Xiaomi has some good and bad news for owners of its first smart Mi TV, aka the 55-inch Mi TV 4, in India.
Xiaomi has some good and bad news for owners of its first smart Mi TV, aka the 55-inch Mi TV 4, in India. Let’s start with the bad news. The Mi TV 4 55 will not get any Android TV update(s) meaning Xiaomi’s first Mi TV in India has officially reached the end of life in a way though things could be different on the PatchWall front. Good news is, Xiaomi is offering its newly launched Mi Box 4K at a Rs 1,000 discount to those who have bought the Mi TV 4 55 to lessen the blow. The Mi Box 4K costs Rs 3,499 in India but if you happen to own Xiaomi’s 55-inch Mi TV 4, you can get it for Rs 2,499.
“Mi fans, we always endeavor to provide you the best smart TV experience, but we regret to inform you that Android TV updates cannot be made available to Mi TV 4 55. We have pushed the Android TV updates to 3M+ Mi TVs. However, the Mi TV 4 55-inch does not support the requirements for Android TV codecs because of its unique design,” Xiaomi said in a statement.
That unique design is what set the Mi TV 4 55 apart from any other “value” smart TV when it arrived in the Indian market in 2018. Even though it cost just Rs 39,999, the Mi TV 4 55 brought in a “premium” paper-thin profile with a near edge-to-edge display that supported both 4K and HDR. For some perspective, the Mi TV 4 55 was 4.99mm at its thinnest point and the whole thing, including the bundled base, weighed under 20kg. It was surely something else. In fact, I say this with full confidence, there hasn’t been another Mi TV like it in India ever since, even though Xiaomi has replaced it with newer generation models that continue to be fully supported.
The Mi TV 4 55 ran Xiaomi’s PatchWall UI only (based on AOSP), and not a dual user interface like its more modern TVs that also give you the option to run stock Android TV, and while we don’t know how much of that contributed to its “demise” it could have been one of the factors.
So, what does this mean for owners of the Mi TV 4 55? Well technically, I’ll tell you it’s time to buy a new one but I also understand that TVs are a household thing. They are meant to last long, not just for two years anyway. While Xiaomi is expected to continue supporting it from a hardware standpoint, if your Mi TV 4 55 falls under warranty, it won’t be getting any new Android TV software update. That includes security updates too. This means your TV will be vulnerable to bugs and Xiaomi will not be liable to fix them. Xiaomi doesn’t say if it’s ending PatchWall updates too but if its MIUI update cycle is anything to go by, there could still be some hope. PatchWall is kind of like MIUI for Xiaomi TVs.
Mi fans, we always endeavor to provide you the best #SmartTV experience, but we regret to inform you that android TV updates cannot be made available to Mi TV 4 55".
— Mi TV India for #MiFans (@MiTVIndia) May 14, 2020
The Mi Box 4K deal for Mi TV 4 55 is kind of sweet, to be fair. Buying a Mi Box 4K will ensure your Mi TV 4 55 will be able to run the latest version of your preferred OTT platform, so no problems there. That’s not something that every brand does every day, so Xiaomi deserves credit here.
All said and done, people also need to understand smart TVs are like smartphones. They will also stop getting updates sooner or later. That’s something that people in India, where smart TVs are still only beginning to arrive, will have to get used to.