India’s leading smartphone brand Xiaomi launched its first major non-smartphone product, the Mi TV 4, in India yesterday. Dubbed as the thinnest television in the world, with a width of just 4.9mm, it is 30 percent slimmer than the iPhone 7.
With the launch of the much-anticipated Redmi Note 5 and Note 5 Pro, the Chinese company finally brought its massively popular and much-requested television to the Indian market. The newly launched Mi TV 4 will take on the likes of Samsung, Sony and LG in an all-new segment in the country.
Xiaomi Mi TV 4 – The Thinnest TV in World
The Xiaomi Mi TV 4 was first launched last year at the CES 2017 and it is touted to be the thinnest TV to date. Xiaomi’s range of Mi televisions has been well-received in its home market, China, and has been a popular product request in India since its launch.
Xiaomi, famous for launching high-quality products at affordable prices, has introduced the 55-inch Mi TV 4 in India at an incredible price of Rs. 39,999/- which makes it a great 4K Ultra HD TV for its affordability.
From the perspective of price, the Mi TV 4 is a noticeably low-priced option and is far affordable than the similar 55 inch 4K TVs from popular premium brands in the country like Sony, Samsung and LG.
The price factor makes Mi TV 4 a superior option to a wider audience than its competition, which is what the company is aiming for. In fact, the price of the Xiaomi Mi TV 4 will also give low-end TV manufacturers like TCL, VU or Kodak a few reasons to be concerned.
At Rs. 39,999, the Mi TV 4 is one of the cheapest 55-inch 4K TVs available in the Indian market. Not only is the Mi TV 4 is considerably cheaper than other premium brands, it is also priced lower than the second-tier brands like Vu, TCL or Kodak televisions.
The 55-inch 4K UHD Smart TV from VU on Flipkart can be purchased for around Rs. 50,000/- while a similar 55-inch TV from TCL costs Rs. 59,000/-. For flagship 55-inch 4K Ultra HD TVs from premium brands like Samsung, Sony or LG, the prices start around Rs. 80,000/- and easily cross beyond the 1 lakh mark.
The Indian TV Industry
The Mi TV has a big chance of making the 4K TVs mainstream in the Indian LED-panel led TV market where it can simply blow the competition away with its price and features.
4K UHD TVs are yet to go mainstream in the country, since quality 4K content is still very limited, and high prices put off a lot of people in a budget-driven market like India. Big brands like LG and Samsung do offer some great looking displays, but the Mi TV 4 itself reportedly uses a Samsung panel, ensuring a premium display with accurate colours.
Mi TV 4 – Details & Specifications
The Mi TV 4 sports a frameless display. It comes fitted with a custom Samsung 4K SVA (Superior Vertical Alignment) panel with a resolution of 3840 x 2160 pixels and a 6000:1 contrast ratio.
The most attractive quality in the Mi TV 4 is its ultra-slim design. With a thickness of just 4.9mm, the Mi TV 4 is very slim and there isn’t a brand in India right now which offers a TV as slim as the Mi TV 4 at this price point. Xiaomi touts the Mi TV 4 to be the slimmest 4K Television in the world.
The Mi TV 4 is around 37 percent slimmer than its own Mi MIX and 30 percent slimmer than the iPhone 7. It weighs just under 20kg which also makes its one of the lightest high-end TVs that can be bought in India.
Hardware & Sound
The Mi TV 4 is powered by a 1.8GHz quad-core Amlogic T968 Cortex A53 chipset coupled with Mali-T830 MP2 GPU. It sports 2GB DDR4 RAM and 8GB flash storage. It has rich connectivity options like dual-band Wi-Fi (802.11ac) and Bluetooth 4.0LE along with two 8W speakers which support Dolby audio and DTS standards.
The 55-inch Mi TV 4 comes with 2 HDMI 2.0 ports, 1 HDMI (ARC) port, 1 USB 2.0 port, 1 USB 3.0 port and 1 Ethernet port along with the standard AV, analogue and audio out ports. These are some basic functions that are available in TVs from other brands as well.
Software & Functionalities
The Mi TV runs Xiaomi’s own PatchWall UI which is based on Android OS with an integrated AI system that helps to predict content based on usage patterns. The OS has been specially tuned for the Indian market.
The remote will comes in the box has all the basic functionalities, but does not support voice commands (as of now). Xiaomi has confirmed that a voice-enabled remote will be sold separately in the country at a later date.
Content & Streaming Apps
To experience the Mi TV 4 to the fullest, you need access to high-quality 4K content. Xiaomi has tied up with media streaming platforms like ALT Balaji, Hungama Play, Voot and Hotstar for the purpose. Xiaomi’s Smart TV comes with these apps built-in. In India, quality 4K content is still rare but is slowly growing.
Though the Mi TV 4 supports 4K, it will not support two major streaming platforms, Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, as of now. Currently, Xiaomi has partnered with a total of 12 content partners to offer around 500,000 hours of Indic-rich content spread across 15 Indian languages, but these platforms lack 4K content.
A Slight Disadvantage
Most of the other 55-inch smart TVs from Sony, LG or Samsung support Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, especially those running the Android TV or Smart Hub. Until it ropes in these two platforms, the Mi TV 4 is at a slight disadvantage.
Streaming devices like the Chromecast or Amazon Fire TV Stick, which are available in India, do not support 4K HDR. So that option is not available for the Mi TV 4.
As of now the easiest way to enjoy 4K content is to download it onto an external hard drive and then connect it to the TV. The Mi TV 4 is available at Rs. 39,999/-. It is going to be Xiaomi’s biggest gamble in the country yet. The Mi TV 4 has the potential to reshape the Indian TV market in a similar manner to what it has achieved with its smartphones.
Whether Xiaomi will be able to revolutionise the Indian TV sector remains to be seen. As of now, the Mi TV 4 sits comfortably in the big divide in the Indian TV market between premium brands like Sony, LG and Panasonic which offer high-quality products and affordable brands like TCL, Micromax, VU and Kodak which are not so great in quality.
What do you think of the Mi TV 4? Will you prefer it over some well-known premium brands? Let us know your thoughts.