Xiaomi's successful entry into the affordable television segment in India has sparked quite the movement among brands and buyers. It's opened the doors for various television manufacturers - both domestic and from abroad - to launch affordable, big-screen televisions in India; and you might not even have heard of many of these brands before. However, Xiaomi naturally benefits by being the leader in the smartphone market in India, with a widely recognised name.
Xiaomi recently launched a new 55-inch model in its popular Mi TV 4X range, joining the existing 43-inch, 50-inch, and 65-inch models. Priced at Rs. 34,999, the Mi TV 4X 55 features a 55-inch 4K HDR LED screen. Is it as impressive a value proposition as its siblings, or should you stick to the 50-inch option and save some money? Find out in our review.
The Mi TV 4X range is affordable, and these TVs come with very few bells and whistles. While the specifications sheet of the new Mi TV 4X 55 remains impressive for the price, this television is rather ordinary when it comes to design and styling. Much like the Mi TV 4X 50, the 55-inch version sticks to the absolute basics when it comes to design.
The 55-inch screen means that it's big, of course, and it looks rather imposing. The module under the Mi logo looks a bit different compared to the one on the 50-inch model – it's flatter and less noticeable. You also get a grey frame and borders around the screen rather than the black we saw on the Mi TV 4X 50; this looks interesting and gives the television a unique look compared to most of the options you'd typically get at this price. Oddly, Xiaomi's product listings on its own website as well as third-party ones describe the colour as black, just like its siblings.
The TV has the same ports and layout as the Mi TV 4X 50, with three HDMI ports (one with ARC), two USB 2.0 ports, and an antenna socket facing to the right. A nook at the back has the rest of the ports and sockets, which face downwards. These include the AV inputs, an Ethernet port, and S/PDIF. The specifications sheet on Xiaomi's website mentioned an earphone output, but this isn't actually present on the TV. Xiaomi confirmed to Gadgets 360 that this was an error after we pointed it out, and the listing has now been rectified. You can use the S/PDIF port to connect wired headphones, but you'll need a DAC or other intermediary equipment for this to work. The TV is Wi-Fi enabled of course, giving you easy access to online content.
The Mi TV 4X 55 weighs 12.7kg without the base stands, which is quite light for a 55-inch television. The stands are attached near the edges, so if you intend to place the television on a table-top or TV stand, you'll need a wide enough space. If you intend to wall-mount the TV, the Mi TV 4X 55 uses standard VESA 300x300mm brackets. When wall-mounted, the ports were quite hard to access, so we'd suggest that you connect all devices and wires before you mount the TV.
The rest of the specifications are also fairly basic; the TV has a 55-inch 4K (3840x2160-pixel) LED screen, with a standard refresh rate of 60Hz and support for 10-bit HDR formats. The television is powered by an Amlogic A53 processor, and has 2GB RAM and 8GB storage for apps. You get 20W of sound output, and various Dolby and DTS sound formats are supported. External audio connectivity works through HDMI-ARC and Bluetooth, apart from S/PDIF.
The Mi TV 4X 55 is a smart television. It supports HDMI-CEC, and like other Android TV models, has built-in Chromecast functionality for screen casting from compatible devices. The sales package contains the television itself, the base stands, some manuals, and the remote.
Like the rest of the Mi TV 4X series, the Mi TV 4X 55 comes with the Mi Bluetooth Remote, which lets users directly access Google Assistant. We've already spoken about our issues with this remote, including the lack of useful buttons, poor responsiveness, and the fact that batteries for it aren't even included in the sales package. You can read about this in more detail in our review of the Mi TV 4X 50, right here. It's therefore a bit disappointing that Xiaomi hasn't worked on improving the remote with its ‘2020 Edition' television model.
As with the rest of the Mi TV 4X range, the 55-inch variant runs on Android TV 9 Pie with PatchWall UI 2.0 on top as an optional launcher. You do also have the option to use the stock Android TV launcher, with both having their pros and cons. Although PatchWall does put curated content within easy reach, Android TV is cleaner and easier to navigate. Unfortunately though, Xiaomi still does not have a ‘standby' mode for when the TV is not in use; turning it on will take a minute or so every time.
We've already explored the key aspects of Android TV and PatchWall 2.0 on the Mi TV 4X range, which you can read about in our review of the 50-inch model. All popular apps and streaming services are supported, and PatchWall, while random, has something for everyone.
In general, the software is familiar and easy to use, but felt a bit sluggish. It doesn't seem to play very well with the hardware - we found it slow to respond to commands from the remote, and waiting and loading times were longer than we're used to seeing on TVs in this price range. The interface doesn't give users too many options for customising and tweaking the picture and sound settings either. It remains acceptable for the price, but you do need a bit of patience to be able to use the smart interface on the Mi TV 4X 55.
While the 50-inch model that we reviewed previously strikes a balance between being too big and too small, the Mi TV 4X 55 is undeniably a large-screen television. If you have a big enough room, you'll appreciate the size and be able to make the most of the sharpness and colours of good 4K HDR content.
We used an Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K as well as the television's smart interface to stream online content, along with playing our test files. This allowed us to test the TV with a variety of content across sources, resolutions and genres. All through our review, we found the performance of the 55-inch TV to be largely on par with that of the 50-inch variant; the increase in size made only small differences to the overall experience.
As with the 50-inch variant, performance was best when watching 4K HDR content. The second season of Jack Ryan looked a bit dull at first, but bumping up the backlight brightness level helped bring more out of the visuals in this action-packed, fast-moving show. That said, the picture remained a bit dull on the whole, with the television favouring colour accuracy over brightness. The larger screen did make a difference to the overall viewing experience, making for a more engaging and immersive picture.
Moving on to regular 4K (non-HDR) content, this television retained the sharpness of the video, but seemed to suffer a bit when it came to colour accuracy and motion handling. This was something we noticed even with lower-resolution video, where the extra five inches of screen size seemed to have a slightly detrimental effect as compared to the 50-inch variant. Although full-HD and 720p content remained watchable, there were some issues such as the colour accuracy of skin tones, black levels, and occasional artefacts with quick motion.
Sound quality on the Mi TV 4X 55 is similar to that of the 50-inch option, with the same 20W of sound output. While this would have been adequate for a small television, we felt that it didn't quite match up to the visual experience. The sound is tuned properly, but often felt a bit too dull and flat; we would recommend using a good soundbar or speaker system with the Mi TV 4X 55 to get the most out of it.
The Mi TV 4X range starts at Rs. 24,999 for the 43-inch variant, and the idea of getting a 4K HDR TV for such a low price is very tempting. The 55-inch variant is a full Rs. 10,000 more expensive (Rs. 5,000 more than the 50-inch variant that we reviewed recently), and it's only worth shelling out that much more if you absolutely must have a 55-inch screen.
As far as 55-inch 4K HDR televisions go, this is among the best you can buy right now in the affordable segment. Although it has its shortcomings, the TV offers an entirely acceptable experience for the price, and is a good way to get onto the streaming video bandwagon without breaking the bank.
Price: Rs. 34,999
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