LONDON -- Chinese tech giant Xiaomi has launched a 60-inch 4K television that will cost about half the price of comparable TVs on the market.
Xiaomi, one of the world’s biggest smartphone makers, has just launched its third-generation television, once again pitching a product that offers premium hardware for a relatively low price.
Costing 4,999 yuan ($785), the Mi TV 3 offers 4K on a budget, boosting the screen size from the Mi TV 2’s 49-inch display to a 60-inch panel, which has been sourced from LG. A 60-inch 4K TV in the U.S. typically costs more than $1,300, but Xiaomi told International Business Times that, at the moment, it has no plans to offer the Mi TV 3 outside China.
At the launch in China on Monday, CEO Lei Jun unveiled the new television, which features an ultra-thin aluminum design of 11.6 mm at its narrowest point. Xiaomi has separated the display and component parts of the new TV, with the processor and memory incorporated into a separate four-speaker soundbar that sits below the TV and also features all the ports you need to connect to the Internet, Blu-ray players and set-top boxes. A single cable is then used to connect this speaker to the TV, which Xiaomi says is a much cleaner setup.
The company has taken this step because it says a TV display, which makes up 70 percent of the cost of a television, can last up to a decade while the motherboard needs to be updated every 18 months or so. By separating the components in this way, it will make it much more affordable to upgrade your system, according to Lei.
To that end, Xiaomi will be selling the Mi TV main board separately, allowing you to turn older televisions into smart TVs, while also giving you a new sound system, costing 999 yuan ($157). The TV is powered by MIUI TV, which is an Android-based smart TV platform that allows you to download apps and games. Xiaomi also unveiled a new Bluetooth remote control featuring voice search and Wii-like gesture control to allow you to play games, which will cost 99 yuan (about $15).
Xiaomi sells its smartphones in only a handful of countries but has recently expanded into the European and U.S. markets with a range of devices like its fitness tracker, battery packs and headphones. It has taken some steps to expand beyond its core markets in Asia (mainly China and India) by launching its smartphones in Brazil earlier this year.
While the company is thought to be considering an expansion to the U.S. with its smartphones, there is a suggestion that it would face challenges from larger companies who would likely seek to prevent Xiaomi's smartphones from going on sale due to alleged patent infringement.