Best Android TV Boxes

Review & Comparison, Last Update April 8, 2020
Having some type of streaming box included in a home entertainment center is quite common nowadays, but most people know that having a smaller one makes it easier to fit in with the other devices connected there. If you're looking for a compact streaming box that will allow you to view all kinds of different streaming services, take a look at our reviews of 5 of the top models and find the best Android TV boxes for your home. ...Read more ...Read less
BEST 2020
PROS
CONS
OUR VERDICT
Max Supported Resolution
Tech Specs
Interfaces
Remote
Android Version
Dimensions
Warranty
 
PROS

The SHIELD™ Remote combines IR + Bluetooth Technologies and is equipped with a sensitive microphone for voice control (there is support for Google Assistant). Motion-activated backlit buttons are useful in the evening.

CONS

There are no USB ports.

OUR VERDICT

The NVIDIA Shield is a full-fledged entertainment center: in addition to access to multimedia content, you can also play modern games in stunning graphics. This was achieved through the GeForce NOW™ cloud-based game streaming service.

detailed parameters
Max Supported Resolution

4K/60 fps

Tech Specs

CPU: Tegra X1+

RAM: 2 GB

ROM: 8 GB

GPU: 256-core NVIDIA GPU

Interfaces

Wi-Fi (802.11ac), Bluetooth, HDMI, Ethernet-port, slot for microSD card

Remote

Remote with backlit buttons and built-in microphone

Android Version

Android 9.0 (Pie) powered by Android TV™

Dimensions

1.6" x 1.6" x 6.5"

Warranty

1 year

PROS

Built-in Chromecast makes it possible to broadcast video with sound directly from a smartphone or tablet, while the powerful Wi-Fi module with support for 802.11ac standard ensures data transfer without delays or slowdowns.

CONS

There is no memory card slot (support only via USB card readers).

OUR VERDICT

If your TV can boast the highest quality and clarity of the image, but does not have Smart functions, you can easily upgrade it with this smart set-top box from Xiaomi. Watch videos on Netflix, Amazon Prime, YouTube, and other online services.

detailed parameters
Max Supported Resolution

4K/60 fps

Tech Specs

CPU: Amlogic S905X

Ram: 2 GB

Rom: 8 GB

GPU: Mali-450

Interfaces

Wi-Fi (802.11ac), Bluetooth, HDMI, 1 x USB 2.0, Audio Out (Mini Toslink/Miniplug)

Remote

Remote with built-in microphone

Android Version

Android 8.1 (Oreo)

Dimensions

3.75" x 3.75" x 0.66"

Warranty

Amazon's 30-day return policy

PROS

On the front of the case there is an informative LCD display that displays the time, status of the Internet connection and many other useful tips. HDR10 is responsible for natural color reproduction - the picture will be even more realistic.

CONS

Heats up a great deal during prolonged use.

OUR VERDICT

Nowadays, an increasing number of people refuse satellite or digital television broadcasting and prefer IP-television: this Android TV Box with support for H.265 video decoding technology will be the ideal solution for watching your favorite channels.

detailed parameters
Max Supported Resolution

4K/60 fps

Tech Specs

CPU: Rockchip RK3318

Ram: 4 GB

Rom: 64 GB

GPU: Mali-450

Interfaces

Wi-Fi (802.11ac), Bluetooth, HDMI, Ethernet-port, 1 x USB 3.0, 1 x USB 2.0, AV-out, Digital Audio Out (Optical), slot for microSD card

Remote

Remote without microphone

Android Version

Android 9.0 (Pie)

Dimensions

4.13" x 4.13" x 0.78"

Warranty

2 years

PROS

The Amlogic S905W processor has gained popularity due to its relatively high computing power and affordable price. And it maintains a comfortable temperature even under intense loads - the risk of overheating is minimized.

CONS

No Bluetooth module.

OUR VERDICT

The VANKYO MatrixBox X95A is a budget model for people who want to access a variety of Android applications: the HDMI output makes it easy to connect it to LCD and LED TVs, while the AV-out is compatible with outdated CRT models. The launcher has a clear interface.

detailed parameters
Max Supported Resolution

4K/30 fps

Tech Specs

CPU: Amlogic S905W

Ram: 2 GB

Rom: 16 GB

GPU: Mali-450

Interfaces

Wi-Fi (802.11n), HDMI, Ethernet-port, 1 x USB 3.0, 1 x USB 2.0, AV-out, slot for microSD card

Remote

Remote without microphone

Android Version

Android 7.1 (Nougat)

Dimensions

3.6" x 3.6" x 0.7"

Warranty

3 years

PROS

Thanks to 3 x USB ports (2 x USB 3.0 and 1 x USB 2.0), you can connect wireless mice and keyboards, as well as USB flash drives and even external hard drives. Optical audio output allows you to output sound to external speakers.

