Purchasing and setting up an Android TV box is one of the best ways to improve your TV viewing experience.

There is just one problem…

How do you find the right product that fits your budget and your needs?

I created this Best Android TV Box 2018 guide to answer that question and help you find the device that is right for you.

If you don’t know anything about streaming boxes yet, I suggest you read this Buying Guide before taking a closer look at our Android TV box reviews.


What is the best Android TV box for 2018?

There are many different brands available so it may seem your choice is endless, but the truth is, not all of them are reputableOur list includes only the most trustworthy brands!

Here are the best Android TV boxes for 2018.

RatingProductPrice RangeLearn More
1Nvidia Shield TV$$$
2Nvidia Shield TV Pro$$$$
3Amazon Fire TV$
4Skystream TWO$$$
5EZ-Stream Ti8 (Best Kodi Box 2018)$$
6Minix Neo U1$$
7Matricom G-Box Q3$ - $$$

1. Nvidia Shield TV – Best Android TV Box 2018

The Nvidia Shield TV Streaming Media Player is the best Android TV box for 2018. With its killer 4k HDR graphics and voice command friendly interface, it truly is the best Android TV device for all those who wish to get more from their TV.

Read our Nvidia Shield TV review to learn more about this streaming box.


  • Android 7.0 Nougat
  • Streams Netflix, Youtube and Amazon Video in 4k
  • Expensive

Setup and Updates

Nvidia Shield TV is just as straight-forward to set up like any other TV box on our list. Once you’ve plugged your unit and started it, you can easily set it up using your Google account. To do this, you can either use an Android phone, tablet, or the remote.

Because it is “the streamer for gamers,” there are some gaming and sharing aspects to consider, but once it’s set up, the interface is extremely easy to use.

Naturally, being a premium streaming device that it is, updates are automatic and offered Over the Air.

There was a major update to Shield TV at the beginning of 2017. The original 2015 Shield TV was upgraded to Android 7.0 Nougat and SHIELD 5.0.


All Shield TV boxes now come with 7.0 Nougat, the latest version of the Android OS. It brings quicker navigation, faster access to recently used apps, and picture-in-picture support.

Among other changes, the Shield 5.0 update brings the NVIDIA Games app, which replaces the previous Hub app, and the Amazon Video app, which gives you access to thousands of TV shows and movies. Nvidia is also a Diamond Sponsor of Kodi\XBMC.

Netflix is one of the most popular video-on-demand streaming services today, and even though it supports Ultra High Definition or 4k video playback, not all devices are allowed to get this type of content. Most manufacturers, including some of the more established brands, are not in that Netflix-approved list. Nvidia is an exception to this as it can play Netflix, but also Youtube and Amazon’s Prime Video in 4k when used with compatible TVs.

Shield TV is also one of the few Android TV boxes with 3GB RAM. It does not, however, come with an IR receiver, meaning your universal remote may not work with Nvidia TV.

Tech Support

With an active online community, the Nvidia website has many FAQs, covering every area of the query, along with a thriving forum section where tech experts and fellow Nvidia owners swiftly deal with all your queries.


The box comes with a Nvidia Shield TV, a remote, a power adapter, a controller, and a charging cable for the controller.

It’s worth knowing that when the 2017 version of Shield TV was released, the new box came with a refreshed design, improved controllers, and new features. The new compact design is great, but it means that the microSD and micro-USB slots were removed, a move that has angered many.

Shield TV also comes with a new remote that not everyone likes. The company removed the headphone jack and replaced the rechargeable batteries with a 1-year long-life battery.

The Nvidia Shield TV is the best Android box for 2018. It is one of the fastest streaming devices available in the market today and one of the few allowed to stream Netflix in 4k UHR.


