55 inch, 4K 60 Hz HDR, Android Smart TV, With a Samsung 10bit VA Panel, For 40,000 INR.
This is a product, which you should consider buying, even if you don’t want a Television.
The Mi TV 4 looks stunning, there’s no doubt about that. When they said that this was the thinnest LED TV, the first TV which came in my mind was LGs wallpaper TV, which is of course thinner than the Mi TV4, but that’s an OLED, so they are technically correct, when they say that this is the thinnest LED TV.
Now when they say that it is only 5mm thick, they obviously mean that the display panel is 5mm, but the TV, at its thickest point is around 4 cm, because to make it truly 5mm, they’d have to detach the internals from the display like LG. That being said, if you want a similarly designed TV from other brands, it might cost you more than 5 times the amount Xiaomi is charging for this TV.
The point here, is that the fact that this can even be compared to those high end TVs from the traditionally mainstream brands, in the design department, which isn’t the first priority of someone looking for an affordable big screen TV, is a really big deal.
There’s minimal bezel around it, so the content on it feels quite immersive. So the design of this TV is not just good, but one of the best out there, at any price point.
Xiaomi ships it with a table stand which you can use if you want to, but I think you should really mount it on a wall, the mount for which is sold separately for 400 Rs.
The display being so thin does feel fragile, but I saw the installation guy being less than optimally careful with it, and I saw the panel flex to some degree, but nothing broke, so even though you’ll have to be very careful while handling it, you don’t have to be extremely or unreasonably careful.
One thing to note is that after being wall mounted, even if you touch it very lightly, it wobbles quite a bit, so just take care of that while cleaning.
Coming on to ports, it has AV in at bottom, with an S/PDIF out. This is a digital out, which means you cannot plug your speakers in directly, so you’ll have to invest in a DAC that accepts Coaxial in. You can also just use a Bluetooth adapter, and connect your speakers to TV wirelessly using Bluetooth.
On the left side, you have 3 HDMI ports, one of which has ARC feature, and 2 USB ports, one of which is a 3.0 port. The position of these ports is super terrible, and it is almost impossible to insert anything into the ports after wall mounting it. There’s almost no space left behind the TV after wall mounting it, and the body of the TV block direct access to the ports, so you’ll have to reach back inwards which is very difficult. If you practice enough, maybe you’ll be able to insert an HDMI port in 5 minutes.
So make sure you have your HDMI cables, and a USB extension plugged in before wall mounting it, to keep you from losing your mind before enjoying 4K content on your new TV.
You also have an Ethernet port port if you want to use a wired internet connection, and this TV actually as a TV cable receiver which you can use if you have something against technology.
Coming on to the most important part, the display panel is a Samsung SVA 4K 60 Hz HDR panel, which is pretty high end.
The colors are very good, and you’d have to be looking carefully to notice a difference between this and higher end panels. The panel gets sufficiently bright and dim too, and you can adjust the brightness quickly, which is convenient. The backlight isn’t very consistent, if you look closely, you can notice some inconsistencies in the backlight, especially on white background, but this isn’t a big deal, and from a normal viewing distance and with typical content on the screen, you will not notice it at all, but it has to be mentioned as it is a noticeable difference between this panel and a higher end ones.
On paper, it has a contrast ratio of 6000:1, which is 6 times more than a typical IPS panel, but I think you could find better blacks on higher end panels. It has a dynamic brightness feature which can adjust the brightness according to the content that is on screen. It looks good and works well, it can really help in making the black level seem better in scenes with low light, but in some scenes, it can change brightness too quickly, which can become distracting, so I’ve turned it off.
The dynamic contrast and color modes on this TV also work well, and may make the picture look more realistic depending on the scene. It also makes the black levels appear better, and doesn’t introduce any weirdness like the dynamic brightness setting.
VA panels typically don’t have the best viewing angles, and this panel is an example of that. The viewing angles are fine for the most part, but there is a slight loss of saturation and contrast when you move away from the centre. From all the angles that you should be watching your TV, it’s not a problem, but moving more than around the 40 degree point, you will notice the change in picture quality. It’s not a big deal, but it is noticeable.
