Like everything Xiaomi goes after, Xiaomi wants to sell its cheap 4K TV's and smart TV enabling Mi Boxes into every home in China. That's a lot of TV's.
With the Mi Box 3 streaming media player, Xiaomi has packed a lot of features into an inexpensive box, even providing 4K and smart TV features similar to what you'd find on the Amazon's Fire TV (2015) and Roku 4.
I ordered the Mi Box 3 online in Shanghai and opened it at one of the many generic Guilin Rice Noodle restaurants in Shanghai's Ba Bai Ban area.
Considered by many Guilin locals as their local version of cheap fast food, you can find Guilin noodle shops all around China.
The Mi Box 3 itself comes in no nonsense eco-friendly packaging unlike the fancier designs you see from similar Amazon, Apple, and Roku products.
The Mi Box is also smaller compared to other streaming media players released in 2015 that have instead decided to go larger in size.
The Mi Box 3 comes with various accessories like power charger, remote control, and HDMI cable.
The Mi Box 3's remote control is closer to the simplified design found on the Amazon Fire TV remotes and doesn't try to advance to concept of what the remote control can do as in the case of the Apple TV (2015) and Roku 4.
One of the main differences between US based streaming media players and China based players like Xiaomi Mi Box and the Baidu TV Stick is the content options. While Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, and Netflix dominate content on US media players and smart TV's, there are more limited content options for Xiaomi and Baidu, with Xiaomi using Galaxy Internet TV services and Baidu using Mango TV.
Like other media players, you can scroll through the high level menu to look at viewing options for TV shows, movies, games, applications, etc.
The Mi Box has a variety of Chinese and Hollywood movie content but suffers from a lack of 4K content. Probably the most attractive content that you can find on the Mi Box are all the Chinese TV serials that you can see for free albeit mainly only in China.
There are also less Apps and games that you can download compared to what you'd get from Android or Apple platforms.
Xiaomi has added default features like being able to see and control your other Xiaomi devices in the home like home surveillance camera, lighting, water purifier, etc. This default view is something that Xiaomi is ahead of others.
Of course, Xiaomi also offers a default view to shop for more Xiaomi products.
There are also default features to view the news, wirelessly display your phone or PC notebook's screen to the Mi Box, or make your TV a virtual art piece showing various high resolution photos or artwork.
If you want a 4K streaming media player that plays content in China, your only choice is the Mi Box 3. Trying to play Amazon, Hulu, or NetFlix content in China on US based streaming media players is futile due to content licensing restrictions. Hopefully there also be more 4K content in China to make full use of the Mi Box 3's capabilities.