Google is rumored to soon launch an Android TV stick but Xiaomi has raced past it to launch the Mi TV Stick. It supports up to 1080p HD resolution.
Android TV on a stick
Android TV is usually something we associate with a TV from Sony, Philips or another brand. Or perhaps box like Nvidia Shield or Xiaomi's own Mi Box.
With Xiaomi's new Mi TV Stick you can bring the Android TV experience to any TV by plugging a small and portable stick into a free HDMI port - similar to the Roku and FireTV sticks.
The stick had been rumored for a while but the official announcement fell a little flat to say the least. Xiaomi's stick is affordable and comes - unlike Chromecast - with the full Android TV user interface, access to apps from the Google Play store, built-in Chromecast, and a physical remote with a microphone for Google Assistant.
However, it is limited to 1080p video streaming. Is there still a market for 1080p media players? Xiaomi thinks so but for many users it is probably worthwhile to wait a month or so to see what Google has in store. The company is rumored to launch its own Android TV stick... with 4K HDR.
The stick has Android 9.0 pre-installed and is powered by a quad-core A53 Cortex processor, 1GB of RAM, and only 8GB of internal storage. It supports Dolby and DTS audio but not the latest Atmos or DTS:X formats.
It is not the first Android TV stick either. In early 2018, the 'CCC Air Stick TV' was launched in Japan with support for 4K HDR, although it was considerably more expensive than Xiaomi's version.
Xiaomi's Mi TV Stick will be available starting later this month for 40 Euro in Europe. Official US availability has yet to be confirmed but it is already listed on amazon.com for $44.