Xiaomi is expanding its smart home portfolio in India with two new smart TVs – the Mi LED TV 4A Pro 43 and Mi LED TV 4X Pro 55. It is also launching the Mi Soundbar. Xiaomi said all these products will go on sale in a week’s time. With the new smart TVs and Mi Soundbar, Xiaomi is looking to compete with the likes of Samsung, LG and Sony, but at a lower price point.
The Mi LED TV 4X PRO in 55-inches size will cost Rs 39,999, while the Mi LED TV 4A Pro 43-inches will cost Rs 22,999. The sale for the new Mi LED TVs will start on January 15, 2019 at 12 pm. The Mi Soundbar will be available via Mi.com and Mi Home stores for Rs 4,999 starting January 16, 2019 at 12 pm.
Consumers will be able to buy these new smart TV in two available screen sizes: 43 and 55 inches. Out of the two, Mi LED TV 4X Pro 55 has a 4K HDR10 resolution and uses a 10-bit colour panel. The TV features narrow bezels surrounding the display (it is just 11.4mm thick).
Under the hood, it is powered by a 64-bit quad-core processor which is Amlogic’s chipset. It also packs 2GB RAM and 8GB of internal storage. It also has support for Dolby audio and DTS-HD audio, dual-band Wi-Fi, Bluetooth Low Energy, and 20W speakers.
Besides the 55-inch model, Xiaomi also introduced a 43-inch smart TV. This set boasts a Full HD panel (4K UHD resolution is missing, though) and is powered by a 64-bit Amlogic’s chipset coupled with 1GB RAM and 8GB storage. It also has support for Dolby audio and DTS-HD audio, and dual-band Wi-Fi, and 20W speakers.
Both of these TVs are powered by Xiaomi’s custom PatchWall UI that has been heavily tweaked for Indian users. Xiaomi has tie-ups with a number of regional content partners such as Eros Now, Alt Balaji, Zee5, SunNXT and so on.
The company says over 80 per cent of the content is free. Xiaomi expects its Mi TVs to get Amazon Prime Video support in the second-quarter of 2019. As far as Netflix is concerned, the discussions are on but there is no concrete word on when the service will hit the Mi TVs.
Apart from PatchWall UI, the new TVs also come with Android TV (based on Android Oreo 8.1) out-of-the-box, which will let them support all the standard Google services and apps including voice search, Google Play Store, Chromecast and YouTube. Both smart TVs ship with Bluetooth-enabled remote with a dedicated voice search button.
Xiaomi says these two TVs are brighter and offer much more punch in terms of colours. In terms of sound, they are much louder and have a little better frequency response compared to TVs available in China. The reason why these small touches are so important because the homes in India are noisier and brighter.
Apart from TVs, Xiaomi is also bringing the Mi SoundBar to India. This is the first time Xiaomi has introduced a product on the home theater front in the country. The Mi Soundbar is designed to offer very loud volumes, as it features two 20mm dome speakers, two 2.5 woofers and four passive radiators for deep, enhanced bass.
On the connectivity front, the soundbar comes with Bluetooth 4.2, S/PDIF, Optical, Line-in, and a 3.5mm headphone jack. Xiaomi claims the Mi Soundbar can be setup in a mere 30 seconds.
Xiaomi stressed on the fact that it did 16 months of research on how to bring the perfect soundbar to India. With the Mi Soundbar, Xiaomi said it tried to focus on three things: quality, honest pricing and easy setup.
“The smart TV has become one of the fastest growing category in India as it is continue to register the triple digit annual growth in the country. In the 2018Q3, a total of 1.4 million smart TVs were shipped in the country, and Xiaomi was the leader in this category with a 33% market share,” Jaipal Singh, Lead Analyst at IDC for Smart Home, told indianexpress.com.
Xiaomi, Singh said, disrupted the smart TV market in India by launching some of the most affordable smart TVs in the country. This aggressive pricing really helped Xiaomi gain a quick market share from the traditional players who were still holding a large portfolio of non-smart TVs at a higher price.
“Xiaomi entered in the smart TV market at the right time, when data plans are the cheapest in the word in India. Further supported by the strong spend from the OTT players, who are trying to onboard new users by offering affordable subscription plans and localising the content as per Indian preferences,” he said.
“The sound bar really aligns with Xiaomi’s strategy to sell affordable TVs in India. Users who want to have a better sound experience now have an option to opt the secondary device to improve their experience.”
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