The best Android TV boxes are also impressively powerful, so you could hook one up to a monitor and use it as a mini PC. These make them great affordable alternatives to big and bulky Windows 10 desktop PCs. Because of their small size, they can be hidden away behind a screen (or even attached to it), which means they are great choices for powering interactive displays, adverts and points of sale.
Android boxes have also become very popular as Kodi streaming devices, to such an extent that Android boxes have almost become synonymous with Kodi boxes. But unlike the latter, Android boxes are more versatile and don’t suffer the bane of being tied to customized user interfaces or Android builds. And in this article we’ve listed the best Android boxes you can currently buy for work, play, or indeed anything else.
The 10 best Android TV boxes in 2021
1. Roku Premiere | HD/4K/HDR Streaming Media Player
The main reason is the selection of 4K HDR apps. As of January 2017, Roku devices like the Ultra offer 4K from 17 apps: Netflix, Amazon, YouTube, Vudu, Plex, Roku Media Player, Fandango Now, UltraFlix4K, 4K Universe, Curiosity Stream, Toon Goggles, Tastemade, Smithsonian Earth, ifood.TV, Picasa, Flickr and 500px. That’s more than any other streaming device or TV.
How does it compare to the Roku Premiere+ or Roku Ultra? It’s cheaper, but has fewer features. Both offer all of the following features that aren’t available on the Premiere.
The Ultra adds a USB port for playback of video files from connected drives, an optical digital audio output, a voice search from the remote (all Rokus, including the Premiere, offer voice search from the Roku app) and finder function to locate the clicker if it goes missing.
2. H96 Max Android 10.0 TV Box, 4K Ultra HD TV Box
This H96 Max rk3318 tv box is a high-performance Rk3318 TV box, which runs on CPU RK3328 and latest Android 10 system and, Ultra-large 2GB RAM + 16GB ROM capacity ensures more smooth and flexible operation. You could run many games, play unlimited movies, TV shows, music without freezing and buffering. Taste of true-to-life pictures and high-dynamic-range technology can provide users enjoy the most high-definition the real picture quality, superior quality built-in sound, and unique sound system.
The on-screen programming is user-friendly and quite intuitive. It provides a nice customization option, allowing you to add your favorite apps to the home screen. You can enjoy a high-definition image at home. Simply plug it into your TV, and you’re good to go!
3. Xiaomi Mi Box S 4K Ultra HD android TV Streaming Media Player
Mi Box S is powered by Android 8.1, easy to use and supports voice search and Chromecast as well as delivering a world of content the whole family can enjoy. With the Google Assistant, you can quickly access entertainment, get answers and control devices around your home. Just press the mic button on your remote to get started. Features the latest 4K HDR technology and high-speed 4K processing for up to 60fps playback. Enjoy an ultra high-definition, lifelike viewing experience.
4. Android TV BOX, X96Q Android 10.0 TV BOX
X96Q is a typical budget smart TV set-top box in 2020, the models began to receive the Android 10 operating system and the corresponding processors that support working with this OS. All budget android boxes show good performance indicators, both when surfing the Internet, and when watching video content or starting simple games and applications. X96Q 4K Android 10 TV BOX is a practical home smart media player. Android 10.0 gives you the ability to run virtually any Android App on your TV.
5. MXQ PRO BOX
The MXQ Pro 4K comes in a black box with golden letters on it. Tucked inside it are the TV box and accompanying accessories, which are all wrapped in thermopile. The MXQ box itself is black in color with the name of the device written on top in white. It’s made of plastic, but this plastic is not the sort that breaks with one fall. Rather, it is made of quality material, so it can withstand some wear and tear.
The box is square in shape and is not exactly sleek or stylish; instead, it’s a bit boring. The black is not glossy but dull. It also has some ports on the back with an antenna. When it is in the package, the product weighs a lot, but when you take out the MXQ TV box, you’d be surprised to notice that it is lightweight.
The MXQ box features a very capable 2 GHz Quad Core processor. This, combined with the Penta Core Mali-450 GPU, gives it plenty of power for most tasks you throw at it. You will find beefier specs on other units. But, certainly not at this price.
6. Xiaomi Mi TV Stick
At less than 30g the TV stick weighs no more than a cherry tomato and is small enough to easily fit in your pocket. Forget about cables, plug the stick into any TV, monitor or projector with an HDMI port to turn it into a smart TV! Set up your Mi TV Stick in an instant. Just three easy steps to get going and you can start enjoying everything the Mi TV stick has to offer in no time!
Mi TV Stick is powered by Android TV 9.0 which supports voice search and Chromecast connecting you to a world of content. Catch up on your favorite TV shows, play games, watch the news or turn on the radio. Mi TV Stick also recommends videos based on your personal Youtube and Google Play preferences! Press the mic button on your remote to quickly find what you’re looking for, whether you’re searching for your favorite show, song or asking about the weather. One click access with dedicated Netflix and Prime Video buttons, you can use voice commands to control other smart devices in your home.
