Congratulations on deciding that you want an internet TV box to stream content to your big screen. After all, it’s the best way to cut the cord and ease your life. Now all you need is the best Android TV box, and you can enjoy all the benefits of going cordless. Easy peasy, right?
Well, not really! When you go out in the market searching for an android TV top box, you will notice that there are hundreds of options. Each comes with slight modifications and specifications differences. This makes it really hard to choose which Android box is suitable for you.
Fortunately for you, we have done all the homework. After reviewing more than 30 different TV boxes, we compiled this article to save you the trouble. Besides the best available options, we have also divided them into different budget ranges to find one without cutting the monthly budget.
But, before we get to the reviews, it’s important that you know what features you should be looking for. Let’s take a look first at some buying tips to help you with the purchase.
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Things to Consider for a Suitable Android Steaming Device
An Android TV box’s ability to process data without any lags is a vital feature. You don’t want a TV box that lags when you are pushing a button on your remote. Therefore, go for a TV box with at least 1.5 GHz (quad-core) or a higher processor. Anything less will just bog down your resources. Likewise, if you want to run 4K content without lag, you need to go for a better configuration such as ARM big. LITTLE or higher.
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Storage is another important consideration. It is what keeps the OS running as memory, and the operating system goes together. Most Android Boxes come with an internal storage of 8GB, mostly occupied by the operating system. Remember, when it comes to storage, more is always better. However, it also depends on your budget. We recommend having at least 32Gb of storage and 4Gb of RAM. Besides, make sure your device supports external storage of at least 64Gb. It will come in handy!
3. USB Ports
USB ports are essential for connectivity. Your TV Box should have at least 2 USB ports. One for any peripherals and the other for the BT receiver. Also, check whether your USB port is 3.0 (or higher) or USB 2.0. USB 3.0 is useful if you attach external hard drives as it is capable of much faster data transfers. USB 2.0 is fine if you use common peripherals and don’t need fast data transfers.
4. Video & Display
When it comes to video and display, there are a few things you need to keep in mind.
HDMI – HDMI is important for 4K streaming. Without HDMI 2.0, you won’t be able to stream 4K content.
Dynamic Refresh Rate Switching or (DRRS) – It is needed to auto-adjust the refresh rates between your TV and the source. This gives you the best possible display you can get.
HEVC – High-Efficiency Video Encoding aka 265 hardware decoding is used to compress video data and make it easily transferrable in the network. HEVC is capable of compressing videos up to 8K resolution.
5. OS Version
Android recently released Android 11. While we don’t recommend you get Android 11 for your Android TV, don’t go for any lower than Android 6.0 (Marshmallow). Disregard all the older versions. You can’t update them, so no need to get stuck in their buggy interfaces.
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6. Network Connectivity
Network connectivity is also important to determine how you will be able to communicate with your device. In this regard, check whether your device has:
WiFi – Of course, your device will have WiFi support. The most important thing is, check what WiFi version can it support? We recommend getting 802.11ac support for smooth video playback. Anything less will just keep you waiting for the buffering as you are playing videos. Keep in mind, though, you also need a better dual-band router and decent adapter for faster signal transmission.
Ethernet – If your android box has Ethernet support, it means you can say goodbye to all the weak signal or bad interface worries. Ethernet ensures a consistent connection. So, no lags. No, all Android boxes support Ethernet, though.
Bluetooth – BT is important for transferring files between your phone to a TV box or connecting other peripherals. We recommend getting at least Bluetooth 3.0 or higher for smooth transfers and a stable connection.
Other Bells & Whistles
There are some other extras that make your device all the better. These include:
Google Play Support – Google Play will reduce the hassle of installing GAPPs and improve your overall Android TV Box user experience.
10-bit Color Support – More color variations make your display better. However, do check whether your player (TV) can support more than 1024 colors. This feature will be useless if your TV is incapable of deep color support.
Now that you know what features are essential for a good Android TV Box let us take you to the reviews. These are your best options in the market today!
Reviews of the Best Android Boxes
Amazon Fire TV Cube
Amazon’s latest innovation in the streaming TV Boxes is by far our favorite. Released in 2019, The Fire TV Cube (2nd generation) is so much better than the previous version released back in 2017 in multiple ways. For instance, a better processor, Dolby Vision support, and of course, better performance. The device is capable of 4K HDR playback. It also includes a TV/AV control center that lets you better utilize your device the way you want it. Thanks to its built-in Alexa support in the remote, you can now control not only your home theater but your entire smart home. Downright, futuristic, right? The device also has a native Youtube app to let you stream your favorite videos from the website. However, the home screen is mostly Amazon content, which can be a little irritating.
