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Xiaomi Mi TV Stick Review - Brings Android TV to old TVs

by 4. November 2020

Streaming sticks are the ideal solution for providing older televisions with a subsequent Smart TV upgrade. The Xiaomi Mi TV Stick is a particularly inexpensive stick that is particularly promising with Android TV and integrated Chromecast function.

In the following test, we took a closer look at the smart streaming solution and also compared it directly with the competition from Amazon - the Fire TV Stick.

Overview
Manufacturer/Model

Xiaomi

Product

Xiaomi Mi TV Stick 1080p

Specifications

Processor and memory
CPU: Amlogic S805Y
RAM: 1GB DDR3
Internal memory: 8GB
Memory extension: no

Connections
HDMI: 1x HDMI 2.0
USB: 1x micro USB (power)

connectivity
WiFi: Dual Band AC (802.11a / b / g / n / ac)
Bluetooth: Standard 4.2

Video - Audio
Video resolution: up to 1080p 60fps
Video codecs: VP9-10, H.265, H.264, VC-1, MPEG1 / 2/4 and Real8 / 9/10
Video formats: RM, MOV, VOB, AVI, MKV, TS and MP4

Audiocodecs: DOLBY, DTS
Audio formats: MP3, AAC, FLAC, OGG

other
OS: Android TV 9
Kodi: Yes
Size: 9.24 x 3.20 x 1.52 cm
Weight: 18.5g

Test: Xiaomi Mi TV Stick

Xiaomi has arrived on the European market and in mid-July 2020 as part of the "Xiaomi Ecosystem Product Launch" presented many new products. The Chinese electronics giant has the specially for the western market Xiaomi Mi TV Stick featured in the Price range up to 40 euros competes.

Xiaomi Mi TV Stick with packaging

Design and workmanship

The design of a streaming stick usually doesn't play a big role, because after unpacking it usually disappears right behind the television. In the case of the Xiaomi TV Stick, however, we have to go into more detail about the design. Especially when it comes to the case.

Xiaomi Mi TV Stick side with Micro USB

With 15 millimeters the Xiaomi Mi TV Stick is comparatively thick. At the same time the HDMI connector is with 6 millimeters got a little short. Connector lengths of 8 millimeters are common. Problems can arise depending on how close the TV's HDMI inputs are to one another or how far the connections protrude into the housing. For the test, the stick was connected to a Samsung and a Philips television. On the Philips television, the HDMI connections were so close to the edge of the housing that the stick only fit in the middle entrance. On the Samsung TV, the stick did not protrude deep enough into the housing that there were contact problems.

Xiaomi Mi TV Stick HDMI connector

Xiaomi is aware of the problem and has adjusted the scope of delivery accordingly. The What's in the box our test device, which we received at the beginning of October, now also includes a HDMI extension cable, although it is not listed as part of the scope of delivery. This cable was not included with the release version!

Xiaomi Mi TV Stick scope of delivery

The Remote Controlwhich, in contrast to the release version, rattles less and is provided with pleasant rubberized keys instead of hard plastic keys. The remote control of the Xiaomi Mi TV Stick largely corresponds to the remote control of the Xiaomi Mi Box S. The "Live" button was replaced by a "Prime Video" button replaced and the logo of the voice assistant adapted to the new Google Assistant. Here both remote controls side by side:

Compare Xiaomi Mi TV Stick remote control with Xiaomi Mi Box S remote control

Left: Xiaomi Mi TV Stick remote control / Right: Xiaomi Mi Box S remote control

By the way, that enables HDMI-CEC Compatibility also a control of the stick with the TV remote control. However, the special or quick access buttons (Netflix, Prime & Google Assistant) that cannot be transferred to the TV remote control are also lost.

Hardware

The stick is based on one Amlogic S805Y System-on-Chip (SoC)that was specially designed for inexpensive streaming sticks. Although the S805Y SoC is one of the newer Amlogic chip solutions, it is largely based on the 5-year-old Amlogic S905 series. Form the CPU 4 Cortex-A53 processor cores with maximum 1.5 GHz clock rate. For graphical calculations there is one Mali-450 GPU responsible.

