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Televisions are our best companions when we are home. They provide us entertainment thru movies, TV programs and sports thru cables. Smartphones, on the other hand, also give us endless satisfaction with browsing, networking, gaming and watching videos. But what if we put all the entertainment features of these devices in one box? Well, that’s now possible with the android TV box.
An android TV box is a portable single unit device designed for TVs and capable to run basic computer programs. Thru its internet connectivity, you can navigate TV channels, watch vast array of TV programs, movies, sports and even play games. Once you have the best android TV box, you’ll know your access to home entertainment is almost limitless.
Basically, these boxes work like smartphones and serve as gateways to database of programs that are accessible thru the web.
- 1 What is an Android TV Box?
- 2 Advantages of a Having the Best Android TV Box
- 3 Top 6 Best Android TV Boxes
- 3.1 1. Amazon Fire TV | Streaming Media Player
- 3.2 2. NVIDIA SHIELD TV Streaming Media Player [2017 Version]
- 3.3 3. Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote | Streaming Media Player
- 3.4 4. Miroha Q Box Amlogic S905X Android TV Box Android 6.0 Quad-core
- 3.5 5. Matricom G-Box Q² Quad/Octo Core Android TV Box [2GB/16GB/4K]
- 3.6 6. 2017 Model GooBang Doo Android 6.0 Marshmallow TV Box, T95X Android TV Box
- 4 Conclusion
What is an Android TV Box?
An android TV box is an internet-based multimedia box equipped with an android operating system that works like Windows. This allows the box to operate on RAM-based processors so any HDMI compatible device like a digital TV can serve as the monitor while the programs run right on the box.
Since android TV boxes have internal memory storage, you can also download apps on the box and run the programs while using your TV as your screen. For example, if your android TV box has an Amazon Prime app because you are a member of Prime, thousands of movies in Ultra High Definition will be within your reach.
You can also download apps and watch other media or play games accessible thru different websites and game providers. As long as you have an internet running in your home, your access to various entertainment media is almost unlimited with the best android TV box.
Advantages of a Having the Best Android TV Box
- They work like Smartphones with user-friendly interfaces.
- Generally compact and portable, easy to set up and operate using its remote control or keyboard.
- Can easily access internet using Ethernet cable or go wireless (Wi-Fi) thru a router or an LTE modem.
- You can share songs, videos or photos to other people and watch live streams like sports on TV.
- It allows you to stream and watch 1080p HD (high definition) to 4K UHD (ultra high definition) videos and TV programs or play games on your digital TV.
- Allows you to download apps from Google Play Store or other sites, run the programs and use your TV as your viewing and playing media.
- Has a built-in storage to save your data and apps with minimum of 8 GB.
- Most are featured with USB ports and memory card slots to save your data and apps.
- It can be a good replacement to your cable as it offers a wider availability of movies and TV programs including sports channels.
- You can run Facebook and other networking sites on a larger screen.
To help you find the best android TV box, we have searched for the most popular, best featured, best reviewed and of course most affordable brands of the best android TV boxes.
Top 6 Best Android TV Boxes
1. Amazon Fire TV | Streaming Media Player
The Amazon Fire TV is said to be the most potential rival of Apple TV, Roku’s media streamers and Chromecast. As a 2nd generation version, it can support 4K video thus you should enjoy watching videos in 4K (ultra-high definition) if your digital TV is 4K capable. As long as your TV has a compatible HDMI 2.0 port, this unit will work fine.
Our Rating: (4.3 / 5)
However, Amazon recommends that you should at least have 15 mbps internet speed for Amazon’s Prime videos to be able to enjoy the UHD movies while Netflix suggests 20 mbps.
This unit also has an HEVC decoder so any video streamed in any format can also be played. Since there is the need for more processing power for the 4K videos, Amazon has also upgraded this box’s processor into 64-bit Mediatek quad-core chip. This means that it is now 75 percent faster than Qualcomm Snapdragon which is featured in the first version.
- Supports 4K Ultra HD for more true-to-life resolution.
- Lets you enjoy high definition 1080p streams on Netflix, YouTube, Hulu, Amazon and a lot more on any TV with HDMI 2.0 ports.
- Gives you access to more than 300,000 TV episodes and movies and let you download over 15,000 apps and games.
- Alexa Voice Remote allows you to give voice command when searching and playing movies and music.
- If subscribed to DIRECTV NOW, you can gain access to live TV and sports like AMC, ESPN, HGTV, FOX and other prime TV channels.
- Have better Wi-Fi support, featured with 2 GB memory and 8 GB storage expandable to 200 GB.
- Amazon Prime members can have unlimited access to thousands of prime movies and TV episodes without additional costs.
- Warranty: Contact customer service for details.
- You have to be an Amazon Prime member to enjoy the box’ features fully.
- 4K contents like movies are only available to Netflix and Amazon subscribers.
