A few days back, Xiaomi launched a couple of new smart TVs and a soundbar. While I wasn’t too impressed with the soundbar, their new 55-inch TV seems to be a different story altogether. Thought it doesn’t have a striking design like its predecessor (or its slim sibling, to be more accurate), and seemed like any other smart TV in this segment, once I put it through the grind, I was fairly impressed with what it offered in this segment.
So let’s dive deeper and get to know the Mi TV 4X Pro 55 better.
Mi LED TV 4X Pro 55 Build and Design: 7/10
Xiaomi has sacrificed a bit of style for affordability in the Mi TV 4X Pro as compared to the Mi TV 4 Pro. While it looks fairly similar from the front, you do not get the jaw-dropping 4.9 mm super slim screen here as on the Mi TV 4 Pro. Each of the side bezels are also half a centimetre thicker. But that is pretty much what you will sacrifice, and in exchange, you will save Rs 10,000 flat. That’s right; so I don’t see too many people complaining as it is more than a fair tradeoff. Despite the extra bulk, the Mi TV 4X Pro doesn’t look bad at all, though there is no striking aesthetic to sing hymns about.
The bezels are still fairly narrow and the extra screen thickness actually lends a bit of solidity to the build. The bottom bezel bears the company logo along with a power LED and a hidden power button below it. More on those two a little later. The TV can be wall-mounted or placed on a desk using the bundled stands. Despite the thicker footprint, this TV is actually a good 4.5 kg lighter than the Mi TV 4 Pro. The plastic stands have a skid-proof base and do a decent job of holding the TV in place. There is a slight wobble though when you tap the screen, but nothing alarming and there were no mishaps during the course of my testing.
All the ports are placed around the centre module at the back; USB and HDMI ports along the side and the rest below. While that wouldn’t have been a problem on a 32 or 40-inch TV, the designers seem to have forgotten that this is a 55-inch screen and the ports are literally a foot and half (18 inches) away from the edge of the screen. Reaching them would be a nightmare if you choose to wall mount it. Unless you opt for a rotating mount, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to plug the HDMI cables and USB extension cables in the respective ports before you wall mount the TV. This may sound stupid but you will thank me later.
Mi LED TV 4X Pro 55 Features: 8/10
The Mi TV 4X Pro has a 55-inch Ultra HD (4K) panel with a resolution of 3840 x 2160 pixels and HDR10 compliance. The company doesn’t specify the panel type but they are known to use IPS as well as VA panels for the same model in different batches. You never know which one you may get. On close observation, I seemed to have received one with a VA panel for review. There is an improvement in the response time as compared to the Mi TV 4 Pro with this model sporting a 6.5 ms figure as opposed to 8 ms. A pair of stereo speakers manages to deliver 20 Watts RMS audio output, a 4 Watts increment over the previous model.
Like most Xiaomi TVs, the 4X Pro is also powered by a 64-bit Amlogic CPU with four Cortex A53 cores, has 2 GB RAM and 8 GB of internal storage, a chunk of which is taken up by the OS. The specs are decent enough and there was no noticeable lag during my testing. Since the TV has built-in Chromecast, it lets you cast videos from supported apps like YouTube, Hotstar, Sony LIV and many more. However, the same cannot be said about Netflix. I will elaborate further in the performance section.
The company has opted for a minimalistic wireless remote control with this TV, but it can accept voice commands and lets you use Google Voice Search feature. Inexplicably, they haven’t bundled a pair of AAA batteries to power them. After you put batteries in the remote and before you start using it, you need to sync it with the TV by keeping the remote a few inches away and pressing the specified keys. The remote literally has just a dozen buttons with two major absentees — a mute button and a shortcut to settings. Lack of these two buttons does hamper the overall experience. I can’t remember any other TV brand that skips those keys on their remote control. Also, the voice command key and the power button are placed close to each other. I accidentally switched off the TV a few times when trying to bring up the Google Assistant. That can be quite frustrating.
Mi LED TV 4X Pro 55 Connectivity and User Interface: 8/10
You get a decent spread of connectivity options here. There are 3x HDMI ports, 2x USB ports, one RJ45 LAN port, one A/V in and a SPDIF out. One of the HDMI ports also supports ARC. There is no optical audio out here, but more critically no coaxial A/V out or a 3.5 mm headphone jack either. That means you cannot use any standard speaker with this TV. You need find one with SPDIF input or HDMI ARC support. However, wireless Bluetooth speakers or headphones can be used with this TV as it has Bluetooth 4.2 LE built-in. Speaking of wireless connectivity, the Mi TV 4X Pro can latch on to 2.4 GHz as well as 5 GHz Wi-Fi networks.
Being an Android TV, it runs Android 8.0 Oreo with stock UI and has Google Play Store pre-installed along with a bunch of Google apps. Yes, there is Chromecast built-in. Despite the presence of Xiaomi’s PatchWall interface, the TV boots up with the default Android launcher.
PatchWall is now an app which users can launch if and when they wish to and can also choose it as their default launcher if they like it. Empowering the user with this choice is a great decision on Xiaomi’s part. The remote has a shortcut to bring up PatchWall but I would have happily traded it for a mute or settings button.
