Prices are falling as fast as specs are rising for Android TV boxes. Priced at £61.85 this is on the pricey side and I have seen similarly configured rivals for less but nevertheless the price asked here is still a good one for a high end device such as this.
Inside the rather posh looking box aside from the unit itself was a UK power adaptor, medium sized remote control, HDMI cable , and User Guide,. 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.
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 beta v17.0 pre installed.
A good 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 Amlogic S912 Octa Core running at 2Ghz, Android 6, KODI 17, TF card slot, SPDIF port, 4K support, four USB ports, Bluetooth 4, Gigabit LAN, dual band wifi, 2GB RAM and 16GB of storage ( both twice the usual amount).
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. The device has on board Bluetooth 4.1 so external keyboards can be used but from experience with other units I found the USB dongle type work best.
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. If you encounter issues with KODI then my suggestion would be to downgrade from the installed beta v17 to the current stable v16.1.
This is a well specified Android TV box with the double the usual amounts of RAM and many 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 is one of the best specified TV Boxes I have ever used, with a new fast processor and a range of high end features. This plus the current £61.85 price makes it a worthwhile five star buy.
Many essential apps pre installed including Kodi
Good build quality
All necessary cables supplied
Fast octa core processor
Dual band ac wifi
Can be complicated to configure for non Android users
Kodi can be challenging for new users
No handset batteries supplied
Beta KODI version installed
Poor User Guide