- Third-party apps that can be integrated on the Fire TV don’t always result in HD quality.
- Not a universal type android TV box.
2. NVIDIA SHIELD TV Streaming Media Player [2017 Version]
This unit is one of the best android TV boxes and fastest streamers in today’s video streaming industry. Having an excellent 4K HDR capability, you can watch TV shows, movies, play limitless games and enjoy music. It also has Google’s voice command to do the search for you.
Our Rating: (4.2 / 5)
As a gaming cum streamer console, the company says this is 3X faster than its popular competitors. So if you are one PC gamer addict and always excited to watch ultra-high defined movies and TV programs, this one is for you.
The NVIDIA Shield has now a bundle of updates from its previous versions. It has enough ports for your flash drives and has slimmer controller that can be charged thru the box. For its voice command, a built-in microphone on the controller let you command Google’s Assistant and this will do the searching and playing for you.
Running on Nougat OS which is the latest version from Google, you can now multitask, shift quickly between apps, browse pictures while watching videos and accessing other menus. This is actually the first android TV box that can support Amazon videos so Prime subscribers will feel a lot better about this feature.
- Explore and utilize limitless apps from Playstation Vue, Kodi and more.
- Play and watch thousands of movies and TV programs from Amazon video, Netflix, HBO, YouTube, Showtime, Spotify and Sling TV and some are in 4K and HDR resolution.
- Game controller has 60 hours battery life.
- Has Google’s Assistant to help you find live streams, music and videos.
- Nvidia has grouped the game apps by title for quick search.
- Featured with a Plex server that enables media files to be split so you can watch them on mobile phones on 1080p.
- Can be your cheaper alternative to PS4 or Xbox if equipped with Nvidia graphics card.
- Lots of movies available that are on 4K and HDR.
- Can be costly if you are only after watching videos.
- No hardware update yet from the original versions.
- Controller is not robustly made.
- Require fast and reliable internet connection when playing games in 4K UHD.
3. Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote | Streaming Media Player
Much like the older Amazon Fire TV sticks, this basic Fire stick is designed to be plugged right into your TV’s HDMI port like a flash drive. Supported by voice assistant Alexa, you can navigate your way into finding any videos or TV programs you want in an instant. This is what makes this device one of the best android TV box in the stick department.
Our Rating: (4.5 / 5)
With an interface including Alexa, navigating and access most of the apps is also fast. And inspite of its small size, it can also handle large amount of apps and can adapt even to the newest digital TV models. Its CPU has also been updated from dual core to quad core including the Bluetooth from 3.0 to 4.1 version.
- Very portable, easy to navigate using the remote control and Alexa voice assistant.
- Voice search is accurate when searching Netflix or Amazon contents.
- Alexa assistant is accessible by holding the home search button on the controller.
- Speedy interface. Fast and accurate when hopping between apps.
- Smooth playback and can stream non-stop.
- Get to enjoy more than 15,000 apps and games, videos on YouTube, Netflix, Hulu, HBO, NBC, WatchESPN, Disney and many more.
- Prime members will have access to thousands of movies and TV series and programs at no additional cost.
- Not 4K capable. Resolution is only limited to 1080p.
- Some apps may be required to be launched in order to navigate its content.
- Many streaming services are not covered by the universal search functionality.
- Alexa is only limited to search program by titles.
4. Miroha Q Box Amlogic S905X Android TV Box Android 6.0 Quad-core
We are sure that the Qbox S905X can also be considered the best android TV box because right now, it is being marketed by many companies and Miroha is one of them. This device has a nice tri-color backlight and in terms of functionality, this box is very easy to install and use.
Our Rating: (4.1 / 5)
With regards to resolution, this box both work on 1080p up to 4K resolution. Or you can set it to auto mode to automatically detect the video’s resolution and adjust itself. On the TV screen you can launch icons such as Kodi, music, browser, settings and all the apps you need. If you want to save or read documents, a Dropbox icon is also available. For cleaning browsing history, the Clean Memory app will also take care of the clearing job.
This box also has Miracast, Airplay and comes with preinstalled applications such as MegaBox, Netflix, Sky HD, and many other apps for watching movies. Many users have no issues connecting it to their Ethernet cable or router and its remote control is very easy to operate. For gamers, you simply connect your gamepad or air mouse or keyboard and you’re ready to go.
- Runs on SoC Amlogic S905 Quad core.
- CPU speed between 100 MHz and 2.02 GHz.
- Can play movies with 480p, 720p and 1080p, 3D up to 4K even with various codecs.
- Can play typical video formats such as AVI, MP4 and MKV without issues.
- Featured with DDR3 2GB RAM and 16GB ROM for internal memory storage.
- Wi-Fi capability: Dual Band (Wi-Fi 2.4 G and 5G).
- Expandable memory TF card up to 32 GB.