Nvidia Shield TV Pro
While Nvidia’s latest Nvidia Shield Pro doesn’t alter much from its previous model, it doesn’t really have to do better to earn a slot in the top three list of the best streaming devices. For a retro gaming console and android fueled set-top tv box, it’s just as powerful as you would expect. Packed with features suitable for both streaming and gaming, Nvidia Shield Pro is hard to ignore. Oh, and did we say its square design looks very futuristic too? Nvidia Shield Pro fulfills your expectations, whether you want to play high-resolution PC games or stream 4K movies in different HDR formats.
Amazon Fire TV Stick
Amazon’s latest Fire Stick is a 3rd gen version of Firestick. Released back in April 2021, the device comes packed with an Alexa Voice remote feature, is capable of Dolby Atmos audio, and offers up to 1080p or Full HD support. It is a small device yet powerful enough to deliver streaming without any hiccups. Not to mention, the Alexa Voice Remote lets you control features with just your voice. You can search shows, launch apps, and navigate without even pressing a button. The remote also has several new preset buttons that let you control your favorite apps in a much better way.
The Ematic Jetstream is a 4K Ultra HD streaming TV box. It is perfect for beginners who want to say goodbye to their cable connection because it offers access to over 450,000 movies and shows across 5000+ free and paid channels. How? Because it provides access to all the top streaming services available today, including Hulu, PBS Kids, and Netflix. The tiny device comes with a Bluetooth-enabled voice search remote. Therefore you can search for your favorite content easily or just use your voice to browse through the library, install apps, play games, and much more. Not to mention, this affordable device also supports a 60 fps refresh rate when streaming your content at 4K resolution.
The A95X Max is a unique Android box. It is very well connected. You will notice the Ethernet LAN connection (supports 10M, 100M, and 1000M) along with the usual WiFi (2.4GHz + 5GHz) support. This ensures you don’t have to face any signal coverage issue anywhere in your room. What’s more, it also has a Bluetooth 5.0 connection, ensuring faster data transmission across compatible devices. Talking about uniqueness, it has another unique feature, i.e. video recording. You can record videos as you watch them on TV and then share them with your friends and family later on. As for the remote, you can utilize your smartphone as a remote control. Simply download its tiny app and then control/navigate through all the recorded clips with ease.
Mecool MK9 Pro
If you are looking for an Android box with Google Assistant, Mecool MK9 Pro is your guy. It is powered by the latest S905X2 processor, which is plenty capable of displaying 4K videos. The device boasts impressive HDR10 support along with HLG and H.265 video encoding for better contrast, vibrant colors, and smooth visuals. Its remote is Bluetooth voice control, remote controller. It supports a voice control feature that allows you to control the TV Box with the help of voice commands. And as we mentioned earlier, it has a built-in Google Assistant. Therefore, you can even control your smart home with the help of this device. Ain’t that cool?
MINIX NEO U9-H
Next in line is the MINIX NEO U9-H. This compact android tv box provides a smooth, responsive and clear picture quality due to its 4K support up to 60fps resolution. Its impressive picture performance is further enhanced by its full HDR10 support. HDR widens the color gamut, displaying much whiter whites and much deeper blacks than the regular display resolution. Furthermore, due to MINIX NEO’s HDR support, the contrast is further accentuated to create a more vibrant and natural viewing experience. All this comes at a paltry cost of 50 dollars approximately.
The Turewell’s T9 is a very good budget Android Box. It comes with an Android 9.0 (Pie) operating system, making it an efficient, user-friendly streaming device. It hosts a decent library of video games, a friendly interface, and Google Play support which offers a plethora of options to stream, entertain and enjoy. The device is capable of playing almost all the popular video and audio formats, including 4K videos. However, perhaps the biggest draw of Turewell T9 is its H.265 decoding ability. Due to this, you can save almost 50% of the streaming BW in comparison with H.264. Hence you can play hundreds of thousands of games on a bigger 4K screen and enjoy 4K streaming with very almost no buffering at all.
Best Android TV Boxes Under $75
Xiaomi Mi Box S
While Xiaomi is a new entrant in the market. The Chinese manufacturer is known for its super affordable android boxes. Box S is definitely one of the best cheap android TV boxes. Sure, it doesn’t compare to our top three choices, but if you are on a budget and don’t want to splurge on an android box, the Xiaomi Mi Box S is a decent option. Its quad-core processor is decent and doesn’t hang operation during operation. The connection between the remote and box stays stable, and RAM & Storage are enough. The streaming box is capable of streaming 4K and comes with HDR. But, you won’t be able to use it for high-performance jobs such as graphics-laden video games.
