Best Android streaming box

Internet & Streaming

If you want the highest streaming performance, especially for 4K video, connect the Android box to your home network via an Ethernet cable.

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Which Android streaming box is best?

Fans of the Android operating system on a smartphone will appreciate the ability to use that same interface on a TV streaming box. An Android streaming box gives you access to games from the Google Play Store as well as apps, making it fun to use.

This streaming box can give you access to video stored on your computer or on YouTube for playing on a television. It’s essential to know that it’s not made for accessing streaming TV subscription services.

Our favorite Android streaming box is the Xiaomi Mi Box S Android 8.1 Streaming Media Box for its plethora of features.

What to know before you buy an Android streaming box

Wireless connectivity

A streaming box should be able to connect to your Wi-Fi network. It also should have Bluetooth connectivity, so you can add a keyboard or mouse if desired.

Ethernet connectivity

For the highest level of performance, you’ll want to connect the Android streaming box to your home network router through an Ethernet cable.

HDMI connectivity

Along those same lines, use an HDMI cable if at all possible to connect the box to your TV. This will deliver the highest level of performance.

Processors

The Android box will contain both a CPU and a GPU to provide the processing power required to run high-quality video.

RAM

Boxes with 4GB or more of RAM (random access memory) will create a smoother playback of the video than those with less RAM.

Hardware

With the majority of Android streaming box kits, you’ll receive a remote control in addition to the streaming box. You also may receive a wireless keyboard or mouse.

What to look for in a quality Android streaming box

Unfortunately, Android streaming boxes have received some negative press throughout the years. Some manufacturers of these boxes preinstall access to illegally pirated content or expose your home network to viruses.

A legitimate Android streaming player may have some common apps preloaded onto it. But there are some things to watch out for when selecting an Android streaming box:

  • Not using Google Play Store: A legitimate Android streaming box should connect to the actual Google Play Store to access apps. It should not connect to some app store you’ve never used previously because a nontraditional app store may contain dangerous apps. It also should not say that it will connect you to a preinstalled version or a custom version of the Google Play Store. This is not legitimate.
  • Offers free videos: Some streaming boxes may say they include “free” video. This implies it will give you a free streaming TV service subscription, which it will not do. Streaming TV subscriptions have a monthly fee associated with them. Claiming it provides free video also could imply that the box will provide access to pirated video, which is not legal.
  • Versus Android TV: Typically, an Android TV box will give you access to streaming subscription services. It costs more than an Android streaming box because it needs powerful components to work properly.

How much you can expect to spend on an Android Streaming box

Extremely basic Android boxes cost $30-$50, but they rarely contain extra components like a wireless keyboard. When you want faster processing speeds and additional features, expect to pay $50-$100.

Android streaming box FAQ

Do you need a keyboard with your Android streaming box?

A. A keyboard simplifies using the box, especially for surfing the web. Entering information is faster with a keyboard than with a remote control.

Do Android boxes work with universal TV remote controls?

A. Some of them will. Compatibility is hit and miss between Android streaming boxes and universal remotes, so double-check that the two will work together before buying a new remote.

What’s the best Android streaming box to buy?

Top Android streaming box

Xiaomi’s Mi Box S Android 8.1 Streaming Media Box

Xiaomi’s Mi Box S Android 8.1 Streaming Media Box

What you need to know: This is a high-quality Android media player that delivers excellent processing speeds.

What you’ll love: It supports 4K video resolution and delivers better-than-average audio quality. It comes at a reasonable price.

What you should consider: If you already own an older Mi Box, this model doesn’t have many improvements to encourage an upgrade.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top Android streaming box for the money

Transpeed’s RK3318 Android 9.0 Streaming Media Box

Transpeed’s RK3318 Android 9.0 Streaming Media Box

What you need to know: This is a low-price option for an Android box that gives you support for 4K video.

What you’ll love: It includes Wi-Fi and Bluetooth compatibility and ships with a mini Bluetooth keyboard, which is handy.

What you should consider: None of the parts of this kit feel like they’re constructed from high-quality materials.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Ever Express’ T9 Android 9.0 Streaming Media Box

Ever Express’ T9 Android 9.0 Streaming Media Box

What you need to know: This will give you a good performance level in a variety of areas, even though it has a reasonable price.

What you’ll love: It includes support for Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, so you can connect a wireless keyboard. It has 4K video resolution.

What you should consider: The quality of the audio seems to be inconsistent.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

 

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Kyle Schurman writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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