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
Pendoo X8 MINI
A Cheap Android TV Box Ideal for the Not-Too-Demanding Users
Pendoo X8 MINI is, before anything else, a small and affordable device. It is not packed with a ton of features, and it doesn’t provide a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Nevertheless, its performance and versatility are making it highly appealing to a large base of users.
This handy device is coming with Android Nougat 7.1.2 OS, quad-core ARM Cortex-A53 2GHz CPU, Mali-450MP GPU, 16GB of storage and the modest 2GB of RAM. Also, it comes with two USB ports, HDMI output and both LAN and a Wi-Fi connection, that unfortunately demands an upgrade.
Although its hardware isn’t among the strongest on the market, it is still good enough to allow a 4K video reproduction at around 30fps, while at 60fps things become a bit challenging. When it comes to streaming, things are nowhere near that good, since this box supports only 720p playback of YouTube, Netflix, and other similar type services, due to the restrictions of its firmware that is also a bit outdated.
Still, considering its great price and overall quality support for various utilities, Pendoo X8 MINI is among the more desired devices of this type and one of the best cheap android TV box options available.
- Poor Wi-Fi
- YouTube can be played only in 720p
DOLAMEE X3 PRO
An Affordable and Highly Usable Android TV Box
If you are a fan of simple setups that don’t demand too much involvement, such as mounting the outdoor TV antenna, DOLAMEE X3 PRO is the right device for you. Thanks to its plug and play function and great support (it supports Google Play, YouTube, Netflix, Spotify, etc.), enjoyment in your favorite content has never been easier.
Its specs are basically as Pendoo X8 MINI’s and many other TV boxes that are based on Amlogic S905 chipset and include: quad-core ARM Cortex-A53 CPU, 2GB of RAM, 16GB of ROM, Mali-450MP GPU, Wi-Fi, etc.
DOLAMEE X3 PRO comes with Android 7.1 OS and is equipped with two USB2.0 ports and one HDMI output. Also, it allows for playing and gaming in 4K and offers H.265 decoding, followed by 3D and BT4.0 support that allows easy wireless connection of speakers, keyboards and similar type devices.
All in all, this box is ideal if you have a limited budget, but still, want to enjoy most benefits of the best Android TV boxes out there. You surely won’t be disappointed.
- Decent performance
- Good connectivity
- Limited capabilities compared to more expensive models
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 Plus
A High-Performing Android TV Box at a Bargain Price
The great-performing devices are usually pretty expensive, but that rule doesn’t apply to Pendoo X10 that is packed with great hardware, and more importantly, provides an exceptional user experience. Its specifications include Android 8.1 Oreo OS, Amlogic S905X2 chipset, quad-core ARM Cortex-A53 CPU, Mali-G31 GPU, 4GB of DDR4 RAM and, depending on the model, 16GB, 32GB or 64GB of eMMc Flash storage.
Also, there are a handful of outputs that include one HDMI, one USB2.0 and one USB3.0 port, along with one AV port and great connectivity, which involves the LAN, Wi-Fi, and BT4.1. Miracast, AirPlay, and DLNA are also a part of this package, and they work perfectly with this device.
Pendoo X10 Plus also offers 3D, 4K and HDR support, and allows for H.265 decoding that guarantees a fluent, high definition content playing. Unfortunately, although this device allows an exceptional 4K video playback at 60fps, its Netflix usage is limited to only standard quality streaming, due to the lack of the required DRM support.
Altogether, this device provides a great value for the money and presents one of the best 4K Android TV box sets on the market. If there were also a Netflix 4K content support, it would be utterly amazing.
- Great connectivity
- eMMc Flash
- Quality 4K playback
- Only standard-quality Netflix supported
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
EVANPO T95Z PLUS
An Android TV Box with a Great Value for the Money
The primary goal of many purchases is to find a product that is affordable, with a quality performance and future proof at the same time, and EVANPO T95Z PLUS perfectly fits into that role. This device is sleek and attractive, equipped with excellent hardware that, among others, includes Octa-Core ARM Cortex-A53 CPU, Mali-T820MP3 GPU, Amlogic S912 chipset, 32GB of eMMC Flash Memory, and 3GB of DDR3 memory that guarantees for amazing user experience.
EVANPO T95Z PLUS comes with Android 7.1 and Kodi preinstalled. Also, it is equipped with a simple-to-use launcher that offers numerous options for customization, as well as H.265 and VP9-10 decoding, which will make 4K videos play smoothly in 60fps speed while providing a memorable experience for the users. Unfortunately, the box has a lot of Chinese bloatware. Therefore, it would be a good idea to format it right after the purchase and free it from the “garbage”.
This device comes with the included keyboard, a remote, and exceptional connectivity (Wi-Fi, LAN, BT, etc.), which altogether presents a nice bonus to this utility already great versatility and usability.
Similar to same type devices, its performance in Netflix and similar platforms is limited to standard resolutions, but that is, unfortunately, sort of a common thing for the cheaper devices these days. All in all, if you are looking for the best Android TV box for Kodi, EVANPO T95Z PLUS might be exactly the type of device you are searching for.
- Remote and the keyboard are included in the package
- 32 GB of eMMC Flash Memory
- No upgrade for the storage capacity
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 S905X2 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 S905X2 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 Best Android TV Box Money Can Buy
If you want the best of the best Android TV box, the choice is pretty narrow and comes down to one name: Nvidia Shield. This device is just amazing and offers the performance that cannot be compared to any other TV Box utility.
Full Kodi support (ideal for both developers and enthusiasts), one of the smartest interfaces on the market, 4K streaming for Netflix, YouTube, Amazon, etc. and super-fast performance are just some of its great advantages. There is also voice search with the help of Google Now, the inclusion of exceptional controller and the remote into the package, H.265 hardware decoding, Android 8.0 Oreo with an official Android TV interface and much more.
NVIDIA SHIELD TV is almost a perfect device with 3GB of RAM and Tegra X1 CPU, which incorporates the GPU with 256 cores and offers extremely efficient performance that raises this device well above the competition. With this device, you will never need another digital converter box, cable TV or any other similar type of utility. More importantly, you can be sure that NVIDIA SHIELD TV is the best 4K Android TV box ever built and that along with it you are getting nothing but sheer quality.
- 4K Netflix and Amazon Prime
- Blazing fast performance
An Affordable, yet Super-Efficient TV Box That Everyone Would be Glad to Own
Although you might be looking for the best Android TV box, ironically you could easily end up with a non-Android one, Roku Ultra. What makes this device special is its combination of amazing performance and features on one side, and a small price on the other.
With this TV box, you will be able to stream and watch different 4K content from services such as YouTube, Netflix, Amazon Prime, HBO NOW, Hulu and many others. Everything you might need is there unless you are in a pursuit for some distinctive Google Play apps that are unfortunately unsupported, because of the Roku 8.1 Operating System that is incompatible with the Android.
Roku hardware incorporates Quad-core ARM Cortex-A53 CPU and for today’s standards amazingly poor 512MB of storage and 1GB of RAM. More importantly, these specifications are more than enough to stream and playback 4K videos in the highest quality and leave the competition far behind in a cloud of dust.
This TV box comes with a simple interface and numerous features such as Dolby Atmos, HDR 10, voice command remote, Wi-Fi, LAN, various outputs, and much more, which guarantees a premium experience.
Of course, its low price also means that there are a couple of downsides, such as the lack of multitasking support and the existence of advertisements, but altogether that is acceptable, considering the capabilities and its amazing performance that doesn’t leave anyone indifferent.
- Nice 4K performance
- It is simple to use
- No Dolby Vision support
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!