Xiaomi launches an affordable Android TV stick

Mike Wheatley

China’s Xiaomi has launched its first ever Android TV stick, which plugs into the back of any old television that’s equipped with an HDMI port and transforms it into a full-fledged Android TV.


The new Xiaomi Mi Stick is meant to rival devices such as Roku’s TV sticks and Amazon’s Fire TV stick, and supports up to 1080 pixels HD resolution.

Xiaomi’s Android TV stick has reportedly been in the works for some time, but the device was released last week with surprisingly little fanfare, which is a surprise as it’s both affordable and offers full access to the Android TV interface. What that means is that users can download apps from Google Play, make use of voice controls via Google Assistant, and use a physical remote if they want.

That makes it superior to Google’s original Chromecast devices, which are more basic in that they just send content from a mobile device such as a smartphone to the TV.

The Xiaomi Mi Stick runs Android TV 9.0 and is powered by a quad core A53 Cortex chip that offers 1GB of RAM and 8GB of internal storage. It also supports Dolby and DTS audio, but not the latest Dolby Atmos and DTS:X surround sound formats.

The device supports Bluetooth 4.2, along with 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi. Hence, the Mi TV Stick can connect to 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz Wi-Fi networks. It also has a full-sized HDMI port and a MicroUSB port for power.

Some users may well be disappointed that the Mi Stick only supports HD streaming, however. While Xiaomi is probably hoping that its price point will attract buyers – it will cost just 40 euros (around £36) when it goes on sale in Europe later this month.

Users looking for something more powerful may well be advised to wait for Xiaomi’s planned 4K Ultra HD Mi Stick, which is reportedly going to offer up to 2GB of RAM instead of just 1GB, as well as a USB-C port for power rather than the MicroUSB. It’s not clear however, when that version will be released.

Alternatively Google is also said to be planning a new Android TV stick of its own, codenamed Sabrina, that will also support 4K HDR content. Given that it’s an official Google product, Sabrina may well come with a few additional features that its rivals don’t have. So some might want to wait for that device instead, though it’s likely to cost significantly more than Xiaomi’s devices.