With very few TVs still being the idiot box, consumers are constantly looking for the best companion streaming devices to get the most from their smart TVs. While Amazon, Google, and Apple have reigned supreme for some time, other companies are not exactly sitting back and letting the big three win this game. Xiaomi’s TV Stick 4K is the latest streaming stick, and here’s how it fares.
The Xiaomi TV Stick 4K looks pretty much like the Amazon Fire TV stick with its black plastic body, and usual shortcuts to streaming services such as Netflix, Prime Video, Disney Hotstar, and Google Play apps. While there is a white, status indicator LED, I wish companies would start integrating backlights onto the remote as well, to operate in the dark. Even some tactile engraving would have helped. The remote is bigger than the console and connects via Bluetooth.
The stick is powered by USB along with the power adapter provided in the box, and I wish the power port on the device was the latest USB Type-C and not the micro-USB it ships with.
The Xiaomi TV Stick 4K is quite speedy once set up. In case you have a TV where the 10 cm long Xiaomi stick doesn’t fit into the space along the HDMI ports, you can use the HDMI extender cable in the box, to get around it.
The video quality rendered on a 4K or 1080P device was crisp and stutter-free. I didn’t witness any blocky video picture artifacts, which is sometimes the case while watching upscaled content.
It was a pleasure watching the Spriggan, an anime series on Netflix where a team of agents are trying to keep some dangerous powers from falling into the wrong hands. Upscaled trailers of Fast X, the tenth instalment of The Fast & The Furious series, on YouTube also streamed without a glitch.
The inbuilt Google voice assistant button was quick to respond, and processed my voice requests within 3-4 seconds.
The Xiaomi Stick 4K features support for Dolby Vision, Atmos and HDR and will be able to play this content on compatible TVs. It also has Chromecast and Miracast support, which makes it ideal to have in-home theatre set-ups that might support these streaming standards. The casting quality was less than satisfactory on a 4K TV, but can be used at a pinch if needed for casting across content or mirroring across your laptop.
The micro-console has a quad-core Cortex-A35 CPU and Mali-G31 MP2, along with 2 GB RAM and 8 GB storage. The system comes with Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and Youtube pre-installed, leaving around 4.4 GB left to install other apps.
Given that Android 13 for TV is the current OS version running on the Chromecast, and most smart TVs run Android TV 12 by now, it’s a surprise that the Xiaomi TV Stick 4K is still on Android TV 11. However, the Xiaomi TV Stick manages to deliver excellent features - on a par with the likes of what Amazon and Google offer.
Pro: Snappy and smooth navigation, 4K playback.
Cons: Occasional artifacts and lag while using casting feature