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  1. #1
    I am the Night Killswitch's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    On the highway to hell

    Xiaomi Mi Box review: Good price doesn't mean great value

    Xiaomi offers the least expensive full Android TV experience, and it comes with compromises.
    The Android TV marketplace is ... sparse. Though there are plenty of happy customers out there using the old Nexus Player or the high-end Shield Android TV, there just isn't a vibrant grouping of choices in the same way you can find an Android phone to fit every want and need. Companies don't see value in making an Android TV box that isn't likely to sell in big numbers, particularly as Chromecast continues to eat away at the low end.
    Enter Xiaomi with the Mi Box: a small, nondescript black box offering a full Android TV experience, 4K HDR video and a remote for just $69 — easily the lowest price for one of these devices running a fully sanctioned version of Android TV. Xiaomi has seen some success selling multiple generations of set top boxes under the Mi Box brand running its own customized version of Android adapted to the big screen, but this is its first swing at using Google's proper TV-focused version of Android. And at the same time it's one of only a handful of products it actually sells in the U.S.
    Google clearly needs as many companies making Android TV devices as it can get, and Xiaomi would love to expand its brand presence in the U.S., so on the face of it this makes for a great partnership. But does the Xiaomi Mi Box with Android TV live up to the expectations of being "the box to get" — and crucially chosen over the Chromecast Ultra — for Android fans out there? The answer is in this review.


    Xiaomi Mi Box Hardware and accessories

    The Mi Box is small and unassuming, and that's just fine with me. Coming in black with a lightly textured plastic exterior, there's nothing exciting here. At just 101 mm square it isn't much larger than the Qi charging pad next to it in my entertainment center. It's small enough that you could easily get away with stashing it behind another box or even double-sided taping it to the back of the TV if needed.
    The little rounded square sits up off of any flat surface with a rubberized ring that keeps the relatively light box from sliding around from the bends of stiff cables. The ports are all hidden nicely on the back, and the only thing aside from that on the box is a small "Mi" logo on the top and a very faint white LED on the front edge indicating that the box is awake.

    Xiaomi's remote gets the job done, though it isn't as sleek or nice as the one available for the (over twice as expensive) NVIDIA Shield Android TV. A circular directional pad with a button highlights the top while standard Android TV controls and a volume rocker sit underneath it. The remote is Bluetooth, of course, and runs on two AAA batteries that are included in the box. The one big downside for me here is that the remote doesn't offer a 3.5 mm headphone jack for plugging in headphones for personal listening, which is something you get with boxes like the Roku 4 and Shield Android TV — then again, the Mi Box is less expensive too.

    Read the rest here:

  2. #2
    Space Cadet Pirate Moderator flamepanther's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2013

    Interesting read. My need (if I had one) for an Android TV box is satisfied by my Forge, but I'm still always curious about what else is out there. I keep seeing Emtec's Gembox at my local computer supply store and wondering whether it's any good.
    "But I don't want to go among mad people," Alice remarked.
    "Oh, you can't help that," said the Cat: "We're all mad here. I'm mad. You're mad."
    "How do you know I'm mad?" said Alice.
    "You must be," said the Cat, "otherwise you wouldn't have come here."

  3. #3

    Didn't OUYA make some kind of arrangement with this company as far as having their store and games on this system? Did that ever happen?

    Just wondering if there is some other system that will play more of my OUYA games than my Forge TV. Really miss games like No Brakes Valet and Hidden in Plain Sight.

    Getting a bit off topic, but did M.O.J.O. have better game support than the Forge?

    I would just switch back to the OUYA, as it would be nice to have USB support again, but it does not work as a Chromecast, and is too slow to do 4 player Killing Floor.


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