The days of the simple TV are long gone. Today, people are not satisfied even with the hundreds of TV channels and are asking for more options, such as video and music streaming, or ability to use numerous apps on their TV. For that reason, TV box devices have developed in the first place, with the best Android TV box utilities leading the pack.
Unfortunately, finding the one that will best suit your needs isn’t that easy, but this guide will hopefully help you with your decision and allow you to properly enjoy every benefit that this type of device is bringing towards you.
How to Choose the Best Android TV Box
Android TV boxes and TV boxes, in general, are sophisticated devices, with a lot of notable aspects. Nevertheless, they don’t share the same importance. That is why the choice of the best Android TV box shouldn’t be an impossible mission, even if you are not familiar with the subject.
All that is needed to make a successful buy is to read the following lines and apply the gathered knowledge once the real purchase occurs.
You will be able to use your TV box no matter what type of OS is on it. Nevertheless, be aware that newer versions of Android bring more optimized performance, such as better memory utilization. Also, certain apps won’t work with some older Android iteration; therefore, always purchase the device with a newer version and a possibility for future updates.
More ports and connecting options mean greater versatility. Yes, your TV box will work fine with just a LAN connection, but if you also have BT or Wi-Fi connectivity, or even better, both of them, you will also be able to take it for a travel with you or use it in a place where LAN cables can’t reach or are unpractical.
A similar story is also applicable to outputs and is summed into one sentence: more the better.
Certificates and licensees
Although most users don’t think about this aspect and are more focused on the quality of the hardware, the fact is that the lack of certificates and licensees can drastically limit the box performance and turn the great hardware device into an average one.
Things are not that simple considering the supported resolutions, because they involve not only the hardware limitations but also the existence of the needed decoding features. For instance, your TV Box components might be brand new and super-fast, but if the device lacks the H.265 decoding, enjoyment in 4K content will be just a dream.
For that reason, do your research and be sure that your desired resolutions and features are supported.
11 Best Android TV Boxes
NinkBox N1 Max TV Box
A Great Android TV Box for the Money
If you are after high-quality hardware with plenty of multimedia potential, NinkBox N1 Max TV Box is a great device for you. Although it has a couple of limitations, such as the lack of support for HD content on both Netflix and Amazon Prime, this device still offers plenty of possibilities to make even the most demanding users happy.
The main reason for that are its powerful components that include RK3318 Quad-Core 64bit Cortex-A53 CPU, 4GB of RAM and 64GB of eMMC memory. Also, this box is fitted with Penta-Core Mali-450 750MHz GPU and, equally important, the latest 9.0 stock Android that is another guarantee for trouble-free performance.
NinkBox N1 Max TV Box comes with a one-year warranty and offers H.265 decoding, as well as support for ATV launcher and various video, audio and subtitle file formats such as AVI, MKV, WMV, FLV, MP3, FLAC, WMA, SRT, etc. Moreover, this box provides a smooth and speedy 4K reproduction and great networking that includes dual-band Wi-Fi (2.4GHz and 5GHz one), 100Mbps Ethernet and BT4.0 connection.
This Android box comes with TF card reader, one USB3.0 and one USB2.0 port, and one HDMI port. Moreover, it is rooted (therefore, allows for numerous customizations), it offers great versatility and more importantly, it presents one of the best Android TV boxes available on the market today.
- Excellent hardware
- Stock 9.0 Android
- Dual-band Wi-Fi connectivity
- It lacks HD support for Netflix and Amazon Prime
- Not the best quality remote
TICTID R8 Pro Android 9.0 TV Box
A High Potential in a Rather Affordable Package
TICTID R8 Pro Android 9.0 TV Box is another high performing, feature-rich Android TV box with great versatility and compatibility and more importantly, fair price.
Of course, this box won’t give you every benefit of a Roku or NVIDIA Shield. However, it will deliver plenty of fun and offer great power “under the hood” that will allow you to have a trouble-free 4K experience and enjoy your favorite streaming services, such as Amazon Prime or Netflix, but unfortunately only in non-HD resolution.
TICTID R8 Pro Android 9.0 TV Box comes fitted with a powerful RK3318 quad-core CPU, 4GB of RAM and 64GB of eMMC memory. Moreover, it offers good connectivity with one USB3.0, one USB2.0 and one HDMI port and provides high-quality networking thanks to the BT4.0 connection and both Ethernet (100MBps) and dual-band (2.4GHz and 5GHz) wireless connectivity.
