Xiaomi Mi TV QLED 4K 55 review: Too good despite its flaws

Mi QLED TV 55-inch is a complete package - it's a smart TV with great picture quality, sound, smart features at affordable price. But it isn't in the league of Samsung's QLED TVs

QLED TVs are about experience, precise colour and deeper contrast. Xiaomi's Mi TV QLED 4K 55 has a lot of good stitched together with a few flaws. It may not be perfect but is still a beast of a budget QLED.

With the metallic chassis and bezel-less frame, the 55-inch Mi QLED TV looks good. The rear is a mix of plastic and carbon texture fibre. It isn't as premium looking like the OnePlus QLED TV launched last year (priced at Rs 62,900) but has a superior built quality than most of the LED TVs in the market. Although the TV is accompanied by a table mount, you will have to spend extra for the wall mount. Necessary ports such as HDMI, USB, and 3.5mm are at the rear and I suggest plugging in a connector if you are going to access them often. The compact Bluetooth remote with dedicated keys for Prime Video, Netflix, Android UI and Patchwall continues to miss the mute button Xiaomi has figured a way around. Double pressing the volume down key mutes the TV. However, this feature didn't work with our review unit.

All new age smart TVs are powered by Android OS giving instant access to apps like Netflix, YouTube, Hotstar, Prime Video and more. The row-based UI is easy to navigate around and the voice search is much convenient over the virtual keyboard. With Xiaomi TVs you also get Patchwall. This is Xiaomi's UI which is customised for the Indian audience. The UI is similar to FireTV Stick UI, with categories such as movies, shows, news, and more. There are also suggestions such as 4K picks, Dolby vision, editor picks, to name a few. The infinite scrolling down presents with a wide catalogue of content suggestions, and as I streamed content, the recommendations got better. But most of the content is streamed through various services such as Hotstar, Prime Video, Netflix, Voot, Sony Liv amongst others and requires subscriptions. Between the two UIs, I found the Android OS to be slow and sluggish. Surprisingly, Patchwall UI was smooth and lag-free. The dedicated buttons for Patchwall and Android on the remote made it convenient to switch between the two. That said, while most of the apps loaded quickly, Prime Video took some time to load. However, gaming on Xbox 360 was smooth and lag-free.

With most of these features accessible on most of Xiaomi's LED TVs, this QLED is about more clarity, brightness, accurate colours and contrast. Undoubtedly, it's better than Xiaomi's LED TVs in the market. But the default settings are rather disappointing. When tweaked around a little bit, I was able to see the true potential of this TV. I guess the technician who will install the TV would set it at an optimal setting.

One sticking point with Android TVs is the lack of easy access to TV settings while playing/streaming content. Unlike traditional Android TVs where you have to exit the app to access settings, long-pressing the Mi button gives quick access to the display, sound, input settings on this TV.

With TVs becoming sleek and slim, the sound has been a big trade-off. The Mi QLED TV is no different as the sound is loud and clear but nothing extraordinary. You can consider adding a soundbar.

Mi QLED TV 55-inch is a complete package - it's a smart TV with great picture quality, sound, smart features at affordable price. But it isn't in the league of Samsung's QLED TVs.

Price: Rs 54,999

Specs: 55-inch 4K QLED, 3840x2160, Dolby Vision HDR 10+, 30W speakers Dolby + DTS-HD, PatchWall, Android TV 10, Google Assistant, Bluetooth, WiFi, 3 HDMI 2.1 ports, 2 USB ports, 3.5mm audio port

In the box: QLED TV, remote, table mount with screws

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