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Well that was quick. Just a day after launching in China, the MOONDROP MIAD 01 5G smartphone with HiFi audio features has now launched worldwide.

The Android-powered smartphone is available now from HiFiGo for $399. It could show up at other stores soon: MOONDROP says the phone should be available from “authorized stores” and eCommerce websites.

MOONDROP is a Chinese company best known for making HiFi audio products including headphones, earbuds, and amplifiers. The MOONDROP MIAD 01 is the company’s first smartphone, but it’s also one of the most unusual smartphones I’ve seen in a while thanks to its emphasis on HiFi audio features.

At a time when most smartphone makers are dropping headphone jacks altogether, the MIAD 01 has two headphone jacks: a 3.5mm unbalanced jack with 2VRMS output and a 4.4mm balanced  audio jack with 4VRMS output. The higher power output lets you use headphones that wouldn’t normally work well on devices with 3.5mm jacks only. It could also let you use longer audio cables without worrying about signal interference.

But the headphone jacks are just one of the phone’s HiFi audio features.

MOONDROP also equipped the MIAD 01 with dual Cirrus Logic MasterHiFi DACs (digital to analog converters), a 6-layer audio circuit with gold coating and an independent LDO power supply. The company says the result is support for dynamic range up to 132 dB and a signal-to-noise ratio as high as 117 dB.

The phone also supports 100-levels of digital volume controls, and ships with MOONDROP Audio Center Software that lets you control audio features (and brings support for spatial audio algorithms).

But this is a phone and not just a media player. So let’s take a look at the rest of the specs for the MIAD 01:

MIAD 01 Specs
Display6.7 inches
2460 x 1080 pixels
Curved AMOLED
120 Hz refresh rate
1920 Hz high-frequency PWM dimming
ProcessorMediaTek Dimensity 7050
2 x ARM Cortex-A78 @ 2.6 GHz
6 x ARM Cortex-A55 @ 2 GHz
Mali-G68 MC4 graphics
RAM12GB
LPDDR4x
Storage256GB UFS 3.1
microSD card reader (up to 2TB)
Rear cameras64MP primary
8MP wide-angle
LED Flash
Front camera32MP
Audio3.5mm unbalanced + 4.4mm balanced jacks
Stereo speakers
Dual Cirrus Logic MasterHiFi DAC
6-layer gold-plated audio circuit
132 dB dynamic range
117 dB signal-to-noise ratio
Ports1 x USB 3.1 Type-C (5 Gbps)
2 x audio jacks
1 x microSD card reader
WirelessWiFi
Bluetooth (SB/AAC/LDAC codecs supported)
NFC
4G LTE / 5G Dual SIM Dual Standby (or single-SIM + microSD card)
Network bandsGSM: B2/3/5/8
WCDMA: B1/2/4/5/8
LTE: B1/2/3/4/5/7/8/12/17/28(A+B)/38/40/41/66
5G: N1/3/5/7/8/20/28/41/77/78
Battery5,000 mAh
Charging33W (wired)
SecurityIn-display optical fingerprint sensor
OS & SoftwareAndroid 13 (ships without Google Mobile Services, which users can install manually)
Weight202 grams
Price$399

All told, the MOONDROP MIAD 01 looks like it offers decent bang for the buck. It’s cheaper than mid-range phones like the Google Pixel 7a, but offers semi-premium features like a 120 Hz FHD+ AMOLED display, 12GB of RAM, and a reasonably large battery. It also has a faster USB port than most mid-range phones, and premium audio features that help it stand out in the crowded mid-range smartphone space.

But this is still not a phone for everyone. It’s a phone made for audiophiles, not folks who’ve already abandoned wired headphones for wireless for the convenience factor.

And it’s the first phone from a company that’s never made a smartphone before. It ships with Android 13, which was first released nearly two years ago and MOONDROP isn’t making any promises of future OS or security updates (although the company does promise to bring updates to its Audio Center app).

The phone also ships without Google Mobile Services certification. That means it doesn’t come with the Google Play Store, Gmail, Chrome, Google Maps, or other Google apps and services.

MOONDROP implies that this is a selling point, because it means that the phone ships without any Google data tracking (and indeed, there are some niche companies that make a point of selling phones with Google-free versions of Android in the name of privacy). Users can always sideload apps or install a third-party app store.

But MOONDROP also notes that users who want to use Google Mobile Services can install it themselves (the steps should be similar to the ones I’ve written up for manually installing the Google Play Store on Amazon Fire tablets, (except you’ll want to use Google Services Framework version 13).

Still, the MOONDROP MIAD 01 presents an interesting value proposition as a device that stands out in a crowded field due to specialized hardware and software aimed at audio enthusiasts… but also as a device from a company without a proven track record of providing ongoing support for a device as complex as a smartphone. Oh, and MOONDROP also doesn’t seem particularly confident in the phone’s camera quality.

So while I’d hope that the company will continue to support this device for years to come, it’s probably best to think about whether it does everything you want it to do right now before spending $399 on one.

via Head-Fi forum and @MoondropLab

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  1. why no bloody physical multimedia button though? it’s also too big while it could be a bit fatter … maybe v02 will address that

  2. The fact that it does not track you, or blast advertising in your face courtsey of the ‘G’ means that your safe right? Wrong, ‘G’ owns the Internet, controls the internet including Android o.s. that are the only platform available for any phone excluding Apple. Now the hifi is worth the investment and risk .

  3. Good: 1080p display. MediaTek Dimensity 7050 is OK. 12GB LPDDR4x OK. Cameras are OK. uSD slot & phone jacks OK. Impressive audio specs.

    Bad: Curved AMOLED, curved means your screen protector will never fit well, AMOLED means eventual burn-in. Did I miss the internal storage size and type? Radio channels are not exactly for the Americas. $399 – dump the Curved AMOLED screen, fix the radio, reduce the price, sell unlocked by the truckload on Amazon.

    I’m going to assume Moondrop’s build quality will be superb – as usual. This is soooo close!

  4. Shave like an inch on the bottom of the phone and make it as thick on the bottom as it is on the top to allow room for the battery, and at least it would be something I could fit in my pockets.

  5. It’s unfortunate that it lacks B71 and N71 which prevents it from being fully compatible with T-Mobile US. I can see this as a second phone for many, so full compatibility with major US carriers wouldn’t be such a negative. I’ll wait for reviews from trusted reviewers in the audiophile community before pulling the trigger.

    1. You don’t really need Band 71 to be working with T-mobile. I have a few phones without Band 71 on T-mobile and they work fine. It would only be problems when you try with other carriers.

    2. B71 N71 are not openly licensable bands; T-Mobile restricts these bands to only phones they sell or OEM’s who sell branded phones. In fact, the only phone I’m aware of that is not sold in-store by T-Mobile and has the band is the ASUS ROG phone… but it’s entirely possible it is sold somewhere by T-Mobile; just not in the US.

      For that matter, these bands are only relevant in North America at that. They are primarily used for coverage based on their older rural tower network. Old 2G and 3G towers were instead converted to 4G and 5G band 71 without changing the antennas as far as I know.