Coolest Gadgets is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

Best Android TV Box [2019]

Best Overall: Nvidia Shield TV Gaming Edition
While this is the most expensive unit we looked at, it is absolutely the best streaming device right now. The Tegra X1 architecture paired with the Cortex A57 CPU can handle anything you’ll ever throw at it. All of the included features such as Google Assistant, Alexa compatibility, plus the ability to connect external devices such as keyboards, mice, and other gaming controllers just puts it on another level completely. If you crave POWER, this is the only choice right now!

Sale
Nvidia Shield TV Gaming Edition

  • Tegra X1 GPU and Cortex A57 CPU
  • 16GB of RAM
  • Ability To Expand Memory

Best Value: Roku Express
The Roku Express does everything you’ll need while keeping the price under $30. Truthfully, we couldn’t find another VALUE option that did as much as the Express and included an HDMI cable. It’s basically an all-in-one package for someone just starting out or for someone who doesn’t want to spend a ton of money finding out if “cord cutting” is for them.

Sale
Roku Express

  • Easy To Set Up
  • Supports 1080p at Under $30

Best For A Beginner: Amazon Fire TV Stick
Amazon has done a great job with the Amazon Fire TV. It is one of the easiest streaming devices we’ve seen. It’s a three-step process to get everything up-and-running. The Fire OS interface is optimized for simplicity, using large icons and easy-to-follow screen prompts. It’s a great device for someone just getting started or for your grandparents who want to cut the cord but aren’t good with newer technology.

Sale
Amazon Fire TV Stick

  • Easy To Set Up
  • Supports Up To 7.1 Audio
  • 1.7GHz Quad-Core Processor with 8GB of RAM

How We Picked

More and more people are deciding to ditch cable and/or satellite (i.e. cutting the cord) in favor of online streaming options or outdoor TV antennas. It’s not difficult to see why. And as Android TV Boxes have become more popular than ever before, it would make sense that you are considering owning one too.

Finding the right Android TV Box can be difficult as there are so many options out there… which is why we’ve put together a list of the best Android TV Boxes for 2019.

Once you’ve finished reading through our list, you should have found the perfect TV box for you, or have a good idea of what you want and need. We’ve even included a Buyer’s Guide and a Frequently Asked Questions section to really take all the confusion and guesswork out of picking the perfect Android TV Box for you.

So, are you ready to see the 12 best Android TV Boxes for 2019?

#1 Amazon Fire TV Stick

Amazon Fire TV Stick

Specs

  • Amazon App Store Access
  • H.265, 2.1 Audio, 5.1 Audio, 7.1 Audio
  • Dual-Band WiFi, Ethernet, HDMI
  • Dynamic Refresh Rate Switching

For those looking for a great plug-and-play option, the Amazon Fire TV is perfect. It has HD/4K resolution capabilities and is preloaded with Prime Video, Netflix, and YouTube. Not to mention, Amazon slipped Alexa in as well.

When it comes to simplicity, the Amazon Fire TV is as simple as you could ask for. If you aren’t very “tech-savvy”, this will make the transition to an Android TV Box easy.

The Amazon Fire TV is powered by a quad-core, 1.7GHz CPU and has 8GB of onboard RAM. It is powered using a proprietary version of the Fire OS which is built from the Android OS platform but optimized for Amazon media players.

Amazon Fire TV Stick box

The Amazon Fire TV does not have access to the Google Play Store, which is a little bit of a letdown, but it does have access to the Amazon App Store. If you are used to the Google Play Store, then it will take a few minutes to get accustomed to the new store layout.

Most users have reported that setting up the Fire TV is super simple. All that you have to do is plug the Fire TV into an open HDMI port, connect the power cable, and connect it to your WiFi network. If you are using the Fire TV Stick and not the cube, you’ll need to use the Amazon Ethernet Adapter if you want to use a connected line instead of WiFi.