CONS

Some users complain about the poor responsiveness of the remote.

OUR VERDICT

The Beelink GT King is one of the most powerful TV boxes to date: the high-performance 6-core Amlogic S922X processor in combination with 4 GB of RAM and the Mali-G52MP graphics core is capable of instantly processing any task.

detailed parameters
Max Supported Resolution

4K/60 fps

Tech Specs

CPU: Amlogic S922X

Ram: 4 GB

Rom: 64 GB

GPU: Mali-G52MP

Interfaces

Wi-Fi (802.11ac), Bluetooth, HDMI, Ethernet-port, 2 x USB 3.0, 1 x USB 2.0, AV-out, Digital Audio Out (Optical), slot for microSD card

Remote

Remote with built-in microphone

Android Version

Android 9.0 (Pie)

Dimensions

4.25" x 4.25" x 0.63"

Warranty

1 year

NVIDIA Shield (2019)

Streaming Box + Game Console

Many people may find themselves wondering whether to get a device that is dedicated for streaming, or to get a game console such as the XBox One or PS4, both of which offer many streaming services as well. After all, games have become a huge part of many people's lives now, so game consoles would make sense. However, game consoles are also much more limited in their support for streaming services. In this case, though, why not both? You can have the best of both worlds with the NVIDIA Shield 4K HDR TV Box/Streaming Media Player. This device includes the best that the Android operating system has to offer, along with a great selection of highly detailed games that take advantage of this system's powerful architecture.

Speaking of the powerful architecture, the hardware specs of this device are a step above what you will find with most other media streaming devices. The NVIDIA Shield includes the blazing-fast Tegra X1+ processor along with a 256 core NVIDIA GPU, giving you almost the same amount of graphical and processing power as a top-end game console. This means that any games that you place on this device will run with the highest details while providing you with a smooth gaming experience that surpasses that of other similar devices.

Review of NVIDIA Shield (2019) Android 9.0 | 4K HDR TV Box/Streaming Media Player (Works with Google Assistant and Alexa)

More Than Just Gaming

While gaming is definitely one of the highlights of this Android TV box, it is far from all you can do with it. In fact, this box is extremely flexible in its capabilities, giving you access to virtually all streaming services, meaning that any online service that you subscribe to should be accessible through this device. That includes access to the Google Play store, where you have access to thousands of different games and apps that all give you an unprecedented number of entertainment options. You can find apps for virtually every streaming service possible, as well as for other services that most other media streaming devices don't.

Controlling the device is quite easy, thanks in large part to the included remote control, which has large buttons that are all clearly marked. For those who utilize voice assistants such as Google Assistant or Alexa, the built-in microphone lets you control the device completely hands-free. A number of other features are also included in this Android box, including the Chromecast technology for streaming the contents of a computer screen to your TV (and vice-versa), and the Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos technologies, which enhance the audio and video quality of any content streaming on the device. With all of these features included together, this Android TV box is simply one of the best devices on the market.

NVIDIA Shield (2019) Android 9.0 | 4K HDR TV Box/Streaming Media Player (Works with Google Assistant and Alexa) in the use

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


 

Xiaomi Mi Box S (2019)

Perfect TV Upgrade

Many of the televisions on the market now are trying to do away with the need for having extra devices connected by including smart functions. These smart functions typically give the TV native access to several streaming services, which usually includes the most popular ones such as Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, and a few others. However, not everyone has a smart TV, and even with many who do have one, the smart functions may not cover the full gamut of options that you would like it to have. This is where the Xiaomi Mi Box S comes into play. This Android TV box gives you an easy and affordable way to upgrade your TV with smart capabilities, giving you access to all of the streaming options that you desire.

First off, this particular device isn't meant to compete with the more powerful options out there, as its specs are rather meager when compared to many of them. The 2 GB of RAM and 8 GB of internal storage certainly won't blow anyone away, being on the lower side of the spectrum of such devices. However, these specs still give this device enough power to easily run the most common apps that are needed, including ones for most streaming services that one would want to use. And they would still be a good upgrade over what most smart TVs provide on their own.

