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Xiaomi Mi LED TV 4S 55 review: a fabulously cheap Android TV.

Xiaomi Mi LED TV 4S 55 review: a fabulously cheap Android TV.

4K TV with HDR support for 30 thousand rubles, two at once «operating systems» and plentiful functionality. Are we really in a fairy tale? It turns out that competitors in the mass market already need to run after the Korean analogue of Xanax? Or is it too early for Xiaomi’s miracle TV to celebrate an unconditional victory? We test the novelty and figure it out ourselves!

⇡ # Specifications.

Xiaomi Mi LED TV 4S (55) Panel type * VA Panel diagonal 55 inches Panel resolution 3840 × 2160 Refresh rate 60 Hz Sound system 2 × 10 W with bass reflex; Dolby + DTS Hardware platform 4 cores ARM Cortex-A55 clocked at 1.4 GHz, graphics subsystem Mali-450 MP3 and 2 GB RAM Operating system Android TV + shell Xiaomi PatchWall (fully localized) Interfaces USB 2.0 × 3, HDMI × 3, AV × 1, Ethernet × 1, 3.5mm × 1, CI+ × 1 Wireless modules WiFi 2.4 / 5 GHz Digital TV DVB-T2 + DVB-C Dimensions 123.1 × 76.7 × 26.4 cm (with stand) Weight 12.74 kg (with stand) Price 29,999 rubles.

⇡ # Restrained design.

The appearance of the TV did not become a revelation, although it looks very good against the background of other budget models. Perhaps most notable is the thin bezel with a brushed aluminum finish. Even though the metal layer is thin and rough, it still looks and feels better than utilitarian plastic. Also, the front part is decorated with a minimalistic Mi logo and a transparent indicator light under it..

TV table stand – two small legs on the sides. They are fastened without any invention and safety net, so it is better to assemble in the position of the case «lying down» on the edge of some surface. Having set up a fairly light TV (12.45 kg) on ​​these legs, you understand that the whole structure is not too rigid and, under external influence, tends to sway and even twist. If you have children and pets running a race, – it is worth insuring the TV from overturning.

The case by modern standards is relatively «fat» – among other things, this is influenced by the Direct LED backlighting located directly behind the panel, rather than on the side. The entire back wall is plastic, the connectors are located closer to the center.

Finishing touch – nameplate, which says that the TV with the L55M5-5ARU index is assembled in Kaliningrad. So our «Chinese» ended up with a Russian residence permit.

⇡ # Interfaces and controls.

On the back, there are three HDMI 2.0 ports, three USB 2.0 ports, an antenna input and standard stuff like a headphone jack. The connectors are located on two sites in the center of the TV – and systems to «hide» cables, not provided.

Main governing body – minimalistic remote control connected via Bluetooth. They left the very minimum of buttons on it to control the TV. On the one hand, it is impossible to get lost in it. On the other hand, basic things like switching sources and adjusting the image go through several menu levels instead of a trivial push of a button..

⇡ # Android TV.

The Xiaomi Mi LED TV 4S 55 runs on Android TV 9, which is rather a plus for a budget model. Despite the modest «iron» (4 cores ARM Cortex-A55 clocked at 1.4 GHz, graphics subsystem Mali-450 MP3 and 2 GB of RAM), the system adequately responds to user actions.

In general, there are a lot of different «bells and whistles»: Google services integration, Chromecast functions, voice search, third-party APK support and so on. In a word, there is a place for an inquiring mind trained on smartphones to roam.

Mi TV 4S 55 with Android TV.

It is curious that the TV has two shells at once, you can switch between them by pressing one button on the remote control. The first – this is the standard Android TV 9 interface, in which all content is divided into several main sections, displayed in tiles in a line.

Mi TV 4S 55 with Xiaomi PatchWall.

The second – This is the proprietary Xiaomi PatchWall shell. Popular content based on personalized recommendations is displayed here. Love to watch TV shows – new items will prevail in your menu «Amediateki». Love Hollywood action – and here more will appear films Okko and ivi.ru.

Operating system settings Mi TV 4S 55.

At the first launch, the user is given the opportunity to choose which one to make the main one. If after a while you decide to change your mind – you can change the default shell through the choice of the launcher in the Android settings. Yes, we’re still talking about TV!

As a sign of generosity, Xiaomi is giving TV buyers a 6-month subscription to paid video services. You can activate it by going to the appropriate application under your account until December 31, 2019. This is another opportunity to save money built into the TV..

⇡ # Image and sound.

The Xiaomi Mi LED TV 4S 55 has a 55-inch VA glossy matrix. The anti-glare is not too strong, so it is better for the TV to choose a place and position so that there are no windows or bright light sources directly opposite it..

The viewing angles are all right: the image fades smoothly at an angle, the distortion is low, and you will hardly have to regret that it is not an IPS matrix.

I was also pleased with the uniformity of the backlighting: the LED blocks are located right behind the matrix, so there are no strong drops even in the corners of the screen. We specifically looked at the screen in the dark and did not see any «clouds», which is rather rare for an LCD TV. By the way, the maximum brightness of the backlight – 327 cd / m2, not bad, but clearly not enough for HDR (the minimum level for the declared UHD Premium certification – 1000 cd / m2).

