Redmi Smart Fire TV 4K review: A vibrant display and FireOS makes it a beast in the segment
Redmi Smart Fire TV 4K review: At the price of Rs. 24,999, it is among the more affordable 4K TVs in the market but it packs a powerful punch with its feature-rich offering.
Redmi Smart Fire TV 4K review: Earlier this year, Redmi collaborated with Amazon to bring its first Smart Fire TV with a 32-inch display which was met with positive reviews and gained popularity among consumers. The success of the television led to the company launching the Redmi Smart Fire TV 4K, with a bigger 43-inch display. This time around Redmi has upgraded the specifications, added a 4K resolution to the smart TV, and most importantly, has also added a mute button.
To those wondering why a simple mute button holds such importance, you should know that when the 32-inch TV was launched, despite fetching a lot of praise, one universal complaint was its lack of a mute button in the remote. But seeing the addition of it indicates that Redmi has indeed been listening to the feedback of people, and making improvements to the product.
The 4K smart TV is a unique proposition by the company. A 4K smart TV under Rs. 30,000 in the post-pandemic market is rare to see, but add the Amazon OS, and it becomes even more lucrative. Amazon was among the first TV OS in India, contained with the company's Fire Stick, capable of turning any TV into a smart TV. Over the years, the OS has received a lot of praise and to see it be added as a proper TV platform is exciting.
At this point, you must be thinking “What's the catch?”. And I would not blame you. A 4K smart TV with Fire TV OS at Rs. 24,999 is a steal. But I'm a skeptic and a firm believer in the proverb that there are no free lunches. So, with apprehension in mind, I spent a little over a month with the Redmi Smart Fire TV 4K, and what I found was quite interesting. Let's take a detailed look.
Redmi Smart Fire TV 4K design and build
The thing to remember here is that the Redmi Fire TV is a budget offering and the first place a budget TV cuts corner is in its design and build quality. You don't expect top-class finish and fit and prepare yourself for thick bezels in cheap plastic build. However, that was not the case with this TV. Well, not entirely anyway.
You get a bezel-less design on three sides of the TV, and at the bottom, there is a slim chin that houses a power LED, the Redmi logo, a power button, and the Fire TV branding at the right corner. The entire frame is made up of metal which does give it a premium look. The back of the TV is made up of plastic and it holds all the ports — a LAN port, a 3.5mm audio jack, AV input, antenna and optical inputs, 3 HDMI 2.1 ports where one of them supports eARC, and 2 USB-A 2.0 ports.
The Redmi Smart Fire TV 4K weighs about 7kg, and it comes with tabletop feet, which you need to screw in. It can also be fitted to a standard wall mount, although you will have to purchase that separately.
The TV speaks to my minimalist preference and I do like it a lot, especially since it is sleek, which means it does not occupy a lot of space, which is a consideration for a lot of buyers in this segment. However, the company has not innovated its appearance and has given it a standard look. While I could see the focus on the display and OS, the design does take a backseat. However, you do have to keep the price in mind, and I have no complaints about the design.
Redmi has also redesigned the remote. You now have another row of playback keys, a mute button, and a dedicated Alexa button on top. You also get shortcuts for Prime Video, Amazon Music, Netflix, and other apps. The playback keys work across apps, which adds to its convenience. The overall responsiveness of the remote is pretty high, and although I faced occasional hiccups, overall it performed well.
Redmi Smart Fire TV 4K viewing experience
The TV features a 43-inch 4K LED LCD panel with a resolution of 3840 x 2160 and a refresh rate of 60Hz. It also comes with HDR support. The display quality is impressive and it easily stands out among its competitors in the segment. The color reproduction is vibrant and the dynamic range is great, never making you struggle when the scene switches from bright to dark. I watched a variety of content on the TV and whether I was watching a bright and vivid Pixar or Ghibli movie, or an atmospheric thriller or horror, the display never felt dull. The black levels were shadowy, the bright parts were dynamic and you could always see the full-color range at every frame.
