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Xiaomi Mi LED TV 4A PRO review: Value-for-money smart TV at Rs 29,999

Source: Hindustan Times

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Product name: Mi LED TV 4A PRO
Brand: Xiaomi
Key specs: Full HD display, 64-bit Amlogic Cortex A53 quad-core SoC, Mali-450 MP3 GPU, 2GB DDR RAM, 8GB eMMC built-in storage.
Rating: 4/5

Xiaomi may be a newcomer in the Indian TV market but it’s not an unfamiliar name in the country. Over the years Xiaomi has already built a strong portfolio in the smartphone category, especially the budget segment. Xiaomi’s approach to the smart TV segment hasn’t been a lot different from its smartphone strategy – bundling high-end specifications at competitive prices.

Earlier this year Xiaomi launched Mi LED Smart TV 4 series in India. Priced around Rs 40,000, Mi LED Smart TV 4 set a new trend of ‘affordable’ smart TVs in India that did not compromise on quality or specifications. Kodak, Thomson and Vu are some of the top names trying to replicate the same. Xiaomi, with its popularity in smartphone segment, enjoys an edge over the competition.

Xiaomi last month introduced newer smart TV models – Mi LED TV 4C PRO (32-inch), Mi LED TV 4A PRO (49-inch), and Mi LED TV 4 PRO (55-inch). The three TVs are priced at Rs 14,999, Rs 29,999, and Rs 49,999. We have been using the Mi LED TV 4A PRO (49-inch) for quite some time. The smart TV is not really the top-tier TV from Xiaomi but packs powerful set of specifications and high resolution display.

Xiaomi Mi LED TV 4A Pro: Full specifications
Xiaomi Mi LED TV 4A Pro comes with a 49-inch LED display with full HD support, HDR and 178-degree wide-angle and 60Hz refresh rate.

The smart TV runs on 64-bit Amlogic Cortex A53 quad-core processor with Mali-450 MP3 GPU, 2GB DDR RAM, and 8GB eMMC built-in storage. On the software side, it runs both custom PatchWall OS and Android TV.

For connectivity, Xiaomi Mi LED TV 4A Pro supports 2.4GHz Wi-Fi, USB 2.0 (x2), HDMI (x3, 1 ARC), AV, earphone out, S/PDIF out, and Ethernet. For audio, the smart TV supports two 10W speakers.

The box contains the monitor, two base stands, remote control, user manual, and five screws.

Back panel of Xiaomi’s new smart TV (HT Photo)

Xiaomi Mi LED TV 4A Pro: Experience
After having grown accustomed to Mi LED Smart TV 4 for quite some time, I’ve realised the greatest strength of Xiaomi’s TV isn’t the hardware but the OS and content on top of it. Not that there are not other smart TVs doing the same, but Xiaomi has built a big catalogue of content from third-party players like Eros Now, Hotstar and others.

There are two things that set Xiaomi’s Mi LED Smart TV 4A Pro apart from the rest. First, the custom PatchWall OS is more simplified and now has better content catalogue. It features content from Hotstar, Voot, Sony LIV, Hungama Play, Viu, AALTBalaji, and TVF. There’s no Netflix for now, but Xiaomi will soon add Jio Cinema, Hooq, Epic ON and Amazon Prime Video.

Second is the ability to run Android. The dual-mode brings native support for apps like YouTube and a range of Google and Android TV-compatible applications. The built-in Chromecast also solves the problem of mirroring content on the screen.

Good thing is Xiaomi doesn’t force PatchWall on you as the home screen gives the option to switch to Android or the custom OS. The Android UI is as good as you get on any other smart TV. PatchWall OS, however, hasn’t changed much but has a simplified look. It still furnishes content from different platforms on the home screen. And you can watch Live TV as well.

The software experience, in general, has been good. I faced issues with audio when trying to run Netflix via Amazon Fire TV stick. Turns out, I needed to switch off the Dolby Digital Plus off from the Settings (of the dongle). Perhaps, Xiaomi can fix the problem in the next software update.

This brings us to the biggest and most important change in the TV – voice support. The new Xiaomi TV has a dedicated voice button which launches Google Assistant and lets you browse through the catalogue. It also supports voice search for live TV. That said, the remote looks the same with minimal buttons to navigate, making other smart TV remotes unnecessarily big and cluttered.

A side by side comparison between Xiaomi’s old (L) and new (R) remotes (HT Photo)

As far as the display quality goes, Xiaomi Mi LED Smart TV 4A Pro doesn’t deliver the best of the quality as resolution peaks up to full HD. But looking at the price point, the quality isn’t really that bad. Watching high resolution content including offline and online via streaming platforms is pretty much fine. The viewing angles are near satisfactory. But of course colours and especially contrast ratio could have been much better. The audio quality doesn’t really blow your mind. But this is a big challenge in most of the modern smart or LED TVs.

Another important thing to note about the Xiaomi Mi LED Smart TV 4A is that it isn’t the slimmest TV like Xiaomi Mi LED Smart TV 4. It has a thicker back panel and relatively wider stands at the base.

Verdict,
Xiaomi Mi LED Smart TV 4A Pro is a value-for-money smart TV with better than average display quality. The strength of the TV, however, is its operating system which now is accompanied by the Android TV. With new voice-enabled remote, dual OS windows, and a wide range of content from streaming platforms, Xiaomi Mi LED Smart TV 4A is definitely worth considering.

Bonus
If you are looking for a slightly bigger panel and better resolution, you may consider KODAK 4K 50UHDXSMART TV. Priced at Rs 34,999, the TV offers 3840 x 2160 pixels resolution, two 10W speakers. The software isn’t really as smooth and dynamic as Mi LED Smart TV 4A, but it does have better viewing angles, and with dongles like Amazon Fire TV stick, you can cover the missing content catalogue part.