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If I think of products like the Xiaomi Mi TV Stick, the thought immediately turns to how much progress technology has made in recent years. In one product poco larger than a USB stick we have everything you need to enter the multimedia world of Android TV, indeed with it we have also integrated a Chromecast and therefore we could define the Mi TV Stick, a 2 in 1 product, if we also consider the very low cost it is sold, I would say that we are facing yet another best buy. That's not quite the case and I'll tell you why in this full review.
Ok, so let's immediately remove the weight of the price, as the Xiaomi dongle is available on various stores, with prices ranging from about 30 euros to 39,99 maximum, of course we here leave you the best offers we have found on this, but whether you get it at one or the other price, in my opinion you are not wasting your money.
The sales package is quite complete, although the similarity with the rival Amazon Fire TV Stick is undeniable, but what matters is that the packaging is accurate, so much so as to provide immediate information on the services supported by the TV stick, as well as being complete. to find inside:
- Xiaomi Mi TV Stick;
- 5V-1A power supply;
- Bluetooth remote control;
- Manuals and warranty booklets;
- USB A - Micro USB power cable;
- Small HDMI extension cable.
In short, we have everything you need to start using the product right away and it almost seems that Xiaomi has thought of everything. In fact, it is good to find the HDMI extension already in the package, which in some cases could prove useful, if the HDMI ports of your TV are all occupied and close together. In fact, the Mi TV Stick is wider than a common HDMI and therefore it could be difficult to insert the same into the input of your TV. If Xiaomi had wanted to strike, he would have had to insert a longer power cable, at least 2 meters, because if you do not have a power outlet near the TV, you will necessarily have to equip yourself with a longer cable to power the Mi TV Stick.
It must be said that the cable itself can be used in some cases stand alone, or without the aid of the charger, if on your TV or laptop screen, but also projectors etc ... (the areas of use are really many and this is a big point in favor of Mi TV Stick) there is a USB input of at least 0,5A. However, the total functioning of the product is not guaranteed, in the sense that some users did not even start the interface, others after a while everything crashed, in my case I had no particular problems, but I only found that in this power mode the volume control no longer worked as well as the fact that the key no longer went into standby but that it started every time the TV was turned on.
Xiaomi Mi TV Stick has very small dimensions, equal to 92,4 x 30,2 x 15,2 mm and a weight of 28,5 grams, which allow it to be portability anywhere, for example you might think of a product like this to be included in the camper, or in any case to take with you to a friend's house to take advantage of your subscriptions such as Netflix and Prime Video, which are already installed by default on the key software.
We have a construction made with double-finish plastic materials, one glossy and one matte. We find the brand logo and the various certifications of the product, but also a small LED that certifies its operating status. On one profile we then find the micro USB input which is used only for power supply, this means that you will not be able to connect USB sticks or external disks, or other physical accessories, while on the head instead the HDMI plug for connecting to TVs, screens and projectors in general.
Let's get to the point, or what Xiaomi Mi TV Stick offers us. At the software level we have on board Android TV based on version 9 of Android with security patch of July 2020 while at the hardware level we have an Amlogic S805Y processor, quad core solution Cortex-A53 clocked at 1,2 Ghz which is accompanied 1 GB of RAM and the ARM Mali-450 GPU (@ 750MHz). We have a maximum output support of 1080p (1920x1080) at 60fps at 10bit.
We have integrated a Bluetooth 4.2 module, which allows pairing with TWS headphones, speakers, mice, keyboards, joypads and other accessories and this extends the potential use of our multimedia dongle. In addition, we also find a dual band WiFi (802.11a / b / g / n / ac 2.4GHz / 5GHz) and an 8 GB storage of which only 5,1 GB will be really available for the installation of applications from Google Play Store dedicated to the Android TV world.
We therefore have a minimum wage hardware, which on devices such as the Amazon Fire TV Stick on the whole allow a good user experience, with some limitations related to the software. In the case of Xiaomi Mi TV Stick, on the one hand the integration of Android TV opens up a universe of possibilities, but basically we are dealing with a heavy operating system, too heavy, to run without lag from the hardware used on this. TV stick.
It must be said that as regards the main use, that is streaming in Full HD, everything goes smoothly but when we go into more particular uses the first complications begin. For example, in gaming you can make maximum titles such as Beach Buddy Racing and poco another because for example with the start of Real Racing, the device went into lockdown having to act with the disconnection of the power supply, not that Xiaomi Mi TV Stick is to be bought for this operation.