Amazon Fire TV Stick close up

One negative that we’ve seen from a number of users is that the remote is very small and that the battery cover pops off easily. While we prefer the smaller footprint, some people with limited hand movements might find the remote a little too small.

Amazon Fire TV Stick remote

Overall, the Amazon Fire TV is an excellent option for anyone who isn’t too “tech-savvy” or for your grandparents who want to “cut the cords”. It has plenty of power, keeps everything simple, works with most devices, and doesn’t cost a ton.

Sale
Amazon Fire TV Stick

  • Easy To Set Up
  • Supports Up To 7.1 Audio
  • 1.7GHz Quad-Core Processor with 8GB of RAM

#2 Nvidia Shield TV Gaming Edition

Nvidia Shield TV Gaming Edition

Specs

  • Android 8.1 OS
  • H.265, 2.1 Audio, 5.1 Audio,
  • Nvidia GPU for Gaming
  • 16GB of RAM

You aren’t going to be buying this for your grandmother. This baby is loaded with power! The Nvidia Shield TV has continually evolved into a beast when compared to other streaming devices. This is a full-featured streaming device that has one of the strongest CPUs along with a ton of onboard storage, and extra features that set it miles apart from the competition.

Nvidia wasn’t playing when they released the Shield TV back in 2015. And, Nvidia has continued to build one of the most impressive streaming boxes we’ve ever seen.

The Shield TV is powered by a Tegra X1 which has 256 GPU cores and a quad-core ARM Cortex A57 CPU to pump out some awesome visuals without ever skipping a frame. No 4K video is going to cause this to skip and/or stutter. Plus, it’s one of the most efficient systems created by Nvidia thus far only need 10 watts of power to run.

Nvidia Shield TV Gaming Edition box

The Shield TV has access to the Google Play Store so you can get as many apps as you want using an app store that you probably already know. Even better, it does come preloaded with a few streaming video apps such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Vudu, YouTube, Google Play Movies and TV, and more.

While most streaming boxes are used primarily as a way to watch TV, you can also play games using the Shield TV. Of course, this one packs a whole lot more power than the other streaming boxes. Playing Fortnite using the GeForce GPU will blow your mind! While some systems would struggle to keep up with the 60Hz refresh rate and processing requirements of such a game, the Shield TV just blazes right through.

And it has the Google Assistant built into the system so you can say “Ok Google” and it’s ready for your next command. And if you need it, you can even control it using an Amazon Echo or any other Alexa enabled device.

Nvidia Shield TV Gaming Edition box contents

Most users are MORE than satisfied with the Shield TV stating that it’s the fastest streaming box they’ve ever used, with more than enough power to keep up with their gaming needs. But, there are some that complained about it not coming with an HDMI cable or the fact that they use a proprietary power cable instead of standard USB-styled cable. A few others have reported that the system is not as user-friendly as other simplified systems like Fire TV and Roku.

The Nvidia Shield TV is not built for a casual user, but rather is built for someone who is POWER HUNGRY! If all you need is a streaming TV box, you might want to look elsewhere. But if you want a box that has TONS of power, TONS of storage, the ability to run anything you throw at it (i.e. 4K movies and/or games), this is the best option.

Sale
Nvidia Shield TV Gaming Edition

  • Tegra X1 GPU and Cortex A57 CPU
  • 16GB of RAM
  • Ability To Expand Memory

#3 Roku Ultra

Roku Ultra

Specs

  • Proprietary Android OS
  • 1.5GB of RAM
  • Quad-Core CPU

The Roku Ultra is not an Nvidia Shield by a long shot, but it’s a good option as a video streaming device. If you need more than a video streamer, you’ll want to look elsewhere.

Roku Ultra box

Roku has managed to carve out a decent sized niche in the video streaming industry. They were one of the first to create streaming devices that worked well enough to be trusted. Roku uses a simplified system and proprietary OS to work well for any user, regardless of experience.

