What Are The Best 4K Android TV Boxes
When talking about the "best" in whatever category, the price is one of the first things that come to mind.
Most often than not, the finest of gadgets and gizmos cost a lot of money, and Android TV boxes are no exception.
If we are to choose the best set-top box, hands down, the NVIDIA Shield beats all other players. It has everything that you need. It also comes from a gaming giant known for quality stuff, always a big plus.
But don’t worry.
I’m with you on your sentiment that the Shield is out of our budget. And that’s precisely why we’ve round up a list of the best 4K Android TV Boxes.
A few of them will still cost you more than $200, but the majority are below this price-point.
Getting excited now, aren’t we? Hold your horses, my friend.
Before we go through the list, let's first look at the things that you need to look for in a streaming device. Now, I’m not saying that all of the following features are a must-have. It’s up to you to decide which ones you need and find the product that has those features.
Let's get started.
H.265 Hardware Decoding
When shopping for a set-top box, you’d usually see terms like H.265 or H.264. But what are they?
H.265 is one of the latest video codecs. Don’t worry; I’m not going to discuss the technicalities because it’s going to take us a while.
What’s essential for you to know is that your Android TV box needs to have this (H.265) in the specs sheet. Simply put, it allows better video quality with smaller file sizes, able to process outstanding 4K resolution.
Latest operating system
Operating systems - from Android, Windows, to iOS - come in different versions. Newer ones come with improvements and fixes. Their primary aim is to get rid of bugs or glitches present in earlier versions (at least that's what we hope for).
The bottom line is, you wouldn’t want your set-top box to run on an outdated operating system. Or you'll have a hard time using the device while exposing your network to security risks.
We’ve already talked about operating systems. Now let’s talk about firmware updates. These updates are necessary to improve the performance of your device further. They also help remove bugs or glitches in the system.
If you’re an Android user, you’re familiar with updating apps. Firmware updates follow the same principle, and you wouldn’t want a device whose firmware remains untouched in years.
Number of USB slots
While USB 3.0 is preferable, USB 2.0 will do just fine. This factor should only matter if you fancy of transferring content from an external drive to your Android TV box. USB 3.0 moves data a lot faster than its predecessor.
On the other hand, the number of USB slots to be more important especially if you plan on adding additional peripherals to your box.
If using the remote control provided is not doing you justice, you can add an external mouse or keyboard, which wouldn’t be possible if the USB slots are limited.
Now that I’ve tackled the important features that you need to look for in an Android TV box, you’re ready to go shopping.
This Rveal Android TV box is the most expensive model on our list - and for good reasons.
It comes equipped with an impressive processor paired with an octa-core graphics unit plus 2GB DDR3 RAM. Now that’s something you don’t get to see every day! Simply put, it will run anything you throw at it with ease. You won't regret buying one.
Two things I liked the most about this device is...
One, the excellent customer support. The Rveal team is so dedicated to ensuring that you get what you pay for, that they even made their custom streaming app.
Two, the Air Mouse remote is downright amazing. It also has a sliding QWERTY keypad on the back. Even though it runs on an old operating system, future updates will keep it up and running.
- Fantastic customer service
- Comes with a one year warranty
- Runs using an outdated OS (Android KitKat)
If you’re looking for a reliable media box that can run 4K videos with ease, then look no further than the Minix Neo X8H Plus.
Under the hood, it has a quad-core Cortex A9r4 processor and an Octo-core Mali 450 for the GPU.
And if you’re a fan of Kodi, you’d be glad to know that Minix is a top diamond sponsor for Kodi. What that means is you’ll have full support for this all-in-one streaming app.
- Fantastic GPU and design
- Supports 4K videos at 30fps
- Not a plug-and-play type of device
- Some customers claimed that it didn’t come with a remote control
The fourth iteration of Roku is almost identical to the Roku 3, except for the two significant upgrades. The first one is the 4K streaming ability, not available on the Roku 3.
The other significant upgrade is the performance. The Roku 4 is powered by a much better processor (quad-core) together with an upgraded RAM as well; as opposed to the dual-core processor on its predecessor.
With cord-cutting starting to become a norm in households, getting the Roku 4 is a good starting point.
- Remote has voice search capability
- Listen to music by plugging in your headset to the remote control
- here’s not much of an upgrade from the previous Roku 3
Compared to previous models we looked at, this streaming device runs Android 6.0 out of the box. The powerful S905x chipset ensures smooth and lag-free performance whether you’re streaming or playing games.
Another thing I liked about it is the power adapter. Only a few android TV boxes can suppress rush current efficiently. And GooBang Doo adding a magnet on its adapter for safety is more than welcome!
- Affordable price
- Runs Kodi without any complaints
- Supports true 4K playing at 60fps
- 17+1 HDMI cable
- No external antenna for improved wi-fi connectivity
- Customer service is not that great
This streaming device also sports an S905x chipset so you can run numerous apps all at the same time without suffering from lag or buffering issues. This BOMIX can also play more than 15 video and 20 audio formats for a smoother entertainment experience.
The installation will never be an issue since it’s a plug-and-play device together with an easy-to-follow instruction manual. You’d still have to configure the box to get it going. But setting up is a cinch.
- Affordable price
- Tiny and compact design
- Android 6.0 out of the box
- No external antenna
The SMALLRT X2 comes with Android 6.0, an Amlogic S905X Quad core Cortex chipset, and a Penta-core Mali-450MP GPU for maximum performance. To top it all, it comes with 1GB of 1GB DDR3 RAM and 8GB eMMC ROM.
I also liked the fact that it gives you two options for connections. If you’re not a fan of wires, you can just hook it up to your wifi. And for an even smoother viewing experience, you can use the LAN cable.
- Powerful H.265 decoding video codecs
- 4K UHD resolution
- Supports 2.4GHz wifi connection as well as ethernet
- Doesn’t have Bluetooth
If you’ve been thinking about cutting the cord, this is the best time to decide. You can save thousands of dollars every year since you’ll only have to pay once for these Android TV boxes. Best of all, it gives you the freedom to choose just the content that you want.
If I can think of any potential downsides to Android TV box, perhaps it’s finding the time to binge watch or play all the games that you love. Oh wait, that’s not a problem, right?