Xiaomi has been at the forefront of the smart TV revolution in India and the brand has played an integral role in democratizing Android TVs for the masses. And, the proof is in the pudding too. In fact, per a recent Counterpoint report, the company dominated the smart TV segment with a commanding 14.3 percent market share in Q1 2022. What’s more, in a bid to further its position in the space, the brand recently announced three new TVs under its Smart TV X series as well. I managed to get my hands on the 50-inch variant – aptly dubbed X50 – and here’s what I make of it.
- From a distance, the Xiaomi Smart TV X50 looks the part of a run-of-the-mill TV set. In fact, the TV touts a black-coloured frame and much like other competing models, can either be mounted to a wall or be propped up on a flat surface by utilising the bundled plastic stands. What’s more, barring the prominent Xiaomi branding on the TV’s chin, there is no way to ascertain the unit’s make or model. Understandably, the TV’s design doesn’t stand out from afar.
- That said, upon closer inspection, the TV surprised me with its robust build quality which is undoubtedly a notch above competing Android TV sets. To wit, the device employs metal in its construction and the unit’s chassis is void of any flex, whatsoever. Furthermore, the TV feels superbly sturdy and has a good heft to it too – correspondingly, I have no doubts that the unit will stand the test of time. I should also add that with the plastic legs in place, the TV refused to budge from its position – so, you won’t risk dropping the set from a flat surface on the off chance you accidentally elbow the frame or the legs.
- The TV is flush with a wide array of ports too including three HDMI 2.1 connectors, two USB Type-A toggles, an ethernet port, a headphone jack, and an optical port. What’s more, the device is compliant with eARC tech too, and consequently, prospective buyers can route the audio from the TV as well as connected peripherals directly to a soundbar of their liking. As far as wireless connectivity is concerned, the device supports dual-band Wi-Fi as well as Bluetooth v5.0, which is great. You can even leverage the unit’s built-in Miracast functionality to mirror your phone’s screen on the TV.
- Spec-wise, the Xiaomi Smart TV X50 is backed by a quad-core, Cortex-A55 cluster that works alongside 2GB of RAM and 8GB of built-in storage. The TV felt snappy enough during my testing, although the unit did stutter when jumping between the company’s PatchWall OS and the Android TV interface. On the bright side, the TV opened apps in a jiffy and I didn’t notice any significant performance dips when switching from one app to the other.
- Coming to the meat of the matter, the Xiaomi Smart TV X50 is backed by a 4K panel that packs in 3,840 x 2,160 pixels. The panel is compliant with Dolby Vision, HLG, and HDR 10 codecs and refreshes at 60Hz. Unsurprisingly, the TV offers a stellar movie-watching experience and I rarely had any issues with the panel’s picture quality. The TV can seamlessly relay HDR media from OTT services like Netflix and I had a fantastic time rewatching the Witcher – which, by the way, is encoded in Dolby Vision, on the set. The colours appeared surreal, the characters’ skin tones didn’t come across as doctored and the panel tackled both, gloomy as well as well-lit environments really well. The viewing angles were top-notch too and although my room gets plenty of natural light, I rarely found the X50’s screen to be dim. Thankfully, you can choose between Dolby Vision Bright and Dolby Vision Dark presets by long-pressing the Patchwall hotkey on the remote and selecting the picture preset from the prompt that follows.
- To gauge the efficacy of HDR 10 content on the set, I tuned into the latest episode of Grand Tour. I found the HDR Movie preset worked the best with the set as it reciprocated the skin tones of the subjects in the frame to a tee. Furthermore, it captured the peppy colours of the Subaru Impreza and the Mitsubishi Lancer Evo remarkably well too. The skies of the Scandinavian region, albeit dull and grey, felt majestic and all said and done, I was quite happy with the panel’s performance in this regard as well. What’s more, I didn’t run into any issues whilst streaming older, HD, or FHD content on the set either. The Office, for instance, upscales admirably and while I did notice instances of skin-smoothening, it didn’t take a whole lot away from my experience of watching the show on the set.
- I should also add that the TV supports ALLM or Auto Low Latency Mode. Simply put, the TV can detect whenever you plug in a gaming console (Nintendo Switch and PS5 in my case). Once done, the device will automatically finetune the latency and offer you the best gaming experience possible – think of it like a game mode, but for your TV. Unsurprisingly, I didn’t notice any latency issues when playing games on the Xiaomi Smart TV X50 either – be it swerving and drifting cars in NFS Heat, or engaging in intense sword battles in Ghost of Tsushima, the TV picked up on all my inputs just fine.
- Now, as much as I liked the TV’s picture quality, the unit’s sound output did leave me wanting more. Spec-wise, the TV ships with 30W speakers, and while the unit gets adequately loud, it’s hard to narrow down the sweet spot for the volume toggle when watching a show or a movie. To wit, with the volume set at say, 15, the audio sounds feeble but, the output gets amplified exceedingly if I increase the volume by one or two levels.
- Moving on, let’s talk about software. Here, Xiaomi’s latest boots two interfaces, namely PatchWall OS and Android 10 out of the box. In a nutshell, PatchWall curates and segregates the content from a number of OTT services basis your interests, thereby simplifying content discovery. With the latest iteration of the interface, buyers opting for the Xiaomi Smart TV X series will also be able to get a number on a show’s IMDb rating, which is great. The TV’s remote comes with dedicated PatchWall and Android TV OS hotkeys too, so you can jump between the interfaces in a seamless fashion.
Xiaomi knows a thing or two about designing affordable smart TVs and the company’s latest entrant speaks volumes about the brand’s experience in the space. The Xiaomi Smart TV X50, in particular, gets most things right and offers a gorgeous, bezel-less display that can relay HDR media from a handful of OTT services. Furthermore, the device offers a healthy assortment of ports, a robust build, and packs in acceptable performance chops. The icing on the cake is that the unit is priced rather competitively and the Smart TV X Series range from the brand starts at Rs 28,999 for the 43-inch variant, with the model I reviewed costing a buck under Rs 35K. What’s more, the TVs have seen a price drop owing to the festive sales too, so, if you had your eyes set on the Smart TV X50, by all means, go for it – the TV will not disappoint you.
Editor’s rating: 4 / 5
- Stunning, bezel-less display
- Healthy assortment of ports
- Robust build quality
- Good HDR capabilities
- Audio output is a bit wonky
- Susceptible to lags when switching between interfaces