Test the Xiaomi Mi Box S: Android Tv Cheap Version, for Better or for Worse

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  • Test of the Xiaomi Mi Box S : Android TV cheap version, for better or for worse

With its Mi Box S, Xiaomi brings Android TV into the living room for a riquiqui price.

In 2019, many TV sets will be connected. However, depending on the manufacturer, there may be differences in the functionalities offered. While some, like Sony and Philips, trust Android TV, others, like LG and Samsung, have developed their own platform. With bad surprises sometimes (the lack of applications at LG). For those who don’t want to worry – or simply don’t have a Smart TV – the purchase of a box seems indispensable. And the Mi Box S, offered at less than 80 euros, therefore appears to be quite a bargain next to the competitors in France who cost close to or more than 200 euros.

Indeed, the product designed by Xiaomi is built around the Android TV platform – one of the best on the market. As it is sold for half the price of a Shield TV (Nvidia) or an Apple TV, one thinks that the Mi Box S must be losing out somewhere. And we’re not wrong.


Xiaomi Mi Box S // Source: Numerama

Any object

Aesthetically speaking, there’s nothing to remember or highlight about this Mi Box S, which takes the form of a small square designed to make you forget yourself. Moreover, Xiaomi didn’t think it would be a good idea to put a diode in front of it that would be visible enough to indicate its state of functioning (white, it is difficult to see from the sofa). In other words, the only way to make sure it’s on is to check that something is displayed on the TV. So be it.

On the connectors side, we will be satisfied with an HDMI port, a USB port and an audio jack – in addition to the power cable. The Mi Box S comes with a very, very cheap remote control and everything but pleasant to hold (the fault lies with the ultra cheap plastic used, which squeaks in the fingers). Anyway, it has the merit of answering well when you press a key, knowing that the choices boil down to a navigation cross and a few utility buttons (Google Assistant backward, Netflix, main menu and Live, which has no use because the service is not available in France… who said anything about finishing touches?)

The virtues of Android TV

Android TV obliges (Oreo 8.1), the Mi Box S has no shortage of solutions to find its happiness in films and series. From Netflix to MyCanal to RMC Sport YouTube and Molotov, there’s stuff on one and the same item – unless you subscribe to Amazon Prime as the application is very randomly compatible with Android TV devices. Nvidia, more concerned about customer satisfaction than Xiaomi, forced the installation on the Shield.

The interface, sober and efficient, arranges the online applications with suggestions to help you find your way around (which can overload the screen if you install too many without getting your hands dirty). In spite of outdated components and some micro-smoking, the navigation is fluid enough not to be a pain in the ass. However, stability is not always the strong point of Android TV, especially on this box. For example, Netflix was stuck for several minutes during our experiments.

Once the Mi Box S has been connected to a power outlet and a TV set, it is necessary to go through the endless configuration phase. It’s as easy as 1-2-3 (just follow the steps) and can be done via your smartphone or remote control. Of course, you’ll need a Google Account to access all services, application downloads from the Play Store and voice commands via Google Assistant As a bonus, the housing has integrated Chromecast – ouf.

As you navigate through the menus, you can see that the Mi Box S quickly assumes its status as a very affordable product. Indeed, some tabs in the settings will mix English and French languages without really knowing why. The font is not always very suitable either (example: DTS writes ‘Dts’) while some titles remain very obscure (Dts sounds, Dynamic Range Control?).


Xiaomi Mi Box S (back) // Source: Numerama

From 4K and HDR to programme

Despite its very affordable price, the Mi Box S does not forget to be 4K and HDR (no Dolby Vision unfortunately). You won’t find anything to complain about the quality of the broadcast, whether you’re watching a football match on RMC Sport (no screen freeze to deplore) or the latest Netflix exclusivity in 4K HDR (nice picture depending on the program). From this point of view performance is closely linked to your Internet network. Understand: the better your connection, the better the show will be. In the parameters, there is the possibility to select one of the multiple display options (resolution and frequency).

