[Unboxing and Review] Xiaomi Mi TV Stick Android Streaming Dongle

Heya! Finaaaally I got to publish this long overdue review on YouTube. The clips of this video have been sitting on my phone for months now and it takes up a lot of memory so it feels really good to finally have it out there. We've had the Xiaomi Mi TV Stick for around 3 already and I remember shooting the unboxing immediately, then totally forgot about it. 

The video covers some of the basic stuff you need to know about the Xiaomi Mi TV stick, what's in the box, specs, setup, and my general feedback about the product, which is good. So this blog post will pretty much be just a repeat, but with more details about the pros and cons I encounter along the way.

Let's go.

What's in the box

  1. Mi TV stick
  2. Voice remote (2 AAA batteries required - not included)
  3. English user manual
  4. Power adapter
  5. HDMI extension cable
  6. Micro USB power cable

  • 1080p@ 60fps  max output resolution
  • Quad-core Cortex-A53 CPU
  • ARM Mali-450 GPU
  • 1GB RAM
  • 8GB storage
  • Android 9.0 OS
  • Wifi 802.11
  • Bluetooth 4.2

You may also check the full overview from Mi Global site

I liked the Chromecast feature a lot because it lets me listen to Spotify

We normally just watch on Netflix, Prime Video, or Youtube so in terms of memory and capacity, we're not overloading the stick given that it has a pretty low RAM. My hopes is that Disney+ will be available soon in the Philippines so we can download that as well!

I like how simple and minimal the remote looks, but it's a downer that it doesn't have an infrared blaster so I can't control the TV with it.

That said, you have to turn on the TV, then turn on the stick. I don't remember if I could launch the Mi TV stick directly with the TV off.

Google voice assistant is pretty cool, but it doesn't work on all apps and it's not that accurate too. 

It can be a bit sluggish when navigating.

It's not 4k ok? But that's ok for us. It's not like we have a big TV hehe.

It buffers a lot at home, which is weird because we're on Converge's 25mbps plan. We've tried it twice elsewhere and we didn't have any problems. We've tried it both on bigger TV's and slower internet speeds (hotel wifi and mobile hotspot) and it works flawlessly, so I wonder what gives.

I love how I'm able to connect my airpods to it so I can listen privately while watching. The only problem is it doesn't let me reconnect once the device is already paired. For example I just linked my airpods to the Mi TV stick, then I used it on my phone, then I want to get back on the TV. There's no option on the screen to reconnect. But somehow sometimes, it pairs automatically. It's so weird. So whenever I want to get back to listening on the TV, I have to unpair and pair my airpods again. Hassle lol.

Youtube buffering is bad. I rarely watch Youtube using the Mi TV stick because of how it buffers. The audio and video will just go out of sync, with the video paused while the audio keeps going, and then it catches up by fast forwarding the video until it's caught up with the audio. It's so bad lol. I'd rather have the video pause entirely instead of having the audio and video racing up to each other.

I wish it had a LAN port.

Overall it's still a pretty good portable streaming stick as it's very affordable. I mean, don't expect much for its price. If you're willing to shell out some more there's Roku!

It's a great staycation buddy. Now we don't have to bring a laptop to hotels anymore! Haha It's not our main though, to be honest. We have a Smart TV that's hooked up on LAN so it still gives the better experience.

Price and availability

I got the Xiaomi Mit TV Stick at Shopee Philippines for ₱1,699

[Once in a lifetime promo] We stayed 24hrs at Victoria Court's Princess Jasmine themed room. Is it worth it?

Lol I'm learning to make titles like a socmed manager haha. But don't worry this isn't clickbait hehe.

So. My husband and I claimed our Once in a lifetime voucher from Victoria Court last week and here's a quick look of the thematic room we chose: Princess Jasmine!

This is the second themed room we tried with VC and as usual, it was a visual feast! Our first one was the Venice themed room which we tried earlier this year, check it out here!

Back to the Once in a lifetime promo, the voucher entitled us to a 24 hour stay at any room we want so of course we went for a thematic room haha.

Princess Jasmine room features:
  • King size bed
  • Magic carpet
  • Big smart TV (yeyy for Netflix and Amazon!)
  • Karaoke (1 microphone)
  • Twin jacuzzi
  • Couples massage area
  • Sauna room
  • Separate urinal
  • Shower room
  • Room service w/ limited menu

We really enjoyed this room. It's smaller than the Venice room but it has more amenities. Interior design wise though I still prefer the Venice room. I was actually expecting the Princess Jasmine room to be more violet and gold themed ala Aladdin but it's actually very warm and Moroccan, even Indian, inspired. It's still beautiful though but I guess I'm just looking for more texture and ornaments like the Venice room. Oh well, we still have a lot of rooms to explore with Victoria Court hahaha!

