Ematic Android TV Box Review
This 4K Android TV box is manufactured by Ematic and retails for approximately 58 USD. The contents of the box. Let’s begin with the basics. A TV remote is included with the Android TV box, as well as an HDMI cable, a two-pronged power cable, and a two-pronged power cable with a barrel end. In the case of streaming boxes, aesthetics and design are not important, nor is RGB included; however, utility is more important than aesthetics.
In this regard, the Ematic provides users with an abundance of practicality. With its plastic square design, it is small enough to fit into a pocket, lighter than a budget smartphone, but about twice as thick. As a result, it is ideal for throwing into a bag. Furthermore, it provides users with a variety of mounting options. Double-sided tape or Velcro could easily be used to secure it to the back of a television.
A potential complaint is the length of the power cable. You may find it difficult to plug in the TV box if your TV is mounted on a monitor arm on the wall and your power plug is at floor level. When the TV is resting on a cabinet that is approximately waist height, it will reach, but anything taller will be difficult to reach. At least the HDMI cable is of a reasonable length.
The I/O interface, specifications, and internals. In terms of its internals, the Ematic 4K Android TV box is not particularly impressive. The device is powered by the Amlogic S905X chipset, which contains four ARM Cortex-A5 cores operating at up to 1.5GHz. In conjunction with the ARM Mali-450 GPU, a five-core chip clocked at 750 MHz, that’s enough to produce 4K video with relative ease. There are 2GB of DDR3 RAM and 8GB of eMMC storage available with this device.
In terms of storage, it is the smallest amount you will find on a TV box in 2020, but it is adequate. There are about ten audio and music streaming apps and VLC installed on my computer, and I still have room to install one or two games if necessary. If you require quick storage, you can install a microSD card, or you can connect a hard drive. A USB stick can also be used to sideload apps if necessary.
In terms of I/O, you’ll find a microSD card slot and two USB 2.0 ports on the right side of the device, as well as a single HDMI 2.0a port, a 10/100Mbps RJ45 Ethernet port, a 3.5 mm audio jack, and a SPDIF jack on the back. In addition to the power port, there are no ports on the front or left of the box.
I would have liked to have seen at least one USB 3.0 port and perhaps even a USB-C port included. The remote control. The Ematic’s remote control consists of ten buttons and is powered by two AAA batteries. Due to its generously curved back, it fits well in the hand, but it is difficult to use or place on a flat surface. When you press buttons or place it on a table, it will wobble.
However, its greatest strength is its wide range of options. The remote features three buttons on its primary row, including a back button, a home button, and a menu button. Above this is a directional pad disguised as a control wheel. It has a select button in the center. The placement of the latter is perfect, however, and your thumb tends to rest perfectly within the little concave select button. An Android Assistant button can be found in the top right corner of your screen, allowing you to conduct voice searches from within virtually any app or screen.
In the top section of the remote, the microphone is located just above the LED light. This is an excellent addition to the remote, and one that is definitely required. The device does not have a keyboard, so you will have to type on the screen keyboard using the directional pad and enter key, or you will have to connect an external keyboard. In some cases, the latter may make more sense, but you can also find content using your smartphone and cast it to the box. This is considered a flawless function.
Additionally, there are dedicated buttons for YouTube, Netflix, and the Google Play Store, which transport you directly into those apps from wherever you were. It is great if you frequent YouTube and Netflix, but I would have liked to see a programmable button as well. The volume rocker is located below the row of home buttons. In general, I had no problems with the remote bar or the lack of a keyboard. It feels good to click the buttons, but keep in mind that the printed surfaces will wear over time, especially the home button.
I recommend purchasing a small media keyboard if you plan to do any serious analog searching on this device. The Ematic Android TV’s best feature is its software. The box is equipped with Google-certified Android TV 9.0, the latest version of the operating system designed specifically for large screens. The system works extremely well. Some individuals might argue that it does not offer as many features as Apple TV and other aftermarket Android TV skins, but I find that it offers just enough customisation and easy access to services to satisfy my needs.
As it is Google-certified, Showmax, Netflix, and DStv Now are compatible out of the box. Additionally, you can update these apps, which is not always possible on some Android boxes. You can also access other streaming services through the Google Play Store, such as Twitch and Spotify, but you can also side-load the apps that you really want. Apple Music is not available on Android TV, so for these apps, we recommend casting audio or video.
It works an absolute treat, as I mentioned earlier. If you and your family are connected to the same WiFi network, you can cast video to the device. It is as simple as opening the app on your phone and tapping the casting button. It is a very simple and easy to control.
I have also tested VLC and have confirmed that the box is capable of playing video, music, and other content over your home network without any problems. It is also capable of playing 4K content from a hard drive with ease. In any case, I would recommend that you install a wired network connection to the box. After resuming from standby, WiFi has a tendency to drop out. I am not experiencing the same problem with my primary WiFi connection at home. During my testing, I encountered issues resuming the connection on three different networks. For this reason, you might want to use the Ethernet port on the back, but for some, this may not be an option.
In conclusion. In general, I would recommend the Ematic Android TV box, particularly if you are looking for a seamless streaming experience. The device is lacking some features that other devices have, and there are more powerful boxes available. Remote controls can be a nuisance, and typing can be a real hassle, but these problems can be resolved relatively easily. Further, if you intend to play games on an Android TV, you should invest in a device that has a little more RAM, internal storage, and a faster processor. All of those things were not really designed for the Ematic Android TV box. To conclude, if you are interested in a stress-free streaming box that just plays media with minimal setup, you cannot go wrong with the Ematic Android TV box. Ensure that you always have a wireless keyboard with you
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