Do you often get bored while watching a normal TV due to inadequate or absence of stuff, or static satellite registration? Well, I was on your shoes as well until I found out a perfect means to escape this bothersome circumstance. Now, I know I’ll never be bored again because I know two or three things concerning Android TV boxes, so some intelligent TVs that let me easily flow content to my TV, and enable me to download apps from Google Playstore.
Therefore, when viewing a regular TV really bores you and you are searching for something which will bring that excess bit of fun, then my review is for you. Like I said previously, I have huge experience with many types of Android TV box, thus, I will like to work with my experience using these devices that will help you make the ideal choice. Even though there’s plenty of alternatives available nowadays, you should not have a problem picking the best Android TB box provided you read the review throughout.
Android TV Box Buyers Guide
We understand that choosing an android TV box can be confusing and we often get asked what the difference between all the boxes are so we have created this in-depth review, we hope it will inform you and help you make the best decision when purchasing an Android TV box.
What is the difference between all of your boxes?
All Android tv boxes run on the latest version of the Android operating system (Android 7.1). The difference between the boxes is in the hardware. Much like all Samsung phones run on the same operating system but some have faster chips etc. that affect the performance of the phone.
We will be looking at a range of boxes that cater to all budgets. It is important to note that even the most affordable of Android TV boxes has 2GB of RAM which is considered quite quick.
Best Android TV Boxes: Amazon
Having Analyzed an Amazon TV box Before, I expected a Great Deal from this TV Too and boy was I impressed. This T box in Amazon appears like an extremely large Flashdrive having an HDMI connector hanging around the sides. As soon as it’s OS 5.0 Lollipop is not really current, its own 802.11ac Wi-Fi guarantees an extremely dependable streaming and quick downloads. Additionally, it applies an 8GB ROM and 1GB of Memory.
While seeing the menu on the Screen, it’s observable that the chip has made the Stick very quickly as everything I attempted loaded fast. The Stick also offers a wonderful Voice helper – Alexa that may let you know that the weather report, information and some other helpful details. Interestingly, you could even control Alexa to bypass your movies or even rewind them and she’s doing it happily. I had a great deal of fun playing this attribute really.
The flame TV stick additionally supports the Dolby Digital also With the ideal audio systems, I really loved it. The video playback is also notable as I attempted to play an assortment of movies on it played with the 480p and 720p flawlessly although it lagged a bit when enjoying 4K using it.
The only feature I dislike about the Stick is the 8 GB storage can’t be increased so there’s a limitation to what you are able to save at one time.
Amazon is a business most of us know due to their excellence and uniqueness. But, I wasn’t really sure of what to anticipate from their Amazon Fire Streaming Media Player, As I did not really know the business for a terrific producer of apparatus. Surprisingly, I could not feel the high image quality that this apparatus delivered, which left me hopeful of becoming amazed further, about the Amazon Fire TV Streaming Media Player, I really enjoyed watching diehard 4K and 1080p HD movies.
This Android TV box includes the Amazing Alexa voice on the remote which can make life much simpler. With this voice control feature, you will have the ability to command your TV box in an enjoyable manner. You will only need to mention the words and it’ll follow you. She is able to execute some typical everyday tasks any wise voice helper ought to be able to perform like placing reminders, cracking dreadful jokes and answering inquiries. In addition, I have discovered that Alexa can fascinate you visually than studying outside as she informs the weather by revealing it to you personally. You may prefer the recently launched Amazon Fire TV Cube which has a few more controls than the older model in our review.
The TV box includes more than 10,000 apps, a lot of matches and you’ll have access to hundreds of thousands of films and TV shows. You may literally never run out of interesting things to see. Another wonderful feature of the Amazon Fire is a cable isn’t a requirement since you’re able to watch live stations of your choice.
This Streaming Media Participant has an extremely fantastic processing capacity that guarantees excellent speed and performance that surpasses a whole lot of other Android TV boxes on the market. Using a 2GB RAM and an 8GB storage, then I managed to save local contents onto it. Surprisingly, the storage could be upgraded to as large as 200 gigabytes, that’s nearly the same amount of space as on my laptop’s hard drive!
