Updated: October 30, 2019 7:30:50 pm
A lot of smartphone companies seem to be harbouring ambitions of selling smart televisions too. But one company that has been ahead of the curve was Xiaomi, which introduced its Mi TVs in India last year, starting under Rs 13,000 and going up to Rs 45,000. In just over a year, the brand already claims to be the number one in terms of smart TV business in India, apparently selling “3 million units in just 14 months”.
The latest range from Xiaomi comes in three new size variants and price points. There’s the big 65-inch variant at Rs 54,999, a 50-inch one at Rs 29,999 and the 43-inch at Rs 24,999. Netflix and Amazon Prime Video are inbuilt in the new Mi TVs, a feature that was missing on earlier devices. We got the 50-inch Mi TV 4X for review, and here’s what we thought of it.
Mi TV 4X 50-inch specifications: 50-inch 4K HDR-10 display (3840 x 2160 pixels), 60 Hz refresh rate | 20W speakers Dolby+ DTS-HD | Ports: USB 2.0×2, HDMI 3 AV1, S/PDIF 1, RF 1, WIFI: 2.4GHz/5GHz, LAN 1 | PatchWall with Android TV | 64-bit Quad-core Amlogic Cortex A53 quad-core processor, 2GB RAM, 8GB eMMC storage
Mi TV 4X 50-inch price in India: Rs 29,999
Mi TV 4X 50-inch review
The Mi TV 4X packs a lot of features, given the price of this device. It comes with a 4K HDR 10 ready LED display. It has 20W speakers with Dolby + DTS-HD. Apps like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video are pre-loaded, which is great in a household like mine given this where we consume content. It also comes with the latest Android TV Pie (Android 9) and Xiaomi gives you the option of switching between its own Patchwall launcher or keeping the simpler Android TV launcher.
Despite the 50 inches, the Mi TV certainly looks sleek and impressive. It is ultra-thin on the sides, but not wobbly if you keep it on the stand like I did. The Mi TV 4X does give you the option of wall mounting as well. The stand is nothing fancy, but then this is an affordable TV with a big screen.
The Mi TV comes with two USB 2.0 ports, three HDMI ports, one AV port and dual-band WiFi 2.4GHz/5GHz as well as a LAN port. There’s also a S/PDIF port (Sony/Philips Digital Interface) and the RF port. The variety of ports caters to all types of accessories. Another good thing is that Mi TV’s system supports 13 Indian languages, while Patchwall OS supports an additional two. There is a lot of content for consumers across different parts of India, which will be appreciated.
In my house, we stopped using DTH a good three years back. The Amazon Fire TV Stick is what we primarily use to convert our old Sony into a smart TV, given we mostly consume content on Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Hotstar. This is the mix I tried on the Mi TV 4X as well.
The 4K streaming experience was good and even the content was streaming on lower resolutions appeared decent. Yes, the colours could be richer in some cases, and the blacks are certainly not as deep as you would get on an OLED, but then this is a much more affordable TV. The presence of this TV meant I was certainly watching a lot more content on the big screen than I did on a daily basis.
We binged on the ‘The Family Man’ series and finished it in one night, along with shows on Netflix like ‘The Spy’, ‘South Park’ and some episodes of ‘Altered Carbon’. The experience was excellent each time. Needless to say, I don’t think I can go back to my old Sony so easily.
I did not have to tinker too much with the settings to get the brightness right and the default settings worked superbly. And that’s what you want in a TV. Where the Mi TV 4X did struggle was when it came to upscaling older content and this was visible when watching ‘Friends’, when some episodes looked visibly pixelated.
The Mi TV remote comes with a dedicated buttons for Google Assistant, Netflix and Amazon Prime Video. Google Assistant was a hit and miss, because sometimes it just would not understand the content we wanted it to play. There’s also a button to go to the Mi Patchwall launcher, a back button, a dedicated button to turn off the TV, and volume controls. There’s no mute button which I would have appreciated. The Mi TV remote also has a circular button on top which can be used to forward, pause content on apps like Netflix, Amazon Prime, etc, similar to how the Amazon Fire TV stick remote.
One issue I noticed in the software was that at times when one forwarded the content or even hit back, the audio would not sync. This happened a lot while we were watching ‘The Family Man’. I’m guessing this is a software glitch that Xiaomi needs to fix. I preferred to use the Android TV interface though Patchwall OS does pull content and curates from the several OTT apps in a big poster format. However, the Android TV launcher is easier on the eyes. For many users this will boil down to a personal preference.
Perhaps the weak link in the TV is the sound, which could be louder and pack a bit more punch. At times, we really had to crank up the volume to listen to some of the dialogues and even a little bit of noise would mar the experience.
Mi TV 4X 50-inch review: Verdict
To be honest, while reviewing this TV, I was under the impression it would cost Rs 35,000, which I thought was a fair price. But at Rs 29,999 the Mi TV 4X in 50-inches is a steal. Along with the traditional sources, it comes packed with all the OTT apps that cord-cutters like me need and also has the variety to appeal to a larger audience. The Mi TV 4X stands out given the number of features it packs and the performance. For those looking to get an affordable TV but with a 50-inch screen and all the latest features, the Mi TV 4X is an excellent deal to consider.
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