Android OSAndroid 7.0 Nougat
ProcessorNVIDIA® Tegra® X1
Memory3 GB
Internal Storage16 GB
Supported ResolutionUp to 4K Ultra HD at 60 fps
WiFi ConnectivityDual-Band 802.11ac (MIMO)
5.1 Audio PassthroughYes + 7.1
H.265 Video DecodingYes
Expandable storageOver USB
HDMI1 x 2.0
USB2 x 3.0


Faster than its competitors
High-resolution 4k HDR support
Supports 4k for Netflix, Youtube and Amazon Prime Video
Can access media from other sources through intranet
Comes with new redesigned controller


No IR receiver
The removal of the SD card and mini USB slot
New remote with no headphone jack

2. Nvidia Shield TV Pro – Best Android Box for Gaming

The NVIDIA Shield TV Pro comes with all that the standard Shield TV has got to offer, but it does come with a couple of major differences. Apart from the price, that is.


  • 500GB storage
  • IR receiver
  • Original remote with headphones jack
Here’s what’s different between Shield TV and Shield TV Pro:


As mentioned in our Nvidia Shield TV review above, the 2017 edition came with a refresh, which gave it a new compact design. In fact, the 2017 Shield TV is about half the size of the original box.

The Shield Pro was not redesigned and retains the size of the 2015 box.


While the new compact design of Shield TV means the microSD and micro-USB slots were removed, the Pro retains these slots, and many people are happy with that.

Although the microSD port means you can expand the storage of your TV box and the Micro-USB port gives you a direct connection to your computer, you might not actually need these features. Shield Pro offers over 30 times more storage, and PC connections are possible via one of the USB-A ports anyway.

One of the most important differences is the inclusion of the IR receiver on the Nvidia Pro. The receiver gives you the opportunity to use any universal IR remote with the box. Without it, the universal remote you might already own would be useless.


Another major difference between Shield TV and Shield TV Pro is the storage capacity. The Shield TV comes with 16GB of storage, while the Pro offers a whopping 500GB of storage.

The Pro version is a good choice if you intend to download a lot of games, movies, and TV shows on the box. If not, you will be fine with the standard version as the USB ports allow you to connect an external hard drive for extra storage.

Remote and Controller

Both Shield TV and the Pro come with the redesigned Shield Controller, but depending on which version of the box you buy, you get a different remote.

Shield Pro comes with the original remote, meaning it has batteries that you can recharge via the Micro-USB cable and a headphones jack. (If you’re looking for a new pair, check out our Best Noise-Canceling Headphones reviews.)

When it comes to deciding which Nvidia device to buy, it all comes down to your preferences. Know that the Pro is more expensive, but comes with 30 times more storage, the microSD and micro-USB slots, IR receiver and rechargeable batteries. It is the perfect Android box for gamers.


Android OSAndroid 7.0 Nougat
ProcessorNVIDIA® Tegra® X1
Memory3 GB
Internal Storage500 GB
Supported ResolutionUp to 4K Ultra HD at 60 fps
WiFi ConnectivityDual-Band 802.11ac (MIMO)
IR ReceiverYes
5.1 Audio PassthroughYes + 7.1
H.265 Video DecodingYes
Expandable storageOver USB
HDMI1 x 2.0
USB2 x 3.0


Micro-USB and microSD slots
IR receiver
500 GB storage
Headphone jack on remote
Comes with redesigned controller



3. Amazon Fire TV (2017 Edition) – Best Plug and Play Android TV Box

One of the most popular streaming media players available on the market, the new Amazon Fire TV is the best “plug and play” TV box on our list.

It is one of the highest selling and highest rated TV boxes available, and the new features are sure to attract even more customers!


  • 2017 Edition
  • 4k streaming at 60 fps
  • Alexa Voice Control
  • Dolby Atmos Audio

Setup and Updates

Amazon Fire TV is super easy to set up. It is one of the few TV boxes that can be plugged and then played almost immediately. This makes it suitable for you even if you’re new to the world of streaming media players.

Nothing complicated about updates either:

You just need to be connected to the Internet and software updates automatically download and install.


Already with the old Fire TV, you were able to stream 4k Ultra High Definition content, but the new box brings you improved quality at 60 fps instead of 30 fps. It also now supports HDR or High Dynamic Range content and Dolby Atmos audio on supported apps.

The new 2017 Amazon Fire TV box is one of the only devices on our list capable of streaming Netflix and of course Amazon Video in 4k UHR!

