Mi Box 4K Review: The TV Box You Were Looking For

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Mi Box 4K Review: The TV Box You Were Looking For
For the longest time, I’ve held out on shopping for a wise TV to switch the 43-inch plasma TV I’ve at house for the final 7 odd years. I simply couldn’t justify discarding a superbly good TV simply to get the most recent one obtainable, and so I by no means did it. Plus, there’s the worth proposition. However, an Android TV field? That has at all times appeared like a good suggestion to me. It provides the smarts you need, however it additionally brings these smarts in a extra modular manner. So two years down the road you’ll be able to merely exchange the field for a greater one as a substitute of shopping for an entire new TV.

So, when Xiaomi despatched over the Mi Box 4K to me I used to be extra than simply excited to make use of it. At Rs. 3,499, the Mi Box 4K undercuts probably the most different, most evident alternative for a wise TV stick on the market — the Fire TV Stick (Rs. 3,999). So, if you’re confused whether or not the Mi Box 4K is definitely worth the cash, learn on.

What’s within the Box

First up, let’s check out every thing contained in the field.

  • Mi Box 4K
  • Remote
  • HDMI cable
  • Power cable
  • User Manual

The distant requires two AAA batteries to work. These aren’t included within the field, so be sure you have them at hand.

Design and Build

Starting off with the design and the construct, the Mi Box 4K is available in a matte black plastic physique. This ensures that it’s light-weight, and fairly stealthy to maintain beneath your TV. I recognize each these items concerning the machine. It’s additionally pretty smooth, which suggests it doesn’t have a lot of a profile whenever you take a look at it in your TV cupboard.

There’s an indicator LED up entrance which glows white whereas the Mi TV Box is on. It’s a really faint glow, and the best way the field is designed, it’s barely seen should you’re it from an angle. That’s often the way you’ll be it, by the best way, as a result of your TV will probably be at eye degree, and the Mi Box, beneath it.

It’s not a difficulty nevertheless. If something, I really admired this when watching TV late at evening with all of the lights turned off. This gentle doesn’t trigger distractions.

On the again you’ll discover some ports. There’s the same old energy and HDMI out port right here, however the Mi Box 4K additionally brings in an audio out, and a USB Type-A on the rear. This manner you’ll be able to join the Mi Box 4K on to your sound system in order for you.

I additionally recognize the low-key branding on the Mi Box 4K by the best way, it’s black on black and really minimal. Xiaomi’s aesthetics listed below are on level.

Setting Up

Setting up the Mi Box 4K is pretty simple. You plug within the HDMI cable, the ability cable, and comply with the directions on display screen to get all of it arrange. I favor organising the Mi Box 4K utilizing an Android cellphone, however you’ve gotten the choice to set it up from scratch in order for you.

That stated, I did encounter an irritating difficulty whereas pairing the distant with the Mi Box 4K. I’ve mentioned the doable options to that in my article on easy methods to arrange the Mi Box 4K, and I’d advocate you give {that a} learn.

Android TV UI, Pre-installed Apps

As you would possibly already know, the Mi Box 4K comes with Android TV. However, Xiaomi doesn’t coat it up with its Patchwall UI right here. This is pure Android TV primarily based on Android 9 Pie.

Now the Android TV UI is one thing I don’t like a lot. It doesn’t really feel all that intuitive, and it doesn’t really feel prefer it’s suited to navigation with a distant. Also textual content entry is a downright ache. However, that’s my very subjective take a look at Android TV’s UI. Rupesh, who makes use of an Android primarily based good TV at house says that he’s completely positive with the UI right here. My level is, when you have used an Android TV previously, the UI right here is precisely the identical. So carry your personal judgement about it if doable.

If you haven’t ever used an Android TV earlier than, right here’s what the UI is like. You get rows of content material, with every row specializing in a unique app. Usually these rows can be populated by the likes of Netflix and YouTube. You can configure this, by the best way, so should you don’t need beneficial movies from YouTube flooding your display screen, that’s simply rectified.

The difficulty actually pops up when it’s essential to go into settings, or view notifications, or god forbid, enter textual content. In these circumstances, the distant is a sluggish manner of creating your manner across the system. Part of that is probably as a result of Android TV simply desires to maintain animations sluggish and easy. That may end up in the method seemingly taking eternally.