The port of the gadget is also very fine as I Found as soon as I switched it on, I discovered my favourite videos onto the home screen, this saved me the stress of attempting to hunt around for my finest videos. The entire fire TV encounter becomes far more interesting when you’ve got a prime subscription because you may enjoy unlimited access to this prime video. With the subscription, you’ll find a pass to observe tens of thousands of movies and series. You’ll also have access to a good deal of quality stations and you won’t have the requirement to subscribe to some other movie or station supplier.
Personally, the sole Negative attributes I discovered about this merchandise from the short time I Ran it through a few tests is that this TV Box will market Amazon content broadly that may be annoying sometimes. Additionally, the Remote doesn’t arrive with Volume controls to the TV which usually means you Have to have your TV remote on standby if you would like to decrease or increase the quantity. Finally, I discovered that this box also needs a separate adapter To produce your Ethernet links.
Best Android TV Box for Streaming
To tell the truth, I wasn’t really Especially Enthusiastic about using this Android TV box at first, I had not heard much about this maker. But this box includes several remarkable features, and that I believe my opinion concerning the manufacturer radically altered after I used this product and I would consider it now, one of the best Android TV boxes on the market.
The android TV box Has an android version of 7.1.2 Nougat, therefore it had a huge assortment of applications that let me flow effortlessly. I managed to watch unique shows online without needing to cover any cable supplier. Along with streaming, I was also able to download and then set up hundreds of apps in the Google play store, which I found really intriguing.
One of the amazing features that made me adore the Skystream two is that link for your TV is completely straightforward. All I had to have was an HDMI cable as soon as it had been attached, I had access to unlimited contents out of CBS, ABC, FOX, NBC and plenty of other excellent channels, besides viewing TV shows and fascinating films.
Moreover, together with all the 3GB RAM of this SkyStream TWO, I’d A great gaming experience with this TV, and if you’re a gamer like me, this really is something which may catch your attention. In any case, on account of this 3GB RAM, I managed to see 4K UHD movies that considerably improved my TV watching experience. The very first time I used this gadget, I was wowed with its incredible picture quality. With this particular apparatus, you can get to utilize Youtube, Netflix, and other excellent streaming solutions.
In Summary, the Skystream Two is a personal favorite that’s quite simple to install, permits you to remove the hassles of Linking cables while also letting you conserve a great deal of cash and flow countless films effortlessly with very little if any buffering and it has a nice sleek home screen!
5. MINIX NEO U9
I enjoy trying new things, Maybe that was why I could not wait to get my hands with this TV box. The Minix Neo U9 is an android TV box using a 64-bit Quad-core 1.5GHz chip. This box also includes a 2GB RAM and an android 5.1.1 Lollipop OS that enables you to download and install apps and games in your Google APP store.
The Minix Neo U1 is a device Which Allows you to surf the Online And enjoy streaming free of buffering provided there’s a great online connection. It’s a 4k ultra HD movie which plays at 60 frames per minute. Its video quality is very clear and I was able to see videos of 1080p with no difficulties.
Moreover, the Minix Neo Is a really quiet apparatus. It makes no sound whatsoever while running I had been in time wondering when I had been using an Android TV box from my experience, many Android TV boxes have a tendency to generate some noises if using it and it may ruin the whole experience of utilizing the media flow participant.
Additional the Minix Neo assists in conserving electricity Prices since it goes into power-saving mode if you don’t use it after a very long moment. Additionally, it includes an external antenna which beats all its counterparts with inner wifi receptors. Truth be told, viewing the Antennas first time almost set me off because I have always favoured my TV boxes without observable receptors but with my own experience with it, I couldn’t help but marvel in its wireless connectivity functionality.
Finally, the item was made in a manner in which the use is extremely simple to grasp and the majority of the characteristics to take little if any opportunity to learn. I had no difficulty getting used to the characteristics of this device whatsoever as the port was designed to suit everyone.
After analyzing A while I had problems connecting it with devices using the Bluetooth. Without using an outside antenna, the apparatus loses connection whenever they Are approximately 2 feet beside the box. This defeats the entire Bluetooth Empowered experience they’re attempting to sell, and the Minix doesn’t Flow Youtube and Amazon Prime in HD. This turned me off a whole lot but Perhaps a few other folks will not mind.
Matricom is a fairly reputable company, perhaps, that was the reason behind my eagerness to test this TV box from them. Running on Android 7.1 Nougat OS, the Matricom G-box Q3 comes with the new AmLogic S905 processor and the Mali-450 Octo Quad- Core graphics processor. With the two fast processors, I was able to zap through apps quickly.
