Most people know Android as a mobile operating system, but they have also gained set-top boxes for Android TVs, as streaming purposes abound.
These home media streamers provide an Android ecosystem for entertainment needs. Let’s find out which option is the best Android box for TV of 2021.
- Top 7+ Best Android Boxes for TV
- #1 Best Android Box for TV Overall – NVIDIA Shield TV Box
- #2 Best Android TV Box for Gaming – Xiaomi Mi Box S
- #3 Best Android TV Box for Streaming – Minix Neo U9-H Hub for Android
- #4 Best Android TV Box for Netflix – X96 Mini Android TV Box
- #5 Best Android TV Box for Sports – pendoo Android 9.0 TV Box
- #6 Best 4k Android TV Box – XBMCMart Smart Android TV Box
- #7 Best Amazon Android TV Box – T9 Android TV Box
- #8 Best Budget Android TV Box – Radio TX3 Mini TV Box
- Features to Consider When Choosing an Android Box for TV
- Final Words
Top 7+ Best Android Boxes for TV
#1 Best Android Box for TV Overall – NVIDIA Shield TV Box
The Nvidia Shield is the ultimate device for cord-cutters, as it is the ideal device for wire cutters everywhere. The company offers an entry-level version and a high-end pro model. Both versions offer 4K and HDR functionality with compatible apps.
While both models offer expandable storage, the fundamental difference between them is the included storage space. The base model includes 16GB of built-in storage, while the Pro boasts a 500GB hard drive.
It can act as a Plex server, making it one of the best Plex client devices. And the Shield TV box does more than just video and music. It can play locally or over a network. It allows you to stream PC games over the network and play on your sofa. ROMs can be played via various Android emulators available for the Shield TV box.
- Android TV operating system
- Easy to use
- Tons of apps
- Capable of streaming
- 4K and HDR
- You need to move non-Android TV OS apps
Because of its array of entertainment offerings, ease of use, and sheer skill, the Nvidia Shield TV box is the best Android box for TV if money is not your concern.
#2 Best Android TV Box for Gaming – Xiaomi Mi Box S
The Xiaomi Mi Box is easily the fastest Android TV box. It is a median between a streamer like the Wire TV Stick and more complete streaming devices like the Nvidia Shield TV. It works with the Android TV operating system, not the Android tablet optimized iteration.
At under $100, the Mi Box packs a punch by offering 4K streaming. Unfortunately, the default 4K setting at 60Hz suffers from performance issues. So, leave it at 30Hz or 24Hz for a usable 4K frame rate. But for 1080p streaming, the Mi Box handles video games flawlessly.
- Less than $100
- Runs the Android TV operating system
- Solid 1080p
- 4K compatible
- Uneven 4K performance
It is hard to complain about such a cheap device. If you get hold of a 4K TV, you will not have a problem with this model.
#3 Best Android TV Box for Streaming – Minix Neo U9-H Hub for Android
At nearly $150, the Minix Hub Android Smart TV box is not for every gamer. Non-gamers and those less interested in power features may prefer a cheaper option.
Minix Hub is a small but robust streaming device with a minimal footprint and 4K streaming compatibility. It is also the best box for Kodi as it comes pre-installed.
However, the Minix differs from the Shield TV because it runs a tablet-optimized version of Android. So, some apps are clunky and require the use of a mouse model.
- 4K capable
- H264 compatibility
- Kodi pre-installed
- The tablet-optimized version of Android means a lack of compatibility with many Android TV apps.
Overall, with its 4K capability, pre-installed Kodi, and fantastic app compatibility, the WeTek Hub ranks among the best Android TV boxes.
#4 Best Android TV Box for Netflix – X96 Mini Android TV Box
While not a well-known brand, X96 Mini Android TV Box is a budget-conscious option. With an Amlogic S905X SoC and Android 7.1, the X96 Android TV box can pump 4K video. With a small footprint, four USB ports, and 2.4GHz Wi-Fi, it certainly comes in handy.
Expect nothing as strong as the Nvidia Shield TV or features like the DVR. The X96 Android box does not even run the Android TV OS.
- 4K capable
- Android 7.1
- Runs the mobile-optimized version of Android
It comes with a mere 1GB of RAM that is not qualified for games. But for basic streaming such as Netflix, the MXQ Android box is hard to beat.
#5 Best Android TV Box for Sports – pendoo Android 9.0 TV Box
Who wants a TV Box easy to use but ensuring optimum performance can certainly choose a pendoo box. The latter comes with an avant-garde design with minimal and sinuous lines that adapts well to any type of environment without being bulky.
The user can have clear and brilliant images and clear audio. The Android 10.0 operating system is of the latest generation and is compatible with many applications. Therefore, you can use the device in different ways, especially in sports.
- Optimal performance
- Avant-garde design
- Excellent connection
- Real-time decoding
With wireless Airplay technology, you can watch videos from your smartphone directly on the TV. The latter will then be transformed into a smart TV quickly and easily with no additional devices.
#6 Best 4k Android TV Box – XBMCMart Smart Android TV Box
The XBMCMart Player is a great Android TV box that, like the Shield TV Box, pairs streaming with live TV. Its TV tuner allows users to watch broadcast TV and streaming channels from an established device. Even if the XBMCMart includes a TV tuner, you will still need an antenna.
With 2GB of RAM and 8GB of onboard storage, it is an Android streaming box with modest specs. The XBMCMart runs a full version of Android TV, not a mobile-optimized version of Android.
While Nvidia Shield TV is only more expensive, the XBMCMart Player still has its market.
