With the advent of high speed network and streaming services, it’s a lot easier to stream and watch whatever you wish. With exclusive content dropping exclusively on streaming services it is must in these modern times to have at least one subscription.
For younger generations, these streaming services are holy grails to keep up with the latest video content online. Additionally, they give you the freedom to stream your favourite shows and movies according to your own time.
Gone are those days when you have to schedule your day according to the programmes you want to watch on television. This is where the streaming services come in to fill the huge gap left by scheduled TV programmes.
Thus considering this huge demand our team came up with this idea to showcase the best streaming devices you can buy in India. And spare our audience of the hard work they have to go through while choosing the best streaming devices in India.
Streaming devices are like top-ups that can convert your dumb old TV in to smart one. And with COVID19 gaining momentum again these streaming devices will make your time easier and fun at home.
Thus without stretching the introduction further let’s start with the best streaming devices in India.
Mi Box 4K / Mi Box S Review – Best Overall Streaming Device
Xiaomi is one of the major players especially in India where people want a value for money proposition. And with the Mi Box 4k or Mi Box S they did it again. They created a product that has the hardware and software features to compete with the big player in the tech industry.
Mi Box 4k is a popular streaming device with a simple and minimal design. You can see the inspiration for the product comes from the Apple streaming device. While compared to the Amazon fire stick and Google Chromecast it is noticeably bigger.
Additionally, a constant power supply is required to keep it running as well as an HDMI cable to connect with the television. This Mi Box is android certified thus it comes with a proper android TV interface rather than the modified android mobile interface.
There is a google play store with all the apps you can imagine. Alternatively, you can also use aptoide store to install apps that are not optimised for Android TV. Screencasting and mirroring work flawlessly. Thanks to the built in Chromecast and Google certification.
One can also play some high-end Android games using this Mi Box. With 2Gb DDR3 RAM even games like Asphalt and Mortal Combat run without a glitch. Additionally it allows you to connect your console controller to play the Android TV optimized games on your TV.
The remote that comes with the device is simple, intuitive and feels familiar to most modern-day TV remotes. There are two dedicated buttons on the remote to quickly launch Netflix and Amazon Prime.
You also get a Google voice assistant to answer your queries and quick searches. Voice assistant can be used via the dedicated voice assistant button on the remote. Considering the inexpensive pricing this Mi streaming device is one of the best streaming devices you can buy in India.
- Audio out (3.5mm jack)
- HDMI 2.0
- USB 2.0
- WiFi 2.4GHz/5GHz
- Bluetooth 4.2
- 8GB internal storage
- 2GB RAM
- Dolby Atmos support
Inside the box: Remote control, User Manual, Power Adapter, and HDMI Cable.
Xiaomi Mi TV Stick – Best Budget Streaming Device
Inside the box, you get a familiar remote controller, a USB to USB-A cable, a power adapter, and the obvious Mi TV stick. In terms of the size and dimensions, it almost looks identical to the amazon fire stick.
The remote is the same as you get on a Mi TV or a Mi Box 4K. A dedicated button for Netflix and Prime Video. Then you get a dedicated button to quickly make Google searches. While everything else on the remote stays as usual.
On the software side, you get a full-fledged Android TV. It uses the same interface as seen previously on Mi TV 4K or on expensive TV. Setup of the device is fairly simple, apps like Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Youtube are already installed.
Additionally, you can use any Android TV supported apps from the Google app store. It also lets you stream your favourite mobile games optimised for Android TV. With the support for Dolby audio and DTS digital you get a smoother immersive realistic sound on Mi TV Stick.
One of the best things included on this Mi TV stick is the ability to cast your phone or tablet screen onto your television. This is possible due to the Chromecast support directly from Google.
With inbuilt support for Bluetooth allows you to connect your wireless headphone for private listening. Yes, switching between the apps is a little laggy but if this is your first Android TV experience you’ll be fine with it.