This Android box is equipped with numerous decoder types, including the H.265 and offers support for various file types such as MP4, FLV, MKV, WMV, DIVX, WMA, ACC, MP3, FLAC, AC3, etc. In other words, there is everything you may need and much more, as you would expect from the best cheap android TV box.
- Dual-band Wi-Fi
- Great versatility
- Quality hardware
- Poor remote
- Not the best quality control
- Not the best interface
Xiaomi Mi Box S
An Android TV Box with a Great Full HD Performance
For everyone looking for a quality product at an affordable price, Xiaomi Mi Box S presents a highly attractive option, especially if you are predominantly into 1080p content. Its performance in this department, considering both streaming and video playing, is more than satisfying. On the other hand, this cannot be said about the 4K that is supported, but it demands lower frame rates (24-30fps) to be usable.
Xiaomi Mi Box S comes with an Android 8.1 Oreo, Amlogic S905X chipset, quad-core ARM Cortex-A53 CPU, 2GB of RAM and 8GB of storage. Also, it offers a full Google Play Store and Google Cast support and comes with a super reliable Wi-Fi connection that successfully compensates for the lack of LAN connectivity.
Many users will be glad to know that this box also comes equipped with a voice remote that supports the Google Assistant and allows you to make voice commands, which presents a nice addition to its a bit Spartan nature. Xiaomi Mi Box S certainly isn’t the best Android TV box you can find, but for this price, it is definitely among the more attractive ones.
- Great 1080p performance
- Built-in Google Assistant
- Varying 4K performance
Pendoo X10 MAX
A Lookalike that Still Delivers Something Extra
There are a lot of lookalike Android TV box units on the market right now. They are boxes with almost the same hardware and capabilities and only minor differences mostly presented through design variations. One of such devices is Pendoo X10 MAX that, although pretty similar to a dozen differently branded TV boxes, still offers a bit more than them.
This Android TV box comes with an Amlogic Cortex-A53 CPU, 4GB of DDR3 and offers decent 64GB of eMMC storage. If that isn’t enough space for you, there are also two USB ports (one USB2.0 and one USB3.0) for connection of external HDDs, and a microSD card reader that accepts cards with a capacity of up to 128GB.
Moreover, this TV box is equipped with a mobile version of Android 9.0 and has solid connectivity that is presented through BT3.0 connection and both 100Mbps LAN and dual-band WI-FI (2.4GHz and 5GHz).
Pendoo X10 MAX is fitted with ARM Mali G31 GPU and offers support for 4K resolution and HDR10 and various streaming services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime, although only in SD resolution. Also, this device allows for Dolby Vision and DTS Audio and is both Kodi and Miracast-ready.
All in all, plenty of features and more than good specifications, as you would expect from one of the best Android TV boxes available.
- Fast performance
- Good connectivity
- Netflix and similar services are supported only in SD resolution
MINIX NEO U9-H + MINIX NEO A3
A High-Quality Android TV Box that Delivers a Premium Home Theater Experience
If you are looking for great user experience and the best Android TV box for Kodi on the market, you should pay closer attention to the MINIX NEO U9-H box, which, along with its MINIX NEO A3 remote, makes a one of a kind duo that will deliver hours and hours of pure fun. On the other hand, this device is pretty expensive, but as already mentioned, great performance usually means a higher price tag.
This Android box comes with Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow, octa-core ARM Cortex-A53 CPU, Mali-820 GPU, 2GB of DDR3 RAM and 16GB of storage capacity. Along with that, there are also numerous outputs (one HDMI, three USB2.0 ports, one 3.5mm jack, etc.), dual-band Wi-Fi, LAN and support for hotspot sharing, which sums this device’s exceptional versatility.
Although this box set supports both 4K and HDR10 content, its Netflix, Amazon Prime, and similar-type services streaming is limited to only a full HD resolution, which is great but still can be somewhat disappointing if you own a 4K TV and want to enjoy in each of its benefits fully. Considering Kodi, its performance is superb and with very short video loading and buffering times, which is expected these days.
MINIX NEO U9-H is solidly built and comes supplied with a highly intuitive Metro interface and the “air mouse” that is basically a wireless gyroscopic mouse, which allows for easy controlling of the on-screen pointer and also offers a handy keyboard on its back.
