Android TV boxes have been a game-changer in the truest sense. While these devices were earlier reserved market potential to the nerd audience, and entertainment addicts, now they’ve become household appliances.
In the past five years, several Android TV boxes have stamped their authority in the market, enabling consumers to watch the content they love, in the format they love, and at the time they choose.
In this guide, we will tell you our experiences and observations in testing the most popular Android TV boxes in India.
Here are the top 6 best Android TV boxes available in India:
1. Cubetek 4K Portable Smart TV Box With 2Gb RAM, 16Gb ROM, HDMI 2.0, Android 6.0, Wifi, Dolby 5.1
- Processor: Intel ARM Cortex A-7 2 GHz
- RAM: 2 GB DDR3
- Storage: 8 GB
- Connectivity: WiFi, Ethernet, Bluetooth, HDMI, AV
- Warranty: 1 year
As far as design is concerned, the Cubetek 4K has a minimalistic approach. Like any other smart TV box, this is hardly any bigger than a smartphone and is almost as thick as 3 or 4 smartphones.
Compared to the other latest boxes, this does look a little less interesting and is lighter to the extent of a bit fragile but in terms of performance; it is a powerhouse. It has a brilliant 4K resolution, and when compared to the other boxes of the same range, we saw that no other box plays 4K so well as this one. Be it in whatever format, WMV, MKV, DAT, AVI et cetera, this box shines through.
Like any other Android box, this also requires an internet connection to work. You can also use a remote if you want to.
- Flawless 4K
- Supports disc images
- Connects to the home media server
- Pocket-friendly and good value for money
- Compatible with external hard drives
- Unappealing exterior
- Not user-friendly without a mouse
2. JT X96 Mini Android 7.1, Smart Box with Amlogic S905W Quad Core 64 bit Cortex, 2 GB DDR3 RAM/16GB ROM (Black)
- Processor: Amlogic Quad Core Q9000 2 GHz
- RAM: 2 GB
- Storage: 16 GB
- Connectivity: Connect To Wi-Fi Via HDMI port
- Warranty: 10 Days Replacement Warranty
The JT X96 Mini Android Smart Box comes with a power adapter, a remote, and an HDMI cable. While there is a standard instruction manual included in the package, we have found the remote to be an easy navigator at first glance.
Connect and cast it from any phone of your choice. There is a massive library of channels and movies for free. It is supported by the 16 GB ROM of storage space. The smart box plays Hotstar, Youtube, Prime, Netflix seamlessly. Also, a KD player 17.3 Android is pre-installed for advance performance.
On your first encounter with the product, you will have to connect it to the internet and allow permission for a mini update. Once you have connected to your google account, everything runs smoothly.
It completely changes the picture quality of your TV, updating it to the preferred 4K resolution. We have deemed it to be way more useful for all television-related needs compared to a smart TV. The smart box works perfectly fast on a 100 Mbps cable network.
The only visible complication one faces is during gaming. This is mainly due to the existence of an air mouse and lack of a keyboard. However, this little hurdle can be worked out with the help of a mini keyboard and by connecting a wireless mouse.
In conclusion, one would consider a good, working investment considering the price range.
- No Lag
- Excellent Graphics Processor
- Powerful Chip
- Supports Third-Party Apps
- Can Customise The UI With a Custom launcher
- Lacks Mini Keyboard
- Not good for gaming
3. Linkcon Mi Box S Android TV 8.1 with Google Assistant Remote – 4K HDR – Wi-Fi – Bluetooth 4.2 8 GB – Black
- Processor: Amlogic Quad Core S905X
- RAM: 2 GB
- Storage: 8 GB
- Connectivity: Directly To Wi-Fi
- Warranty: 1 Year for Manufacturing defects
The Mi Box S does precisely what it claims to do. Crystal clear, 4k screening and streaming from sites like Amazon Prime, Netflix, Youtube, etc. In fact, for Jio users, Jio cinema, TV, and other apps work through sideloading. The Dolby Digital Plus passthrough makes way for an immersive experience. Other than 4k, the more tricky HEVC & H-265 playback doesn’t face any issues at all.
The Mi box smoothly runs all kinds of app. However, it is not possible to install apps directly from the play store. You will have to download the apk from the internet and then install it. Alternatively, you can sideload apps from the file explorer.
