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What is the best android tv box to buy?

Which is the best Android TV box to buy

Choosing a streaming box may be a difficult choice to make. There are hundreds of them today and the manufacturers are all there to tell us why we should buy their product rather than another ...

I answer the question what is the best android tv box to buy in this very detailed article.

I do not work for any of the manufacturers and I was able to test many android TVs myself, that's why I suggest you discover on this site the Android boxes that I decided to test without sales pitch!

If you are looking for your first Android TV box, if you are just curious or if your streaming box is outdated today, this page is for you!

How to choose?

To start, let me clarify an important point: The best Android tv box depends on the broadcast service you want to use.

If you just want to use it as a Kodi box, the possibilities are endless and you have a lot of product choices. However, if you want to use your Android box to watch Netflix or Amazon Prime, you're going to be more limited. 

Indeed Netflix has a small list of devices capable of broadcasting in 4K and Amazon Prime requires you to use their hardware to get the best image quality.

Without the right equipment, you will never reach the standard video quality offered by suppliers (too bad, because you pay for it anyway).

What should I look for?

There are some essential features that you should watch for to find the best Android TV box, I suggest you list them to make your search easier. 

Each device that I will present below will have this same list of features where I will have colored in black those present and in red those absent. 

This allows you to use this “checklist” to make your purchase more serenely. Missing features appear in red.

Here are the features you should check on your Android TV box:

  • 5.1 audio 
  • H.265 hardware decoding
  • Android 5.1 Lollipop (Or higher)
  • Dynamic switching of the refresh rate
  • OTA software update
  • 1080p
  • HDMI 2.0
  • USB 3.0
  • Wi-Fi Dual band or Gigabit Ethernet
  • The latest version of Kodi

All the devices that I describe below do not have all these characteristics. It would be way too simple… In fact none of the devices that I present to you below has ALL these functionalities, I myself had to make a choice to keep only those which seem to be the most important to me. 

What is the best android tv box to buy? My selection

To begin with, I offer a comparative table to give you an idea of each Android box:

Test PG Text

Box

Comment

Video

System

Price

android tv box best

Amazon Fire Tv Stick

Best Android TV Stick

1080p

Fire OS

nvidia shield tv a good android tv box

Nvidia Shield TV

Best Box for Gamers

4K

Nougat 7

xbox one x buy a android tv box

Xbox One X

Overkill for Gamers

4K

Xbox

xiaomi mi box s cheap android box

Xiaomi Mi Box S

Excellent Quality/Price

4K

Oreo 8.1

android tv box accessories Minix neo u9

Minix Neo U9

To Die For

4K

Lollipop 5.1

qbox a good android tv box

Qbox

Best on Amazon

4K

Marshmallow 6.0

T95zplus

T95Z Plus

Good Quality/Price

4K

Android 7.1.2

roku ultra

Roku Ultra

Excellent Quality/Price

4K

Roku OS

Hk1 Max

HK1 Max

Easy to use

4K

Android 9.0

Yagala

Yagala

Excellent Quality/Price

4K

Android 9.0

Amazon Fire TV Stick Bundle With Echo Dot

If you are looking for a compact device and not too expensive to watch Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and other content delivery platforms of this kind, then the Amazon Fire TV is made for you!

Almost no storage medium or complicated interface: you plug in, connect and it works, it's as simple as that!

If I placed the Amazon Fire TV at the top of my ranking this year, it is for its ease of use! The installation is really as simple as the process described above (come on, we add a step to connect to the WiFi at home) and the remote control allows you to move easily in very clear menus.

This bundle comes with the Amazon Echo 3rd Generation. You can pair the stick with Alexa voice remote and echo dot to have complete hands-free voice control.

This small key offered by Amazon runs on “Fire OS”, it is a version of Android reworked by Amazon.

The storage of 8GB can seem very limited compared to competing Android boxes with 60GB and more, however this is still more than enough to store all the applications and games you want.

The strong points

  • The most compact and economical Android box available.
  • Clear and simple to use interface for a beginner.
  • The remote control is light and ergonomic to allow you a simplified navigation.
  • Amazon has gone to great lengths to make this key affordable and efficient at the same time.
  • ​.

