When you just bought a smart TV, you will realize that their built-in apps are just incompetent in fulfilling your vast and fast needs. The TV companies are most likely focusing on building great beautiful screens instead of good software.
Therefore, your built-in smart TV apps are highly possible to be slow, out of date, and poorly designed. And for that reason, you will need to make another purchase of external streaming device.
The best external streaming devices of boxes and sticks that you might find out there are Roku, Android, Fire, and Apple. But, if you have tight budget, then these options might fall to be too pricey.
Therefore, we suggest you to go with either Xiaomi Mi Box S or Roku Ultra. Your next question surely will be why them.
Why Xiaomi Mi Box S vs Roku Ultra
Both of these options are available for budget external streaming devices under $100. If you notice, the segment of Android TV is mostly dominated by NVIDIA which offers great 4K content as well as great games streaming. But, it is expensive as it falls at around $200. Read also: TV Buddy Caster vs Roku.
Therefore, your best budget options might be between Xiaomi Mi Box that falls around $60 and the Roku Ultra at around $70 to $90.
About Xiaomi Mi Box S
Xiaomi Mi Box S is an Android TV external streaming device that is powered by Android 8.1. It is claimed to have superior functionality as it features the latest version of Android 8.1. It is easy to use.
With this device, you can have access to 3,000+ channels and apps and enjoy movies and TV series from Netflix, YouTube, and more. It provides high clarity of 4K UHD resolution and HDR which give you image clarity and smoothness.
It also supports voice control which could help you a lot. It has built-in Google Assistant and in apps voice search for helping you searching for photos, weathers, alarms, and many. It eases your life.
|Xiaomi Mi Box S||Roku Ultra|
|Product Dimensions||39.37 x 39.37 x 39.37 inches||1.4 x 3.3 x 1.7 inches
|Shipping Weight||13.8 ounces||1.2 pounds
|Best offer||Check price||Check price|
The storage capacity is claimed to be high in performance which comes from the 2GB DDR3 RAM and the 8GB eMMC Flash. It comes with Quad-Core CPU and 3+2 core GPU. The rendering is said to be stable and fast, which provides you with enjoyable video experience.
Xiaomi Mi Box S comes with Bluetooth 4.1 to wirelessly connect game controllers, headphones, speakers, and other Bluetooth-enabled devices.
It needs two AA batteries in order to function. The dimension is 39.37 x 39.37 x 39.37 inches with around 12.6 ounces weight.
About Roku Ultra
Roku Ultra is an external streaming device which virtuality is compatible with any HD and 4K UHD TVs. It comes with a powerful Quad-Core CPU, built-in 802.11ac dual band wireless, along with the latest streaming technology.
It gives you access to over 4,500+ paid or free channels. You can even get great features like lost remote finder, voice search, gaming controls, and headphones if you like to have a private listening.
The Roku Ultra gives high definition streaming that could go up to 720p HD. It also gives free apps for iOS and Android, which is why it is compatible for both TVs.
It needs two AA batteries in order to function. The dimension is 1.4 x 3.3 x 1.7 inches. And it weighs around 1.2 pounds.
For the audio, Roku Ultra features digital stereo over HDMI, DTS digital surround passthrough over HDMI, Dolby Audio and Dolby ATMOS that pass through over HDMI.
In the box, you will get a Roku Ultra streaming player, enhanced voice remote with personal shortcut buttons, TV power, volume and mute buttons, headphone jack, two AA batteries, and a power adaptor.
Xiaomi Mi Box S vs Roku Ultra
Released in 2017 with a more expensive price, the video output of the Roku Ultra comes with one HDMI 2.0a Female which is the same as the Xiaomi Mi Box S that was released in 2018.
Both of them support resolution of up to 3840 x 2160p at 60 fps. The virtual assistants supported in the Roku Ultra are Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, while the Xiaomi Mi Box S only supports Google Assistant.
The remotes in these two devices are considered as great addition. The voice recognition and the user interface are also considered sufficient for their budget.
- Online Reviews
Both of Xiaomi Mi Box S and the Roku Ultra are best seller items on Amazon. The Roku Ultra is bought by more customers with over 1,500 purchases. The ratings, however, are low as it gets 3.9 out of 5.
Even though the overall ratings are lower than the Xiaomi Mi Box S, the ratings for each feature are higher. The stream quality is rated as 4.8 while the user interface gets 4.7. The picture quality gets 4.5 while the voice recognition gets 4.2. The sound quality is 4.2 and the battery life is 4.0.
On the other hand, Xiaomi Mi Box S has around 470 purchases with 4.3 ratings out of 5. The ratings mostly argue about the stream quality for 4.5, the value of money that Xiaomi Mi Box S offers for 4.4, the voice recognition for 4.3, the easy to use device for 4.2, the remote control for 4.1, and the user interface for 4.1.
This might be caused by several complaints on the features of the Xiaomi Mi Box S. The streaming device is said to have delivered 1080p content but fails to delivers 4K content.
Aside from the fact that the Xiaomi Mi Box S cannot handle 4K content very well, it actually does a great job. If you are OK with enjoying 1080p HD image only, then you can go with the device and save around $20.
But, if you want to enjoy the 4K contents, then you definitely need to go with the Roku Ultra. Even though it is $20 cheaper, you can be granted access to the contents. Further, you can use it at any 4K UHD Tvs. Who knows you want to replace your TV in the future.