Your Google Assistant is always there to search for any apps and in app-related queries. Simple commands like checking the weather, setting the alarm, etc. are also done by the smart assistant. The built-in chromecast, along with the Bluetooth voice remote, makes navigation easier.
There is only 1 USB port, which can turn out to be a problem from time to time. The RAM is also limited to 2 GB. As for the ROM, it can be expanded to even 128GB without any hiccups.
Operating under the google treble project, new updates are installed without affecting the device in any negative way. For the features, we do think it is a bit overpriced. The warranty deal of 1 year for manufacturing defects is reassuring on the other hand.
- Usable, simple remote control
- Large selection of Apps
- Easy assembly
- Capable of sideloading
- Can connect to wireless mouse and keyboard
- Internal storage space is lacking
- No LAN port
4. PHANTIO MX10 Android 9.0 Smart TV Box
- Processor: Intel Cortex A5 2 GHz
- RAM: 4 GB GDDR4
- Storage: 32 GB
- Connectivity: Ethernet, Wifi, HDMI, AV
- Warranty: 3 Months
The MX10 Smart TV Box is a simple plastic box in black colour without any flashy graphics. Yet it is very compact and quite powerful.
The setup process is straightforward, and it comes with a friendly layout. All you have to do is connect your display, keyboard, and mouse, and you are good to go. You can set up your gaming consoles without any trouble too.
This Android smart TV box is equipped with the latest Android 9.0 operating system. Being powered by RK3328, it works quite efficiently and loads movies, pictures, and games without any buffering delays.
MX10 is compatible with several android apps. The Wi-Fi signal is fast and of good quality, making internet browsing smooth.
While this box comes with 4GB RAM and 32GB memory, expandable memory is a good 128 GB. The expandable memory helps prevent crashes caused by the lack of space.
The Smart TV box is equipped with quadruple 1080P picture quality. This gives you a rich and smooth visual effect.
- Easy Setup
- Easy user interface
- Affordable price
- Multiple USB Ports
- No Bluetooth connectivity
- Manual update necessary
5. T96 PRO™ MECOOL KM3
T96 PRO™ MECOOL KM3
- Processor: AMD 2 GHz
- RAM Size: 4 GB
- Storage: 64 GB
- Connectivity: USB, HDMI, WiFi, Ethernet
- Warranty: 10 days replacement warranty
Amongst the Android TV boxes, MECOOL is quite a reputed brand. The latest addition, MECOOL KM3 Android 9.0 Voice Control TV Box, is a small square box in a glossy finish packed with features.
It is Google certified, which means that you can enjoy all the Google services such as Google Assist, Chromecast, Google Home, etc. You can play music and videos from your Smartphone, tablet on TV, or even your laptop with the help of Google Cast.
The microphone Bluetooth allows you to manage things with ease. The Bluetooth 4.1 adapter helps you to connect to other external devices easily.
The 4 GB RAM ensures that the system operates smoothly. The integrated connectors with USB ports guarantee high speed.
The best part about it is that it can be voice-controlled. You can link the box with other smart household appliances. You can make use of it as a streaming box too.
Since this TV box supports full HDR formats, you can enjoy images that are of high quality and of excellent clarity.
- Google Certified
- Microphone Bluetooth
- Voice command compatible
- Good sound quality
- Stable OS
- License limitations
- Limited Android TV OS
6. X96 Mini Max Android 7.2, Smart Box with Amlogic S906W Quad Core 64 bit Cortex, 2 GB DDR3 RAM/16GB ROM (Black)
- Processor Brand: Intel Cortex 2 GHz
- RAM: 2GB
- Storage: 16GB
- Connectivity: Ethernet, LAN, Bluetooth
- Warranty: 6 Months
The X96 Mini Max box is a high performing TV Box that comes with the advanced Android 7.1 OS and an Amlogic Quad Core cortex CPU. With the ample storage space of 16 GB internal memory, you can download as many movies and shows you like, without any hassles. It also has a 17.3 Android KD pre-installed player that gives you an array of apps and content already downloaded.
In the present fast track world, almost all families are opting for a TV box of sorts. For Indian homes, the X96 Mini Android Bos has been deemed a suitable fit. We put it to the test, and here is what we found out.
