Xiaomi and OnePlus have always squabbled in the smartphone segment and that fight continues in all other verticals where the two brands operate. OnePlus is always trying to create a homogeneous tech world like Apple’s and Redmi is trying to push its competitive pricing. Even now, the two launched a new series of smart televisions coming in three different sizes - 50, 55 and 65 inches. While we have the 55in from Redmi, we’ve also reviewed OnePlus’ smart telly and you can read more about it on this link.
Xiaomi’s budget range is pushed under the sub-brand Redmi and this 55in telly is the Redmi Smart TV X55. It’s got a plastic body and even a plasticky screen. These things are a common practice in budget televisions. Even the OnePlus shared the same fate but with a bit more panache. Ironically, the OnePlus is smarter than the Redmi Smart TV and we’ll get to that later in the review.
No matter which size you pick, all three tellies will have the same specs. It’s a 4K display with support for HDR10+ and Dolby Vision. Non-HDR content colours are saturated for our liking but if you switch to Dolby Vision content like Our Planet on Netflix, the colours behave as they should. You will have to turn off the motion processing too but it’s buried a bit too deep in the settings. You can long-press the PatchWall button to bring up the quick settings to change the picture and sound quality. Even though it’s a bit under-equipped in the smart department, the Redmi is still decent for anything you throw at it. Naturally, 4K HDR content is probably its thriving spot but it does a decent job of upscaling HD shows too. The sharpness is also kept in check unlike the OnePlus. The dark and black patches of the ocean in My Octopus Teacher are on the duller side but that’s a fate linked to all mid-range TVs.
Surprisingly the Redmi telly has better audio quality even though the downward-firing speakers are focused on the mid-range and vocals. There’s not a world’s difference between the two brands but there are a few hiccups from OnePlus’ end. Redmi’s audio is a straightforward budget experience that doesn’t try anything fancy. The OnePlus’ Dynaudio tuning needed a walloping in the settings before actually being useful. The 30W two-speaker system in Redmi has decent audio for all types of content. Dare I say, it has a wee-bit bass too. Albeit, you should still look into a soundbar or an audio system for truly good sound. If you do pick up Dolby Atmos supported speakers, both Redmi and OnePlus allow for Dolby Atmos Pass through via the one and only e-ARC port. Redmi supports DTS Virtual: X and DTS-HD on the telly itself too.
When it comes to spec sheet war, the Redmi telly has a slight advantage over the OnePlus. But in actual use, both are not too different from each other. We still love the OnePlus U1S telly for its controlled contrast and natural colour. And if you hook the Redmi to a PS5 it will give you a 5ms response time on 4K at 60Hz. In our use, we didn’t feel a massive difference between the two brands even when OnePlus says the U1S has a 15ms response time. Battle Royale shooters on consoles might thrive under low latency but for any other games, it doesn’t make a huge difference.
PatchWall has also got some spit polish in the last few years and it’s great for curating content on your screen. The software doesn’t really slow the telly as such. You can navigate from Android TV OS to PatchWall with a push of a button. It’s also fitted with Xiaomi’s Mi Home app and if you have existing Mi Home products, controlling them from the telly is a good option. You also have the Google Assistant button on the remote to control lights and other menial stuff on the telly. The OnePlus telly has a Speak Now feature that lets you activate the AI butler without the remote and the remote also comes with a dedicated mute button. Something the Redmi Smart TV lacks. You can double-tap the volume down button to mute the telly but it feels like a haphazard way of controlling the audio. Just give us more buttons!
OnePlus has been peering over Apple’s walled garden to take notes and the payoff is finally surfacing. There’s a host of smart features that help you leverage other OnePlus devices to work with the telly. It’s great and adds extra functionality to a smart living room. Xiaomi is well aware of its diverse line of products but they’re not talking to each other like OnePlus and Apple products do. Maybe a venture to Cupertino might spark an idea?
You can also buy a Mi TV Webcam (₹1,999) that sits magnetically on top or stands below the telly to use with Google Duo. It’s got two microphones as well and the FullHD quality is great for video calling loved ones on Google Duo. Frankly, it is literally like the OnePlus TV webcam. Even the metal build quality and the privacy slider are the same! You can read more about it in our OnePlus U1S review. The Redmi telly doesn’t have a dedicated camera app like the OnePlus telly which lets you shoot videos and photos from the camera. You can only use it with Google Duo for now.
Redmi’s Smart TV might shave a few grand from your bill total but that’s only if you want a 4K screen with all the necessary display format support. It’s competitively priced and if you have zero interest in OnePlus’ smart connections then the Redmi Smart telly is truly worth considering.
We wish Redmi would hum the same ecosystem tune which OnePlus and Apple have been dancing to. As far as smart connectivity is concerned, the OnePlus telly has a slight advantage and even slightly optimised picture quality. The Redmi Smart X Series telly offers the same temptation as all other Redmi products - competitive pricing.
It’s worth noting that the packaging used for this Redmi tv can be cut up and made into a recyclable shelf. Pretty neat. Also, you don’t get a wall mount in the box here. Something that is included with the OnePlus U1S telly.