Maybe I’m spoiled by that comparatively quicker feeling UI, or possibly it’s simply because I’m not used to Android TV’s implementation, however I’m not an enormous fan.

See, I exploit a PS 4 with my TV at house. It’s just about my whole leisure system — each for video games and for Netflix and Prime Video. However, the PS UI is simpler to navigate and feels extra snappy and responsive. Maybe I’m spoiled by that comparatively quicker feeling UI, or possibly it’s simply because I’m not used to Android TV’s implementation, however I’m not an enormous fan.

However, it’s essential to keep in mind that the UI just isn’t actually the Mi Box’s fault. In reality, the Mi Box 4K is actually good at efficiency as I’ll talk about within the subsequent part.

UI apart, there’s one factor I actually recognize from Xiaomi right here — no bloatware. Yup. The Mi Box 4K comes with the naked requirements of TV. There’s the Play Store (clearly) and there’s Netflix and Prime Video pre-installed. That’s not even dangerous, that’s simply time saving as a result of I’m pretty sure you’re utilizing each of these companies anyway.

I’ll be trustworthy, I didn’t anticipate Xiaomi to stint out on bloatware. However, the corporate pleasantly shocked me with the Mi Box 4K. So good job there, Xiaomi.

Performance

Coming to the efficiency, there are two actual features to contemplate right here. One is the same old day-to-day efficiency of the Mi Box 4K, and the opposite is for issues like gaming. I didn’t attempt to run benchmarks on this factor as a result of actually, that felt silly.

In regular daily utilization, the Mi Box 4K blows proper by means of every thing. Launching apps is quick, navigation across the Android TV UI is as quick as I’ve seen in any Android TV powered good TV (besides the OnePlus TV which is simply… wow). The Mi Box 4K doesn’t actually really feel sluggish even after putting in a bunch of apps on it. All great things.

If you’re the form of one that desires to play Asphalt 8 on their TV, you are able to do that as properly. You will want a controller, clearly, however the sport runs properly sufficient. There are not any main hiccups though I did discover some dropped frames often.

Overall although, the efficiency right here doesn’t actually go away you wanting.

Remote

Considering all of the issues I stated about navigating the Android TV UI with a distant, I used to be anticipating to probably not get pleasure from utilizing the distant right here anyway. However, Xiaomi’s distant is definitely a reasonably good one. It has probably the most frequent buttons you’ll use, and a pleasant curved design that matches properly within the palm.

There are devoted buttons for Netflix and Prime Video, which I believe is superior as a result of these are the 2 companies that I exploit most frequently. That’s probably true for most individuals on the market as properly. There’s additionally a Google Assistant button right here, which is sweet to have, however I personally don’t just like the expertise Google Assistant provides right here. I stated as a lot in my comparability between the Mi Box 4K vs Fire TV Stick and it is best to go give {that a} learn in order for you extra element about this.

There’s additionally the amount management, and different frequent buttons you’d discover in most good TV remotes right here.

As I stated earlier than, the distant makes use of two AAA batteries for energy and also you completely want the distant to even arrange the Mi Box 4K so be sure you purchase AAA batteries for it.

Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • Sleek and stealthy
  • Great efficiency
  • Stock Android TV
  • No bloatware

Cons:

  • No batteries included. Really Xiaomi?
  • Pairing the distant can get annoying
  • Android TV UI isn’t the most effective on the market

Mi Box 4K Review: Should You Buy It?

So, the query right here stays whether or not the Mi Box 4K is one thing you can purchase. Honestly, sure. There’s no query about it. The Mi Box 4K does greater than what every other possibility out there does at this price level. It has Netflix and Prime Video, it has 4K playback assist, USB Type-A port, and inventory Android TV. Its solely actual competitors within the price is the Fire TV Stick, which at Rs. 3,999 provides solely Full HD playback, and no extra ports.

Moreover, the Mi Box 4K comes with Chromecast as in comparison with Miracast on the Fire TV Stick/Fire TV Stick 4K (Rs. 5,999). That stated, should you use Apple TV+, that app isn’t obtainable on the Mi Box 4K. However, it’s obtainable on the Fire TV Stick in order that’s one thing you would possibly need to think about.

All in all, the Mi Box 4K is a worth for cash proposition for anybody trying so as to add some smarts to their previous TV. It brings numerous great things, and that too at a formidable price level.

Buy the Mi Box 4K (Rs. 3,499)

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