Today I bring you one of the best products that Xiaomi has presented this year, the new Xiaomi Mi TV Box S 2nd Gen which was launched five years after the Mi Box S that already existed in the market. At the same time, it was more well-known and was a choice to consider gaining popularity due to its Google certification to stream licensed 4K content from all the popular streaming apps, including Netflix, Prime, Disney, Hulu, and lots more, when such certifications were rare among TV boxes. However, times have changed, and most TVs now come with built-in Netflix and other streaming apps, making the landscape quite different.
So, Xiaomi has revamped its media center to become one of the leading references in this new generation. It has updated Google TV, improved its performance, and processor, updated the remote and connectivity, Google TV UI, Dolby Atmos, DTS:X, HDR10 Plus, and more. but practically everything else remained the same. In other words, we’re talking about a box with an updated Amlogic processor, 2GB of RAM, and 8GB of internal storage, and priced it to be very affordable. it is the only option on the market that you can buy for less than 45 and has all these features. With it, you get Google certification and the power to perform at its best. I will tell you about my experience, all the new features, and what it can offer us. and the importer thing is it worth the upgrade or a new purchase for accessing your favorite streaming content? Keep reading to find out.
Xiaomi Mi TV Box S 2nd Gen Features
- 4K Ultra HD Streaming Media Player
- Powerful Quad-core CPU
- Google TV Certification
- 2GB RAM + 8GB ROM
- Dolby Vision® and HDR10+
- Dolby Atmos® and DTS-HD
- Bluetooth 5.2 & Dual-band Wi-Fi
- 360° Bluetooth & IR remote control
Unboxing and Design
Let’s start with the unboxing experience. Inside the box, you’ll find the second-generation Xiaomi TV Box S, proudly displaying the Xiaomi logo The first generation had a small “Mi” logo. At first glance, you might notice that the design looks quite similar to its predecessor. The device’s physical appearance, size, and form factor remain largely unchanged. Even the location of the input and output ports closely resembles the first-generation model.
The design It maintains a sleek and minimalist aesthetic, which many users appreciate. The device features a compact square form factor, measuring approximately 9.5*9.5*1.6cm and and weighing a mere 140g, making it unobtrusive and easy to place near your TV. One distinct feature of the design is the Xiaomi logo, now elegantly embossed on the top cover, adding a touch of sophistication to the device. This subtle branding choice aligns with Xiaomi’s design philosophy and sets it apart from other TV boxes on the market.
To ensure stability and prevent slipping, the device is equipped with four rubberized pads on the base. These pads provide a secure grip, preventing any unintended movement, which is especially important when considering the various cables that may be connected to them.
For user convenience, there’s a small LED indicator on the front panel. This indicator serves as a helpful visual cue, displaying the device’s operational status. When it comes to the placement of input and output ports, Xiaomi has chosen to maintain consistency with the previous model. The layout of the ports on the back of the device is virtually identical, The HDMI 2.1 port takes center stage, while the USB 2.0 port offers expandable functionality such as hard drive or an Ethernet adapter. The 3.5mm audio jack caters to personal listening preferences. And, perhaps surprisingly, the USB port retains its USB 2.0 status. While the physical design remains largely unchanged, it’s essential to note that the real magic of the Xiaomi TV Box S 2nd Gen lies within its internals and capabilities.
The remote control included with the Xiaomi TV Box S 2nd Gen is almost identical to the previous version. It retains the same compact size and button layout. However, there are a couple of notable differences. Firstly, you’ll spot the Xiaomi logo at the bottom of the remote, emphasizing the brand’s presence. Secondly, there’s a special button dedicated to accessing the Xiaomi TV application. This addition makes navigating your content even more convenient. Also, the D-pad button features an anti-slip texture, improve your control experience. Furthermore, you’ll find four shortcut keys that provide quick access to Netflix, Prime Video, and YouTube, as well as a button to configure it with another application, volume up and down buttons, and more. Also, note that the remote control does not come with AAA batteries. What’s noteworthy is that this remote supports both Bluetooth and infrared, allowing you to control other compatible devices.