We bought a bubble bath specifically for this staycation because we wanted to enjoy the jacuzzi. And yes we did! We bought Marks & Spencer's lavender bath essence and my goodness it smells heavenly! I have now added it to my official bath favorites, on par with Neutrogena's light sesame body oil. They smell so frkn amazing. First time namin mag-bubble bath sa jacuzzi so mejo napadami yung buhos ng bula hahahaha nakaka-panic kasi bigla na lang nag-umapaw yung bubbles hahaha.

Because it's quarantine, restaurant room service is only until 10pm and with a limited menu. Massage service is not available as well. I'm not sure about housekeeping but they don't seem to be up 24/7. And unlike before where you can walk-in whenever you like, now you have to book a reservation and check in at 2pm. But because we're staying 24 hours, we requested to be allowed in as early 6am, good thing they agreed.

24 hours, are you crazy?

Yeah, the voucher can't be split into multiple stays so there's that. So is it worth staying 24 hours naman? To be honest, no. Victoria Court is not a hotel per se so therefore it doesn't offer hotel like accommodation. Here's what I didn't like about our stay...
  • The blanket is very thin, hindi sya pang overnight. Pang cuddle lang yung nipis nya para mag-yakapan talaga kayo ng partner mo pero di sya cozy!
  • And when it got too cold I found that I can't control the aircon kasi walang remote haha. I had to call maintenance to turn off 1 a/c for me hahaha. May switch naman pala yung isang aircon di ko lang napansin kasi...
  • It's too dark. Alam mo yung the lights are sexy-time dim, not cozy dim. So di ko maaninag yung mga buttons sa aircon...
  • There's no good place to lounge by the TV, we had to move the chairs by the dining area just to get proper seats kasi nag-marathon kami sa Amazon.
  • The magic carpet looks fun but it's creaky and uncomfortable and the carpet looks very old. It's really just a decorative feature. Same with Venice's gondola. And I bet all of their thematic rooms have that one big beautiful prop that's only good for eye candy and maybe a quickie hehe.
  • Extra towels cost extra hehe. 20 each sya. We had to request because they only provided 2 bath towels and we didn't have floor rugs so ang kalat when we're moving from the jacuzzi to the shower.
  • I had a hard time sleeping because it's so noisy outside. We slept during the day by the way, so it worked that it's very dark, but then I can hear the traffic outside. Di ako makatulog, plus yun nga nilamig ako ng bongga haha.
  • And when I did get some sleep and finally woke up, lutang ako sa paligid. With no windows and no natural light coming in I have lost all sense of time and it's kindof disorienting. I don't like the feeling!

Bat ka naman kasi nag-staycation sa motel?! Hahaha

Don't be mistaken though because I'm not taking it against Victoria Court. I'm well aware their thematic rooms aren't meant for overnight stays. I guess the magic just wears off over time. After 5 hours you start experiencing things like what I mentioned above. Then you start noticing some details like may mga maduming corners pala tapos mapapansin mo mejo hindi na pala maintained yung interior hahaha. Tapos yung karaoke songbook kalat kalat yung pages?! It didn't really matter to me kasi pag may karaoke I always check the brand tapos download ako ng app nila so I can search for songs numbers on my phone instead. That's a life hack! Hahaha

Anyway we had so much fun, of course, *wink*. We also came here for the food because Victoria Bites offers a really delicious menu, and they did not disappoint kahit na naka pang-takeaway ang packaging at plastic ang utensils haha! And even though they reduced the options this time, the important thing is may Legendary Crispy Pata parin! Yung sinigang na baboy nila ang sarap din!!!

Okay that's all! Til next time!

Tagaytay Staycation: Taal Vista Hotel Premiere King Room

We booked a weekend staycation at Taal Vista Hotel last month to celebrate my birthday. We've been meaning to go to Tagaytay ever since it opened to tourists on September, but the rules kept changing so we held off. Eventually we were able to push through with the trip, lucky enough to have come during a period when requirements weren't that strict. No need for travel pass, health certificate, and the hotel also didn't require a negative COVID test. The only requirement is that you fill out a health declaration form when you arrive, and wear your face mask and face shield at all times. They also don't allow Monday check-ins at this time so do note that when you're planning to go to Tagaytay. LGU has ordered establishments to shut down on Mondays for disinfection.

Here's a video of the room tour! Please watch, like, and subscribe! :)

On to the blabber...

I really like the room that we got. It's a Premiere King Room with a lake view and it's stunning!

  • Super comfy king sized bed
  • Big windows with roller blinds
  • Large cabled TV
  • Amazing Taal view
  • Basement and open parking available
  • Room service
  • Swimming pool (not sure if heated)
  • Fitness gym
  • Viewing deck
  • Restaurants
  • There's Casino Filipino and McDonald's across the hotel

There's also a water pitcher by the desk that you can refill from the water station by the hallway.