    The week spots

    No 4K for this basic version. 

    Technical Characteristics

  • 5.1 audio gateway
  • H.265 hardware decoding
  • Android 5.1 minimum or Fire OS (Recent Android 10.0 models)
  • Dynamic change of refresh rate
  • Free software updates
  • 1080p quality
  • HDMI 2.0
  • USB 3.0
  • Dual band WiFi and Gigabit Ethernet.
  • The Amazon Fire TV Stick reached the top of my ranking this year because it is the perfect product for a neophyte who just wants to access Streaming applications like Netflix or Youtube on his TV. If you want a powerful, cheap and easy to use device, I recommend the Fire TV stick.

    Nvidia Shield TV

    NVidia, the manufacturer of graphics cards behind the most powerful gaming computers today, made its big appearance on the Android TV box market in May 2015 with the NVidia Shield, a device between the Android TV box and the game console. which has taken a few steps ahead ...

    Unlike the Razer Forge TV (End 2015) which never really took off, the NVidia Shield has a community of supporters, often Kodi enthusiasts, developers or occasional players who made it extremely popular.

    Today redesigned to suit the expectations of the public, the Streaming Shield box is aimed at users who want more power and storage for their broadcasting devices than on G-Box or Fire TV (By Amazon) but not either almost professional racing machine like the Cyrus Stream Xa. 

    The NVidia Shield incorporates a high-end Tegra X1 processor, 3 Gb of RAM and a 256-core graphics processor!

    The user interface of NVidia's Android TV box is one of the most fluid I have tested. It is the official Android TV interface of Google running Nougat 7.0+ - It is the only Android box to use the latest Android version.

    The strong points

  • The most complete Android tv box today
  • 4K housing
  • The controller and remote control are well designed to hold in hand and integrate NVidia voice search to use Google Now
  • As one of Kodi's most influential sponsors, NVidia benefits from the support of the Kodi team.
  • The weak points

  • Kodi does not support HD 5.1 or 7.1 audio that Shield uses well
  • High price ! 
  • Technical Characteristics

  • 5.1 audio gateway
  • H.265 hardware decoding
  • Android 5.1 Lollipop minimum (Recent models Android 7.0)
  • Dynamic change of refresh rate
  • Free software updates
  • 1080p quality
  • HDMI 2.0
  • USB 3.0
  • Dual band WiFi and Gigabit Ethernet
  • The latest stable version of Kodi.
  • NVidia's Android tv box isn't cheap, but it's well worth the price. It is not yet the perfect streaming box that we are all waiting for, but it is what you will find most efficient today. Two versions are available on the internet: a 16 GB version and a 500 GB version.

    Xbox One X​

    Although it is not strictly speaking an Android TV box, I had to mention the Xbox One X for the die hard gamers among you.

    And yes ! It was a surprise when it came out, Microsoft's Xbox One X ships Kodi 18 Leia. This makes it a media broadcasting platform.

    It is undoubtedly the best support for Kodi in this ranking but its main use as a game console pushed me to position it lower in my ranking. The console is indeed much more expensive than the competition Android boxes and if you are not a console player, this product should not interest you.

    The strong points

  • A game console that has Kodi on board! 
  • 4K housing
  • The controller is very ergonomic as usual with Microsoft
  • Very simple installation
  • ​.

    The weak points

  • Some add-ons don't work well
  • High price ! 
  • Technical Characteristics

  • 5.1 audio gateway
  • H.265 hardware decoding
  • Android 5.1 Lollipop minimum (Recent models Android 7.0)
  • Dynamic change of refresh rate
  • Free software updates
  • 1080p quality
  • HDMI 2.0
  • USB 3.0
  • Dual band WiFi and Gigabit Ethernet
  • The latest stable version of Kodi.
  • The Xbox One X is what is called an “OverKill” in the language of Shakespeare, understand “overkill”. If you want an Xbox AND an Android box this may be a good compromise to avoid multiplying the devices at home, but if you are just looking for a good Android box, you should rather be interested in the other models that I share here.

