Settings and Power Handling and Consumption
Mibox 3 Enhanced boots reasonably fast I can get to the user interface within 30 seconds. We’ve already the main GITV user interface in previous posts, but I had not gone through the settings yet.
There are eight main sections:
Resolution settings – 3840×2160 @ 60/50/SMPTE24/30/24 Hz, 1080p @ 60/50 Hz, 720p @ 60/50 Hz,
Scale and position – For overscan adjustment
Button sounds – On/Off
Sony/Philips Digital Interface Format – PCM/Raw data (actually used for HDMI audio pass-through)
System_update – MIUI TV firmware OTA update
Device & Bluetooth – Bluetooh device management with list of discovered or/and paired devices
Connectivity – WiFi , PPPoE, Connectivity and speed testing, and “Captive portable check”
Parental control – On/off
Keyboard – Baidu input or Mi Input (Better go to Android settings using Shafa market to set yhat to English AOSP)
Location (only for China)
CEC control (On/off)
Screensaver – Off, 2 to 12 minutes timers, gallery…
Go to sleep after – 15, 30, 60, 90, 120 minutes or never
Storage (Chinese language about U-disk) – On or off
Account & security – Mi account, Unknown sources (apk installation), Android log, and some other settings in Chinese
About – Various info about the device such as WiFi and Bluetooth addresses, IP address, Model, legal info and so on.
OTA ipdate is working fine, as I updated mine to MIUI TV 1.4.6 before changing the language, and I could also set video output up to 3840×2160 @ 60 Hz using LG 42UB820T UHD television.
About_MiBOX3_ProWe can also find a bit more information by going to the Android settings through Shafa market, which you need to install to change the language to English. Fir the Home section usually allows you to install another launcher and switch to it by default, but Xiaomi must have changed how this works as even after installing SPMC (launcher version), and Ugoos TV launcher, I could not switch to them, although there were listed in the Home menu.
One good thing is that there’s a single (unified) storage partition for both apps and data with 5.37 GB total space, and at the end of the review I still had 2.03 GB available after install all apps.
The “About phone” section shows MiBOX3_PRO is running Android 5.1 on top of Linux 3.10.61+. The firmware is not rooted, but I managed to root it using 360 root apk. You just need to install the app, and run it, and it will root your device. It’s quite possible it’s also trying to install some junk at the same time, but you can always remove it later.
Google Play Store is not installed either, since the product is destined for mainland China, and they don’t really use it there. I tried various instructions to install it, but all failed, and for some reasons I ended up losing the ability to take screenshots via the USB keyboard, screencap -p command line produces garbage, and other screenshot apps failed to run. I could still install Amazon Underground, and then install some apps from there, as well as sideloading some apks for testing. Not ideal, but it works.
The included Bluetooth remote works well, and has good range as I tested up to 10 meters without issues. However, I used an air mouse for most of the time, since it’s necessary for many apps.
Xiaomi Mi Box 3 Enhanced has an amazing performance with regards to WiFi, internal storage, CPU and GPU performance thanks to Mediatek MT8693 Cortex A72 processor, and other selected components. I could feel performance is clearly above the rest of Android TV boxes I tested, and for $80, you truly get an amazing performance per dollar. The main downside however, is that it has been design for the Chinese market, so you have some modding to do to get a more pleasurable experience, some of which I did not manage such as installing the Google Play Store and changing the default Launcher. Video playback with Kodi is not too bad, but not quite matching the performance of MINIX NEO U1 for example, and audio pass-through is limited to 5.1 channels. So it may not be the best as a media player, but it could be very good as an Android mini PC once/if a community firmware is released.