But even with applications such as Crunchyroll, which theoretically base their essence on video streaming, just like with Netflix etc .. the Xiaomi Mi TV Stick crashes, also generating a certain overheating.
For the rest, however, you can enjoy the park of applications made available by the Play Store for Android TV, finding apps for karaoke, fitness, dance, culture and much more. Therefore the Xiaomi TV stick offers a window on the multimedia world to which the Chromecast function is also added as well as the possibility of transmitting the screen of your smartphone directly to the TV, both functions that when they are tried you can no longer do without them.
We also have multi-channel audio decoding, Dolby HD & DTS surround sound while the various formats supported by the key are as follows:
Video decoder: VP9-10, H.265, H.264, VC-1, MPEG1/2/4, Real8/9/10
Video format: RM, MOV, VOB, AVI, MKV, TS, MP4
Audio decoder: DOLBY, DTS
Audio Format: MP3, AAC, FLAC, OGG
Picture decoder: JPG, BMP, GIF, PNG
The interface is moved by means of the remote control supplied in the package which is of the Bluetooth type, thus allowing the reception of the command given from any angle. In the upper part we find a microphone that will allow us through the appropriate button to call up the Google assistant, while the other buttons are made up of those relating to the volume control, which only control that of the device and not the TV, as well as 2 keys dedicated to Netflix and Prime Video.
Then we have the classic buttons of the Android system to return directly to the Home, Back and recall the Recent Apps and finally the On / Off button (which actually puts the product in standby) and a directional pad with relative confirmation button to move to the internal system interface. The materials used are slightly cheap but overall I did not notice any creaking when pressing the keys while the operation is guaranteed by 2 AAA batteries, not supplied. It should also be noted that Xiaomi Mi TV Stick supports HDMI CEC, so you can use the remote control of your TV to control it, naturally losing the functionality of the Google Assistant.
Among the advantages of having an Android TV system without any customization by the Asian brand is that the configuration takes place in a few simple steps. Just connect the key to the TV, follow the instructions on the screen with the help of your Android smartphone and all the data of your Google account will be transferred, without having to enter any password. Some might argue that Mi TV Stick only offers 1080p resolution and not 4K, but overall this type of product was born with the aim of modernizing old devices. It is therefore legitimate to think that they do not have highly resolute panels, so in my opinion the Xiaomi solution is more than valid, returning an excellent color profile overall.
When we are in the streaming phase, however, we move quite quickly within the video track, but the reduced hardware is felt especially when we ask the Google Assistant to perform operations or when opening certain applications. In my case I have always used the hotspost of my phone to browse, therefore the "poor" performance in some areas was also affected by this, but overall I can be satisfied with the use I made of the Xiaomi Mi TV Stick.
And then there are all the classic Android TV apps as well as many apps designed for the big screen and that work perfectly with the supplied remote control. For the more "geeks" you can opt for the installation of applications such as Kodi and Veezie that will open the real world of online streaming.
Someone might therefore ask if it is better Xiaomi Mi TV Stick or Amazon Fire TV Stick and the answer of course depends on your real need, considering that the Amazon key bases all its essence on the Prime Video service even if it is possible to proceed with the '' installation of third-party apps such as Rai Play etc. There is no winner in this sense, but certainly the Xiaomi Mi TV Stick is more versatile in the areas of use, also offering greater freedom in the installation of applications, but perhaps the Chromecast integrated in Xiaomi Mi TV Stick would lead to make it preferable, because on balance you take home 2 products in 1 with a single expense.
In any case, Xiaomi Mi TV Stick is the cheapest choice for those who want to approach the Android TV experience. In addition, the various updates (I've already received a couple) can only improve the experience just like smartphones.
Just having integrated the Chromecast function makes Xiaomi Mi TV Stick a product not to be missed, because at the selling price you will also get a system that brings the Android TV experience to your old TVs, portable monitors and projectors, but above all you will have the real world of streaming in the palm of your hands. Because portability is one of the many strengths of this dongle as long as you have a little patience, because some app launches and actions are not always lightning-fast.
- SALE PACKAGE COMPLETE WITH ACCESSORIES AND CARE
- NETFLIX KEYS AND FIRST VIDEO AT YOUR REMOTE CONTROL
- INTEGRATED CHROMECAST
- SIMPLE BUT FUNCTIONAL
- WITH SOME APPLICATIONS THE SYSTEM CRASHES
- INTERFACE IS NOT ALWAYS FAST