Xiaomi OLED Vision 55-inch TV review: An OLED for everyone?

Xiaomi is best known for shaking up the tech industry with its “value for money” products. The company’s strategy has always been to provide the best specs on paper at a slightly lower price. Xiaomi is extending this strategy further with its “smart TV” segment. It introduced a new OLED TV in the market, starting at Rs 89,999. Of course, looking at the price, it looks like it is not affordable. It’s an expensive TV, no doubt. Except it’s an OLED, and perhaps one of the most affordable on the market.

An OLED TV is often considered the pinnacle of what the industry has to offer. OLED (Organic Light Emitting Diode) displays are supposed to be brighter, richer and offer a much more realistic color experience. The “blacks”, especially on an OLED TV, are much more authentic than what one might experience on an LED, LCD or QLED screen. But all this beauty comes at a steep price. Most OLED TVs from brands like LG and Sony will cost upwards of Rs 1.50,000 lakh on average. In fact, the cheapest OLED TV I could find was the LG A1 4K OLED in 48-inch format, with a starting price of Rs 69,999. And that’s only because it’s on sale.

Clearly, Xiaomi hopes to present its OLED Vision as an alternative to those who want the best TV display technology but without paying full price. But is the Xiaomi OLED Vision worth it? Here is our opinion.

Xiaomi OLED Vision 55-inch review: Display and audio

Xiaomi’s OLED Vision is a 55-inch 4K display. This comes with support for formats like Dolby Vision IQ, HDR10+ and 10, HLG and IMAX Enhanced. The last is certification by IMAX to ensure a cinematic visual and audio experience on certified devices. However, the content also needs to be remastered to support this format, so until that happens for some Disney+ Marvel movies, that’s unlikely to happen. The Disney+ Hotstar app does not yet display IMAX Enhanced as a label for any content.

Xiaomi OLED Vision provides an excellent visual experience. (Image credit: Shruti Dhapola/Indian Express)

Since it’s an OLED, you’d expect a visual treat, and the TV does that well. I watched the latest episodes of Netflix stranger things Season 4 on this TV, as well as a few episodes of Love, Death + Robots. I also watched a few episodes of Big Bang Theory, the modern familyand Scam on Sony Liv.

The visual experience is unmatched with rich, vivid colors. It’s definitely the best out of all the Xiaomi TVs I’ve reviewed so far, including their previous QLED. I particularly enjoyed Volume 2 of Stranger Things, especially where some Upside Down scenes get really dark. But the Xiaomi OLED handles them well and ensures you don’t miss any action as you try to figure out how to increase the brightness.

The OLED Vision handles darker scenes very well. (Image credit: Shruti Dhapola/Indian Express)

If you consume high-quality content from Netflix, Disney+Hotstar, Amazon Prime Video, etc., then Xiaomi OLED performs well. It’s a premium panel, and it shows. And what about non-4K content? The upscaling is not bad at all. Of course, some older episodes of Friends and even The Big Bang Theory look a bit pixelated when sitting near the TV. But when I looked from afar, I could barely see the difference.

It’s also a Xiaomi TV where I found the audio quality more acceptable. It’s still not the best. But at least I didn’t feel the need to crank the sound all the way up just to listen to some dialogue, which is something I’ve had to do with Xiaomi TVs in the past. The Xiaomi OLED Vision comes with eight speakers with 30W output, and this has Dolby Atmos and DTS:X certification. Audio quality remains balanced no matter what type of show you’re watching.

Xiaomi OLED Vision 55-inch review: software, design and everything else

The Xiaomi OLED Vision comes with either a wall mount or a standard stand. The TV has a premium metal body and stand. It comes with what Xiaomi calls an almost bezel-less design. The glasses are there, but barely noticeable. The TV has a sleek profile, given that the frame is just 4.6mm thick. For connectivity, Xiaomi has packed it with plenty of options. It supports Bluetooth 5.0 and Wi-Fi 6 – 2.4GHz/5GHz. The TV comes with three HDMI 2.1 ports, two USB ports, an Ethernet port, an AV port, a 3.5mm port, and an optical port. The TV remote comes with dedicated hotkeys for Netflix, Prime Video and Hotstar, but Xiaomi clearly thinks it’s still too much to add a mute button. So yes, you have to keep pressing the volume down option twice in a row to mute the TV sound. It’s something I absolutely hate.

Xiaomi’s biggest problem remains the software, which has a few hiccups. (Image credit: Shruti Dhapola/Indian Express)

The Xiaomi OLED Vision comes with Android TV11 and of course Xiaomi’s own Patchwall 4. Xiaomi also packed it with 3GB of RAM and 32GB of onboard storage.

But despite the excellent display and good sound, you feel let down when it comes to the software experience. Initially, when the TV was used in my home, there were a few issues where content would randomly stop for a second while streaming. It didn’t help that an impatient toddler (my son) was watching when it happened. Later when I came back to watch modern family, the problem reappeared. I noticed there was a 1GB update, which fixed the issue. The reason I’m pointing this out is that such issues, if they occur with a consumer, will likely cause problems. Not everyone will think, “maybe my TV software needs an update and check for one”. They are likely to blame the device itself if the content drops out randomly or suddenly freezes, which happened in this case.

It is also undeniable that the TV can be very slow to respond at times. For example, if I press the power button lightly, it goes into “screen off” mode, which means the TV is on, but the screen is off. But when you press again to get it out of this mode, the TV takes a few seconds to turn on again, which is annoying given the price. Even when you turn it back on, it takes a few seconds for the screen to light up. You never know if you should press the power button again or not.

The remote control that accompanies the Xiaomi OLED Vision. (Image credit: Shruti Dhapola/Indian Express)

Of course, there’s Patchwall. It’s a highly curated experience and will appeal to people who are constantly looking for what’s new to watch. I’m more fixed in my choices and prefer the Android TV format, which is a little less in your face.

Xiaomi OLED Vision 55-inch TV review: Verdict

If you’re looking for a high-end TV and have long wanted a 55-inch OLED, the Xiaomi OLED Vision is your best bet on the market right now. The discounted LG OLED is currently priced at Rs 69,999 on Amazon, which is affordable considering the display panel, but then it’s a 48-inch option. Most LG and Sony options of this size start at over Rs 1.50,000 lakh.

Xiaomi’s advantage is that it’s the most affordable OLED option on the list. This TV’s display and audio quality are top-notch, but the software experience lets it down at times. But the premium market doesn’t run on price alone. Someone looking to spend Rs 90,000 or more on a TV might be fine with stretching their budget a bit more to get a more established brand. Frankly, convincing users that they should choose their premium TV may not be an easy battle for Xiaomi.

Lance B. Holton