Mi Box Review

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Mi Box Review

Mi Box ReviewThis Mi Box Review will supply you with important information regarding this Android TV 6.0 streaming 4K box.  This is a nice Android TV Box that runs the true Android TV 6.0 operating system which means the apps available for this device perform well with the included remote.

You can purchase the Mi Box at your local Walmart which is great as most of you have a store close to you.  This streaming device has gained popularity rather quickly due to its power at a fairly inexpensive price point.

Before I get started with this review, I want to make it perfectly clear that this Android TV Box is not the same as your typical Android streaming boxes that are being sold all over the Internet.  The difference with this device is that it is running Android TV 6.0 operating system and not Android…these are two different operating systems.  The Android TV 6.0 operating system provides apps that work nicely with a remote.  The streaming boxes that are based off Android, do not provide a remote friendly experience for the majority of its applications.

The main benefit is that the the system is much more remote-friendly than just plain Android.  Typically with an Android streaming box, you must use a wireless keyboard to navigate the applications.

The downside to using Android TV 6.0 compared to just basic Android is that not all applications will show up in Google Play Store.  If the application hasn’t been optimized for Android TV 6.0 then it will not be available in the store.  However, you can still sideload the apps that aren’t available but they will probably not be remote friendly in which case you will be required to utilize a wireless mini keyboard such as the Rii i8+ BT Mini Wireless Bluetooth Backlight Touchpad Keyboard with Mouse.

Xiaomi (pronounced “Shami”) is the company that manufactures this 4K streaming powerhouse and was featured during this year’s Google’s I/O developers conference.

Upon unboxing the Mi Box, I was greeted with a nice looking, small design that seems pretty durable to the touch.  As with many of the newer Android-based streaming boxes, this one also has  a small design that will look nicely on the counter next to your television.

The first thing that I noticed about the Mi Box was that it was lacking an Ethernet port and SD card expansion slot.  It does come equipped with a USB port, HDMI port, and a 3.5mm audio output jack.  Unfortunately, we will only be able to connect this device by Wi-Fi to the Internet.  Also, any type of expandable storage will need to be in the form of a USB drive of some sort.  I am o.k. with these shortcomings because for me, they are not deal-breakers.  With the small $69 price tag, I am willing to forfeit a few features.

The Mi Box comes with a voice activated remote control, HDMI cable, two AAA batteries for the remote, a manual, and a coupon pamphlet full of discounts to some of the most popular streaming services available on the Internet today.

This device comes equipped with the Quad-core Cortex-A53 2.0GHz CPU, which provides a powerful and quick interface.  The unit includes 2GB of DDR3 RAM which helps with Kodi buffering and large computing tasks.  The Mi Box also includes 8GB of onboard eMMC Flash Storage and the ability to add additional space through the USB port on the back of the box.  The Mi Box is also equipped with Bluetooth 4.0, making it easy to add accessories such as game pads, keyboards, speakers, etc.

When I powered on the device, it took me through an easy setup process which you will see outlined in the video below.  After I was logged into my Google account, I was ready to start exploring.  The user interface is simple to use with horizontal scrolling and the ability to move the application icons is a nice feature.

The first application that I installed was Kodi Media Center and that task took less than two minutes by using the Google Play Store.  I played a 4K sample video through Kodi and it played with no buffering and everything was very smooth with no lag whatsoever.  I am very happy with the Kodi performance on the Mi Box and look forward to adding some builds in the future.

I searched the Google Play Store for my VPN service provider, IPVanish but it was not available.  I downloaded the .apk file off the IPVanish Website and then sideloaded it to the device.  The sideloaded app worked fine after I paired my favorite wireless mini keyboard –  Rii i8+ BT Mini Wireless Bluetooth Backlight Touchpad Keyboard with Mouse.

Install (Sideload) IPVanish On Mi Box

The majority of TROYPOINT readers use Android as their smartphones and they will be happy that Google Cast is built into the Mi Box, making it dead simple to cast video/audio from their phone onto their televisions.

The wireless download speed measured at 32.15 Mb/s while upload speed measured at 16.24 Mb/s.  Since the device doesn’t have a LAN ethernet port, obviously, I could not test that connection.

