Xiaomi finally prepares to roll out Android 9 Pie to the Mi Box 3
Launched back in 2016, the Xiaomi Mi Box 3 was a forerunner of today’s Mi Box 4K or the Mi TV Stick. Matter of fact, the “Mi Box” sold in the U.S. is nothing but a rebranded Mi Box 3. The Chinese OEM shipped the device with Android Marshmallow, skipped the promised Nougat update, and directly jumped to Android Oreo. While its successor, the Mi Box S, did pick up the Android Pie update a few months ago, the owners of the Mi Box 3 are stuck with Android Oreo till date. If you are still holding onto the older Mi Box, you will be excited to know that Xiaomi is now pushing out the long-anticipated Android Pie update for the Mi Box 3 to select beta testers.
The initial public beta build (software version R2810) is meant for the MDZ-16-AB variant of the Mi Box 3 and it is coming in at nearly 620MB. The included changelog is hilariously tiny, thus all we know that the OTA brings in Android Pie to the nifty set-top box alongside the support for the Mi Remote app. Despite there is no ETA on when the stable build will land, it would be the third major Android OS update for the device (counting the unreleased Android Nougat build), which is quite impressive for such an affordable certified Android TV box.
Considering the internal similarities between the Mi Box 3 (code-name: once) and the Mi Box S/Mi Box 4K (code-name: oneday), we hope that the aforementioned Android Pie beta firmware comes with most of the bugfix patches from the latter’s stable Android Pie build. Note that the firmware packages for these two streaming devices are not compatible with each other, so do not try to perform a cross-flash.
The Mi Box 3 supports 4K video playback at 60fps, thanks to the quad-core Amlogic SoC with the Mali 450 GPU and 2GB of RAM inside the device. There’s also support for Dolby Digital Plus audio playback, albeit the beta firmware reportedly breaks HD Audio passthrough for some users.