Xiaomi has been at the forefront of the smart TV revolution in India and the brand has played an integral role in democratizing Android TVs for the masses. And, the proof is in the pudding. In fact, according to a recent Counterpoint report, the company dominated the smart TV segment with a market share of 14.3 percent in Q1 2022. Moreover, in an attempt to further increase its position in the space, the brand recently announced three new TVs. Smart TV X series too. I managed to get my hands on the 50-inch variant – aptly dubbed the X50 – and here’s what I’m making of it.
- From a distance, the Xiaomi Smart TV X50 looks like a run-of-the-mill TV set. Of course, the TV sports a black-colored frame and, like other competing models, can be mounted to a wall or propped up on a flat surface using the bundled plastic stands. What’s more, there’s no way to confirm the make or model of the unit, except for the prominent Xiaomi branding on the TV’s chin. Understandably, the TV’s design doesn’t stand out from afar.
- Upon closer inspection, the TV surprised me with its strong build quality, which is arguably more than competing Android TV sets. To wit, the device uses metal in its construction and the chassis of the unit is free of any flex. Furthermore, the TV feels amazingly solid and has a decent heft to it too – accordingly, I have no doubt that the unit will stand the test of time. I should also add that with the plastic legs, the TV refuses to budge from its position – so, you don’t risk dropping the set from a flat surface as you might accidentally elbow the frame or legs.
- The TV is flush with a variety of ports, including three HDMI 2.1 connectors, two USB Type-A toggles, an Ethernet port, a headphone jack and an optical port. What’s more, the device is also compatible with eARC tech and as a result, prospective buyers can stream audio from the TV as well as connected peripherals directly to the soundbar of their choice. As far as wireless connectivity is concerned, the device supports dual-band Wi-Fi and Bluetooth v5.0, which is pretty good. You can also use the unit’s built-in Miracast functionality to mirror your phone’s screen on a TV.
- Spec-wise, the Xiaomi Smart TV X50 is powered by a quad-core, Cortex-A55 cluster powered by 2GB of RAM and 8GB of inbuilt storage. The TV felt snappy enough during my testing, though the unit stuttered when jumping between the company’s Patchwall OS and Android TV interface. On the bright side, the TV opened apps in a flash and I didn’t notice any significant performance drop when switching from one app to another.
- Case in point, the Xiaomi Smart TV X50 is supported by a 4K panel that packs in 3,840 x 2,160 pixels. The panel is compatible with Dolby Vision, HLG and HDR 10 codecs and refreshes at 60Hz. Surprisingly, the TV offers a stellar movie viewing experience and I rarely had any issues with the panel’s picture quality. The TV can seamlessly stream HDR media from OTT services such as Netflix, and I had a wonderful time rewatching The Witcher – encoded in Dolby Vision on the set. Colors looked surreal, characters’ skin tones didn’t look doctored, and the panel handled both, gloomy and well-lit environments really well. Viewing angles are also top-notch, and despite plenty of natural light in my living room, I rarely found the X50’s screen dim. Thankfully, you can choose between the Dolby Vision Bright and Dolby Vision Dark presets by long-pressing the PatchWall hotkey on the remote and then selecting a picture preset from the prompt that appears.
- To assess the potential of HDR 10 content on set, I tuned into the latest episode of The Grand Tour. I found that the HDR Movie preset worked best with the set by changing the skin tones of the subjects in the frame to a tee. Furthermore, it also captures the peppy colors of the Subaru Impreza and Mitsubishi Lancer Evo very well. The skies of the Scandinavian region, though dull and grey, looked majestic and when all was said and done, I was very happy with the panel’s performance in this regard as well. What’s more, I didn’t face any issues while streaming older, HD or FHD content on the set. For example, The Office went great, and while I noticed instances of skin softening, it didn’t completely detract from my experience watching the show on set.
- I should also add that the TV supports ALLM or Auto Low Latency mode. Simply put, the TV can detect whenever you plug in a gaming console (Nintendo Switch and PS5 in my case). Once done, the device will automatically fix the latency and give you the best possible gaming experience – think of it as game mode, but for your TV. Surprisingly, I didn’t notice any lag issues while playing games on the Xiaomi Smart TV X50 – be it flipping and drifting cars in NFS Heat or engaging in intense sword battles in Ghost of Tsushima, the TV picked up all my inputs. Just fine.
- Now, as much as I loved the TV’s picture quality, the unit’s sound output left me wanting more. Spec-wise, the TV ships with 30W speakers, and while the unit is loud enough, it’s hard to hit the sweet spot for the volume toggle while watching a show or movie. To wit, when the volume is set at 15, the audio sounds weak but, if I increase the volume a level or two the output increases exponentially.
- Moving on, let’s talk about software. Here, it boots two of Xiaomi’s latest interfaces, namely Patchwall OS and Android 10 out of the box. In a nutshell, PatchWall curates and separates content from multiple OTT services based on your interests, thereby simplifying content discovery. With the latest iteration of the interface, buyers opting for the Xiaomi Smart TV X series will also be able to get a number on the show’s IMDb rating, which is pretty cool. The TV’s remote also comes with dedicated PatchWall and Android TV OS hotkeys, so you can jump between interfaces in a seamless manner.
Xiaomi knows a thing or two about designing affordable smart TVs and the company’s latest entry speaks to the brand’s experience in the space. The Xiaomi Smart TV X50, in particular, gets a lot of things right and offers a beautiful, bezel-less display that can stream HDR media from some OTT services. Furthermore, the device offers a healthy assortment of ports, a solid build and packs in acceptable performance chops. The icing on the cake is that the unit is priced very competitively and the Smart TV X series range from the brand is priced at Rs. 28,999, the model I reviewed costs Rs. Price below 35K. What’s more, TVs have also come down in price due to festive sales, so, if you’re eyeing a Smart TV X50, by all means, go for it – the TV won’t disappoint you.
Editor’s Rating: 4/5
- A stunning, bezel-less display
- A healthy selection of ports
- Strong build quality
- Good HDR capabilities
- The audio output is a bit distorted
- Logs are possible when switching between interfaces