05 Aug 2020: Xiaomi takes on Amazon with affordable new 'Mi TV Stick'
In a bid to cash in on the surging demand of smart televisions, Chinese giant Xiaomi has launched 'Mi TV Stick' in India.
The device turns any regular television with an HDMI port into a smart TV offering a range of applications and goes directly against the likes of Amazon's famous Fire TV Stick.
Here is all you need to know about it.
Device: Device to stream content from a range of applications
Announced at last month's Global Ecosystem Product Launch, the Mi TV stick is a portable media streaming device.
It plugs into your TV via HDMI port and instantly converts it into a smart television, one where you can connect to the internet and access services like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+ Hotstar, and ZEE5 (among others) to directly stream your favorite movies/shows.
Software: Android 9.0 experience powers the whole rig
The experience of Mi TV Stick is powered by Android TV 9.0 which means you get a full-blown Android experience on this device.
You can choose from the selection of 5,000+ Google Play Store apps designed for the big screen as well as use other handy capabilities like voice search with Google Assistant and Chromecast for casting photos/videos from phone to TV.
Hardware: What about hardware capabilities?
On the hardware side, the Mi TV Stick offers pretty basic stuff — a 64-bit quad-core CPU, 1GB of RAM, and 8GB internal storage.
It weighs less than 30 grams and can produce full HD 1080p content at 60 frames per second, much like the Fire TV Stick. There is also support for Dolby and DTS surround sound and Bluetooth 4.2 on the device.
Fact: Remote offers dedicated buttons for Assistant, Netflix, Prime Video
The remote bundled with Mi Stick is similar to the one that comes with the company's smart televisions and offers dedicated buttons to trigger three much-demanded services: Google Assistant, Netflix, or Amazon Prime Video.
Advantage: Pricing and availability
The new Mi TV Stick has been priced at Rs. 2,799, making it one of the most affordable streaming devices in India. Comparatively, Fire TV Stick sells at Rs. 3,999 while Xiaomi's own Mi Box 4k retails at Rs. 3,499.
The device is set to go on sale starting August 7 via Flipkart, mi.com, and Xiaomi's network of offline retail stores.