The Redmi Fire TV is a value-for-money proposition in more ways than one. Read our full review.
The Redmi Fire TV was announced recently as an affordable smart TV running Amazon’s FireOS interface. Over the past five years or so, since Xiaomi entered the Indian smart TV space, the company has been offering a host of value-for-money products. I was quite impressed with Redmi Smart TV X 43 (review) launched back in 2021 which retailed under Rs 25,000. However, the Redmi Fire TV is an even more budget-friendly option with a price tag of Rs 13,999. The device is the first TV under Redmi’s belt to run on FireOS and has naturally grabbed my attention. Can the Redmi Fire TV live up to its expectations? Let’s find out in this review.
- From a design standpoint, the Redmi Fire TV is built to maximise screen real estate. Aside from the chin at the bottom, which holds the Redmi and FireTV branding, the bezels on all three sides are quite slim. The build quality of the Redmi Fire TV is in line with other televisions in the sub-Rs 15,000 price range. It features a plastic unibody construction which is not as robust as some of the more expensive offerings in the market although it is still durable enough to withstand normal use. Owing to its relatively small 32-inch size, the Fire TV is easy to carry around, should you desire to change its location inside your home. To that end, the TV can either be mounted on your wall or placed on two stands that screw in at the bottom.
- The device is not very thick, measuring about 8cm at its widest portion, and weighs just about 5kg. All I/O options on the TV are at the back and you get a fairly good selection of ports. There are two USB 2.0 slots along with an RJ45 Ethernet jack and two HDMI ports. Also, you get a standard 3.5mm headphone jack, AV input, and, if you are still hooked up to a cable network, an Antenna port as well. I like that all these ports are arranged vertically to one side which makes it easier for cable management.
- Display quality on the TV is not the greatest but it’s a budget TV after all. For all intents and purposes, the Redmi Fire TV provides a decent viewing experience via its HD (1,366 x 768) LCD panel. It has a refresh rate of 60Hz and utilises Redmi’s Vivid Picture Engine for displaying content. The screen is reasonably bright and while there is no HDR support, it can show up to 16 million colours. I did notice the output is a bit saturated but it is to my liking. For audio purposes, the viewing is ably supported by a 20W stereo speaker setup with Dolby Atmos.
- FireOS 7, as the main software interface, is the driving force behind the Redmi Fire TV. Redmi and Xiaomi both normally implement the custom Patchwall platform along with Android TV on their TVs, so this is new territory for the company. Essentially Amazon’s Fire TV stick interface is built within the TV allowing the user to access multiple streaming services and their content alongside more than 12,000+ apps. It is a utilitarian approach that makes it easy for consumers to browse different movie and TV series options as compared to Patchwall.
- Performance is handled by a quad-core Cortex A35 CPU and 1GB of RAM, and the UI does feel a bit sluggish sometimes. 8GB of storage is provided to store apps and media files. There is no Chromecast option available on the device and the only methods to cast your smartphone’s screen wirelessly on the FireTV are via Apple AirPlay and Miracast. I do like that the smart TV has dual-channel Wi-Fi connectivity which means it can utilise the high-speed 5GHz band. Finally, there is also Bluetooth 5.0 if you wish to connect some wireless audio peripherals to the TV.
- The remote is sleek and not overdone with buttons, keeping only things that will be immediately useful to the user. These include keys to directly launch Netflix, Amazon Prime, Prime Music, and the app store. Apart from that there are the standard back, home, and settings buttons as well. Up top, you also have the Alexa launcher for voice recognition.
The Redmi Fire TV is a value-for-money proposition in more ways than one. Of course, expectations must be tempered when talking about a smart TV that is priced as low as Rs 13,999. Even so, you are getting the best features possible in the segment including a decent UI, good speakers, and dual-channel Wi-Fi connectivity. Performance can feel a bit slow when switching between apps but that is one of the compromises one has to make at this price point. The Redmi Fire TV gets my recommendation as a serious contender in the budget smart TV space.
Editor’s rating: 4 / 5
- Good interface
- Cost effective
- Supports dual-channel Wi-Fi
- Sluggish performance at times