The Xiaomi Mi Box Mini is a tiny box that turns an ordinary TV into a smart TV. That’s hardly enough to make the Mi Box Mini stand out — Google, Amazon, Apple, Roku, and other companies offer similar devices. The Mi Box Mini is one of the smallest devices of its type. It’s about the size of a USB charger. And it’s one of the cheapest: it sells for about $32 in China.
Xiaomi launched the Mi Box Mini in China in January, but now you can buy one in the US, Europe or other markets… you’ll just have to pay more for the device and be willing to put up with a Chinese user interface.
- SoC – Mediatek MT8685(A) quad core ARM Cortex A7 @ 1.3GHz with Mali-450MP4 GPU (4 fragment + 2 vertex cores) @ 416MHz
- System Memory – 1GB DDR3
- Storage – 4GB eMMC 4.5 flash
- Video & Audio Output – HDMI 1.4 up to 1080p with Dolby 2.0 and Digital Plus pass-through
- Video Codecs – H.265, H.264, H.263, MPEG 1/2/4, VP8 (Up to 1080p30)
- Connectivity – Dual band 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi + Bluetooth 4.0
- Power Supply – Integrated into device. 100-240V 50/60Hz input
- Dimensions – 46.8 x 46.8 x 38 mm
- Weight – 73 grams
The box features a 1.3 GHz MediaTek MT8685 quad-core ARM Cortex-A7 processor, 1GB of RAM, 4GB of storage, and HDMI output with support for 1080p video and H.264 and H.265 codecs as well as MPEG 1/2/4 and VP8. It also supports dual-band 802.11b/g/n WiFi and Bluetooth 4.0.
The most remarkable thing about the Mi Box Mini is probably the design: it’s a tiny box that measures about 1.8″ x 1.8″ x 1.5″ and which plugs right into you power strip or wall jack. Then you run an HDMI cable to your TV. It also comes with a Bluetooth remote control.
Out of the box the device runs Android 4.4 KitKat with a custom user interface based on Xiaomi’s MIUI software and optimized for television screens. The user interface is in Chinese, but the box comes with the Google Play Store installed, so even if you can’t read Chinese you might be able to install some English language apps such as SPMC (a port of the Kodi media center app) from the Play Store to make the Mi Box Mini useful.