SoCS805YS805XS905DS905X
CPU4x Cortex-A53
1.5 GHz
4x Cortex-A53
1.2 GHz
4x Cortex-A53
1.5 GHz
4x Cortex-A53
1.5 GHz
GPUMali-450 750 MHzMali-450 650 MHzMali-450 750 MHzMali-450 750 MHz
DDRDDR3 / 4, LPDDR3 Max 3GBDDR3 / 4 Max 1GBDDR3 / 4, LPDDR3 Max 3GBDDR3 / 4, LPDDR2 / 3 Max 3GB
Video Dec.HEVC / VP9 1080p60 10bitHEVC / VP9 1080p60 10bitHEVC / VP9 4k60 10bitHEVC / VP9 4k60 10bit
HDRHDR10 / HLGHDR10 / HLGHDR10 / HLGHDR10 / HLG
outputHDMI2.0, HDCP2.2, TFHDMI2.0, HDCP2.2HDMI2.0, HDCP2.2, TFHDMI2.0, HDCP2.2

The memory of the Xiaomi TV Stick is divided into one 1GB memory and one 8GB data store, of which almost half is already occupied by the system. USB OTG for connecting external data carriers is not supported. Stand for wireless connections Dual-AC WLAN (2.4 / 5 GHz) and Bluetooth 4.2 ready.

Xiaomi Mi TV Stick in a practical test

Facility

The Xiaomi TV Stick is quick to set up. The commissioning does not differ from other Android TV products. The remote control must be paired at the beginning. Then choose the language or region and follow the next steps.

Android TV quick setup

For a particularly simple connection establishment, the "Google quick setup" can be used. The stick connects to the smartphone and allows setup directly from the smartphone. Unfortunately, the Google quick setup did not work in the test. Despite the connection, the stick was not recognized by the Google app. Instead, the WLAN password had to be entered manually using the remote control. In the further course of the setup, you can still make an app selection, set up the voice assistant and you will receive initial information about the Android TV functions.

Android TV user interface

Android TV homescreen

After setting up, you end up in the tidy one Android TV 9 User interface. Whether and when the Xiaomi Mi TV Stick will be provided with an update to Android TV 11 is not yet known - as of October 2020.

The user interface is clear according to tiling built up. Apps can be added to the quick selection and sorted as required. Favorites can be displayed on the home screen. A preview allows you to quickly switch to personalized content.

Android TV App Drawer

The user interface did not always react smoothly in the practical test. When switching between the apps, loading times can be longer and the tiles are not always set up straight away. Occasionally stuttering can occur when navigating through the user interface. Despite these performance weaknesses, the Mi TV Stick still delivers a good Android TV overall picture.

Google Play Store

One reason to choose Android TV is that Google Play Store. This is comparable to the Play Store on Android smartphones and enables the installation of additional apps. The selection is wide and pretty much everyone Streaming providers (e.g. Netflix, Disney Plus, Prime Video, DAZN and others) is represented with a suitable app. There are also numerous Media players (e.g. Kodi, Plex, VLC), widgets and tools ready for download.

Android TV Google Play Store

Who the stick with Sky Go would like to use looks into the tube. The app is not available in the Play Store. Sky Go can be transferred via Google Cast from the PC web browser to the stick via a detour.

G

The Xiaomi Mi TV Stick is G Compatible and functionally comparable to a Google Chromecast. Videos, pictures and music can be streamed from a smartphone, tablet or PC to the television with just one click.

Xiaomi Mi TV Stick with remote control

Google Assistant

The Google Assistant built into Android TV responds to "Ok Google" and helps with finding films and other content. The remote control of the Xiaomi Mi TV Stick has its own Google Assistant button, which calls up the voice assistant at the push of a button. Questions and commands are entered directly into the Microphone the remote control.

Video playback and streaming

Strictly speaking, the Xiaomi TV Stick is a stripped down one Xiaomi Mi Box S. Instead of high-resolution 4K video playback, the stick is on Full HD (1080p60) limited.

Xiaomi Mi TV Stick DRM certificates

The Xiaomi Mi TV Stick is Widevine L1, ClearKey and PlayReady DRM certified.

The playback was consistently smooth in the test. It doesn't matter whether you stream via a streaming provider or transmit a video via Google Cast. The Video formats RM, MOV, VOB, AVI, MKV, TS and MP4And the Video codecs VP9-10, H.265, H.264, VC-1, MPEG1 / 2/4 and Real8 / 9/10. The playback of High Dynamic Range (HDR) Content was not (yet) possible at the time of the test, although the "color depth" item is already stored in the settings.