Click Here To Get Your Free Guide “Supercharge Your Android TV Box”

Mi Box Quick Video Review

 

Things I like about the Mi Box Android TV Box

  • Fast and powerful system
  • Easy to use graphical interface
  • Plays 4K video very smooth
  • Kodi Media Center works nicely on the system and very easy to install through Google Play Store
  • I like the remote friendly apps that work with this system
  • Sideloaded apps work just fine
  • Emulators work great on this system and Google Play provides many options

What I don’t like about the Mi Box

  • Not all apps are optimized so they don’t appear within Google Play Store, requiring a user to sideload them
  • Sideloaded apps are not present under the apps section on the home screen
  • No Ethernet LAN port or SD expansion ports on the Mi Box

Would I use the Mi Box Android TV As A Primary Streaming Device Within My Home?

Absolutely.  This device can be compared to devices such as the Fire TV Box and Nvidia Shield due to its remote-friendly interface, which I like.  Installing Kodi Media Center is a breeze through Google Play Store which may make this the streaming device of the future.  People are sick and tired of jumping through hoops to install Kodi onto the Fire TV/Stick.

What’s In The Box?

Mi Box Contents

 

  • Mi Box
  • Bluetooth Voice Activated Remote Control
  • HDMI Cable
  • Power Cord
  • 2 AAA Batteries for Remote Control
  • User Manual
  • Discount Pamphlet for Popular Internet Streaming Services

Mi Box Android TV Specs

Length: 101mm
Width: 101mm
Thickness: 19.5mm
Weight: 176.5g (+/- 1g)
Color: Black
Output Resolution: Up to 4K 60fps
Processor: Quad-core Cortex-A53 2.0GHz
GPU: Mali 450 750MHz
RAM: 2GB DDR3
Flash: 8GB eMMC
System: Android TV 6.0
Security: Widevine L1 + PlayReady 3.0
Wi-Fi: 802.11a/b/g/n/ac, Dual-band Wi-Fi 2.4GHz/5GHz
Bluetooth: Bluetooth 4.0/3.0
VP9 Profile-2 up to 4K x 2K @ 60fps
H.265 HEVC MP-10 at L5.1, up to 4K x 2K at 60fps
H.264 AVC HPat L5.1, up to 4K x 2K at 30fps
H.264 MVC, up to 1080P at 60fps
Supports HDR10/HLG HDR processing
DTS 2.0+ Digital Out, Dolby Digital Plus
Up to 7.1 pass through
HDMI: HDMI 2.0a x 1 port (HDCP 2.2)
USB: USB 2.0 x 1 port
AV: SPDIF Out / 3.5mm audio output x 1 port
Power: 1 port
Remote: Bluetooth voice remote control, powered by 2 AAA batteries
Included accessories: Bluetooth voice remote control, HDMI cable, user guide
Power input: 100~240V 50/60Hz input, 5.2V, 2.1A output

Click Here To Get Your Free Guide “Supercharge Your Android TV Box”

 

Important Note:  Internet service providers are starting to block or throttle access to Kodi addons and Android streaming apps.  Also, your Internet service provider is keeping logs of all your Internet activity.  Below, you will find a link to a tutorial that will provide instructions on how to setup a VPN on Mi Box. 

How To Install Kodi On Mi Box

2017-08-29T18:30:18-05:00 By |Android TV Box, Kodi|16 Comments

16 Comments

  1. Troy September 21, 2017 at 12:45 pm - Reply

    For those having problems pairing Rii Bluetooth keyboard to Mii, take battery cover off the Rii and you will find a usb dongle. Plug that into the usb port on the Rii and that will work better than Bluetooth connectivity anyway.

    • Angela September 23, 2017 at 12:54 pm - Reply

      Troy. I have also tried that combination and still get the “can’t pair” message after pairing and trying to connect. Does anyone have a suggestion for a wireless keyboard that works with the Mi Box? I’m keen to get one and thdd keyboard referred to in the article works with my pc, tablet and tv but not this box.

  2. Billy Snyder August 12, 2017 at 9:13 pm - Reply

    Troy, i believe Sergiu had a legitimate question and your reply was flippant to say the least. I followed your recommendation on the Rii keyboard and have not been able to connect it either. I have been through two Mi boxes and tried on two tv’s in different locations to rule out interference. I have also tried every damn combination of recycling, turning one unit on before the other excetera. I’m on my third day trying and I come back to your article….and see that answer. It will be the last time I follow your advice. Perhaps, when you did this review the Mi shipped supporting 4.0/3.0 bluetooth, but I dont think so anymore. Both of these Chinese products have lousy documentation, so I’m not sure that my suspicions are correct, but to blow somebody off with that ridiculous answer….is a sure way to lose credibility. Now I have to return two items you recommended.