Gaming on this device is one of the most annoying experiences especially due to the 1GB RAM. If your only purpose is watching Netflix then you’ll be fine. There is a noticeable lag but that is still manageable it is not as bad as unpleasant gaming experience.
Although Mi TV stick has its fair share of problems but still considering the price and the features you’re still getting a solid overall streaming device.
- Micro USB
- Bluetooth 4.2
- WiFi 2.4GHz/5GHz
- Dolby Atmos support
- RAM 1GB DDR4
- 8GB internal storage
- Operating System: Android TV 9
Inside the box: Mi TV Stick, Remote Control, User Manual, and Power Adapter.
Amazon Fire Stick 4K – Best Compact 4K Streaming Device
1080p (3rd Generation) –
Our team recommends you to get the 4K variant instead of going for the predecessor. The major differences between the two is the overall performance, support for 4K HDR, Dolby Atmos and the much-needed volume buttons on the remote.
Yes, the Amazon fire stick comes with a fully functional remote. There are no dedicated buttons for quick apps but other than that it’s a nice intuitive remote controller. The only one with a mute button, everything else is standard and simple.
There is an app store loaded with applications to keep everyone happy. The overall interface is simple to use and quite intuitive. As it is based on android you can run any android application from the aptoide store.
It also supports external devices like pen-drive, you can even connect a keyboard and mouse. Although the setup isn’t the most practical one but still nice to have those options open. There is also an ethernet adapter for those with a weak wifi signal.
The only thing this streaming device from Amazon lacks is the screen mirroring. However, that can be fixed using an app but it is nowhere near compared to Google inbuilt a chromecast screen mirroring.
Yes, this can be a deal breaker for a lot of people out there but this tiny streaming device is more than that.
The support for Amazon’s own Alexa voice assistant is definitely an add on to make quick searches. While the interface is based on Android it is presented in a little different manner. The live tabs from multiple apps on the homescreen let you access content more easily and faster.
It supports a maximum 4K, HDR picture quality along with the Dolby Atmos support. To conclude this is a very capable streaming device from Amazon but lags in certain aspects to lead the industry. If you don’t own a 4k TV you can buy the 1080p version of the fire TV stick (3rd generation).
- Bluetooth 5.0
- 8GB internal Storage.
- HDMI Output
- Micro USB
- Dolby Atmos
- One year of limited warranty
Inside the box: Amazon Fire Stick 4k, USB cable, power adapter, HDMI extender, 2 AAA batteries, and a user manual.
Google Chromecast 3 – Best Streaming Device To Play Videos
This Google streaming device is the oldest streaming device present in the market. The third generation chromecast needs an update as soon as possible. On this list of best streaming devices in India Google Chromecast feels like an anomaly especially after the modern-day devices from Xiaomi and Amazon.
Although the device is relatively older compared to the other products on this list it is not at all totally obsolete. Yes, it cannot stream 4k content but most of us even don’t own a 4k TV. The design of the device is simple; you don’t need an additional power adapter.
The one biggest caveat of this product is the Google choice to ditch the remote controller. There is no remote included along the device.
You use your Android phone instead of a remote. This is a nice feature for individuals and tech-savvy people but a huge inconvenience for a family. Additionally, the apps and games catalogues are not updated according to modern times.
This device from Google was made exclusively to cast Youtube and Netflix. Inshort Google wants you to stream video content from your mobile phone to the big screen. Thus there is no update from google even after 2 years of the Chromecast 3rd generation initial release.
Additionally, the Chromecast 3 won’t allow you to run the unsupported apps due to the security reasons. It is not easy to remove the jurisdictions of Google to cast unsupported apps. AmazonPrime users can use Prime video using Google Chromecast 3.
Screen mirroring or screen casting works flawlessly on this device without any visible lags. Even chrome browser can also be accessed using the cast function on your TV. The built cast button on most of the streaming apps works extremely fast without any noticeable lag.
