“Our first impressions of Xiaomi’s latest affordable smart TV – the Mi LED 4A Pro”
Soon after capturing the market with its affordable smartphone offerings, Chinese tech giant Xiaomi unveiled a slew of feature-rich, yet affordable smart TVs in the country early this year. Unsurprisingly, the TVs are a runaway hit too and the units now sit in the living rooms of millions of buyers. Now, if you weren’t quite sold on the brand’s sales pitch earlier, then you should know that the company recently unveiled three new models in India, dubbed the Mi LED TV 4C Pro, the 4 Pro, and the 4A Pro, which come with improved features and support for Google’s Android TV platform. We managed to go one-on-one with the 49-inch model, the Mi LED TV 4A Pro, and here are our first impressions of the same.
The Mi LED TV 4A Pro has been constructed in entirety using plastic which helps keep the weight of the unit down. However, as is the case with most things plastic, you will notice some flex around the back of the TV’s chassis as well as along the edges of the display. That said, since most buyers will probably just mount the TV to a wall post their purchase, I feel that a slight flex in the TV’s frame won’t be a glaring issue. Coming to the ports, the Mi TV 4A Pro ships with a healthy number, including three HDMI inputs, two USB ports as well as an S/PDIF port. As is the case with most TVs, you’ll also get a bundled remote with the Mi TV 4A Pro, which is quite compact and user-friendly. The remote will let you switch between the Mi TV 4A Pro’s two different OS interfaces, as well as allow you to use your voice for various commands. You heard that right – the TV includes support for the Google Assistant, letting you search content by voice.
Interestingly enough, thanks to the inclusion of the Android TV platform, Xiaomi has also equipped its latest range of smart TVs with built-in Chromecast functionality, allowing users to effortlessly cast media from their smartphones on to the new TVs.
For display, the Xiaomi Mi LED TV 4A Pro comes sporting a 49-inch full HD panel. Coupled with the unit’s 20W speakers should make for an enjoyable media consumption experience. That said, apps like Netflix are still incompatible with Xiaomi’s latest TVs, but the company claims that it will soon add support for Amazon Prime. During my initial testing, I didn’t face any problems with the display’s quality. I streamed a number of full HD videos on YouTube and noticed that the colour reproduction was pleasing to the eyes and that the panel had wide viewing angles as well.
Powering the smarts on the Mi TV LED 4A Pro is a 64-bit, Amlogic quad-core processor which works alongside 2GB of RAM and 8GB of internal storage. For software, the smart TV comes with Xiaomi’s proprietary PatchWall OS as well as Google’s Android TV. Buyers can quickly switch between the two operating systems by pressing either the ‘O’ or the ‘Mi’ button on the remote.
Now, why would you want a TV which comes with two operating systems? Well, with Android TV, you’ll have the entire Google Play Store library within arm’s reach. On the other hand, PatchWall OS brings its own suite of features, such as the ability to control your set-top box by using the Mi TV remote. To do so, buyers will simply need to purchase a Mi IR cable (~Rs 300), position it near their set-top box and then, they can then forget about their set-top box remote altogether. What’s more, the OS even highlights content cards for various TV channels you’d like to watch. Once you have your set-top box hooked to the TV, clicking on a content card will take you directly to the channel, saving you plenty of steps in the process. This is thanks to Xiaomi’s partnership with Sensy, the app that provides an electronic program guide and throws up content cards from live TV channels directly on the interface.
The Xiaomi Mi LED TV 4A Pro has been priced rather competitively and will set interested buyers back by Rs 30,000. Our full review of the TV is in the works, so stay tuned to know whether you should pull the trigger and get the Mi LED 4A Pro or not.