Even when you watch live sports, you can expect smooth playback without any frame drops or jarring screens. In SDR, the experience was great. However, the same cannot be said for the HDR mode, where you will see the TV struggle somewhat. The main reason for that is its low overall brightness. Despite supporting HDR10, you will not be able to experience the full range of it. However, keeping the price point in mind, it performs well enough. The software integration was also on point, and the TV upscaled even 720p content to make it look good on a display this large.
Sadly, I did not have any gaming console or a gaming laptop at my disposal to test the HDMI compatibility and performance. However, I do not expect it to be a gaming device considering the 60Hz refresh rate. Redmi also does not claim it to be a gaming TV.
You also get a lot of picture settings to play around with. You have multiple presets to find the one you like the best. In my experience, the Movie preset works the best for all scenarios as it is not too faded nor too contrast-heavy. It gives a natural hue and you can just set and forget in most cases.
Redmi Smart Fire TV 4K audio performance
The visual performance is definitely the USP of the TV but it is well accompanied by its audio experience. The smart TV features a 24W speaker system with support for Dolby Audio and DTS: Virtual X. It does a good job with the audio in small rooms. The soundstage is clear with a good amount of emphasis on highs, mids, and lows. The speakers are enough for a room or a smaller hall, but for more spacious settings, you will need a separate sound bar or other speaker systems.
You also get presets for audio, and Dolby Atmos integration means that you are not left with flat or shallow sound. Listening to music on the Redmi Smart Fire TV 4K was a good experience and even at a louder voice, the speaker maintained the same high and rich quality.
Redmi Smart Fire TV 4K OS and smart features
The smart TV runs on the Fire OS 188.8.131.52 with Xiaomi's Patchwall. The Fire TV OS is a departure from the familiar Google TV layout, but it is not a bad thing. The layout is not too obstructive and offers everything you might need right in front of you. The color scheme is also pretty balanced and nothing visually feels jarring or out of place. At first, you get Amazon's content recommendation which improves the more you use it. After just the first week, I would find content recommended to me that I would be interested in. Next is the app tray which is pretty easily accessible and the icons are all independently highlighted. You get a decent number of third-party apps, and the Fire TV integration means you can always get more apps from the Fire TV Store.
Alexa is also a lifesaver. In most instances, it was correctly able to detect my voice and find what I was looking for. The voice control is pretty handy and Alexa's capabilities are not unknown to anyone. One slight disappointment was that occasionally, Alexa's responsiveness was not the greatest.
Moving on to the responsiveness of the OS, you are in for a treat. The OS feels snappy and I did not experience any lags. With 2GB RAM and 16GB internal storage, this is an impressive feat. However, I did find one bizarre glitch. This only happened while I used the Reliance Jio app, but it has never happened to me on any other TV. When you watch a show and then hit the pause button for long enough to have the TV go to hibernation mode, the video suddenly begins to play and while you see nothing, you can hear the audio. This was quite frustrating and despite a lot of fiddling around in the Settings, I was not able to fix it.
Finally, the smart TV also comes with one very interesting feature — picture-in-picture mode. It lets you view feeds from security cameras compatible with Alexa on the TV in either full-screen mode or in PiP mode at the corner of your content. Sadly, I do not own such a device, but if you do, this integration offers a serious value.
Redmi Smart Fire TV 4K verdict
The most important consideration while buying this TV is understanding its price and setting the expectations. You are not going to get a mesmerizing display panel of the likes of Samsung and Sony Bravia, you are also not getting a 70W speaker to shake the biggest halls in a house, and you'll definitely be disappointed if you're a hardcore gamer.
But what Redmi does offer is a solid TV with a remarkable display and picture quality, an equally good audio system, and a great Fire TV OS, which is a great value in itself. Add in a decent design and the price tag of Rs. 24,999, and it is easily one of the best, if not the best smart TVs in its segment. For the average Joe looking for a binge session, this is a definite buy.
- Good 4K experience
- Fast performance
- Minimalist design
- Not for gamers
- Alexa could be more responsive
Display4K Ultra HD, 60Hz refresh rate