Roku, Fire TV, and Western Digital TV devices are more popular than ever. What is a TV box, exactly? What exactly does it do? What’s more, why should you get one?
A TV box is a small electronic gadget that plugs into your television and converts it into a Smart TV. While most TVs these days have smart technology built in, a TV box may increase your television’s capabilities, transforming it into a less powerful version of your computer or a larger version of your smartphone.
You can download apps, watch local TV channels, and connect to streaming apps like Hulu and Netflix from your TV box. Depending on where you reside, you might be able to connect to premium cable channels for free, especially if your TV box runs the KODI software.
Although many of the TV boxes we’ll look at in this article are Android TV boxes, we’ll also take a look at Roku and Fire TV.
While all of these TV boxes use comparable technology, their operating systems and, as a result, their user interfaces differ. For example, Apple TV uses the iOS mobile operating system, whereas Fire TV uses Amazon’s operating system and connects you to Alexa right away.
10 Best External Android Smart TV- Reviews In 2021
There are a variety of options for streaming movies and shows to your television. Getting your hands on an Android TV box — a streaming device that runs on a specialized version of Google’s Android OS developed for standalone set-top boxes and TV sets — is one of the better possibilities.
Okay, so you’ve decided you want a TV box to stream content to your big screen, and you’ve decided Android is the ideal operating system for you. All that’s left is to pick the best Android TV box. Isn’t it simple?
When you start looking, you’ll notice that there are practically hundreds of different Android TV boxes to choose from, each with somewhat different features. So, how can you figure out which Android TV box is right for you?
To get you started, I’ve put together a list of 25 of the top Android TV boxes available. So you can choose not only the best Android TV box, but also the best TV box for what you want to do with it, I’ve mentioned which one is ideal for which form of streaming.
Unlike the massively popular Chromecast, Google has tried and failed (again) with its own Android TV products, but happily, other firms have stepped in to fill the hole.
Here are the best Android TV boxes you can buy, whether you want to use it as a Kodi box, a platform for simulating classic games, or just an all-around media streaming hub.
Android TV Box
Our editor’s pick suggestions are based on a number of things. Brand recognition, adaptability, technical specs, performance, and overall value are all factors we examine. We recommend the Evanpo T95Z Android TV Box, despite the fact that it isn’t the most advanced model on the market. It has superb hardware and performance but is far less expensive than the most powerful variants.
Android TV Box 10.0 4GB RAM
Pendoo’s T95 TV Box, which is brand new for 2020, takes advantage of Android 10.0 OS. The combination of outstanding interoperability with games, apps, and software, as well as user-friendliness, ensures that this TV box will win a lot of fans.
What we like: Pendoo has done an excellent job of addressing some of the flaws that plagued previous models – buffering and freezing issues are a thing of the past.
The picture quality is greatly improved with this 10.0 Android TV box, which supports both 4K and 6K Ultra HD resolution. You’ll notice plenty of gorgeous details and deeper colors than ever before whether you’re gaming, watching a movie, or cheering on your favorite team.
This model, like many others on our list of the best Android TV boxes, has easy plug-and-play capabilities, allowing you to jump right into your next binge-watching session. The remote control includes a button that directs you to apps, and setup is a breeze.
What’s missing: While Kodi aficionados will welcome the fact that this box comes pre-installed with the newest version of Kodi (v18.5), there are no pre-installed add-ons. Pendoo isn’t to blame for this; they’re only obeying the rules.
If Bluetooth compatibility is a must-have for you, we’re sorry to say that this gadget lacks it, which means it’s probably not the correct TV box for you.
Last but not least, if you choose this model, make sure you have sufficient AAA batteries on hand. Before you begin, you’ll need to insert two of them into the remote. On a more positive side, an HDMI cable is included.
Android TV Box 11.0,4GB RAM 32GB ROM RK3318 Quad
When I read that this Turewell TV box was available for less than $30, I was hesitant, but it truly gives a lot of bang for your dollars.
It boasts a strong quad-core processor, runs Android 10.0, and includes air-mouse control, which is quite useful in the absence of voice commands.
But don’t anticipate any bells and whistles. There’s no voice control, no smart home connection, and no Dolby Digital audio. It also has a relatively low capacity for operation. While this should enough if all you want to do is stream, if you try to do anything more difficult, you may become frustrated with the wait times.
However, if you’re seeking for the most cost-effective way to Smartify your house, this is a terrific option. It’s a particularly attractive investment if you don’t already own a 4K TV and don’t mind not being able to watch Netflix in 4K.
