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Monday, November 29, 2021

Xiaomi’s Mi TV 5X review: Good display, lots of features, but some misses

Xiaomi Mi TV 5X review: This is the latest range of smart TVs offered by the brand, and here's a look at how it performs.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5
Rs. 31,999
Written by Shruti Dhapola | New Delhi |
Updated: October 21, 2021 11:22:04 am
Xiaomi Mi TV 5X, Xiaomi Mi TV 5X specifications, Xiaomi Mi TV 5X review, Xiaomi Mi TV 5X price in India, Mi TV 5X vs Samsung TV, Mi TV 5X price in India, Mi TV 5X specificationsXiaomi Mi TV 5X review: Here's what we thought of the latest Mi V. (Image credit: Shruti Dhapola/Indian Express)

The Mi TV 5X series is, I suppose, the last under the ‘Mi’ branding. No, Xiaomi is not killing off its highly successful Mi TV. But the ‘Mi’ branding is going away, at least on product names. Future Mi TVs will likely be called Xiaomi TVs.

Still, the new Mi TV 5X is the latest among the premium TVs offered by the brand. However, these are not part of the brand’s QLED range which has a much higher starting price.

Given that it is festive season in India, and most Diwali offers are continuing across brands, the Mi TV 5X with its starting price of Rs 31,999 makes for an interesting and tempting upgrade. But how does it perform? Here’s our review:

Mi TV 5X specifications: Display size: 43, 50 and 55-inches | 4K HDR Color Resolution (3840×2160 resolution) | DolbyVision/HDR10+/HDR 10 | 40W Stereo speakers on 50 and 55-inches | 30W on 43-inches | Dolby Atmos DTS-HD | PatchWall OS with IMDb integration | HDMI 2.1 | eARC| BT 5.0 with BLE | Dual band Wi-Fi 802.11| 64-bit Quad core A55 CPU Mali G52 | 2GB RAM 16GB Storage | Ports HDMI 2.1 x 3, USB x 2 Ethernet Optical x 1 3.5mm x 1 AV Input H.265|

Mi TV 5X review: What’s good?

First, I do want to mention that I got a 43-inch version for review. Now there is a difference here compared to the 50 and 55-inch variants, given the total audio output for speakers is 30W on the 43-inch option. The other two have an output of 40W.

The Mi TV 5X’s display and design are both quite premium. It has a metal body finish with a bezel-less design and it does look very stylish and expensive. Xiaomi is offering users the option of the stand that comes with the TV or to wall mount, though you can relay your request at the time of setup as well. I decided to wall mount the TV.

While 50-inches might be the preferred size for many users who are planning to buy a new TV, I quite like the 43-inch option for my TV room given its smaller dimensions. It fits just right on the wall, doesn’t take up too much space, and there is ample distance when viewing, which can often make all the difference.

Xiaomi Mi TV 5X, Xiaomi Mi TV 5X specifications, Xiaomi Mi TV 5X review, Xiaomi Mi TV 5X price in India, Mi TV 5X vs Samsung TV, Mi TV 5X price in India, Mi TV 5X specifications Watching 4K content is a delight on the Mi TV 5X. (Image source: Shruti Dhapola/Indian Express)

The 4K HDR display on the Mi TV 5X is excellent as always. The TV also supports DolbyVision, HDR10+, HDR 10 formats and therefore content which is in the format is a delight to watch.

I watched the Empire series on Hotstar as well as What we do in the Shadows on the TV along with Squid Game on Netflix and I quite enjoyed the visual experience overall. Even HD content such as the Michael Schumacher documentary on Netflix made for a good watch and the upscaling technology did not make it appear too pixelated which can happen with some of the older shows. However, Friends in HD just continues to look terrible, though the Office on Prime Video was slightly better.

In my home we are entirely dependent on streaming apps be it Netflix or Prime or Hotstar. There’s no set top box content being consumed in my home, and therefore not something I tried out during the course of my review. Of course, if you have a set top box which is 4K-ready, it will be the best fit for the Mi TV 5X.