This simple streaming device from Google is one gem of device for AV fans. As it does it best what it is supposed to do. Streaming from your phone to TV directly. So everything that you can access on your phone can be seen on the big screen.
The whole device works on the screen casting only instead installing every single app. This is because all your favourite streaming services have in built cast options available. The chromecast options are available for the majority of music streaming services too.
Yes, it is a little out of date but still a very fast best value for money HD streaming device. That can turn any TV into a smart TV at an inexpensive price that is capable of streaming Netflix, Primevideo, Disney, Hotstar or any other service that you use.
- Stream from your phone.
- 1 year limited warranty.
- HDMI input
- Maximum supported resolution 1080p
Inside the box: Chromecast 3, Power cable, and power adapter.
Apple TV 4K – Best Streaming Device To Play Games
Yes, like all the Apple products this thing is expensive compared to other streaming devices on this list. However, if you’re deep into the Apple ecosystem this an obvious choice to make. It lets you control the interface using your Apple Watch or iPhone.
You can even mirror your Mac or iPhone screen via Apple TV on to your TV. The design is simple and inspired Xiaomi to make a similar streaming device on a budget.
Although this Apple streaming device is still a great piece of hardware even if you remove the ecosystem part. The experience on this device is way smoother and seamless compared to other Android-based streaming devices.
It lets you stream a maximum 4k HDR along with the reliable and immersive Dolby Atmos signature sound. All the popular streaming apps we know are well optimized and ready to download. The multiple user support helps everyone in the family to watch content according to their individual choices.
The interface on the Apple TV looks refined, intuitive and I am running out of adjectives to describe the awesome experience I had while reviewing this streaming device. All the apps on the app store are optimised to work on your TV flawlessly.
The remote included inside the box adds to the fun you can have with this entertainment streaming device. Apple TV remote has a touch surface just like a trackpad on your laptop. Using this precise touch surface allows you to accurately find whatever you need.
With the reliable Bluetooth connection you don’t need to point the remote towards the TV. You can control your TV from anywhere inside the room.
And if you love mobile games this is one to choose. As the gaming performance is unmatched on this device. Additionally, if you have a PS4 or Xbox controller it can be utilized to play the games as well.
Additionally, the Apple TV 4k allows for multi user support for gaming. Thus individual gaming accolades stay with each player. And you can keep a track of your gaming performance and progress. Switching between the users is very simple and fast.
Apple TV 4K also supports newly announced gaming service Apple Arcade. It lets you play 100 of the titles available on a big screen.
With the future firmware updates, you can expect even better performance out of this Apple streaming device. As mentioned above even if you don’t own any Apple device this is still a clear winner.
Especially because of the hardware prowess, handcrafted interface, and gaming performance. If you have money to spend this is surely a product to consider. Apple TV 4k is the best high end streaming box you can find on market.
- It can be bought in different internal storage specifications from 32GB to 64GB.
- 4k HDR streaming.
- Bluetooth 4.0
- HDMI 2.0
- Wifi 2.4GHz and 5GHz
- A10X processor
- Dolby digital
Inside the box: Apple TV 4k, Apple TV remote, Power cord, Lightning to USB cable, and User manual.
Roku TV streaming devices are quite popular in the USA. Although they are quite powerful streaming devices to take other android based streaming devices head on. The only thing that goes against them is the after-sales services and lack of technical assistance.
Until writing this review there are no service centers for Roku in India. Thus in case if you need any after sales services requirement it is a difficult task ahead. However, if you still want to use the Roku products they are available in India.
Like all the other streaming devices on this list of best streaming devices in India they work absolutely fine. Roku streaming devices are available in different specs and sizes. Currently Roku sells a total of three streaming devices in India.
With these three models Roku has covered almost all sizes and shapes available for streaming devices.
- Roku Express:
The original product will be directly imported from the USA and it can take at least 2-3 weeks before it reaches you. Roku express is a tiny device that’s just 1.5 inches across. This is the cheapest Roku offering in India and all over the world.
