The Moondrop MIAD01 Is the Puzzle Piece to the Headphone Jack-Shaped Hole in Our Hearts

The Moondrop MIAD01 is a DAP and a smartphone in one.
The Moondrop MIAD01 is a DAP and a smartphone in one.

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Moondrop’s latest handset reunites the headphone jack with the smartphone, and it’s brilliant.

This is the Moondrop MIAD01, short for Mobile Internet Audio Device. It’s the new smartphone from the Chinese Hi-Fi company making IEMs, headphones, external DACs, and now, an audiophile targeted 5G smartphone.

I’ve been using the Moondrop MIAD01 as my main smartphone for about one week, and I’m here to provide my experiences with Moondrop’s hot new handset.

This unit was purchased by me! It was not provided by Moondrop, and they have no editorial input.

Under the Hood

According to Moondrop’s website, the MIAD01 is powered by the Mediatek Dimensity 7050 8-core processor and paired with 12GB of LPDDR4X memory.

As for storage, it comes with just one option— 256GB with an optional MicroSD card slot for an additional 2TB of storage. This feature is becoming increasingly rare, even on the most expensive phones on the market.

The MIAD01 packs a 5000mAh battery and supports 33W charging.

Around the back, you’ll find dual cameras, one 64MP unit and another 8MP one. Up front, underneath the 1080p, 120Hz OLED display, you’ll find a 32 MP front-facing camera.

Design and Build

I'm not sure why Moondrop thought it was a good idea to use a curved OLED.
I’m not sure why Moondrop thought it was a good idea to use a curved OLED.

Flashy – In a word, that’s how I would describe the design of the Moondrop MIAD01.

The phone boasts a large 6.5 inch curved OLED, which is very reminiscent of Samsung’s Galaxy S6 Edge+ from 2015.

For a 1080p panel of this size, I’m surprised at how good it looks. But, the glass covering the display is the only higher-end material you’ll find on the MIAD01.

The rear of the phone is covered in white plastic, adorned with flashy logos and text for the headphone jacks and the make and model of the phone. At the top is a large camera hump, housing the cameras, headphone jacks, and NFC.

On the other hand, the body of the phone has sharp corners on the sides, a design choice that I personally question.

Unfortunately, these sharp sides don’t exactly make it the most comfortable phone in the hand.

But, thankfully, despite being made of plastic and having sharp edges, the phone doesn’t feel like a cheap device. This is mostly because it has a reasonably dense feel to it (weighing in at 202 grams).

Three orange buttons (two for volume and one for power), sit upon the right side of the phone.
Three orange buttons (two for volume and one for power), sit upon the right side of the phone.

Audio-Related Features

Time for the elephant in the room. As something marketed specifically for audiophiles, the sound features are what many people, including me, were most curious about.

Let’s look at the specs first.

The MIAD01 packs dual Cirrus Logic CS43131 DACs, though misreported by Device Info HW as a CS43130.

The 3.5mm and 4.4mm headphone jacks are a welcome feature.
The 3.5mm and 4.4mm headphone jacks are a welcome feature.

Up top on the MIAD01, you will find not only a 3.5mm headphone jack, but a 4.4mm balanced out as well.

In a world where simple features such as headphone jacks aren’t found, even on devices costing 4 digits, seeing a $399 handset boasting this set of jacks is a welcome breath of fresh air.

With the 3.5mm jack, it handles my Sony MDR-7506 and MDR-1AM2 with ease, pumping out more than enough volume for comfortable listening.

However, with higher impedance headphones, such as Sennheiser HD6XX and AKG K7XX on loan to me from a family member, I found that I had to crank the volume pretty high to listen at my desired volume.

I was definitely able to achieve a comfortable listening volume. But, some harder-to-drive headphones, or users who like to listen loud, may not feel the device puts out enough volume.

Fortunately, the phone also has balanced out, which proved to be my first experience using balanced audio.

For this, I used the Sennheiser HD6XX. The balanced out definitely puts out more power. I was able to comfortably stand max volume with 3.5 on the HD6XX, but when I switched to balanced, it was able to bring these 300 ohm headphones to unlistenably loud volumes. It’s definitely got power!

For several years I was a dedicated fan of LG’s phones due to their fancy Quad DACs, the spark that lit the audiophile flame within me, so that was one of the first things I compared it to.

I’m not exactly the most discerning audiophile out there, but between the two, I personally still prefer the LG.

In all of the songs I used for testing, I feel the LG had slightly better instrument separation compared to the Moondrop. Vocals stood out a little more and everything felt like it had a tiny bit more to breathe, in a way.

Using the MIAD01 as a Daily Phone

I think the MIAD01 can be a decent daily phone, if you're not too fussy.
I think the MIAD01 can be a decent daily phone, if you’re not too fussy.

For the past week, I have been using the MIAD01 as my main phone.

Perhaps the biggest thing to note is that the MIAD01 is not compatible with several American carriers.

I initially wanted to use my Xfinity Mobile SIM card, but much to my surprise and dismay, the SIM did not work in the phone at all! I could not call or text.

However, I am trying a Mint Mobile SIM, and it seems to work perfectly fine, getting 5G service, VOLTE, and full service bars. I am able to text and call even indoors.

Another important thing for potential buyers to know when using the MIAD01 is that from the factory, it does not have any Google services enabled.

If you want the Play Store and Google services you’ll have to enable the apps in Settings. Otherwise, you will have to manually install apps with APKs or use an alternative app store.

I have used the phone without any Google services and if you’re okay with manually installing APKs to your phone, you will be just fine. I have also been using the phone with Google Services enabled, and everything works just as it should.

On a similar note, in day-to-day, regular usage, the phone performs reasonably well and feels plenty responsive.

Not blazing fast by any means, but not meaningfully any slower than the past three phones I have used, being two Snapdragon 855s and one Snapdragon 7 Gen 1. I haven’t gotten into a situation where I’ve gotten impatient waiting for the phone to do something.

On the topic of battery, I have never been so impressed with battery life on a phone!

With moderate usage, I have been able to get nearly two days on a single charge. In the week that I have owned the phone, I have only plugged it in to charge about three times, plus a little bit of charging when connected to my PC for transferring files onto the phone.

Moondrop MIAD01's battery life is something I didn't expect to be pleased about.
Moondrop MIAD01’s battery life is something I didn’t expect to be pleased about.

Camera performance on the MIAD01 is not great, but given Moondrop’s marketing saying “It’s not good, but it works”, it surpassed my expectations. (Side note: I appreciate the honesty!)

The photos are a little bit grainy, without a lot of detail. However, for just taking quick pictures of something to look at in the future, (Like I did recently, taking pictures of important information from a slideshow) the camera will more than suffice.

Some of the photos I took using the MIAD01.
Some of the photos I took using the MIAD01.


In a future version of the Moondrop MIAD01, (A MIAD02, perhaps) some of the things I would perhaps be interested in seeing are:

  • A beefier chipset under the hood, the phone feeling a tiny bit snappier would be a welcome addition.
  • Nicer DAC and a little bit more amplification power on 3.5mm, to improve the listening experience even better.
  • Rounded sides. My goodness Moondrop, why?

Final Thoughts

For Moondrop’s first go at making a smartphone, they do quite a lot right.

The audio-related goodies are lovely and a much-welcome addition to the market.

As a DAP, it performs reasonably well, but I believe the MIAD01’s biggest draw is the convenience it brings, always having your music with you without the need for a separate DAP.

For some, using it as their daily phone would bring some compromises, but for what you get, the MIAD01 offers some compelling features in return.

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