RUPA A5 Android 5.1 TV Box

Who knows how long TV boxes such as this will be available for as a test prosecution is currently underway against a market seller for facilitating copyright violations. It may mean that KODI boxes or at least pre configured versions will no longer be available and that prices, currently in free fall, will go back up again.

Inside the box was the device itself, a UK power adaptor with 1.5m cable, medium sized remote control, HDMI cable, and a User Guide. Don’t expect the User Guide to tell you much about how to operate the KODI or other installed software as it basically shows you just how to connect the device to the internet and configure the TV screen. I enclose a scanned copy of the Guide on the end of my unboxing video. Switch to full screen and pause to read it.

Like most TV boxes, it is essentially an Android phone without the mobile phone capabilities and optimised for use with an HDMI TV as a media player for local and internet files.The core of this and similar devices is the remarkable Kodi application and currently this box has the most recent version installed.

A good range of ports are available for playing local files and additional equipment. It features four USB, HDMI, Ethernet, power in, SPDIF, AV and an SD card slot. The included remote control is well made and is unlike the generic ones usually bundled with TV Boxes this one was clearly designed for use with this box.. It has the snappy Amlogic S905 Quad Core chipset, which is perfectly powerful enough for a TV box. This box runs Android 5.1 which is a relatively new version of the operating system. Many budget boxes still run Android 4.4 although most run Android 5.1 and increasingly Android 6.

The only real setting up task is to connect to your home network and it has both wifi and Ethernet options available to do this. 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, 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 remote control will suffice. The supplied handset is fine but some users may wish to invest in a USB dongle wireless keypad to give the full range of keys and a built in mini touchpad. This can also be done over Bluetooth but I find that a dedicated dongle/keypad works best.

This is a reasonably well specified entry level Android TV box. It comes with 1GB of RAM , the usual size ,and the almost standard 8GB of storage. The box has standard speed Ethernet and 2.4Ghz wifi but misses out on the faster and less crowded 5Ghz band and high speed Gigabit LAN. 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, has an attractive and well laid out on screen interface and an easy to navigate menu system. It seems stable and reliable in use. As with all TV Boxes experienced users may prefer to reset and update KODI and install their own preferred options and plugins.

I don’t really look on this device as a rival to easy access user friendly streamers like the Roku or the Amazon Fire TV as this device offers so much more but at the price of being difficult to fully configure as well as being more clunky and long winded to operate. The Kodi app uses plug-in type configurations which are volatile in nature and tend to cease working without notice and need to be replaced or updated, A search on Youtube will find a host of guides to getting the best from KODI.

This is a decent quality entry level TV streamer but as with all Android TVs there is a learning curve to get the best from it. Priced at just £27.59 this is certainly a budget priced device but with enough higher end features to make it a worthwhile buy.

The Good
Android 5.1
Four USB ports
Many essential apps pre installed
Good build quality
All necessary cables supplied
SD card slot

The Bad
Can be complicated configure for non Android users
No handset batteries supplied
No 5Ghz wifi
No Gigabit LAN

More info and purchase