Bicotech – Mini RK3229 Android TV Box
Having tried and tested a few Android TV boxes over the last few months I wanted to see what this little box had to offer.
The box itself has a low price point currently under the £30 mark and in comparison to other boxes available I would say is middle of the road. But the price reflects this. It’s not the latest most hi-tech box but it is also far from being the worst and I’ll explain why in a little while.
My first impressions of the TV Box was that it was a lot smaller than others I have tried. This is a bonus because it takes up less space and is very discreet on my entertainment centre. I really liked the contrasting colours of the TV Box. The orange base stands out against the sleek black exterior when looking at the device from the front. This is something different to other boxes I have but doesn’t affect performance.
The TV Box has various ports which include 2 X USB ports and a Micro SD Card Slot allowing you to connect various accessories like keyboards, mice and external hard drives and USB sticks. There is SPDIF / Optical Out Port allowing you to connect the TV Box to external audio equipment for example surround sound systems which will help improve the cinema type experience. There is also a network port so the device can be hardwired to your internet router for better internet connectivity and speeds. The device is also Wi-Fi enabled so a wired connection isn’t necessary but is there as an option.
The specs of the device are middle of the road. Featuring 1GB Ram and 8GB Rom which can be expanded with Micro SD cards if required.
A lot of the newer boxes come with 2GB Ram and you find that these are a little snappier whilst in use. You will also find that they are more expensive. The 1GB of Ram is not a downfall with this TV Box due to the older version of Android the 1GB is sufficient to provide smooth playback without any lag.
You may find if you have slower internet speeds for example not fibre that sometimes especially when watching HD movies that you may get some buffer this will happen regardless of the box you purchase if this is the case.
You will notice that the Android version on the TV Box is not the latest version. The version installed is 4.4. So although you will still be able to do all of the things the box is designed to do you will miss out on some minor features that are available on new Android versions like 5.1 and 6.0.
The instructions to use the box are very limited but the TV Box is so simple to use that you will figure it out in no time at all especially if you already use an Android phone.
Also included in the box was an HDMI Cable and the remote control. The batteries were not supplied but the remote takes 2 X AAA batteries. Although the remote is sufficient for use I have personally found that a small wireless keyboard / mouse is much easier to use. These can be found for around £10. The supplied remote will keep you going but for ease of use and time saving I would definitely recommend the small additional investment.
The TV Box comes with some apps pre-installed for example Kodi, Netflix and YouTube. These will more than likely be some of the main ones you use but you can add on additional apps and games from the Play Store as well as downloading additional add-ons for Kodi. Kodi does have a lot of add-ons for various online TV and movie services. My recommendation would be if you have never used Kodi before to spend a little time on YouTube and Google and learn about it a little more so you can make it work to benefit you as best as possible as everybody will have different tastes and needs etc. In short Kodi is a total multimedia centre in which you can play and organise your own movies and music which includes detailed information, cover art and photos for your own multimedia once scanned in. You will also be able to access a wide range of TV programmes, movies and online video etc via third party add-ons free of charge.
In addition you will find a browser to surf the internet and other standard apps like a file manager.
All in all for money this is a bargain Android TV Box which may not include all of the latest software and hardware but does everything it needs to and will make an ideal purchase for anyone who wants to make their TV smarter.
Mid-range budget Android TV Box, lots of media streaming choices and great value for money.