Design-wise, the box offers nothing new and is petite. It supports all kinds of applications like Netflix, Prime, Hulu et cetera. It can also be used for making calls on Facebook, Twitter, MSN, and can also be used as a chatting platform.
The box also supports 3D gaming and understands multiple languages like French, Italian, German et cetera.
It is a low-cost option that offers excellent performance and features for this price. They are also a new, up and coming brand that wants to retain their customers, and hence, they offer lifetime support.
- Value for money
- Multilingual interface
- HQ video streaming
- Old fashioned exterior
- 2GB RAM
Highly Recommended : Best Music Systems For Home in India
Best Android TV Box Brands in India
Your search for the perfect Android TV box in India will bring you up close and personal with some noted brands. We’ll help you understand a bit more about these brands so that they become a lot more than mere names for you.
Cubetek came into existence in the year 2001, a technologically innovative business started by the talented minds of Singapore. At the heart of it all lies the simple desire to bridge the gap between multimedia and home entertainment. At a spectacularly modest price range, Cubetek ships its products worldwide. Its list of regions includes Europe, USA, Canada, Australia, South America, Middle East & South East Asia.
Android TV boxes are one of the first technological customisations the company dipped its hands in. Qualified engineers work around the clock to create newer and better features for the media boxes. The company is also involved in manufacturing Bluetooth helmets, wireless transmitters, and waterproof devices.
When you’re on a hunt for the best Android TV box in India, you will inevitably come across the name JT. Beyond its stellar reputation for economically friendly android tv boxes such as the x96 mini range and handheld wireless microphones with Bluetooth speakers, not much is known about the company.
The manufacturer’s focus lies on creative, smart technology which will work through different plugin support and Bluetooth systems. Their focus is on providing the best possible content, so one doesn’t even have to look at the market for extensions. Their android boxes are complete packages on their own and rarely do the customers have to look for extended storage space or other facilities.
It has been nine years since their inception, and they still pledge by their motto firmly- “always believe that something wonderful is about to happen.” The ‘MI’ stands for mobile internet and also for mission impossible because to come this far, Xiaomi has had to face some tough challenges.
Entrepreneur and founder Lei Jun and his team create top-notch hardware, software, and networking services for the Mi fans all over the globe.
With over 61 million handsets sold in 2014 and products launched in more than eight countries, Xiaomi is expanding its sales across the world to become a global brand.
Phantio is a brand that excels in making TV boxes. Their products are very economical and user-friendly and give the best of specifications at such low costs.
Some of their signature products are the A95X, TX6, H96 MAX and all of these have a few things in common. All of them have the latest Android version, 3D 4K resolution video quality, and quad-core processors, ensuring fast and steady performances. Lastly, all of them are very easy to use and supports all the latest trending apps. You can stream high-quality videos without the fear of lagging. Hence, picking a Phantio box is the right choice, after all.
Buying Guide for Android TV Box
If you purchase an Android TV box in India from reputed companies like Fire, Roku, or Apple TV, a buying guide wouldn’t be of much use to you. The specifications cease to matter in this case, for these companies, with their flashy designs and expensive products, would have all the features and smooth operating systems that don’t leave any room for complaints.
Their goal is to make sure you are happy with the purchase and don’t end up leaving with a negative impression of the company. The same can’t be said for the more affordable android tv box sellers.
It’s not to say they don’t care about their reputation or are purposely trying to dupe their customers. For them, it merely boils down to their capital, which restricts the specification they provide under it while keeping the price of the product affordable for their customers.
This means when you buy relatively cheaper products, you have to give up on some extra facilities and focus on the ones that matter. How do you know what you should and should not focus on?
We’re here to answer those questions with this guide!
1. The Specifications You Should Focus On While Buying the Android TV Box in India
1.1 Select The Right Processor
No one wants an Android TV box that lags even when you are about to do simple tasks or freezes the screen while you are in the middle of an important scene. What helps the system run smoothly is mainly the RAM and the processor.
When you are choosing an Android TV box, select one with 1.5Ghz Quad-Core CPU or one that’s higher than that. One with octa-core processor would be the best. It wouldn’t only be able to stream videos without any buffering problem, but even games could be run smoothly. However, the price for the android tv box would also rise with the higher processing power choice.
What About The Memory?