All in all, if you want quality, you need to pay for it, and this box certainly delivers that.
- Intuitive METRO interface
- “Air mouse”
- Great 1080p performance
- No 4K support in Netflix and Amazon Prime streaming
A Cheap Android Box that Lacks a Little Bit of Compatibility to Be Great
There is a whole bunch of devices that come with superb specifications and performance, but fail to deliver that same type of experience to the user, because of issues such as a lack of compatibility. That is the main reason why YAGALA T95Q isn’t an exceptional device, but just a good one.
Its hardware involves quad-core ARM Cortex-A53 CPU, ARM DvalinMP2 GPU, 64GB of eMMC Flash memory and 4GB of DDR4 RAM, along with the Amlogic S905X2 chipset, dual-band Wi-Fi and the Bluetooth4.1.
Thanks to its great hardware, followed by the VP9 and H.265 decoding, this device delivers supreme 4K experience, transforming fiction into reality. Unfortunately, due to the lack of compatibility (absence of the needed certificates), Amazon Prime, Netflix, and similar-type platforms are “doomed” to 480p streaming, which spoils the overwhelmingly positive impression about this device.
YAGALA T95Q, in general, provides smooth and steady performance and comes with a modified Kodi preinstalled, but also has limitations considering software because, for instance, it doesn’t allow the installation of a different launcher.
Overall, this is a good Android TV box, but it could have easily been one of the best Android TV boxes on the market, with just a little bit more investment.
- No lagging performance
- Dual-band Wi-Fi
- True 4K Media Player
- Amazon Prime and Netflix are available only in 480p resolution
VANKYO MatrixBox X95A
A Cheap, yet Efficient Android TV Box
If you are looking for an affordable Android Box TV solution that will give you enough power to run even the 4K content, VANKYO MatrixBox X95A is a great choice for you.
Still, since this is a device with only 2GB of RAM, be aware that 4K isn’t really its thing and that it can play it, but you will have some slowed loading times and its general performance will be a bit sluggish. In other words, this is a device more dedicated to Full HD streaming or watching, with only occasional inclusion of 4K materials.
VANKYO MatrixBox X95A is fitted with Amlogic S905W Quad Core Cortex A53 2.0GHz CPU, Penta-Core Mali-450MP GPU and provides only a modest eMMC storage space of 16GB. Nevertheless, there is a TF card reader that accepts cards with capacity at up to 128GB, as well as two USB2.0 ports and a single HDMI port that seriously enhances its overall potential.
X95A comes with Android 7.1 OS and preinstalled Kodi, Netflix and similar services; however, it doesn’t support their HD streaming. Moreover, this box offers decent connectivity with BT4.2 connection, single-band 2.4GHz wireless connection and 100Mbps Ethernet and provides support for HDR 10+ and wide range of formats such as AVI, MKV, WMV, FLV, MP3, FLAC, WMA, etc.
All in all, if you are looking for the best cheap android TV, this is pretty much it.
- Good versatility
- A bit sluggish
- Poor quality remote
- Only 16GB of storage space
MECOOL KM9 PRO
A Nice Android TV Box with Minor Issues that Can Be Handled
If you are a fan of the latest hardware and the top performance, MECOOL KM9 PRO is the right utility for you. Amlogic S905X2 chipset, Quad-core ARM Cortex-A53 CPU, Mali-G31MP2 GPU, 4GB of DDR4 RAM and 32GB of eMMC Flash, are just a part of this device’s great hardware that also incorporates exceptional connectivity (Wi-Fi, LAN, and BT4.0) and fully certified Android 9 TV version.
MECOOL KM9 PRO allows for smooth playback of 4K materials with a nice 60fps speed and offers a great Kodi support, which is why this app works flawlessly. Unfortunately, this device doesn’t officially support the Netflix app because of the ban on every MECOOL products, but luckily there is a workaround that will allow you to enjoy your favorite shows but only in standard 480p resolution.
This Android TV box comes with a 12-month warranty and altogether offers quality performance at a fair price. Yes, it has its downsides, but if you are looking for the best cheap android TV box, things can’t go much better than this.
