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So how about Chromecast, Android TV, Google assistant, Online TV and huge variety of apps in one single, well built and stylish looking device? Say hello to the Mi Box S and … let’s talk about the top 5 reasons to buy it.
Diving right to the first and – supposedly most important reason to go for a Mi Box: using a streaming device is among the cheapest ways to make your TV smart or smarter than what it is, and make that based on an open-source and well maintained by Google operating system.
Mi Box s arrives at slightly lower price than its predecessor, which is another good sign. While Xiaomi do not disclose this officially – it is powered by the S905X processor – widely used with many TVBoxes, but is unfortunately not the latest and greatest from the Amlogic product line; The box is equipped with 2GB DDR3 ram, 8GB storage, and arrives with Android TV 8.1 out of the box.
But, while hardware is apparently not too bad, it is fair to say that the TVbox is a very slight upgrade to the predecessor – Mi Box 3, so if you have that one, likely the Mi Box S won’t really strike you with performance upgrades.
Second top reason to go for Mi Box S is the Android TV OS – meaning that it is stock image of Google’s Android system, which is certified by Google. You don’t have to worry about shady apps, unknown services, bloatware or whatsoever. It is arriving with version 8.1 out of the box, a nice step up compared to the competition.
The settings menu is well organized – and is aligned according to Android TV standards, giving you control over the entire operating system. You can adjust WiFi settings, the display and sound, add Bluetooth devices and so on. Everything is well understandable and grouped in a way that makes sense.
Adding a Bluetooth Gamepad worked just fine withing a few seconds, event hough we talk about a quite old model.
Using USB devices is quite easy too, and unlike the Amazon Fire TV stick, using external media with the Mi Box S is quite well working! The device is good even for gaming – not as powerful as the nvidia shield TV – but still good enough for games like Asphalt, Real racing, even PUBG.
Being Google certified leads us to the third major point of interest – content streaming in Full HD and UHD ; HD streaming of Netflix, for instance. Youtube is also well presented with video resolutions of up to 4K.
The other outstanding feature to highlight – voice control: there is a dedicated button launching Google Assistant – instead of typing long names and titles with this not so convenient software keyboard – just say them and they will show right away.
Number 5 – Google Chromecast which is embedded. Extremely convenient and useful – and one of the big differences between this TV box and the non-certified android devices. Videos, photos – this is a very quick, good working and reliable way to share content on your TV and make it visible for everyone in the room.
I’ll finish like that – if you need a cute, stylish and capable device to stream Youtube, Netflix or Amazon Prime Video – it is perfect and in my opinion is a better choice than most of the other google certified TV boxes. If you have the Mi Box 3 – keep it and carry on using it. If you don’t care about android TV, and all you need is Android’s full power unleashed – as it is on your smartphone for instance – get a Chinese TVbox with the latest generation processor.
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