How to Upgrade Xiaomi Mi A2 to Android 9 Pie

I read Xiaomi Mi A2 got an official upgrade to Android 9 Pie in India around mid November. This got me interested in reviewing Xiaomi Mi A2 with the latest Android operating system, and GearBest sent me a sample for this purpose. However in the first part of Xiaomi Mi A2 review, I only got a security update to November 5 2018 security patch level, but the operating system remained Android 8.1.

I was a disappointed, but I did not look into it so far since I was busy with other tasks, but this morning I finally got the update! Hooray!

XIaomi Mi A2 Android 9- Update
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If like me, you are based in Thailand or another country stuck to Android 8.1, and would like to upgrade Xiaomi Mi A2 to Android 9, you can follow those simple steps which I have tested personally:

  1. Book a flight ticket to Hong Kong
  2. Board the actual flight and land in Hong Kong
  3. Purchase a tourist SIM card with 1.5GB data allowance, and install it in your phone
  4. Once the network is activated, you’ll get a notification of Android 9 update after a few minutes
  5. Hold your excitement as the update is around 1GB, and you don’t want to eat up your data allowance (Very important step!)
  6. Connect to your hotel’s WiFi, and carry on with the OTA update
  7. Enjoy Android 9 on your Xiaomi Mi A2!

Step 3 may be optional… Easy right? The UI has also changed, and the Linux kernel is much more up-to-date in Android 9 (Linux 4.4.135), than in Android 8.1 (Linux 4.4.58).

Android 9 Launcher Notifications
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Wait… What? You’ve never read such stupid instructions, and you’re not going to spend several hundreds dollars to upgrade your phone’s firmware. Ah OK,  fair enough. 🙂 If Xiaomi has not pushed Android 9.0 OTA update to your country just yet, you don’t necessarily need to travel overseas. Here’s another way courtesy of TAS:

  1. Unlock the bootloader of your Mi A2.
  2. Download and extract the zipped OTA firmware in your PC.
  3. Download the OTA flasher file , extract it and rename the folder to a2-pie-update.
  4. Copy the image files from step 2 to the a2-pie-update folder.
  5. Connect your Mi A2 to PC with a USB cable.
  6. Run OTAFlasher.bat file by double-clicking on it.
  7. Wait until the long process of the bat file is finished. This will take a while.
  8. Android 9.0 should now be running on your Mi A2, Have fun.

I suppose there’s a third way to force the install by faking your location maybe through a VPN or other method. I’m not sure exactly how Xiaomi detects your country. If it is based on your SIM card, then it may be harder to spoof your location.

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