In terms of included accessories, The TV Box S 2nd Gen comes in orange box with the device’s design, and inside, you’ll find the TV box, the remote control, an HDMI cable, the power adapter, and will find warranty card and a user manual. The presence of these accessories means that you can set up your new Xiaomi TV Box S 2nd Gen without needing any additional components.
Hardware Specs and Performance Benchmark
The Xiaomi TV Box S 2nd Generation is more than just a sleek, compact device for transforming your television into a smart entertainment hub. It’s a powerhouse in terms of hardware specifications and performance, making it a top contender in the market. Let’s take a closer look at what makes this device tick and how it fares in real usage. Under the hood, the TV Box S 2nd Gen boasts an impressive hardware setup. It features the Amlogic S905X4 processor paired with the Mali-G31 MP2 GPU, It is a mid-range TV box chip that is perfectly suited for this use and at this price level. which is a notable upgrade from its predecessor, offering improved processing power and efficiency.
So that brings us to our benchmarks. Starting off with Geekbench, a single-core score of 153 and a multi-core score of 457. And in the Antutu benchmark test, we achieved 84K. This SoC designed to handle the demands of modern streaming and gaming with ease. These components work in harmony to deliver snappy performance and stunning visuals and offer a very smooth experience throughout the system, and the interface functions effortlessly, with applications opening rapidly. With this hardware, you also have enough power to install emulators and enjoy gaming on platforms like PlayStation or Dreamcast.
While the Xiaomi TV Box S 2nd Gen excels in CPU and GPU performance, it’s worth noting that it comes with 2GB of DDR3 RAM and 8GB of eMMC internal storage. While this might seem modest, it’s sufficient for most streaming and multimedia needs. However, power users who plan to install numerous apps or store large media libraries might find the storage space somewhat limiting. To overcome this limitation of storege, you can expand your it with external devices like USB flash drives or external hard drives via the USB 2.0 port. I also tested out the internal disk speeds and got a Read speed of 62Mb/s and a write speed of 30Mb/s.
Gaming Capabilities and Emulation
Gamers will be pleased to know that the Xiaomi TV Box S 2nd Gen is more than just a media player. It can handle a variety of games from the Google Play Store with ease. The powerful hardware ensures smooth gameplay, and the Mali-G31 MP2 GPU provides excellent graphics rendering. Additionally, the device’s capabilities extend beyond Android gaming. Users can explore emulators to enjoy classic console games on their TVs.
Speaking of games, obviously, with the hardware it has, this TV Box won’t offer advanced graphics for gaming or anything like that. However, the Play Store’s game library is available for use on the TV. So, many of the games available there will work just fine. I tested a few, and I was quite satisfied. The only game I tried to install that didn’t work due to hardware limitations, which could have been solved with better configurations, was Asphalt 8. It simply wouldn’t run, and there was no way around it. However, the other games I installed worked really well. On the other hand, the most powerful and greedy games, such as Genshin Impact or PUBG, will not be playable. That’s not powerful enough at all.
Now, to avoid just praising the TV Box and not mentioning any downsides, there were a few things that bothered me, but they were few. First, even though it works perfectly when watching videos or playing games, occasionally, during navigation, it freezes, making the interface not as smooth as it should be. That feeling of fluidity was sometimes interrupted by these freezes. This could be improved if Xiaomi were to provide slightly better hardware, and maybe a bit more memory and processing power. It would probably solve this issue. However, this is one of the downsides, but it doesn’t really bother me that much. The second point is related to its storage capacity. With only 8GB of space, you can’t install that many apps. In the case of Asphalt 8 not working, it was because of the lack of storage space. It’s impossible to install any large games, and if you want to make recordings, you need an external hard drive because it won’t be possible to do it directly on the TV Box.