Roku Ultra Box Content

The Roku Ultra is not some overpowered video streaming device but it still has enough to handle your video streaming needs. It is powered by a Cortex A53 CPU that is able to max out at 1.2GHz spread out over four cores.

The Roku Ultra does not have access to the Google Play Store but instead has access to the Roku store. If a channel is available on the Roku platform, you’ll have access to it. And there are a lot of FREE options, but most are subscriber-based channels. The Roku Ultra does come preloaded with several channels including NetFlix, YouTube, and Vudu.

Roku Ultra Setup

As we alluded to earlier, this is not designed to be anything other than a streaming video player. You can connect your smartphone to it using Bluetooth and/or smartcasting. But, the performance can be spotty using either of these methods.

Most users report that the box is a little slow when handling fast requests (i.e. channel up/down, scrolling through channels, starting a new channel). The remote is very small, but it is built fairly well as users don’t seem to have problems with the remote breaking. If you want, you also have the ability to use the Roku app on your smartphone or tablet as a replacement for the actual Roku remote.

Roku Ultra remote and batteries

The Roku Ultra was not designed to compete with the higher end streaming boxes like the Nvidia Shield. Instead, it was designed to give you access to streaming video content at a convenient price without being too hard to set up and use – and Roku absolutely nailed it! If you need more than a video streaming device with access to most channels, you might want to look elsewhere. For most though, this will be more than enough.

Roku Ultra

  • Lots of Channels to Choose From
  • Headphones are Included for Private Listening
  • 4K Capable

#4 Evanpo T95Z Plus

Evanpo T95Z Plus

Specs

  • AMLogic S912 Octa-Core Processor
  • 3GB of RAM
  • 32GB of Onboard Storage

While you probably haven’t heard of Evanpo, you’ll love their streaming boxes. The T95Z is a high-powered streaming device with tons of features, but comes at a price point that you won’t freak out over.

It’s okay if you’ve never heard of Evanpo until now – we’ll forgive you.

The Evanpo T95Z is powered by an AMLogic (one of the best brands) S912 8-Core Processor capable of pumping out 2.0GHz. It has 3GB of RAM to keep everything running smoothly and finishes out the package with 32GB of onboard storage. Unfortunately, the storage is limited and cannot be upgraded.

EVANPO T95Z PLUS lighting

It comes loaded with KODI so you can do whatever you want with it. The KODI platform is the most versatile platform you’ll work with, but it’s not built for beginners or those who aren’t comfortable with new interfaces. It is also preloaded with access to the Google Play Store so you can add all the apps you want (as long as you don’t run out of memory).

As far as connectivity, you can use your WiFi (dual-band) and/or Ethernet connections. It does have Gigabit support if connected using the Ethernet connection (provided your router/modem can support Gigabit speeds).

And something extra, the T95Z does come with its own remote (pretty much standard) but they also include a wireless backlit keyboard to make moving around the KODI interface easier.

EVANPO T95Z PLUS remote

Most users have reported that it is extremely fast and that they love the KODI interface over some of the more bland, restrictive interfaces of other streaming devices. The WiFi connection is strong and seems pretty fast to most users.

The T95Z is a great KODI streaming box that will handle your video streaming needs without any issues. The included wireless keyboard is a nice addition to an already strong offering. If you want flexibility outside of the standard streaming providers, you’ll enjoy the T95Z.

Sale
Evanpo T95Z Plus

  • 8-Core Processor
  • Included Wireless Keyboard and Remote

#5 Minix NEO U1

Minix NEO U1

Specs

  • 4K Resolution Capable
  • Android 6.0 OS

The Minix NEO U1 is a very capable streaming box that has a few neat features that separate it from the others in this category.

Minix is another name you might not recognize, but they’ve got a pretty solid streaming device in the NEO U1.

The NEO U1 is powered by a 64-bit, quad-core, 1.5GHz processor with 2GB of onboard RAM. As we’ve said before, a quad-core processor capable of 1.5GHz is a good start. It can display 4K videos at up to 60FPS without any stuttering, which is pretty amazing considering the “basic” setup.

