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.
Last update on 2022-01-09 // The links above are affiliate // Images from Amazon
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
HK1 MAX Android TV Box
A Great Android TV Box For The Money
Since we’re talking about the best Android TV boxes, here comes a really cool solution for our readers, the HK1 MAX respectively, which is one of the most affordable of the bunch, yet feature rich and compatible with most TV sets out there. Interestingly enough, the HK1 MAX has been rigorously tested and it’s compatible with the latest Android 10.0 OS, to deliver a smooth experience in games, apps and anything in between.
In terms of hardware inside, the HK1 MAX features 4 GB of RAM and 64 GB of high-speed flash memory, which is enough to allow you to download your favorite movie in 4K. Speaking of UHD, the HK1 MAX supports 4K x 2K up to 60fps, while ensuring professional image processing and lightning-fast running speed via its H.265 hardware decoding, that helps save bandwidth resources as well as time and nerves.
If you’re wondering what’s under the hood, well, the HK1 MAX comes with an RK3328 Quad-Core 64bit Cortex-A53 Chipset and a Penta-Core Mali-450 GPU, which pack enough punch to run things buttery smooth.
You’ll also get USB 3.0 and Bluetooth 4.1 connectivity for transferring large files with ease, or to connect headsets and/or mini keyboards to your Android TV Box and enjoy the good life. There’s only one caveat about the HK1 MAX: this device runs on Android Tablet OS, which means it will behave like a giant tablet, and you’ll require a keyboard and a mouse to operate it properly.
Bottom line: the HK1 MAX is snappy, loads apps fast and easy, yet it’s not Netflix certified, which means it uses the smartphone app to run Netflix. On-screen navigation is not the best, the remote included in the package is very small and makes it hard to use it for playback controls, but after all’s said and done, for $50 give or take, this is as good as it gets.
- Good value for money
- Solid hardware inside
- Outstanding image quality
- Small and mighty
- Lacks Netflix certification
Powerful TV Box with NAS
Unlike the HK1 MAX, the Beelink GS-King X TV Box will cost you the equivalent of “an arm and a leg”, i.e. it’s 5x more expensive than the HK1 MAX; however, after using it for a while, you’ll understand where that extra money went.
To begin with, this Android TV Box has a NAS feature and it’s powered by an Amlogic S922X-H Hexa-core big.LITTLE processor with 4x Arm Cortex A73 cores @ up to 2.2 GHz, 2x Arm Cortex A53 cores @ 1.8 GHz and an Arm Mali-G52MP4 GPU @ 846MHz GPU. Moreover, you’ll get 4 GB of RAM, and 64GB eMMC flash storage, a micro SD card slot, plus, most importantly, 2x 3.5″ SATA HDD drive bay for up to 32TB storage in total.
In terms of video capabilities, the Beelink really is king, as it features an AVE-10 engine with 4K UHD H.265/VP9/AVS2 video decoding up to 60 fps, Dolby Vision, Advanced HDR10, HDR10+, HLG, and PRIME HDR high-dynamic range support.
What does it mean in laymen’s terms? Well, unlike other Android TV boxes, this high-end one has both NAS and Hi-Fi features, which means it would make for the ultimate home-entertainment gadget, especially if you already own 3.5’’ drives. Vendor support and OTA updates are also big pluses, and while the Beelink GS-King is far from being cheap, you should seriously consider it if you can afford the price tag.
- NAS support
- Dual OS (CoreELEC and Android)
- Easy setup features
- Stellar connectivity
- 8 GB SD card included
- Hi-Fi audio
- Aluminum housing
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 U22-XJ
Amazing TV Box Running Pure Android
Our next pick is the MINIX NEO U22-XJ, the flagship TV-Box from the MINIX brand, which, amazingly enough, arrives at a relatively affordable price. In terms of hardware, this Android 9.0 Pie running TV Box comes equipped with a Quad Core Cortex A73 + Dual Core Cortex A53 Processor (64-bit) working in tandem with a Mali-G52 MP4 GPU, has 4 GB of RAM (DDR4) and 32GB eMMC 5.1 internal storage.
So far, so good, but what does it mean? Well, the MINIX NEO is basically built for speed, and it’s designed to be the heart and soul of your home entertainment system. This tiny TV Box delivers fast, stable and smooth performance, including vivid, powerful and nuanced true 4K Ultra HD imagery, and comes packed with all the connectivity options one would ask for.
Everything’s available: 802.11ac 2 x 2 MIMO Dual-Band Wi-Fi and Gigabit Ethernet, HDMI 2.1, 3 x USB 3.0 ports and Micro SD card reader, and even a digital optic port (SPDIF) and a headphone jack for music aficionados. To make a long story short, here’s the deal: for way less than $200 you’ll get a very complete and interesting TV box, with more than enough power under the hood and compatible with most streaming apps.
The MINIX NEO U22-XJ is incredibly versatile and can be used for emulators up to 16bit, powerful games like PUBG, basically any app you can think of, including apps for IPTV or using KODI, where it can handle 4K@60fps video with zero issues. Most importantly, the MINIX NEO U22-XJ is compatible with popular streaming apps like Netflix, Disney+ (with sound), Amazon Prime Video or HBO.