Review of Xiaomi Mi Box S (2019) Android 9.0 TV Box | 4K HDR (With Google Voice Assistant)

Smooth Streaming

Although the RAM and internal storage are on the low end of most Android TV boxes, the rest of the specs easily make up for whatever shortcomings it might have. This box features full 4K support, making it capable of giving you superb video quality even on a high-end 4K television. What's more, the built-in 802.11ac wireless adapter gives you exceptional network performance, ensuring a smooth streaming experience even with the highest quality video. Even the built-in Chromecast functionality will work well here, allowing you to stream content from any Chromecast-equipped device in your house to your TV.

Plenty of other features can be found in this box as well. In regards to connectivity options, this device has plenty, including built-in Bluetooth 4.1, as well as an HDMI2.0a port for outputting video to your TV. A USB 2.0 port lets you connect various devices as well as additional flash storage for file transfers, and an audio output port lets you output audio to your sound system. The included remote control, like many other similar devices, includes a built-in microphone for voice control of the system, giving you a true hands-free experience. At the end of the day, whether your TV only has basic smart functionality or none at all, this Android TV box will be the perfect upgrade for those who want great streaming compatibility.

Xiaomi Mi Box S (2019) Android 9.0 TV Box | 4K HDR (With Google Voice Assistant) in the use

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


 

pendoo X10 MAX

Get Rid of Your Cable Box

One of the biggest trends in home entertainment right now is the rise of "cord-cutters", people who are getting rid of their cable and satellite TV services and replacing them with streaming options. This does make a lot of sense, after all, as most cable and satellite subscription services essentially make you pay for content that you're never going to watch. Meanwhile, with the ability to stream content from a variety of different services, you are able to choose which ones you wish to use and only subscribe to those, saving a lot of money in the process. And what better way to throw away your cable box than by replacing it with the pendoo X10 MAX Android 9.0 TV Box.

This TV box is the perfect starter kit for those who are getting rid of their traditional cable and satellite TV services, as this box is able to support virtually any streaming application in existence. Thanks to the powerful underlying hardware, no service will be too much for this box to handle. The 4 GB of RAM allows the box to multitask easily, and the 64 GB of storage lets you easily take advantage of movie download services if you wish to pay for a film outright instead of renting it. On top of that, you don't have to worry about recording the content to another device, as the film will remain in this device's internal storage.

Review of pendoo X10 MAX Android 9.0 TV Box | 4K HDR

High Quality Video Performance

Not everyone will have the same taste in Android TV boxes, as some include only basic features, whereas others will include more features meant to please those who are insistent on getting the best video quality possible. This device is specifically made for the latter, and it includes a variety of features built for this specific purpose. For instance, the device includes the HDR10 functionality, which gives the most realistic color reproduction possible, ensuring your films and TV shows are looking at their absolute best. This box also includes support for most popular audio and video codecs, letting you play virtually any type of digital audio and video content while looking its absolute best.

Along with the above features, there is plenty else to love about this device. On the front panel are located a variety of lights and indicators that give you an easy-to-read overview of the device's status, including an Internet indicator, the current time, and other useful information. The included remote control includes a large number of buttons that give you instant access to many of the different functions, as well as providing easy navigation through the device's menus. If there is anything missing here, it would be that the remote doesn't include a built-in microphone for voice control, but this should be a non-issue for those who prefer manual control. At the end of the day, any cord-cutters who are looking for the best video quality possible will find this Android TV box to be an ideal choice.

pendoo X10 MAX Android 9.0 TV Box | 4K HDR in the use

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


 

VANKYO MatrixBox X95A

Budget Streaming Box

Those who are new to "cord-cutting", or those who just wish to have a few more options than what many popular streaming boxes have may find the choice of different Android TV boxes to be a bit dizzying. After all, when you're not used to using such devices, it can be difficult to know what to look for. Some of these devices, however, are meant specifically to appeal to those who are new to such a thing, providing an easy-to-use and fully compatible device that comes at a very affordable price point. This would define the VANKYO MatrixBox X95A Android 9.0 TV Box specifically. This Android TV box includes all of the necessary features that anyone would want from a first-time device while having the appropriate connectors to be used on any TV.

This model isn't going to compete with many of the other higher-end devices reviewed here, but it really isn't meant to. This box is meant more for first-time users, or those who have older TVs and don't need many of the higher-end features of the more expensive units. This is evidenced by the relatively low specs of the device, with only 2 GB of RAM and 16 GB of internal storage. While these are far from high-end specs, they are plenty sufficient for a budget streaming box.

