Xiaomi announces smaller Mi TV... at half the price of the original

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 24 March, 2015, 4:23pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 24 March, 2015, 4:38pm

China's top smartphone maker has unveiled the latest in its line of cut price smart televisions.

In an online announcement today, Xiaomi unveiled the latest in its Mi TV range, a 40-inch high definition model with media and entertainment functions that will retail for 1,999 yuan (US$320), half that of its 4K predecessor.

The Mi TV 2 is set to go on sale in mainland China on March 31 but, like most Xiaomi products, availability will likely be scarce at first and limited to flash sales.

While the company did not reveal whether the device will be sold outside of China, previous products have been made available overseas roughly two to three months after their Chinese debut.

On the hardware front, the smaller Mi TV comes with a Sharp SDP X-GEN LED backlit panel with a contrast ratio of 5000:1. It is powered by a quad-core Cortex A9 CPU and Mali 450 M4 GPU, with 2GB DDR3 RAM, and 8GB of internal memory.

The device's frame is 14.5mm at its thinnest, and the display has a 176-degree wide viewing rage, slightly narrower than its predecessor which allowed a 178-degree range.

Unlike the larger variant, this new version will not come bundled with its own sound bar and subwoofer. Instead, the built-in speakers will have Dolby MS12 virtual surround sound enhancements.

It had been speculated that Xiaomi would also launch a bigger version of the Mi TV alongside the 40-inch model, leading some disappointed fans to take to the company's social media platforms to plead for a 55-inch set.

Both Chinese and overseas technology firms, including Le Shi and Alibaba, are increasingly teaming up with online media providers to offer streaming-television services.

In Xiaomi’s case, it has partnered with China’s Galaxy Internet Television for licensed content, which includes more than 3,000 films and 44,000 episodes of TV dramas, according to its website.

The new product comes as Apple is reportedly in talks with a number of TV networks, including Game of Thrones producer HBO, to offer around 25 channels to be made available across a number of Apple devices, including iPhones, iPads and Apple TV set-top boxes.