This isn’t exactly new hardware, as the Mi Box S’s tech specs are nearly identical to the original Mi Box
that Xiaomi launched in 2016. Both have quad-core Cortex-A53 processors, Mali 450 GPUs, 2 GB of RAM, 8 GB of built-in storage, 802.11ac Wi-Fi, a full-sized USB 2.0 port, and S/PDIF audio output. They also both support DTS and Dolby Digital Plus surround sound (but not Dolby Atmos like the latest streaming players from Roku
, and Apple
The main difference on the hardware side is the remote, which adds a few new buttons. There’s a button to bring up all your apps—useful, because the full list is somewhat hidden on Android TV’s home screen—and a new shortcut button for Netflix. There’s also a button marked “Live,” but we’re still seeking clarification on what that does. Like the previous Mi Box’s remote, this one has volume and power buttons for your television as well.
On the software side, the Mi Box S runs Android TV 8.1 Oreo, which isn’t technically the latest version, but we’ve yet to see any devices running Android 9.0 Pie.