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Xiaomi Mi TV 4X 50-inch Review: Best Value For Money Budget 4K Smart TV
Indian consumers are now shifting to smart TV platform at a much faster rate than any other consumer durable. The shift reminds me of the year 2012 when masses were introduced to affordable Android handsets. What smartphone market in India witnessed 6 or 7 years back is now happening to the TV market. Big credit to this monumental change goes to Xiaomi.
- Value For Money Deal
- Netflix And Amazon Prime Native Support
- Plays 4K Videos Natively
- Audio Output Has Improved Significantally
- Mi Remote Controller Lacks Basic Buttons
- Video Quality (Darker Scenes) Suffers In Pitch Dark Environment
The company has shipped over 10 lakh smart TV units in the last two years. As per the recent IDC Worldwide Quarterly Smart Home Device Tracker, Xiaomi is leading the smart TV segment in India with a 32% market share. Even TV leaders LG and Samsung are facing the heat and have faced a steep decline in their sale numbers. However, Xiaomi is leading the market for the 5th consecutive quarters.
The sale numbers are expected to grow further for Xiaomi in the coming months as the company expanded its smart TV product line-up in India with the launch of three new 4K smart TVs. The new Mi TV 4X series has been announced to offer 4K viewing experience at affordable price-point. The new series comprises of the flagship Mi TV 4X (65), Mi TV 4X (50) and Mi TV 4X (43).
Xiaomi MI TV 4X 50-inch is available via Mi.com, Amazon and Mi Home stores. Today we are taking a closer look at the Mi TV 4X 50-inch which is priced at Rs. 29,999 and offers a 10-bit HDR 4K panel. Let's understand the new affordable Mi TVs' performance and features in the following review.
Xiaomi Mi TV 4X (50) Design
Xiaomi hasn't made any noticeable visual changes in the overall look and feel of the new Mi smart TVs; however, the build quality has been improved considerably. While the new 50-inch Mi TV 4X looks identical to the Mi Smart LED TV 4A, the new TV uses better quality plastic at the back panel and also on the bezels surrounding the 4K HDR panel.
The bezels are still very much visible and the TV frame is also not the slimmest in the market if that is of a concern for you. To me, the width of the frame isn't a big issue; however, I would have preferred slightly less thick bezels.
You can either wall mount the TV with the help of bundled wall mount frame or simply put it on a tabletop. The quality of the tabletop stand units has improved significantly. They now feel more robust and reliable in terms of carrying the overall weight of the TV unit. The Mi TV 4x 50-inch unit weighs 10.7 kgs and has a base width of 272mm. Overall, Xiaomi has improved the build quality but the appearance of the new Mi Smart TVs still won't turn any heads.
Xiaomi Mi TV 4X (50) Display
If you recall, the Mi TV 4A Pro (49-inch) offered an 8-bit Full HD IPS panel at a launch price of Rs. 29,999. The new Mi TV 4X 50-inch offers a 4K 10-bit HDR display at the same launch price, which is a massive improvement. Unlike the 65-inches variant of the Mi TV that uses an LG-made panel, the 50-inch and 43-inch TVs use non-LG panels. The company declined to reveal the name of the panel manufacturer but it is a VA panel as far as we know.
Nevertheless, the 10-bit 4K HDR panel with 3840 x 2160 resolution and 60Hz refresh rate can produce over a billion colours, 1.07 billion to be precise. It looks much vivid and produces far better visuals than the 8-bit 1080p panel offered by the last year's Mi Smart TV. The 10-bit 4K panel on the new Mi TV 4X gets two things right- the colour depth and contrast that forms the basis of a good HDR panel.
Stream 4K Content Natively
The 50-inch 4K panel also features VPE calibration, which is Xiaomi's in-house image processing technology. We don't exactly know how Xiaomi applies the technology at the back end to improve the visual but it does make a difference in the final output. The Mi TV 4x 50-inch produces deeper contrasts and punchier colours.
The 4K files look immersive and HDR also works well. You can stream 4K files natively on YouTube and from external sources. The detailing in the 4K content is impressive. And it's not just the 4K content, the Mi TV 4X also ensures crisp playback of the 1080p and 720p content.
My only complaint with the 50-inch 4K HDR screen is its inability to produce pitch deep blacks. While watching movies during the night with lights off, you would notice that the black areas in the frame are not exactly black and look somewhat greyish. As a result, the viewing experience while watching the content with darker scenes in a pitch dark environment is not very immersive.
This is where the difference between a budget 4K HDR and a premium 4K HDR TV comes into play. The premium 4K HDR TVs show punchier and vivid visuals even in absolute dark environments. However, considering the budget price-point, the Mi TV 4X 50-inch does an excellent job.