    Xiaomi Mi Box S

    Xiaomi may be a Chinese manufacturer, but they have made a name for themselves in the high-tech industry in recent years… And their Android Boxes are on the move with very interesting performance available at a relatively low price.

    With 4K support, the use of Android 8.0 and the bluetooth remote control included, this Android box is reminiscent of Amazon Fire TVs.

    Users are very satisfied with very good ratings on Amazon and the mention “best selling Amazon” on the US platform.

    The strong points

  • Cheap and efficient
  • 4K case
  • Voice-activated Bluetooth remote control
  • Very simple installation.
  • The weak spots

    An Ethernet port is missing. 

    Technical Characteristics

  • 5.1 audio gateway
  • H.265 hardware decoding
  • Android 5.1 Lollipop minimum (Recent models Android 7.0)
  • Dynamic change of refresh rate
  • Free software updates
  • 1080p quality
  • HDMI 2.0
  • USB 3.0
  • Dual band WiFi and Gigabit Ethernet
  • The latest stable version of Kodi.
  • Although it is Chinese, this Android box is very powerful and recommendable. After my tests I even adopted it at home thanks to its practical and handy remote control. I recommend this Android box to everyone who wants a good compromise between quality and price.

    Minix  Neo U9

    The Minix brand arrived on the podium in my ranking of the best Android Boxes two years ago and only the NVidia Shield has prevented it from reaching first place since. It does not have the same “Potato” as the NVidia Shield, but the devices based on AmLogic S905 were able to pass my tests hands down, even passing the NEO X8-H yet more expensive.

    As mentioned above, the Minix Neo U9 is equipped with the latest AmLogic S905 card as well as a 5-core processor and 2 GB of RAM. The available flash storage is 16 GB, as it has become the standard on this kind of device, so provide an external medium (USB key, external hard drive or SD card) to store your media files.

    Like all Minix TV boxes, the Neo U9 has a personalized interface that allows quick access to the tools most used by users. The interface is built as folders where you can drag your favorite apps to access them in an instant. Unfortunately, the files cannot be changed. So if you don't want to use the “Games” file, you will still have the shortcut on your menu.

    The fact that this box runs a full version of Android means that you can install just about any application from the Google Play Store on the Minix Neo U9. 

    However, applications are not often made with the TV boxes and the size of the TV screen in mind (Most applications are made for smarphones and their small screen). Some applications could appear in portrait format if they were not designed to appear on TV.

    Minix also includes a custom version of Kodi / XBMC which is optimized for their devices. You can always download the latest version of Kodi if you want, but it will not be installed as standard and performance may drop. 

    One of the notable options of Minix custom Kodi is the integrated 5.1 media center. This allows you to enjoy HD sound in 5.1 without compatibility problems. 

    The strong points

  • Runs a full version of Android (Almost all apps are compatible)
  • As one of Kodi's most influential sponsors, Minix benefits from the support of the Kodi team
  • Active Help Forum (English) offers help to all customers
  • 5.1 HD audio support under Kodi
  • External antenna to improve wifi connectivity
  • Small size for easy placement of the streaming box.
  • The weak spots

  • Netflix and Amazon Prime video are incompatible like most Android TVs
  • A rather poor design for one of the best boxes in 2020
  • Technical Characteristics

  • 5.1 audio gateway
  • H.265 hardware decoding
  • Android 5.1 Lollipop
  • Dynamic change of the refresh rate
  • Free software updates
  • 1080p 3D
  • HDMI 2.0
  • USB 3.0
  • Dual band WiFi and Gigabit Ethernet
  • The latest stable version of Kodi
  • ​.

    Qbox

    The Qbox is a more upscale box.This one has a better design and is more powerful. Just like the Minix Neo U9 that I presented above, the chip in this box is the Amlogic S905X, a powerful chip that allows you to use your box with confidence without worrying about lags and slowdowns.

    Why is this Android case not placed higher if it has such impressive features? In fact its many inventory shortages pushed me to place it in 6th so as not to frustrate visitors too much…

    Let's talk a bit about what it has in his stomach, with his AmLogic S905X chip we find a 64-bit 4-core processor that allows the box to run without lags and a 5-core GPU to allow reaching 4K in 60 fps with certain applications. 

