A solid streamer only 1 that’due south missing several features that are available on other cheaper streamers. With that in mind, the Xiaomi doesn’t offering as much value or functioning.
- Solid movie and audio performance
- Chromecast/Google Assistant
- No dynamic HDR or immersive audio formats
- Offers less value than rivals
- Missing UK grab-upward apps
Supports Android 8.1, just tin exist upgraded to Android 9
HDR10 and HLG support for Netflix, Prime Video, Disney, Apple TV+ and YouTube
There are plenty of options for streaming to a Tv set, but which offers the best bang for your buck? Amazon, Google, Roku?
Like a gunslinger riding into town, at that place’due south a streaming box looking to grab some attention past the proper noun of Mi Box Southward. Made by Chinese company Xiaomi, it’s a slim, Android powered offering with 4K HDR and voice assist.
Like every other streaming device, the Mi Box S wants to go the go-to choice behind your Idiot box. Given the force of the competition, it needs the apps, the performance, and the usability if it is going to have that desired impact.
- Foursquare shape advent
- Remote control is a flake potent
The Mi Box South looks like the buzzer you get when waiting for an social club at a food courtroom. Given the proliferation of sticks and smaller efforts, the Mi Box S is bigger than expected – and foursquare. Nevertheless, it’s slim, tidy-looking and shouldn’t concenter attention, which are the qualities y’all’d want from a streamer.
Its shape means the Mi Box S is best suited to sitting on a flat surface, or hazard ungainly hanging from a Television. A HDMI cable is included – long enough to give some latitude for where to identify the Mi Box S. Around its rear is infinite for HDMI 2.0a, USB ii.0 ports and (curiously) 3.5mm/sound out. Yous tin can connect an external difficult drive through the USB, although when I tried, I couldn’t get anything to play.
The remote keeps buttons downwardly to a minimum with volume, playback, carte du jour, Google Assistant and shortcuts for Netflix and Amazon Prime Video. Inputs tin be strong, but its ‘clicky’ feel gives some surety the button has been pressed. Usefully, yous don’t have to aim the remote at the Box S, so you could take information technology out of sight if demand exist.
Interface and apps
- Supports Chromecast streaming
- Missing United kingdom catch-upwards apps
- Not the quickest performance
With its toll and Android OS, the Mi Box S would have Chromecast with Google Tv set in its sights, though equally a basis for comparison, it’due south not one in favour of the Xiaomi.
When showtime powered on information technology runs an older version of Android (8.1). Update it and up pops Android 9, but that launched in 2022. The Mi Box S is unlikely to be getting whatsoever new updates unless it’s a critical ane.
Android Idiot box ix is fine to use, though the version on this box isn’t the nippiest with slight lag when navigating. The interface is as you lot were for an Android streamer, with Search (Google Banana) Home, Discover, Apps and Settings beyond the top row.
Domicile is where yous can access apps y’all’ve subscribed to, and you tin can likewise customise this expanse to show more than content, though all that really amounts to whether you want to come across a ‘trending’ bar or ‘watchlist’ for a couple of apps.
Detect offers personalised recommendations depending on the apps you’ve chosen (Disney+, Apple TV+, Prime Video), though to call them ‘personalised’ is an overstatement. It offers are a generic combination of recommendations and trending content that doesn’t feel particularly personal at all.
Apps is dwelling house to the Google Play Store, though not all Google Play Shop versions are equal, and the Xiaomi is missing a few primal apps.
Great britain customers expecting the aforementioned latitude of apps as other streamers should check their expectations. The Mi Box South doesn’t characteristic whatever of the Britain catch-upwardly apps, nor does it have NOW, BBC Sounds, ESPN, Sky News or Apple Music. Broadly speaking, it has the
apps (Netflix, Disney+, Spotify), but the Xiaomi doesn’t cater much to Great britain specific tastes. You can get those apps on streaming boxes available for much less.
You can become circular the lack of iPlayer, ITV Hub and All 4 by using Chromecast, but that feels non only inconvenient but pointless if your Idiot box already supports Chromecast.
The Xiaomi supports Dolby sound and DTS 2.0, so despite claims of ‘three-dimensional surround sound’, Atmos and DTS:X are AWOL. Visually, Netflix, Disney+, Prime Video, Apple Television set+ and YouTube are equipped for 4K HDR, with YouTube supporting HLG.