Minix NEO U1 inputs

The NEO U1 is preloaded with access to the Google Play Store which means you can add all the games and apps you want (as long as you don’t run out of memory). It does not appear to have access to side-loading, though most users won’t ever need this feature.

Two features that we really like about the NEO U1 is the external antenna which seems to help with WiFi connectivity and the power saving mode where it will automatically cut off when it hasn’t been used for a while.

Minix NEO U1 inputs

Most users have reported that this has an extended range from your wireless modem/router without any major connectivity issues. Others have reported that it is nearly silent when compared to other video streaming boxes with larger processors. There were two issues that seem to be fairly consistent for the NEO U1. The first was the ability to connect to Bluetooth devices such as phones and tablets. It seems that the connections are not very stable and/or you have to be very close to the device (couple of meters). The other issue seems to be that you cannot stream YouTube and/or Amazon Prime in HD (should b fixed with a future software update).

Minix NEO U1 remote

For many, this will be a great option with a few features that could be worth your time. If your TV is a long way away from your router/modem, you may want to consider this as it comes with an external antenna that seems to work better than the internal antenna streaming boxes.

Minix NEO U1

  • External Antenna
  • Power Saving Mode
  • Quad-Core, 1.5GHz Processor

#6 X10 Plus

Pendoo X10 Plus device

Specs

  • 4K Resolution Capable
  • Android 8.1 OS
  • 32GB of Storage

Pendoo X10 Plus and accessories

Talk about “Flashback Friday” … The Pendoo X10 Plus looks like something you would see on a nightstand at your parents’ house from the front. But the top adds a nice little design to take away some of the nostalgic look.

Pendoo X10 Plus remote

Beyond that, the X10 Plus is powered by an AMLogic S905x2 quad-core processor bumping out up to 2.0GHz. It has 4GB of onboard RAM and 32GB on onboard storage. It does have two external USB ports (1 x 2.0, 1 x 3.0) in case you want to add more storage later on.

Pendoo X10 Plus inputs

It has access to the Google Play Store so you can add whatever you want until your heart’s content. The interface is clean and easy, and scrolling between channels and menus is a breeze with the S905x2 processor.

Tech enthusiasts will love the interface and the power, but it’s not going to be easy for your grandparents to understand. For them, a Roku or Fire Stick would be a better option.

Sale
X10 Plus

  • Strong 2.0GHz Processor
  • USB 2.0/3.0 Capable
  • Looks Different

#7 TX3 Mini

TX3 Mini

Specs

  • AMLogic S905w Quad-Core Processor
  • 2GB of RAM
  • 16GB of Onboard Storage

The TX3 Mini is SMALL, but it packs a punch! It’s powered by the AMLogic S905w quad-core processor and it’s capable of 2.0GHz. It has 2GB of RAM and 16GB on onboard storage. It does have a few USB ports if you feel the need to add more storage later on.

It comes preloaded with the Google Play Store for easy app installations along with YouTube, AirPlay, Skype, and a built-in Web Browser too. The WiFi connection only works on 2.4GHz bands but this means that you are limited to a slower bandwidth option from your wireless router/modem.

Even so, most users have found that the WiFi stays connected, even when located a fair distance away from the base. This is surprising as the unit is so small. Some users have reported that it does get a little warm so you’ll need to make sure it is not covered up and try to provide adequate ventilation (we suspect size is a big reason for this).

If you are looking for a small, inconspicuous streaming device, this is a great, inexpensive option with a lot of potential.

Sale
TX3 Mini

  • Android 7.1 OS
  • Easy To Set Up
  • Very Small Footprint

#8 MX Pro

MX Pro remote and keyboard

Specs

  • AMLogic S905w Quad-Core Processor
  • 1GB of RAM
  • 8GB of Onboard Storage

The MX Pro is built differently than most other streaming boxes in that they’ve loaded it up with connection ports. Before we even get into the AMLogic processor, this comes with FOUR USB ports (imagine all the storage and device options). It also has SD/MMC ports for video and/or photo viewing. And that’s not all … it also has SPDIF, AV, HDMI, and Ethernet ports!