Contrast ratio reaches 3000: 1 – commendable result! Taking into account that the default gamma is set to the optimal value of 2.2, the image in SDR mode is quite contrasting, but not «overwhelmed». Except that subtle color transitions are displayed roughly in places, since the matrix operates in 8-bit mode.

The default color temperature went off scale under 12000 K, and this is the first shock. The color gamut may be close to Rec. 709, but the color rendition is noticeably distorted due to the too cold overall tone. Red tones are especially poorer, which often lack juiciness..

After going through several modes, we came to the conclusion that a preset can slightly improve the situation. «Sport» (second shock). There are more «cinematic» gamma 2.35 and color temperature 8500 K – still better than it was.

But, as you can imagine, this does not solve general problems with color reproduction. We tried to twist the color temperature settings, in which there are only three positions: cold, normal, warm. They turned out to be simply inoperative. – nothing has changed on the screen, so you can forget about the optimal 6500 K, unless it is fixed in upcoming updates.

Almost everyone managed to sing praises to 4K resolution on a relatively inexpensive TV, but missed one subtle caveat: the Xiaomi Mi LED TV 4S 55 matrix uses a non-standard subpixel structure, which is distinguished by an offset pixel grid. And on different tones, rather coarse static dithering is used (the formation of additional tones by mixing existing ones), due to which some of the pixels are muted on the screen and diamond-shaped patterns similar to ripples or moire are often visible.

All this adds up to an image that is noticeably inferior in clarity. «correct» 4K. In real life, the advantage over Full HD with linear subpixel orientation remains minimal, if not noticeable at all. In addition, the TV does not perform well as a monitor: it catches the eye on almost all fonts and outlines. «cross» pixel structure that reduces the perceived sharpness of an image.

The image settings in Mi TV 4S 55 are present, but not applicable in practice (at least in the current firmware version)

To be honest, we don’t know why even mention HDR when the TV has a perfectly standard brightness, backlight and color gamut.… The fact is that Xiaomi Mi LED TV 4S 55 is physically unable to show the difference between SDR and a wide range of HDR video, even if it really wants to, – in addition to brightness, color depth is also lacking (10-bit picture is not supported, its maximum – 8 bit). This is compounded by the fact that in trying «pinch» a wide dynamic range up to its capabilities, firstly, semitones are lost, and secondly, flaws in the processing and inevitable signal transformation affect. Ultimately, ordinary SDR video looks better and more convincing than «pseudo-HDR». The latter function was done rather for the sake of compatibility with signals and sources. It is worth calling the Mi TV 4S 55 rather « HDR-Ready TV » .

The input lag was about 30 ms, and this is not the most accurate measurement method with a high-speed camera relative to another LCD. It is quite possible to play on TV, but for games that require lightning-fast reflexes, you can find something more responsive..

Built-in sound made us happy – this is affected by the sufficient depth of the TV case, where quite normal speakers fit. The volume margin is not the highest, but there is little distortion, and the timbre with hints of bass is much nicer than that of most. «squeaky» ultra-thin TVs.

⇡ # Built-in media player.

The TV is able to hardware decode H.264 and H.265 / HEVC video, so we had no particular concerns about multimedia functions. «Heavy» video in 2160p resolution played quite easily from an external HDD, and even rewinding turned out to be quite fast.

What confused – so this is the presence of strange loops that now and then appear in some files. This was partly an annoying side effect of noise reduction, but even with Noise Reduction turned off, some scenes still showed unnatural motion blur. And this has nothing to do with the speed and physical properties of the matrix. – flaws are completely on the side of the decoder, processing and software.

The issue of supporting multiple audio tracks and switching subtitles remained unresolved: these items were simply not found in the standard application, but on the remote – corresponding buttons. On the other hand, the beauty of Android TV is that you are not limited by the manufacturer’s software. – you can always put a third-party player to taste.

⇡ # Conclusion.

Since we are talking about hype, I would like to describe the general impressions of the Xiaomi Mi 4S 55 TV with the capacious phrase of comrade Dyatlov from the series «Chernobyl», which immediately turned into a meme: «Not great, but not terrible either».

This budget 4K TV is more like an Android tablet with a large screen, in which the actual TV functions are relegated to the background. And in the spotlight – the ability to consume content via Android TV network services, customize the system and experiment with APK files.

This approach has the right to life, as it reflects well the trends of the times. And judging by the responses of the first users, they are quite satisfied with such a balance, because there is another important trump card on the side of the TV. – price. Even if the image quality is not the highest, even if the alluring 4K and HDR nameplates are mentioned in vain, and the settings are crude in places – at a price of 30,000 rubles, many will close their eyes to this, because there are still few alternatives.

Well, if you want to contemplate the true visual brilliance of 4K with HDR, flexibly configure inputs for different sources (movies, games, etc.), then there is no choice – will have to expand the budget at least twice. In the end, you get exactly what you pay for, and this formula has yet to be outsmarted. – even a resourceful company like Xiaomi.

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