It seems there are moves afoot to ban the UK sale of ‘Fully Loaded’ or perhaps all KODI equipped TV boxes which makes me all the more keen to to try this new TV Box/keypad combo.
Inside the simple but attractive product box was the TV Box itself, a UK power adaptor, medium sized remote control, HDMI cable , User Guide, mini keyboard with USB charging cable with pass through port and User Guides for the TV Box and keypad. The enclosed User Guide is fairly well printed and easy enough to read but not very informative and tells you how to get the device connected and online but not much more. Don’t expect it to tell you anything about KODI or the pre installed apps. I enclose a scanned copy of it on the end of my unboxing video. Unlike with almost every other dual unit I have tried the mini keyboard is clearly not just an aftermarket add on and is included in a larger than normal box clearly designed to take the entire product package.
TV Boxes of this type are basically an Android phone without mobile phone capabilities optimised for use as a media player for local and internet media. The core of this and similar devices is the remarkable Kodi media playing application. This box comes with the latest version pre installed.
A reasonable but by no means full range of ports are available for playing local files and additional equipment. The build quality is decent throughout and the device is quite attractively designed and is smaller in size than the older rather boxy units. It boasts many high end features such as an S905X quad-core cortex-A53 running at 2Ghz, Android 6, KODI 16.1, TF card slot, SPDIF port, 4K support, 2GB RAM and 16GB of storage ( both twice the usual amount). There are some hardware letdowns: only two USB ports, no Gigabit LAN, no 5Ghz wifi, S905X rather than the newer S912 CPU.
The only real task is to connect to your home network and it has both wifi and Ethernet options available. If you are familiar with Android then this is very simple, non Android users may find this more difficult. Once on the network to get the best from this device you should login to your Google account, that way apps can be easily installed via your computer from the Google Play website and Gmail and YouTube will be auto configured at the same time.
The standard handset is fine but most people will prefer to use the supplied mini keyboard. This consists of a keypad with a full qwerty keyboard with many extra keys and a USB dongle which plugs into a USB port of the TV Box. The keypad and dongle are already paired so should work straight from the box as soon as the TV Box boots up. However, the dongle required by the keypad will take up one of the two USB ports.
Although the latest version of KODI is installed, you may later need to update it and add or remove plug-ins to it for best results. There is a learning curve here but it is worth it. A look on Youtube will find a host of guides to getting the best from KODI.
This is a well specified Android TV box with the double the usual amounts of RAM and some other high end features. That said, I must also say that in use I have found very little difference between any TV boxes once KODI is installed and running. This one works very well indeed, has an excellent onscreen menu system and seems stable and fast in use. It uses Android v6 which is later than the version used by many rivals.
This not the best specified TV Box I have ever used but it can definitely be considered a high end unit. This plus the current £55.99 price makes it a worthwhile five star buy.
Many essential apps pre installed including Kodi
Good build quality
All necessary cables supplied
Fast Quad core processor
Mini keypad included
Can be complicated to configure for non Android users
Kodi can be challenging for new users
No handset batteries supplied
Only two USB ports
Poor User Guide
No Gigabit LAN
No 5Ghz wifi