    The 2 GB of RAM allow a fast processing speed which does not cause any slowdown while the 16 GB of storage allow to install some apps and some media files. 

    However, I recommend that you have a USB key, an SD card or an external hard drive to significantly increase the available storage space.

    We find with this Android tv box a somewhat special remote control: A mini-keyboard for browsing the internet. This is used to type text but also to use the mouse as on a real PC thanks to the small touch pad above the letters. 

    It is very practical to go to navigate on sites like Youtube where navigation is much simpler with a keyboard and a mouse.

    Check its availability on Amazon and if it is, I recommend this case with an interesting quality / price ratio.

    The strong points

  • Runs a full version of Android (Almost all apps are compatible)
  • Runs on Android 6.0
  • Very attractive price
  • Small size for easy placement of the streaming box
  • Good value for money
  • Neat design
  • Convenient wireless keyboard / mouse.
  • The weak spots

    Amazon Prime video is incompatible like most Android TV boxes. 

    Technical Characteristics

  • 5.1 audio gateway
  • H.265 hardware decoding
  • Android 5.1 Lollipop
  • Dynamic change of the refresh rate
  • Free software updates
  • 1080p 3D
  • HDMI 2.0
  • USB 3.0
  • Dual band WiFi and Gigabit Ethernet
  • The latest stable version of Kodi.
  • T95Z Plus

    On the 7th place of this rating we find the T95Z Plus. This box will easily fit into your living room. No external antenna unlike the Minix Neo U9, this limits its wifi range a little more and prevents its use in a house with thick walls.

    The T95Z is equipped with the S912 chip, it is a powerful chip which allows the Android tv box to run without slowdowns. This chip is made up of a 8-core processor and a cortex-A53 CPU 64 bits up to 2Ghz for a smooth and fast user experience. 

    The box also has 16 GB of storage memory, it is little for multimedia files and I advise you to supplement this storage space with a USB key, an SD card or an external hard drive. Finally the box embeds 2GB of RAM as the standard for this kind of device.

    We find on this box one of the last Android versions, it is Android 7.1.2  which allows to reach a very correct navigation speed and a professional capacity of image processing. 

    The interface of the box is personalized but it has a general structure very similar to the other models. I used this streaming box for several months to watch Netflix and Youtube directly on my TV. 

    Little more of this box: The remote control which works in radio frequency and not in infrared like the others.This type of remote control is much more efficient with an improved range and a larger viewing angle.

    The video output can support all SD, HD and even 4K standards (depending on the applications). 

    It is possible to install a Kodi application on this Android tv box which will add all the additional features you need. 

    The strong points

  • Runs a full version of Android (Almost all apps are compatible)
  • Runs on Android 7
  • Small size for easy placement of the streaming box
  • High performance remote control.
  • The weak spots

  • Amazon Prime video is incompatible like most Android TV boxes
  • A rather poor design for one of the best boxes in 2020
  • Technical Characteristics

  • 5.1 audio gateway
  • H.265 hardware decoding
  • Android 7
  • Dynamic change of the refresh rate
  • Free software updates
  • 1080p 3D
  • HDMI 2.0
  • USB 3.0
  • Dual band WiFi and Gigabit Ethernet
  • The latest stable version of Kodi.
  • Roku Ultra

    The next in the selection is the Roku Ultra, a small streaming box that is very popular and easy to use. 

    The box slides easily next to the TV and connections are made in less than 5 minutes. Once plugged in and turned on the Android tv box is immediately functional.

    This case is equipped for full HD 4K compatibility, this means that the H.265 decoding technology is installed to save half the bandwidth resources with the best possible image quality. 

    Unfortunately Amazon Prime video cannot run in 4K due to distributor usage restrictions.

    I was able to test the behavior of the box in play and it managed to run correctly all the applications I installed there. The menu of this box is fairly classic and takes up the classic layout of the elements of a classic Android tv box.