As of January 1st 2018, the Youtube app is not available on any of Amazon’s streaming devices anymore. Fortunately, you can still access it through web browsers, such as Firefox or Silk.

It runs a proprietary version of the new Android Nougat 7.1.2, so you still can’t access the Play Store. But it does support 7000 plus games and apps, and you can install them from the Amazon App Store.

The Fire TV doesn’t come with Kodi, but you can side-load it anytime.

It also has support for Alexa, the web assistant by Amazon, making the Fire TV voice command operated.

The voice search function is one of the best things about this Android TV box:

It lets you control your TV just by speaking, but it can do much more than just launch apps or find programs. Along with accessing media and games on it, you can also control all the smart devices at your home – adjust the thermostat, turn on the lights, etc. 

If you already own one of Amazon’s Echo devices, you can use the Fire TV hands-free! Instead of activating Alexa by pressing a button, you can just speak out loud to control your TV.

One of the main concerns with the old Fire TV was the remote as other devices using Bluetooth within the range of the Amazon hardware sometimes disrupted the connection with the remote. Resetting the Bluetooth settings on Fire TV usually fixed the issue.

It’s too early to say if this is a problem with the 2017 version, but we’ll keep you updated!

Tech Support

Amazon is known as the king of support. Aftersales services and their support is not just for third-party items that they sell, but also for the items they produce. With a call, email, live chat and forum support, Amazon ensures that your issues are dealt with and fast.


If you’ve seen the old Fire TV box before, you’ll immediately notice the new compact and portable design. You no longer need to find space for a rather chunky box, the new Fire TV plugs directly into your HDMI port and hangs behind your TV. This makes it very easy to move from room to room or bring with you when you travel.

Due to redesigning of the box, there are some changes that may affect you:

– If you want to plug the new Fire TV via Ethernet, you need the Ethernet Adapter by Amazon.

– There’s no option to add external storage, which is it’s biggest flaw.

The 2017 Amazon Fire TV is a great device that provides its users with an awesome hands-free experience. And if you have an Amazon Prime Account*, the Amazon Fire TV is a blessing for you. With 4k Ultra High Definition picture quality and support for HDR TVs, accompanied by Dolby Atmos sound system, the Amazon Fire TV elevates your experience from “Meh” to “Wow!”

*Amazon Prime is a paid program that gives members access to e-books, streaming music, videos, free two-day shipping, and other Amazon services and deals.


Android OSAndroid 7.1.2 Nougat
ProcessorAmlogic S905 Quad-Core @ 1.5 GHz
Memory2 GB
Internal Storage8 GB
Supported ResolutionUp to 4K Ultra HD at 60 fps; HDR
WiFi ConnectivityDual-Band, Dual-Antenna, 802.11ac (MIMO)
Ethernet10/100 (Only available with the Amazon Ethernet Adapter)
Audio SupportDolby Atmos, Digital, and Digital Plus
H.265 Video DecodingYes
Expandable storageNone
HDMI1 x 1.4
USBMicro USB for power only


New 2017 edition
New compact and portable design
Very easy setup
Loads very fast
Alexa Voice Search
Excellent support
High-resolution 4k HDR support
Supports 4k streaming for Netflix and Youtube
Free Cloud Storage (only for Amazon content)


Potential remote issues
No options for external storage
Need a special adapter to connect to Ethernet
Kodi not pre-loaded
No HDMI 2.0
No USB ports other than microUSB for power only

4. Skystream TWO – Best New Android TV Box 2018

Since Skystream ONE was one of the most popular streaming media players on the market, we were glad to hear that there was an upgrade coming this year. The new model is officially out now and here is our review.


  • Replaces the popular Skystream ONE
  • 32 GB storage
  • Available in a Cord Cutting Package

Setup and Updates

Setting up Skystream is extremely easy. You need to plug the power cable and then HDMI to your Android box and TV, and you’re ready to go.

The box is designed to look for updates automatically, but you can also check for updates through the SkyStream Updater App. It is your go-to place for firmware, app, and add-on updates, but keep in mind that you need to periodically update the app itself as well. Through the updater app, you can choose between the “Family Friendly” or Adult version of Kodi.


