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best android tv box

Best Android TV Box 2017

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For all of you guys who don’t own a media player yet, forget the mountain list of information out there. The best from the rest is already shortlisted for you. So, here’s a review of the top 5 Android boxes on the market today.

Before that, let me give you a short brief on Android boxes.

Introduction to Android boxes

An Android box is basically a small device that can turn your conventional TV into a smart TV in a moment’s notice. It allows you do things that you could have never expected from your normal television. Once plugged into your TV, it will give you access to a mammoth amount of content.

Basically, an Android TV box lets you expand your content, games, or music library like nothing else. You will be able to jump between content and games as easily you would do through your phone.

Once plugged into your TV, it will give you access to a mammoth amount of content. Basically, Android TV lets you expand your content, games, or music library like nothing else. You will be able to jump between content and games as easily you would do through your phone.

android tv box living room

With the right device, one will be able to stream content like a breeze and enjoy high-quality content at all times on best resolution and brilliant audio and video quality. That being said, picking a streaming device can be tough. There are abundant choices out there. It seems that just about everyone out there thinks that his/her Android box is the best pick in the market.

To save you all the guesswork, here are the best Android TV boxes on the market today that have been personally reviewed and tested for their usability, durability, efficiency, and functionality.

1. Rveal Media TV Tuner & Air Mouse Remote

Sale
Rveal Media TV Tuner & Air Mouse Remote [Android, 4K, Streaming TV]
208 Reviews
Rveal Media TV Tuner & Air Mouse Remote [Android, 4K, Streaming TV]

Pros

  • Very easy to use
  • Aesthetic appeal
  • Content for everyone
  • Customer service
  • Plug, play and enjoy

Cons

  • High price

Full Review

Product Features

The Rveal Media box is fast, and it delivers live TV in HD quality. So, if you watch a lot of movies, live sports, and TV shows, you will be pleased to learn that this device offers unrestricted media at your fingertips. The device offers everything that you could possibly watch. Basically, it provides infinite applications and programs under one roof.

With Rveal, you won’t ever complain about boring content. Believe it or not, it’s jam-packed with an enormous amount of entertainment shows to watch, play, and listen to.

It takes little time to set up, and it’s even quicker to start streaming. Better yet, you will be able to easily stream episodes the same day they were aired. Therefore, you will never miss anything. Think of unlimited Netflix on steroids.

Powered by Android, Rveal keeps the box updated. So, it throws all the hassle out of the window. You won’t ever feel the need to fix anything on your own. Simply plug, play, and enjoy unlimited entertainment. What better way to enjoy fast and smooth 4K HDR videos at the comforts of one’s home?

Rveal Review

Rveal in Action

Clearly, the interface is built for the end users. Everything is nicely categorized. So, it’s damn easy to search content on their interface. Yes, you won’t struggle to pick up a channel. Adding new content of your own is a piece of cake too. Frankly speaking, no curveballs were thrown at me to stop me from the freedom of customization.

Moreover, the volume of movies and shows available is thrilling, to say the least. Believe it or not, you get to watch a lot more channels than your cable. Intrigued and excited, I almost felt like a five-year-old in a candy store.

Rveal Air Mouse

I have watched movies and TV shows for hours without any issues. The picture and sound quality of the streams are pretty impressive. The air mouse remote that comes with the bundle is a winner too. It’s fitted with a keyboard. So, you can type titles of great movies, TV shows, sporting events, or any other searches easily onto the screen. Think of it as the touch pad remote. It lets you go ahead or back on a program like a breeze. You can also turn it off when not in use. I could tell that the remote efficiency does contribute to its battery life.

So far, this proved to be one of the best Android media streaming devices I have EVER tried.

Pros

The Rveal box is not restricted by geographical location. It can be used all around the world. A basic Internet connection is all that is needed to make it work anywhere you wish. So, you won’t need special guts to pull the trigger if you are based outside USA.

Loads of long time cable customers have disconnected their cable TV service after being acquainted with this Android box. Yes, you can part ways with your cable company and not miss a thing. As a matter of fact, this Android device pays for itself when you compare how much you shave off every month for cable service. Also, this unit is not an eyesore. Its sleek design is aesthetically appealing.

Cons

For flawless performance, you must have a decent Internet connection. At low speed, the buffering might leave you with a ‘yuck’ look on your face. So, it helps to have a high-speed Internet connection at your home.

Also, there would be some degree of a learning curve involved if you have not used one of these units in the past. So, be prepared for that if you are a first-time user.

The initial cost is a bit high too. However, it’s a one-time cost with no subscription required. Not to forget the fact that it pays for itself since you might cut the cable cord sooner or later.