The 2 GB RAM and 16 gigabytes of storage the Matricom possess also makes it amazing. You also have the option of adding an additional 32 gigabyte of storage with an SD card so there is virtually enough space for you to save your favorite songs locally. I didn’t bother to use an external SD card since its internal space contained all I wanted to put on it.
Furthermore, setting up the G-Box Q3 was quite easy for me as all I needed was HDMI cable to connect it to my TV. During the first set up of the device, you’ll be walked through virtually everything so you really won’t miss your steps.
Additionally, the device comes with a launcher that was specially designed for Matricoms. On its menu, you will find Themes, Music, Apps and other things that might be of interest to you and all you have to do is just click. The device also updates itself automatically although you can also check if there are newer updates in the settings too.
On the G-box, Kodi is not installed on it from the manufacturer but there is a Kodi icon on the start screen which allowed me to install and uninstall the Kodi as I liked. Another feature I really love is the fact that it has 2 USB ports that allow you to connect accessories to it easily. You can connect your gamepads, your Mouse, your external storage to it.
I tested different video formats like the 720p and the 1080p on it and it performed beautifully well but sadly, it failed to play 4K effortlessly. Within the first 15 seconds of playing 4K, you will notice a break in the overall experience; the audio does not match the video and video freezing. Coupled with the 4K issue, this box only has 2.0 USB ports so they are not really fast and you might not enjoy the speed of connecting other accessories.
7. Zidoo Z9S
The Zidoo Z9S TV Box is a beautifully designed, elegant box with the top made of a smooth white plastic which is driven by a Quad-Core processor, with 4K and 2GB RAM, which I think you will like.
The Zidoo Z9s has an android version of 7.1 which performs superbly. The box is already rooted and you will be able to run key mapping applications on it. It also allows you to download lots of apps on the google play store without having to bother about lagging or hanging of the device. Its user-friendly interface allowed me to find the contents they enjoy the most as you can browse the web, stream your music and videos in a matter of seconds.
You can also enjoy 4K streaming on the Zidoo, the really good thing about this device is that it can stream youtube in 4K as almost all the Android TV boxes cannot Stream Youtube in 4K.
Compared to the 2.0 USB ports some other devices come with, the box comes with a 3.0 USB port which gives you the advantage of running activities faster with them if you need to. Additionally, Kodi does not come pre-installed on the Zidoo H6 which gives you the freedom to install and uninstall as you wish.
8. Rveal Media TV [Out Of Stock]
The Rveal Media TV tuner is an Android TV box that will never bore you. You will never have to pay for any cable or satellite with this device as once you pay once, you will enjoy one of the best collections of live channels like Cartoon Network, CNN, NBC, Fox, CBS, ESPN, Food Network and my personal favorite- Comedy Central. Access to premium networks HBO, Epix, TMC and showtime. Channels from around the world are not also exempted from the package.
The Rveal Media is very easy to set up. I only needed to connect the device through the HDMI port. Immediately I turned it on, I started enjoying seamless content via streaming provided you have an internet connection. The Quad-core processor that powers this device means that when you are streaming a video of high quality like 1080p you will not have to endure lagging or buffering provided you have a good internet connection.
Because the Rveal Media runs the Android OS 7.1 Nougat, the device allowed me to download and install virtually any app on the google play store. With hundreds of thousands of apps at my fingertips, I could basically turn my TV into a somewhat large Tablet. Making video calls on my TV was made possible with the Rveal Media and it is nothing short of awesomeness.
This fantastic Android TV box also features an Air mouse, a keyboard and a voice command. With the air mouse, I was able to click and move around my TV easily while the keyboard allowed me to search everything I wanted to search for on the web or across the hundreds of applications in real-time.
Finally, the manufacturers of this gadget give customers a certain level of assurance on the quality of their product as they have a warranty on the product.
9. SkyStream Two (Top Pick)
SkyStream doesn’t put out new TV boxes very often, so they wanted to make it worthwhile for people to upgrade – especially if they’ve recently bought a SkyStream One.
There are five major improvements to SkyStream Two that I think we should focus on:
- Android 7.1 Nougat: Depending on when you’re reading this, it may not seem like a big deal that this box comes with Android 7.1. But right now, there are still quite a few TV boxes being shipped with versions of Android 5 and Android 6.