Globmall X3 Android TV Box
The Globemall X3 is a versatile, jack of all trades Android Tv box. It delivers a solid performance thanks to its up-to-date specifications and features. This makes it one of the best value android boxes for the price. The device is capable of 4K video streaming along with 3D for an immersive cinema experience without going to a cinema. Its only limitation is 2GB storage space. Thankfully you can enhance it up to 32GB with the help of an SD Card. It also comes with an external remote to give you control over how you want to experience the device. Overall, it offers good video encoding, has decent specifications, and offers great value.
DOLAMEE D5 Android TV Box
The Dolamee D5 has everything you have come to expect from a TV Box. It has 4K streaming, quad-core processor, H.256 decoding, 2.4 GHz WiFi support, Bluetooth 2.0, 8GB of storage, and 2Gb of RAM. But these specs feel a little limited when you compare them with the ones above. And if you install a lot of apps, that 8GB memory may not be enough. Besides, some of the D5s run on an older version of android. So, some of the newer apps may not even work at all. To stay on the safe side, we suggest getting the Dolamee D5 with android 7.1. Another worth mentioning aspect is Kodi. This device comes preinstalled with Kodi. However, it’s an older version. You may have to update it to benefit from its full features.
GooBang Doo ABOX A1
The ABOX A1 is very similar to the Glomball X3 in terms of price and features. However, it’s the hardware department where ABOXX A1 trumps the Glomball X3. It’s powered by a 2 GHz quad-core processor, a 750MHz GPU, 2GB of RAM, and 16GB of storage space. Impressive, right? Because it is. The GPU really helps with the 3D graphics acceleration while playing games. The device is capable of native 4K resolution. When paired with its 3D support, it adds a new dimension to the way you experience TV. But, this android box is not without its defects. Its remote control isn’t all that thrilling. We also noticed it would hang up frequently. Luckily, the GooBang Doo has a very responsive customer care service to help out with any issues.
Best Android TV Boxes Under $100
Kingbox K3 Android TV Box
The Kingbox K3 has impressive hardware specifications. It’s powered by an 8 core 2 GHz arm logic processing chip. This makes it run through tasks smoothly, especially if you are multi-tasking. It has 2 GB of RAM and a 16GB eMMC storage drive. You can also expand it further to 32 GB if you want. It runs on Android 7.1 Marshmallow and comes with Kodi 17.6 (vanilla version) preinstalled. This makes it a highly customizable android box for streaming. Moreover, the K3 supports 4K resolution, H.265 hardware decoding, and the latest WiFi standards (2.4 & 5 GHz) for a stable connection. What’s more, it comes with a remote as well as a Keyboard to give you greater control.
EVANPO T95Z PLUS
The Evanpo T95Z Plus is very similar to the K3 processor as both utilize the same Amlogic octa-core 2 GHz processor. It’s approximately 4 times faster than a standard octa-core processor and ideal for multitasking. It also supports WiFi (2..4 & 5Ghz) and Ethernet (10, 100, 1000). But, unlike K3, it has better RAM (3GHz) and ROM (32 GB). Therefore, you don’t have to invest in an extra expansion card to expand the storage. As for performance, it is capable of 4K streaming as well as 3D enhancement. Furthermore, the T95Z comes with a backlit keyboard, and it is compatible with a wide array of devices such as PC, Macs, Xbox, etc. So you can enjoy video streaming or gaming.
While the hardware of Roku Ultra doesn’t compare to the two options above, it’s still worth considering. The reason? Ease of use. Unlike other Android boxes, Roku Ultra offers an ultra-refined user experience. One that is on par with premium devices. There’s no Kodi, though. Roku brings its own media channel that offers thousands of movies, tv shows, documentaries, and more without charging you a dime. The Roku Ultra provides a dedicated mobile app to help you better control the way you interact with the device. Without using the remote control, of course. Its hardware specs are decent. It has a respectable quad-core processor and 1.5 GB RAM. However, the 256 MB RAM means you have to purchase an extra storage card.
So, there you have it: everything you need to know about the latest Android Tv boxes and how can you get one suitable for your needs. Android TV Boxes come in as many shapes, varieties, and forms as android phones, making a choice really hard. Whether you want an economical TV box or a super expansive powerhouse, we covered all budgets in this article. Hopefully, you can find a suitable option in the list above. Thank you for reading this article, and happy streaming!
- 1 Things to Consider for a Suitable Android Steaming Device
- 2 Reviews of the Best Android Boxes
- 3 Best Android TV Boxes Under $75
- 4 Best Android TV Boxes Under $100
- 5 Final Thoughts