Mi Box spearheads Xiaomi's entry into the US market


— 2:20 PM on October 3, 2016

Chinese smartphone manufacturer Xiaomi has introduced its first official Android product in the US market—but it isn't a phone. The not-so-descriptively-named Mi Box is an Android TV 6.0-powered set-top device capable of 4K and HDR streaming at 60Hz over an HDMI 2.0a interface. As with many other set-top boxes, the included Bluetooth remote has a built-in microphone with voice control for Google Now.

The Mi Box packs a quad-core ARM Cortex A53 CPU from an unspecfied vendor, 2GB of memory, and 8GB of internal storage into a 4" square just over 0.75" thick (101mm x 101mm x 19.5mm). The Box supports the latest wireless 802.11ac Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0 wireless standards. Lovers of wires will be unhappy to learn the Mi Box has no Ethernet jack.

When they're not watching streaming video, Xiaomi expects that buyers will play games on the Box with Bluetooth and USB controllers. The company shows a Bluetooth game controller with force feedback and three-axis G-sensor on the Mi Box's product page. It's not clear when that game pad will be available, though.

The Mi Box has Google Cast built-in, allowing users to direct content from their smartphone or tablet to the big screen without the remote control. The Mi Box can also access the Google Play Store for apps and content.

Xiaomi is taking pre-orders for the $69 Mi Box now and expects the device to begin shipping October 6. The Mi Box faces competition from Nvidia's Shield TV, recent releases from Roku, and potentially from the rumored Chromecast Ultra.

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