It's been a year since the Xiaomi entered the Indian television market with its Mi TV 4 range. Within six months of its launch, the Mi TV climbed up to become the leading smart TV brand in the Indian market. Obviously, the market wasn't void of a crowd, but Xiaomi managed to make a mark by offering great value for money with the Mi TV 4. Finally, there was an affordable smart TV that had a brilliant design, actual 4K at 60fps, a smooth UI and good picture performance.
Over a period of less than a year, Xiaomi scaled up the smart TV division and added two new TVs to its portfolio in January. It launched the Mi TV 4X Pro 55-inch and Mi TV 4A Pro 43-inch in India at Rs 39,999 and Rs 22,999 respectively.
We are using the Mi TV 4X Pro 55-inch with 4K resolution and we can safely say that its the safest option compared to the bunch of other 4K smart TVs. It retains old features and comes with a combination of new hardware and a sought after UI. But, does that make it the best TV in this range?
Price and availability
The Mi TV 4X Pro 55-inch is priced at Rs 39,999 and it is available on Flipkart, Mi.com and Mi Home stores.
Design and build
Unlike the Mi TV 4, this one isn't a Red Dot Award winner or even close to that design. That doesn't mean it's a bad looking TV, but it doesn't have a distinctive design compared to the competition either. The cabinet and bezels are made of sturdy plastic, where the borders around the display are painted in dark grey, which imitates brushed aluminum and looks decent.
What's good is that Xiaomi has focused on the details and finish of the TV unlike most manufacturers in the existing affordable TV market. We have reviewed budget TVs that showed no sign of quality check and control while assembling. Thankfully, the Mi TV Pro 4X doesn't compromise on elements like the quality of paint, panel fitting or even quality of stands and remote control.
Setting up the TV is pretty straightforward, you get tabletop stands and wall mount kit in the box. If you're using the legs to place it on a table, make sure you have a table that's more than 4ft or 50-inch long.
The front looks pretty basic. The panel is surrounded by relatively thin bezels and a subtle Mi logo and LED indicator at the at the bottom.
Simply put, the Mi TV 4X Pro 55-inch is minimalistic in a good way. You won't be disappointed with the design, but you're not going to be blown away either.
The Mi TV 4X Pro offers ample connectivity options. You get three HDMI ports (one with ARC), two USB ports, an AV input, S/PDIF for audio out and an ethernet port, for times when WiFi isn't working for you.
Additionally, the TV has Bluetooth, which can be used to pair your Bluetooth speakers on tap. But remember, it doesn't have a 3.5mm jack so you can't use your old pair of aux-based speakers.
All the main ports reside on the side, which makes them easily accessible.
When you're buying a smart TV, the design isn't the first thing one should consider. More like a smartphone, it's the experience that matters every day until you are using the TV. Especially the Mi TVs, as they are primarily a content delivery system.
The Mi TV uses Xiaomi's own PatchWall user interface, one of the better UIs seen in budget TVs. What's better is that it runs Android TV 8.1 OS in parallel, which means you can switch between the two interfaces as per your taste. The PatchWall UI essentially for a content-first experience where Xiaomi has quite a few content partnerships, but still misses a few popular ones.
You don't get the two most used apps - Netflix and Amazon Prime. This might sound like a small issue, but it's a huge limitation. We can't ignore the fact that these two are the key video streaming platforms by a majority. Instead, you get Hungama, Voot, Vio, Sony Liv and so on but their content selection isn't as good as the two we mentioned earlier. Thankfully, it has got Hotstar on the Android TV and opens the way for other Android TV apps which were missing earlier.
In comparison, the initial months of PatchWall UI, the new look is much more refined, fast and straightforward. Small details like fonts and thumbnails now put up a better overall style on that huge 55-inch panel. Also, the UI now also learns your viewing preferences over time and curates content suggestion in accordance with it.
Also, now users can access content in different regional language and set preferred language to prioritise content in your preferred language.
The PatchWall may not look like a fully furnished UI, but we can safely claim that it's heading the right way.
The Mi TV 4X Pro retains the 10-bit LED panel we've seen on previously release Mi TV models. Not just that, the 4K panel also supports HDR10. Xiaomi has also used a new image processing engine Amlogic 960X and Mali-450 GPU with 2GB RAM. Sounds tempting right? It is, for the price, but don't keep your expectations too high.
Colours and contrast on the Mi TV 4X Pro are decent. If you're upgrading from cheaper TV from any of the budget brands, you will experience the difference from the moment you turn the panel on. Yet, it's nothing like the pricier Samsung, Sony or LG's 4K panels. But the new engine has visibly enhanced the performance as the picture looked crisper, and has minimized distortion.
Unlike the previous Mi TV models, this one is marginally sharper and the color reproduction has also been tweaked for better contrast.
When we turned it on, we found the brightness to be at lower levels by default. So you might have to tweak the settings a bit while setting it up. Once done, the panel shows good contrast and colors. However, you might notice a clouding effect in the darker scene, which has been our constant concern on most affordable TVs.
For small to medium-sized rooms, the Mi TV 4X Pro suits well enough. It houses two 10W speaker which aren't very detailed but work for general TV watching like news, movies or soaps.
But if you're demanding and need the thump and thunder to get the best out of your viewing experience, you may want to add external speakers or a home theatre set.
You can’t really tune the audio quality much. The TV supports Dolby audio, but the settings don’t make a big difference here. The “voice enhance” option makes voices louder, while the surround option doesn’t seem to make a big difference. There is an equalizer though, which can be handy.
Remote and Usability
We've always appreciated the approach that Xiaomi follows with its remote control. It's slick, handy and it's feature rich.
The Bluetooth remote has the same minimalistic design with a limited number of buttons. There's a new button that lets you switch between the two interfaces - PatchWall and Android. Also, it has a voice search button that takes away the hassle of typing on that annoying keyboard. What's better is that the recognition works really well and it's fast too.
It's simply the best remote control we've seen with a budget 4K TV. Until, of course, you are interested in having dedicated keys for apps, settings and modes. We feel the remote is specifically made to compliment the PatchWall experience.
At Rs 39,999, the Mi TV 4X Pro 55-inch is a great package if user experience and picture quality are your primary preferences. You will not get better 4K HDR performance on any other TV at this price in India.
Apart from the unavailability of Netflix and Amazon Prime, there is no major flaw in the TV. So, if you can live without these two, or can afford a third party device like Fire TV Stick, it is the best option out there. It offers a decent panel, a sought after UI and best in class performance.