Mi LED TV 4X Pro 55 Picture Quality: 8.5/10
Moving on to the most important aspect of a TV, its picture quality. That’s one area where this TV excels. As you know by now, this is a 4K TV, and going by my past experience with other 4K TVs, they seem to do well only when fed 4K content. Thankfully, that’s not the case with the Xiaomi Mi TV 4X Pro. Ultra HD videos look excellent on this TV but so do 1080p Full HD videos. But that’s not it, even 720p videos scale well and look quite impressive on this screen with a lot of finer detail clearly visible. Anything with a resolution lower than that tends to fade away but is still watchable if you view it from 12 feet away or more. 11 to 12 feet is the ideal viewing distance for a 55-inch TV.
Coming back to 4K videos, the picture looks sharp and the colour reproduction is impressive. Colours feel natural in most cases but at times they feel a bit blown out and unnaturally vibrant. The latter was mostly observed in our test videos with HDR. Though the company claims that this TV is HDR10 compliant, it doesn’t work all that great here. Its HDR performance is nowhere in the league of a Samsung or a Sony, but then, you won’t find a single 55-inch smart TV from either of those brands anywhere close to the selling price of the 4X Pro. However, the quality of the panel is quite good and so is the overall contrast. HDR or no HDR, it managed to display a fair amount of detail in darker areas in high contrast scenes in some of our test videos. That is where this TV stands out when compared to most other TVs in this price bracket.
This TV does offer you a few picture presets and a handful of colour adjustments. But they are buried too deep into the settings. In other words, you cannot access or adjust the picture settings while you are watching a video. You have to come out of the app, go to Android settings and tweak them from there in isolation. That doesn’t give you a real-time idea about how it impacts the picture quality. There’s too much of trial and error and hard work involved for an average user to bother about. I hope Xiaomi addresses that in a future software update.
Mi LED TV 4X Pro 55 Audio Quality: 7/10
The audio output is nothing to write home about. As I mentioned earlier, the TV has a pair of stereo speakers that deliver a total output of 20 Watts RMS. At best, they are par for the course for an average flat screen TV, but nothing spectacular. The sound clarity is decent but it isn't all that loud and of course, there’s not much bass either. The output is more than decent for day to day TV viewing experience but not good enough if you are looking to stream Full HD and 4K content on this. Well, that’s why you would want to buy this TV in the first place, right?
Sound is an integral part of high-res videos and hence I would suggest plugging a good soundbar in one of its audio out ports. Again, you will need to buy one with a SPDIF or HDMI ARC input. Yes, you can sync it over Bluetooth too, but the audio quality won’t be the same as the other two.
Mi LED TV 4X Pro 55 Performance: 8/10
This TV can give you a scare if you don’t read the manual, or should I say the instructions leaflet. When you switch on the TV from the mains for the first time, the red power LED comes on and goes off in 5 seconds and the remote doesn’t work either. One can easily think of it as a defective piece. But after you read the instructions, you will know that it needs to be switched on using the hidden button on the bottom bezel. Post that, you sync the remote with the TV and then you are good to go. This only needs to be done the first time. It takes about 50 seconds to boot up. And it takes more or less the same amount of time to come on every time you switch it off and on from the remote control. That’s standard for most smart TVs. But the standby feature on the new iFFALCON TVs where the TV would come back on in 3 seconds from standby mode has spoilt me. I hope every smart TV manufacturer implements that.
Video file format support through USB is excellent and it played every file with various codecs I threw at it smoothly through its default player, including 4K videos. However, the default player does not support subtitles and a few audio formats. It’s not a deal breaker as you can always install a different player like VLC from the Google Play Store that takes care of those issues. You can control the playback using the bundled remote in the default player as well any other player that you install.
Being an Android TV, there is no Amazon Prime Videos app and we cannot blame Xiaomi for it. But getting it certified by Netflix is Xiaomi’s responsibility and absence of Netflix compatibility sticks out like a sore thumb. Support for the same is long overdue on their TVs and things seem to be in a limbo. To make matters worse, you can’t even cast it on this TV from your phone despite the presence of built-in Chromecast. That is unusual and needs to be fixed at the earliest. The casting issue was limited only to Netflix and it worked fine for YouTube and some other services that I tried.
Barring that I had very little to complain about and I was happy with the overall performance of the Mi TV 4X Pro, especially given its price tag.
Mi LED TV 4X Pro 55 Verdict and Price in India
The Mi LED TV 4X Pro 55 can be purchased on Flipkart or Mi official website in the weekly flash sale (sigh!) for Rs 39,999 with a one year warranty and an additional one year cover for the panel. Yes, the TV has a few shortcomings but the smart TV category, in general, is still fairly new and no TV is perfect yet.
At that price point though, its picture quality flattens the competition and you get a proper Android TV with a large 55-inch Ultra HD panel, Chromecast built-in and thankfully PatchWall is not thrust down your throat.
After weighing all its pros and cons, I can safely say that this is arguably the best smart TV one can buy under Rs 40,000 in India currently. If Xiaomi can fix some of its issues soon, it can be a runaway hit.