“Our first impressions of Xiaomi’s latest 4K TV – the Mi LED TV 4X Pro”
We’re barely through the first month of 2019 and Xiaomi has already surprised its fans and critics with some big, big news. Firstly, the company announced that its Redmi series of smartphones will now be part of an independent entity by the same moniker. Then, owing to the deduction of GST applicable on TVs, the brand slashed prices of its recent Mi LED TVs to honor its promise of capping its hardware income margin at 5 percent.
Finally, the brand recently took to the stage and unveiled two new smart TVs in the country, dubbed the Mi TV 4X Pro and the Mi TV 4A Pro, along with a soundbar to go along with them. I managed to get my hands on the company’s Mi TV 4X Pro and here are my first impressions of the same.
As is the case with the company’s smartphones, it’s getting harder and harder to keep a track of Xiaomi’s TV launches too. Well, for the uninitiated, the Mi TV 4X Pro is the company’s third 55-inch 4K TV in India. As it stands, the company has discontinued its first-gen 4K model and buyers can currently choose from either the 2nd-gen 4K TV from the company (called the Mi LED TV 4 Pro), or the recently-announced Mi TV 4X Pro.
Now, you might be wondering what are the differences between the two models. Well, barring the design and the audio output, there are none. You see, the new Mi TV 4X Pro sports a more utilitarian design and features a thicker chassis, plasticky build and comes with chunkier bezels bordering the display. In contrast, the Mi TV LED 4 Pro comes with a fancier bezel-less display, is razor-sleek and has been constructed in entirety using metal. Unsurprisingly, the newer variant retails for significantly less than the company’s 2nd-gen 4K TV.
That being said, while the design of the newer Mi TV 4X Pro isn’t as edgy as its predecessor, it’s not ugly by any stretch of the imagination – it just lacks the ‘wow’ factor. Moreover, despite using plastic to construct the TV’s chassis, I didn’t find any issues with the build quality during my initial stint with the unit. There was no noticeable wobbliness in or around the display, and the back of the TV wasn’t prone to flexing either. Not to mention, the company was able to shave off close to 5 Kgs from the unit, which should make mounting it on a wall that much easier.
In terms of ports and connectivity, the Mi TV 4X Pro offers dual-band Wi-Fi (802.11ac), Bluetooth 4.0, three HDMI ports (one of which supports ARC), two USB ports (3.0+2.0), AV output, S/PDIF, and an Ethernet port. What’s more, Xiaomi’s Mi LED TV range is among the rare breed of TVs in India which ship with Google’s Chromecast built into the unit itself. Consequently, you can use your phone to cast music or videos on the TV easily.
Display-wise, the Mi LED 4X Pro draws parallels to its predecessor and features the same 10-bit, 4K LED panel which was present on the Mi LED 4 Pro. The display offers a refresh rate of 60Hz, has wide viewing angles of 178-degrees and supports HDR platform too. Therefore, you’ll be able to feast your eyes to excellent contrast levels and vivid colours when playing HDR media on TV. Unfortunately, applications like Amazon Prime and Netflix are yet to make their way to Xiaomi’s TV sets and therefore, you’ll have to source HDR content from other platforms.
Seeing how the Mi TV LED 4X Pro ships with a thicker chassis, it only made sense for the unit to feature bigger, more powerful speakers than its predecessors. Consequently, Xiaomi has furnished the TV with two 10W speakers which get audaciously loud. So much so, I was asked to tone the volume down a few notches by several of my colleagues even when I was playing music on the TV in an isolated conference room. Moreover, unlike most TV sets, the speakers on the Mi TV LED 4X Pro have been tuned well and output ample amount of bass and don’t distort at high volume levels either.
I’d also like to point out that the 4X Pro’s core specs and software features remain the same as last year’s model too. Underneath its chassis, the 4X Pro is driven by a quad-core, 64-bit, Amlogic processor which works alongside 2GB of RAM, 8GB of built-in storage and a Mali-450 GPU. During my first few hours with the TV, I didn’t come across any noticeable lag or stutter on the machine. Apps opened swiftly and navigating through the two UI’s was a breeze too.
Which finally brings us to the software on the Xiaomi Mi LED TV 4X Pro. Much like its predecessor, the 4X Pro also runs two operating systems namely Google’s Android TV platform and Xiaomi’s proprietary PatchWall OS. You can switch between the two interfaces by simply pressing the dedicated buttons on the TV’s remote. Now, I’ve already covered the two interfaces in detail in my review of the Xiaomi Mi LED 4A Pro. However, in a nutshell, PatchWall OS allows you to stream thousands of hours of content from its partnered apps whereas Google’s Android TV platform gives you the flexibility of downloading various applications from the Play Store.
Coming to the price, the Xiaomi Mi LED TV 4X Pro retails for Rs 39,999 which is exactly Rs 10K less than last year’s model. Consequently, if you can compromise on a fancier design, then you’ll essentially get the exact same TV with more powerful speakers for substantially less. That said, I’ll reckon you wait for our full review of the unit which should be up on our website shortly before you pull the trigger on your purchase.