This case is similar to the choice you make for smartphones. Anyone who has done some amount of research while buying smartphones would know RAM is different from the ROM. One thing we can all agree to is that space needs to be big in both cases. The operating system depends on memory to help load channels faster as well as complete other functions without any hiccups.
As of now, there is an ongoing debate on the limit on how much memory the operating system can use. The belief is that anything over 4GB is a waste, for the operating system can only use that amount of memory. Even giant companies with super functional features don’t roll out smartphones with more than 4 GB. And if smartphones aren’t able to use more than 4 GB, your android tv box certainly won’t be able to.
We would recommend buying a TV box with at least 4 GB RAM. There is no need to go over that since that would only lead to unnecessary extra expense with no remarkable result. At the same time, it’s best to not opt for anything less than that, for the operating system could run into problems.
1.2 The Storage Options
If you look at the current storage space available in the market for an android tv box, you will see there is a lack of storage options with both 8 GB and 32 GB. Most manufacturers seemingly prefer sticking to the 16 GB area.
This might even look odd to some. Smartphones with even 256 GB space exist, so why is it that for android tv boxes, even finding 32 GB is a stretch? It can be summed up in one single word. The reason behind this is the cost.
Its customer base usually uses the android box for streaming. Rarely do people end up downloading those large chunks of movies and shows into their internal storage? As for apps, 8Gb or 16GB is enough to contain those small files.
The manufacturers are trying to cut the cost in any that’s possible so that more useful features could be fit into a box. It is simply counterproductive to try and fit an ample storage space when it is ultimately of no consequence to the customer.
The only time the target audience cares for better space is if they are gamers. So, unless you plan on downloading and playing lots of games with the media box, sticking to 16 GB should be enough for you. It will provide you with extra security in case you do end up needing a lot of space.
If you wish for storage space any more than the recommended, we think it would be better to simply opt for an external hard drive. You can carry it around anywhere you want and can store way more things there while keeping it cost-effective.
1.3 The Ports/ Connectivity Range
The main reason you are even searching for an Android TV box is your desire to watch HD movies and tv series from the internet on the television screen. It would be kind of pointless if the ports and connectivity range aren’t as good as they should be. You wouldn’t have much left to do with your android box if the streaming services can’t be loaded properly.
If the internet connection is established through a Wifi signal, you need to make sure it is at least 802.11 ac. A little less than this, you will have the 4K video buffering while you cry in the corner.
The traditional gigabit ethernet will always be the most opted one. If the android box is hard-wired with the ethernet, how strong your wifi signal is doesn’t matter. It does become a significant factor when the android box only relies on wifi signal. So, either you use a fast wifi connection or gigabit ethernet.
As for the ports, if you want the Android TV box to connect to your television and provide 4k streaming quality, at 60 per second frame rate, you absolutely must not settle for any less than HDMI 2.0.
There are devices with HDMI 1.4 option. Steer clear of those. The frame rate is limited to 30 per second at that point. The screen might glitch and you won’t be able to catch the fluidity of the motions.
2. Specifications That You Should Not Focus On
Additional features are usually appreciated. At the same time, some features manufacturers boost of that are completely unnecessary for the viewing experience. The only purpose of them is to make the android box than it already is.
We would recommend skimping out on the below-noted features.
2.1 Colour Variation
The general belief is that the wider range of colour variation the device has, the better quality of pictures would be provided to them. The simple truth is that our regular television player is incapable of supporting more 1024 colour variation range.
Your android tv box could have a wide range, but it would be ultimately incompatible with the television – which most likely isn’t capable of supporting a deeper range of the colour spectrum.
2.2 Dual Boot
Dual boot is nothing more than the option of allowing a device to have two operating systems instead of one. It’s easy to see why it is unnecessary. If the operating system you currently have is the latest and updated, do you need any more than that?
3. Is It Okay To Buy Cheap Android TV Box?
If you have come this far in the guide, you have taken note of the fact that you might have to give up on fancy features to buy cheap android boxes. It might have made you doubt whether you should buy the box at all.
From our own experience, we would like to think it is worth it. Buying a cheap android tv box doesn’t necessarily mean you are settling for something less than the costly ones from reputed companies. What it means is you need to take a careful look at the device you are planning on buying.
If you already have a good television system, integrating the Android TV box with it will take care of any lacking features your current television has. The market is filled with thousands of options. Knowing what you want, what you need, and what you can get makes all the difference. The result could be a satisfying but cheap android tv box that would work for years before you are ready to move on to the next model.