The Android OS was upgraded to Nougat 7.1.2 for the new model and it’s still open source – you can download all your favorite apps and games straight to your streaming media player.

While the old box was running the now outdated Quad-Core S905 processor, the new Skystream TWO comes with the fast S912 Octa-Core processor. The Skystream TWO is the only streaming media player on our list that uses the S912 processor!

Where the Skystream TWO stands out among other best Android TV boxes is its storage capabilities – the new box has 32 GB internal memory versus 16 GB for most other boxes. The only Android box offering more memory than this is the Nvidia Shield TV Pro with 500 GB. RAM was also increased from 2 GB to 3 GB – the only other boxes with 3GB RAM are the Nvidia Shield TVs.

Kodi comes pre-installed on TWO, but you can choose between two versions of it. They are completely identical, but the Family version removes any apps that give access to “adult only” viewing.

Just like the old box, the TWO supports 4k Ultra High Definition resolution when used with compatible TVs. Unfortunately, it still doesn’t meet Netflix’s strict rules when it comes to 4k streaming, so movies and videos are only available in standard resolution.

Tech support

SkyStream offers a variety of support options for its customers. The customer service team is based in the United States, and you can contact them anytime through a toll-free hotline. It also offers access to quick and easy FAQs and an official forum, where all your needs and queries are looked after.


The Skystream TWO is a sleek modern-looking Android box, which is 5 inches wide, 5 inches long and about 1.25 inches tall. Not surprisingly, it is only available in black.

Cord Cutting Package

The Skystream TWO is also available in a Cord Cutting Package. It includes a Backlit Air Mouse remote with voice control and a Mohu Leaf HD antenna, which will both enhance your television watching experience.

One of the core missions of SkyStream is to reduce your dependency on cable and help you save money. They have done exactly that by adding the Mohu Leaf 50 mile HD antenna that will give you access to all the local HD channels in your area.

The original remote only comes with eight buttons and a D-pad. The new Air Mouse comes with a full QWERTY keyboard, giving you full control over your Android device. Even cooler, the voice control function allows you to control apps and TV series hands-free!

You can learn more about this package here.

With the latest Android Nougat operating system, the fastest Octa-Core processor, twice-than-normal storage, and an optional Mohu Leaf 50 mile HD antenna, the Skystream TWO is definitely the best new Android TV box on the market for 2018!


Android OSAndroid 7.1.2 Nougat
ProcessorAmlogic S912 Octa-Core @ 2GHz
Memory3 GB
Internal Storage32 GB
Supported ResolutionUp to 4K Ultra HD
WiFi ConnectivityDual Band 802.11 b/g/n/ac
5.1 Audio PassthroughYes
H.265 Video DecodingYes
Expandable storagemicroSD slot
HDMI1 x 2.0
USB4 x 2.0


Android 7.1.2 Nougat
Uses the fastest S912 Octa-Core processor
32 GB storage
Supports 4k UHD resolution on supported TVs


Expensive at around $200
No USB 3.0
Doesn’t stream Netflix or Youtube in HD or 4k

5. EZ Stream Ti8 PLUS Android TV Box – Newest Kodi Box on the Market!

The EZ Stream Ti8 PLUS is an upgrade of the original model, which was already super popular. The new model comes at a great price and with a couple of important updates.

So what exactly changed? Everything you need to know is in our EZ Stream Ti8 PLUS review below.


  • Android 7.1.2 Nougat OS
  • Latest Amlogic processor @ 2GHz
  • Kodi comes pre-installed

Setup and Updates

One primary bugbear of tech users is ease of use. What they usually want is the new hardware to work out of the box.

The EZ Stream Ti8 PLUS does that, just like the old model: it’s virtually plug-and-play so even a novice could use it. Just power it on and connect it to your home Wi-Fi. You do that by entering your router’s password on the wireless setup screen, just as you would on a smartphone or tablet.  Once connected, you are up and running, and the interface is clean and intuitive.