On the sound side, you’ll have to make do with a PCM or DTS signal since the Mi Box does not decode HD or 3D formats (notably Dolby Atmos). But you’ll still get a 5.1 rendering if you have the right home theater system.

The Mi Box S is available on Cdiscount.

Indicative note : 3/5

Less well finished than an Apple TV that’s less well endowed than a Nvidia Shield, Xiaomi’s Mi Box S never tries to do too much — sometimes it doesn’t even try to do right. For less than 100 euros, she wants above all to share the virtues of Android TV on a TV set that would be devoid of it.

Clearly, the product has no place in a living room for a demanding customer, who will find the limits of the box with a few clicks in the parameters. But it will eventually find its way into the homes of those who expect little more than a product capable of bringing together a maximum number of applications in one place. In short: it’s cheap, but we know why.


  • Gift price
  • Full Android TV
  • 4K and HDR


  • Software and hardware finishes
  • What happened to Amazon Prime?
  • No HD or 3D sound

Who’s who?

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Maxime Claudel – February 17, 2019 – Society

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  • The UHD Blu-Ray session of the weekend: BlacKkKlansman won’t get the Oscar for Most Beautiful Picture

Directed by Spike Lee BlacKkKlansman : I have infiltrated the Ku Klux Klan presents itself in an astonishing light on Blu-ray UHD

The weekend UHD Blu-ray session is an appointment imagined by Numerama’s editorial staff to offer you UHD Blu-ray tests. Here you will find films whose discs should meet the most important picture and sound requirements, thus enhancing your state-of-the-art equipment.

Nominated in six Oscar categories (including Best Picture and Best Director),BlacKkKlansman: I’ve infiltrated the Ku Klux Klan is preparing for the ceremony with a UHD Blu-ray edition.

An opportunity to discover Spike Lee’s latest satire in good conditions, even if the film does not necessarily lend itself to the exercise of technical demonstration. Let’s not deny ourselves the pleasure.


Based on the true story of Ron Stallworth, an African-American POLICE OFFICER who managed to infiltrate the ranks of the Ku Klux Klan,BlacKkKlansman: I have infiltrated the Ku Klux Klan multiplies genres (espionage, police, comedy) in the service of a hot topic that is always topical (Spike Lee does not hesitate to draw a parallel with certain recent events).

Unfortunately,BlacKkKlansman: I’ve infiltrated the Ku Klux Klan gets a little too mixed up in useless anecdotes and overrated speeches to convince beyond the subject matter, which is not lacking in boldness (a Black and a Jew posing as racist extremists to an established group). We’ve known Spike Lee in better shape.

Universal Pictures

BlacKkKlansman: I have infiltrated the Ku Klux Klan // Source: Universal Pictures


Spike Lee’s desire to plunge us into the 70’s gives birth to a vintage photography that barely sublimates the UHD Blu-ray. That is to say that Dolby Vision encoding – and HDR10 by extension – in no way seeks to distort the tones of the time. Not that the image ofBlacKkKlansman: I’ve infiltrated the Ku Klux Klanisn’t pretty, far from it. But it’s not the most accentuated stitching or the most mirific colours that will pass through your reader.

Although this artistic choice, which damages the technical rendering, is entirely justifiable, the few flaws are less forgivable. Thus, a few white dots here and there and traces of glitter were detected. As for the granularity, it is transcribed with a certain elegance and guarantees the very cinematographic cachet so desired by Spike Lee.

Universal Pictures

BlacKkKlansman: I have infiltrated the Ku Klux Klan // Source: Universal Pictures


On the other hand, we didn’t expect to benefit from such a strong acoustic performance, compared to a film that logically favours dialogue. Nevertheless, the original Dolby Atmos track has what it takes to put us in the mood, stretching the sound stage to the maximum despite the inevitably very limited material.

We even have the right to some back and/or high effects during the speeches, especially when we hear the whistles of the audience coming from all over the place. It’s a bit caricatured, but there was no better way to do it.

The BlacKkKlansman UHD Blu-ray: I’ve infiltrated the Ku Klux Klan is available on Amazon.




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