Too worth a mention is the Mi Box Southward’ quirky volume control. For any reason, it operates separately from the TV and soundbar, then if you are not able to hear something it’s because the Mi Box S’ internal volume is low. Why that is the instance is a mystery.
- Picture quality matches that of a TV’south native app
- Decent sound
- Misses out on dynamic HDR formats/immersive sound
When it comes to streaming, the Xiaomi box is par for the grade. Like most streamers, its performance is dependent on your Boob tube.
Compare the Xiaomi to the native app on a Samsung Q85R (same movie settings), and the Xiaomi compares well. What If… T’Challa Became a Star-Lord? on Disney+ looks terrific: clear and colourful, the lines of the stylised animation come through well, and the expressive colours, shades and tones of the animation look excellent. Given it’s likely non adding much to the motion picture performance, the better the Television set’s performance, the ameliorate the Xiaomi comes across.
It’due south a similar story when watching Cinderella on Disney+. The colourful costuming stands out throughout the film, complexions are nicely handled with warmth, and contrast is astutely described. It’due south a like-for-like performance between the Xiaomi and Samsung apps.
Mi Box South
Roku Express 4K
And information technology’s like-for-like when comparing the Mi Box S to the Roku Limited 4K. Watching Netflix’due south Daredevil (4K HDR10) and blacks are inky deep, colours are rich and varied, along with high levels of sharpness and detail. If there’s a slight difference information technology’s that the Mi Box South is a
brighter than the other. Hard disk drive streaming is fine as well, from Bodyguard on Netflix to War of the Worlds on Disney+, content displayed very good particular levels.
What counts confronting the Xiaomi is the lack of dynamic HDR formats, with no Dolby Vision or HDR10+ – features other similarly priced and cheaper players take. Streaming operation tin stutter and starting a programme is not every bit fast as I’ve seen on TVs or other streamers.
Audio is decent but compare the Mi Box S’ volume levels with the Samsung’southward native app and it’s express. The Samsung registers weightier bass and more dynamic range, but the Xiaomi does sound slightly more expansive. The Roku offers a like functioning only produces bigger bass, the Xiaomi edging out at the top terminate and sounding not as well dissimilar to the Fire Television Stick in terms of definition. A satisfactory performance, but remember to turn the volume up.
Should you purchase it?
If you want satisfactory picture and sound
The Xiaomi’s performance is respectable as long equally y’all accept a capable Idiot box, only other video streamers offer the possibility of further fine-tuning with avant-garde HDR and audio back up
If you want UK catch-upward apps and more features
In light of its price, the Xiaomi isn’t bringing much to the table for UK customers as other streamers do. No dynamic HDR or immersive audio playback for the price ways it’s not great value
The Mi Box S is a solid streamer but 1 that lacks the scope of other streamers. At that place are no Uk grab-up apps onboard, no dynamic HDR formats and no back up for immersive audio; features other streamers offering at a cheaper toll.
Which ways in terms of value the Xiaomi’s price doesn’t help it. It’s upward against strong contest and doesn’t do enough to established itself as a streamer worth your cash.
How we test
We test every video streamer we review thoroughly over an extended period of fourth dimension. We use industry standard tests to compare features properly. We’ll always tell yous what we find. Nosotros never, e’er, take coin to review a product.
Find out more than virtually how we test in our ethics policy.
Tested over several weeks
Tested using different streaming apps
Y’all might similar…
Does the Mi Box S have the UK grab-up apps?
No, none of the take hold of-up apps are available on this Android streamer
United kingdom RRP
Mi Box S
95.25 x 95.25 x 16.7 MM
3840 ten 2160
HDMI 2.0a, USB two.0
Wi-Fi, Chromecast, Bluetooth 4.2
Dolby Audio, DTS 2.0, MP3, APE, FLAC
HDR stands for Loftier Dynamic Range and refers to contrast (or difference) between the brightest and darkest parts of an image. HDR content preserves details in the darkest and brightest areas of a moving-picture show, details that are often lost in old imaging standards. HDR10 is mandated to be included on all HDR TVs. It’s also supported past 4K projectors.
Posted by: Sadiyev.com