There was a time when having Netflix for your TV was all the rage. Now everyone’s looking for the best Android TV box in the market so that they can watch tons of content on a Kodi Box. It is true that Android TV set works like any other TV box. Yet, Android does have superiority due to the services they provide.
There are hoards of choices when you go out to buy a Kodi TV Box (or a smart TV Box for that matter). This is where we come in. With the entire gang, we perform TV box reviews on all that is being offered on sale and bring you a concise list.
In the outcome of our hardships, you will get the best buyer’s guide pointers and an honest to god purchasable list of Android TV choices.
Best Android TV Box Reviews
So what exactly is it you should focus on while buying the best Android box? If you are a fresher, get expert opinion from a box set TV reviews professional like us! We will be considering 4K Kodi.tv capabilities as well as the range of options provided.
A lot of our time was also spent sifting through piles of specifications for each product. Whether it was a Raspberry Pi Kodi connection or the Amazon Fire Stick, we tries them all. There are many features that should be considered. For instance, audio, Android version, OTA updates, HDMI, USB, Ethernet or WiFi and so on.
Fret not, we are with you on this!
NVIDIA Shield TV
Premium Quality, Features and Price
Clearly there is no comparison between other TV box reviews we have made and the Nvidia Shield TV. Only Amazon Fire came close but that was it. Not only do you have 4K streaming and latest Kodi version compatibility, you also have high end features like OTA updates, and OTA TV recording. To top it off, this beauty is optimized for gaming.
Most Affordable 4K
MXQ Android Box
4K, Nougat, Cheap
If you just want the most out of a small budget, this relatively new product will suit you. With Android Nougat 7.0 powering its 4K streaming, the MXQ packs a punch. Despite not having a custom made OS, it performed fairly well in all our tests.
If you are ditching the more streamlined makers of Android TV gadgets, we would suggest you give a shot to Seguro Trongle X4. A quite cheap solution if you still care for a 4K Kodi TV Box.
Our testers believe that the Trongle X4 is possibly the best Android TV Box on a budget. True, it has a few areas that need some tidying up, but for a low price you get most of the job done. Its a fair deal.
Not only is it one of the smallest TV boxes you will find, it also has built-in WiFi functionality. Yet, that is one area that the Seguro Trongle X4 lacks in. On a few occasions we had trouble using the 5GHz network so had to make do with the 2.4GHz.
On similar fronts, we faced some trouble with the buffering performance over the WiFi. It as rectified pretty quick through an Ethernet connection though.
Other than that, it packs a 2GHz quad-core Amlogic S905X processor and supports 4K HDR. There is an Android 6.0 version and the Kodi app installation is pretty easy with the Google Play Store. Same is the case with usage as the interface is pretty nice. The trouble is navigating with the remote control though.
You could work around those flaws if you wanted to get friendlier with your wallet, couldn’t you?
- Great Value for Money
- 4K HDR
- Compact Size
- WiFi Needs Improvement
- Remote Navigation is Tiring
When Nvidia jumped into the content streaming and TV box world we knew they were bound to change the rules of the game. With their solid history in hardware of producing impressive power, their Android box was going to get hit. It was, and it still is! The new version of the Nvidia Shield TV came out last year and is possibly the best Android TV box out there right now.
This version runs the Android TV on OS 6.0, which is old now for smartphones but fine for a TV box. The processor, yet, is a powerhouse Tegra X1 with 1.9GHz quad-core. Thanks to all that, the Nvidia Shield TV manages to pull of 4K HDR in full glory.
So, if you want Kodi streaming, this should be your go-to device.
Installation is the easy part for this Android box, but it is the price to pay that is hard to swallow. The only problem area with the Shield TV is that it is one of the more expensive solutions out there. That should be your problem only if budget over quality is your concern.
It has Google Play (easy access to the latest Kodi version), GeForce Now, an easy to use interface, worthy 4K and 1080p streaming. The WiFi use was also flawless but you can also plug in an Ethernet cable.
- 4K and HDR
- Impressive Kodi Box Performance
- Game Streaming
- OTA TV Recording Functionality
- Non-Android Apps Need Sideloading
Even if Nvidia is pushing major goals with the Shield TV, Skystream Two is a strong contender for the best Android TV Box you can buy this year. Why is that? Because specs! To be honest, on paper this packed a lot more punch than most at least in the same price range.
You are talking about great Netflix and Kodi on Android thanks to the Amlogic S912 octa-core CPU. Similarly, they have increased the internal storage to a good 32 GB over the previous model’s 16 GB. There’s also a memory boost from 2 to 3 GB alongside DDR4 version.
Most of the specifications up there are better than what you’d usually get while buying a device for XMBC, now known as Kodi streaming. With Google Voice Search integration and Google Assistant, the interface was easy.
Better than Nvidia, it had an Android 7.1, HDMI 2.0, Ethernet and OTA updates.
You have got to love the specifications as well as the features on this one. Yet, it would have fared better had there been USB 3.0 functionality, I mean the best Android TV box should have it. Not to mention the fact that price of the Skystream Two was higher than the Skystream One.
