Switching your smartphone each two or three years is pretty frequent, because of fast 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 would possibly even personal a sensible TV, however poor software program, an absence of updates, or poor app assist has crippled your potential 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 function. 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 possibly 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 overview.
Who is the Mi Box 4K meant for?
Xiaomi entered the sensible tv house in India with the Mi TV 4 55 again in early 2018, and has rapidly 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 is not getting the most recent 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 could lose assist for key apps and providers, 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 proud of DTH and cable TV so far, however you now wish to give streaming providers a shot. One manner to do that is to purchase a brand new tv, however that will not be an inexpensive possibility, and also you would possibly even really feel unhealthy about eliminating a wonderfully 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 update to the subsequent model when it rolls out. This naturally provides 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 with regards to type issue. It must be linked to a TV utilizing the included HDMI cable, and to an influence outlet. Once that is carried out, the Mi Box 4K is able to energy on and arrange. Connectivity to the Internet is just by way of Wi-Fi, with Bluetooth 4.2 additionally supported for pairing with audio gadgets, sport controllers, and the included distant.
Once you’ve got set the whole lot 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 also can 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 regulate the quantity, amongst different issues. The distant carefully resembles that of the Mi TV vary, however is barely totally different to mirror the variations within the software program. While Mi TV remotes have a ‘Mi’ button to rapidly 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 should not included within the gross sales bundle, which is disappointing. The distant lacks a mute button, and its construct high quality is lower than splendid. HDMI CEC, whereas useful, did not let our TV’s distant management the whole lot on the Mi Box 4K, with solely fundamental navigation potential.
What are you able to do with the Mi Box 4K?
Like different standalone streaming gadgets, the Mi Box 4K provides 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, reminiscent of Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and YouTube, whereas others will be put in from the Google Play Store for Android TV. Most widespread streaming providers in India have apps for Android TV, and all the favored choices labored effectively 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 instantly 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 in a position to play content material throughout numerous 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 normal. The lack of assist for the higher Dolby Vision normal is disappointing, and holds the Mi Box 4K again a bit, particularly contemplating that some televisions priced underneath Rs. 30,000 now assist the 12-bit normal.
HDR10 is first rate 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 can turn out to be useful when linked to televisions or sound programs 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 cellular hotspot or different Internet reference to an information cap, the Mi Box 4K has an information saver operate that may assist you preserve monitor of and cut back bandwidth consumption whereas streaming.
The Xiaomi Mi Box 4K is not essentially one thing that lots of people will want or need, but it surely serves its very particular function 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 important omissions or brand-centric overlays. It’s additionally 4K and HDR succesful, which is a giant 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 reminiscent of 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 almost as a lot by means of capabilities at just a little over half the worth.
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 splendid
- 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 perfect funds TV in India proper now? We mentioned this on Orbital, our weekly expertise podcast, which you’ll subscribe to through Apple Podcasts or RSS, download the episode, or simply hit the play button under.