In addition to tons of new features, Android Nougat also has the ability to constantly improve an app’s performance as it running. The same app running on Android 7 should be faster than that app running on an older version of Android.
- More RAM: 50% more RAM in the SkyStream Two vs SkyStream One (3 GB compared to 2 GB)
…and the RAM is faster too: The memory chips in the SkyStream Two are DDR4 instead of DDR3, which is a faster clock speed for the memory.
- Double the storage space: SkyStream upped the storage on the SkyStream Two to 32 GB instead of the 16 GB that is standard among most TV boxes.
Widevine certification: Here’s the big one! Widevine is a digital rights management (DRM) certification for streaming media. More importantly, it’s a requirement to stream HD and 4K content from sources like Netflix, YouTube and Sling TV. The SkyStream Two has it, which is extremely rare in Android TV boxes. For more on Widevvine and what it means, check out my article on Will my device stream Netflix in HD or 4K?
- CPU: AmLogic Octa Core S912 2.0 GHz 64-Bit ARM Cortex
- GPU: Mali-T820MP3 GPU up to 750MHz
- RAM: 3GB DDR4
- Storage: 32GB flash storage
- Bluetooth: Yes
- Operating System: Android 7.1.2 Nougat
- User Interface: SkyStream TV
- Platform: SkyStream TV
- 5″ x 5″ x 1.25″
- LAN: RJ-45 10/100/1000 GigaPort Ethernet
- WLAN: 802.11 b/g/n/ac Dual Band WiFi (2.4 & 5 GHz)
- Host USB: 4 x External Ports (2.0)
- SD Card: 1 x External Port (SD/SDHC/MMC)
- Video Output: HDMI 2.0 with HDCP 2.2 & Widevine L1
- Audio Output: Dolby Digital via HDMI & SPDIF (Optical Audio)
- External Power Supply: [email protected] (100-240V, 50/60Hz)
Audio & Video Formats
- Video Resolution: Up to 4k x 2k, 3D-HD(1080Px2), 1080P, 720P, 480P
- Video Formats: VP9, VP10, HDR, MPEG-1 MP/HL, MPEG-2 MP/HL, MPEG-4 Part 2, ASP, WMV/VC-1 SP/MP/AP, H.264 [email protected], H.265, REAMDEO 8/9/10, M-JPEG & JPEG”
- Video Codecs: MPEG, MPE, MPG, M2V, ISO, TS, VOB, DAT, AVI, MKV, MP4, MOV, 3GP, 3GPP, FLC, WMV, FLV, RM
- Video Subtitles: SRT, SUB, IDX, PGS
- Audio Codecs: ACC, AC-3, ADPCM, AMR-NB, MIDI, MP2, MP3, MS-ADPCM, PCS, RV40 Vorbis WMA, AAC+ (HE-AAC vi), eAAC+ (HE-AAC v2)
I’ll start off with a shocker: The SkyStream Two doesn’t use Kodi. It uses SPMC instead.
If you’ve been around Kodi and TV boxes for a while, you realize what I just said was a total attention grab!
For those of you that don’t know, SPMC is a fork of Kodi which is developed and maintained by one of the (if not THE) biggest Android developer\maintainer for Team Kodi. When he left the team in 2016, he started putting a lot more effort into his own project called SPMC.
Normally, I’m not a big fan of Kodi forks. I think in general, you’ll get better performance and updates from the official version – except if you run an Android device, in which case SPMC is definitely the way to go.
The SkyStream Media Center uses the familiar Kodi Confluence skin that’s been around for years, so navigating the interface should feel instantly familiar. There are sections on the center menu bar for Movies, Sports, TV Shows, Music, Utilities as well as more specialized menus for content from Real Debrid and Live TV.
Getting to the content you’re looking for can be a bit of a challenge at first, only because there are so many options to choose from.
Once you’ve been using the Media Center for a little bit, it all becomes second nature and intuitive to navigate.
The SkyStream Updater app isn’t new. Actually, it’s been around since the early days and it’s one of the things that sets SkyStream apart from other TV box manufacturers.
Here’s the gist of it: SkyStream doesn’t technically sell fully loaded Kodi boxes – that’s not legal in the UK and it’s questionable in several other countries as well. How they get around this is to sell their TV boxes bare-bones, but also give you a handy-dandy way to install all of the most popular addons in one shot.