How To Setup
Setting up the Xiaomi TV Box S 2nd Gen is a breeze. The initial setup process is user-friendly, reminiscent of Android TV. It all begins with selecting your preferred language, ensuring accessibility for users worldwide. The intuitive interface guides you through connecting to your home Wi-Fi network seamlessly. The box will offer several setup options, either directly through the remote control or, for a simpler and faster setup, through the Google Home app on your smartphone. You’ll just need to scan a QR code and follow a few steps for Wi-Fi connection and Google account setup. That’s where things get interesting, as you’ll start exploring the Google TV interface.
Software & User Experience
One of the standout features of the Xiaomi TV Box S 2nd Generation is its integration with the Google TV platform marking its foray into Google’s television ecosystem. The device now comes Certified, running on the latest Google TV 11.0 OS, which you can bid farewell to the hassle of switching between different streaming apps. The Xiaomi TV Box seamlessly integrates all your favorite streaming services under one roof, accessible with just a few clicks. Whether it’s Netflix, Prime Video, Disney Plus, or YouTube, all your go-to apps are readily available.
In fact, this interface is currently based on Android TV. You’ll find a large advertising banner that highlights certain content from various platforms. Just above that, there are different sections tailored to your content recommendations based on your preferences and what you’re currently watching, including movies, series, documentaries, YouTube videos, and more.
Additionally, this system is available for installing new apps. This version is adaptable and comes with the most common applications. Importantly, it is compatible with all of Google’s official certifications, so there are no limitations in using applications, which is an issue with many devices on the market. All of Google’s functions are available, including Chromecast, and Miracast you can effortlessly cast content from your mobile devices or PCs to your TV. I’m not going to say it’s super fast in operation. There is a slight delay.
I’m sure many of you are thinking about sideloading apps to watch a wide range of content. Well, you can sideload apps if you want to. You can download apps from outside the Google Play Store and install them via APK files, giving you more versatility, but be aware that doing so may void your warranty.
For Xiaomi fans, the Xiaomi TV Box S 2nd Generation brings exclusive access to Xiaomi TV Plus and the innovative Xiaomi Patchwall (exclusive to Xiaomi devices) among your choices. This new television interface is loaded with a plethora of free channels, providing you with access to an extensive array of content in multiple languages, including English. While these features are currently inaccessible in certain regions, they hold the promise of an enriched future viewing experience. Google TV’s user interface is designed with simplicity and convenience in mind. Navigate through your favorite content effortlessly, and discover new shows and movies.
Regarding Google TV, it’s important to adapt to the fact that many TV boxes now use Google TV as their operating system instead of Android TV. There are some differences between Google TV and Android TV. In Google TV, you can’t move the recommendation rows on the main screen, and voice search is limited to the YouTube app. But, here came Patchwall to aggregate content from various legal online sources based on your interests. You can use voice search within Patchwall by pressing the search button in the app.
Beyond streaming, the Google TV ecosystem extends to a plethora of Google apps and tools. Google Assistant takes center stage, offering convenient, hands-free control over your TV. A simple voice command like “OK Google, open Netflix” instantly transports you to your favorite content. Also, This operating system ensures seamless access to a wide range of Google services and features, eliminating compatibility issues often encountered with uncertified devices.
In this day, it’s all about content, and to be more specific, it’s all about entertainment content. We all crave more episodes of our favorite series, more movies, and more streaming services to provide it all to us in the comfort of our own homes. With Xiaomi TV Box S 2nd Gen, this little bundle of entertainment is the ultimate device for those wanting to turn their TVs into the smart entertainment home center of their dreams.
I tested local 4K sources with Kodi, and it worked fine. The test used a 4K movie with Dolby Vision from “The Wandering Earth 2,” which is 20GB in size. Fast forwarding was smooth, so for the S905X4 processor, decoding local 4K sources (in this case, files from NAS) is not a problem. Playing 4K HDR videos on YouTube also works flawlessly.