- Great Specifications
- Good Value
- Stand Out Performance
- Pricier than Last Model
- No USB 3.0
Another major name alongside the Shield is the relatively cheaper Amazon Fire TV (we are going to discuss the Amazon Fire TV Stick separately). While quality wise they are both at the same level, the best Android TV box needs to be within the range of purchase too. On that front, Fire TV takes the lead.
It is nearly one third the price of the Nvidia Shield TV, but that comes at the cost of a number of changes in the specifications. For instance, there’s only 2 GB of RAM and 8 GB of storage capacity. Moreover, the processor Amazon went with is a quad core; an Amlogic 1.5 GHz ARM Cortex-A53 CPU.
Another sweet bit, all of us loved the Dolby Atmos support.
It is true that with this Android TV solution, you have take some extra measures before you can run KodiTV on it. However, once you are done it runs smooth and crisp. That being said, we think it is about time that the remote gets a design revamp.
In the end, our testers believe all that is minor trouble and that the way 4K HDR streaming is handled brilliantly makes up for all this. Talking about the best Android TV box, most of our money is here!
- Specifications Are Great
- 4K HDR Plays Well
- Great Value For Money
- Dolby Atmos Adds More Value
- Setting Up Kodi Streaming Takes Time
- Needs Better Remote Quality
Want to be involved with the cool that is building your rigs but you’re not there yet? Raspberry Pi 3 has made life a lot easier for those venturing into such projects like having the best Android TV box in your home. The reason? There are many, but for starters, customization!
So in order to build the best Kodi box, you’ll first need to pick the OSMC over the LibreELEC and make use of the 1.2GHz quad-core ARM Cortex-A53 to play good quality 1080p content. It has an HDMI output and naturally you won’t be able to upscale to 4K. If you tried to play some 4K video it also cannot be downgraded.
Nonetheless, the Raspberry Pi 3 can perform well if you overcome the WiFi strength issue by using an Ethernet cable. We used the Kodi TV with the smartphone app because that’s the easiest way.
With a fast microSD card plugged in, the Android TV box will take much less time to load and put you on the go quickly.
It doesn’t come with a remote controller and it also doesn’t pack a case for the machine. Naturally, you’ll have to spend extra on these. So why is it still here on the list for the best Android TV box? Because it is very cheap and offers upgrades through customization!
- Quite Cheap
- Offers Customization
- No Case
- No Remote
- No 4K
During the TV box reviews we even came across some new names that surprisingly performed well. For instance the MXQ Android Box is a lesser known model from the company which boasts of 4K quality and great usability.
It is a small piece of hardware, one of the most compact sizes to be honest. Despite that, it fashions an Amlogic S905 Quad-Core Cortex-A53 at 2.0GHz GPU and runs Android 7.1. This wasn’t a problem although the internal memory is 1 GB RAM and 8 GB storage.
What perches it up here to be considered for the best Android TV box on a budget is 4K streaming. You can easily hit up Kodi movies and all those Kodi streaming channels right here. Now it might not be the best for Kodi, but the better options we had were also the more expensive ones. The MXQ it is one of the cheaper TV streaming devices.
One last downside is that the Android 7.1 being used on the MXQ Android Box is an optimized version of the Android for mobile. Naturlly it would have been better if it was a tailor made version. However, in the time that we had with the Android streaming device, it didn’t cause too much problems if we didn’t strain it too much. You’ve got to understand what you paid for, right?
- Most Inexpensive
- 4K Streaming
- Runs Android Nougat
- Android Isn’t Made For the Product
- Relatively New Product with Less History
Similarly, if you are more into gaming you should keep a check on how compatible a certain a certain Android TV box is with the games you want to play.
It is these updates to the operating system that will give you greater compatibility with services to come. The most recent Android OS we have seen in our tests was the Android 7.0 Nougat.
The Raspberry Pi Kodi solution we discussed above is one example, you could do the same with Asus VivoMini. However, we do not suggest everyone to try this as building your own system requires a lot of work and a certain quality of hardware.
If you still decide to go ahead though, you could do so by purchasing the parts including some special components like a Display Port so that you can run Ultra HD and 4K freely using an HDMI 2.0 port. Needless to say, you need a dedicated graphics card as well.
Kodi TV is basically the new name of the XBMC, technically a software which is open source and used for media playing services. It has a number of versions suited for different types of devices and works on them like a TV streaming service with channels. You can use it like a regular TV through a remote controller too. In these days, even the best Android TV box will ensure that Kodi for Android runs well on it.
Why can’t I just buy any Android TV box and start using it? Is there different content?
As far as Kodi TV functionality is concerned it doesn’t matter which device you buy as long as it has the specs to run the Kodi streaming. The problem is other subscription based services like Netflix and Amazon. These services not only charge for the content they also limit devices you can use to watch their content. Even the best Android TV box could be rendered useless for a regular Netflix user if the TV box doesn’t offer Netflix services. Thanks to DRM.