- 4K performance
- Exceptional performance
- Netflix officially not supported
Fire TV Stick 4K
An Affordable, but Highly Efficient TV Box Utility that Will Bring a Smile to Your Face
Being cheap, but high performing and versatile, has always been a goal for thousands of devices, and only a few of them managed that. Fire TV Stick 4K may not fully comply with these goals, but still, is it probably pretty close to that state.
It is affordable, compact, offers great support for numerous streaming services such as Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, Pluto TV, and many others, and more importantly, it supports their 4K iterations and allows for full enjoyment in the Ultra HD material. Unfortunately, Netflix 4K demands a special subscription, and since it isn’t an Android device, Google services and store aren’t supported.
Fire TV Stick 4K comes with a 1.7 GHz quad-core CPU, 1,5GB of RAM and 8GB of internal storage, which is pretty modest for today’s standards, but still, that doesn’t prevent this device’s flawless Ultra HD media playback and streaming, followed by HDR, HDR10+ and Dolby Vision support.
On top of that, this utility comes with a super-reliable Wi-Fi connection and Dolby Atmos, 7.1 surround sound and many other audio options support, along with a great Voice assistant – Alexa, that will bring a huge change in your observation of the Smart TVs.
Altogether, Fire TV Stick 4K brings a positive vibe in almost every important aspect and certainly presents a great deal and one of the best TV utilities out there. It can even be compared with the best Android TV box devices that are ruling the market.
- Amazing 4K performance
- No Google and Apple support
NVIDIA SHIELD TV
The Greatness is Here
Finding the best 4K Android TV box may be a troubled journey; nevertheless, that’s only so until you stumble upon an NVIDIA Shield TV Pro box, a device that will deliver everything that you need and much more that you didn’t even know is possible.
This box basically has it all. It supports Dolby Vision HDR, Dolby Atmos and Dolby Digital Plus. Moreover, it offers great connectivity with Bluetooth 5.0 connection and both Gigabit Ethernet and Dual-band Wi-Fi. Also, it supports 4K HDR streaming of Netflix, YouTube and Hulu, it supports Amazon Music and Spotify and it allows full control over the voice services such as Alexa, or Amazon Echo.
NVIDIA Shield TV Pro is fitted with Tegra X1+ chip and 3GB of RAM; however, it offers rather limited storage space with its 16GB of eMMC. On the other hand, this TV box has one HDMI port and two USB3.0 ports for additional storage, and more importantly, has a built-in Chromecast 4K.
Moreover, NVIDIA Shield TV Pro comes with a handy AI image upscale that will do miracles with your non-4K content and allow you to experience it in the best possible way.
With this device, you will never need another digital converter box, cable TV or any other similar type of utility. Overall, NVIDIA Shield TV Pro is one hell of a device and a TV box that will be the perfect addition and the center point of your entire household multimedia.
- Excellent performance
- Built-in Chromecast
- It doesn’t come with the controller
A Device that Still Has an Edge
Newest Roku Ultra is another high performing TV box from well-established Roku Company. Although pretty similar to its predecessor, new Ultra iteration delivers many improvements and makes already great performance even better. However, if you own the last year’s Ultra edition, this new model won’t bring that much upgrade to justify its purchase. Still, if you own some other TV box, Roku’s model will surely deliver a completely new multimedia experience into your life.
Roku Ultra offers support for DTS, Dolby Audio and Dolby Atmos, it has a voice remote and is compatible with Alexa and Google Assistant, and more importantly, it comes with an HLG and HDR10 support. Moreover, this box allows you to watch Apple TV+, Netflix, Disney +, Hulu, HBO and many other streaming services in Ultra HD and help you encounter the 4K adventure in the most attractive way.
This TV box is equipped with one USB and an HDMI port; it has a MicroSD card reader and offers both 100Mbps Ethernet connection and very solid dual-band MU-MIMO wireless.
Roku Ultra delivers slightly faster performance than its predecessors and in general presents a great all-around multimedia device. In other words, if you want the best 4K Android TV box, this one should definitely be among your priorities.
- Great performance
- MU-MIMO dual-band wireless
- Full Netflix, HBO, Hulu support
- No Dolby Vision HDR support
- A bit pricey
Finding a quality product is never simple and it usually demands a lot of research and involvement. Nevertheless, this guide should make everything much easier and hopefully help you decide what device to buy, or at least clear some of your doubts. In any case, good luck with the purchase!