That’s where the SkyStream Updater comes in.
The Updater app does two main things: Install the most popular Kodi addons and maintain those addons so that they always work.
Installing Kodi addons
“Kodi” isn’t quite correct here. As I mentioned above, the Media Center that’s included with the SkyStream Two is actually based on SPMC. But since the two are so similar, I’ll keep using the term Kodi Addons to describe them.
When you first start the SkyStream Two (or the older SkyStream One), you’re given a choice how to configure the box using the Updater app. It will install the Family Friendly addons, or a slightly different version with the Adult options enabled. Don’t worry…I won’t judge which option you pick.
It’s a “one-click” installation and only takes a minute or so. After that, the next time you start Media Center, it’ll have all of the options already set up for you.
Automatically updating the addons
Choosing an option is only the start. After that, things get even easier.
The team at SkyStream will maintain the addons that you’ve installed via the SkyStream Updater app.
If an add-on stops working, they’ll remove it.
If a new, better addon comes out, they’ll add it to the list.
They try to make streaming easy. The best part is they don’t charge you a small fortune for a box that will update itself, unlike some other TV box manufacturers do.
SkyStream adds that value without a big hit to your wallet.
To a point, that’s a fair comparison, but only to a point. Although they’re both higher-end streaming devices, they’re aimed at different consumers.
The NVIDIA Shield TV is aimed at the consumer who wants the fastest streaming experience and best picture quality possible. What it lacks is the content itself. If you want to watch something on the Shield, you’re going to have to watch on Netflix, Amazon Prime Video or take the time to configure Kodi yourself. There’s also the little matter of maintaining all of your Kodi addons and filter out any that don’t work anymore.
By comparison, the SkyStream Two isn’t going to give you the raw performance of the Shield, but it’s going to be much, much easier to find and watch content because they maintain all of the Media Center addons. If you need support, it’s also right there at your fingertips.
If you really want to look at the value of what SkyStream gives you, it’s only fair to compare it against other TV boxes that give you that “fully loaded” experience. Most of those boxes as hundreds of dollars more expensive. Looking at it that way, I think the SkyStream Two is a good value for your money.
Every new TV box that comes across my desk gets put through a battery of tests to see how it performs. These tests don’t always equate to real-world performance, but they’ll usually give you a good idea of how one box stacks up against another.
One thing to keep in mind, you’re looking for big differences in scores here. For example, a difference between 30,000 and 31,000 isn’t very noticeable, but you’ll definitely see the difference between 30,000 and 40,000.
First on the list was the AnTuTu Benchmark, which has been a staple of this site since the very beginning. Here, the SkyStream Two performs very well, scoring over 43,000 in the overall test. This compares to a score of 36,000 for the older SkyStream One. To me, that means that the snappier feel of the SkyStream Two vs SkyStream One wasn’t just in my head. It really is that much faster.
That score is also on par with the EZ-Stream Ti8, which uses the same chipset and graphics processor. Both boxes score right around the 43,000 and 44,000 marks, which makes sense.
Next on the list is 3DMark’s Ice Storm. This is one of my favourite benchmarks because it’s geared towards graphics performance, rather than overall performance which is AnTuTu’s forte. Here, a device lives or dies based on the power of it’s GPU. A fast memory or CPU won’t be able to make up for lacklustre graphics performance.
The SkyStream Two really shines here. It scored an impressive 8,161 on Ice Storm and 5,205 on Ice Storm Extreme. While not as powerful as an NVIDIA Shield TV, it proved itself more than capable of handling game nights as well as movie nights.
There’s no doubt that SkyStream put out an amazing Android TV box with the SkyStream Two. If I had one thing to fault them for it’s that it is a little pricey. I would have liked to see the box at closer to the $160-$170 price range rather than the $200 price range.
That being said, you’re getting a lot of support and hand-holding for that price, so it’s not all bad. The performance of the box is excellent and I can’t overstate how easy it is to find and watch content using the SkyStream Media Center.
If you’ve already got a SkyStream One, upgrading to the SkyStream Two isn’t going to give you that much better of an experience. That’s not a knock on the Two, but a testament to how good the SkyStream One was.
But if you’re looking for an amazing new TV box, then this one should be on your shortlist.