While 2020 was a disaster for most industries due to lockdowns and restricted movement, Netflix gained the most. The streaming service attracted a lot of users who’re just looking for entertainment without leaving the house. And, Netflix wants to ensure you continue streaming endlessly even when the pandemic ends.
With a promise of “a new movie every week,” Netflix announced the titles that will be premiering on the streaming service in 2021.
Netflix has put together some of the biggest names in entertainment for its 70-star studded line-up. The features include the Zack Snyder-directed Army of the Dead, Jennifer Lawrence starrer Don’t Look Up, musical Tick, Tick… Boom! and Dwayne Johnson’s action movie Red Notice, among others, many others.
If the above names weren’t enough, you’d also get to see Chris Hemsworth, Gal Gadot, Ryan Reynolds, Zendaya, Jason Moma, and Leonardo DiCaprio. Netflix has also unveiled a trailer that offers sneak previews of the upcoming titles.
52 titles shall be in the English language, eight will be animated, and 10 shall be non-English language films. One of the most imminent releases is Malcolm & Marie, starring John David Washington and Zendaya, filmed during the Coronavirus pandemic.
This is the first time Netflix has announced a yearly features slate. Though it also means the brand wants users to be excited about upcoming content and continue subscribing.
NBA ties up with the Pixel 6 series for the playoffs
Do we even need an official launch for the Pixel 6 series at this point? Hours ahead of its slated launch, the Pixel 6 series has revealed almost everything about itself through official releases and extensive leaks. Now, the newsreel has moved to other spotlights. Google has announced that the Pixel 6 series is the first presenting partner for the upcoming NBA playoffs.
Reported by The Athletic, the league officially announced the multiyear marketing and technology deal. With the partnership, the Pixel series will become the official presenting partner of the playoffs, the G League playoffs, and the NBA 2K League All-Star Game. Google had previously tied up for this season’s WNBA playoffs.
The NBA can now use Google Trends and other tools to improve data for both the league and the tech company.
As mentioned, Google has officially scheduled the Pixel 6’s launch for October 19. More than its predecessors, the flagship series will introduce a new smartphone experience for Android users, headed by Google’s first in-house chipset called the Tensor chip. Though the deal is for multiple years, the Pixel 6’s launch is definitely a timely one.
On the other hand, NBA is also celebrating a milestone this season. The upcoming season, which starts later this week, will be the 75th NBA season.
Samsung is shooting a Hollywood film with the Galaxy S21 Ultra
Smartphone-only films are coming
Smartphone cameras have brought high-quality photography to a wider audience. It can easily make people feel that they can take professional photos and videos just from their phones. To prove their power, some brands have committed to shooting feature-length films purely using their respective flagships. Samsung, fresh from doing the same last year, has partnered with an actual director to shoot a Hollywood film with the Galaxy S21 Ultra.
Officially announced in Samsung’s main website, Hollywood director Joe Wright will helm the project. Prior to the upcoming film, Wright also directed other notable titles like Pride and Prejudice and Atonement.
The film, titled Princess & Peppernose, is the “the tale of a princess in search of love who defies convention to pursue her own desires.” Adding a bit more to the challenge, Wright is adding puppetry to the film.
Besides Princess & Peppernose, Samsung is also tapping into another filmmaker, Chinese director Sha Mo, to create another film shot purely with the Galaxy S21 Ultra. That film — titled Kids of Paradise — will premiere along side Wright’s film during South Korea’s Busan International Film Festival sometime this month.
This isn’t the first smartphone-only film from Samsung either. Last year, Samsung asked a Korean filmmaker to create a feature-length film using the Galaxy S20 series. With smartphone cameras improving throughout the years, it’s no surprise that smartphone-only films are popping up.
Xiaomi Mi TV P1: Home cinema for the budget-conscious
A 4K HDR Android TV you can definitely afford
I don’t want to sound like I’m an ultimate cheapskate, but I guess I kind of belong in that category as I always try and see things on-sale or those lower than their Suggested Retail Pricing.
Way back in May 2021, I was looking for an Android TV within my PhP 20,000 to 25,000 (US$ 400 – US$ 500) budget. Xiaomi’s Mi TV was one of them — the Mi LED TV 4S to be exact. But upon knowing that units bought from China with a global ROM still doesn’t support Netflix, I decided to find another (and might even be a better) alternative.
Even though it’s been a while ever since I purchased that other Android TV with my hard-earned money, I still accepted this review unit to test and know the feats and defeats of the Mi TV P1 as a new Android TV in this vast TV market.