The display also has a semi gloss coating. It’s not glossy and reflective like I read I some reviews, but it’s also not as matte as other TVs. I am happy with this choice, as I think it’s a good balance of diffusion while retaining the image quality, but you of course cannot have a bright light source like this LED tube light reflecting off it.
Finding HDR content isn’t easy, and even 4K, or even good 1080p content is not easy to get in India. So when you do have the high res files, the 55 inch screen gives you a really incredible experience. The quality of full HD TV services in India never feels like the 1080p you’d find even on YouTube, but it is watchable. Anything below 720p looks unacceptable for me on this TV. So just try to get good quality content that this TV deserves to play, and you’ll get a really great watching experience.
We also tested this panel for gaming, and there’s a significant input lag which will make playing fast paced games difficult to play. This is the case with most TVs, so it’s not surprising, and you can play slower paced games like Witcher 3 or GTA V without any problem, but with competitive games like Rocket League and Rainbow Six Siege, you’re really better off gaming on a monitor.
It also switches to a ‘monitor’ display profile when you switch to it, and there’s also a ‘game’ mode which lowers the input lag to some degree, but this still isn’t good enough for competitive gaming.
So this has Android 6.0 operating system with Patchwall UI, the operating system is also modified and it’s actually called MIUI TV. Patchwall UI is okay, but I don’t like it a lot. It has a lot of free content for India, but every time I found something of interest, it started asking for money. The bigger issue I have is that it is quite restricted and uncustomizable, which is fine for a TV, but it could definitely have been better.
The good part is that is quite fast and doesn’t lag or stutter, so it is pleasant to use, and it looks good and modern.
Being an Android TV means that you can install most of the Android apps. I found that if you directly try to install a downloaded apk from internet, it may not be able to install it due to a complex name of the apk file, so make sure you rename your apks to something simple and short before trying to install.
Being able to install any apk makes this TV very versatile, you can install ES File Explorer and manage your files like a PC, install Chrome and browse websites, and install MX player which has online subtitles, and audio synchronization adjustment.
You can also install Jio TV and Jio Cinema, and watch a lot of content for free. I also tried Amazon Prime Video, but both the app, and the website didn’t work for some reason.
It has a version of YouTube installed, which lags and has a terrible UI. So you can install a newer version of YouTube TV. YouTube app only reaches up to 1080p, which is a big disappointment (and this won’t be able to 4K YouTube even with an update, because it doesn’t support YouTube’s VP9 codec).
It has an Amlogic 64-bit quad core processor, and 2 GB of RAM with 8 GB of internal storage. It performs very well for a TV, and also has hardware support for h265 HEVC codec, which is really great if you aren’t a Netflix person. It even played a 4K HEVC, and a 4K 60fps HDR file which take a lot of processing so if you want to watch any video content, there’s no need to plug in a laptop or a PC, as this will play any video format, even in 4K HDR 60 fps, and in HEVC codec.
You can also install Android games on it, though it won’t play the most intensive of 3D titles.
The TV also crashed and had to be restarted once when I was playing a 2K video on YouTube, so that is a stability issue, but I don’t think it’s a problem as it only happened once and I’ve otherwise watched a lot of YouTube on 2K without a problem.
One disappointment I found was that the UI is rendered only at 1080p and then upscaled to 4K, so it’s not real 4K. This may be a limitation of Android OS itself, so no fault of the TV here, but this definitely means that the UI elements aren’t as sharp as they could be. This is a minor problem, and if you do not understand what I am talking about, then it probably won’t bother you at all. When you play any 2K or 4K content though, all of the pixels get displayed, so even though the UI is at 1080p, the video content is unaffected (But YouTube and other streaming apps won’t play in 4K, MX Player and other players that play files on a USB drive will play 4K perfectly).
Another big issue I have with this, is that I couldn’t find a way to turn the screen off, without shutting down the TV. The only way to shut down the display was to Start the set-top-box, switch to it, and then power the set-top-box off. So if you don’t have a set-top-box, you can only power the TV off, which is like turning your smartphone off, and it takes a while to power off. Powering on takes around 30 seconds. But if you only turn the display off, it’ll wake up instantly, and because this is an ARM CPU, it will consume very little power, just like your phone.
The thing with smartification of things, is that the smart features matter here, because Chromecast Ultra costs around 7000 in India, which is a significant amount for someone looking to buy a TV for Rs. 40,000. And even that will not have as many features as this TV.