Review of VANKYO MatrixBox X95A Android 9.0 TV Box | 4K Ultra HD

Connect To Any TV

One of the most appealing features of this particular device is in its full array of connectivity options that allow you to connect it to virtually any TV. This box includes an HDMI output that lets you connect it to any HDTV, with support for up to 4K video, while the A/V out connectors let you connect it to an older non-HD television set. This gives anyone the ability to enjoy modern streaming options even if you don't have a new TV. Along with these ports, you also get an Ethernet port for a wired Internet connection, as well as an 802.11n wireless adapter for connecting to your home WiFi network. In short, you have virtually all connectivity options covered here.

Another very appealing feature of this Android TV box is the fact that it runs relatively cool when compared to many other similar devices, which usually tend to run very hot in their small, confined cases. Thanks to the quadcore Amlogic S905W processor included in this unit, it has plenty of processing power while running at much cooler temperatures, meaning that there is virtually no risk of this box overheating. With these features, along with the very intuitive interface of the device, any first-time user will find this budget model from VANKYO to be an exceptional bargain.
VANKYO MatrixBox X95A Android 9.0 TV Box | 4K Ultra HD in the use

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


 

Beelink GT King

Extremely Powerful

Most of the devices that people have underneath their televisions are generally just small computers that have reduced specs compared to what one would use for work. Of course, most of these devices won't support a keyboard or mouse, and don't use a full operating system like Windows, but the architecture of the devices is the same. The main difference is that they are geared for only doing one task, so the hardware and OS don't need to be as powerful as a desktop or laptop computer. The Beelink GT King Android 9.0 TV Box, however, bucks this trend by giving you an extremely powerful Android TV box that is just as capable as many desktop computers.

The full power of this media streaming box starts with its base hardware. This device is powered by an 8-core Amlogic S922X CPU, providing more than enough power to run several tasks at once. Video is handled by the equally capable Mali-G52MP graphics adapter, which gives the box plenty of power for running even the most graphics-intensive apps. The 4 GB of RAM allows for multiple high-performance apps to run at the same time without any noticeable slowdown in the entire system's performance. Basically, this box can handle pretty much everything you could possibly throw at it without skipping a beat.

Review of Beelink GT King Android 9.0 TV Box | 4K HDR, Voice Remote Control

An Abundance of Connectivity Options

This Android TV box utilizes the Android 9.0 operating system, giving you the latest version of Android that has all of the latest updates and capabilities. This means you can download all of the latest apps and games without the OS being a hindering factor. The 64 GB of internal storage also gives you plenty of space for holding your favorite apps, games, movies, and music, all in one place. The system is controlled by the included remote controller, with an intuitive interface that won't take long at all to learn how to navigate. The remote, which requires 2 x AAA batteries (not included), even includes a built-in microphone that lets you operate the device through voice commands.

One of the greatest features of this Android TV box is the abundance of connectivity options built into it. For starters, you have all of the required output ports for connecting this to your TV, thanks to the HDMI 2.1, which supports 4K output. Also included are 2 USB 3.0 ports as well as a USB 2.0 port, giving you plenty of options for connecting peripherals such as mice, keyboards, and even USB flash drives for allowing the transfer of files or simply for expanding the storage capacity of the device. In the end, this extremely powerful Android TV box will be capable of handling anything that you would possibly want from it.

Beelink GT King Android 9.0 TV Box | 4K HDR, Voice Remote Control in the use

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


 

What Is an Android TV Box?

Home entertainment centers look a lot different now than they did several decades ago. Long gone are the VCRs and cable boxes of old, often now replaced with a variety of different things, including DVD/Bluray players, game consoles, and streaming devices. Among those listed, streaming devices have come a long way lately, providing access to dozens of different streaming services and channels in just one box, which has led to many people abandoning cable TV altogether.

Android TV boxes are quite similar to the aforementioned streaming devices, but there are a few notable differences. Probably the biggest difference has to do with the variety of different forms of entertainment provided by an Android TV box. Streaming devices from companies such as Roku and Apple tend to be pretty closed devices, with only a limited number of extra features. Android TV boxes, on the other hand, give you the full power and capabilities of the Android operating system, letting you not only stream content, but also download many different apps and games, thus greatly expanding the capabilities of the device beyond most other types of streaming boxes.