You can also play around with the picture output in the settings to compensate for some loss. Xiaomi also informed that the VPE calibration image processing technology will also be rolled out to the previous MI TVs. This means you can expect some level of improvement in the image quality in older Mi Smart TV models.
Xiaomi Mi TV 4X (50) Hardware
The Mi TV 4X 50 is powered by a 64-bit Amlogic CPU. The chipset has four Cortex A53 cores and Mali-450 MP3 GPU to push graphics to the 50-inch panel. The smart TV has 2GB of RAM and 8 GB of internal storage. It's pretty standard hardware which ensures the Android TV runs without any performance issues.
I did not face any app crashes and lags during my review duration. The UI is very smooth and responsive. Combined with the Xiaomi's easy-to-use remote controller, the Mi TV 4X comes across as a very fast and responsive Android TV.
Mi TV Remote Controller
Xiaomi has no doubt created easy-to-use remote controllers for the company's smart TVs. However, the Mi remote isn't perfect. It lacks some basic buttons that make it a pain to operate the Mi smart TVs in everyday use. For instance, there's no dedicated button to tweak the basic picture and audio settings. You can only access the settings by stopping the content playing on the TV, which is very stupid as you don't get the exact idea of how the content will appear if you make any adjustments.
Moreover, you cannot even mute the TV instantly as there's no dedicated mute button on the remote. Some additional buttons on the Mi remote will do well to the overall user-experience.
Xiaomi Mi TV 4X (50) Software
The new generation of Mi TVs is powered by a new and refined version of PatchWall based on Android 9 Pie. Xiaomi says it is designed specifically for the Indian market while retaining support for Google Assistant. The Mi remote controller supports universal voice search. It works well and makes it easy to find content on the TV and streaming services. However, the universal search did not work on the Amazon Prime videos app.
This reminds of the Netflix and Amazon Prime Videos, which have finally been introduced to the Mi TVs. The Mi TV 4X gets both the content streaming apps with dedicated buttons on the remote controller. As far as Xiaomi's in-house PatchWall is concerned, it now provides 700,000+ hours of digital and 4K content across 18 different content partners. The content is displayed in an easy-to-consume format.
First Xiaomi Smart TVs to Feature Google Data Saver Mode
The new generation of Mi TVs also come equipped with Google's Data Saver mode. It is claimed to be designed with inputs from Xiaomi and allows up to three times more content streaming. What this means is that you can now stream more hours of content in the same amount of data if you are using a mobile hotspot. Yes, there is some level of drop in the quality of the content streamed but the feature comes handy and will appeal to masses in India.
Moreover, the Mi TV now also gets data counter for individual apps, which is another useful feature to keep a check on your data consumption. Last but not least, with the Mi TV 4X, you can cast locally and wirelessly to the TV without the need for an internet connection.
Xiaomi Mi TV 4X (50) Audio
The Mi TV 4x 50-inch is powered by 20W stereo speakers with support for Dolby and DTS-HD. The audio performance has improved considerably as compared to the previous generation Mi Smart TVs. The audio produced by the 2×10W 6ohm speakers is louder than before and can easily fill up a medium-to-big sized room. I have kept the smart TV in a 17x11 feet room and the audio produced seemed quite sufficient for most of the multimedia content in terms of loudness. The sound signature has been improved to a good extent.
As far as audio quality is concerned, the sound produced also feels better than before. There's a certain degree of clarity to the audio that makes the viewing experience immersive as compared to the previous Mi TVs. If you have placed a TV in a bigger living room, I would recommend you to pair it up with external speakers.
Xiaomi Mi TV 4X (50) Connectivity
For connectivity, the Mi TV 4X gets three HDMI ports with one port supporting ARC, one RJ45 LAN port, two USB ports, one A/V in and a SPDIF out. The smart TV offers dual-band Wi-Fi connectivity with support for 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz wireless networks.
Xiaomi has made some significant improvements without increasing the final price-point of the Mi Smart TV. The new Mi TV 4X brings a vibrant 4K 10-bit HDR-enabled panel, better sounding speakers, improved build quality and at last the support for the much-awaited Netflix and Amazon Prime Video. The new data saver feature is another useful addition to the Mi Smart TV ecosystem that makes a lot of sense for Indian households.
However, the company's hasn't addressed the issues with the Mi remote controller which is slightly disappointing. The lack of basic operational buttons on the remote controller restrict the Mi TV 4X to deliver a full-fledged smart TV viewing experience.
I really want the brand to fix the TV remote issues with the 2020 iteration of the Mi Smart TVs. But for now, the Mi TV 4X still comes out as the best overall value for money smart 4K TV you can buy in the Indian market.