The software and firmware are updated over the air, so you don’t have to take any special measures. Just run the E-Z Stream Updater now and then to make sure your box is safe and secure.

Tip: Make sure your TV has an HDMI port before you purchase the EZ Stream Ti8 Android TV Box. If it has not, you will not be able to use it.


The OS was upgraded from Android Marshmallow 6.0 to Nougat 7.1.2. It still comes with a standard 2GB of RAM, but you now have twice more internal storage – 32GB instead of 16GB.

The power comes in the form of an Octa-Core S912 64-bit ARM Cortex CPU, which runs at a formidable 2Ghz – another upgrade from the original model. The only other box in this list using the latest Amlogic chipset is the Skystream TWO. As for graphics, a Mali T820 GPU takes care of business.

Mali-T820MP3, coupled with the faster CPU, brings you smooth streaming of super-HighDef-4K content. You can also play even the most graphically challenging games with no difficulties. Of course, how well content is streamed also depends on your Internet download speeds.

For those looking for more; the Jarvis version of Kodi is ready for use. Choose between Adult and Family-friendly versions.

It’s worth noting that the add-ons don’t come pre-installed. You need to use the E-Z Stream Updater to install them after purchase. The add-ons are not owned or maintained by Team Kodi either as the two companies have no affiliation.

Netflix and Amazon Prime Video are available in standard resolution only.

Tech Support

Tech support is simple and to the point. E-Z Stream is based in Orlando, Florida, which means customer support is US-based as well.

You can do everything you need online, via the ever-growing user forum and handy manufacturer resources. Take any questions and queries you have there; you won’t be disappointed. However, if you prefer to do it the old-fashioned way, there’s telephone support too.


The design is simple and stylish. A sleek black and white box that will fit nicely into your existing entertainment unit.

Tip: Make sure you leave adequate vertical clearance for the aerial. If not, your Wi-Fi signal will be affected. Also, make sure you don’t place the aerial in contact with metal shelving as this will degrade the reception.

Since the original remote was not particularly impressive, the new box comes with the backlit Air Mouse remote.

Cable Cutting Package

Just like Skystream TWO, the Ti8 PLUS is available in a Cable Cutting Package. It includes the Mohu Leaf HD antenna that allows you to watch all your local channels within the broadcasting range.

Make sure to check you are nearby a broadcasting station as you can’t return the HD antenna.

All-in-all the EZ Stream Ti8 PLUS offers exactly what you’d want from a streaming box. It’s intuitive to use, provides a whole host of content, and customer support is impressive. And the upgrades to the new model make it faster, smoother, and clearer.


Android OSAndroid 7.1.2 Nougat
ProcessorAmlogic S912 Octa-Core @ 2GHz
Memory2 GB
Internal Storage32 GB
Supported ResolutionUp to 4K Ultra HD
WiFi ConnectivityDual Band 802.11 b/g/n/ac at 2.4/5.0GHz
Audio SupportDolby Digital
H.265 Video DecodingYes
Expandable storageSD card slot
HDMI1 x 2.0
USB4 x 2.0


Very easy setup
Easy to update with the E-Z Stream Updater
Latest Amlogic chipset
Kodi comes pre-installed
Supports 4k streaming
Android 7.1.2 Nougat OS
32GB internal storage
Air Mouse remote included
Great tech support
HDMI 2.0


Doesn’t stream Netflix or Amazon Prime in 4k
No USB 3.0 ports


Minix Neo U1 – Android Box for Kodi

With a 64-bit Quad-Core, the Minix Neo U1 is described to be the “ultimate home entertainment media hub.” It brings web browsing, real-time, and lag-free live streaming and extremely high-definition video playback – making it live up to its title.

Our Minix Neo U1 review takes a closer look at this highly rated Android TV box.


  • Supports 4k UHD at 60 fps
  • HDMI 2.0
  • Very fast performance

Setup and Updates

Setting up this Minix Android TV Box is very easy, just connect it through the HDMI cable to your TV, and you’re almost set. It takes about half a minute to boot, and you can then choose the type of launcher you want to use.

Minix Neo U1 offers regular Over the Air firmware updates, helping you constantly improve its performance.

