Switching your smartphone each two or three years is pretty widespread, because of speedy enhancements in screens, charging, battery life, and efficiency. However, two years is not a lot within the typical life cycle of a tv, and lots of people are in all probability nonetheless utilizing non-smart televisions which can be 5 or extra years previous. Similarly, you may even personal a sensible TV, however poor software program, an absence of updates, or poor app help has crippled your skill to look at on-line content material. None of those are essentially ok causes to purchase a brand new TV altogether.
Xiaomi’s newest product, the Mi Box 4K, is supposed for precisely that objective. Priced at Rs. 3,499, the Mi Box 4K is a compact table-top streaming machine that plugs into the HDMI port of your TV and makes it sensible. Alternatively, it could possibly even make a sensible TV ‘smarter’ with higher software program and app help. How does this reasonably priced streaming field work, and what are you able to do with it? Find out in our evaluation.
Who is the Mi Box 4K meant for?
Xiaomi entered the sensible tv area in India with the Mi TV 4 55 again in early 2018, and has shortly established itself as one of many high manufacturers within the trade because of its aggressive pricing. However, just a bit over two years in, the Mi TV 4 55 isn’t getting the latest Android TV update, and anybody used to its sensible performance would rightly be involved for what’s to come back. Smart TVs that are not receiving software program updates might lose help for key apps and companies, or decelerate to the purpose of being near-impossible to make use of.
Another attainable use case is for somebody who’s utilizing a TV that was by no means sensible to start with. Maybe you have been pleased with DTH and cable TV to date, however you now need to give streaming companies a shot. One approach to do that is to purchase a brand new tv, however that will not be an reasonably priced choice, and also you may even really feel dangerous about eliminating a superbly useful mannequin earlier than its time is up.
The Mi Box 4K runs the present model of Android TV – model 9 Pie – and is assured an replace to the following model when it rolls out. This naturally offers the machine entry to Android TV’s in depth assortment of apps and video games, all of which might be accessed and used together with your HDMI-enabled TV.
How does the Mi Box 4K work?
Like a few of our favourite streaming devices, the Mi Box 4K is a standalone unit with its personal capabilities and features, resembling the Apple TV 4K in terms of type issue. It must be linked to a TV utilizing the included HDMI cable, and to an influence outlet. Once that is achieved, the Mi Box 4K is able to energy on and arrange. Connectivity to the Internet is just by Wi-Fi, with Bluetooth 4.2 additionally supported for pairing with audio gadgets, recreation controllers, and the included distant.
Once you have set all the things up – together with linking your Google account – the Mi Box 4K takes over because the sensible interface, sending the image and sound alerts to your TV. You may join exterior audio system to the machine utilizing the Audio Out port on the Mi Box 4K, bypassing your TV’s audio system if wanted. This is a hybrid port, so you possibly can join digital or analogue audio gadgets to it to redirect the sound.
The machine is powered by a quad-core Amlogic processor, and has 2GB of RAM plus 8GB of inside storage for apps. As the title suggests, the Mi Box 4K helps streaming at as much as 4K decision, together with excessive dynamic vary help as much as the HDR10 format.
The Mi Box 4K has its personal distant, which is used to navigate across the interface, open apps, and alter the amount, amongst different issues. The distant carefully resembles that of the Mi TV vary, however is barely completely different to replicate the variations within the software program. While Mi TV remotes have a ‘Mi’ button to shortly entry the PatchWall launcher, the Mi Box 4K’s distant has an app drawer button instead, because it runs solely on Android TV with out PatchWall.
The distant connects to the machine utilizing Bluetooth, and is powered by two AAA batteries. As is the case with a few of the latest Mi TV variants we have reviewed, batteries are usually not included within the gross sales bundle, which is disappointing. The distant lacks a mute button, and its construct high quality is lower than best. HDMI CEC, whereas useful, did not let our TV’s distant management all the things on the Mi Box 4K, with solely fundamental navigation attainable.
What are you able to do with the Mi Box 4K?
Like different standalone streaming gadgets, the Mi Box 4K offers you entry to an enormous assortment of apps and video games that you should use in your TV. Some apps are preinstalled on the Mi Box 4K, akin to Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and YouTube, whereas others might be put in from the Google Play Store for Android TV. Most widespread streaming companies in India have apps for Android TV, and all the favored choices labored properly for us on the Mi Box 4K.
Like with most Android TV gadgets, the Mi Box 4K comes with Google Chromecast performance in-built. This is identical because the Chomecast Ultra, and helps casting at as much as 4K decision. You can mirror your display or forged immediately from supported apps on suitable gadgets. Interestingly, you too can plug a USB drive into the Mi Box 4K to play native content material. Oddly, we could not discover a preinstalled media participant app, however widespread file supervisor apps on the Google Play Store for Android TV have been capable of play content material throughout varied file codecs and resolutions, together with HDR content material.
The Mi Box 4K helps streaming at as much as 4K decision, with help for HDR as much as the HDR10 normal. The lack of help for the higher Dolby Vision normal is disappointing, and holds the Mi Box 4K again a bit, particularly contemplating that some televisions priced under Rs. 30,000 now help the 12-bit normal.
HDR10 is respectable sufficient in case your TV can deal with it, and Netflix and Amazon Prime Video do allow you to play all HDR10 content material. Dolby audio can also be supported on the machine, and this may turn out to be useful when linked to televisions or sound techniques that additionally help the audio format.
There’s additionally Google Assistant on the Mi Box 4K, with a devoted button and microphone on the distant. This labored just about as anticipated. It might be linked to different Google Assistant gadgets for voice instructions, such because the Google Home. If you are utilizing a cell hotspot or different Internet reference to a knowledge cap, the Mi Box 4K has a data saver operate that may assist you to maintain monitor of and scale back bandwidth consumption whereas streaming.
The Xiaomi Mi Box 4K is not essentially one thing that lots of people will want or need, however it serves its very particular objective impressively. While it is not the primary Android TV-powered streaming machine in India, it’s maybe the one one that provides the complete inventory expertise with none vital omissions or brand-centric overlays. It’s additionally 4K and HDR succesful, which is an enormous benefit at its value.
The greatest competitors for the Mi Box 4K comes from the Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K. Although rather more costly at Rs. 5,999, the Fire TV Stick 4K helps apps akin to Apple TV that are not out there on Android TV, and works with the superior Dolby Vision format. That mentioned, the Fire TV Stick 4K lastly will get a worthy competitor within the Mi Box 4K, which presents practically as a lot by means of capabilities at slightly over half the value.
Price (MRP): Rs. 3,499
- Full-fledged Android TV, no bloatware
- 4K and HDR succesful
- Hybrid audio out and USB port
- Very good worth
- Remote construct high quality is not best
- HDMI CEC does not work completely
- No Dolby Vision
Ratings (Out of 5)
- Design and specs: 4
- Features: 4
- Value for cash: 4.5
- Overall: 4
Mi TV 4X vs Vu Cinema TV: Which is one of the best funds TV in India proper now? We mentioned this on Orbital, our weekly expertise podcast, which you’ll be able to subscribe to through Apple Podcasts or RSS, download the episode, or simply hit the play button under.