Where do I start with the review of the 55-inch Mi TV 4X Pro? What do I say that could actually make your purchase decision easier?
After intense deliberation, I decided to it this way – I replaced the TV at my house with the new Mi TV 4X Pro. It is a fairly large budget 40-inch Full HD InFocus television that I picked up from Flipkart around three years ago. In fact, I purchased it purely for the quality of the display panel, which was attested by a very proficient TV reviewer and friend from the industry – Nachiket Mhatre. And true to his review, I really like my InFocus TV despite its cheap quality build and threadbare features.
That said, the Mi TV 4X Pro was a definite step up for me – at least on paper. And, this was the first time I was actually using a 4K TV…heck, 4K anything…in my life. So, I was excited.
In this review of the Mi TV 4X Pro, I will try to highlight my very personal account of using the TV for my use-case, which could mirror the use case for a lot of folks. And especially, first-time big screen TV buyers.
Mi TV 4X Pro: design, initial setup, and connectivity options
Like most TVs go, you can either wall mount the Mi TV 4X Pro or you can prop it up on a TV display unit. I propped up the Mi TV 4X Pro on a table, so I don’t know the experience of actual wall mounting. However, I fitted the screws and the stand on myself, and it was a fairly straightforward process. I like the fact that the screws, screw in tightly and feel secure. That said, the two outward-facing feet supporting the TV are not strong enough to withstand the weight of the unit. It keeps wobbling and that gets scary, especially since my TV display unit is pretty short.
Anyway, the TV itself looks pretty decent. It is not as slim as the previous edition Mi TV 4 Pro, but it looks good nonetheless. The grey plastic bezels are also slightly thicker but I am not really complaining, considering it is a massive 55-inch panel. But, I did notice that the plastic display flexes easily and that doesn’t inspire confidence in the build quality. It is not as slim as the previous edition Mi TV 4 Pro either.
Moving on, I had three external HDMI sources to connect to the TV. And thankfully, the Mi TV 4X Pro comes with three ports, which helps solve the purpose. So, I connected my PS4, the Apple TV, and my Tata Sky set-top box to the TV. By the way, one of the HDMI ports also supports HDMI ARC (Audio Return Channel). This is one of the most underrated features of the HDMI standard. With HDMI ARC and CEC, I was able to use the Mi TV 4X Pro’s bundled remote with my Apple TV. You can do the same with a Fire TV Stick if you have one. It doesn’t work with a set top box, though.
Moving on, apart from HDMI on the left, you also get two USB-A ports on the same side. There are more ports inside a crevice on the back side panel, which has the AV ports, S/PDIF out, and an Ethernet port for direct LAN connectivity. While all these are useful, I missed the lack of a 3.5mm jack. Forget phones, looks like even TVs are losing the jack now. Also, I have to mention this, I could easily connect all the wires to the ports because my TV was placed on the table top. If you wall mount it, man it is going to be super tough to reach the ports because the ports are placed directly in the center. In comparison, the iFFALCON TV has the connectivity ports at one of the corners, making it very easy to reach.
Mi TV 4X Pro: hardware and software
The Mi TV 4X Pro primarily runs Android TV based on Android 8.1 Oreo. And yes, Patchwall continues to exist in the form of a separate launcher. Incidentally, the TV keeps throwing up prompts asking you to set Patchwall as the default launcher. I am not really a fan of Patchwall’s UI. It is just a serious of thumbnails that are arranged one after the other. I must laud the fact that Xiaomi has tied up with so many services, but it is really difficult to actually search for each individual service. Even Android TV on the Mi TV 4X Pro doesn’t have all the apps on the Play Store – for example Prime and Netflix – because of some hurdle with DRM licensing.
Anyway, the hardware inside the Mi TV 4X Pro Amlogic Cortex A53 quad-core with Mali 450 GPU. It has 2GB of RAM and 8GB of eMMC internal storage. These specs are enough to keep the TV running smoothly. I encountered no lags as such but I am convinced that the Android TV UI is not coded in 4K, nor is Patchwall. And, it doesn’t look very crisp. In fact, my 1080p UI on the Apple TV looks much crisper. I think that Xiaomi needs to look at this aspect of the UI because it is what reels people into the whole ecosystem. The UI must look crisp and stunning.
