Xiaomi well and truly kickstarted the revolution of large screen smart televisions at affordable prices, at least when compared with the prices we had to pay for the same screen size options till a couple of years ago. Now, the company has decided to take it up a notch. Following up on the fantastic Mi LED TV 4A Pro 49 (around Rs30,999) is the larger Mi LED TV 4X Pro 55 TV. It is a rather complex name, but that really isn’t something you need to get bothered with. This 55-inch 4k television is priced at Rs39,999 and has all the bells and whistles that you would otherwise expect from a smart TV of this size. This runs Google’s authentic Android TV software, as well as Xiaomi’s own PatchWall platform which is heavily focused on content curation and discovery, across a variety of streaming services. A big screen TV, at this price—you really cannot argue with the facts.
From the outset, the design of the Mi LED TV 4X Pro 55 is very similar to the Mi TV 4A Pro 49. What you get is a minimalistic design, with a matte finish all through. This TV doesn’t get the goodness of aluminium on the chassis, but the plastic in use is good quality. There are thin enough bezels around the screen, though this TV doesn’t get the edge to edge glass which could perhaps have added a dash of premium quotient to it. As with the 49-inch variant, the 55-inch TV also retains a sharp design language. This is not the slimmest TV that you will find, because when you peek around the back, there is a pretty standard placement for the connectors and behind which sit all the innards. Nevertheless, this is an extremely lightweight TV for its screen size.
We have always had one complaint with a lot of recently launched televisions, and that is the positioning of the table-top stand. This two part table-top stand is designed to be fixed close to either edge of the panel—that means you need a table almost as wide as the TV itself to place this safely. We genuinely don’t think is a good idea, considering not everyone will have tables as wide as the TV itself. You really don’t want to buy furniture too, just to be able to place the TV properly.
The Xiaomi Mi LED TV 4X Pro 55 is a 4K TV (3840 x 2160 resolution) with an LED display panel. As expected, this supports HDR10 as well, for the high dynamic range (HDR). However, this isn’t more of the same. Xiaomi have made significant under-the-hood changes to how visuals are handled, before you see them on the screen. For starters, there is a completely new image processing engine, compared with the previous 55-inch 4K TV which the company made. You will immediately notice that the visuals are crisper, and there is a lot less noise and distortion visible—the latter is specific to standard definition content. If you will be using the Mi LED TV 4X Pro 55 with a cable or direct to home (DTH) connection for a significant chunk of time, this is a very welcome tweak. Secondly, this panel is also slightly brighter than before. The colour reproduction has also been reconfigured slightly to make this look richer with better separation as well. For us, the biggest improvement has to be with the sharpness levels. With the predecessor, we always felt that the on-screen visuals looked a tad too soft, thereby requiring you to push up the sharpness. With this, the crispness makes for a world of difference. This panel really shines with 4K content, but scaling for lower resolution content is also quite good.
The advantage of the HDR 10 compatibility is that streaming services such as Netflix and Amazon Video are offering more and more content that is HDR ready, and this keeps your TV in tune with the times. The result, whenever the feature is available, are significantly more detailed visuals. It may not make a world of difference at first glance but watch an HDR content on this screen and then on one that doesn’t have HDR, and the difference will be more appreciated then.
Xiaomi has upped the game in terms of the sound as well, in a way. There have been some tweaks to the chassis for the TV that is available in India, which has allowed for two larger speakers to be installed. What we get is crisp sound and the ability to go really loud without distortions or sounding too sharp. However, low frequencies still remain considerably subdued, something that rankles a bit while watching movies. Having said that, the much improved clarity of vocals is really noticeable. As for the lack of bass, this isn’t the first TV to struggle with this issue, and most certainly won’t be the last.
The standout feature in Xiaomi’s Pro line-up of Mi TVs has always been the PatchWall feature. This essentially, at least before Android TV also got added into the mix, was the default launch screen for Mi TVs. Simply put, the idea behind PatchWall is extensive content curation, for better discovery of content across multiple streaming services—something you may have otherwise missed. As with most artificially intelligent software these days, PatchWall also learns about your viewing preferences over time, and improves the content suggestions based on what it learns. Content in multiple Indian languages is available. At present, PatchWall plugs into content from streaming services including Hotstar, Hooq, Voot, Sony Liv, Zee5, Jio Cinema, Alt Balaji, Eros Now, Hungama Play, Sun Nxt, TVF, Viu, Epic On and Flickstree. Till now, Xiaomi TVs miss out on the goodness of Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, though we hope that will change in the near future. Once these two streaming services, default names in the business in many ways, are on board—the entire package will perhaps be complete.
Your access to the software smartness in the Mi LED TV 4X Pro 55 relies heavily on the redesigned remote. It looks much the same as before, but slight redesign now make it feel chunkier to hold. Look closely, and you will notice there is now an extra button on the remote. There is now one home button that takes you to Xiaomi’s PatchWall interface and one button that lets you enjoy Google’s pure Android TV interface. There is a voice search button too.
While we appreciate the entire effort in putting new and suggested content up front with PatchWall, there is a grouse that we have pointed out before as well—there are not too many customization options. Yes, you can set which languages you prefer more, but that is pretty much it. Having said that, Hindi will remain as the default selection for sure, even if you may wish to restrict the discovery and suggestions to English, for instance.
On the other side is the Google Android TV interface. Having two different home screens can be a tad confusing initially, but if you don’t want the curation of the PatchWall, then this simpler and obviously more Google-esque interface could be relevant. There is also some content curation on the Android TV Home screen, from apps such as Netflix and YouTube to name a few, but nothing as elaborate as PatchWall. Good then, because you get two very distinct and clear usage options, depending on your preference.
The proverbial elephant in the room is still very much an occupant. The Mi TV Pro series of smart TVs still do not have support for Netflix and Amazon Video streaming services. In many ways, that is a limitation, and the only workaround is to rely on a third-party device such as an Amazon Fire TV Stick. But that does take something away from the experience of a smart TV in itself, doesn’t it? In reality, Xiaomi will need to sort out the Netflix and Amazon Video deals soon enough, considering how they are the default names in the world of video streaming. For the urban buyers which Xiaomi is surely targeting with the Mi LED TV 4X Pro 55, the no-show from Netflix and Amazon Video gets magnified to a certain extent.
Apart from the fact that Netflix and Amazon Video aren’t available on the Mi LED TV 4X Pro 55 for the moment that is, this is a steal. A very good panel, the flexibility of Android TV and PatchWall as well as the overall slickness with which the streaming apps run, all of which most of its rivals can only dream of matching. You really won’t find a better 55-inch TV, with all the bells and whistles of 4K and HDR, for this price. This is worth every bit of the Rs39,999 priced tag.