At the back of the device you get a HDMI along with a micro USB port. All the wires required for the setup are included inside the box. It comes with a basic remote that has four dedicated buttons to access ESPN, Netflix, Sling, and Hulu.
Despite being a budget offering it was quite responsive. The performance is quite similar to the Mi TV Stick we have reviewed above. However, for a much inexpensive pricing Mi TV Stick is providing you a 4k HDR while Roku express can only go up to 1080p.
That’s why these USA import devices don’t work as well as they should and disappoint while being good streaming devices. Buy this product at your own risk.
- Roku Streaming Stick 4k:
The streaming stick from Roku is an upgrade from the 1080p maximum resolution seen on Roku express. However, the design on Roku stick looks familiar to Mi Stick and Amazon Fire Stick 4k.
The remote is identical to the one previously seen on Roku express. As per the company this TV stick is powerful, portable and provides exceptional wireless connectivity. Roku streaming stick supports the Airplay system.
This Airplay enabled IOS devices to connect faster. Helps mirror the screens, see images on your iPhone, controls apps and more. These features are not available on any Android based streaming device.
For Apple users who don’t wish to spend a lot on Apple TV 4k this is a nice option. Yes, there are other things to discuss but they are not that important for the end consumer in India.
- Roku Ultra:
As the name suggests Roku Ultra is the fastest and most powerful video streamer coming from Roku. The quad-core processor significantly decreases the time it takes to launch channels. Plus it also helps with the interface performance and response time.
It lets you stream 4K HDR content onto your TV. While Roku has also improved the WiFi reception on the device. For people with stressed out WiFi connections there is an ethernet to help you with the wired connection.
There is a newly added remote finding feature along with programmable remote buttons. The headphone jack on the remote allows you to keep enjoying your favourite programme without disturbing others.
With the 2020 version Roku also added the support for Dolby Vision to compete with the industry leading streaming services from the likes of Apple, Google, and Amazon. The Airplay feature, voice remote to control TV, and 4k HDR are still available on this Roku device.
Whole user experience remains the same along with the signature Roku user interface. The app support also remains strong however in India you may find some apps that are not working as expected. And this streaming device is competing with the Apple TV 4K in pricing.
A detailed buyers guide for streaming box/devices:
The reasons or the main points mentioned below are important to consider while buying a streaming device that fits all your needs. Thus before you make a decision from the best streaming devices you can buy in India. Go through them to make an informed choice rather than an impulsive one.
Types of devices:
The whole market of streaming devices is occupied by the big players. If you’re planning to buy something of value as well as excellent experience you have to buy one of the offerings from the big players such as Apple, Xiaomi, Google, and Amazon.
Out of all the OEM’s (original equipment manufacturers) mentioned above they have multiple streaming devices to serve totally different purposes. All these different models have different sets of specifications and features to cater to the needs of different consumers.
The stick style devices are generally portable but underpowered compared to their settop box style siblings. Due to the size restrictions the ports on the stick style devices are limited and connecting extra things might be a problem.
Thus if you’re considering buying a streaming device that allows you to play games seamlessly while providing enough connectivity options. You can think of investing into Mi Box 4K or Apple TV 4K. While streaming video content is your only concern then choices are simple.
You can either go for a Google Chromecast, Mi Tv Stick or a fan favourite Amazon firestick. All these are wonderful portable barebones devices made to stream video content. While providing some extra functionalities.
A reliable internet connection:
Streaming services are increasing day by day. And thanks to the cheap internet as well as faster internet speed are fueling the advent of streaming services and pay per view offerings. At the end of the day your Netflix quality solely depends upon your internet speed.
If you want to get out that buffering circle that keeps on popping now and then. You need a reliable internet connection at least 5mbps to keep your Netflix or Amazon Prime running without tireless buffering waits.