If you're looking for a great TV to take advantage of all of the content offered to you on an Android TV box, take a look at our picks of the best 4K TVs.

What Features to Compare

Android TV boxes, being relatively new devices on the market, may be a bit of a mystery to most people who haven't used one yet. However, they really shouldn't be. Many of the same characteristics that people would look for in another type of Android device will be similar to what they should look for in an Android TV box. However, there are a few other additional characteristics to look for as well, so make sure you are familiar with these characteristics in order to help yourself find the best Android TV box for your entertainment center.

Maximum Supported Resolution

As with any kind of digital media device that is meant to connect to your TV, knowing the maximum supported resolution will be one of the first things to look at. In this case, it is best to make sure that the maximum resolution of the Android TV box at least meets or exceeds the maximum resolution supported by your TV. Doing this will help ensure that you get the best picture quality possible from the device.

Tech Specs

The tech specs of an Android TV box are just as important as they would be for any other Android device. These specs, including the type of CPU and GPU as well as the amount of RAM and storage, will help define the total capabilities of the device. More powerful specs will usually correspond with higher performance and more compatibility with other services and apps.

Interfaces

The available interfaces that are included on any Android TV box are another important consideration, as these will dictate how you are able to connect the device to different TVs, as well as to your home WiFi network. Those who may want to add additional storage space will, of course, want to make sure that their device supports the usage of SD cards, and those who plan on connecting the device to an older non-HD television will want to make sure that the appropriate connectors are supported.

Remote

All Android TV boxes will come with some type of remote controller, which will allow you to control the device. The only thing to check here is to see if the remote includes a built-in microphone if the device supports voice control capabilities.

Android Version

Last but not least, the Android version included on any Android TV box is an important thing to be aware of. Different versions of Android will often have different capabilities which can affect the device's compatibility with different apps and streaming services. In general, you will want to make sure that whichever device you choose uses a version of Android that supports all of the apps and capabilities that you desire.

What Can You Do With an Android TV Box?

Android TV boxes are a great option for those who want to get rid of their expensive cable or satellite TV services, as nowadays almost everything you want to watch can be done through streaming along with live TV via standard broadcasting. However, such devices aren't limited to just that. What really sets an Android TV box apart from other media streaming devices such as a Roku or Apple TV box is the pure choice of options available for different types of content, ranging from games to productivity apps. What we will talk about here are some of the great things you can do with your brand new Android TV box that goes above and beyond what most other media streaming devices are capable of.

Streaming

First things first - the main use for an Android TV box is for streaming. Whether you use Netflix or Amazon or another service as your primary streaming platform, you can do this on virtually any modern device, ranging from game consoles to smart TVs. However, Android TV boxes tend to give you a wealth of other options that generally aren't available on many other similar devices. There are tons of different streaming services, both free and paid, that can be used on an Android TV box that simply aren't available for other platforms. In addition, with an Android TV box, you generally won't be stuck with having to scroll through pages of channels that you'll never use. You can customize the selection of streaming channels through downloading and installing only the apps for the streaming services you use, while ignoring the ones you don't.

Gaming

Most people wouldn't think of an Android TV box as being a good device to use for gaming purposes, but many of them actually make excellent gaming platforms. In fact, one of the devices we review here is meant specifically for gaming. Of course, not all Android TV boxes will have the same capabilities for gaming, but almost all of them are powerful enough to run many of the simpler games available. The higher-end devices, on the other hand, are powerful enough to run even high-end AAA gaming titles in great details and with high framerates. Just keep in mind that you may need to purchase a wireless gaming controller separately for the optimal gaming experience.

Screen Sharing

One of the features that is included in many of these devices is the Chromecast feature, which allows you to stream video from another device to your main television. This can be useful in both home and office environments where you need to give a presentation at the office without needing to connect your computer to a projector. Likewise, it's just as great for home purposes, when you want to share your home movies or vacation photos with family and friends without needing to drag out your laptop, or crowed everyone around the tiny screen of your phone.

Productivity

Believe it or not, you can actually use an Android TV box for productivity purposes, as almost all of these devices support the connection of a mouse and keyboard. All you have to do is download the productivity apps you need to use, which can range from simple word processing to video editing, and voila - you have your own powerful workstation on your TV! Although in many cases, these devices aren't really meant for high-end productivity tasks, most of them are still quite powerful enough to let you do some light tasks without having to jump on your computer.

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Publish Date: 2020-03-03 15:33:52