Android TV Box 11.0 4GB 64GB Smart TV Box
The Yagala is another wonderful budget TV box that delivers fantastic 4K picture quality for less than $70.
It contains an Amlogic quad-core processor, Android 9.0 operating system, and a Gigabit Ethernet interface, all of which handle 4K video at 60 frames per second.
What are you missing out on as a result of the low price? There is no voice control or smart home connection, no Dolby Digital Audio, and no Netflix or Amazon Prime Video access with this box.
However, the 32 GB of ROM storage will come in in if you want to watch your own 4K library.
Android TV Box 10.0, T95 Super Android TV Box
This Tanggula choice is arguably the best on the market if you’re searching for a “fully loaded” box that includes access to high-quality material.
With a quad-core processor, Android 9.0 operating system, 4 GB of ROM, and 128 GB of RAM, the box is capable of producing not only 4K but complete 8K image quality. It lacks voice command and smart integrations, but it does come with a pretty handy air-mouse.
But access to 4,000 TV channels, including more than 2,000 local and national U.S. channels, 800 UK channels, 400 Canadian channels, and many more, is what most consumers are seeking for when purchasing this box. While this may appear to be a lot to traverse, it is actually rather simple, and you can save your favorite stations.
However, it is not quite accurate to suggest that you get free access to these channels when you purchase the box. The box costs around $300 and comes with a year of access to all Tanggula content. Following that, you must pay $79 every year to keep access to the content.
Tanggula is one of the few firms still selling this type of IPTV service, and it’s still a lot cheaper than a live TV streaming subscription.
Android TV Box, Diyomate 4K Android Smart TV Box
The SkyStream Pro 8K, which will be available in 2020, is the most recent addition to the SkyStream line. It also supports up to 8K streaming, as stated on the box.
Of course, in order to stream 8K, you’ll need an 8K TV and 8K material worth streaming, the latter of which, at the very least, isn’t typical. However, this demonstrates how outstanding the visual quality on this box is. It isn’t the only reason the SkyStream Pro 8K is at the top of our list.
With a lightning-fast 64-bit quad-core that offers 8K streaming with Dolby Digital sound, the SkyStream Pro is at the very top of the industry in terms of hardware.
However, this is SkyStream’s first device to run Android 9.0 Pie, which is the Android operating system designed exclusively for TV boxes. Because it performs better and is less buggy than ever before.
This machine is likewise designed to be simple to operate. It’s essentially just a case of plugging and playing. Simply plug it in, connect to Wi-Fi, and log in to your Google account, and you’re ready to go. All of the top streaming apps, including the most recent version of Kodi, have already been downloaded. Everything else may be found on the Google PlayStore or through APK Pure.
It includes everything, including the HDMI cord and even the remote’s batteries. And this remote is far superior to the old one. Because it is now a native remote, it syncs and operates effortlessly. It also includes Google voice control and an air-mouse as standard features.
If you do need assistance, there is a great Facebook community where you can get answers to all of your problems, and the support crew is situated in the United States and provides prompt, high-quality service.
The box also has the Widevine certification, which is required to access Netflix, Amazon Prime, YouTube, and other high-definition services. However, we’re unhappy to report that, at least for now, the SkyStream Pro does not appear on Netflix’s list of devices that can access 4K material.
What to love: This media streaming box is so strong that it provides unrivaled picture and sound quality. But we also appreciate how simple it is to use. It’s truly plug-and-play, and if you need assistance, their outstanding support service is based in the United States. We really like the new native remote that comes with this box, which has not only Google Voice but also an air-mouse.
What’s missing: This device’s biggest flaw is that it doesn’t let you watch 4K material on Netflix or Amazon Prime Video. This isn’t due to a lack of capability on the box’s part, but rather to a political decision because it isn’t on the list of allowed devices. Fingers crossed that they will be able to remedy this issue shortly.
Android Tv Box 10.0 4GB 64GB with Dual WiFi
If you’re looking for a TV box that also doubles as an Alexa speaker for adding items to your shopping list and controlling all of your smart devices with voice commands, the Fire Cube is the way to go.
It’s a high-resolution 4K media streamer that also doubles as an Alexa speaker. Without lifting a finger, you may dim the lights, check the weather, and find your favorite TV shows. You may use the Amazon control that comes with the Cube as well. Naturally, with all of these Amazon delights, the home screen and navigation will be heavily oriented toward Amazon content.
The Cube provides great 4K Ultra HD streaming with no delays, using Dolby Vision and HDR10+. Unlike the 4K Fire Stick, it includes an ethernet connector, ensuring that you get the most bandwidth and that your Cube processes rapidly thanks to the hexa-core processor.