4. Things You Have To Give Up For The More Affordable Android Models
If you’re going to opt for affordable android tv box models, you need to be aware of what you are giving up in the process. The cheaper ones skip on a lot of features the manufacturer might deem unnecessary. Of course, what the manufacturer thinks is unimportant could be a non-negotiable point for you.
What we’ve noticed is that sometimes these manufacturers don’t mention some features on the specs for the cheap ones. We have prepared a list of some of the features that tend to be missing from the cheap android boxes. It doesn’t mean the ones you are looking for most definitely doesn’t have them. There is a high chance though, especially if the specification box doesn’t mention them.
4.1 Disparity In Performance
For the most part, if you have a device with a good processor and memory, the performance would usually be smooth running. However, a lot of manufacturers do bring the quality of the performance down if the cost is too low.
Fortunately, the difference in performance isn’t as transparent if you are simply watching television. One mostly notices the difference when they are playing high-quality video games, and the graphics and motion don’t appear to be as up to the quality as it should. If you are not a gamer, this would not be of big consequence to you.
4.2 Firmware Updates
The android box you once box could incorporate better features with time. Provided, the manufacturer you have brought this from is willing to dish out the latest updates to you regularly. This is exactly like your standard smartphones in the market, which get updates for bug fixes and features.
If the manufacturers do not allow you the update option due to the low price, your once brand new android tv box could become outdated when compared to similar products in the market.
If you plan on buying a new android tv box after some years, you can probably make peace with those. Or you could be one of those people who don’t care for the latest advancements as long as the movies and shows run smoothly on the television screen.
4.3 Forum Support
When you face sudden and odd problems with your smartphone, where do you usually go? Do you immediately hunt down a local repair store and use up your warranty- provided it is still valid? Or do you look for ways to fix the problem by yourself, for you can’t bear to part with the device for more than a day?
You will feel the same way with your android tv box. Once you get used to the addictive quality of it, you won’t want to leave it in a store if you could fix the problem yourself.
Where do you look when you need a little help with technology? The obvious choice would be to find a community forum of the company. On these forums, people with different models from the same manufacturer come together to discuss the issues and help each other by thinking of ways to solve it.
Some people may have already gone through the issues and thus, know the exact steps needed to fix the device. Others might be tech-savvy people who are always up to date.
Rarely do manufacturers with cheap devices have a community support platform for its customers. All hope is not lost, though. Recently, the manufacturers have become aware of the usefulness of the internet and the need for forums to maintain the reputation of their business. A lot of the manufacturers are starting to integrate a community website for their devices if they haven’t before.
4.4 OTA Upgrades
Say, your manufacturers are indeed willing to offer the latest firmware updates to you for the android box you choose. The catch could be that the upgrades aren’t available to you OTA (Over the air). Instead, you have to update the device by yourself manually.
Unlike OTA upgrades where you answer with yes or no to questions and click on the update button, manual upgrades are a messy, complicated task and require some knowledge of the technology. Despite the upgrade option, it could simply appear as a hassle to you, and you may as well skip updating forever.
4.5 Customer Service
Running a customer service department isn’t easy. You need a store, people with technical knowledge and representatives who will answer your queries. If the manufacturers aren’t making enough money depending on the price of the android box alone, the first thing they will get rid of is customer service.
If your device is some signs of serious problems, you won’t have an integrated store from the manufacturer to seek help from. Instead, you will have to run to a local hardware shop and get the device fixed at a price.
How do you know if the manufacturer is willing to provide support after the sale? They will at least have one year warranty.
5. Things You Should Not Give Up
We have discussed certain things you may or may not give up while buying a cheap android box without even realising it. It’s only fair we expand a bit on features that we would not compromise on, regardless of how inexpensive the device is.
5.1 Updated Operating System
The operating system has gone through a long list of updates in a couple of years. The latest is Android 8.1. If you are willing to settle for something older, you can go for Android 7.1. Going any backward than this, and you will get stuck in a time long gone.
When you are searching through the products, it’s best that you at least buy the latest android system. Considering how fast updates are rolling out, you could find yourself longing for the most recent one, while your device can’t even support an android 6 if you aren’t careful.