Rveal Content

Final Words

Other than the minor flaws outlined above, this unit is a bombshell and arguably the best Android TV box for 2017. It will save you a great deal of money on monthly cable bills. So, if you have the right speed, you owe yourself this little marvel. You can always get cheaper options, but this box is a cut above the scope. The Rveal media player will surely please you till death.

2. Nvidia Shield TV

NVIDIA SHIELD TV Pro Home Media Server
178 Reviews
NVIDIA SHIELD TV Pro Home Media Server

Pros

  • Great for gaming
  • Plenty of power
  • Comes with gamepad
  • Voice control

Cons

  • High price
  • Arguably overkill if only used for multimedia streaming

Product Features

This latest offering from Nvidia takes the Android streaming experience further. The Nvidia Shield TV is capable of streaming 4k Ultra HD resolution. It’s available in two separate models at different price points. The higher model offers 500GB VS the 16 GB that you get at lower pricing. The higher package also incorporates a 2.5-inch Hybrid Drive inside the model for efficient storage of all your media and games.

NVIDIA SHIELD TV Pro Home Media Server

As such, the unit made an appearance in the market with a 256-core Nvidia processor, 64-bit CPU, 3 GB RAM, dual band Wi-Fi, and a bunch of other features. The LED light on the side is very subtle and non-distracting. The space on the front has a refined power button that lets you turn the unit on and off conveniently without the need for a physical button.

Above all, it features a revolutionary voice command technology that lets you say what you want and get desired search results in a flash.

Nvidia Shield TV in Action

The setup was a snap. The interface was loaded with a bunch of apps. I was able to easily navigate through everything as if I was a returning customer. I downloaded several apps at the same time, and it didn’t slow down. Also, I did not notice signal degradation while running Netflix and Amazon Prime Videos. I must say that it handled 4k streaming like a champ. I do have a steady Internet connection speed of 60mbps. Both the audio and video was spot on.

Of course, this Android TV box is capable of much more than any other device on the market. What really sets the Shield TV apart from the competition is the gaming experience. Coming from Nvidia, a leading graphics processor manufacturer, it is designed with both streamers and gamers in mind. So, if you fancy playing a game every now and then on your living room TV, this box is a must-have for you.

The unit itself is great looking with glossy parts. It’s surprisingly slim, which proves that a lot of thought and effort has gone into the design.  The Shield remote is as unique as it can get. It has a solid aluminum built to it. Moreover, it’s light enough for comfortable holding. Furthermore, the buttons work like a charm. Above all, it automatically shuts off when not in use. The game controller is up to the mark as well.

NVIDIA SHIELD TV Pro Home Media Server

Pros

There’s hardly any setup required other than logging into your Google account. It will instantly link you to the media and movies on your Google Play Store. It lets one explore tens and thousands of apps like Amazon Prime, CBS News, Plex, Spotify, and much more.

Moreover, these guys have also partnered with Kodi. So, this device is a no brainer for Kodi users. One will always get latest Kodi versions and updates.

It loads content extremely fast. I had no buffering issues with streams. Frankly speaking, it can nail your expectations with media streaming. It also streams games seamlessly with no lags.

Cons

The unit can handle 4k HD streaming like a pro. It’s right up its alley. However, don’t expect lightning fast speed with a crappy Internet connection. I use 60mbps, and it works great at this speed. So, be sure to have a good and steady Internet connection in place to make the most of this unit.

Also, the price of this media player is on the higher side of the spectrum. But, it’s worth the money spent—a piece of information confirmed by previous users.

NVIDIA SHIELD TV Pro Home Media Server

Final Words

This media player doesn’t disappoint. By all accounts, the Nvidia Shield TV is a powerful device. Even the extra storage offered at the higher price point is worth the asking price. It feels nice to not worry about storage at all. So, one can choose any model and run with it.

Overall, this Android box is definitely a beast compared to its competition. It’s a true powerhouse in its class!

3. Amazon Fire TV

Fire TV | Streaming Media Player
34996 Reviews
Fire TV | Streaming Media Player

Pros

  • The world of Prime at your fingertips
  • Voice control
  • Very affordable

Cons

  • Pushy with its own services
  • No access to Play store

Product Features

Amazon Fire TV is a portal to all the widely used apps out there. With instant access to Youtube, HBO, Amazon Videos, Netflix, and more, there are countless movies and TV shows ready for streaming. With Amazon Fire TV, every day will be like Christmas morning for all the TV addicts out there.

It has a quad-core processor, which delivers enough power to do movies, music, and games as well. Basically, it offers enough of everything to keep users satisfied. Not to forget the fact that it supports 4k Ultra HD content.

Furthermore, the Fire TV includes a ‘mic’ button that performs dedicated voice search. Users will have to simply hold the top button on their remote and say what they want. Once the button is released, the Android box initiates the search for the desired terms.

The interface also includes a sizeable amount of free content to watch. Moreover, Amazon Prime members receive a decent library of free movies to watch. You will never complain that there is nothing on the TV to watch.

