Following the cord-cutting movement: Xiaomi Mi Box 3 2/8 GB (International Edition) review

Today we get our hands on the gadget that streaming nuts might have a great interest in. We are going to review a smart, fast and well-rounded set-top box Mi Box 3 (Global Edition) with a voice control option, a new quad-core processor for 4K, 60 fps video streaming and a bunch of popular content services.

Packaging

The packaging is pretty simple. In the box, you get the set-top box, a remote control, a charging unit, an HDMI cable and a user manual.

Design

The first thing that impressed us was its ultra-compact size. Xiaomi Mi Box 3 measures 101×101×19.5 and weighs 176 grams. It has an elegant facade with rounded edges and a slightly bulging top. There’s also an assortment of ports including the power port, USB 2.0, HDMI 2.0b and an AV port. The device does look great sitting next to your TV.

Hardware

Once you learn what is under the hood of Mi Box 3 you will never think of it as a cute little box again. This is a real powerhouse with some spectacular features. At the top of the list is the 4K capability with 60Hz frame rate.

Mi Box 3 is rocking a quad-core processor, Mali-450 graphics and 2GB of RAM. It comes with 8 GB of internal memory, with only 5GB that can be actually used. All of this allows the system to play 4K TV shows and movies and run newest games. Mi Box 3 streaming box also houses Dolby Digital Plus and DTS 2.0 sound and an 802.11ac dual-band Wi-Fi antenna.

Remote control

The fun does not stop there. Included in the box is the remote control that supports voice search and has a built-in Bluetooth 4.1 to hook to Mi Box 3. It is compact and the rounded edges in its design lend the device to a very comfortable feel in hand. The remote is powered by two AAA batteries, which are not included in the kit.

It is also equipped with a microphone for voice commands. The mic is quite sensitive, but we still recommend holding the remote close to your mouth when giving instructions for a better voice recognition. The remote has several buttons to navigate the menu: a rotating wheel that you can also press, “Back” and “Return to main menu” buttons, voice assistant button and volume control.

Capabilities

Out of the box, Mi Box 3 runs Android TV 6.0. The interface is a pleasure to use and everything is laid out well for easy navigation. Due to a very powerful processor, it works very smoothly and quickly. The remote control was very useful, but to play games you had better opt for a gamepad. The set-top box is compatible with Mi Bluetooth Gamepad and even Xbox One.

If there is a streaming media service online, Mi Box 3 probably supports it. It really is an inspiration for those people, who decided to ditch their cable company. The set-top box offers a bonanza of subscriptions including YouTube, Play Music, Play Movies, Play Market, Netflix to name the few.

Bottom line

Mi Box 3 is great at bringing all popular streaming services together into a single package. We appreciated its powerful search feature that gets you to the content you want quickly. The software will definitely have a few improvements later so expect the number of content to grow even more. Picture quality is not to complain about and support for 7.1 surround system is a welcome addition to the set. Navigating the menu with the included remote is easy and fun. Given all that, there is almost no reason not to give Xiaomi Mi Box 3 a chance.

 

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