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Airtel Xstream Stick Review: A Worthy Alternative To Google Chromecast
Airtel recently introduced two new streaming devices for its OTT video streaming platform - the Xstream. The telecom giant launched Xstream Stick and Xstream Box 4K. The former is a compact device that is quite similar to the Chromecast used for streaming videos via OTT platforms.
- Easy Connectivity
- Huge content library
- Missing 4K support
- No plug-n-play design
Airtel Xstream is an upgrade to the company's Airtel TV app which can be downloaded via Play Store or App Store on Android and Apple devices respectively. The Xstream Stick is launched at Rs. 3,999 and can be purchased online via Flipkart and offline retail chains like Chroma. We have been using the Airtel Xstream Stick for a while and are sharing our feedback.
Airtel XStream Stick Box Contents And Design
The Xstream Stick is quite similar to Google's Chromecast in terms of design. Made out of plastic, it is a lightweight device that you can simply plug-in to the HDMI port of your TV.
The retail box contains the main unit and the remote. You will also find a power adapter with a microUSB head and batteries for the remote. If we compare the design with Amazon Fire TV stick then Airtel loses a few points here.
The Amazon Fire TV Stick is a USB dongle that can be connected directly with the HDMI port without a need for an external power source.
The Airtel Xstream, on the other hand, needs to be connected to a socket via the power adapter to power on. We would have appreciated a plug-n-play setup.
Airtel Xstream Set-Up Process
Setting up the device is a fairly simple process. First, you need to power on the unit by connecting it to the HDMI port and a power socket. Once you switch on your TV you will be taken to the setup screen; follow the on-screen procedure to complete the setup.
You can also go to the Google app and give a voice command ‘Ok Google! Setup My Device". Make sure that the TV and the Xstream Stick are connected to the same Wi-Fi network. Simultaneously, download the Airtel Xstream app on your Android/ Apple devices.
On the app, you will get the option to enter a four-digit passcode. This passcode will be shown on the TV screen while completing the setup. Now, all you need to do is enter the passcode on the mobile app and you are good to go.
Airtel Xstream Stick: UI And Content Experience
The UI offered by the Airtel Xstream is user-friendly and you don't get lost finding content. What I liked about the UI is that it is neatly categorized. Moreover, scrolling through the content library is also a nimble experience.
There is no lag in the UI and the commands are executed quickly. So, you won't experience any specific delays in play/pause or seek forward/backword media.
But, the premium subscription is free only for postpaid, broadband, and DTH users. If you own a prepaid Airtel connection, then an action plan of Rs. 199 or above will give you access to the service without any extra charge.
I tried downloading VOOT which is another OTT platform in India. Downloading and installing the app was no issue and it worked fine without any stutters.
Airtel Xstream Remote Control
The Airtel Xstream ships with an RF remote. So, you don't always need to point the remote toward the device while giving commands. The remote is also a digital voice-assistant enabled (Google Assistant).
The remote is sleek and is fairly easy to operate with a minimum set of keys available. It takes commands with ease and you won't experience any delays while managing media playback.
You will like the user experience offered by the TV remote. Also, there is a dedicated Netflix button that saves you from the hassle of opening the app and gives multiple commands to access one account.
Airtel Xstream Stick: Should You Buy It?
The Airtel Xstream Stick is one of the easiest ways to convert a non-smart TV to a smart one. Plus you get a massive media library that offers a wide genre of movies and shows.
What's missing here is the 4K support, but still the quality of videos played by the stick is good. It is fast and comes with a point-anywhere remote that eases the usage experience. So, if you are looking for a value for money streaming stick, the Airtel Xstream is a recommended product.