MX Pro

Now, it’s powered by the AMLogic S905w 64-bit, quad-core processor on the Cortez A53 architecture which means it has a peak speed of 2.0GHz. It only has 1GB of RAM and 8GB of onboard storage, but the storage issue is moot since you have SO MANY USB ports.

Of course it has access to the Google Play Store so you can put whatever you want on it as long as you can find it in the store. Setting up the device is a breeze as it’s simply a plug in, set up, start watching type setup.

MX Pro keyboard

Looking through other reviews of the MX Pro it appears that the Bluetooth is spotty and/or nonexistent. If you don’t intend to use Bluetooth, this won’t matter, but be aware this is an ongoing issue with the MX Pro (and some other streaming boxes).

Otherwise, this is a great contender in a crowded market. For the price, it’s something you’ll want to consider.

MX Pro

  • Android 7.1 OS
  • Easy To Set Up
  • Wireless Keyboard Included

#9 H96 Max X2

H96 Max X2

Specs

  • AMLogic S905x2 Quad-Core Processor
  • 4GB of RAM
  • 32GB of Onboard Storage

The H96 Max is powered by an AMLogic (one of the best) quad-core Cortez A53 processor that is able to reach up to 2.0GHz. It has 4GB of onboard RAM and has a total storage of 32GB. It has the newest Android 8.1 OS installed so it’s FAST! It has access to the Google Play Store so you can add all kinds of apps and games to the device.

Setup is super easy and everything you need is included. Simply plug the H96 Max into your HDMI port on your TV, set up the wireless network, and then find the channels and/or movies you want to watch. You can even use external devices such as a keyboard and/or mouse through the dual-USB ports.

H96 max X2 accessories

Looking for any real faults with this system, we couldn’t just pinpoint anything specifically – and neither could any other reviewers except for that it’s not built for beginners or the less than “tech-savvy” crowd.

If you need a good, no-name video streaming box with a lot of power and potential, the H96 Max is a good choice. Not to mention, it’s not very expensive at all and it has the 8.1 Android OS already installed.

H96 Max X2

  • Easy To Set Up
  • 4K Streaming Quality Under $50

#10 Amazon Fire TV Cube

Amazon Fire TV Cube remote and cables

Specs

  • Fire OS
  • 4K Streaming Quality
  • Alexa Controlled
  • 16GB of RAM

When Amazon first jumped into the streaming market, no one considered them a real competitor. And they weren’t initially. But now the Amazon Fire series has proven that they are worth your time and money.

The Fire TV Cube is powered by an ARM Cortez A53 quad-core processor that reaches speeds up to 1.5GHz. It also packs in a stout 16GB of onboard RAM to keep everything flowing without any staggering/stuttering of some of the other streaming options (we’re looking at you Roku).
Again, the Amazon Fire TV Cube does not have access to the Google Play Store, but it does have access to the Amazon App Store. This is not a deal breaker as Amazon has done a good job of making sure their store is loaded with plenty of options – it’s just not as popular with most Android fans.

Amazon Fire TV Cube packaging

Setting up the Cube is easy as all you have to do is plug the device into an open HDMI port, connect the power to an open outlet, follow the onscreen directions and connect to your WiFi network. If you do need access to a hardline connection (i.e. Ethernet), then you need to use the Amazon Ethernet Adapter (included).

Amazon Fire TV Cube and remote

And just like before, the biggest complaint that most users have is that the remote is very small and the cover pops off easily. Even so, it’s a sleek little remote that works very well from long distances.

What most people really love about the Cube is the ability to control is using Alexa. For anyone who has used Alexa, you already know how it can make your life much more convenient. If you don’t like the small remote, start using the Alexa command and the remote won’t matter.

