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Xiaomi Mi TV 4 Smart LED TV First Impressions: Luxury gets pocket-friendly

Xiaomi has launched its premium 4K Smart LED TV in India, which is also touted as the world's thinnest LED TV.

xiaomi mi tv 4 screen 2

Highlights

  • The device is priced at Rs 39,999

  • The TV consumes 155 Watts of power. In comparison, domestic refrigerators consume between 100 to 200 Watts

  • It's been called the world's thinnest LED TV

Smartphone and electronics company Xiaomi today unveiled its newest product category in India – the 55-inch Mi TV 4, a Smart LED TV. The television was announced at the end of the event which also saw the Redmi Note 5 and Redmi Note 5 Pro launched. The Mi TV 4 is priced at Rs 39,999 for the Indian market, and will be available starting February 22 at Flipkart, mi.com and MiHome.

The Mi TV 4 has 8GB of storage, and during limited use felt buttery smooth with its 2GB of RAM. The PatchWall UI on the TV is very fluid and responsive. In terms of specifications, the television is powered by an Amlogic 64-bit Quad Core processor with a Mali T830 Graphics processor. It has 3 HDMI ports, of which one supports HDMI ARC, which is an audio return channel to connect any external audio devices – typically a soundbar or a digital sound system. With the other two HDMI ports, you could connect your laptop, digital set top box, HD player or Blu-ray player.

On-board dual-band WiFi support (2.4GHz and 5GHz band) ensures you’re able to stream in difficult network conditions as well. The Mi remote connects to the TV via Bluetooth 4.0.

The TV also supports audio devices using the S/PDIF connector. In addition, there are two USB ports – one supporting USB 3.0, while the other supports USB 2.0. You can connect plug and play USB devices using these ports. The TV supports standard A/V input for analog video systems, and a standard ethernet port for wired connectivity. You can add external TV antenna systems using the dedicated on-board antenna port.

Ultra-thin build

At first glance, what catches your attention is how slim the TV is. At 4.9mm in thickness, it’s definitely slimmer than your average smartphone. It took a good moment to appreciate the fact that the TV was slimmer than my iPhone X. In comparison, the iPhone X is 7.7mm thick. To illustrate what 4.9 mm really means, consider this: an average frameless mirror you come across in commercial and public spaces typically use 5mm glass. Xiaomi has managed to get a slab of glass measuring 55 inches from corner to corner, and transformed it into a TV that displays 4K HDR video, with smart capabilities. All under 5mm.

The 5mm glass extends to a good 1 meter or so from corner to corner, if you take away the 30-odd centimeters at the bottom of the TV where the circuitry, motherboard and sound system create a minor package. Although it’s not slim at 5mm, it’s still slimmer than conventional LCD TVs.

Xiaomi hasn’t cut corners with the product. The finishing is smooth, offering a premium grade build quality. Even the display is reinforced with a metal back having a brushed texture. The premium feel extends to the Mi remote as well.

PatchWall

Currently, if you buy a smart TV platform in the market, popular platforms include Android TV, webOS, and Tizen. PatchWall by Xiaomi is built on Android and according to the company, is a truly smart operating system for televisions.

PatchWall learns about your TV viewing preferences, and over a period of time it manages to intelligently classify content so that you can sit back and enjoy personalized recommendations. According to the company, it has focused on localizing the interface, with support for 15 Indic languages. In addition, there are over 500,000 hours of content available on the Mi TV 4. Among the most user-friendly features in the television is the ability to find your favorite program using a Universal Search feature that searches across online programs and your set top box via the electronic program guide.

In addition, file formats supported by the Mi TV 4 include MPEG2, MPEG4, H.263, H.264, H.265, VP8 (an open web format by Google), VC1 (found in Blu-ray discs) and WMV3 (a Windows Media file format).

Mi Remote

An interesting and innovative feature with the Mi TV 4 is in its remote. While it resembles the remote you get with the Amazon Fire TV Stick, it’s much more than that. The Mi Remote can replace all the remote control units you use with the devices associated with your TV viewing experience. Whether it’s your DTH service provider, Kindle Fire Stick, or a set-top box from your local cable operator, there’s no need to be in a precariously clumsy situation with 3 remote controls with you while you’re watching TV.

Using an IR blaster cable connected to your TV and optically aligned to your cable operator’s set top box, you can select channels like you browse through any tiled video catalog on a service such as Netflix or Amazon Prime.

The tiled interface of PatchWall creates a tile for each channel, so you no longer need to remember channel numbers. Once you scroll through the menu and tap on the specific channel’s tile, the Xiaomi Mi TV 4 will handle the channel switching for you by mimicking its own remote control commands. The company believes such an approach brings content to the fore, rather than barriers of devices and remotes.

These were our first impressions of the Xiaomi Mi TV 4. The feature set of the TV has much to offer, and we’ll explore the product in more detail in our full review of the Xiaomi Mi TV 4.

  • Published Date: February 14, 2018 1:33 PM IST
  • Updated Date: February 14, 2018 1:38 PM IST