As the popularity of Android TV boxes increases, their prices are reduced, giving people more affordable options to choose from. The X96 is one of the devices that you can get for a convenient price and it offers the core features needed to enjoy a great streaming experience. It is possible to get it with 1 GB or 2 GB of RAM, so you can decide which version suits you best. While the 2GB version is slightly more expensive, it is the recommended solution since it offers better performance and the additional cost is not that high. It uses quad-core AMlogic S905W CPU and apart from the 2GB of RAM, it offers 16GB of Internal storage. The box works with 7.1.2 and it can use an SD card, which can be formatted as internal storage. It is available online and you can get it from recognized retailers like Amazon and Aliexpress. Let’s find out more about what the X96 Mini TV Box has to offer.
Since it is a low-priced option, it doesn’t come as a surprise to see that it is very lightweight and made out of plastic. It doesn’t really feel like a sturdy, high quality device, but it offers the necessary features to complete the tasks for which it is made for. There are two USB ports on the left and the SD card slot is also located there. The HDMI port, AV out, the network adapter port and the IR port are located on the back.
The IR port is not a feature that you find on all devices, but it is very convenient since it is possible to use it with the IR sensor that is included in the box and it allows you to place the TV box behind the TV so that it is not visible.
You will also find an IR remote control, which is something that other TV boxes offer. However, the remote control doesn’t offer the best performance to be honest. This is why it is advisable to get a wireless keyboard and mouse, which will give you better results. It should be noted that this is not an issue that is exclusive to the X96. It is common to see that the remote controls included don’t provide the best experience.
The functionality of the TV box is somewhat limited, but this can be expected, given that it is very cheap. There is support for dual band WiFi and it doesn’t offer Bluetooth connectivity. This is disappointing since Bluetooth connectivity would enable you to use wireless headphones or a controller. Still, the speeds over WiFi are good enough, although the WiFi range is not the best. As such, you would need to be near your router or connect to the internet using a cable.
The box features Amlogic S905W, which is an entry level CPU so the scores on the Antutu Benchmark, Geekbench 4 and Ice Storm Extreme are quite low. The Antutu score for example is 26000. The majority of apps work fine, but it will take some time until they load. Still, you can play games seamlessly. A YouTube app comes pre-installed, but the maximum resolution is 720P. The official YouTube app gives you a maximum resolution of 1080P and you can play all videos without issues.
DTS sound and DD 5.1 sound work really good with the pre-installed Kodi app. This is KD player, which is a modified version of Kodi 17. Most video format work without issues, although you may experience some lag with 4K.
The X96 uses the same launcher that you find in other TV boxes. While it is not the most advanced solution, it is enough to get the job done. Keep in mind that there are no navigation buttons at the bottom of the screen, which could make things easier. However, it is possible that they are added in future versions of the software. The Settings app is organized in two parts: Droid Settings and Advanced settings.
The affordability and overall decent performance of the X96 Mini TV box, makes it a practical solution. If you just need something simple that supports the basic features needed, this is a good solution that doesn’t break the bank.