The Cube is an upgrade of the Stick, and it’s still a great option for those who aren’t as “tech-savvy”. The biggest factor that separates this from the others is the Alexa-enabled control which can completely remove the need for the remote.

Amazon Fire TV Cube

  • Easy To Set Up
  • 4K Streaming Quality Under $50
  • Alexa-Enabled Control

#11 Roku Premiere

Roku Premiere

Specs

  • Roku Store Access
  • 4K Streaming Quality
  • Works with Google Assistant

Roku is a reliable streaming device brand that is able to keep the “cord cutting” costs down. And while they aren’t packed with power like other devices on this list, they are worth a look due to their value alone.

Roku Premiere packaging

The Roku Premiere uses a quad-core processor, but the speed is not identified. We did contact them to find out the speed and they don’t disclose this information. While we wish they would clarify this for us, it’s not a deal breaker. Again, they also don’t disclose how much onboard memory the Premiere has so we can’t discuss that either.

Roku Premiere in hand

The Premiere does not have access to the Google Play Store so you can’t add other apps like Boom Beach and/or Fortnite, though you can connect using “casting” from your tablet and/or phone to see your mobile display on your TV. Instead of the Play Store, you have access to the Roku Channel Library which is loaded with all the compatible channels you can add to your Roku device.

Roku Premiere inputs

Setting up the Premiere is easy in that you hook it up, plug it in, and follow all the onscreen prompts. Seriously, it’s so easy your grandparents probably won’t even call you because they can’t figure it out. The user interface is simple, with large on screen prompts and menus. But, it’s also fairly dated when compared to other streaming device interfaces.

Roku Premiere remote

As far as what other users have noticed (as have we), the Roku lineup seems to be a little underpowered and therefore works slower than other devices. While this might be an issue with other higher priced options, we are able to overlook this because of the price point for all of their devices.

The Roku Premiere is a great 4K option that doesn’t break the bank. If you want to test the waters of “cord cutting”, this is a great place to start.

Sale
Roku Premiere

  • Easy To Set Up
  • 4K Streaming Quality Under $50
  • Google Assistant Access

#12 Roku Express

Roku Express and remote
Yep, it looks exactly like the Roku Premiere.

Specs

  • Roku Store Access
  • HD Quality Streaming
  • Works with Google Assistant

Roku ended up on our list a lot because they have a lot of different devices that cover a lot of needs. The Express is meant as a good, barebones-type option that will get you up and running at a fraction of the cost.

Roku made a name for themselves in the streaming industry, and they’ll dominate most every list just the same.

Roku Express packaging

The Roku Express states that they are using a quad-core processor, but (again) they don’t identify the speed of the processor. They also seem to leave out how much memory they have onboard, but it’s probably pretty low. We’re not really sure why Roku decided to leave out certain specs but we have a feeling it’s because the component quality is basic.

The Express doesn’t have access to the Google Play Store but instead has access to the Roku Store library. If you can find the channel you want through the Roku library, it’s available to you (some may be paid options). Roku does offer plenty of free movies and shows through their own Roku channel so you’ll still have plenty of free content to work with.

As with almost every other Roku device, setup is a breeze. Simply hook it up, plug it in, and follow the onscreen prompts. Roku maintains a fairly simple interface that works for new users and experienced users alike, though experienced users may prefer a more interactive and speedy interface.

The Roku Express, along with other iterations seem to have speed issues. Switching between channels and/or menus can seem like it takes forever. We attribute this to the reason why they won’t disclose what their clock speed is for their processor or the onboard RAM capacity.

Even so, the Roku Express is a great buy for what you get. You get HD (1080p) streaming quality with an included HDMI cable, in a small, easy-to-hide package. If you’re in the market for a basic streaming device, the Express is a good option.

Sale
Roku Express

  • Easy To Set Up
  • Supports 1080p at Under $30

Buyer’s Guide To Finding The Best Android TV Box

Understanding what you need in an Android TV Box can be confusing. There are so many technical terms and extra features that it can become quite confusing.

