Increasingly now TV Box specs seem to be going up as prices are going down. This new TV Box has top of the range specs which onloy a couple of weeks ago I would expect to pay around £75 for but on offer here at just £49.99 it shows how the bar is being raised.
Along with the unit itself inside the attractive and up market box was a UK power adaptor, medium sized remote control, HDMI cable, and a User Guide. The User Guide is better printed than most and easy to read but is very basic and tells you how to connect the device up and that is about it. It makes no mention of KODI or how to configure it. I enclose a scanned copy of it on the end of my unboxing video, switch to full screen and pause as needed to read it.
This TV Box is essentially an Android phone without the mobile phone capabilities and optimised for use as a media player. The core of this and similar devices is the remarkable Kodi media playing application. This device comes with the current 16.1 version.
This is a well made and well equipped box but with a disappointedly limited number of ports.s. It has two USB ports, SPDIF, HDMI, Ethernet, power ports. There are no TF card or AV inputs and many rival boxes have up to four USB ports.There are a load of high end features to be found such as an Amlogic S905X chipset, Android 6 , 4K support, 2 GB RAM, 16Gb storage, dual band wifi, GLAN. The specs are not quite the highest available as the Amlogic S905X CPU although faster than normal is not so fast as the even newer Amlogic S912.
Configuring the device was pretty easy with all the essential apps pre installed. 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 you should then login to your Google account, that way apps can be easily installed from the Google Play store, Gmail and YouTube will be auto configured at the same time.
Thanks to the USB ports third party memory sticks, keyboards and mice can be used to make navigating the User Interface faster and easier, although the built in pop-up keyboard and full sized remote control with dedicated keys will suffice for most users. Many high end TV boxes now come with a separate remote keypad but that is not included here. It does have Bluetooth 4 and so suitably equipped keyboards and mice can be connected wirelessly and without occupying a USB port.
There are a variety of applications pre installed, some useful and some not, but with time you may discover that like me you find that everything want can be done from Kodi. Kod is an immensely powerful and, for novices, worryingly complicated media portal, with a host of plug-ins and remote repositories available. A look on Youtube will find a host of guides to getting the best from KODI.
This unit comes with comes with a generous 2GB RAM and has 16GB storage, double the norm for these units. It supports both 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz wifi but for superior results it is always best to go for an Ethernet cable connection and this device supports the high speed 1000MB LAN speed..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, has an attractive onscreen menu system and seems stable and fast in use.
This Is one of the best specified Android TV Box I have ever used, certainly the best for this price, and almost all the boxes are ticked. The only drawback is the very basic User Guide but even that is at least well printed and easy to read and better that those supplied with most rival boxes. How much of a difference in performance there is from lesser boxes is more subjective, it is very fast and snappy in use but most TV boxes are fine once KODI is running.
Good build quality
Dual band wifi
SD card slot
Custom remote control
Limited range of ports
Poor User Guide
Can be complicated to configure for non Android users
Kodi can be challenging for new users
No handset batteries supplied
No remote keyboard