4K HDR capabilities:
The above mentioned streaming devices are all industry leading devices that provide you with the best smart TV experience on a dumb TV. However, out of all the mentioned above only a handful can provide you with 4K HDR picture quality.
I know the supporting TV screen has to be on par to provide a 4K experience. Although with a 4K HDR (high dynamic range) support the video content looks much sharper along with excellent colour reproduction.
Investing in a 4K HDR streaming device makes sense in the contemporary time. As it won’t go obsolete very fast as well as you can utilize the same device even on a new TV.
Ports and connectivity options are crucial to keep in mind before you invest in a streaming device. A steaming device must have enough connecting ports to accommodate all your needs. There needs to be a usb port to play your own media, HDMI port for easy connectivity, and screen mirroring or cast options to connect your mobile devices.
Yes, all modern-day streaming devices have a built-in wifi but it is still nice to have an ethernet port in case you face slower speeds on wifi connection. Then there is gaming remote or console support is also a nice add on especially if you like gaming. Apple TV as well as Mi Box 4k provides Xbox and Sony console remote connectivity for ease of gaming.
A smart TV is not smart without the huge library of apps in his arsenal. While some of the streaming devices rely on third party stores. Some of them come preloaded with some of the important ones.
Anyhow apps are the souls of streaming devices. Thus invest in a streaming device that comes with Google play store or Aptoide to download the apps that you need.
Not all streaming devices run on a true Android TV operating system. Some of them are based on mobile Android operating systems. There is nothing wrong with such devices but at certain places they lack the accurate optimization to run certain apps.
This is not a major set back but these little annoyances help you separate a great device from an average one. The interface on Amazon fire stick is focused around video suggestions using the apps you utilize more often.
The suggestions on the homepage are heavily focused on videos while on the other side. The Android TV interface on Mi Box 4K is focused more towards apps. Liking a certain interface is totally a subjective choice that depends on your personal liking towards auto suggestions.
Intuitive remote controller:
Accept for the Google Chromecast all the other streaming devices featuring on this list come along with excellent remote controllers. With these physical remote controllers navigating through the interface is easier and feels intuitive. A
With a physical remote controller one can fly through the menu. Provide voice commands while controlling the volume levels with ease. Some of the controllers come with quick start dedicated app buttons to launch your favourite app directly.
Additionally, these remotes help you play games with ease on your streaming devices. Apple TV 4K remote features a touch pad to play games, navigate flawlessly through menus, and play video content.
Consider your budget:
Your intent as well as your budget will help you decide the perfect streaming device for your needs. If budget is not the problem our team suggests to go for the best. Apple TV that allows you to play games flawlessly while providing the other basic functionality.
The powerful hardware on the Apple TV along with the software is unmatched by any other brand. However, the price is the only issue with Apple products in India. For an average consumer that value for money products are more important than the most expensive one.
Mi Box 4k is one of the best budget streaming devices you can find in India.
Especially with the powerful hardware and flawless performance it’s a no brainer. And when you consider the inexpensive pricing along with all the bells and whistles. This makes it one of the best streaming devices you can buy right now of course after the Apple TV 4k.
Amazon firestick is the most popular media streaming device available. It comes witha remote that you can use to control the device. The remote also offers voice based search
As we know that its quite a task to enter any input on a smart TV screen using the Tv remote. Amazon solves this problem by providing a remote that you can use to input information. You can further use voice which makes it more easier to search your favorite TV shows or movies.
The advantage of the remote is that it works on bluetooth technology and not IR so you can operate the remote without actually pointing it towards the TV.
The remote doesn’t have a volume control and the voice search function will not display results from prime video and none of the other apps.
Even though the main focus of the Amazon firestick is the Amazon Prime Video App, this device also comes pre loaded with other apps like Netflix, Hotstar, Gaana, Voot, Plex etc
Unlike Google chromecast you do not need your phone to operate the Amazon firestick