Xiaomi’s Mi Box has been launched as the company’s first product ever to go on sale in the US, just as was rumored weeks back. The Xiaomi Mi Box enters the lucrative US market battle ready to take on similar products like Amazon’s Fire TV, Apple TV and Roku’s wide range of media players. The Mi Box streaming device has been tipped by Xiaomi’s VP, Hugo Barra as the best, most technically advanced streaming box money can buy and it carries a cheap price tag of just $69.
Xiaomi has continued its renowned reputation of offering well studded devices for ultra cheap price tags with the Mi Box and for $69, users get a host of features that the Mi Box offers. The Mi Box comes in a smallish size just about that of a pocket wallet with some more weight, and is colored in matte black with ports for HDMI , USBB, audio and power at the back. What could be said to be the main attraction on the device is its ability to stream 4K video at 60 frames per seconds (fps), something Apple TV cannot do. This 4K streaming ability places the device at par with Amazon TV box and Roku.
On the software end, the Mi Box runs Android TV which is reputed as having one of the better user interfaces and allows users to search universally for titles across multiple services. There is also the cool voice interaction feature via the tiny remote controls it comes with. In addition, the device comes with support for Google Cast which means it can function for the same purpose as Chromecast. Still on the software, the Xiaomi Mi Box enters the US pre-installed with live-TV service Sling TV. Mi Box owners get the added incentive of being able to check out the service for free for just the first day, even without inputting credit-card info. After that, they can begin the normal seven-day trial, and there’s also a $50 coupon for the Sling in the box if they choose to subscribe.
On the hardware terrain, the Xiaomi Mi Box packs inside it 2GB of RAM, 8GB of built-in storage, and has support for Dolby Digital Plus audio playback, DTS Surround Sound and is HDMI 2.0 compatible. The Mi box is powered by a quad-core ARM processor and a Mali 450 GPU. It comes with a Bluetooth voice remote and Xiaomi had earlier hinted the box will also work with a Mi Game controller for those who want to enjoy Android games on a large screen. The controller will likely be sold separately, though.
For all these, Xiaomi has pegged the price of the Mi Box at $69, far cheaper than all other comparable box in the US market that streams 4K video. Xiaomi has officially entered into retail partnership with Walmart who will sell the Box in close to 4,000 of its stores across the US. The device will likely be available for purchase by the end of the week.