Android TV boxes have gained quite a bit of popularity over the last few years. These function almost similar to the Chromecast and Fire Stick, but there are a couple of differences that set this product apart.
A TV box is a small electronic device that connects to your TV, thus making it a smart TV. While we do agree that most TVs are smart these days, a TV box has the ability to expand the capabilities of your regular TV. It can make your phone a larger version of your phone.
Selecting an Android TV can be tough considering there are so many to choose from. However, we got our hands on the MINIX NEO U9-H along with the NEO A3. We must admit, we absolutely love this product. Let us tell you why in detail below.
The company “MINIX” was established in 2008, out of a passion for dynamic designs and advanced technology. Their main focus is on creating well-made and innovative products by combining the finest material and functional designs. Along with their fantastic products, they also have the best-in-class customer service.
The MINIX NEO U9-H is shipped to you in a very well-protected packaging with all the accessories. You will find the IR-Remote (the NEO A3 comes separately), power adaptor, dual-band antenna, micro-USB, HDMI, OTG cable, and the setup guide in English, Chinese, Deutsch.
The U9-H is made out of strong and durable plastic and is black in color. The design couldn’t be simpler and more attractive. It is a box with curved edges measuring 4.92 by 4.92 inches with a height of 0.87 inches. It weighs about half a pound.
There is an infrared receiver on the side and LED light indicator at the front. On the right, there are three 2.0 USB ports, a Kensington lock, a TF slot, a micro USB OTG port, and the power button.
On the left are the microphone and headphone jack, optical audio port, an Ethernet jack, an HDMI port, and the DC input. There is also the recovery button near the microSD slot.
This Android TV box is powered by Android Marshmallow. It supports OTA firmware updates. As for the application when you use the device, it’s loaded with the latest Kodi Media Center V17.1 Krypton. You will also find other useful applications such as Miracast, YouTube, Play Store, and the likes.
The UI is very neatly categorized in shortcuts with massive and attractive icons. You can find the preferred shortcuts always at the bottom. All of these are customizable.
The MINIX NEO U9-H works on an Octa-Core Cortex A53 processor with a Mali-820MP3 GPU. It features 2GB DDR3 memory and an 802.11ac 2x2MIMO Dual-Band Wireless Connectivity. The device is powered using a DC 5V 3A adapter.
Lastly, the device has an audio output via HDMI 2.0 with a 3.5mm stereo jack and the video output through the HDMI 2.0 itself that offers up to 4K video quality @ 60Hz. It also supports HDMI-CEC, HDR.
The MINIX NEO U9-H will take no more than 30 seconds to boot up and just a couple of seconds to shut down. It works well even with mainstream streaming channels like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu and several more.
For the South-East Asian users, services like iFlix and Astro Go work well on this device too.
We wouldn’t recommend this device unless it comes with the NEO A3. This is a remote for Android TV. It is neat with an easy-to-use design.
It has a full QWERTY keyboard on the rear for comfortable typing. Finding content couldn’t be easier as you can use the latest six-axis gyroscope technology along with a dedicated multimedia keypad.
Best of all, it has the convenience of voice input, thanks to the built-in microphone, which gives you immediate access to all its content and information. The NEO A3 works on two AAA sized batteries and measures 118.5 by 50 by 17mm.
The most important aspect of any Android TV is its performance, and we must admit that we were quite pleased with it. The 4K Ultra HD video played very smoothly. With the audio codec support like DTS HD-MA, Dolby True, and so on, even the audio is fantastic.
The MINIX NEO U9-H + NEO A3 is a decent Android TV box set. It has a ton of capabilities and offers fantastic and smooth 4K video playback along with an auto frame rate switching, HD audio, and DRM support.
The device’s excellent build and quality make it long-lasting, and its high-end and fantastic specifications ensure that the device is great at multitasking too. The Android keeps updating itself OTA.
Lastly, the NEO A3 remote is the icing on the cake here. It offers a seamless experience with its voice command feature and QWERTY keyboard.
To further put the MINIX NEO U9-H to test, we will be comparing it to the Hongyu T95X. The two Android boxes have a similar design and the same color. They both come with Android Marshmallow too.
However, there is a massive difference between the two.
The MINIX NEO U9-H comes with an 802.11ac Wi-Fi antenna while its counterpart comes with 802.11b/g/n, which is known to cause a lot of inconsistencies in the audio and video quality. Furthermore, it does not even support 4K video and has a significantly shorter wireless range.
With that said, which is the better streaming device?
If you ask us, we will confidently say that it is the MINIX NEO U9-H + NEO A3. This TV box set is on par with its strong competitors. The device has a great built and an amazing UI too. Its firmware constantly keeps updating with the latest Android version, which means you can use it for years.
Most importantly, it offers fantastic 4K video quality streaming with no inconsistencies. If you are looking for a high-quality Android TV Box to transform your TV into a smart TV, then this is exactly the product you need.