Tech & Gadgets

Xiaomi TV Stick 4K Review

Xiaomi probably wants you to buy its TVs first, but if you think your current TV still has some life left in it — the screen, at least — the company has solutions for that front, too. Xiaomi has a small but sensible range of streaming devices, which plug into your TV’s HDMI port and add enhanced smart connectivity and capabilities. The latest in this range is the Xiaomi TV Stick 4K, the company’s most compact and capable device of its kind yet.

Price at Rs. 4,999 In India, the Xiaomi TV Stick 4K comes with Ultra-HD streaming capabilities, along with support for high dynamic range (HDR) content up to the Dolby Vision format, as well as Dolby Atmos audio. It’s also considerably smaller than the Mi Box 4K, allowing you to plug it straight into your TV’s HDMI port where it stays conveniently out of sight. Is this the best value for money streaming device you can buy right now? Find out in this review.

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The Xiaomi TV Stick 4K runs on Android TV 11, with the new Google TV-like user interface as seen here

Xiaomi TV Stick 4K Design and Specifications

Like the original Mi TV Stick, and thankfully unlike the Mi Box 4K, the Xiaomi TV Stick 4K is small and light enough to dock onto the back of your TV when plugged into the HDMI port. You’ll need to plug it into a power source of course, and in most cases plugging it into your TV’s USB-A port should be enough.

If you find yourself in a pinch, there’s a power adapter included in the box, so you can plug it directly into a wall socket for a more reliable power supply. There’s also an HDMI extender attachment in the box, and a remote control to control the streaming device. The ‘stick’ itself is fairly nondescript, with just a single logo on the outside of its black surface, but that’s perfectly fine since you’ll likely never see it in normal operation.

In terms of specs, the Xiaomi TV Stick 4K largely matches what most Android TV-powered streaming devices offer. As the name suggests, the device supports streaming up to Ultra-HD (3840×2160-pixel) resolution, with support for high dynamic range content up to the Dolby Vision format, as well as Dolby Atmos and DTS HD audio support.

The streaming device has 2GB of RAM and 8GB of internal storage, and is powered by a quad-core processor, with Bluetooth 5 and dual-band Wi-Fi for connectivity. The Xiaomi TV Stick 4K runs on Android TV 11, with both the stock Android TV UI and Xiaomi’s PatchWall UI layered on top.

Xiaomi TV Stick 4K Remote Control and Features

Xiaomi’s classic remote control — popular on its line of TVs — also ships with the Xiaomi TV Stick 4K. With the company adding the PatchWall UI to the streaming device, the remote control features a button to quickly jump to PatchWall, alongside other buttons for basic functions such as power, navigation, volume control, and invoking Google Assistant.

There are also shortcut buttons for Netflix, Prime Video, Disney+ Hotstar and the app drawer. The remote uses Bluetooth for connectivity with the Xiaomi TV Stick 4K, which also allows for voice data transmission for Google Assistant using the built-in microphone. As always, the remote is powered by two AAA batteries.

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The Xiaomi TV Stick 4K has 2GB RAM and 8GB storage

Aside from what’s already been mentioned, the Xiaomi TV Stick 4K supports Google Chromecast with up to Ultra-HD casting, and Google Assistant can be used to search for content, look up answers to simple questions, and control IoT devices that might be linked to your account. The feature set isn’t too detailed, but the device’s standalone functionality is sufficient on its own.

Depending on your preference, you can use either Android TV or PatchWall on the Xiaomi TV Stick 4K, and you can also switch between the two with ease. The former is a bit more app-focused, while the latter works on content curation and recommendations that highlight content and direct you to the right streaming platforms based on your choices.

Xiaomi TV Stick 4K Performance

The Xiaomi TV Stick 4K is, for all intents and purposes, a Xiaomi television without a screen. What makes it particularly impressive is the sheer size of the whole package; it’s considerably smaller than popular Ultra-HD streaming devices in the Fire TV range, and its form factor is arguably more convenient than that of the Chromecast with Google TV.

These similarities extend to the operating system and the way everything functions, with the hardware effectively handling Android TV 11 and PatchWall without much trouble. I encountered no performance issues with the Xiaomi TV Stick 4K during my time with it, and the device performed reliably as a source device, pulling in content in the best possible resolution and formats according to my TV settings.

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Xiaomi’s PatchWall UI can be accessed on the TV Stick 4K by pressing the PatchWall button on the remote control

Unlike some of the more capable (and therefore complicated) streaming devices, the Xiaomi TV Stick 4K isn’t a difficult device to use. I didn’t have to tweak too many settings and the device mostly worked at the correct resolution and formats, especially when connected to a TV alone without other devices like soundbars or speakers in the setup.

The remote occasionally took a fraction of a second too long to respond, but that didn’t bother me too much. While you can install games from the Google Play Store and play them on the TV, it’s not the ideal device for those kinds of use cases and is largely focused on streaming audio and video from popular services.

Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos support is useful if you have a compatible TV or audio system, and subscriptions to services that work with formats such as Netflix and Apple TV+. It’s worth noting that the Xiaomi TV Stick unfortunately doesn’t have HDR10+ support, so you’ll want to pair this streaming device with a TV that supports Dolby Vision. On an HDR10+ television, the Xiaomi TV Stick 4K could only stream in the HDR10 format with Ultra-HD content.

While most streaming devices work smoothly on stable Wi-Fi connections, the Xiaomi TV Stick 4K performed reasonably well even when connected to a relatively less stable mobile hotspot. That said, 5G connectivity generally ensured that speeds were fast enough to handle buffer-free Ultra-HD streaming. Still, it’s a good option for those who rely on mobile internet connections at home.

Pronunciation

As with many Xiaomi products, the Xiaomi TV Stick 4K succeeds because of its price. At Rs. 4,999, it is considerably more affordable than competing products like the Chromecast with Google TV and Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K Maxwhile delivering a largely reliable and uncomplicated Ultra HD and HDR streaming experience.

While the lack of HDR10+ content support might be an issue for some depending on the TV you plan to use it with, there’s otherwise little to complain about with the Xiaomi TV Stick 4K. Its convenient size and form factor also make this an easy recommendation for anyone looking for a functional and reliable Ultra-HD streaming device, assuming you primarily want to watch content.

Price: Rs. 4,999

Advantages:

  • Handy size and form factor
  • Ultra HD streaming, Dolby Vision and Atmos support
  • Reliable and uncomplicated functionality
  • Very good price-quality ratio

Cons:

  • HDR10+ format is not supported

Ratings:

Design and specifications: 8
Features: 8
Price-quality ratio: 9
Total: 8


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