Switching your smartphone each two or three years is pretty frequent, due to 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of a tv, and lots of people are most likely nonetheless utilizing non-smart televisions which might be 5 or extra years outdated. Similarly, you may even personal a sensible TV, however poor software program, an absence of updates, or poor app assist has crippled your capacity to observe on-line content material. None of those are essentially adequate causes to purchase a brand new TV altogether.
Xiaomi’s newest product, the Mi Box 4K, is supposed for precisely that goal. Priced at Rs. 3,499, the Mi Box 4K is a compact table-top streaming system that plugs into the HDMI port of your TV and makes it sensible. Alternatively, it may well even make a sensible TV ‘smarter’ with higher software program and app assist. How does this inexpensive 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 due to its aggressive pricing. However, just a bit over two years in, the Mi TV 4 55 is not getting the most recent Android TV update, and anybody used to its sensible performance would rightly be involved for what’s to return. Smart TVs that are not receiving software program updates might lose assist for key apps and companies, or decelerate to the purpose of being near-impossible to make use of.
Another potential 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 so far, however you now wish to give streaming companies a shot. One approach to do that is to purchase a brand new tv, however that will not be an inexpensive choice, and also you may even really feel unhealthy about eliminating a wonderfully purposeful 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 update to the following model when it rolls out. This naturally offers the system entry to Android TV’s intensive assortment of apps and video games, all of which will be accessed and used together with your HDMI-enabled TV.
How does the Mi Box 4K work?
Like a few of our favorite streaming gadgets, the Mi Box 4K is a standalone unit with its personal capabilities and capabilities, resembling the Apple TV 4K in terms of kind issue. It must be related to a TV utilizing the included HDMI cable, and to an influence outlet. Once that is executed, the Mi Box 4K is able to energy on and arrange. Connectivity to the Internet is just by means of Wi-Fi, with Bluetooth 4.2 additionally supported for pairing with audio gadgets, sport controllers, and the included distant.
Once you have set every little thing up – together with linking your Google account – the Mi Box 4K takes over because the sensible interface, sending the image and sound indicators to your TV. You may also join exterior audio system to the system 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 may join digital or analogue audio gadgets to it to redirect the sound.
The system 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 assist 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 intently resembles that of the Mi TV vary, however is barely totally 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 as an alternative, because it runs solely on Android TV with out PatchWall.
The distant connects to the system utilizing Bluetooth, and is powered by two AAA batteries. As is the case with a number of the current Mi TV variants we have reviewed, batteries aren’t included within the gross sales bundle, which is disappointing. The distant lacks a mute button, and its construct high quality is lower than excellent. HDMI CEC, whereas purposeful, did not let our TV’s distant management every little thing on the Mi Box 4K, with solely primary navigation potential.
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 need to use in your TV. Some apps are preinstalled on the Mi Box 4K, corresponding to Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and YouTube, whereas others will be put in from the Google Play Store for Android TV. Most standard streaming companies in India have apps for Android TV, and all the favored choices labored nicely for us on the Mi Box 4K.
Like with most Android TV gadgets, the Mi Box 4K comes with Google Chromecast performance inbuilt. This is identical because the Chomecast Ultra, and helps casting at as much as 4K decision. You can mirror your display or solid immediately from supported apps on appropriate gadgets. Interestingly, you can too 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 standard 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 assist for HDR as much as the HDR10 customary. The lack of assist for the higher Dolby Vision customary is disappointing, and holds the Mi Box 4K again a bit, particularly contemplating that some televisions priced below Rs. 30,000 now assist the 12-bit customary.
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 be supported on the system, and this may come in useful when related to televisions or sound techniques that additionally assist 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 will 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 an information cap, the Mi Box 4K has an information saver perform that may provide help to preserve 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 goal impressively. While it is not the primary Android TV-powered streaming system in India, it’s maybe the one one that gives the total inventory expertise with none vital omissions or brand-centric overlays. It’s additionally 4K and HDR succesful, which is an enormous benefit at its worth.
The greatest competitors for the Mi Box 4K comes from the Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K. Although far more costly at Rs. 5,999, the Fire TV Stick 4K helps apps corresponding to Apple TV that are not accessible on Android TV, and works with the superior Dolby Vision format. That stated, the Fire TV Stick 4K lastly will get a worthy competitor within the Mi Box 4K, which gives practically as a lot by the use 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 excellent
- HDMI CEC would 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 the very best funds TV in India proper now? We mentioned this on Orbital, our weekly know-how podcast, which you’ll subscribe to through Apple Podcasts or RSS, download the episode, or simply hit the play button under.