Xiaomi TV Stick 4K review: A compact and feature-loaded streaming stick

Xiaomi’s TV Stick 4K is a good option in terms of audio and video capabilities


Xiaomi is one of the more popular brands when it comes to smartphones and smart TVs, but the company also makes smart speakers, Bluetooth accessories and smart TV stick/box. They have recently launched the new Xiaomi TV Stick 4K, which I have been using for a few days. And here’s what I think about it.

The Xiaomi TV Stick 4K seems like a successor to the Mi Box 4K and Mi TV Stick that was launched a couple of years back. The TV Stick 4K is much more compact and has added features over the Mi Box 4K, too. Along with the stick and remote, you get a power adapter, a micro USB cable and an HDMI extension cable in case the HDMI port of your TV is wall-facing and you’re unable to place the stick in it due to insufficient space. You can try powering the stick from a USB port of your TV if the power output is sufficient, saving you from running another wire behind your TV to the power point. The TV remote is pretty much identical to Mi and Redmi TVs launched from a while back. It’s all plastic, which is okay, but it doesn’t feel very sturdy in terms of its buttons. You get pre-defined shortcut buttons for apps such as Netflix, Disney+ Hotstar and Amazon Prime. It also has a mic for voice commands for Google Assistant.

The TV Stick 4K supports Dolby Vision and HDR10 for videos, and Dolby Atmos and DTS-HD for audio.. It’s powered by a quad core A35 CPU and a Mali G31 MP2 GPU along with 2 GB of RAM and comes with 8GB of disk (about 5GB usable).

Based on Android TV 11 with PatchWall integration, you get Xiaomi TV+, which is basically an app to stream some free channels including news and sports but none of the popular ones. The stick handles UI navigation and app closing or opening smoothly, something a lot of budget smart TVs can struggle with once you install a few third party apps. I would have preferred them to change to a USB type C port, but then it’s not something you’re going to have to deal with regularly, just plug it in once and start your using the device. There’s also built-in Chromecast support as with any Android TV device plus Miracast with which you can cast iOS devices, though there’s no AirPlay support, but then that might be a little too much to ask at this price point. In terms of UI look and feel, there’s not much different than any other Android TV other than PatchWall 4.1. With PatchWall, you get IMDb support where you can check rating and brief summary for movies and TV series. There’s also a universal search to search for a term across apps and services on the device. But you also get recommendations on your Homescreen from the apps you have installed, which feel a bit more like ads – giving new releases regardless of your watch history. The stick can handle 4K HDR and Dolby Vision content without much trouble from supported apps such as Netflix and Amazon Prime, only once in a while when playing an external streaming link (direct file) that I found it to be missing 4K playback when I could do it on another similar device, but that wasn’t frequent. In apps like SonyLiv and JioCinema, I found it handles 50FPS full HD and 4K live streams (where available) without any frames dropped, too, something low-end streaming devices can struggle with due to insufficient resources. Wish it had a bit more storage space and installed apps a little quicker (disk read and write). I found it handling most of the common video and audio codecs without any trouble, whether within a streaming app or a locally played video, including with DTS-HD audio.

Verdict: If you’re looking for a new streaming stick for your old TV or a low-end smart that struggles to handle apps and streaming tasks, then Xiaomi’s TV Stick 4K is a good option in terms of audio and video capabilities, better than realme’s 4K stick for video handling, and in line with Amazon’s Fire TV Stick 4K Max and Google’s Chromecast with Google TV on many things except for its read-write speeds and remote control’s build quality.

📣 The Week is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@TheWeekmagazine) and stay updated with the latest headlines

*Articles appearing as INFOCUS/THE WEEK FOCUS are marketing initiatives