The 10 Best Android TV Boxes

Updated December 07, 2017 by Chase Brush

10 Best Android TV Boxes
Best High-End
Best Mid-Range
Best Inexpensive
We spent 43 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top choices for this wiki. Ditch that expensive cable or satellite TV company and start saving thousands of dollars a year without losing access to all your favorite games, TV shows and movies. These multifunctional Android boxes make it painless to cut the cord by streaming all kinds of video content, often in 4K Ultra HD, and most also support music streaming apps, too. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best android tv box on Amazon.

10. Leelbox M8S Max

The Leelbox M8S Max comes stocked with 2GB of DDR3 RAM and 16GB of internal storage, but that can be easily expanded to up to 64GB using its SD slot. It also features a convenient and easy to read digital display for checking the time and power status of the device.
  • very compact size
  • batteries for remote not included
  • menu interface could be improved
Brand Leelbox
Model M8S MAX 001
Weight 15.2 ounces
Rating 3.6 / 5.0

9. SCSETC MX10

The SCSETC MX10 is packed with various outlets for expanding its storage and increasing its functionality, including four USB ports, one AV port, and an S/PDIF port. You don't have to be overly tech savvy to use it, though, since it's also ready to go right out of the box.
  • rockchip 3328 processor
  • comes with ir remote
  • no dual band wifi
Brand SCS ETC
Model pending
Weight 14.1 ounces
Rating 3.7 / 5.0

8. Amazon Fire TV

Prime members should definitely consider the Amazon Fire TV, which uses a bootstrapped version of Android. Not only is it available at a low price, which makes it a great value, but it offers access to thousands of movies and TV shows plus exclusive Amazon content, too.
  • alexa voice remote control
  • intuitive home screen
  • suffers from frequent glitches
Brand Amazon
Model LDC9WZ
Weight 9.1 ounces
Rating 3.6 / 5.0

7. Kekilo TX3 Mini

For a basic budget model that won't disappoint in the performance department, try the Kekilo TX3 Mini. It's compact, so it can fit neatly and discreetly under the TV, and it's so easy to set up that you could probably trust your 10-year-old son or daughter to do it.
  • very affordably priced
  • 2gb of ddr3 ram
  • may need an initial update
Brand Kekilo
Model pending
Weight 13.8 ounces
Rating 3.8 / 5.0

6. Easytone T95Z Plus

More important than the unique octagonal shape of the Easytone T95Z Plus is the inside, which is packed with high quality components. It runs the latest version of Android, supports 3D video playback, includes 32GB of internal flash memory, and has an octa-core processor.
  • eye-catching color-changing led bar
  • includes mini keyboard
  • sometimes has connection issues
Brand EASYTONE
Model ES-01
Weight 1.1 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

5. Tblaze Amlogic S912

The bare-bones Tblaze Amlogic S912 may not come with as many features as other options out there, but that doesn't mean it should be overlooked. It has a basic and uncomplicated menu system, as well as a standalone graphics processor that delivers clear and crisp video.
  • works with bluetooth
  • comes with all necessary hardware
  • setup instructions are limited
Brand Tblaze
Model TB628
Weight 1.4 pounds
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

4. Leelbox Q3

The popular Leelbox Q3 incorporates H.265 hardware decoding as well as a host of other premium components, including an S912 octa-core processor. The ultimate result is less buffering and more time spent enjoying your favorite shows, movies, and games.
  • comes with keyboard and remote
  • bluetooth headset compatible
  • only runs android 6
Brand Leelbox
Model Leelbox-Q2
Weight 2.5 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

3. Rveal 2 Media Player

The all-in-one Rveal 2 Media Player runs a customized version of Android to bring you tons of entertainment in HD, without any monthly fees. It can be set up within minutes, includes an air mouse remote and keyboard, and automatically updates its software as needed.
  • works anywhere in the world
  • customizable user interface
  • very pricey option
Brand Rveal
Model RL1
Weight 8 ounces
Rating 5.0 / 5.0

2. Minix Neo U9-H

Billed as the ultimate home theater device, the Minix Neo U9-H boasts everything you'd want in a TV box: 4K HD video support, dual-band WiFi and gigabit Ethernet compatibility, and even a Neo A3 wireless air mouse for easy control. Plus, it runs Android Marshmallow.
  • licensed for dolby digital audio
  • micro sd card slot
  • integrated headphone jack
Brand MINIX
Model MINIX-NEO-U9-H-NEO-A3
Weight 2.3 pounds
Rating 4.9 / 5.0

1. Nvidia Shield Pro

The feature-rich and sleek-looking Nvidia Shield Pro makes the perfect addition to the "smart" home. It's fully compatible with all Google content, including the Assistant, which allows you to use voice controls to search movies and shows from more than 60 streaming apps.
  • comes with gaming controller
  • high speed usb 3 port
  • links to other smart devices
Brand NVIDIA
Model 945-12571-2500-010
Weight 5.7 pounds
Rating 5.0 / 5.0

The Androids Are Among Us

In the age of cord cutting, old fashioned cable boxes couldn't be less popular. The boxes themselves have always been a pain, causing additional rental fees to consumers and coming loaded with inexplicable bugs. Now, even the big cable companies like Charter and Comcast are offering their customers streaming-only viewing options that have long been favored by users of third-party streaming boxes.

Despite the popularity and ease of use presented by these companies like Roku, Apple TV, and their ilk, more and more Android TV boxes keep cropping up around the market. The demand is understandable; those more popular TV boxes are closed platforms where the Android boxes allow you to make all kinds of alterations to customize your experience. It's rather akin to the argument between users of Android phones and their Apple equivalents.

