At the time of writing there is currently a lawsuit going through the English courts with an aim to ban the UK sale of ‘Fully Loaded’ or perhaps all KODI equipped TV boxes. This makes me all the more keen to to try this new TV Box/keypad combo.
The TV streamer and remote keypad are separately boxed and clearly put together as a bundle. Inside the simple but attractive streamer product box was the TV Box itself, 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. The mini keyboard came with USB charging cable and it’s own User Guide.
Build quality seems fine and this TV Box is the first I have seen in a hexagonal casing. Unusually too it has a simple LCD panel on the front that tells you little more than the time and connection status. A reasonable but by no means full range of ports are available for playing local files and additional equipment: TF card slot, two USB, Optical, HDMI, AV, Ethernet, Power. It boasts many high end features such as an Amlogic S912 Octa-core CPU, Android 6, KODI 16.1, 4K support, 2GB RAM and 16GB of storage ( both twice the usual amount), Bluetooth 4.0.. The single hardware let down is the inclusion of only two USB ports.
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. You can save a USB port by using an external Bluetooth keypad but I find that a dedicated paired device usually runs better.
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.
Even at the currently discounted price of £74.99 this by no means an inexpensive TV Box and cheaper less powerful units can be had for less than £25 these days. You do get what you pay for and although lesser units will still work fine for general use a high end box like this one will be faster and snappier in use and when navigating menus.
Many essential apps pre installed including Kodi
Good build quality
All necessary cables supplied
Fast Octa-core processor
Mini keypad included
Dual band wifi
Keypad and remote supplied
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