Xiaomi is now aggressively focusing on the IoT market which is expected to grow tenfold from 250 million devices in 2019 to two billion by 2021. So, keeping up the pace the Chinese firm has launched the Mi TV Stick, its second media streaming device in the country after the Mi Box 4K. It’s a portable device which will turn any ordinary television into a smart TV in almost no time. If you’re still on a non-smart TV but want to access Netflix, YouTube, Amazon Prime Video and other streaming applications, the Mi TV Stick will make it possible. Like Amazon Fire TV Stick, just plug it directly into you TV’s HDMI port and you’re good to go. While the Fire TV strict costs Rs. 2,999, the TV Stick is priced at Rs. 2,799.
Xiaomi has shared a review unit of the Mi TV Stick with us, and here’s our experience with the device.
What’s In The Box? The Mi TV Stick comes in a neatly packaged orange-coloured box with the image of the product on the face. It contains a Mi TV Stick unit, a remote, a power adapter along with a micro USB cable, and an HDMI cable.
Design: So, the Mi TV Stick resembles the Amazon Fire TV Stick in every way. Borrowing the design from a rival product may not be a good idea but it works well for Xiaomi as the device gets the same premiumness as you see on the Fire TV Stick. However, at 92.4 x 30.2 x 15.2mm it looks a more compact and precise version of the Amazon product. The device is made up of plastic and has a dual-tone finish. One half of the Mi TV Stick has a glossy finish, the other features a smooth matte finish, making it look more attractive. Here, you might want to forgive Xiaomi for offering a micro-USB port (for power) considering its price point.
The remote that comes with the MI TV Stick appears similar to the one you get with Mi TV. With the same design, it looks simple and intuitive. At the top, there’s a power button below which sits the Google Assistant button. Next is a circular D-pad for navigation, and an “Ok” button. Then comes the home and menu buttons, volume controls, and two customized buttons for Netflix and Amazon prime video. Just to add, the box doesn’t contain the triple-A batteries for the remote. You need to get them on your own.
Performance: For tech specs, the Mi TV Stick packs a 64-bit quad-core processor and a Mali-450 GPU, paired with 1GB RAM and 8GB of onboard storage, offering you enough space to download your favourite applications. It runs on Android TV 9.0 giving you access to 5,000+apps from the Google Play Store. On it, you can download almost every media app available on the Google Play store and it also allows access to third party apps.
Setting up the Mi TV Stick is also easy. You just need to plug the device to your TV, connect it to the internet via WiFi and you can start streaming whatever you want.
Another good feature of the Mi TV stick is the Built-in Chromecast. It allows you to cast your favourite movies, videos, shows, applications, games, and more from smart devices directly to your Android TV. Also, you can use voice commands, including for launching the Google Assistant, through the remote. The Mi TV Stick, however, supports only 1080p, unlike the Mi TV Box which offers 4K resolution. So, while casting the resolution remains 1080p. On the sound part, the TV stick supports both DTS and Dolby multichannel HD audio decoding.
Streaming Netflix is always smooth. YouTube also works well. Android TV home screen may take some getting used to but once you get familiar, it works like a charm. Moreover, the device supports Google’s Data Saver feature for those who’re low on data. Xiaomi claims that it “allows up to three times more content streaming, along with data counter for individual apps”.
Verdict: In this review, the Mi TV Stick offers seamless performance. It appears a reliable TV stick, offering great flexibility of content along with the combination of affordability and premiumness. Priced competitively at Rs 2,799, it’s one of the best streaming devices you can buy to turn your regular TV set into a smart TV.