O Mi TV Stick arrived in Brazil in July 2020, through DL Eletrônicos, with the mission of competing with other basic dongles. The device of Xiaomi has integrated Chromecast, displays Full HD content, runs Android TV and has Bluetooth remote control with Google Assistant.
However, DL charges R $ 500 for this product. Is it worth paying for all this? I reviewed the Mi TV Stick in the past few days and share the following usage experience.
Review of Xiaomi Mi TV Stick on video
O Tecnoblog is a technology-independent journalistic vehicle that helps people make their next purchase decision since 2005. Our product reviews are opinionated and have no advertising intent. For this reason, we always transparently highlight the positive and negative points of each product.
No company, manufacturer or store has paid the Tecnoblog to produce this content. Our reviews are not reviewed or approved by external agents. The Mi TV Stick was provided by DL Electronics on loan. The product will be returned to the company after testing.
Kit and installation
If you still don’t know what a product like this is for, let’s go to the explanation: the Mi TV Stick is an interesting gadget for those who have a non-smart TV or who are smart, but no longer receive updates. But not only that, it is also possible to install normally on a monitor with HDMI available, to access streaming platforms for videos, audio and even play games.
In the box, in addition to the Mi TV Stick, Xiaomi sends the plug adapter, toothpick batteries, 82 cm micro USB cable to power the device and, finally, the remote control, an important accessory that Google Chromecast only won now, in 2020.
Xiaomi still gets it right by adding the power and volume buttons here. Amazon, on the other hand, did not include them in the control of the Fire TV Stick Lite and Roku decided to do the same, unfortunately.
The installation process is basically the same as that of competitors. First, I plugged the micro USB cable into the dongle and plugged the other end into the USB-A socket on my television in order to connect the device. If you don’t have an available port on your TV, just use the source that Xiaomi introduced in the box.
That done, just plug the Mi TV Stick into an HDMI port on the television and then plug it in to make the settings. As this device runs Android TV, the procedure becomes faster and easier when using your Google account at this stage. The Mi TV Stick will take advantage to connect to Wi-Fi and it works with both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz networks.
The other good news is that Xiaomi has added a controller that works via Bluetooth and not infrared, as in Roku Express. Therefore, you can place the box on the back of the TV or monitor without worry. Installation, however, can be a little more difficult if the equipment is fixed to the wall, so be aware of that.
Software and performance
The Mi TV Stick runs Android TV 9.0 and has the same interface as other TV Boxes and smart TVs from TCL, Semp and Sony. I really like the Google platform: the apps are well organized and in areas that facilitate opening quickly; they are optimized for the big screen; you have Google Assistant as a differentiator; and the configuration area is also uncomplicated.
The apps and suggested content for each platform are displayed in the center and the cool thing is that you can configure as you like, being able to add or remove applications on the main screen.
My test unit came with Netflix, Prime Video, YouTube and Google Play Movies pre-installed and 5 GB of internal memory available to download other things.
And the video streaming menu is quite complete, in addition to the services already mentioned, they are on the Google Play Store Disney +, Pluto TV, Danz, Plex, HBO Go, Telecine, Globoplay, Fox, in addition to DirecTV Go and others. However, Apple TV + is not available.
You can even open Netflix or Prime Video directly via the dedicated buttons on the remote.
In general, the Mi TV Stick performs well (not great), but has quick responses and smooth navigation. However, Amazon Fire TV Stick Lite is superior in that regard. At times, the Xiaomi product took a long time to turn on and, at times, I thought a lot to open a screen in settings, but nothing serious.
For those who enjoy games, here we have an experience similar to that of an entry phone. More complex games like Asphalt 8 even run, but with considerable delays, while Crossy Road works very well. You can even play with the Mi TV Stick controller, however if you use a Bluetooth joystick, the game ends up being better.
The Xiaomi dongle has built-in Chromecast and streaming from Netflix and YouTube worked correctly during my tests with an iPhone 11. On Android, I mirrored with a Nokia 5.3 and, as usual, static content is displayed without problems, but games always crash.
The Google Assistant can be called up at any time via the dedicated button on the controller. It is an interesting additional feature to open applications, check the temperature and ask to play music, however, sometimes, the assistant takes time to react.
Like the competitors, the Mi TV Stick plays content in Full HD at 60 frames per second and should please most users who have an old TV. If you have the Netflix Premium plan, for example, it is better to move to another device more complete with 4K, like the Mi Box S.
In audio, the Mi TV Stick features DTS and Dolby Audio support to deliver stereo surround sound. Through Bluetooth, you can connect a speaker or headset, it’s just a shame that Bluetooth is 4.2.
Xiaomi Mi TV Stick: is it worth it?
Mi TV Stick is one of the best basic dongles today, with a great interface, complete remote control and easy installation. Xiaomi only loses in the details: Bluetooth should be at least 5.0 for a more stable communication and the performance had to be a little higher to face Amazon’s Fire TV Stick Lite.
Despite this, the person who opts for the Chinese gadget most likely will not regret the investment made, as versatility is a strong point of the Mi TV Stick, which makes it stand out in relation to competitors.
The main negative point, on the other hand, is the price, if the consumer opts for DL Eletrônicos, he will have to pay R $ 500, while the Amazon product costs R $ 331 and Roku’s Express is sold for up to R $ 200. although you can already find it for less in large retailers and importers selling for an even lower price, but there is all the risk that you run when choosing this second path (such as, for example, the lack of post-sale warranty), so it’s worth analyzing well.