Android TV settings

Kodi can be installed and run on the stick. However, since no external data storage device can be connected, the only option is to stream wirelessly via WLAN. However, an extensive media library quickly makes the stick sweat. They achieved WiFi speeds are perfectly sufficient for 1080p60 transmissions.

Multi-channel audio can be classified as PCM or source-coded in the form of Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital Plus, DTS and AAC loop through. That also works satisfactorily. However, HD audio is not supported.

Xiaomi Mi TV Stick vs. Amazon Fire TV Stick

There is no clear winner in the comparison between the Xiaomi Mi TV Stick and the Amazon Fire TV Stick. Both streaming solutions score points in different places. The Fire TV Stick is technically somewhat more up-to-date. Instead of Bluetooth 4.2, the Fire TV Stick already offers Bluetooth 5.0, HDR10 + is supported and an external data carrier can be connected with a suitable USB-OTG adapter.

ModelXiaomi Mi TV StickXiaomi Mi Box SAmazon Fire TV Stick (Lite)Amazon Fire TV Stick (3rd Gen)
OSAndroid TV 9Android TV 9Fire OS 7Fire OS 7
SoCAmlogic S805YAmlogic S905XMediaTek MT8695DMediaTek MT8695
CPU4x Cortex-A53
1.5 GHz
4x Cortex-A53
2.0 GHz
4x Cortex-A53
1.7 GHz
4x Cortex-A53
1.7 GHz
GPUMali-450 750 MHzMali-450 750 MHzIMG PowerVR GE8300IMG PowerVR GE8300
DDR1GB DDR32GB DDR31GB DDR41GB DDR4
data storage8GB eMMC8GB eMMC8GB eMMC8GB eMMC
Video Dec.HEVC / VP9 1080p60 10bitHEVC / VP9 4k60 10bitHEVC / VP9 1080p60 10bitHEVC / VP9 1080p60 10bit
HDRHDR10 / HLGHDR10 / HLGHDR10 / HDR10 + / HLGHDR10 / HDR10 + / HLG
Audio PT.PCM, DD, DD +, DTSPCM, DD, DD +, DTSPCM, DD, DD +, DA, DTS (Va)PCM, DD, DD +, DA, DTS (Va)
outputHDMI2.0, HDCP2.2HDMI2.0a, HDCP2.2HDMI2.0, HDCP2.2HDMI2.0, HDCP2.2
WiFi802.11b / g / n / ac802.11b / g / n / ac802.11b / g / n / ac802.11b / g / n / ac
BluetoothBluetooth 4.2Bluetooth 4.2Bluetooth 5.0Bluetooth 5.0

On the software side, Android TV offers more options than Fire OS. A big plus point for Android TV is the Google Cast function, with which apps, films and music can be transferred to the TV with just one click. Again, the strong Prime ecosystem speaks for Fire OS. For example, Amazon's Alexa voice assistant is a step ahead of the Google Assistant.

Price Comparison

Would you like to know where you can buy the Xiaomi Mi TV Stick? In our price comparison we list the current offers of the most popular shops. All prices are checked and updated several times a day. Should a shop appear several times, it concerns the different warehouses of the dealer.

Price history

Current prices

eBay
1-5 working days
28,99€
Notebook cheaper
1-5 working days
36,90€
Amazon
1-5 working days
36,99€
Alternate
1-5 working days
39,99€
Edwaybuy
1-5 working days
39,99€

Price too high? Use our price alarm clock!

Prices last updated on: 25. November 2020 12: 42

Final Words

rating
Positive

Tidy Android TV
Google Cast function
Google Play Store
Remote control with voice control
Smooth 1080p video streaming
Supports many streaming providers
Works with Kodi
Stable WiFi

Negative

Short HDMI connector
Thick case
No USB OTG
Limited performance

First impression
8.0
8.5
application
7.5
8.5
Design
5.0
8.5
Performance
7.0
8.0
User Interface
9.0
9.5
usability
9.0
9.0
Summary

Is the Xiaomi Mi TV Stick a recommended streaming solution? Absolutely! If you want to turn your old FHD TV into a Smart TV, Xiaomi is in good hands. The Android TV user interface supports most streaming providers and offers an easy way to transfer films, music and apps to the stick via Google Cast.

Nevertheless, the Xiaomi TV Stick remains an inexpensive entry-level solution. Users with higher demands - be it because of extensive media libraries, 4K streaming or games - the stick's performance does not do justice. Here we recommend going towards the TV box.

7.6
Our rating
8.7
user Rating
1 rating
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