Android TV box Xiaomi Mi TV Stick – review, specs & price, jailbreak
I tried the Android TV box Xiaomi Mi TV Stick 2021 set-top box, although i use Apple technology. I’m thrilled. About 10 years ago, in order to watch movies and TV series in high quality, you needed a DVD or BluRay player. Today, these devices have lost 99% of their place to smart TVs and smart set-top boxes.
- Today, something else is driving-the ability to instantly view content in high quality (up to 4K with all the gadgets in the form of Dolby Atmos) in streaming services like Netflix.
For those who still want to understand what a full fledged smart TV is, make their regular TV smarter, or just try a new TV platform without buying a new TV for a penny, there is the Xiaomi Mi TV Stick, which will suit even avid Apple users. I checked it out on my own experience.
First impressions of the newest Android TV box Xiaomi Mi TV Stick
The device is extremely light & does not feel in the hand. This is a huge plus, because the HDMI connector in the TV will not have any impact, which in theory could lead to damage.
I got the Mi TV Stick as a birthday present. But i thought about buying it before, because it is a full fledged TV set-top box with Android TV, which costs only 41 dollars. Considering the cost, this is a masterpiece, & it was wildly interesting for me to study it.
The console itself is made in the form of a flash drive, but instead of USB, it has HDMI 2.0
Of course, this thing you hold in your hands only once, when you take it out of the box & connect it to the TV. But i still note that the case is made of a damn nice plastic. No creaks, notches. The Chinese did so well that, however, there is not even anything to complain about.
- Also included is a small extension cable in the input & output of the HDMI to most conveniently place the dongle in different variants of the location of the connectors in the TV.
To make the Mi TV Stick work, you need to connect it to the power supply via microUSB. Of course, for $ 41, it is a sin to complain about this connector, especially since the kit includes a suitable cable, even with a power supply. But Type-C would be somehow more unusual.
- The power connector itself is located on the bottom edge, & therefore no wires stick out behind the TV, especially if everything is connected to the USB port in the TV itself.
Speaking of HDMI. It has CEC support here. In case anyone doesn’t know, this is a protocol with which you can turn the TV on & off and control the volume on it using the remote control and the functions of the connected device. All this is enabled optionally in the TV settings.
Android TV box Xiaomi Mi TV Stick specs:
- Power supply – from 220 V;
- 3D video playback – no;
- Support HD – 1080p Full HD Media Files;
- Video file format – MOV, TS, MKV, AVI, WMV, VOB, MP4, RM;
- Video Codecs – VP9, H.265, VC-1, VP10, H.264, MPEG2, MPEG4, MPEG1;
- Audio file formats – OGG, FLAC, MP3, WMA, AAC, DTS;
- Image files – JPG, BMP, GIF, PNG;
- Subtitle support – PSG, SUB, SRT;
- Internal installed HDD – no;
- Connection – Audio / video outputs HDMI 2.0 , Audio / Video inputs – no;
- Interfaces – micro USB;
- Ethernet port – no;
- Memory card reader – no;
- Wi-Fi – yes;
- TV tuner – no;
- Recording function – no;
- Operating System – Android 9.0 Pie;
- Remote Control – yes;
- Download Manager – yes;
- CPU – AMLogic S805Y;
- RAM memory – 1 GB;
- Internal memory – 8 GB;
- Package contents – remote control, power adapter, documentation.
Not an Apple TV remote, of course, but nothing either
Also included with the Mi TV Stick is a chic remote control. It works via Bluetooth, and two pinky batteries are used for power.
- The case is made of matte plastic, so the remote control itself is light, it is not felt in the hand, & the location of the buttons on it is perfectly adjusted to the thumb, so it is super comfortable to navigate with it.
Another dedicated button for Google Assistant, a cutout for the microphone on top, so you can easily find the desired movie or TV series with your voice. Plus, I will note the search for all services. Still, Android TV is good at this.
What’s great is that the priority source is the one where you have a valid subscription or where the content has already been purchased. In general, there is no rigid integration with Google Play Movies and their imposition, and this is cool.
Android TV OS & how it works
Android TV does its best to make the user watch the content. Where can i find the time for all this? Now, we turn to the main thing the system.
- It uses the purest Android TV shell from Google without the slightest trace of China. Looking ahead, I will say that it is very convenient.
At the top is a number of favorite apps that you can customize to your liking. This row, as far as I understand, is not limited at all, & there can be as many icons as you want.
Below are the rows with offers from the services that you use. From YouTube, you can take out a feed with trends, recommendations, & subscriptions. Netflix simply recommends the most suitable projects to watch.
Other services in the OS work similarly. Most of all, I like the system extension “Favorites”. By standard, it is located right under a number of favorite apps, and it collects all the movies & TV shows that you watch. By switching to it, you can quickly return to the preview and continue it from where you left off.
- Everything is great about the software. You can find anything on Google Play. Online cinemas have exactly everything. And a few dozen games, mostly arcade games, & countless different programs for advanced users.
All sorts of file managers for installing third-party APK files, and even browsers are available. In general, complete freedom, after all, we are dealing with Android.
Honestly, I almost never used such things. Mi TV Stick performs its main function for me-it shows the content. But as an Apple tech user, i was concerned about showing content from Apple TV, because i have a couple dozen iTunes-purchased movies and a TV + subscription. In general, I could not worry.
Mi Stick in the Apple ecosystem: is there a benefit?