It also offers some of the greatest 4K SDR playback available on any device. Plus, with its own native act, it does YouTube better than most streaming boxes. While this may appear insignificant, it represents a significant advancement because YouTube was previously unavailable on Fire products.
The Cube only contains 16 GB of internal storage, rather than the 32 GB seen on some devices, but this will suffice for the majority of users. Despite the cube’s large size, it also lacks a MicroSD slot.
The Cube’s $100 price tag isn’t awful considering it’s also an Alexa speaker. However, it weirdly does not include an HDMI cable, so keep that in mind. You won’t find a better option than the Cube if you want a streaming box and a smart speaker in one.
What we like: We appreciate that this is a full-fledged Alexa speaker, which means you get two pieces of incredible technology in one. We’re especially impressed by the 4K playback’s lightning-fast speeds and high quality.
What’s missing: There isn’t enough storage on this computer, and there isn’t a MicroSD card port for easy expansion. Furthermore, as you’d expect from an Amazon player, the launcher is always biased toward Amazon products.
Android Decoding Android Box with IR Remote Control
While you’d never buy a new Android phone that didn’t have the most up-to-date operating system, the same cannot be said for TV boxes. Because they don’t have to accomplish as many tasks, they can typically run on older versions of the operating system.
Because Android 9.0 was expressly created with Android TV in mind, it is a very stable operating system that is still used by many of the boxes on the market today. However, there are a few boxes that are already running 10.0, and this Transpeed option is one of them.
It includes a strong quad-core CPU, 4 GB of RAM, 64 GB of ROM, USB 3.0, Dual Wi-Fi, and all the newest decoding software for less than $70.
Voice command, smart home connection, and Dolby Digital Sound delivery are not included, however this is true for the majority of the boxes on our list.
To compensate for the lack of voice command, it includes a mini-keyboard, which comes in handy when searching for long phrases.
Android TV Box 10.0 4GB RAM 32GB ROM
If you’re searching for a cheap box that can stream 4K but doesn’t come with all the bells and whistles that drive up the price, this Magicsee box might be just what you’re looking for.
You can acquire a great CPU running Android 9.0 for less than $50 that can produce 4K at 60 frames per second. However, unlocking Netflix in 4K is not permitted, so you’ll have to make do with HD.
It also has a large 32 GB hard drive and a lot of the latest technology, such as USB 3.0 and dual Wi-Fi.
Anyone expecting voice control and smart home connection would be disappointed, but it does give a lot for the price.
MXQ Pro 5G Android 10.1 TV Box
As you scroll through this list, you’ll notice that the biggest disadvantage of many Android TV boxes is that they aren’t approved to access Netflix and Amazon Prime Video in 4K.
All of the boxes on this list are capable of delivering 4K streaming, but the streaming services must give the boxes permission to access their material. They’ve only authorized boxes from large names like Sony, Samsung, and NVIDIA thus far. The list excludes more cheap boxes from lesser-known brands.
This implies that, in most circumstances, if you want to watch video from your favorite streaming services in full 4K, you’ll need a somewhat pricey Android TV box… Alternatively, you’ll require an Amazon Fire Stick.
This small stick will set you back less than $50, while the combo with the Gigabit ethernet connection adaptor will set you back only $70. Given that it includes the Alexa remote, which costs $30 if purchased separately, and the stick interfaces with your Alexa smart home system, it’s a really decent price.
Despite being the greatest value way for streaming in 4K, there is a valid reason why many people shun the Fire Stick.
It’s because it runs Amazon’s Fire operating system, which is locked down, rather than a conventional Android operating system. You can’t download from the Google PlayStore; instead, you can only download through the Amazon store, which has a considerably smaller selection of apps.
Furthermore, Amazon results will always appear first while searching on Fire TV. They’ll even prioritize Amazon’s premium content over content you already have access to through other apps.
Also, the stick is just built for streaming and isn’t powerful enough to support more complex activities like gaming.
There isn’t a better affordable alternative if all you want to do is watch Netflix in 4K.
MECOOL KM2 Android TV Box
Even with Google TV, the Chromecast is still a Chromecast. With the Chromecast dongle hooked in, you can still broadcast movies, YouTube videos, and music directly to your TV from your phone or computer. However, casting has evolved from a feature that required a separate product to one that is now included in many of Google’s devices. In the shape of Android TV, Google previously provided a legitimate content streaming experience, but it hardly existed in the market due to its lack of dedicated hardware.
To address this issue, Google has completely redesigned the Chromecast. Instead of just being a target for content to be cast to, Google has put Android TV onto the Chromecast, giving it both casting and a full-featured video streaming experience. And, in order to make Android TV better and more accessible, Google created a Google TV-specific user interface.