    The Roku Ultra is powerful: 4-core 64-bit processor, advanced Wi-Fi chip, bluetooth 4.0… In addition, the X1 also has 1 GB of RAM and 8 GB of ROM to simplify use. Regarding these last two elements it is half of the RAM and ROM usually available on competing models.

    The Roku Ultra is efficient and stylish. I recommend it to families who want a functional streaming box to enjoy free TV.

    Strong points

  • Almost all apps are compatible with this box
  • Small size for easy placement of the streaming box
  • Very attractive price
  • Convenient wireless keyboard / mouse.
  • The weak spots

  • Amazon Prime video is incompatible like most Android TV boxes
  • Technical Characteristics

    Characteristics techniques:

    • 5.1 audio gateway
    • H.265 hardware decoding
    • Android 5.1 Lollipop
    • Dynamic change of the refresh rate
    • Free software updates
    • 1080p 3D
    • HDMI 2.0
    • USB 3.0
    • Dual band WiFi and Gigabit Ethernet

    Cosycost HK1 Max

    The KH1 Max is a fast, secure and energy efficient Android box that I recommend for people who pay attention to their electricity bill. 

    The streaming box runs on Android 9.0 like the majority of Android boxes today.

    No manufacturer's application is installed as standard on this device to leave you as much space as possible to install your applications and files. 

    The available storage space is only 64 GB as often with this kind of device but you can always add a USB key, a memory card or an external hard drive to benefit from more space.

    Regarding the basic components of the product, there is an RK3318 chip (One of the most balanced between price and performance) equipped with a Penta-core Mali-450 graphics processor (GPU). 

    Two USB ports are available, you can use one for storage and another to install a small wireless keyboard / mouse on the case. 

    The Android Box HK1 Max is very small so that it can be easily installed on the TV stand. I installed mine standing next to the TV, it is discreet and rather classy. 

    Automatic updates by OTA are done all by themselves if they are properly configured which allows you to enjoy your Android box without having to manage updates.

    The strong points

  • Runs a full version of Android (Almost all apps are compatible)
  • Runs on Android 9.0
  • Very attractive price
  • Small size for easy placement of the streaming box
  • Very good value for money.
  • The weak spots

  • Amazon Prime video is incompatible like most Android TV boxes
  • Technical Characteristics

  • 5.1 audio gateway
  • H.265 hardware decoding
  • Android 5.1 Lollipop
  • Dynamic change of the refresh rate
  • Free software updates
  • 1080p 3D
  • HDMI 2.0
  • USB 3.0
  • Dual band WiFi and Gigabit Ethernet
  • The latest stable version of Kodi.
  • Yagala Smart Box

    The Yagala Smart Box was designed for people on a budget. The case is available for less than $50 at this time on Amazon and it is often on promotion on this site, take advantage!

    The android box is relatively small and it can easily be slipped on a TV stand. Its use and installation are very simple, once connected to the sector and to the internet, you just need to turn on the box to configure the last details of the box. 

    We find the RK3318 chip in this case, it is powerful chip that allows you to run an Android box without slowdowns. The box also has a powerful processor clocked at 2.4 Ghz, 4 GB of RAM (More than other more expensive models) and 64 GB of storage. 

    The storage space being even more limited than on the other models I strongly advise you to also acquire a USB key or a consequent memory card for your applications and your media files.

    Regarding the operating system, this small box manages to run Android 9.0, it is one of the latest versions of Android which allows to run almost any application available on the Google play store . 

    The menu is relatively classic, we find the same tabs as on many other Android boxes: Play store, settings, my applications, browser or TV Store. 

    It is possible to install on this box the latest version of Kodi to make the most of your streaming box. Basic on the other hand it is a slightly wobbly version of Kodi which is installed and I advise you to change it as soon as you receive your case!

    The strong points

  • Runs a full version of Android (Almost all apps are compatible)
  • Runs on Android 9.0
  • Small size for easy placement of the streaming box
  • Excellent value.
  • The weak points

  • Amazon Prime video is incompatible like most Android TV boxes
  • Careless design
  • Technical Characteristics

    Technical characteristics :

    • 5.1 audio gateway
    • H.265 hardware decoding
    • Android 5.1 Lollipop
    • Dynamic change of the refresh rate
    • Free software updates
    • 1080p 3D
    • HDMI 2.0
    • USB 3.0
    • Dual band WiFi and Gigabit Ethernet
    • The latest stable version of Kodi.

