Xiaomi Mi Box 4K vs FireTV Stick 4K vs Chromecast 3rd-gen: It all boils down to value
While the ultimate goal is to make any TV ‘smart’, it is important to compare the device with its competitors that are there in India
Xiaomi has just unveiled its Mi Box 4K streaming device in India in a bid to reach millions of those who are stuck with 'dumb' TVs. Although the Chinese tech firm has a strong line of Mi smart TVs in the country, living up to its 'affordable' tag, the company's Mi Box 4K at ₹3,999 seems to be worth it, at least on the paper. But while the ultimate goal is to make any TV 'smart', it is important to compare the device with its rivals that exist in India. We are talking about the Amazon FireTV Stick 4K and Google Chromecast 3rd generation that are officially available in the country.
Of course, we start with the pricing
Pricing is the key factor for Indians when it comes to buying anything. And streaming devices are no different. You get the Google Chromecast 3rd-gen at ₹3,490, while the FireTV Stick 4K is currently listed at ₹5,999. The new Mi Box 4K arrives at ₹4,999 but if you are buying it from 12th May to 17th May, you can get it in ₹3,999. However, as we all know, price is not the only deciding factor, specs also have a story of their own.
The spec battle of streaming devices
The 148-gram Mi Box 4K can deliver 4K video output besides 1080i/p, 576i/p and 480i/p at up to 60Hz. Powering it is a Cortex-A53 quad-core processor clocked at 2GHz along with Mali 450 GPU at 750MHz, 2GB DDR3 RAM and 8GB eMMC storage. You also get support for WiFi, Bluetooth v4.2, HDMI 2.0b, USB 2.0 and digital out. Adding to the list are Dolby Audio, DTS 2.0 and some important video codec support including MOV, MP4, AVI and MKV.
Also read: Xiaomi Mi 10 with 108-megapixel camera launched: Check price, specifications
The FireTV Stick 4K is definitely a lighter device at 53.6 grams and supports 4K video output in addition to 1080p or 720p videos at 50 or 60 Hz. Powering everything is a quad-core chipset clocked at 1.7GHz with IMG GE8300 GPU and 8GB inbuilt storage. For connectivity, you get WiFi and Bluetooth v5.0 along but no HDMI or USB inputs. However, you get Dolby Atmos audio support along with Dolby Vision. This also supports most of the basic video formats. Like the Mi Box 4K, this gets HDR10 onboard as well.
Google Chromecast 3rd-gen doesn't support 4K video content but shows it in fullHD (1080p) resolution. Google India page listing or the official Flipkart listing doesn't reveal much about this streaming device but it does confirm the dongle to feature Wi-Fi 802.11ac (2.4 GHz/5 GHz), micro-USB for power, and support for Android, iOS, Mac, and Windows platforms.
It all boils down to the value
Value is what everything comes down to. While all three of them fall in the same price bracket, the real battle here is between the Xiaomi Mi Box 4K and the Amazon FireTV Stick 4K. Both have a good UI (Android TV in Mi Box 4K) along with similar features that let you stream videos as well as control smart home devices. But the major difference lies in the spec sheet. And going by what Xiaomi is offering on paper and the price in which it is being offered, it looks like the Mi Box 4K might just be a more valuable product.
That said, we'd like to make it clear that since we haven't tested the device, it is too early to jump to definite conclusions.
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