Today, we’re going to explain what you need to be looking for in an Android TV Box and why these features are important.

Processor

The Processor (a.k.a. the CPU) is the heart of your Android TV Box. This is where all the work is done. Think of the CPU as the brain. Your brain controls everything that your body does and the CPU controls everything that happens between the TV and the Internet.

The faster the CPU is, the more efficient it will be at keeping up with all of your needs. A 1.0GHz CPU is not nearly as efficient as a 1.5GHz CPU. And the more cores that the CPU has (i.e. dual-core, quad-core), the more it can do simultaneously. Therefore, you want a CPU that has multiple cores with a high processing speed.

When looking at Android TV Boxes, make sure that that CPU is at least a 1.5GHz, quad-core setup. While you may never need the extra processing channels and/or speed, it’s always better to have it than to want it.

Memory

The amount of RAM you have available dictates how fast your Android OS can efficiently switch between apps and/or control your box. The more RAM you have, the more pleasant the experience.

Most systems come with 4GB of RAM, but if you find one with more, go for it! As we said earlier, the more you have, the better off you’ll be.

Storage

The more internal storage you have, the better off you’ll be. As you can see, there is a trend here … more is better!

Most Android TV Boxes comes with around 8GB to 16GB of internal storage. Can they hold more? Absolutely! But because storage is one of the most expensive parts of an Android TV Box, manufacturers stay away.

For most, 8GB is more than enough. But if you are using your Android TV Box as a DVR, you’ll want more storage. Look for a box that can support an external hard drive if you feel you’ll need more than 32GB of storage.

Connections

How an Android TV Box connects to the Internet is important. There are two primary ways that need to be considered.

  1. WiFi
  2. Ethernet

WiFi is the most convenient way but is usually slower than Ethernet connections. Plus, if you aren’t using an 802.11ac router/modem, you could suffer from bottlenecking issues. Ethernet is the fastest connection method as data isn’t transmitted over-the-air, but it can be very inconvenient if you aren’t close to your router/modem.

Being able to connect to your phone and/or tablet could be a factor you’ll need to consider; there are two options for this as well:

  1. Bluetooth
  2. USB

Bluetooth is almost always the preferred connection from a smartphone or tablet. It is the most convenient method as it doesn’t require a cord of any type. A USB connection can be made is most cases, but it’s not nearly as convenient.

A USB port actually comes in more handy when connecting to external storage devices when you need LOTS of extra space.

Video/Sound Quality

This is an important aspect, especially if you have a high-end stereo and/or surround sound system. 2.1 audio only supports 2 channels (left/right) and an additional subwoofer. 5.1 audio supports up to five channels (left front/right front/left rear/right rear/center) and an additional subwoofer. The higher the sound quality, the more immersive the experience.

Video quality matters too! The higher the resolution, the better the viewing experiences – especially on a BIG screen. While HD is nice, 2K, 4K, and 8K (check first if your TV supports it) are much better! HD is basically 1K, so 2K is 2x clearer, 4K is 4x clearer, and 8K would be 8x clearer. Of course, the more resolution you have, the stronger the CPU will need to be to keep up.

There are other features you should be on the lookout for as well, such as Dynamic Refresh Rate Switching which works to match the refresh rate of your Android Box with your TV to provide an even clearer viewing experience.

Android TV Boxes

Frequently Asked Questions

If you’ve been looking into Android TV Boxes, you’ve probably had a few questions about how they work, what they do, what they can’t do, and so on. And we’ve put together a quick list of questions that seem to be asked a lot. Below, you can find our answers to help make picking out the perfect Android TV Box much easier.

Q: What Is An Android TV Box?
A: An Android TV Box is a small device that uses the Android OS created by Google to stream content to your TV like a cable box and/or satellite box. Most are preloaded with certain apps such as Hulu, YouTube, Netflix, and so on. The best Android TV Boxes not only come preloaded but have full access to the Google Play Store and can have other apps installed as well, helping to enhance the user experience.

