This is a simple TOP 3 List of what I consider the best android boxes at the moment on the market, and why.
The criteria here is very simple, like the choices:
1 – A full Android TV Support. Which means full support of other apps like Amazon Video, Hulu, Hbo, and especially Netflix HD (which by the way is limited to SD in all the chinese boxes except the ones I have in this list)
2 – A full easy to navigate interface with nice specs and full features inlcuding voice control
3 – Price point
THIRD PLACE: Amazon Fire TV 4k $ 89.99
There are several updates in the new model. Key is the support for 4K Ultra HD. It’s not the only box to tick the UHD box: Nvidia’s Shield does this too. But as you’ll read in our Shield TV review, it stumbles when it comes to content.
4K support means you can hook up the Fire TV to your 4K TV, and you can watch videos in Ultra HD (3840 x 2160) at up to 30fps. In order for this to work you will need a compatible TV with an HDMI 2.0 port which supports HDCP 2.2. Here’s a selection of 4K TVs which will work with the Fire TV 4K.
You will also need a relatively fast internet connection. Amazon recommends at least 15Mb/s for Prime Video in 4K, but Netflix says 20Mb/s. Other apps may require more. The Fire TV has an HEVC decoder, so it can play videos streamed in this new format. Amazon is making much of its 1080p content available in HEVC so you’ll be able to watch Full HD videos on a slower internet connection, and less data will be used – roughly half.
More processing power is needed for 4K video, so Amazon has upgraded the processor to a 64-bit Mediatek quad-core chip which it says is 75 percent faster than the Qualcomm Snapdragon in the previous model. It also has more powerful graphics, although the PowerVR GX6250 chip is no match for the graphics chip in the iPad Air 2, to give you some context.
Quality wise the Fire TV is a top notch box, one of the best remotes on the market and amazing wifi completes the pacakge. Full suport for Prime Video of course, and also Netflix in 4k. Amazon Customer Support
The Price is a big PRO for the device, being very affordable for such a high quality product.
The only negative aspect of the box (and this is why the 3rd place) is the limitation of its software (an Amazon version of Android) without a real Android Play Store, which renders the process of installing apps a little bit tedious with es file explorer or installing a 3rd party appstore.
Also other limitations are the lack of OPEN VPN drivers which means you cannot run VPN Apps on it.
SECOND PLACE: XIAOMI MI BOX TV 4k EU (International Version) $ 69
This box is really new on the market, but it’s taking it by the storm with its design, full Android TV Support and especially the price.
This 4K Android TV box supports Bluetooth voice remote control which can meet your varieties of demands. You can catch your favorite TV shows, play games, watch the news or switch to radio. Mi box also supports Google Cast.
● It runs on the latest Android TV 6.0 which is easy to enjoy your entertainment time.
● A high performance of Quad-core Cortex-A53 CPU can play a wide range of games.
● A Bluetooth voice remote control: Just speak into the remote control and Mi box will search for what you want.
● HDR 4K H.265 VP9 Profile-2 4K Decoding will provide you with a scene in vivid contrast, color and clarity.
● HDMI 2.0 is a faster way to send video and audio output to your TV.
● It also supports both Dolby and DTS encodings which create you smooth and surround sound.
The design of the device is beautiful, but there is some lacking in terms of build quality especially on the remote. It’s not sturdy as the Fire TV but it does it job.
A big pro is the full google play store support and HDR 4k capability, but a big CON here is the lack of ethernet port, which means you can use only wifi with it or buy a rj45 usb adapter sacrificing the only usb port the device has.
Another big CON might be the customer support and warranty, if you buy from Gearbest (pretty much the only store having it outside the US) you will have a chinese based support.
But it’s the CHEAPEST ANDROID TV SUPPORTED device on the MARKET right now, and for such a nice device you can’t go wrong if you’re on a budget.
AND THE WINNER IS: NVIDIA SHIELD TV $ 199
NVIDIA SHIELD is a streaming beast. The fastest, smoothest 4K HDR video. Infinite apps and entertainment. NVIDIA-powered gaming in the cloud or from your PC. The power to control every experience with your voice—soon even your home. It’s everything you want in one game-changing device that’s 3X faster than the closest competitor.
- Android 7.0 Nougat (Android TV)
- Nvidia Tegra X1 processor with a 256-core GPU
- 3 GB RAM
- Up to 4K HDR playback at 60fps
- 16GB and 500GB storage options
- 802.11ac 2×2 MIMO 2.4GHz and 5GHz Wi-Fi
- Bluetooth 4.1 LE
- HDMI 2.0b with HDCP 2.2 and CEC support
- 2xUSB 3.0
- Micro-USB 2.0
- 210x130x25mm, 654g
As you can see by the specs, the Nvidia Shield has no competition. It’s practically a gaming device with full Android TV Support with 4k HDR capability. It’s the box for people that want the best of the best.
The quality of the materials is top notch, the remote is beautiful but they removed the Headphones Jack in the new version (why?), and the controller is sexy and responsive.
The huge factor in buying an Nvidia shield is if you plan on gaming with it or not… For the price point I dont feel to suggest it just for streaming movies and tv shows with Kodi or Netflix, Hulu, Prime Video Etc. It’s simply too expensive to be just a “streaming device”, so if your plan is just play some movies on it, you better be served with a cheaper alternative and maybe spend the rest in something else, like a good projector.
Said that, this is the only full Android TV Supported devices with the latest Android 7 and top notch specs, If you got the money for it, I am pretty sure you will not regret it.
Thanks for reading my little reviews.
These boxes are the ones I personally have in my house and I tested extensively . Buy with confidence as the quality of the products are very nice.
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