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Xiaomi Mi Box 2 Review: Can Android TV Be Affordable?

Haroon Sultan
Technology Reporter
Editors Rating

7.6
overall
GOOD
Pros: Comes with everything Android TV has to offer, Remote with voice control is pretty cool
Cons: Interface sometimes lags, Game controller isn't bundled

Since the introduction of Android TV back in 2014, bringing smart TV platforms to your living room have become increasingly easier. There was a time when Google’s Chromecast was the best option for anyone looking to bring a ton of content to their television in a simple manner. But now we have various other products that bring Android to life on the big screen. We take a look at Xiaomi’s Mi Box to see what it has to offer over some of the other players in the market.

Design

With simplicity in mind, the Mi Box is a slim 4-inch box made of matte plastic. It’s a bit smaller than some of the other box-like devices like Fire TV and Roku Premiere+. While it may not beat something like the Chromecast in terms of size, it’s still worth the size given the various features it comes with.

On the back, we have the power input, USB slot, HDMI port and a 3.5mm audio jack. You can check out our unboxing video below for a quick look at what the box contains.

Specifications

The Mi Box is powered by a Quad-core 2GHz CPU and a five-core GPU along with 2GB of RAM and 8GB of storage, expandable via USB. One of the main features of the device is that it supports 4K video content as well as HDR at 60 FPS.

It also comes with a Bluetooth remote that allows for voice controls, an interesting addition to the package. The device does allow you to connect a game controller as well, which is available separately.

Set-up and Features

While setting up the Mi Box, there’s an on-screen tutorial that guides you on the process of connecting the device to your Wi-Fi connection. It was simple enough to use and we were even given the option to use an Android phone in order to make the one-time process even easier.

The cables that come with the Mi Box are a little on the short side, so arranging it around your TV setup might be difficult. But props to Xiaomi for including everything you need to get started.

The voice search and controls were actually impressive and easy to use when compared to manually typing out queries. Google has partnered up with Xiaomi for the Mi Box and that means all their efforts to creating a user-friendly interface is put to good use.

There is a variety of apps available for Android TV, like Netflix, Crunchyroll, Youtube, etc. and there is even a selection of games that can be played provided you can get your hands on a controller. Also, one strong point to consider is that the Mi Box does come with Google’s Cast technology, which means it behaves similar to a Chromecast in that respect as well as an Android TV box for displaying content.

One of the downsides inherent to Android TV is that you won’t be able to access Amazon’s content library, but that’s a small price to pay in exchange for the easy-to-use interface Google provides in Android TV.

Review Verdict: Considering the AED 549 price, the Mi Box is impressive and more than capable of holding its own against Google’s Chromecast Ultra. As more people begin to turn to Smart TVs as a way of increasing the content they can gain access to from their living room couch, the Mi Box can nestle itself into a corner of your entertainment system with ease.