User interface, content library, connectivity, and apps support are some of the basic things that define a smart television. While the market is thriving with a plethora of sets that their respective brands claim are smart televisions, there are only a few, such as the Mi LED TV 4X Pro, that seems to live up to the definition.
From a sleek user interface to an extensive content library, the Mi LED TV 4X Pro has most of the things that you would expect from a smart television. Functioning on Android-based TV platform, the television comes with Google Play Store pre-installed for apps download. It also has a built-in Google Chromecast to cast smartphone, laptop, tablet, screen on a mammoth 55-inch 4K HDR television panel.
Although the television boots the Android TV operating system, it is powered by Xiaomi’s proprietary PatchWall user interface that shows thumbnails of more than 700,000 hours of digital content sourced from different over-the-top platforms such as Hungama Play, Zee5, Sony Liv, etc. on the home screen, along with content from direct-to-home (DTH) set-top box connection – if connected with the television.
The content sourced from various OTT platforms require wired or wireless internet connection to stream content. Users also need to install OTT platforms’ respective plug-in to play content on the television. Most of the available OTT platforms are subscription-based, and therefore require a paid plan to watch content sourced from their respective libraries.
While the PatchWall user interface is sleek and swift in operation, it looks cluttered especially if you do not have paid subscription of all the available OTT platforms. There is no way to disable a particular OTT platform from showing content on the home screen. Therefore, all the content, from subscribed services or otherwise, shows up on the home screen, making it look cluttered and less useful.
Another thing is the lack of app support for major content streaming platforms such as Netflix and Amazon Prime Videos. Though there is a Google Play Store pre-installed, it only shows apps compatible with Android television platform. Apparently, both the Netflix and Amazon Prime Videos apps are not compatible, and therefore do not feature in the app store for downloading. The only way to stream content from such services on the TV’s big screen is by using Chromecast, which casts screen of supported devices -- smartphone, laptop or tablet – on the television.
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For a smart television, it is imperative to have a voice command service to simplify the operations. The Mi LED TV 4X Pro comes bundled with a 12-key Bluetooth remote control with a dedicated key for voice commands that uses Google voice search engine to do run errands or to find relevant information from internet. The remote is easy to use, thanks to its ergonomic design and Bluetooth connectivity, which does not require much effort to operate the unit.
The Xiaomi Mi LED TV 4X Pro has its downsides, yet it is the most functional smart television in its segment. Priced at Rs 39,999, the television offers wide collection of content sourced from various OTT platforms, all-round connectivity options, vivid 55-inch 4K HDR screen panel, satisfactory speakers, and an easy to use voice-enabled remote controller. True, this television does not match the likes of premium television from Sony, LG and Samsung, but for its price it is a deal that even the established television brands cannot match.