I have a Samsung TV of the 2019 series at my dacha, & there is support for AirPlay. To be honest, i have never used this protocol, except that i can look through the photos on the big screen. Yes, there is a benefit.
- First, those who are used to broadcasting content via AirPlay will find an alternative in the Stick in the form of the Chromecast protocol. In some features, it is even more interesting than the solution from Apple.
For example, when playing a video from an app on your smartphone, when you go to the same Instagram or Telegram, playing videos or voice messages will not replace the broadcast of the movie.
Plus, Chromecast is supported in most third-party applications: something zaysheyrit from Netflix or YouTube will be released on one or two.
- I want to believe that TV + will appear on Android smartphones, since Apple Music is available. Secondly, those who, like me, have a library of movies purchased from iTunes will be able to watch this content through Apple’s official tv app.
You can download it from Google Play. And if your region does not have it, then no one forbids you to put the APK file from the Internet. After all, this is Android, and there are no such restrictions here.
Where’s the catch?
I would like to see a similar dongle from Apple someday. I’m ashamed to call it a trick, but the speed of the device reminds me of the cost.
There were no freezes, crashes or anything like that for a month and a half of use. Just navigation through the interface is sometimes jerky.
- This mainly applies to heavy applications like Google Play. When you call Google Assistant, you feel a pretty decent delay after pressing the button, the piece of iron frankly thinks.
In general, this can all be solved by disabling animations in the settings. You can live with this, but it does not affect the search for movies & their viewing in any way.
There is also no LAN connector on the case for connecting wired internet. Our reader once faced the problem of watching live broadcasts due to its absence. Keep this in mind!
Again about good things
I’m not sure about the AAC codec support, but the AirPods with Mi Stick sound decent. The dongle has a Bluetooth module. This means that you can connect any wireless headphones, speaker, soundbar, or anything else to it.
- Even the AirPods work perfectly! Accordingly, the sound from the movies that you watch on the TV will go to your headphones.
This is an ultimatum thing, and for it, the MI TV Stick can already be seriously considered for purchase. Almost all TVs, even those with smart functions, do not have the ability to connect Bluetooth accessories.
And you can also connect third-party remotes, gamepads, and so on. If you do not live in a house alone, so as not to disturb others while you are watching a movie, then MI TV Stick masthev.
To connect the headphones to the set-top box, open “Settings”, go to the” Remotes and Accessories ” section & select the desired headset.
- The gadget also supports 5 GHz Wi-Fi networks. This gives a huge increase in the speed of turning on content & the stability of its viewing, because the frequency is not overloaded by the routers of neighbors and supports high Internet speeds. For a device of such a price segment, this is a reason for praise!
Another interesting use that i found for donglu is to broadcast some documents, notes, or plans to the TV. I believe that for offices & some corporate events, such functionality with the translation of documents from any computer with Chrome can be useful.
I have a project I’m working on and a logical map to it. In order not to take up useful space on the computer screen, I just turn it on on the TV to keep it always in front of my eyes, and on the laptop I already do everything necessary.
So it turns out to work much more efficiently! Note that the broadcast only works in the Chrome browser.
If you have an Android smartphone, then what?
For the last two weeks, i have been using Google Pixel 4a smartphones as the main one. I think i will share my impressions after the iPhone in the near future.
- In this scenario, you will get more buns from broadcasting videos from the browser to universal applications for your smartphone and TV.
There are various training apps that allow you to take heart rate information from a smartwatch connected to a smartphone and display it on the TV screen. Apple did something similar in its Fitness + service.
You can also note the duplication of the smartphone screen on the TV, also a useful thing in some cases. For example, you can show photos and videos from the gallery.
Or turn on the presentation. Although for this, I would rather recommend buying a Google Chromecast. It will be more expensive, but more interesting.
What to take: Apple TV or Mi TV Stick: Better together
It is absolutely impossible to compare these devices, because they cost differently, and there will still be more different lotions in Apple TV.
- For example, the Mi TV Stick supports a maximum of FullHD resolution, and the Apple TV already has 4K. If you pay a little extra, you can take some Chromecast with Google TV, and now it will be more or less comparable in its capabilities & filling with a set-top box from Apple.
If you have the opportunity, & you are deep in the Apple ecosystem, then it is definitely better to take the Apple TV. But for those who do not appreciate watching movies from the Internet and streaming to the TV in the cost of a set-top box from Cupertino, the Mi TV Stick will be a more appropriate purchase.
3 reasons why Xiaomi Mi TV Stick can be purchased:
- If you just want to try something new for a cheap price. Android TV is an extremely convenient platform for content consumption.
- The perfect solution to make a second TV (in the kitchen or bedroom) smarter. Plus, you can connect Bluetooth headphones and watch TV in them.
- MI TV Stick is suitable for travelers, because the dongle itself is very compact and will not take up space in a backpack and suitcase.
Android TV box Xiaomi Mi TV Stick – price $ 44 (Amazon, official American standard version)
The functionality that the Mi TV Stick gives for its price is beyond all praise. And the gadget definitely deserves attention. I don’t want to replace it with something else. You can buy one for an average of $ 47, & the device works out this cost completely.
Xiapmi Mi TV Stick VS Amazon Fire TV Stick – what is the difference?
In short, the Amazon Fire stick TV is much better than the Xiaomi Mi TV. This doesn’t mean that the Mi is a bad device.
This is a very reliable device and should please any average user. But if you want to get extra performance and quality, then it is highly recommended to choose Firestick! Read also about How to choose a smart TV BOX 4K – Android TV BOX or Apple?