After having much experience in using and reviewing the plethora of android based media boxes on the market, one which had been somewhat elusive was the MINIX brand.
The guys at MINIX sent me over a sample of their boxes and out of them all, my favourite has been the MINIX Neo U1.
I have used and reviewed many android boxes before ranging from between £20-60 and they are all pretty similar with no obvious reason for the price differences. A lot of them are really similar and probably just rebranded versions of each other. The MINIX however is a brand of its own with a unique design and a high quality build. With 2GB DDR3 RAM and Quad Core ARM Cortex A53 the system seems to handle everything with ease, no freezing and no lagging. The 16GB eMMC memory is a massive improvement on 8GB which is not usually enough yet still shipped with most products. Its power allows 4K playback with ease.
My first thoughts on using the device was just how smooth and responsive it was to my commands. The MINIX Launcher provides easy access to your apps and gives a whole new look to the android 5.1 operating system. It also comes with an app which updates the system connecting to MINIX to make sure its always up to date.
It comes with an attachable antenna to amplify the WiFi signal which has done wonders for me. Previous boxes fail to achieve the best speeds in my bedroom where I usually stream from. Although still not full signal, this has reached 4 out of 5 bars which is something I haven’t managed in my blackspot of a bedroom and I can finally stream HD Netflix without buffering! The box also comes with preinstalled XBMC without any add-ons. This version is also customised for MINIX!. Some “fully loaded” boxes comes with all sorts of add-ons that I’ll never use. This way I can pick and choose and put the latest updates on myself.
I am very impressed by the A2 Lite wireless air mouse that comes with this package. You can simply aim and move the mouse around and the cursor follows on the screen! It requires 2 x AAA batteries (not included) and the USB dongle (included) to run.
This is the best android TV based product I have had the pleasure of reviewing. No hesitations in saying that as it has beaten the rest hands down. Yes it is more expensive…but if you want a smooth and seamless experience it is worth it.