TVs have a special place in our living rooms for years, and they will continue to be an important part of our lives. So Xiaomi, which has focused primarily on smartphones, now wants to compete with Samsung and Sony in the TV market in India as well. Its latest top-of-the-line Mi LED Smart TV 4 has a jumbo-sized 55-inch panel, complete with 4K resolution and HDR10 support. The 4K set is “smart” too, and it features Xiaomi’s custom PatchWall user interface built on the top of Android, that’s been tailored for the Indian market.
The Mi LED Smart TV will available starting today on Flipkart, Mi.com and Mi Home stores for Rs 39,999. Xiaomi provided the review unit days ahead of the official availability, and here’s what I think about the Mi LED Smart TV 4.
Xiaomi Mi LED Smart TV 4 specifications: 55-inch (3480×2160) display|4K resolution| HDR10|64-bit quad-core processor, up to 1.8GHz| Mali-T830 MP2 GPU, up to 750MHz| 2GB RAM|8GB internal memory|Dolby Audio/DTS-HD|Bluetooth 4.0|Wi-Fi|Ethernet| 3 HDMI ports (one with Audio Return Channel)|2 USB ports|S/PDIF out| AV out|PatchWall UI (based on Android Open Source Platform)|Remote control
Xiaomi Mi LED Smart TV 4 price in India: Rs 39,999
Xiaomi Mi LED Smart TV 4 review: Sleek and modern design
Mi LED Smart TV 4 doesn’t look like an ordinary LED TV we all are familiar with, and that’s reflected in its design. It looks like a television set from the future. The TV has minimal bezels, which makes a huge difference. Measuring at 4.9mm, Mi LED Smart TV 4 is even slimmer than an iPhone X’s 7.7mm thickness. Mi LED TV 4 is extra thin on the top half of the glass panel, but it flattens a bit towards the bottom half to accommodate the TV’s internals, which includes a power supply, speakers, and connectivity ports.
Mi LED Smart TV 4 offers all of the standard connections and features. There are three HDMI ports (one with Audio Return Channel or ARC for connecting a soundbar), two USB ports (one USB 2.0, One USB 3.0) and connections for a coaxial cable (for an antenna or set-top box), Ethernet, and built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.
TV manufacturers have often struggled to come with the perfect remote control. In this case, Xiaomi has supplied a basic remote that’s simple and easy to operate. The remote has a directional ring for navigating the menu, a back button, home button, up and down volume controls, and a power button. It’s Bluetooth-enabled, not infrared and takes two AAA batteries. Unfortunately, you cannot send voice commands to your TV through a remote just yet.
Xiaomi Mi LED Smart TV 4 review: Picture quality and audio
Throughout my testing, I enjoyed watching TV shows, movies, and games looks so better on the Mi LED Smart TV 4. The TV is fantastic for watching HD or Full HD content, which I think most of you will be doing. If you own a regular set-up-box with SD connection, make sure you upgrade to the HD one, in case you opt for the Mi LED Smart TV 4. Most cable TV in India is still broadcast in 1080i resolution, which is not as sharp as the 1080p Full HD which relies on progressive screen. Cable TV will look more or less the same on the Mi LED Smart TV 4 as it did on my old Sony Bravia TV.
The 1080p viewing is great, the bright colours and black-levels make the visual experience stunning. If you are a gamer and own a PlayStation 4 or Xbox One, Mi LED Smart TV 4 is great for gaming. I plugged my PS4 to see how well the TV respond to games. Overall, games looked good on the Mi TV 4. I have not yet tested videos and games in Ultra high-definition resolution on the Mi LED Smart TV 4, since I do not have a 4K-enabled console. Do note that the new Xbox One X costs more than the Mi LED Smart TV 4.
Mi LED TV 4’s speakers deliver clear and rich sound, if you have installed the TV set in a normal sized room. Though I still feel that the audio quality could be better.
Xiaomi Mi LED Smart TV 4 review: Interface and apps
Mi LED Smart TV 4 is a “smart” TV, but the company’s vision is something different from its competitors. Mi LED Smart TV 4 is based on an Android Open Source (AOC) platform, which is different from Google’s Android TV. The TV set uses Xiaomi’s preparatory PatchWall interface (similar to MIUI) that’s customised for large-screen sized televisions, keeping the Indian market in mind.
Xiaomi says its PatchWall UI is intelligent and it takes advantage of machine learning to know your TV viewing habits, and over a period of time. The focus has been on personalisation of content, with support for 15 local languages. The interface is easy to operate and there is no learning curve to it. You can also conduct searches within the TV to find the relevant content, although there is no provision of voice-based searches (only text searches).
Xiaomi has tied-up with over 10 partners, including AltBalaji, Hungama Play, Hotstar, and SunNXT, among others for local content. The company claims over 500,000 hours of content available on the Mi LED Smart TV 4. Still I was disappointed to see the absence of apps like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video. The exclusion of these services will not go down well with a lot of people who have already subscribed to the popular streaming platforms.
It is frustrating, because one will have to bear an additional cost to buy streaming dongles (it could be Amazon Fire TV Stick or Google Chromecast). If my purpose is to plug one of these streaming sticks, I will content with my old TV set. Also, you need to remember that there is no way to download applications on the Mi LED Smart TV 4. However, you can watch YouTube videos, though again the card format might not appeal to all users.
With the help of an IR blaster cable connected to the TV, the supplied remote control can control a set-top box. Interestingly, almost any Set-Top box is already supported. Mi LED Smart TV 4 fetches the content straight from the Set-top box. So basically, it gives you the freedom to watch the show as per your convenience. It simply means that you do not need to remember channel numbers every time; the UI searches the channel you want to watch and it automatically identifies and switches to the relevant channel.
Xiaomi Mi LED Smart TV 4 review: Should you buy?
Overall, I found the Mi LED Smart TV 4 delivers good picture quality and costs just Rs 39,999. This a less-expensive option for those looking for a true 4K HDR TV. If you’re looking for a new TV that doesn’t break the bank, this one from Xiaomi is definitely worth your attention and time.