One of the greatest benefits of an Android TV box is that you can quickly and easily install Kodi from the Google Playstore, even with very limited tech knowledge. Sure, you can install Kodi on the Roku and Apple TV, but the installation process can be somewhat tricky and, more than likely, you'll have to find an online instructional to guide you through it step by step. Even then, many might falter along the way. With the majority of the Android TV boxes on our list, it's as easy as installing an app on your Android phone.

If you aren't familiar with using one of these devices, you may be wondering why Kodi is so important that it would make you want to buy a device that allows for easy installation as opposed to purchasing a name brand with which you are more familiar. It's simple: Kodi is the main application that most people use when streaming media. For the controversial practice of streaming licensed media content without paying for it, which does have legality issues, Kodi is the go-to software. For those who aren't very tech savvy, it isn't worth taking the chance on buying a closed platform where you will have to side load Kodi, because if you cannot figure it out, you are left only using the limited number of streaming services that your platform comes with.

In addition to streaming movies and TV shows, Kodi has a huge library of add-ons that let you to customize its abilities. You can install gaming add-ons to turn your Android TV box into a retro gaming console, weather add-ons that keep you abreast of weather conditions in your area, picture viewing add-ons that turn your TV into a slideshow of your favorite photos, and more. The possibilities are nearly endless.

Another convenient thing about Android TV boxes is that they can be used as internet browsers on your television, pairing with wireless keyboards and mouses to give you a full computing experience in the middle of your entertainment center. This means you'll be able to check your Facebook or e-mail account without having to pull out your phone or laptop. Some even allow you to install Skype and use your TV for video chatting when you add a webcam to the setup.

What's In The Box?

Looking at Android TV boxes in a lineup, you might be hard-pressed to figure out which of them packs the most punch, unless you know what you're looking for when you crack one open.

If you do know what you're looking at in there, you'll begin to see some of the more important differences among these boxes, like the processors they're using or what version of Android a given box can support. The key here is picking the best system for future-proofing, especially as 4K compatability becomes more important.

A lot of Android boxes use yesterday's processing capabilities to keep their prices low, especially since they're primarily uni-taskers, only needing to run one operation at a time. Still, 4K demands a lot of processing power, and a box outfitted to smoothly stream up to 1080 only will be obsolete faster than one equipped to handle the 4K revolution.

In addition to the ability to handle 4K media, there are other specs or capabilities one should look for in an Android TV box. If you plan on using it with a surround sound system, then you should purchase a model that offers a 5.1 audio passthrough. This allows your device to pass the sound signal from the media source straight through to your TV or surround sound system without altering it in any way, resulting in significantly better sound quality.

H.265 hardware decoding, sometimes written as HEVC, will come in handy over the years as the average size of video files gets larger and larger. The H.265 codec is extremely technical, but in a nutshell, it makes your device more efficient when decoding large video files so you get high image quality with little to no lag time and without straining your device's hardware. It will also help your device support 8K video as it makes its way into the mainstream.

Over-the-air updating, or OTA, is also a convenient feature to have. This is basically an app that makes your Android TV box check for updates periodically and, if they are available, automatically install them so you don't have to worry about manually updating the firmware.

Android boxes often require a mouse to navigate the user interface, so a box that comes with a wireless mouse–or better yet a mouse and a keyboard–will generally be a smart choice, otherwise you may have to lay out additional money to purchase these items separately. When looking at the cost of the models you have in mind, consider whether they come with all of the external devices that you will need. If not, make sure to add that into the estimated cost to help you determine if a particular unit really fits into your budget.

Finally, one might want to take style into account when making their purchase decision. While it should not be the deciding factor, it is worth mentioning that there is a certain degree of style to the design of a lot of these boxes and, considering that they are more than likely going to become a centerpiece in your entertainment area, you may want to buy one that you enjoy looking at.

TV On The Internet...in The 90s?

When I was a kid, just as everyone was getting their hands on these increasingly ubiquitous AOL starter discs, a friend of mine had his parents acquire a strange device called WebTV. It was a Microsoft product that connected your telephone's internet signal through a crude computer box that displayed a browser window on your television screen. My friends and I used it for studious research into human anatomy.

That was in the late 1990s, and just before the turn of the millennium, even after Microsoft has stopped selling the device, their user numbers grew to nearly 800,000. There was a demand, but the tech was still struggling to rise to the wants of the consumer.

TIVO showed up after that, introducing for the first time a sense that you didn't have to be in your home in front of your TV at a given moment to watch your favorite shows. Suddenly, Nielsen ratings began to lose their relevance like an old Vegas crooner at the dawn of Rock 'n Roll.

Apple dropped their first TV device in 2007, though it took until January of 2008 for a software update to allow it to run autonomously, disconnected from any other Apple device. The first generation Roku boxes appeared soon after that in 2008, and they were billed as Netflix devices before anything else.

TV studios took notice of the trends, and began desperately trying ways to get people to watch their shows while they aired, as the industry was still desperately clinging to their on-air ratings numbers to sell advertising spots. They even joined forces with Twitter and had their show's stars live-tweet with fans exclusively during live broadcasts.

The irony there, of course, is that most of the live-tweeting took place during commercial breaks, diverting attention away from the very ads for which they were trying to sell spots. Now, Android TV boxes have come to tempt a significant amount of the market toward a more customized experience, and a full complement of the latest games, apps, and features.



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Last updated on December 07, 2017 by Chase Brush

Chase is a freelance journalist with experience working in the areas of politics and public policy. Currently based in Brooklyn, NY, he is also a hopeless itinerant continually awaiting his next Great Escape.


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