A note before we start. This is not a technical analysis of what android TV Box to buy, buying one has a technical component to it but its more than that. My advice is not to get bogged down in the nitty-gritty technical differences between each smart TV player. Consider the other things such as support and who you are buying from.
“Don’t Buy These”
First, what you should not buy is an Android TV Box 1GB of memory (RAM), these boxes are underpowered and do not match todays needs placed on them when playing HD or 4K media streaming. Buy one and you will surely be left disappointed with pauses in your playback and overall machine slow response times – frustrating.
For many people their first & last experience with an Android or smart TV box is with a 1GB unit.
“It is not all about technology – but it does count”
Technology moves on, “Moore’s Law etc”. And along with it have Android TV Boxes. The entry point in my opinion when buying a Smart TV Box (preferable from AndroidTVHub) is 3GB (this is the main memory, RAM), although not many come in this configuration (a very good one is the T95Z), so go for 4GB. With 4GB it will not guarantee a good machine but it is a very good indicator that you have an up-to- date architecture and likely all the components that make a capable machine are in place i.e. USB 3, Bluetooth, SPDIF (optical sound), Dual Band wi-fi, Gigabit Ethernet & 4K playback, look for these items if not listed, ask. I have intentionally omitted details of which processor and GPU.
The processor could warrant a discussion in itself, there are plenty of blogs with detailed charts plotting one processor configured against another. In general you will find the same 2 or 3 are used in most of the latest machines and that the performance differences are marginal, at least when it comes to day to day use (am likely to get some strong feedback on this, I’ll wear an iron vest until the dust settles).
“Which Android TV Box?”
There are few well known brands including NVIDIA SHIELD and MINIX, but these come at a premium and you will find that these premium brands, not knocking them, are a little out of date. I am not 100% sure why – I suspect due to the investment cycle and the requirement for the company to see a healthy return before going through a new investment cycle. They tend to have specifications that are average, not bad but average. There is an argument on stability (basically sticking with old technology until all existing bugs have been found and fixed), but that has little weight IMO, the end result will be that you have a fine performing horse and cart, whilst I am in my shiny new Porsche.
The alternatives, lesser known generic models are considerably cheaper and come with a higher specification.
A reputable supplier will deliver your box with enough preinstalled apps to do the basics and allow you to add the apps via Google PlayStore of your choice. Here at AndroidTVHub we do not preload any apps that are likely to infringe copyrighted material.
I have been involved with Android boxes since their inception and I cannot think of one that has gone bad on me. The weakest link is the sometime underpowered adapter they come with (easily replaced). Their reliability might be due in part to the fact that I select from trusted manufacturers & suppliers, those who have proved to me that they produce quality and are here to support me. If you buy for my reputable supplier (aka AndroidTVHub) you should have no worries.
If possible, buy from somewhere that offers local support and has a phone. Most boxes are manufactured in China and although they are unlikely to physically go “belly up”, knowing that you can speak with someone should you have any or issues is important (like AndroidTVHub).
“Invest In A Remote/Mini Keyboard”
Purchase a remote or mini keyboard along with your Android TV Box, as navigation and especially typing with the standard remote provided can be painfully slow.
That’s about it for now, any questions please feel free to contact us here at AndroidTVHub.
Some recommendations below
|Android TV Box (model)||Features|
|H96 Max Plus 4/32||CPU: RK3328 Quad-Core Graphics: Mali 450RAM: 4GB Android 8.1USB 3 Dual Band Wi-FiSupports 4K YouTube|
|X96||CPU: Amlogic S905X2 Quad Core ARM Cortex A53 @2GHzRAM: 4GBBluetooth 4 TF CARD readerOperation System: Android 8.1USB 3 Gigabit EthernetDual Band Wi-Fi|
|A95x Plus YII 4/32||CPU: Quad-core A53 (S905Y2)RAM: 4GBAndroid 8.1BluetoothUSB 3 Gigabit EthernetDual Band wi-fi|