Redmi Smart Fire TV 4K Review: Snappy OS with a reliable screen
- Redmi smart Fire TV 43-inch on sale today.
- The Smart TV is a bigger variant of the available 32-inch screen SKU
- This is the first smart TV from Redmi to run on Amazon’s Fire TV OS.
AdvertisementRedmi and Amazon’s collaboration with the 32-inch Fire TV rejuvenated the smart TV line-up for the brand. Especially with the snappy OS experience and integrated Amazon applications, and support. While the 32-inch smart TV made its mark on the market, generating positive reviews– including us, a bigger variant was needed to add to the portfolio. Redmi has done just that, with the launch of the 43-inch variant of the Fire TV. While the smart TV relies upon the same Fire TV OS, there are some added features which are exclusive to this variant. What are those? And who should buy this TV? I will explain in my review.
Price and availability
Redmi 43-inch smart Fire TV 4K is priced at ₹24,999 and it will be available on Amazon and Redmi’s D2C website on 29th September.
Display & Audio
Lets start the visual experience offered by the Redmi Smart Fire TV, which boasts a 43-inch panel with a 4K screen resolution. This LED smart TV certainly stands shoulder to shoulder with its peers in this category when it comes to visual quality, and a significant part of this can be attributed to its seamless OS integration.
Featuring a 4K panel, it provides excellent support for content across various applications, including popular ones like Netflix. Personally, I've been immersed in shows like "Asohka" on Disney Plus Hotstar, which revolves around the iconic Star Wars character. The series offers a captivating mix of grand, vibrant scenes and shadowy alleyways set in the depths of space.
From the moment I powered on the TV, I was impressed by how effortlessly HDR enhances the overall visual and auditory experience. The black levels are truly inky black, and in brighter scenes, the color reproduction is nothing short of exceptional.
Furthermore, the TV's dynamic range is quite commendable, effectively distinguishing between darker and lighter portions of the display.
What truly enhances the visual experience is the integration of the software. Notably, the TV offers multiple picture modes, as you'd expect from any smart TV. However, Redmi TV excels at delineating between these modes.
My personal favorites are the movie and music modes, primarily due to the TV's ability to fine-tune the speaker settings. In movie mode, the speakers deliver a spatial sound effect, enhancing the perception of background music and action sequences. Visually, this mode sharpens the picture and intensifies colors.
I've even replaced my smart speaker with the Fire TV, given the seamless integration of Dolby Atmos. Although I found the experience most impressive in a smaller room rather than my spacious living room, the audio setup is commendable for its size. In my 20ft x 10ft room, the TV produced immersive, room-filling audio.
AdvertisementHowever, one area where the Redmi Fire TV falls short is gaming, a limitation that was also evident in the 32-inch variant. As one would typically expect from a TV of this size, the refresh rate remains at 60Hz. Therefore, if you're an avid console gamer, don't anticipate exceptional out-of-the-box performance. It's simply not designed for that purpose, and Redmi doesn't make any such claims.
OS & Performance
This marks the arrival of the second Redmi Fire TV, and it's an amalgamation of both new and familiar features. Setting up this smart TV was a breeze. A quick input of my Amazon credentials and it was good to go.
Fire TV OS presents a visual departure from the familiar Google TV layout. In certain aspects, it arguably surpasses it, thanks to a well-balanced and visually appealing color scheme. It maintains its user-friendly layout for features and functions. Starting with the app tray, which is bold and easily distinguishes between applications. The categorization of apps makes navigation a seamless experience.
This TV supports a wide array of third-party OTT applications, including Netflix and Disney Plus Hotstar, to name a few. And, naturally, you can expand your app collection via the Fire TV store.
What truly shines is the exceptional speed of the Fire TV OS on this device. Having used the Fire TV OS on the 32-inch variant, I must say the integration here is remarkable. It's incredibly responsive, and in my five days of testing, I have yet to encounter any lag. Switching between multiple apps or simply booting up the TV is swift.
This is even more impressive considering the TV boasts just 2GB of RAM. The level of integration required to ensure such seamless performance deserves recognition. The internal storage, at 16GB, is an improvement over the 8GB of the 32-inch variant and provides ample space for more apps.
Another notable feature for Alexa users is its integration with other Alexa-enabled devices you may have. Although I personally don't own one, I witnessed its capabilities during a briefing where the TV, despite low internet bandwidth, connected to an Alexa device and displayed a live feed from a remote location. This essentially turns your TV into a 43-inch monitor to keep tabs on various locations. It also enables easy control of other smart devices through the TV.
Additionally, there's a new picture-in-picture mode for video feeds from Alexa devices, allowing you to adjust the window size. While this feature is efficient, its performance is largely dependent on internet bandwidth – faster internet ensures a smoother connection.
My experience with Alexa voice commands has improved over time, and this TV only boosts my confidence further. The voice assistant is responsive and seamlessly integrated into apps. You can ask it to play a specific movie without specifying the app, although it's worth noting that its precision isn't flawless, occasionally missing the mark. Nevertheless, it stands on par with Google TV OS in this regard.
Now, while I've highlighted the OS's strengths, there are a few aspects I didn't particularly favor. Xiaomi's Patchwall UI, which helps identify and recommend movies, is notably absent here, and I hope to see some form of it in future iterations of the Fire TV OS.
The TV guide, displaying the timing of TV shows on different channels accessed via dedicated apps, might be somewhat intricate for the elderly, who are the primary users of TVs in many households.
In the grander scheme of things, Fire TV OS is a valuable addition and a step in the right direction for the Redmi brand.
I want to close this review by talking about TV's least impressive aspect. Like before, this Redmi Fire TV places its primary focus on introducing a new operating system. Which means minimal visual enhancements. The TV itself features a rather understated black profile, adorned only with a Redmi badge at the front and a Fire TV badge at the lower right corner. Beyond these branding elements, the brand has made no effort to make the smart TV visually distinctive, which is somewhat disappointing. This is a 43-inch variant which means you might find it in living rooms, generally where an entire family sits together. It's also where guests are entertained, I believe adding some visual treatment is necessary at this point.
In terms of connectivity, the TV offers all the standard options you would expect. You'll find 2 HDMI ports, 2 USB Type-A ports, a 3.5mm AUX port, and an ethernet port, providing you with a comprehensive range of connectivity choices.
AdvertisementWe do have the redesigned remote control, which now includes a new row of playback keys. These keys are functional across applications, making it convenient to navigate through content by moving forward or backward. The remote also retains its wheel-shaped hard press button and shortcut keys for specific applications. The Alexa button is located at the top right corner, and as I mentioned in my earlier discussion of the operating system, it is impressively responsive.
Redmi Fire TV 43-inch 4K is a respectable addition to the Redmi portfolio of smart TVs, and a sincere option for customers. It is highly responsive, offers a respectable audio-visual experience, and, perhaps most notably, excels in the realm of operating systems. Considering the current state of Google TV with minimal changes, the Fire TV OS emerges as an attractive alternative. This is particularly true when presented in the form of a straightforward smart TV, as is the case here.
If you find yourself in the market for an affordable smart TV, the Redmi Smart Fire TV, priced at ₹24,999 for the 43-inch variant, is certainly worth considering.
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