Fire TV | Streaming Media Player

Amazon Fire TV in Action

The Amazon Fire TV interface is extremely pleasant to use. On the top, it displays the most recently used apps, movies, games, and TV shows. Below that, it displays featured and recommended apps and games. On the left, there is a navigation bar to control things even further.

The setup was a breeze as well. You only need an Amazon account to access Fire TV. You don’t have to be an Amazon Prime member. I like the fact that users are not trapped into a subscription model. So, you are not tied to the company’s services. Even on the first launch, it offers an impressive list of apps. The video and audio quality did meet my expectations.

Also, I found the voice recognition feature to be responsive and accurate. It’s one my favorite feature on this media player.

Its gaming capability left me impressed as well. It was able to handle just about any game that I threw at it. Over here, the credit goes to its dedicated PowerVR GX6250 GPU, 2 GB RAM, and better Wi-Fi support. All of it keeps things moving seamlessly.

Moreover, I found it to be faster and better equipped than the majority of the other expensive Android boxes out there. It didn’t take me long to cut the cord and divorce the cable company. My cable company was not happy with the premature breakup, but I was happy as hell. I must have saved hundreds of dollars so far.

Fire TV | Streaming Media Player

Pros

Compared to its competition, Amazon Fire TV can be availed at a shoestring budget.

Also, the device by itself is beautiful. It can easily fit into most of the modern living rooms. It has a nice sleek design to it. It’s well-built too.

Now, there is nothing fancy about the stock remote, but all the buttons work. Also, it doesn’t leave behind finger prints or scratches upon use. The remote requires 3 AAA batteries, which are supplied by Amazon at the time of order delivery itself.

It comes with a decent 8GB internal memory which can be extended up to 200GB. Also, you won’t get the full Play Store apps, but Amazon has its own roster of apps ruling the unit.

Cons

Amazon also uses this Android box as a marketplace to push its products and services. Quite a bit of content shown in the recommended section is the products/services owned by them. A lot of users out there may not admire this biased advertisement. That being said, one can easily and quickly access content on the Amazon Fire TV interface.

Oddly enough, the package does not include the HDMI cable. So, you will have to order it separately to go with the Fire TV. By all means, it’s a surprising omission by Amazon.

Also, the voice recognition search feature has further room for improvement because not all apps work with voice search.

Final Words

The Amazon Fire TV is the poor man’s media player. It delivers top-notch performance without costing an arm and a leg. For its features and usability, it’s definitely worth checking out. At its price point, it’s clearly the king of the jungle.

On the whole, it’s a wonderful and affordable streaming device for your TV. It clearly muscles out the majority of its competition. Also, it’s my favorite unit thus far.

4. Minix Neo U9-H

MINIX NEO U9-H 4K Ultra HD Streaming Media Player
132 Reviews
MINIX NEO U9-H 4K Ultra HD Streaming Media Player

Pros

  • Great streaming performance
  • Versatile
  • Micro SD slot

Cons

  • No USB 3 port

Product Features

Minix Neo U9-H is an Android TV box which is HDR ready. The package arrives with the usual stuffing. Expect a lot of accessories. Inside the box, you will receive the main unit, IR remote, power adapter, HDMI cable, OTG cable, Wi-Fi antenna, and an instruction guide. The design of the Android box itself is nice and compact. It’s almost the size of a smartphone. The Android 6.0.1 is the operating system of this unit by choice.

The hardware may not blow your mind, but it packs up a decent punch. It boasts of an AmLogic S912 processor, an Octa Core Cortex A53 CPU that runs at a maximum clock speed of 2.0 GHz and a GPU Mali-820. Better yet, the GPU is fitted to impress. It’s capable of providing 4K resolution at 60 frames per second. The internal memory is of 16GB, which can be expanded via MicroSD. Let’s see how this product treated me.

MINIX NEO U9-H 4K Ultra HD Streaming Media Player 64-bit Octa Core Android 6.0.1 WIFI RJ-45 Ethernet 2GB RAM 16GB ROM

Minix Neo U9-H in Action

During use, the product has always been well mannered. Lags and slowdowns were experienced by me, but only in rare cases. Over here, I would give this product the benefit of doubt because my Internet connection was not steady at all times when I was using this box at full-fledged. Overall, the Wi-Fi reception was impressive as the signals were strong for the most part.

I have used it for surfing, games, and as a media center as well. It managed all the heavy duty work without throwing any tantrums.

Speaking of the stock remote, I didn’t find the standard remote to be very useful. However, I fell in love with the A2 Lite Remote. All the buttons work well, and it has a good range to it. This remote helped me maximize the capabilities of this Android box.