Some Android TV Boxes are preloaded with channels and/or apps that require an active subscription. These TV Boxes are considered illegal and using them would be breaking the law. The boxes that we recommend will NOT do this, so you have nothing to worry about.

Just be careful if you decide to use another box that was not on our list.

Q: How Does An Android TV Box Work?
A: Android TV Boxes work by connecting your TV to the Internet. As we said earlier, they are powered by the Android OS created by Google so you can install apps, play music and games, and stream videos.

Most Android TV Boxes come preloaded with apps designed to stream videos such as Hulu, YouTube, and Netflix. There are other apps which can be added to your Android TV Box to enhance your experience like ESPN and TNT.

Q: What Can An Android TV Box Do?
A: We briefly touched on this a moment ago, but an Android TV Box can do more than just stream videos. In fact, here are a few more things you can do with an Android TV Box:

  • Play games downloaded from the Google Play Store (i.e. Boom Beach, Fortnite)
  • Keep up with your social media accounts such as Facebook and Instagram
  • Share your phone screen, using mirroring, for everyone to see what you are doing
  • Watch streaming content and/or live tv (using the appropriate apps)
  • Search the web using Google Chrome
  • And more …

Q: Are Android TV Boxes Legal?
A: Yes, Android TV Boxes are legal. Think of an Android TV Box as a bigger, stronger version of your smartphone or tablet. Your smartphone and/or tablet is not illegal to use, but the software that you put on it could be. All an Android TV Box does is allow you to stream content from the Internet to your TV.

There are some Android TV Boxes that have been modded/preloaded with special software (i.e. Kodi) and add-ons that allow you to access subscriber-only channels. These are considered illegal and you can get in trouble if you are caught.

Q: Can You Watch Live TV With An Android TV Box?
A: Yes, you can watch live TV with an Android TV Box. Remember, these are just portals to connect you with content from the internet to your TV. If you have an active subscription with a live TV provider such as DirecTV, Hulu Live, Netflix, DirecTV Now, and so on, you’ll be able to enjoy live TV.

Some Android TV Boxes even have the ability to receive signal using built-in internal TV tuners. These allow you to record over-the-air (OTA) recordings as well.

Q: What Is The Difference Between HD Streaming And 4K Streaming?
A: Some boxes only offer HD quality, where others offer 4K quality; is there really a difference? Absolutely! HD quality will display a picture with a max resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels whereas 4K quality will display a picture with a max resolution of 3840 x 2160 (which is 4x the effective pixels).

On a smaller screen like a 20” TV, the difference will be negligible, but on a larger screen like a 42”, 48”, 60” and/or 72”+ TV, the difference will be very noticeable. Of course, it is better to err on the side of too much, rather than not enough.

Q: Do I Need To Use A VPN With My Android TV Box?
A: There are two reasons to use a VPN with your Android TV Box:

To get around blocks and/or restrictions from your ISP. If your ISP blocks and/or throttles your connection to certain apps and/or channels, then using a VPN will allow you to maximize your connection as they can’t see what you are accessing.

To use illegal apps and/or plugins to access subscriber-only content without being able to be traced back to your actual IP address. We do not support this so we will not explain how this works in further detail.

Conclusion

Android TV Boxes are the new “hot” thing, and in some cases they are full-on replacements for standard TV subscriptions.

Of course, finding the right Android TV Box for your needs just got a whole lot easier as we’ve given you 12 amazing choices to consider. And even if you didn’t find the perfect one for you in our list, the Buyer’s Guide should help to narrow down your search results too.

Hopefully, you don’t have any other questions and you’re ready to join the “cord cutting” crowd. If we didn’t answer all of your questions, let us know so we can help others just like you even more.

So, did you find the right Android TV Box using our suggestions?

We sure hope so!

Product Boxes: Last updated on 2019-08-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API