Was that all? Well, that was quick! This device supports the latest viewing technologies that will take your favorite movies and series to the next level. Two standard features are 4K streaming and HDR 10 Plus, which combine to give you the best visuals in every situation. Now, further enhancing your viewing experience are my two favorite Dolbys – Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos. Dolby Vision is a technology designed to unlock the full potential of your HDR technology by taking each individual image and optimizing it based on the device you are using as well as the platform. Dolby Atmos is an audio technology focused on building a spatial sound experience that immerses you in the content you are watching.
And because it’s the latest processor, it allows it to decode a wide range of audio and video formats, ensuring compatibility with various media sources. Whether you’re playing local media from a USB drive or streaming content online, you can expect a seamless playback experience. It also supports AV1 decoding, which can save up to 50% of streaming bandwidth compared to VP9. So, this box is fully prepared for future streaming services. If you’re looking for a box that will receive updates and stay relevant for many years to come, this is a solid choice.
Also, this TV box has a Widevine L1 certified, allowing you to watch online services that require this certification in 4K quality. It’s also Netflix-licensed, and YouTube is pre-installed. The TV box plays 4K 60fps videos with 10-bit color. So, you won’t face any issues with 4K content playback.
There is a “Xiaomi TV+” app on the front side of the box, which is among the pre-installed software, but it offers only a limited number of channels. Xiaomi TV+ supports many channels, and the availability depends on your location. There aren’t many settings for this TV+ app, but you can request to join the beta testing to access more features.
IPTV playlist apps work great and seamlessly and the TV channel zapping speed is fast. If you want to be able to watch movies, series, and TV channels for free, there are interesting videos that are going to appear at the top of your screen.
Users often find themselves at a crossroads when choosing between wired and wireless connections. With the Xiaomi TV Box S 2nd Generation, you don’t have to make that tough decision. Its comprehensive connectivity options provide the best of both. You can opt for a wireless setup when convenience is key or go with wired connections for minimal latency and maximum stability. With Bluetooth 5.2 to pair wireless headphones for private listening or connect external input devices, and has dual-band Wi-Fi, HDMI 2.1, and versatile ports, it caters to the diverse connectivity needs of users.
With dual-band Wi-Fi support operating on both the 2.4GHz and 5GHz frequency bands, this media player ensures that you can access high-quality content without the frustration of buffering or lag. On the 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi, I achieved speeds of 86 Mbps, and on the 5 GHz, it reached 250 Mbps, which are excellent results. The result on 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi is better than the average among all tested TV boxes, making it easy to connect this TV box to Wi-Fi without any problems, compensating for the lack of an Ethernet port.
In conclusion, the Xiaomi TV Box S 2nd Generation is a substantial upgrade from its predecessor. While its design remains familiar, it’s the internal improvements that truly shine. With top-of-the-line visual and audio technologies, Google TV integration, and Google Assistant at your disposal, it transforms your TV into a smart media center that caters to your every whim. It offers 4K resolution support, a user-friendly interface, and a range of apps for streaming and gaming, supports various video and audio technologies, and offers a smooth user experience. While it may not be a gaming powerful, it excels at streaming content and provides great value. making it a cost-effective solution compared to buying a new smart TV. Existing Xiaomi TV Box users may find the upgrade worthwhile due to the improved interface and features. While there are limitations when it comes to accessing certain features in specific regions, the device offers a solid Google TV experience.
Overall, my experience with the new TV Box S 2nd generation has been great. Xiaomi has completely refreshed its media center, making it a standout in its price range. As I mentioned in the intro, it’s a unique device in its price segment, offering all of this for less than $62.49 during AliExpress.
With all this you might say, do we really need a box like this in 2023 when TV interfaces are becoming increasingly sophisticated? Some TVs already come with Android TV. It depends on your needs. If you feel limited by your current TV and want more features, a product like this could be a satisfying upgrade, especially given its affordability. However, it remains an entry-level device and will serve the most basic streaming needs. The main limitation is the lack of storage for installing additional apps. There are pricier and more feature-rich products, such as the Nvidia Shield, but they come at a higher cost.