    • Troy August 13, 2017 at 8:48 am - Reply

      Billy, please understand that I reply to hundreds of questions per day on this website and unfortunately I don’t have the time to go into a detailed description for every single question. I am not sure that I understand what the problem is here. Maybe you guys got bad keyboards. I just confirmed the procedure and my Rii I8 Bluetooth Keyboard is working perfectly with the Mi Box which does have the most recent firmware, I use it all the time. Many people purchase the wrong Rii which is not Bluetooth compatible – if that is the case for you guys, there is a usb dongle within the battery compartment that can be plugged into Mi. The one that I link to above is the Bluetooth version. Instructions – Turn on Rii Keyboard. Go into Mi Box Settings – Click Add accessory – “Search for accessories” message will appear – at this time click the Bluetooth button top right corner above trackpad on keyboard -Bluetooth 3.0 Macro Keyboard will show and you must then click that with the Mi remote to pair it.

      • Billy Snyder August 13, 2017 at 3:54 pm - Reply

        Troy, I know there is a difference between BT & RF keyboards, that’s why I clicked on your link to purchase. Yes, there is a dongle…even found a youtube that explains using the wiring provided, that one can be used to attach said dongle for an additional foot of separation if dealing with interference issuses.
        It may be bad keyboards…as mentioned, I have tried two Mi boxes AND two TV’S in different locations. My phone finds the keyboard with no problem, but the box first displays the mac address, I click on that. Then it says PAIRING….then CONNECTED , for twenty seconds, then finally “couldn’t pair”.
        I have tried everything, including some weird stuff from Rii’s limited documentation. ..the newer stuff i see on Mi boxes list BT 4.0 which is SUPPOSED to be backward compatible unless dual vs single mode.
        I hope you understand that after three days…..I was a little irritated when I came across your answer.

        • Troy August 14, 2017 at 8:24 am - Reply

          Billy, I don’t think it is the Mi Box. I would suggest also trying to shut off all other Bluetooth devices within home if there are any on so they don’t interfere with the pairing and see if that helps.

          • Billy Snyder August 14, 2017 at 2:10 pm

            Thanks, but that was already the case. The only time any other bluetooth was on, I was testing to see if the Mi box could see my phone. Negative. Customer service is open today for both, but i do not have high hopes. Do you know of any other boxes that sideloaded apps work well?
            The main reason I’m doing all this is to load a Facebook apk so my mom can get updates from friends and family. She is too old for a tablet or phone, and her 2014 Samsung Smart TV quit supporting their poor excuse for a FB app.
            I got it loaded on the Mi, but the page didn’t work to well with the supplied remote….funny that the worlds largest community is so hard to access for 90 yro’s…..

          • Troy September 21, 2017 at 12:46 pm

            Billy, just thought of this. Use the dongle that comes with the Rii Bluetooth keyboard that you can find on the back of the Rii keyboard. There is a compartment for it. Plug that into the usb port on the Mi Box.

      • Billy Snyder August 13, 2017 at 4:22 pm - Reply

        I also understand this is not your problem…it does sound like he is seeing the same thing….going from “connected” to “can’t pair”, and appreciate your last post of steps taken.
        Your review was very good.

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  4. Sergiu Morar January 13, 2017 at 9:45 am - Reply

    How did you pair your Rii I8+ with bluetooth keyboard on Mi Box, my keyboard is connecting but not pair. Thanks

    • Troy April 25, 2017 at 7:54 pm - Reply

      I paired it via Bluetooth settings.

    • Billy Snyder September 25, 2017 at 7:02 am - Reply

      Sergiu, take the box back and get another. Took me three boxes. If you get one that exceeds normal Chinese exports, it almost connects by it self, recognizing the keybord bluetooth BEFORE executing the pair command.

  5. Aaron Dean Dinnison January 10, 2017 at 1:03 pm - Reply

    Thank you Troy for testing and reviewing this. I am definitely looking for something better than the Fire TV2 and the stick, which I have. I don’t think I’ll be getting the Mi Box though. Any suggestions would be very welcome. I want one with BT, USB, and ethernet connectivity. I don’t want any bloat or Kodi pre-installed :-p I’m not a gamer either.
    Thank you for putting on your server a direct download link for Kodi’s android 16.1!!! I have used it a few times using the “download” app 🙂 … and shared your tutorial in the community.

  6. Mi Box Review | ENIGMA TV December 31, 2016 at 1:29 pm - Reply

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  7. Al Lovett September 28, 2016 at 3:52 pm - Reply

    I have two Fire TVs and Firestick. I run a modified Spinz tv setup because I like the interface. I just update all new addons myself. I also have a Sony tv that i’ve installed kodi on and use sparingly.

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