Mi Box 4k – Decent Android Box
Have you been shopping for a streaming media player recently? Then you’ve probably come across the Xiaomi Mi box. There’s also a good chance that you never gave the player much thought. Most of us are accustomed to the big names such as Google, Roku, Amazon, and Nvidia. However, if you are shopping for a streaming media player, then the Mi box is worth considering, for only $69 (lower price on GearBest) you can get a decent Android box. The device runs Google Android Tv OS and features built-in Google Cast and a speedy processor.
What’s in the package?
- Xiaomi Mi Box
- Power adapter
- Bluetooth Voice Remote
- HDMI Cable (quite short)
- English User Manual
What’s the Catch?
The product is powered by a 2GHz Quad-core Cortex-A53 processor. It has an inbuilt storage capacity of 8GB although you can still expand it externally. It runs on 2GB RAM and can play 4K videos at 60 FPS.
The Mi Box is a compact unit that measures 100 x 100 x 10mm. Its petite size coupled with its gorgeous matte black finish lets it blend in perfectly with any home theatre system. The product has a minimalistic design; all ports are located behind the unit. You’ll find a USB, Power, HDMI Version: 2.0 ports and a 3.5mm headphone jack in case you want to hook up some external speakers.
Although the Mi Box only has one USB port, you can use a USB adapter if you want to plug in something. The only pitfall is that the positioning of the USB ports being at the back of the box makes it hard to connect a USB drive easily.
The Bluetooth voice remote follows a simplistic design; it resembles a first-generation Apple Tv remote. It also features a voice search button to activate Google Assistant when you want to search for content or launch apps. Being a Bluetooth remote is also a perk since you can point it at any directions and the Box will detect it without any issues. The only downside is Xiaomi haven’t included AAA batteries for the remote.
The MI Box runs a clean Android TV 6.0 OS. When you power it up for the first time, you will be taken through the process of setting up Wi-Fi, connecting the remote, and logging into your Google account. So, the setup process is straightforward and takes only a few minutes. There are only a few pre-installed apps (Netflix, RedBull TV, Youtube) though you can use the TV-optimized version of Google Play Store to get other great apps like Hulu, ESPN Sports, Pandora, VLC, Amazon Prime Video and our favorite KODI. It also supports OTA updates through the Android TV normal update process.
The Video Playback
After testing the Mi Box with various TVs, we discovered some glitches. The box a few times failed to detect the resolution of a TV screen correctly, but you can always fix this problem manually by going to the settings.
You will find the Dolby Digital 5.1 passthrough over HDMI being seamless.
The Mi Box allows 4K and HDR Netflix playback through their TV optimized Netflix app.
This feature allows you to stream from any app on your smartphone that is chromecast- enabled such as Netflix, YouTube and more.
Gaming isn’t one of the Mi Box strong points. Its gaming performance with various devices wasn’t as strong as you may want unless it’s a 2D game.
- Excellent media playback
- Awesome voice command
- Snappy remote navigation
- Built-in Chromecast
- 4K HDR Netflix playback
- Limited Android TV apps
- 1 USB port
- Lacks an in-built Ethernet port
- Cannot auto-detect TV resolutions
- Short HDMI cable and no batteries included
Would you buy the Xiaomi Mi Box? Well, that depends on your preferences and how tech-savvy you are. Like every product in the market, it has its pros and cons. For Google fans, you will love it. If you are looking for a 4K HDR streaming device at a pocket-friendly budget, you will also love it. For all those features, you would have to part with an extra $30 for a Roku while Amazon’s Fire TV which costs $90 doesn’t even support HDR video.
In fact, its price matches that of Google’s Chromecast Ultra but also offering a big screen interface and a proper remote. However, you can’t find it at your nearest Walmart, so you would need to buy it online.
Eric is an avid tech junkie, gamer, and comic fan. When he's not working on his PC, you'll find him at your local comic book shop.