5.2 Custom Launcher
If you’re buying an Android TV box in India, you are most likely not the only person using the device. There’s a high chance everyone in your family is planning to make the best use of the device. If the launcher is so that it can’t be customised according to difficulties faced by the ones less acquainted with technology, you are going to have to deal with a lot of complaints.
It’s not only going to be your parents or your siblings. Even the neighbour might come over and offer unneeded advice on how you should have brought a better android tv box. You want to avoid that, don’t you?
5.3 Generic Box
The product, regardless of how cheap it is and how unknown the company is, should at least have the manufacturer’s name printed on it. If the product turns out to be worse than the promised specifications, you would need somewhere to direct your complaint and also seek support from others.
If the manufacturers don’t even bother printing their name on the product, they already have not planned on providing you with any support for the device once it has been brought. They will frankly skip out and deny any accusations directed at them.
5.4 Shopping Site
This is one that has got nothing to do with manufacturers. Instead, let’s talk about vendors for a bit. If you try to buy the tv box from shopping sites like eBay, your chances of getting duped are quite high. Places like this will sell a lot of second-hand products, and while it might be spectacularly cheap, the result could be the box fizzling out in a couple of days.
We have personally recommended a cheap android tv box from Amazon, and we would encourage you to buy from the same. Amazon sells a brand new product and has a large community of sellers working for them. A lot of vendors only sell through Amazon even. If you face any problem, you can contact Amazon representatives in the event you can’t get hold of the manufacturers.
FAQs About Best Android TV Box in India:
1. What exactly is an Android TV Box?
For the uninitiated, still getting hold of this tech-savvy world, Android TV box is similar to a mini set-top box. This electronic media box operates on android software. This tiny box is capable of streaming particular contents from online media service providers or video-sharing websites by projecting the videos on to your television screaming. Instead of cable lines, the device provides its services by using the internet.
We have carefully chosen the best android tv box in India for this review. However, if you decide to buy a media box outside of the recommended devices here, we advise caution.
You will find Android boxes in the market that the manufacturer claims are powered by Android software. Often, you will discover preloaded content and channels in those which should only be available to you through subscription. Products of such nature are illegal. Owning one would amount to breaking the law.
Read the description and reviews with extreme precision before choosing one!
2. How does the box work?
Bluetooth options or HDMI ports are provided so you can connect the device to the television. The television and the android box then share the internet with each other. The operating system is usually the latest android software. Videos and movies are streamed through video sharing platforms and online streaming sites while songs fill the room with the assistance of music apps.
3. What Is an Android TV Stick? How Is It Different From Android TV Box?
The system of using android software and connecting it to the television to access streaming sites isn’t only available on android tv boxes. A smaller and cheaper version exists in the form of an Android TV stick.
The intention and capability of Android TV sticks are the same as that of an Android TV box. The glaring difference in functionality might be the limited options of features depending on how much it falls on the inexpensive side. From a design perspective, android sticks look like long transmitters while the android box looks exactly like a set-top box.
4. What is 4k Streaming? Why Is It Important?
4K and Ultra High Definition both mean the same thing. What it means is that the horizontal resolution on the digital television screen would be 4000 pixels. In case of regular HD television, the resolution is a limited 1080 pixels. You can tell the difference by pixels alone.
If we can get the option of seeing the content on television in perfect clarity, where the colours and features are much more defined, why wouldn’t we? Of course, not everyone cares about 4k. Some of us would happily watch television for as long as the quality can be at least called high definition. The undeniable fact is that 4k makes the experience more immersive. And for people who are enthusiastic enough to buy an android box for their television, it’s something you are most likely attracted to.
In the past four to five years, the want for TV boxes has increased, and thus, the market has been concentrated with a number of such boxes from various brands. We put a whole bunch of them to the test and it seems like there are two clear winners. The Cubetek 4K portable smart TV box and the JT X96 Mini Android Box.
The Bubetek box offers an ARM Cortex A7 processor with an 8 GB expandable internal storage. The video quality is superb. It has a flawless 4k compatibility, and that is where it beats the other boxes.
Close comes the JT X96 box with more significant storage but the processor and the 4K stand nowhere close to the Cubetek box.
Nonetheless, both of them are good buys if you are within a budget and are looking for quality products. Hopefully, this guide would help you in buying the best Android TV Box in India. Happy Buying!