The Mi TV 5X runs Android 10 along with the company’s own Patchwall interface. This time Patchwall has the ability to show IMDB ratings as well. So if you want to watch the top-rated movies on IMDB, you can use that feature from Patchwall. It also shows which OTT service has the movie or shows available next to the title when you use the IMDB feature.

Xiaomi Mi TV 5X: There’s a new IMDB rating function as well in Patchwall. (Image credit: Shruti Dhapola/Indian Express)

The remote on the Mi TV 5X is the same as I’ve seen on previous TVs from the brand. There’s still no dedicated mute button, though you can double press the volume down button to mute the show. It is still not the most elegant solution in my opinion. I can never seem to remember what to do when I have to suddenly mute.

Google Voice Assistant, Netflix, Hotstar have their dedicated keys. There’s a Mi branded button to access Patchwall and the other O button is to access the Android TV interface. I prefer the Android TV one which is less cluttered.

But Patchwall can be pretty useful when it comes to recommendations. It can also highlight and pull shows you might have been watching or just completed halfway through and serves as a good reminder that maybe you should finish that show. Though Android TV’s Play Next also does something similar.

Xiaomi Mi TV 5X, Xiaomi Mi TV 5X specifications, Xiaomi Mi TV 5X review, Xiaomi Mi TV 5X price in India, Mi TV 5X vs Samsung TV, Mi TV 5X price in India, Mi TV 5X specifications Audio remains a weak point in the Xiaomi Mi TV 5X. (Image credit: Shruti Dhapola/Indian Express)

Mi TV 5X review: What’s not that good?

The Mi TV 5x is letdown by two major issues which I feel continue to plague most TVs from the brand: audio and software.
Audio is not always perfect on the Mi TV 5X. To give an example, I started watching the Empire show on my regular LG TV, which is not a high-end or very fancy version. I didn’t feel the need to crank up the volume in order to listen to dialogues of the show on my LG TV. But when I switched to the Mi TV 5X, I found myself increasing volume to as high as 78 in some cases. The same held true for Squid Game, Black Widow and even the Schumacher documentary.

I feel the audio just lacks a punch, especially when it comes to dialogues. If you do get this one, a good soundbar is a must in my view. The only app where I did not have to really increase audio was YouTube.

Settings on the Mi TV 5X. (Image credit: Shruti Dhapola/Indian Express)

My other major issue would be around software, which is not perfect. There are glitches at times, which are hard to ignore. On my unit, the YouTube app would just freeze or crash. This happened at least four or five times and no amount of restarting fixed the problem.

Software remains the weakest link in Xiaomi’s smart TV lineup. It needs to work faster because otherwise it results in a frustrating experience.

Mi TV 5X review: Should you get it?

At Rs 31,999, the Mi TV 5X remains an affordable option if you want to get a 43-inch TV packed with all features. The 50-inch option costs Rs 41,999, while the 55-inch version will cost Rs 45,999. Xiaomi is offering OTT apps at a discounted price after you buy the TV. So you can get subscriptions to Sony Liv, Hungama Play, Hoichoi and others for a lower price.

While the Mi TV 5X packs a lot of features at a good price, I should point out that the market has a lot more options in the smart TV segment from TCL to Blaupunkt to LG and Samsung.

But Xiaomi’s Mi TV is an established brand now and is offering Dolby Vision, Dolby Atmos, HDR 10 at an affordable price. With Samsung and LG, getting Dolby Vision support at under Rs 40,000 is tough. And given that such content is increasing thanks to our dependence on OTT platforms, I’d say Xiaomi has an edge here given the number of high-end formats it is supporting.
My biggest hesitation is the audio.

Frankly, I would get a bigger size version since the audio output is on the higher side and I’m hoping that means an improvement. But if you are in the market for a TV upgrade, and want all features for under Rs 32,000 then this is an option to consider.

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