MINIX NEO U9-H 4K Ultra HD Streaming Media Player 64-bit Octa Core Android 6.0.1 WIFI RJ-45 Ethernet 2GB RAM 16GB ROM

Pros

Although the box is made from plastic, the overall built quality is great. It’s not of those defective units that will crumble in your hands.

Minix Neo U9-H supports Dolby DTS and Dolby Digital, which helps in delivering brilliant sound quality to the video. Moreover, it supports DD and DD +, DTS-HD and plenty other audio formats.

You can play Kodi or watch Netflix in HD quality without throwing an arm and a leg. I have never encountered a problem with any of the video files. Both media playback and gaming performance are up to the mark.

Cons

The device has a bunch of 2.0 ports, but it does not have USB 3.0 ports. For a device this capable, it appears to be a surprising omission.

Also, this is not an ultra-budget friendly unit. While the features are impressive, the pricing may not suit all wallets. It’s not a high-end or a low-range Android box. The pricing is somewhere in between.

MINIX NEO U9-H 4K Ultra HD Streaming Media Player 64-bit Octa Core Android 6.0.1 WIFI RJ-45 Ethernet 2GB RAM 16GB ROM

Final Words

The Minix Neo U9-H has all the elements to deliver a better multimedia experience. It’s damn easy to setup, and it has a ton of features to impress users. Not to forget the fact that it does its job like a pro. You can truly cut off your cable cord with this unit and have a smarter TV in your house from day one.

Overall, this media player is a people-pleaser by all accounts. As advertised, it offers the ultimate home theater experience.

5. Roku Ultra

Sale
Roku Ultra HD and 4K UHD Streaming Media Player
87 Reviews
Roku Ultra HD and 4K UHD Streaming Media Player

Pros

  • Huge variety of content
  • High-quality image
  • Powerful search feature
  • Great remote
  • Never lose your remote again!

Cons

  • Voice search can be hit or miss

Product Features

The Roku Ultra has every feature that you could hope or ask for in a media player. It supports many other things including 4K video playback and HDR. The unit also has a MicroSD and Ethernet slot. It has a USB port on the side and an optical audio slot on the front.

The remote on this has a novel feature too. You can do voice search through this remote. The interface offers much better channel selection than its competition. You will get Netflix, Google Play, Hulu, HBO NOW, Amazon, and a lot more at your fingertips.

roku ultra set top box

Roku Ultra in Action

The installation of this Roku Ultra unit is as easy as you can ask for. For the most part, it’s simply plug-and-play. The improvement in the hardware is pretty noticeable. This unit is much quieter and cooler than the earlier Roku versions. The channel selection is enormous as well. Pretty much, I got the most available choices on this Roku unit.

Also, it didn’t disappoint when streaming. Certain things do lag at times, but these instances are rare and few. I noticed that the remote is thicker than the other remotes out there. I like the fact that it comes with a headphone jack. So, it gives me the liberty to enjoy late night movies without disturbing my family. Moreover, the response time on this remote is amazingly fast. Lastly, Roku also added a remote finding feature in case you misplaced it.

roku ultra remote controller

Overall, I have enjoyed my time with this unit.

Pros

No line of sight is required to make the remote work. Since it’s a radio frequency remote, you can point it anywhere, and it will still work like a charm. Also, the remote does not drain the battery life.

Their interface also offers a lot of free stuff to keep kids occupied. Once loaded, everything is nicely laid out, so navigation would be a piece of cake as well.

Moreover, the refurbished price makes the acquisition of this unit a fantastic deal.

Cons

The volume can be adjusted only when you have your headphones on. The remote does not allow one to control the TV volume. Basically, the volume can be adjusted on your own headphone and not the TV.

The remote has some gaming buttons too, but it’s not an ideal replacement for a gaming controller because it has very few control buttons on it. Nevertheless, the gaming buttons were a surprising inclusion in the remote.

The voice command feature works well for the most part. However, there were instances when it didn’t react properly to my commands.

Finally, not all 4k TV is supported by this unit. 4k won’t be shown if your TV is not HDCP 2.2 compatible. It’s not really Roku’s fault over here; it’s a content-protection thing.

roku ultra review

Final Words

If you are thinking about bringing home the Roku Ultra, you won’t be disappointed. It does offer decent 4k video playback and HDR capabilities.

With wide channel selection and great quality video, this Android TV box is born to impress all the media enthusiasts out there.

Gamers won’t be disappointed either. The device does pack a decent punch for its price point.

Conclusion

These Android boxes will pretty much cover everyone’s price bracket, whether you are looking for a budget media player or the next big thing. So, depending on how much you are willing to shave off for an Android box is what you are going to end up with.

If I had to recommend an Android TV box, I would either go with the Rveal for the out-of-the box live TV streaming capabilities or the Amazon Fire TV for the great value as the best Android TV box for this year.

Last update on 2017-09-23 at 11:14 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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