Xiaomi’s Mi TV Stick will go head-to-head with budget Roku and Fire TV devices

Xiaomi has taken the wraps off its anticipated new Android TV device, the Mi TV Stick, a 1080p-resolution media streamer that looks like it will compete directly with the $50 Roku Streaming Stick and the $40 Amazon Fire TV Stick. No U.S. pricing or availability has yet been announced.

Like the Roku and Fire TV devices, the Mi TV Stick uses an HDMI module that plugs directly into an available port on a TV or a soundbar and comes with a dedicated remote control.

Xiaomi is no stranger to the Android TV ecosystem. Its Mi Box line of Android TV set-top streamers features some of the few devices to run Google’s smart TV operating system, which also serves as the main user experience on smart TVs from Sony, Hisense, and others. However, the Mi TV Stick lacks premium features like 4K or HDR, meaning that it will sell for significantly less than the Mi Box models, which have traditionally aimed at the higher end of the market.

The Mi TV Stick will support Dolby Digital and DTS audio, and it has two technologies that give it an edge in the streaming space: Google Assistant and Chromecast, neither of which are available on models from Roku or Amazon.

Inside the device are a quad-core Cortex A53 CPU, an ARM Mali-450 GPU, 1 GB of RAM, and 8GB of onboard storage for downloading apps and games.

Netflix and Amazon Prime Video are preloaded and get a dedicated button on the device’s Bluetooth remote, which also features a Google Assistant button for issuing voice commands.

The timing of this new Android TV device is significant, as it comes amid an increase in focus on Google’s media software. TiVo recently released its $50 4K- and HDR-capable Stream 4K device, which runs Android TV, and if months of rumors are accurate, we could soon see Google itself release a similar device.

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