Xiaomi supplies this with a 11 button Bluetooth remote. Once you pair it, it works well, and because it’s not an infrared remote, you also don’t have to point it at the TV for it to work. I had ordered this TV without reading much about it, so I thought that this will also have the ability to be used as a pointer like LG’s magic motion remote, and that it will also have a microphone, but this is a very basic remote, and it only has these 11 buttons for control, so you’ll have to plug in a mouse and a keyboard, if you want to use apps like Chrome. You can use both the Bluetooth mice and keyboards, and wireless combos which come with a receiver, which you’ll have to plug in into the TVs USB ports.
You can also use your phone as a remote to control the TV over WiFi using the Mi TV app. It works well, and a really cool feature is that if you turn your phone to landscape, it’ll stream the content of TV on your phone, and then you can touch to select things on TV, which is really great, and means that you won’t need a mouse for occasional use of apps that require a pointer.
If you long press the menu button, you can directly reach to the TVs settings, which is a good shortcut, though I think they could include more shortcuts like this on this remote.
I’ve also read the news of Xiaomi planning to launch their remote with voice control later in India.
The patchwall UI also has a feature where it can show what is going on on different channels on a single screen. Xiaomi is supplying the Mi IR cable with the TV for free for a limited time, after which it’ll cost 250 Rs. This system works, very well, though, all it does is get information of content on channels from the internet, and when you select an item, switch to that channel on the set-top-box. You can also go to next or previous channel using the remote, and can also use it to turn the set-top-box on and off.
This TV also has Miracast built in, which is really great. You can stream your phone directly on the TV screen. The display and sound quality of the stream here isn’t the best, and one annoying issue about this is that if you have a newer phone with rounded corners and 18:9 display like my Mi Mix 2, or Google Plxel, or Galaxy S8 or S9, it won’t display the content on full screen as the ratio is different than that of the TV, and will also display the rounded corners, which is not great.
If you use any Bluetooth device while also using Miracast, you’ll also get an unacceptable delay in the audio. So this feature is great for when you want to show something on your phone on the big screen, but you’re really better off watching movies from a USB drive and YouTube directly in the TV instead of streaming it from your phone
Moving on to the sound quality, it is quite average for a thin smart TV. The sound is fine for voices, but for music and to feel the atmosphere in movies, you’ll definitely have to go with external speakers or a home theatre.
You can use Bluetooth to connect your wireless devices like speakers, receivers or headphones, and this works very well.
Xiaomi didn’t bring their Mi soundbar to India, which would’ve been a really great combination with this TV, especially as the cheaper versions of this TV are going to get better speakers.
Xiaomi has teamed up with Jeeves in India to provide installation and on the spot servicing for this TV . My experience with them was fine, the installation people came the next day of the delivery, which was on Sunday. It was the 2nd Mi TV delivered in my city, and the installation guys were not optimally careful with the installation, I think that I’d have not held the TV from its panel which flexed more then I liked, but they assured me that they knew what they were doing, and nothing broke, so I cannot complain.
So in conclusion, I think that there are very few products that I can recommend as much as the Mi LED TV 4, the quality and features you are getting for the price is crazy. Xiaomi has proven itself in the smartphone segment, but I think that the TV market is going to change a lot after Xiaomi’s entry. They have also launched their smaller Mi TV 4A in 32 and 43 inch panels, which have HD and full HD resolution.
People cannot buy enough of these TVs, and even I couldn’t get it in the first sale. Hot cakes do not sell as fast as these.
So while you could get a little better quality of the display on the highest end TVs from LG, Sony, and Samsung, the price difference is really not worth it in my opinion, unless you want one of those LG Wallpaper OLED TV for 13 Lakh Rs.. you are getting one of the most feature filled quality TVs, and you’re getting it at a price that is very low for the quality and hardware that you’re getting. So if you have, even the slightest intention of buying a TV, you should really consider going for the Mi TV 4, or any other of Xiaomi’s available TVs, unless you have a good reason to buy something from Samsung, Sony, or LG.
Buy on Flipkart: http://fkrt.it/wyGIyKNNNN
Modded YouTube (only AVC codec plays smoothly): https://smartyoutubetv.github.io