For the past few years, Xiaomi has been one of the few sellers of Android TV set top boxes in the United States, and this year, the company is finally delivering what many have been told – a streaming stick. One of the first Android TV-based streaming sticks came with the Geomi MI TV stick, but which one is better?
The Xiaomi MI TV stick gets as basic as it gets
If there is one thing to know about your MI TV stick above anything else, it is not to impress. We’re talking about an FHD streaming stick that doesn’t leak, but that’s not a bad thing at all. This is the same thing that made the super cheap Roku Express a very popular device.
Plastic hardware isn’t glamorous, but just focuses on what’s important. It is slim and has only one port for power as well as an HDMI output to plug directly into your TV. It’s unfortunate to have Micro USB on any product in 2020, but it’s still aimed at such a low price, I’m certainly willing to forgive.
One thing in particular that should be talked about in the Xiaomi MI TV stick is that the model that is being sold today does not support 4K resolution. This sounds almost like a foreign concept nowadays, but there is evidence to support the idea that a 4K-capable model is finally coming. Suffering to lose product 4K? Of course, 4K TVs aren’t really the ones Xiaomi is targeting with this product. Rather they are those who still use old FHD televisions or use “dumb” TVs that sit at the same resolution. Yes, there are still!
Barebone glasses do not completely ruin the Android TV
The Xiaomi MI TV Stick runs on top of Google’s Android TV, perhaps the most mobile of the large smart TV operating systems available today. Underneath the hood, there’s literally nothing interesting about the FHD Xiaomi MI TV stick. With only 1GB of RAM and 8GB of storage in its name and a cheap quad-core processor running the show, you wouldn’t expect this device to fly. And, well, it’s not.
The Mi TV stick has a performance that I would call acceptable and that’s enough of it. I’ve been using this device for the last few weeks, I’ve noticed almost no problem with the content not playing, but both apps and homescreen are suffering a bit while scrolling around, it could get worse and I’m surprised and satisfied if I do something That’s as beautiful as it gets. With just 1GB of RAM to use, I fully expected the MI TV stick to be a shallow mess 24/7, but it’s not and I think it’s admirable! Honestly, this product feels as smooth as Roku at the same price point.
I also keep in mind what you are getting with Android TV compared to other platforms. The Google platform has a modern UI with slick animation and thoughtful design. There’s a big ad here, but overall it’s a very clean design that puts your apps on top with content suggestions at the bottom. While the Google Play Store has full access to thousands of apps, including some of the biggest new streaming services like HBO Max and Peacock *, there is a complete lack of Roku and Fire TV at the moment. That will only happen if you finish downloading the game.
* Note: HBO Max and Peacock are currently exclusive to the United States, where the MI TV stick is not officially sold.
A tried and true remote still gets the job done
The other part of the hardware that is important is the remote, and Xiaomi is not changing its formula here. The remote included with the MI TV stick is basically the same as the Mi Box S with a power button at the top, an assistant at the bottom and a D-pad for navigation. There are buttons for your back and home as well as volume rocker and two app shortcuts – Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, of course.
The remote is easy to hold, has click buttons and most importantly works reliably. You will see more barriers from the performance of the MI TV stick than contacting the dongle from a single in a remote area. It also runs on standard AAA batteries which means you can quickly replace them when the time comes.
Is it worth it?
Xiaomi Mi TV Stick is not for everyone. In fact, it is not for anyone living in the United States. That’s why here, the only way to get this product is to import it which means you will spend about 50 50 to get it. With MI Box S having the same price point and Google’s Sabrina Dongle rumored to be in that range, I can strongly say that no US buyer should get this product.
So, who is this for? Millions of people in other parts of the world. Using France as an example, the MI TV stick costs 39 euros, almost the same price as the Roku Express. In India, the MI TV stick also sells for ₹ 2,799.
If Xiaomi officially sells the MI TV stick in your area, it is likely to be one of the best streaming devices you can buy in brackets.
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