Xiaomi Mi Box S 4K HDR – review of the best Ultra HD TV box
Xiaomi is best known for its smartphones in the international market, but it has also successfully entered the smart device market, including Set-top boxes. One such device is the Xiaomi Mi Box S 4K HDR (MDZ-22-AB).
• This international version of the Chinese Mi Box 4, and the upgraded successor to Xiaomi Mi Box (MDZ-16-AB), offers a wide range of features including 4K support.Evgeny Leonov Zheka "Zhelezyaka", that's the name of our advanced editor. And all because he leads the most modern section of our site – "Hi-Tech". Collections of smartphones and other gadgets are his path. In addition, he is well versed in household appliances and electronics, and takes an active part in our reviews.
Price and purpose of Xiaomi Mi Box S 4K HDR
The typical "life cycle" of a TV is quite long, and many people use "non-smart" TVs that are five or more years old.
• And smart TVs that don't receive software updates can lose support for important apps or slow down to the point where they become almost unusable.
None of these reasons are good enough to buy a new TV. But it is a reason to buy Xiaomi Mi Box S 4K HDR (MDZ-22-AB).
• For a price of just over 5000 rubles, you get a small device that connects to the TV and makes it "smart". Mi Box S runs the latest version of Android TV – 9 Pie – and is guaranteed to receive an update to the next version when it comes out. This gives the box access to a vast collection of Android TV apps and games, any of which can be used with an HDMI-enabled TV.
• Some apps are preinstalled on Xiaomi Mi Box S such as Netflix, Google Play Store and YouTube, while others can be installed from the Google Play Store for Android TV.
Specifications of Xiaomi Mi Box S
- OS — Android TV 9 (Pie) (Either 8.1 upgradable to version 9)
- Maximum resolution – 4K 60 (3840x2160) HDR
- Picture output — TV picture 16:9, 3840x2160, 1920x1080, 1280x720, 720x480
- Support – 3D video
- Supported video formats — MOV, VOB, AVI, MKV, TS, MP4
- Audio – Dolby Audio, DTS-HD
- Supported audio formats MP3, FLAC, APE
- RAM – 2 GB DDR3
- Graphics – Mali-450, 750 MHz
- Flash memory – 8 GB (4.2 GB available)
- USB – 1 x USB 2.0
- Food – 5.2 V / 2.1 A, DC 4 x 1.7 mm connector.
- Wi-Fi – 802.11a/b/g/n/ac (2,4/5 GHz) MIMO 1×1
- Bluetooth – 4.1.
- Video outputs – 1 HDMI 2.0b (up to 3840× Hz with HDR)
- Audio outputs – HDMI, Bluetooth, 3.5mm minijack, S/PDIF (Mini Toslink/Miniplug)
- Remote controller — Bluetooth, with microphone
• This smart TV box runs Android TV 9, comes with Amlogic S905X quad-core processor, 2GB RAM and 8GB internal storage.
• While the specs may not seem impressive in 2021, the set-top box's capabilities are sufficient to handle 4K at 60fps, which is on par with similarly priced competitors. The video quality of the Xiaomi Mi Box S is approaching the video quality of the Nvidia Shield TV.
• The audio quality is also top notch with support for Dolby Audio and DTS 2.0.
Xiaomi Mi Box S comes with a remote control with Bluetooth and a microphone. It runs on two AAA batteries.
• There is no Ethernet port, and the connection to the Network is via Wi-Fi (802.11a/b/g/n/ac 2,4/5 GHz).
• On the back are: power jack, HDMI 2.0, S/PDIF/headphone audio output, and one USB 2.0 port for watching movies from a flash drive.
• Memory cards are not supported.
Design and equipment
• The TV box is packaged in a brightly colored cardboard box containing everything you need to connect, including:
- HDMI Cable,
- remote controller,
- the attachment itself
- power supply with European plug,
• However, batteries for the remote control are not included.
The compact dimensions of Xiaomi Mi Box S – 95x17x95 mm (W / H / D) and light weight of 150 grams – allow you to place the set-top box behind the TV, on the side or in any other place where it is convenient for you. It does not catch the eye and does not distract from what is happening on the screen.
The case of the device is made of pleasant to the touch plastic. It is matte, and does not "attract" dust or fingerprints. The legs are not rubberized, so the console can slide slightly on a smooth surface. They do not lift the console much, but this is not necessary, because it does not heat up during operation.
There is an LED on the front that glows when the device is operating and dims when the set-top box is turned off or “sleeping”. The LED is not bright, so it won't disturb your family going to take a nap.
How Mi Box S works
• The set-top box must be connected to the TV using the supplied HDMI cable and to a power outlet. Once this is done, the device is ready to be turned on and configured.
Internet connection is via Wi-Fi only, while Bluetooth is used for pairing with audio devices, game controllers and the included remote control.
• When you turn it on for the first time, you can quickly set it up via your Android smartphone or tablet.
• Once you've set everything up, including linking your Google account, Mi Box S becomes an intelligent window into the world of YouTube, streaming services and online cinemas, sending images and sounds to your TV.
• When you enter the home screen of the set-top box or the Google Play Store for Android TV, it will be clear that many of the programs familiar to Russian users are not there. There will be only those programs that are optimized for the Android TV interface.
• However, a life hack when working with Mi Box S is that applications that are not optimized for Android TV can also be installed. To do this, you need to download the .apk files to your computer, then upload to a USB drive, and then install the desired program from it.
Xiaomi Mi Box S 4K HDR Performance
• The set-top box uses an Amlogic S905X quad-core processor (which is incorrectly displayed as S905L in AIDA) with a frequency of up to 1,5 GHz and a Mali-450 MP GPU.
• This bundle works without freezes, if you do not load it with several tasks at the same time. For example, if an application is updated through the Google Play Store, then other applications may slow down.
• The amount of memory available to the user is 4,2 GB, if this is not enough, then you can use a flash drive to expand the internal memory.
• The device cannot be called a gaming device, although you can connect a joystick to it, for example, from Xiaomi. It is not compatible with powerful games such as PUBG MOBILE. Only casual 2D games will run without slowdowns.
• The case temperature is low (about 33 degrees), and there is no performance loss even with long-term applications
Features of Xiaomi Mi Box S 4K HDR
• The TV box supports video streaming in 1080P@60fps or 4K@60fps, and with HDR support.
• Another advantage of Xiaomi Mi Box is the ability to convert regular content to HDR.
• The set-top box receives system updates “over the air”, however, you can install them manually by going to “Settings-About device-System update”.
• Support for Live Channels gives Mi Box S access to streaming broadcasts from various sources and allows you to manage them in the style of conventional TV channels.
The remote control and its "zest" – voice search
The simplicity of the Xiaomi Mi Box S design extends to the remote control as well. It works via Bluetooth (which means it does not need to be directed to the set-top box), it is very simple and easy to use.
- There are standard power and volume buttons, separate Live Channels and Netflix buttons.
- Button with 9 dots opens all installed programs.
- When you press the power button, the set-top box goes into sleep mode.
- The only inconvenience is that the buttons cannot be remapped.
- In the hand, the remote lies comfortably, and the keys are pressed clearly.
• The microphone built into the remote has excellent sensitivity, you do not have to bring the gadget close to your mouth to give a command. If necessary, the system activates the microphone itself. Mi Box S correctly recognizes voice commandsn.
• Although Xiaomi Mi Box S is not the first Android TV set-top box, it is perhaps the only device that offers a full range of useful features without significant omissions or limitations.