An affordable Media Centre – X96 Mini TV Box Review

The android TV Boxes are getting more and more affordable and the X96 Mini is one of them. You can get this one with either 1GB or 2GB of Ram and the price will depend on the version that you choose.

I do recommend getting the 2GB version because it will perform better for most tasks and the price difference is quite small.

The X96 Mini is powered by the quad-core Amlogic S905W CPU paired with 2GB of Ram and 16GB of Internal Storage. The box is running Android 7.1.2 and can also take an SD card that can be formated as internal storage.

You can find it at the following retailers:

Amazon: http://geni.us/5D53rf

Aliexpress: http://ali.ski/eRO-i

Gearbest: http://bit.ly/2nalz5F

Build Quality

The device is made out of plastic and it feels very light and it doesn’t give you that premium feel that we get from more expensive ones.

On the left side there are two usb ports and the SD card slot. On the back there is the HDMI port, AV out, the network adapter port and the IR port.

The IR port is not something that we see every day and can be used with the IR sensor that comes in the box. That could be useful if you want to place the tv box behind the TV and have it hidden.

In the box there is also an IR remote control just as we’ve seen on many other in the past. The remote control is not great and i do recommend getting a wireless keyboard and mouse for a much better experience. This is the case with 95% of the remote controls that i have tried.

Connectivity

Since this is such an affordable tv box there are some limitations as well. The box doesn’t have dual band wifi and it doesn’t have bluetooth connectivity.

The bluetooth connectivity is great if you plan on using some bluetooth headphones or if you want to connect a controller.

The speeds over wifi are decent but the wifi range is not the greatest that i tried, therefore you are better off to have it close by to your router or connected to the internet thru a cable.

Performance

The Amlogic S905W is an entry level CPU therefore the scores on the Antutu Benchmark, Geekbench 4 and the Ice Storm Extreme are somewhat low. As a quick example the Antutu score is around 26000.

Most apps will work ok but it will take a bit longer than usual to load. Even gaming is possible and i was surprised to see how well a game like Real Racing 3 performed.

On the YouTube app that comes pre-installed the maximum resolution that can be selected is 720P. If you download the official YouTube app from the Google Play Store the maximum resolution is 1080P and all the videos play smoothly.

Surprisingly enough DTS sound and DD 5.1 sound works great with the pre-installed Kodi app. This is a modified version of Kodi 17 and it’s called the KD player.

I’ve also tried a lot of video formats and the only two i had trouble with were two 4K files, on at 60fps and the other one at 50fps. All other formats worked great and without any lag.

Launcher and User Interface

The X96 Mini TV Box is using the same launcher that we have seen in the past for many tv boxes. This is not the most advanced launcher out ther but i guess it’s good enough for what it’s supposed to do.

I was a bit disappointed about the fact that we don’t get the navigation buttons at the bottom of the screen but i am hoping that it will be added in a future software update as i have seen for other TV Boxes in the past.

The Settings app is devided in two parts as well and if you look for more advanced settings you will need to go to the apps and from there select the Droid Settings and Advanced settings.

Conclusion

The X96 Mini TV box is a super affordable tv box and for it’s super low price it performs quite well and offers great value.

You can find it at the following retailers:

Amazon: http://geni.us/5D53rf

Aliexpress: http://ali.ski/eRO-i

Gearbest: http://bit.ly/2nalz5F

If you want to find out more about the X96 Mini i’ve also done a video review and you can find it below:

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