    Android is everywhere

    In the wireless era, old-school wired boxes are becoming less popular. The boxes themselves have changed a lot, going from the complicated and buggy box to a high-performance box, small and easy to use. Today android boxes are becoming more and more popular and watching streaming on TV is a common practice.

    Despite the simplicity of use and the growing popularity of high-end devices such as Roku or Apple TV, Android boxes continue to appear on the market. The demand is understandable, these higher-end TV boxes are provided on a closed platform (iOs or Roku OS) while the Android boxes allow you to do almost what you want (Android). 

    It's a bit the equivalent of the endless debate between Android smartphone users and IOS: Certainly IOS is prettier and easier to use but if you really want to use all the capabilities of your phone you will need an Android.

    One of the definite advantages of Android TV boxes is the possibility of installing Kodi directly from the Google play store, even with limited technical knowledge. Obviously you can also install Kodi on Roku or Apple tv, but the installation process is much more complicated and you will need a step by step guide online to get there. 

    And even when installed correctly, these boxes are often slower and less efficient than their Android counterparts. With all the Android devices that I present to you on this site, you will have no problem installing Kodi in a few minutes from the Google play store.

    If you are not yet used to using such a device you should be wondering what this Kodi is and why this simple program should direct you to an Android product rather than Roku or Apple. 

    The reason is simple: Kodi is the most used streaming application today (and therefore the most successful and efficient). This application allows you to access multi-media files (Even under license) directly on your television. 

    For the less gifted with technology, it's not worth buying a product on a closed platform like Apple because you will not be able to install Kodi correctly and will have to watch the streaming on the streams tolerated by your platform.

    In addition to an impressive number of films and series to watch Kodi also has a large library of add-ons to customize its performances. You can install game add-ons to transform your Android box into a retro console, weather add-ons to keep up with the weather in your region or even a photo add-on to transform your screen into an interactive photo frame on demand. The possibilities are almost endless!

    Last little advantage of Android boxes: they can be used as a web browser directly on your television, with a wireless keyboard / mouse it really feels like being on a conventional computer. This means that your Facebook account, your Twitch and Youtube subscriptions will be available directly on your TV. Some boxes also allow you to install Skype and use your TV to make calls over the Internet.

    Main Features

    For beginners and people not used to technical terms I suggest you discover in more detail all the technical characteristics of which I spoke to you above. To find your Android TV box that will meet your needs, I advise you to read these few lines…

    If you understand all the technical concepts that I present here, you should start to understand the important differences between each model of case, like their processor or the version of Android used by the Android box.

    Many Android tv boxes still use yesterday's processors to be able to keep a low price, being a single-task device (They only perform one task at a time) this is often not a problem. However 4K requires a lot of resources and a case cut to broadcast 1080p smoothly will be obsolete to manage 4K.

    In addition to the ability to handle 4K, there are other features to watch out for at the time of purchase. If you plan to use it with a home theater system for example, then you should be careful that 5.1 sound is supported. This allows you to pass the sound from the media source directly to your TV or home cinema without subjecting it to the slightest alteration and thus enjoy the best audio quality possible.

    Hardware H.265 decoding (sometimes called HEVC) will become essential over the years because of the media files which are getting bigger and bigger. The H.265 codec is very technical to explain in more detail, but what you need to remember is that it allows your device to play large media files to obtain the best possible image quality and little or no of lags. It will also allow your device to support 8K as it makes its appearance in our living rooms.

    The “Over The Air” or OTA update is also one of the key elements to watch for when buying an Android TV box. Basically, this is an application that will allow your Android TV box to regularly check for new updates for its applications and components, if they are available the app will download and install them to avoid you to have to do the manipulation.

    It is often convenient to have a mouse to navigate the user interface of the Android box - or better, a keyboard with integrated touchpad - this allows you to click easily or you want in an instant like on a computer rather than to go through the far less convenient remote control. When looking at the price of the different boxes ask yourself the question of whether you are going to need an external device to use it and if it will have to buy it separately.

