next big innovation. That’s the main reason why I found myself writing instructive content on the subject for users who are not as familiar with all the bells and whistles.
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