A design so tacky and lacks variety
The problem with TV nowadays is that, most of them look similar with their plasticky build. If you’re looking for a premium-looking TV on a tight budget, sorry to break it to you, but the Mi TV P1 is entirely made out of plastic. From its side bezels, chin, and even the legs/stand, they’re all in the same material and a coating that’s oh-so-glossy.
The panel is glossy too. You shouldn’t place this directly parallel to your window or it might bother you when watching content that are less bright or dark.
Even the large window covered with curtains at the left side of our living room wasn’t safe from such distraction.
Not gonna lie, it looked and felt cheap. There’s literally no excuse for it being a “budget” TV. Compared to the Android TV I own at the same price point, it’s still able to have a metallic bottom bezel and aluminum stands without reducing most of the features that the Mi TV P1 possesses.
Speaking of stand, it took me around ten minutes thinking how to attach both legs. The screw holes were kind of confusing and misleading as well as the form of each leg. Instructions in the user manual about attaching both TV leg stands was vague so I have to research further online. It’s honestly one of my worst experiences of attaching screws to a product.
Sufficient ports and connections
The Mi TV P1 has a Composite In (AV), two USB-A ports, and three HDMI ports — one with eARC support. The 32-inch version has lesser though. Other ports you might be curious to know are Ethernet Port, CI Slot, Optical Digital Audio Out, and a 3.5mm headphone jack.
For wireless connectivity, the Mi TV P1 has a reliable Wi-Fi connection as it not only supports the 2.4GHz band, but the faster 5GHz band as well. That’s something my other TV doesn’t have.
There’s even the faster and latency-less Bluetooth 5.0 support. And with the bundled 360 Bluetooth remote, I can still turn off the TV even when I’m sitting and eating from the kitchen area or when I need to go to the bathroom without ever pointing at the TV itself.
Not sure if it’s just my muscle memory but the remote of the Xiaomi Mi TV P1 confuses me — and might be the same to some future users.
If you’re a heavy Android user, the default back key of smartphones is placed at the left side rather than the middle. Xiaomi could’ve just switched the button placements. They could’ve even done the same to the “O” (home) button by placing it in the middle instead.
Some button controls would’ve made more sense too if “CC”, “EPG”, “INFO”, and that “dot” weren’t placed there. And if you’re right-handed like I am, pressing the power button requires some reach as it’s placed on the upper left part instead of right.
The power of Android TV
ICYMI, the Xiaomi Mi TV P1 runs Android TV. On paper, it runs a MediaTek 9611 chipset paired with 2GB of memory and 16GB of internal storage. Those are actually enough for running and storing TV-limited Android apps that can be downloaded through the Google Play Store.
As you were already spoiled in the earlier section, the Mi TV P1 supports Google Assistant. This reduces the hassle and sore of typing each letter through the remote’s D-pad when searching content across all apps.
On the bottom part of that odd bar below the Mi TV P1’s chin, there’s a switch to turn on (or off) the far-field microphones of the TV.
This enables you to use Google Assistant even when you’re roaming another area in your house. So yeah, no to pointing your mouth to the remote. People with a loud speaking voice will benefit this feature the most.
More power with Chromecast
Too lazy to type? Or you just don’t want to bother your family members when you activate Google Assistant? Well, your other option is to share content from your phone to the TV — and that’s thanks to its built-in Chromecast feature.
Other than sharing content from YouTube, you can also share and stream music on a bigger screen as long as Spotify is downloaded on both devices.
Nowadays, most Netflix titles and YouTube content come with an ultra-wide 21:9 ratio (or even in a 2.39:1 anamorphic ratio). In layman’s term, those are simply the black bars you see when watching videos in your fullscreen smartphones or standard monitors. But thanks to its slim bezels, watching on the Xiaomi Mi TV P1 felt immersive — especially if you’re watching just several meters away from the TV.
Watching series such as Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha honestly felt more immersive as if I’m sitting along with the characters.
Even STAYC’s Stereotype music video, despite its black bars, still made me enjoy its stunning visuals and cinematography (as well as vocals, musical arrangement, and choreography).
What more if it’s a 16:9 content? Whether it’s in 4K UHD or just Full HD 1080p resolution, your eyes will still enjoy every frame of what you’re watching especially if its displayed in a large screen a la cinema.
A 4K 16:9 content is more pleasing to look at especially with its sharp and crisp details. TWICE’s The Feels is a testament to that.
If you’re curious about sound quality. It’s double 10W speakers are loud with enough bass and clarity. But don’t expect cinema-grade audio experience even with Dolby Audio and DTS-HD support. But if you’re really into that cinema-grade experience. you still need to get at least a soundbar or invest on a better surround sound system (in which I think budget-conscious users care less about).