- Reasonably priced
- Includes OTA tuner
- Streaming and live TV capable
- Requires OTA antenna (sold separately) for live TV and DVR use
XBMCMart is the best solution for people looking for a basic device that combines OTA channels with streaming services. If you do not care for gaming and advanced streaming, it is your best choice.
#7 Best Amazon Android TV Box – T9 Android TV Box
This TV Box is perfect for those who want to live a unique gaming experience and use the device to play multimedia content even from smartphones and computers.
It is a product characterized by excellent connectivity thanks to the Wi-Fi network that allows you to do without annoying internet cables. It comes with a Bluetooth 4.0 connection that allows you to use the Android 10.0 TV Box in different ways according to your needs.
- Multiple functions
- Excellent connectivity
- No cable
- Bluetooth 4.0 connection
- Not many apps offering
Thanks to the 4GB of RAM, it is possible to switch from one application to another quickly and smoothly without interruptions. The interface is also very intuitive and can be used by anyone without any difficulty.
#8 Best Budget Android TV Box – Radio TX3 Mini TV Box
Radio TX3 is the cheapest Android TV Box ever. The Android version is 7.1 runs thanks to the Amlogic S905W Quad-Core CPU, 1GB of Ram, and 8GB of eMMC storage. For obvious reasons, performing the product is not the best in its category. However, the user experience is quite good.
Another important feature of this TV Box is undoubtedly the presence of the Allwinner H616 chip, thanks to which you can use applications with the Android 10.0 system. The device is also good for what concerns video playback. It can support a resolution of up to 8k.
- Affordable price
- High efficiency
- Large memories
- The performance is not the best.
We must not forget the 64 GB of internal memory that allows you to store everything you want on the device without having to worry about the space available.
Features to Consider When Choosing an Android Box for TV
The processor is the brain of every computer and has processed all the data of the operating system. Five major companies make processors on TV Boxes: AmLogic, RockChip, Intel Atom, and Realtek.
The most famous and most used CPUs inside these devices are Amlogic and Rockchip, both for the lower price compared to competitors and for the quality of performance that they can achieve. It divides the powerful Intel Atom processors into three categories: X3, X5, and X7, but they are so powerful that we can use them on mini-PCs.
Android 6.0 Marshmallow
The Android TV Boxes are the most sought-after economical, equipped with all the essential features, fully compatible with Netflix and Kodi, and also easy to use. The only limit is it equips the cheaper models with the same operating system as smartphones and not the actual TV Box system.
This limitation imposes some constraints such as the inability to download apps such as Sky Go or Premium Play. Be careful, but only in the low-end models.
5.1 Audio Passthrough
Audio pass-through is when you want to send the Original Audio signal from the TV Box to the Amplifier or TV. When a movie is taken from a Blu-ray or DVD into a digital file, it compresses the audio as much as the video. Sometimes, if your media file has DTS, Dolby Digital 5.1, or surround sound, and the amplifier can decode that signal, you will get a much better sound using the audio pass-through rather than letting the TV in your box handle it.
The basic ports on each TV Box are HDMI and USB. Most likely it is an aspect that you will never have to test. HDMI is essential to connect the TV Box to your TV, while USB is useful in two cases:
- To connect Hard Disks or USB sticks for content playback;
- To connect the Wi-Fi mouse and keyboard key if there is no Bluetooth.
265 Hardware Decoding
H.265 / HEVC is a completely new video compression standard with the full name is High-Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC) approved by the International Telecommunication Commission ITU-T and was put into products by developers. Commerce. H.265 promises to deliver twice as much compression compared to its predecessor, H.264 / AVC (Advanced Video Coding), which is currently in popularity, accounting for 80% of today’s video content.
The HDMI 2.0 version is an upgrade of HDMI 1.4, with higher transfer rates (can transmit 4K Ultra HD images at almost twice the speed). Modern generations of TVs with HDMI ports can use these two cables.
If you use an older cable like 1.2 or 1.3, the TV will also receive, but the connection quality will not be equal to 1.4 or 2.0.
The main functionality of the TV Box is to connect to the internet and transmit streaming content on your television. Considering this fundamental aspect, connectivity is a very important parameter to take into consideration when buying.
The cheapest devices are not famous for their strong Wi-Fi signal reception. So, if you intend to place the TV Box away from the modem, opt for models with an Ethernet port. Pay attention to external antennas.
If they have them, most likely the reception of the Wi-Fi signal should be strong enough to avoid any buffering problem. Do you want to take advantage of the full strength of the Wi-Fi signal? Then you should consider models compatible with 5GHz dual-band networks.
Can Android TV Box work on any TV?
TV Boxes are devices that connect to a TV via HDMI and can play multimedia content. The operating system, which is mainly Android, allows the user to use many Streaming Apps and Services just like those of a smartphone.
What is the fastest Android TV box?
The pendoo device also offers an excellent connection thanks to the stable Wi-Fi signal. By connecting the cable, Wi-Fi, and the power supply, you can have an excellent video experience. The TV Box guarantees real-time decoding and can support almost all audio and video formats.
Are Android TV boxes worth it?
The operation is very simple, just connect the power cable and the HDMI socket to use the device. We mainly use it for viewing multimedia content such as Netflix, YouTube, Amazon Prime Video, and many others.
Which TV box is best?
If you are looking for a top-notch Android TV box, our pick is Nvidia Shield TV. This Kodi device can carry streaming, gaming, and even server use in one stylish package, making it perfect for a cord cutter.
While Nvidia Shield TV, Xiaomi Mi Box, Minix Player, and X96 Android box are the best Android TV box devices available in 2021, you have plenty of choices. But be careful what you select. The market is full of poor-quality Android TV boxes at low prices.
Often, the saying “you get what you pay for” is true. Some Android TV streamers include pre-installed versions of Kodi with pirated add-ons.