All in all, if you’re looking for a complete and powerful Android TV Box, this baby comes highly recommended.
- Runs pure Android
- Stellar after-sale support
- Doesn’t overheat
- Impressive connectivity
- Plays all audio/video formats
- None really at this price
TUREWELL T95 Max Android TV Box
Affordable Roku Substitute
The TUREWELL T95 Max is one of the most affordable TV boxes out there, yet it doesn’t skimp on the essentials. Basically, if you’re on a very tight budget and you want to get the most out of your money, this is it. Cut and dried. But let’s take a closer look, shall we?
To begin with, the TUREWELL T95 Max offers good fluidity in use due to its reasonable hardware platform; more precisely, this TV box is powered by a H6 Quad-Core Cortex-A53 CPU and a Mali-T720 GPU, and runs on Android 9.0, helped by 4 GB of RAM and 32 GB of ROM (read-only memory).
Video specs are pretty impressive for the price, as this tiny gadget supports 6K ultimate HD video, 3D and obviously 4K@60 fps. The TUREWELL T95 Max can decode virtually all video formats due to its H.265 decoding and updated codecs. Internet connectivity is assured by 2.4 GHz mono band Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and Ethernet, plus you’ll get an HDMI socket and 2 USB 3.0 sockets.
The overall design of the unit is really nice, and the TUREWELL T95 Max comes with a voice-command-enabled remote control included in the retail package, which is pretty convenient.
- Ultra-fast and well built
- Exceptional value for money
- 6K H.265 Hardware Video Decode
- 6K Output
- 4K and 3D format compatible
- Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0
- Tends to overheat
Ematic AGT419 Android TV Box
Great for Netflix and Comcast
The Ematic AGT419 is the way to go if you’re looking for an affordable 4K ultra Android TV box with built-in Chromecast and Netflix. One of the main selling points of this mid-range TV box is the fact that it comes with 4,500+ paid and free channels including Netflix, Hulu, and PBS kids, as well as a remote control.
This TV box would make for the sensible choice if you’re that kind of person who puts utility above aesthetics when it comes to streaming boxes. This means, the plastic square design will not win the hearts and minds of window shoppers; however, what’s inside is pretty good for the price range.
To begin with, this Android TV Box is powered by an Amlogic S905X chipset, with 4 ARM Cortex-A5 cores clocked @1.5GHz, and an ARM Mali-450 GPU, a 5-core chip clocked @750MHz. This is nothing to write home about, really, but it’s more than enough for video streaming. On top of that, the Ematic comes with 2GB of DDR3 RAM and just 8GB of eMMC storage, and if you want more storage space, you can install an SD card or plug-in an HDD/SSD.
Connectivity is assured by 2xUSB2.0 ports, an HDMI 2.0a, a 10/100Mbps RJ45 Ethernet port, a 3.5 mm audio jack, and a SPDIF jack. Software-wise, the Ematic is powered by Google-certified Android TV 9.0, which, needless to say, works flawlessly. There’s also a 10-button remote control included in the retail box, but we’d recommend you a small media keyboard if you want to get the most out of your TV-Box.
Since we’re talking Google certified OS, Showmax, Netflix, and DStv Now works out the box, while the Play Store will give you access to other streaming services, the likes of Spotify or Twitch, plus you can sideload the apps required on the device.
Bottom line, the Ematic AGT419 is a no-nonsense Android TV box that is built to deliver a seamless streaming experience with a minimal set of features and technological bells and whistles.
- Google certified
- Smooth 4K video
- Dolby everything audio, DTS audio
- Stress-free streaming box
- Requires minimal setup
- Amazing value for money
- Not suited for gaming
Diyomate S905 Android TV Box
No-Nonsense Android TV Box
If you’re looking for a dirt-cheap Android TV box, the Diyomate S905 comes to mind. Retailing for less than $30, this tiny TV box is a deal, is a steal, is sale of the century, provided you don’t expect miracles from such an affordable gizmo. Despite its affordable price, under the hood you’ll find a more than adequate Amlogic Quad-core ARM Cortex-A53 CPU, which is ultra-fast running and offers 3D support, as well as professional graphic processing ability, and obviously 4K video resolution and H.265 hardware decoding.
Even if the Diyomate S905 runs on a dated Android version, 7.1 respectively, functionality is not impaired at all; moreover, the TV box comes preloaded with all the essential apps for your home entertainment system, including YouTube, Netflix, Facebook and Twitter, to name just a few.
Another big advantage of the Diyomate S905 is that it’s super easy to set up and navigate, especially if you own a wireless keyboard/mouse combo. Wi-Fi setup is also a breeze, even if you’re not tech-savvy; the only downside is the relatively old Android OS version, but functionality-wise, it doesn’t get any better than this, i.e. everything’s simple, very plug and play so to speak.
Moreover, you’ll also find a remote and an HDMI cable in the retail box, which means you’re all set up and ready to go as soon as you unpack it. The user interface is very similar to Roku, while navigating the menus is like a Samsung tablet/smartphone, so yeah, you’ll feel like home from day one!
- Very affordable
- Compact design
- Incredibly easy to use
- Comes loaded with useful apps
- Works great right out of the box
- Great customer service
- None really at this price
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!