Xiaomi's new 60-inch 4K TV is upgradable and under $800

The rapidly growing Chinese company unveils its third-generation MiTV, an affordable smart TV that offers ultra HD resolution and can be easily upgraded.

TVs
Xiaomi

BEIJING -- A 60-inch 4K TV for less than $800? Xiaomi's new product is an effort to shake up the smart TV industry in the same way it has smartphones.

The Chinese company, which made its name selling quality phones at reasonable prices with oodles of online hype, wants to challenge just how low a high quality TV can cost, CEO Lei Jun said at a Beijing event Monday.

The goal is to bring out a large-screen TV with ultra high-definition 4K resolution at 4,999 yuan (roughly $785, AU$1,075 or ‎£510). The average price for a 60-inch 4K display is often more than double that in China, Lei added.

While the price alone makes it noteworthy, Xiaomi's 60-inch MiTV also has an innovative approach to upgrades. Most smart TVs come with their speakers and electronics built into the frame, but the new MiTV has its motherboard and processor fitted into a detachable speaker.

This means that all the TV's ports are found on the separate speaker, instead of the display. The device's screen then connects to the speaker through a single cord that combines the signal and power lines. The detachable speaker means that you can one day upgrade your MiTV's smart capabilities without having to buy a whole new TV, in a similar manner to Samsung's Evolution Kit. You can also purchase the detachable speaker as a standalone device to attach to an existing TV for 999 yuan (around $155, AU$215 or ‎£100).

The MiTV offers ultra HD 4K resolution. Michael Kan/CNET

Xiaomi is one of China's hottest tech companies. In the second quarter, it beat Apple and Huawei to become the country's top smartphone vendor, according to research firm Canalys, and in the third quarter it ranked fourth in the world for smartphone shipments, according to TrendForce.

The new MiTV is the first 60-inch display from the company, and its third smart TV. Over the last three years it's worked with suppliers to lower manufacturing costs, Xiaomi's CEO said. The display comes from LG and is fitted in a metal frame, a mere 36.7mm at its thickest point.

Xiaomi's phones and TV range aren't yet available in the US, Europe or Australia, though many of its other products, such as the Mi Band and Mi Headphones, are. In September, the company said it would be bringing out a line of laptops, though it hasn't yet said when.

The MiTV 3 will go on sale in China early in November.

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