The Xiaomi Mi Box Review – is it really the best Android TV?
Android TV has not seen much success so far. The hardware rather than the software is to be blamed for it. While the device itself performs well and has almost all the apps you wish to have, there’s never been anything more captivating in the hardware department. The Nexus Player was fair, but its price was not. The specs were not that great. Likewise the NVIDIA SHIELD is brilliant, you have to rob to bank to buy one.
- Fariha Khan
- October 14, 2016
Here is what you need to know about the Xiaomi Mi Box
The Mi Box is the first major entry into the US market for Xiaomi. But there is more to it. It is one of the most exciting Android TV devices we have come across that you can buy at only $69. It has 4K capability in addition to the power under the hood to run all your games and apps.
Mi Box Specifications
Let’s have a look at the hardware first. Just as the most TV streaming boxes, the Mi Box comes with an elegant design. Made of matte plastic, the black box is curved on the top. At the bottom of the device there is a non-slip grip which helps it to stay in place.
Set of ports and the USB
The set of ports beside the rear is also worth noting. There you will see a power port, HDMI port, full-size USB port, and a 3.5mm headphone jack. The Mi Box really looks outstanding due to the USB and headphone ports. Why? They allow the device to expand its storage and bypass the TV for audio playback, particularly handy in case you are using it with a display with no speakers or output.
The Mi Box also has a quad-core processor clocked at 2.0GHz, 2GB of RAM in addition to 8GB of storage and Mali 450 GPU. The storage is certainly light and very practical. Additionally, it can be expanded without any problem using a flash drive.
The overall performance of the device is very satisfying. No app had any trouble and almost all games were handled well. However, we were not able to test this with a 4K TV – we tested the device with a 1080p TV. All went well when compared to the Nexus Player. But, when it comes to 4K, things don’t look that great (according to reviews we have got). Seemingly, there are some problems with 4K playback on the Mi Box. It means you might consider looking at the NVIDIA SHIELD or Chromecast Ultra if you wish to benefit from 4K content. Yes, Xiaomi might fix this issue in future.
Mi Box Software
Let us explore the software side now. The Mi Box runs Android TV based on Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow out of the box. An update to Nougat might come shortly but you must know that it may not have differences. Considering OEMs can’t mess with Android TV, the device runs the same software as the Nexus Player. It is the settings menu where you will notice the differences. There you will see the option to toggle HDR, change settings using the remote, and regulate numerous options through the Mi Box.
The home screen is one area which is not satisfactory. You will see a list of apps two rows deep that display apps that “Mi Box Recommends.” You cannot organize the list or remove it. that could be very annoying for users who wish to have their own apps listed.
Mi Box Remote
Xiaomi Mi Box comes with a wireless remote, which is a superb device in itself. From its great compact size to its ease of use, this remote is one of a kind. There is a power button, D-Pad, back and home button, volume rocker and voice search button. While most of the buttons are standard, the power button and volume rocker is unique to the Mi Box when we compare it to other Android TV devices. Its power button has couple of features. One, to simply shut off the Mi Box and the other is to wake the device up. Volume rocker is great which enables you to control the audio output on the device no matter where it is going. This volume rocker controls everything from TV speakers to Bluetooth speakers/headphones.
The Bottom Line
The Xiaomi Mi Box makes an ideal device for any person. It is just the perfect Android TV that anyone can dream to have. Though you may not find it best for 4K, the device is good enough at just $69.