Also, there are a couple of annoyances in the hardware and the software that I want to point out:
- The TV Remote doesn’t have a mute button. Really now?
- You can’t change the picture quality or sound quality or any settings for that matter without getting out of the video you are watching. Essentially, you can’t do it on the fly. It is doubly annoying when you are on a different HDMI channel with the Apple TV.
As for the rest of the software, for first-time users, it is going to be fine. I am spoiled by the fluidity of the Apple TV and that is entirely my fault really.
Mi TV 4X Pro: picture quality and sound quality
Apparently, the Mi TV 4X Pro’s display panel is of two types – VA or IPS. Xiaomi doesn’t tell you which one you are getting explicitly. So, it is a lottery of sorts. I figured out that my review unit has an IPS panel. The problem with IPS is that the blacks are more like deep greys. And, my unit was extremely reflective under direct sunlight or any harsh light. This is the case with most TVs though, so I am not really worried about it. Also, my TV is definitely not placed in the right position. I had to change to thicker curtains in my hall to make it darker during the day.
Before I talk about the picture quality, I want to talk about the sound performance from the 20W speakers. They are…how do I put it subtly…as bad as Vennu Mallesh’s new single. He croaks, so do the speakers on the Mi TV 4X Pro. But to be fair, most TV speakers these days sound like Vennu Mallesh and Dhinchak Pooja combined. So yeah, buy a better pair of speakers. Even something like the Mi Soundbar (review) should elevate your experience by 100x. Otherwise, you are subjecting yourself to some torturous sound.
Now, coming to the panel itself; my only source of 4K rips I sourced from friends and 4K videos on the YouTube app on Android TV. The TV also offers support for HDR10 but not Dolby Vision. While testing, the one video I generally play on YouTube is the Morocco 8K footage. Unfortunately, while playing this video using Android TV’s YouTube app, there was no option to trigger the HDR setting. Yes, the clip has plenty of pixels on the screen but lacked the dynamic range enhancements. Moreover, I felt that the colours were not accurate enough.
I did check an HDR movie using my MacBook Pro connected using HDMI. It looked good but since the display doesn’t get too bright, the HDR effect doesn’t look very stunning. Unfortunately, I don’t have a Spyder Colorimeter to check the colour accuracy and other details. I would suggest checking Prasad Naik’s review on GSMArena for all the technical inaccuracies. It is eye opening really.
But the one thing that the Mi TV 4X Pro does right is playing back regular HD content. When I switched on my 3rd Gen Apple TV – which tops out at FHD by the way – I was honestly surprised at the excellent picture quality. The upscaling was pretty good. So, the Mi TV 4X Pro is a great TV for watching FHD content if you watch HD channels on your set top box. SD content doesn’t look good, obviously. I mean I don’t even have to tell you that.
Overall though, I believe the reproduction of HDR and the picture quality, on the whole, could’ve been better.
Should you buy the Mi TV 4X Pro?
The asking for the Mi TV 4X Pro is Rs 39,999 but it is available only in the flash sale model. At this price, there are very few 4K TVs available in the market, let alone that is 55-inches big and supports HDR. But the one TV that you must look as an alternative is TCL’s iFFALCON TV, which comes at the same price with similar features. But the advantages that the iFFALCON TV has over Xiaomi’s TV is that it has an extra HDMI port and support from Netflix from the Play Store, right out of the box.
You can also go for a more entrenched brand like Samsung that makes incredible quality panels. Samsung has a couple of non-smart 40-inch Full HD TVs in this price range. If you can spend some more on a Fire TV Stick or a Chromecast, something like this could also interest you purely for the great picture quality. But digging a little deeper, I landed upon this gem of a deal. You can now buy a 55-inch 4K HDR LG TV for as low as Rs 70,000! Yes, it is still almost double the price of the Mi TV 4X Pro. But let’s not forget that you get an incredible picture quality and stunning 4K playback directly from LG’s UI. It is a premium product at a great price and the increase in the budget might be worth it.
All in all, the Mi TV 4X Pro is a great, affordable purchase. Just don’t expect the visuals to blow you away or anything.