    Finally, some of you give greater importance to the design of the product for those who await you in your living room. Obviously the design should not be taken into account in the important characteristics of the product, I know that it can be an important factor to decide between two fairly similar products.

    What is an android tv box?

    I am glad you asked what is an android TV box

    Android Box

    Android is the operating system that powers more than one billion devices (smartphones, tablets and alike).

    Android is open source thus making it popular with technology companies that require a ready-made, low-cost and customizable operating system for high-tech devices. This has led to the popularity of devices using android as operating system and running some proprietary software or add-ons to stream multimedia content.

    Some of these proprietary software include Kodi (formerly xbmc) which powers some add-ons and plugins allowing the viewing of TV shows, movies, cartoons etc…

    Although there is no hard definition for what is an Android TV Box, we can argue that it is a device running an android operating system with any additional software allowing  the user to watch multimedia content (in this case TV content).

    I can only guess that they are called boxes because of their small size and shapes. Actually you will find android mini-pc sticks as well as android tv boxes. They are all the same type of units running of the same hardware. The sticks are way smaller in size though.

    android-tv-box                                                                android-tv-stick

    General Features of Android TV Boxes

    There is plethora of tv boxes running of android and I share below some of their common features:

    Powerful Chip Quad Core

    Most of android tv boxes will have an android compatible hardware inside with a dual or quad-core processors based off the Cortex A series core (A9, A7, A5 etc…). The clock speed is up to 1.6Ghz+ thus allowing for a smooth running of your applications.

    Graphic Card

    The GPU (Graphical Processing Unit) is often the Mali-400 (or Mali-450), a standard GPU from ARM Company which goes with their Cortex processors. The GPU can handle 1080p video and decode a wide variety of video formats (avi, mp4, mpeg, mkv, mov, dat etc…). Some will even support the 4K resolution.

    Memory

    Most of android devices will offer 1-2 GB of RAM DDR3 and anywhere between 4-8 GB of ROM storage. Additional storage if powered through a micro SD card which goes up to 32GB. You can also connect one or multiple external hard drives via USB ports on the device.

    The units boost the android OS version 4.xx, support wi-fi and Bluetooth connectivity coupled with the standard RJ45 wired capability.

    Some devices such as the Q7S even offer a 2.0MP camera for visual communication such as Skype.

    Ports

    The Q7S features two USB 2.0 ports and one micro USB OTG port. Support webcams and microphones to external hard drives and USB sticks. Furthermore, this box supports HDMI 1.4b connector, AV out, SPDIF to connect a home cinema, a Micro SD card slot and a jack for Ethernet, giving you the best possible connection. Also, there is an on / off button available

     

    What could you use the an android tv box for?

    The device will have access to all the applications and functions found on any other android unit. It’s a pc in itself with the capability of running android applications, surfing the web and playing plenty of games. You can also access Google Play Store for downloads, Facebook, YouTube and so forth. You could also connect to your other devices within the same network and share contents such as videos, music and photos.

    Motion-sensing Games

    You can enjoy 2d/3D motion sensing games using air mouse.

    Multi-screen interaction

    You can stream online video or local media contents like music, picture, and video on your smart phone or tablet PC to big screen of a HDTV or projector through DLNA or Airplay protocol (on some models).

    Media Center

    Most of the devices will come with Kodi (formerly xbmc) pre-installed. If not, you could easily install Kodi  and watch your favourite tv shows and movies.

    Kodi is an award-winning free and open source software media center for playing videos, music, pictures, games, and more. It features a 10-foot user interface for use with televisions and remote controls.

    You also have the option of downloading the streaming application of your favourite content provider such as Netflix. All of these can be done with a wireless keyboard and/or touchpad.

    One of the key features that I like about the android tv boxes is the fact that you can turn your old tv into a smart tv. Indeed you can use a standard RGB cable to connect to old tv thus enjoying surfing and your favourites games on the big screen.

     

    Additional Resources

    CS918 Android TV Box Review

    Android TV