Chinese electronics maker Xiaomi recently debuted its maiden smart television powered by Amazon Fire TV operating system in India. Named Redmi Smart Fire TV, it is an entry-level model offered only in 32-inch screen size. A good audio-visual is basic for a television, but it takes more for a smart television to justify the ‘smart’ moniker. Thankfully, the Redmi Fire TV 32 comes close to meeting the expectations.
Powered by the Amazon Fire TV 7 operating system, the Redmi Fire TV 32 is easy to set-up if you have an Amazon account. Important to note, Amazon account is different from Amazon Prime membership. It is free to sign-up for the Amazon account, but the Prime membership is a paid subscription with several benefits – including access to content available on Prime Video and Amazon Music. Therefore, you can sign-up for the Amazon account and use it to set-up the television. You, however, would need apps subscriptions to stream content available on the over-the-top (OTT) apps. You can set-up the television without linking the Amazon account, but then most of its services, smart capabilities, and access to apps would not be available.
Speaking of apps, the Redmi Fire TV 32 has a built-in app store with a catalogue of over 12,000 apps. Commonly used apps such as YouTube, Disney+ Hotstar, Apple TV+, Airtel Xtreme, Jio Cinema, etc. are all available on the app store. The OS has parental controls built-in with provisions to set different profiles for adults and kids. Besides, there is a data monitoring service in case you are on a metered internet plan.
These are basic features offered by most brands, irrespective of the operating systems their televisions are based on, but what gives the Redmi Fire TV 32 an edge over others is the niche features coupled with wide connectivity options.
For starters, you can connect the DTH set-top box and easily switch between DTH TV channels and OTT apps from the home screen. Moreover, there is Apple Airplay and Miracast for screen mirroring and easy transmission of content from supported smartphones, tablets, and PCs on the television’s screen. On top, there is Alexa built-in for hands-free operations besides enabling a smart connected ecosystem of supported devices. As for the connectivity, there is Bluetooth 5.0 and dual-band Wi-Fi (a/b/g/n/ac) for wireless, and 2 x USB 2.0, 1 x Ethernet, 1 x AV, 2 x HDMI (with ARC available on one), 1 x earphone, and 1 x antenna.
Coming to the audio-visual part, the Redmi Fire TV 32 is a mixed bag of several hits and some misses. Starting with the screen, it is a bright and vivid LED panel of 60Hz refresh rate. Contrast, however, is a bit off – resulting in shallow blacks and bluish whites. The subdued contrast, however, does not hamper the viewing experience on the HD-ready screen. Complementing the screen is the stereo speakers of 20W peak output. The audio is modest for a 32-inch screen television with decent depth and clarity in tones.
At Rs 13,999, the Redmi Fire TV 32 is a comprehensive package with something in store for everyone. Since it is powered by Amazon Fire TV operating system, there is a learning curve involved – especially for people new to the OS. Once past the learning cycle, the TV impresses with easy-to-use interface, smart experience, and swift performance. On the audio-visual front, however, things could have been better. That said, the Redmi Fire TV 32 might not be the best smart television in its segment but it certainly ranks among the best.