Yup! There are water stations placed along the hallway for your drinking water needs. It dispenses hot and cold water and it's just so convenient. I actually love this feature because we didn't need to buy our own water or keep asking for water bottles from housekeeping.

The TV is big but the smart feature is disabled, meaning you can't watch Netflix or Youtube or whatever. Good thing we brought our Xiaomi Mi TV stick with us so we were able to binge watch Parks and Recreation during our stay!

They also have a hygeine kit like this, containing face masks, alcohol, and wipes.

These are the bathroom essentials...

Body wash, shampoo, and conditioner are fixed on the wall

Breakfast buffet is served from 6am to 10:30am (IIRC) at the Veranda restaurant...

When we stayed over the weekend, I was actually concerned that we have a neighbor. I thought hotel occupancy is limited and guests should be at least one room apart from each other.

It gets noisy when someone hangs out at the balcony. You can literally hear them and it's very easy to peek over at their side as well. You can see through the balcony windows and people can look up to you when they're down at the open area. It's a bummer that we weren't able to enjoy the balcony that way. It's noisy and not that private. :(

Hallways can get pretty noisy with footsteps as well. The room we got has a connecting door too, so that's less sound barrier for us. Privacy tip: Try to get a corner room and make sure you don't get a connecting room hehe!

We had a chance to walk around the hotel and found how expansive it is! The Lake View rooms are separate from the Mountain and Ridge view rooms. 

That's where the other guest rooms are. It's a long walk from the Lake View area, and tbh the building looks old. I'm sure the rooms are upgraded though! Hehe the facade reminds me of a dorm though. The pool and gym area are near this side so if you're up for the pool, this area is cool! Maybe it's quieter here? Hmm...

Yeah I guess that's about it. Despite the noise and lack of privacy at the balcony, we had a very enjoyable stay. We ordered twice from their room service and in fairness, ang sarap and the price is reasonable too. The staff are very courteous and nice and I would love to stay here again in the future.

We got the Premiere King Room for ₱6,500/night (promo).

Taal Vista Hotel
Aguinaldo Highway, Tagaytay City
+63 (7917) 8225 | +63 (46) 413 1000

[Room Tour] Victoria Court Venice themed room

I can't believe I haven't posted about this? How come? I only realized now that I'm about to post our second VC room tour hahaha. So yeah, here it is. Plugging the Youtube video here and recalling everything (not everything ofc *wink*) that happened that day.

So, it was our first time to a motel. We didn't know what to expect, we were just curious. So one night we decided to drive to their Pasig branch. This was before quarantine started, around March this year so everything was still normal okay hehe.

So yun. We wazed it, and found it funny that the road that's lined up with motels is called Christian road on the map hahaha. We turned to where the VC logo is pointed and got to this street where there are tons of VC compounds . What's happening? Why is the place so big? Where do we go? What's a taxi? What's a garage? As of writing I still don't know.

I remember we entered the Escarpment compound. It was dark, there was no guard so we just waited. Eventually someone came up to us and asked for a reservation. We told them we didn't have any but we'd like to try one of the themed rooms. He pointed us to a different compound.

We drove to the next area, Suites ata yun, and there they gave us the available rooms. I think that time there's Princess Jasmine, Venice, and Cinderella. We went for Venice.

They led us to a car port where there's a narrow flight of stairs that leads to the anteroom, then to the main room. This setup is really cool. You have your own private parking space and upstairs is your unit! So here you go, a bunch of pics to show how beautiful and ornate the Venice room is...

  • There's a king-sized bed
  • Big jacuzzi
  • A freaking gondola
  • KARAOKE with 2 microphones
  • Mini ref
  • Separate urinal
  • Complimentary condom and bottled water
  • Hygiene kit

They also have room service - VC Bites - and it's amazing. Whatever shameless notoriety they earned for being in the business of indirectly advocating extramarital affairs (sorry for the stereotype), they make up for offering an incredible gastronomic experience. Does it really make up for it though? Anyway.

Case in point, we loved their menu, specially their Legendary Crispy Pata! 

Another thing I enjoyed very much with this room is the karaoke. Man they've got a really good sound system and two microphones as well!

I guess that's about it. The jacuzzi was kinda hard to navigate but it's a delight to watch the water pour out from the jars. The bathroom smelled funky, and I also noticed this with their other room - Princess Jasmine. I wish they had a bigger TV though! Overall we enjoyed our stay, it was a whole new experience for us and we promised we'll be back.

Rates then? We paid ₱2,750 for three hours. Pretty steep for a short time! Haha

Victoria Court Pasig
(02) 8671-9782

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