7. Android 9.0 TV Box, Q + Plus Android Box
The Q PLUS TV box with Allterner H6 quad-core and 64-bit ARM Corter-A53 CPU is smarter, faster and more powerful than any previous chipset. Built-in 4GB RAM and 32GB ROM, excellent performance is perfectly combined with your favorite applications and games, farewell to the trouble of cleaning and performance degradation.
The Android 9.0 operating system version is perfectly compatible with most programs, games, and applications. It also has many convenient and easy-to-use options and operating functions to provide a better user experience. Based on Mali’s T720 GPU, Q PLUS TV box for Android supports H.265 decoding, 4K and 6K resolution, 6K resolution gives us better definition and more colorful life than 4K BOX. Easy to use as it supports 10 / 100M Ethernet, standard RJ-45 and 2.4GHz Wi-Fi. After connecting the power and connecting the box to WiFi, you can see what you need. A USB 3.0 port, connected to your mouse and keyboard, can help you operate more conveniently.
8. Smart TV Box HK1 X3 TV Box
The TV Box series from HK1 is one of the best brands that provide you with TV boxes with great specifications and at a competitive price, so in this review, we will look at HK1 X3, which the will get your attention with its unusual design, technical characteristics, and price.
HK1 X3 has a round shape made in plastic. On the top of the device, the model of the console is indicated, and on the bottom, in a circle, you can see many holes that allow air to circulate in the console. Thus, good cooling occurs and the TV set-top box does not overheat.
On the front panel of the device, there is a display on which the current time and the functions that the set-top box performs are displayed. The color of the LEDs is not bright blue, in the dark it does not irritate the eye.
9. X96 Air Smart TV Box Amlogic S905X3
The X96 Air is a new smart TV set-top box that is simply doomed to success as it is based on the latest Amlogic processor, the S905X3. Smart TV boxes on the Amlogic S905X2 were very popular all year round, which is why everyone was waiting for the lineup to continue. Such popularity of this line of silicon chips was caused by the pleasant cost, good performance, as well as temperature parameters even at the maximum load level.
As mentioned earlier, the smart tv box of the X96 Air is based on the new Amlogic S905X3 processor. Among the peculiarities of this silicon chip is the fact that it has the cores of a new generation of Cortex A55. They run at 1.9 GHz, which results in higher performance as well as lower power consumption. According to synthetic tests, the performance of the new processor has been increased by 15-20 percent, which is a big plus. The energy efficiency has also been improved by about the same amount. The graphics core remains the same, and the Mali G31 can handle any level of complexity in 4k video playback at 60-75 FPS or demanding Android games.
10. MINIX Android 9.0 – NEO U22-XJ-A2 Lite Backlit
MINIX NEO U22-XJ is designed to be the centre of your home entertainment needs. Transforming the entertainment experience with hardware that captures the cinematic experience, delivering a dynamic audio and visual experience that puts you right at the heart of the action. Immerse yourself in next-level entertainment all from your living room with NEO U22-XJ. NEO U22-XJ effortlessly achieves an ultra-realistic, lifelike viewing experience, bringing the cinema into your home. With 802.11ac 2 x 2 MIMO Dual-Band Wi-Fi and Gigabit Ethernet, NEO U22-XJ supports super-fast wired and wireless connections; perfect for streaming your media content.
How to choose the best Android TV box?
Choose the Right Processor: The RAM and processing power is an important feature. We all want a smooth going Android TV box, it would be a hassle if it lags when you are using it. Choose an Android TV box that has at least 1.5 GHz quad-core CPU or higher. Android TV box with an octa-core processor is the best!
Check the Storage Option: The memory storage of an Android TV box makes the operating system running. Thus, the operating system and memory storage should go together. Most of the Android TV boxes have only internal storage of 8GB, and the operating system takes up a big portion of it. Choose an Android TV box that has at least 4 GB of RAM and storage of at least 32 GB. Moreover, be sure to purchase a TV box that supports the external storage of at least a 64 GB microSD card.
Look for Available USB ports: An Android TV box should have at least 2 USB ports, for the Bluetooth receiver and peripherals. Moreover, choose a TV box that supports USB 3.0 because it has an effective speed than the USB 2.0. A USB 3.0 is essential for those who use external hard drives. But, if you only use the ordinary peripherals, a USB 2.0 would do just fine.
Determine the Operating System Version: You need to choose an Android TV box that runs with an operating system higher than Android 5.0 (Lollipop). Disregard those older versions because those TV boxes can’t be updated. The Joy of Android recommends you to buy an Android TV box that is supported by Android 6.0 or higher.
When it comes to buying an Android TV box, you need to pay close attention to its technical specifications. There are a lot of different factors to consider, and unfortunately, there isn’t an “ideal” TV box that has everything you’re looking for. By familiarizing yourself with some of the more important features in an Android TV box, you can make a smarter purchase for your home and family.