Last month, Xiaomi unveiled the much-anticipated Mi TV Stick at its virtual Global Ecosystem Product Launch event. The company has now launched the product in India.
This is Xiaomi’s third product aimed at being customers’ media streaming companion. The company already offers smart TVs well as Mi Box, a media streaming box that upgrades a regular non-smart television.
Similar to the Amazon Fire TV Stick (very similar, down to the name!), the newly launched Mi TV stick is a portable streaming device that connects to a television and allows users to stream content via streaming apps like Netflix, Amazon Prime, Disney Hotstar+, Spotify, and others.
The Mi TV Stick comes in black, weighs less than 30 grams, and is 92.4mm long. The setup is quite easy. All you need to do is to plug the stick into your TV (or monitor/projector) via an HDMI port, and connect to the Wi-Fi. The stick, of course, requires a power source via the microUSB port and is often drawn from the USB port on the TV.
The Mi TV Stick runs bare-bones hardware – it is powered by a 64-bit quad-core CPU coupled with 1GB of RAM and 8GB internal storage. It supports Full HD (1920 x 1080) resolution at 60fps and comes with Dolby and DTS surround sound support. Mind you, unlike the Mi Box, the Mi TV Stick does not support 4K.
The Bluetooth remote control looks similar to other Xiaomi offerings. It features dedicated Netflix and Amazon Prime buttons to launch the apps directly and a Google Assistant button for enabling voice commands.
Unlike the Fire TV Stick which is limited by Amazon’s own proprietary operating system based on AOSP, the Mi TV Stick is powered by Android TV 9.0 and comes built-in with Google Assistant and Chromecast. The latter allows users to directly screen photos, videos, and more from their Android smartphone on to the TV.
The Android TV platform gives the ability to download a wide variety of apps from over 5,000 apps available on the Google Play Store. While it offers the broad catalog of Android TV apps, there’s no Patchwall experience as is available on Xiaomi’s Mi TV portfolio.
The streaming sticks like the Fire TV Stick or Mi TV Stick allow people to convert their traditional TV sets into smart TVs cheaply.
Priced at ₹2,799 ($37) in India, the Mi TV Stick takes on the Fire TV Stick that retails at ₹3,999 and Xiaomi’s own Mi Box 4K that was launched earlier this year and retails at ₹3,499. The stick goes on sale starting August 7 on Flipkart and mi.com as well as Xiaomi's netowrk of offline stores.