One of the best Android TV boxes on the market is the Chromecast with Google TV. There are now only a few feasible options, and our former favorite, the Nvidia Shield TV, is significantly more expensive.
Things to Consider
When purchasing an Android TV box, it’s important to pay attention to the technical parameters. There are numerous aspects to consider, and there is no such thing as a “perfect” TV box that offers everything you desire. You may make a better purchase for your house and family by familiarizing yourself with some of the more crucial features in an Android TV box.
Operating System (OS)
TV boxes, like all modern devices, run on their own operating system. However, the OS is much more than just a pretty face and a bunch of programs. The OS has an impact on your TV Box’s optimization and performance, such as memory usage and OpenGL support.
Any smart hubs you have in your home are likewise affected by the operating system of your TV box. Because not all smart gadgets are compatible, double-check that your TV box is compatible with the rest of your smart equipment. You’ll get the finest performance from a Fire TV if you use Amazon Alexa. For compatibility, you’ll need an Apple TV if your home is connected via Apple technology.
A TV box will work regardless of which operating system you choose, but for better performance, make sure you choose one with the most recent version of the OS. If you have a smart home, having your TV box run on the same operating system as your smart hub will give you more synergy.
Audio passthrough is a function that allows the sound of a video file – such as a Blu-ray ripped to PC – to “pass through” the TV box and onto a home theater receiver that is better suited to decode and translate compressed sound files.
In other words, audio passthrough is a feature that improves the sound quality of your movies, TV shows, and even music. While audio passthrough isn’t available on all TV boxes, it’s a common feature in KODI due to its adaptability, and some TV boxes even include 5.1 audio passthrough. This feature isn’t required for everyone, but it’s something to be aware of.
Switching Refresh Rates Dynamically
Another technical phrase you may or may not be familiar with is Dynamic Refresh Rate. The dynamic refresh rate of your TV or computer relates to how quickly it processes and projects what you’re watching. The best refresh rate is 60Hz, because the human eye can no longer detect blinking or how quickly the computer redraws the visuals at that pace.
Unfortunately, not all videos are encoded at 60Hz, so watching a movie at 30Hz on 60Hz settings won’t look particularly good. The TV Box can automatically adjust for the difference in frame rate by syncing the lower frame rate of your movie with the greater frame rate of your TV for improved visual appeal.
However, in order for this functionality to work, you must have dynamic refresh rate switching enabled in your software (such as KODI), hardware (Android, Fire TV, etc. ), and your television. If only one of them has the feature, you’ll have to set the frame rate manually.
HDMI, USB ports, and WiFi
For the sake of economy, I’ve grouped together a number of significant ports, such as HDMI, Ethernet, and USB, into one category. Despite the fact that these ports have little in common, they are all vital to your TV box.
The HDMI port is by far the most important of these ports. If you have a 4K TV and wish to watch 60 frames per second, you’ll need HDMI 2.0. HDMI 2.0 has an 18GB/second bandwidth, compared to HDMI 1.4’s 10GB/second capacity. While an older HDMI model can process 4.0 video, a more recent HDMI will provide superior performance and quality.
A gigabit ethernet cable is also necessary. The most sophisticated Ethernet connection, Gigabit Ethernet, delivers greater data transfer for less buffering during video streaming. You should also look for USB 3.0 devices. USB 3.0 transfers data ten times quicker than USB 2.0, so you’ll want USB 3.0 if you’re streaming video files from a flash drive or portable hard drive.
KODI is to your TV box what OpenOffice or Mozilla are to office software and internet browsers. KODI is an open-source media center that serves as a hub for all your audio and visual activities, whether it’s watching YouTube, streaming music, or playing a DVD. Just as OpenOffice is a facsimile of Microsoft’s industry-leading word processing and data analysis software, and Mozilla is a welcome alternative to Chrome, Edge, or Safari, KODI is an open-source media center that serves as a hub for all your audio and visual activities, whether it’s watching YouTube, streaming music
KODI can be installed on nearly any TV box because it is open source. KODI is a multi-platform media player that works on your phone, tablet, TV, or other electronic device, even NAS. KODI, in fact, is a media center that consolidates all of your media consumption into a single, simple-to-use program. It can also be tweaked nearly indefinitely to your preferences because it is open source.
However, keep in mind that KODI does not work as effectively on Apple devices as it does on other operating systems. While you can install KODI on your Mac or PC, obtaining the software on your iPhone or iPad is more difficult. You’re not going to be able to get KODI to function on your iPhone unless you’re pretty tech-savvy.