Impressed by Xiaomi’s Mi3 smartphone? In a development that could create even bigger waves than the Chinese company’s entry into the smartphone market, Xioami, along with Flipkart, is likely to launch Mi TV 2 – a 49 inch ultra-high-definition TV priced in the range of Rs 60,000-65,000 in India.
UPDATE: The company has launched a new version of the Mi TV, known as Mi TV 2S.
It 48″ in size Mi TV 2S and comes with an ultra-thin 9.9 mm aluminum frame and a 4K (8 MP) panel.
It is built on MStar’s latest 6A928 chipset, and scores 43,000 points on AnTuTu benchmark.
The most interesting part is the price – which is 2,999 Yuan or Rs 30,600. Of course, the reason why the TV is so cheap is because of Xiaomi’s tie-ups with content providers. In the absence of such tie-ups, the price would be very different, which is why it has not been launched in India.
The Mi TV 2 is unlike any TV you have seen in India so far. It’s so smart that the best way to describe it is to call it a really really oversized tablet.
Before we jump in to the details, let’s look at what is the current state of the 50-inch (or more) UHD or 4K TV market in India. The cheapest available model is one from Mitashi, which costs around Rs 1 lakh. Videocon is next, with a price tag of around Rs 1.1 lakh.
But if you really want a high-end TV, you have to look at Sony, LG and Samsung. And it is here that the real pinch begins.
There is only one UHD 4K TV available on Flipkart, and that is the Samsung 55HU9000 priced at Rs 3.03 lakhs.
The cheapest model in India in the 49-inch plus UHD category is the LG 49UB850T UHD TV. Chances are that it comes with the same panel as the Xiaomi Mi TV 2, as the latter also has a 49-inch UHD panel made by, who else, LG. Except that when it is Xiaomi that is selling it, the whole package costs only Rs 50,000 or so. UHD is called so because instead of having 2 million pixels on their display like a Full HD TV, they come with a total of 8 million pixels, making the images life-like.
The actual price of the MiTV2 is Rs 40,000 in China, but add the transportation costs of around Rs 5,000 and import-related duties and taxes of 30%, plus sales tax, the actual price of the product comes to around Rs 65,000-70,000.
Now, we don’t know whether the MiTV too will be subsidized to the same extent that the Mi3 was. Xiaomi officials have said in August that the company wants to have content partnerships in place in India before the launch of the TV here, which indicates that Xiaomi might actually decide to sell the TV at a lower price and try to make money on the content.
The Mi3 phone, according to industry estimates, carried a subsidy of around Rs 3,000 per unit, though this is just a guestimate by industry experts based on a sum-of-parts assessment. If a similar subsidy level is maintained (which is unlikely), the TV could be sold for as low as just Rs 55,000. However, considering the amount involved, and the extreme amount of interest seen in Xiaomi products, we believe a more realistic pricing will be around Rs 60,000 mark.
Without any subsidy, but without big margins either, the TV should cost in the range of Rs 65,000-70,000. If Xiaomi opts for levying the conventional margin of around 30%, we are looking at a price range of 90,000, but that’s highly unlikely. According to our sources, pricing will be around Rs 60,000-65,000 range, which will make the MiTV 2 a really good deal considering what is on offer in the market right now.
However, a complicating factor in the case of TV, vs a smartphone, is delivery cost. Flipkart does not deliver TVs to all the cities, and a launch of the Xiaomi model is also likely to be restricted by the ability to ship large-sized TVs intact.
Let’s now look at the features. The panel is made by LG and has a resolution of 3840 pixels by 2160 pixels. There is almost no bezel. In fact, there is one, but it’s less than one-fourth of an inch — so thin that you will barely see it. The thickness of the frame too is very less, barely more than half an inch.
What makes the Mi TV2 stand out is not just the price or the fact that it comes with a UHD 4K resolution, but also the fact that it is actually a big tablet/computer in itself.
It runs on a 1.45GHz quad-core MStar 6A918 processor from Mediatek and has a Mali450-MP4 graphics process and 2GB of RAM.
Before you ask, yes, there’s storage memory too – 8GB of it (expandable by a microSD card by up to 64GB.)
Like the Mi3, the Mi TV also run on a customized version of Android called MIUI-TV.
Another unbelievable feature is the acoustics. The MiTV 2 comes with a 120 Watt subwoofer and an eight-speaker sound bar. Sounds good? Wait, there’s more. They are connected wirelessly to the TV, so there’s no need to have wires running all over your living room either. Yes, and the remote is connected using bluetooth technology, so you don’t have to ‘point’ the device at the TV to make it heard. The remote also comes with voice search that comes in handy when surfing youtube or searching for videos on the local drive.