Excellent display for a budget TV
Apart from having an almost edge-to-edge 4K display, the Mi TV P1 also boasts HDR10+ support for displaying picture-perfect content with an even wider range of colors in the spectrum.
This isn’t for everyone but just in case someone wants to know, you can choose between various Color Spaces ranging from Standard and Native, to Adobe RGB, DCI-P3, BenQ’s BT.2020, and ITU-R’s BT.709 color gamut.
If you go and specifically search for 4K HDR content on YouTube, the Xiaomi Mi TV P1 will be able to handle and display that content to you with no frills. That’s something other TVs, monitors, and even smartphones can’t display at all.
To make the display even better, it also has Dolby Vision apart from HDR10+. For this particular instance: Squid Game, which is Netflix’s hottest series right now, shows the Dolby Vision indicator right next to its parental rating info.
Not only does it show better color accuracy and output with HDR10+, this Dolby Vision feature is also able to display better dynamic range with the right amount of contrast, highlights, and shadows.
One noticeable aspect of this TV is the inclusion of Motion Smoothing feature out of the box that my other Android TV doesn’t have. It’s honestly a feast for the eyes but probably not everyone’s cup of tea. By default, it’s set to Standard but can be turned off.
Pretty decent for gaming, too
While the Mi TV P1 has only a 60Hz panel, playing on it still felt true-to-life. With the 55-incher that I have, details are still clear and sharp even if my PS4 Slim only supports a maximum display resolution of 1080p. With one port that supports HDMI 2.1 / eARC, people who spent their fortune on a PlayStation 5 (PS5) and are considering a less-expensive smart TV, I’m sure bumping it over 1080p will work.
One thing to keep in mind if you’re a sucker for ultra-smooth and seamless gameplay, the Mi TV P1 doesn’t do its Motion Smoothing magic — at least on the PS4 itself. It doesn’t even work on the console’s UI.
Not a biggie but some might consider that as a buying point. There are also two more limitations that I’ll talk more at the latter part of this review.
Overall, gaming on the Mi TV P1 is pretty decent for casual and gamers on a limited budget. You get to enjoy its big screen size — which still depends on the model you’ll buy and your distance from the TV.
Another thing, I tested playing games for hours starting with Watch Dogs: Legion, then Gran Turismo, Crash Team Racing, and even several Tekken 7 VS battles but my eyes haven’t strained at all.
The best part is that, all the games I’ve successfully finished those games thanks to the Mi TV P1’s display superiority.
Some good things have bad sides, too
Aside from rants about its design and remote control, there are other things I’ve encountered during my time with this smart Android TV.
1st: PatchWall isn’t ready for the country yet
While PatchWall was already introduced to Mi TV users in India, Indonesia, and other parts of the globe, it’s unfortunately not ready in the Philippines just yet.
For those who aren’t familiar, PatchWall is Xiaomi’s special launcher that has a better UI over the stock Android TV experience. But it not being ready for the Philippine market further proves my point that the “Mi” button on the remote control is pretty useless as that one opens up PatchWall.
2nd: HDR isn’t supported for all devices
As ironic as it gets, this 4K HDR TV has some HDR limitations.
It may not be a huge deal to most but for myself who got accustomed with my own Android TV being able to display HDR even when a PlayStation 4 is hooked up, it’s such a disappointment that the Mi TV P1 doesn’t offer that HDR compatibility to my gaming console. I even tried hooking up the HDMI cable to each HDMI port but to no avail.
3rd: Display settings cannot be accessed on other HDMI devices as well
As I was trying to shoot more photos of the TV while using the PS4, I’m was surprised that pressing the “Settings” button doesn’t reveal the Device Preferences sidebar. Not only can I not adjust the brightness and backlight level, I also can’t pick a certain picture mode that might suit the game better. What a total waste.
Is the Xiaomi Mi TV P1 your GadgetMatch?
If you’re all in for the Mi TV P1’s excellence in image quality and immersiveness without ever minding its lackluster aesthetic and limitations in HDR support and PatchWall, the Mi TV P1 is a TV I can recommend. This product goes well for those who just recently moved to a new home and wants a TV that’s just right for their budget.
The good stuff of this Android TV still weigh more than the compromises mentioned. If you can’t wait to have your new TV in this upcoming holiday season, the Xiaomi Mi TV P1 is still a wise buy. Other than this 55-inch model which is priced at PhP 24,990, there are also 32, 43, and 50-inch variants available that retail for PhP 10,990 / PhP 18,990 / PhP 22,990 respectively.
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