- With 1.5 meter HDMI cable and power adapter to ensure power supply reaches 5V and 2 amperes.
- Warranty: Call customer service for details.
- Kodi needs to be constantly updated manually.
- Remote control sometimes can be a bit out of control.
5. Matricom G-Box Q² Quad/Octo Core Android TV Box [2GB/16GB/4K]
The G Box Q2 is also one of the best android TV boxes we’ve found with 4K Ultra HD playback capabilities and with more reliable chipset onboard. It runs on Android 5.1.1 and also powered by Amlogic S812 Quad Core GPU and Mali-450 Octo core GPU. With 2 GB RAM and 16 GB internal memory storage, this is a fast android TV box that can handle a lot of data and can run lots of applications at one time.
Our Rating: (3.6 / 5)
In terms of design, control and connections, the design is just the standard black plastic box with an illuminated blue logo on its top. However, although it lacks with expected physical features, it still has an SD card slot and 2 USB 2.o ports as well as headphone/microphone jack.
On the screen, you can see default icons like apps, videos, music, games, settings, and latest apps. The settings menu itself will provide you a lot of assistance options and right on the screen you can read tutorials and can update system software.
In terms of performance, this box is capable of automatically adjusting its resolution to match the quality of the video you are watching. With regards to Ultra HD and 4k playback capability, you’ll see that you’re like watching Blu-ray movies in Ultra HD.
- User friendly features and easy to operate.
- Capable to play videos of any format including 3D and 4K videos.
- Automatically adjust video output to match frame rate of any video.
- Speedy internet connectivity with friendly menu systems.
- Powered by Amlogic S812 Quad core GPU and Mali-450 Octo Core GPU and OS Android 5 Lollipop.
- On-board 2 GB RAM and 16 GB built-in storage.
- Featured with 2 USB 2.0 ports, headphone/microphone jack, 100Mb Ethernet port and HDMI 1.4 connection.
- Dual band (2.4 GHz + 5 Ghz) Wi-Fi capability.
- With an HEVC decoder and Ultra HD playback at up to 30 frames per second.
- Supports Amazon Prime programs and videos.
- Warranty: Check manufacturer’s website for details.
- Audio quality does not match high price value.
- Very basic physical features.
- Fastest network speed capability peaks only at 70Mbps.
- Some of its pre-installed apps have copyright infringements.
6. 2017 Model GooBang Doo Android 6.0 Marshmallow TV Box, T95X Android TV Box
You can say this can be the best android TV box in terms of plug and play portability. You can use it in your dorm, your friend’s house or hotel and all it needs is a speedy internet connection and any HDTV to connect with. Equipped with a powerful CPU Amlogic S905X Quad Core ARM Cortex-A53 CPU up to 2 GHz, the processing of images and computing of this box is fast and efficient.
Our Rating: (4 / 5)
This box has 4K UHD streaming capability so you can always have real quality high definition video output whenever you use it in any 4K UHD compatible TV. You can play games as much as you like in high-def, watch unlimited movies and TV programs and play music minus the buffering.
It can also support HDR10 and HLG HDR videos so if you are very particular when watching movies for their real-life cinematic effect, this box is a sure fire device to provide you a real-time and unlimited enjoyment.
- Equipped 2017 Amlogic S905X for faster data and apps processing.
- With Marshmallow OS T95X that could play any game, movies and TV shows without buffering issues.
- With new HDMI cable 17+1 that can support true 4K playing at 60 Hz.
- Equipped with a GooBang Doo Safe adapter with power magnet to suppress static electricity that can affect video and sound quality.
- Faster than Amlogic S905 and also support HDR10 and HLG HDR video processing.
- SDRAM: 1 GB DDR4
- Flash: 8 GB EMMC
- Package includes 1 GooBang Doo T95X Android TV box, 1 power adapter, HDMI cable, remote controller and user manual.
- Pre-installed with Kodi 16.1 version.
- Highly capable for live streaming DirectTV and USAnow apps.
- Can be used as your browser.
- Warranty: Contact customer service for details.
- Some customers say this is prone to crashes.
- Need fast internet connection to avoid buffering.
- Hardware can have some issues over time.
Anyone would be happy to have the best android TV box at home because this will introduce you to a lot of options which your cable or Smart TV can’t provide. In an instant, you would have a vast availability of videos and TV programs in your hands. You can also play your favorite PC games right there on your TV’s wide screen and watch live sports streams.
As I’ve said, all the products I have presented here are definitely worth having because they can outmatch other popular brands in terms of performance and features.
But my best choice here is the NVIDIA SHIELD TV Streaming Media Player 2017 primarily because it is made by Google so I have a wider option in terms of availability for entertainment. It is also faster than other brands, has a voice command and excellent for a PC gamer like me. In other words, it meets all my expectations and I can do multitasking with it.
If you want to check more descriptive features of these products, you can click their links and get to know what satisfied reviewers say about them.