You can download the updates in two ways:

– Using the Minix System Update app, which checks for new updates and automatically prompts you to download and install them.

– Using the update section in your device settings.


Looking at the specs, you’ll notice that this Android TV box by Minix uses the old S905 64-bit Quad-Core 1.5GHz processor. Even though the processor is older than many other Android boxes use, the Minix’s performance tops most other streaming players using the new S912 processor. The box offers 2GB RAM.

Along with the old S905, Minix also comes with the older (but full version) of the Android 5.1.1 Lollipop OS, which means you have access to thousands of apps and games from the Google Play Store.

Some users have had problems with accessing the Play Store, but it has only affected a few people.

The 4k Ultra High Definition video plays at 60 frames per second (fps) and supports up to 10-bit color format. This increases the range of colors displayed, adds new depths and vibrant picture quality not offered by any of the previous Media Hubs.

Unfortunately, Minix doesn’t run the official Android TV OS, meaning it’s not able to stream Netflix in HD or 4k. The same goes for Amazon’s Prime Video. Standard streaming is available for both.

Minix Neo also comes with its own custom version of Kodi called the “XBMC MINIX Edition”. They are Kodi’s Diamond Sponsors and one of the best Kodi streaming boxes available today!

Tech Support

Minix offers support over email, has an official forum where all your queries are taken care of by their tech support team, as well as other Minix Neo U1 owners.


The Neo U1 comes with a small, but highly efficient remote. The Minix Neo U1 is 16.5 inches wide, 12.5 inches long and 13 inches tall. The product is lightweight and weighs about 1 pound.

Manufactured by Minix, a Hong Kong-based company, the Neo U1 is one of the fastest and smoothest TV streaming boxes available, despite the outdated hardware it uses. It comes with a pre-installed version of Kodi (Xbox Media Center), making it extremely easy for first-time users to watch and live stream their favorite TV shows, movies or sports events.


Android OSAndroid 5.1.1 Lollipop
ProcessorAmlogic S905 Quad-Core @ 1.5GHz
Memory2 GB
Internal Storage16 GB
Supported ResolutionUp to 4K Ultra HD at 60 fps
WiFi ConnectivityDual-Band 802.11ac (MIMO)
5.1 Audio PassthroughYes + 7.1
H.265 Video DecodingYes
Expandable storagemicroSD slot
HDMI3 x 2.0
USB3 x 2.0


Excellent tech support
Supports 4k at 60 fps
Built-in custom version of Kodi
Regular updates
HDMI 2.0


Remote doesn’t work with certain apps
HD streaming unavailable on certain apps
No USB 3.0 port
Doesn’t stream Netflix or Amazon Prime Video in HD or 4k

Alternative to the Minix Neo U1

Beelink GT1 Ultimate Android 7.1 TV Box

Matricom G-Box Q3 – Matricom’s New Generation TV Box

The G-Box Q3 is a step above the previous version, with a faster processor, latest 7.1 Nougat Android OS, and Amazon’s Prime Video support.

Read our Matricom G-Box Q3 review to learn more about the features of this popular Android TV box.


  • Supports Google Play Store, Amazon Apps, and Kodi
  • Supports 4K at 30 fps and 3D content
  • Android 7.1 OS

Setup and Updates

The G-Box Q3 is easy enough to set up with a simple HDMI connection to your TV. Updates are done Over the Air (OTA) automatically, and you can check for them in the system settings too.

Some people are experiencing problems with firmware installation and updates. It’s true that the technical side is a little bit more complicated than with other boxes and that the company has had difficulties in addressing these issues in the past. Users also complain that there are no instructions on how to use the box.

If you have any problems with the new G-Box Q3, check out their active forum where customer support answers all questions you may have.


The G-Box Q3 supports 4k Ultra High Definition streaming and 3D video content.

The New Generation Matricom box comes with AmLogic S905, a newer but still not the latest version processor. The upgraded S905 CPU paired with the Mali-450 Octo Quad-Core graphics processor offers much faster streaming than the old version.

The G-Box runs the full, unrestricted version of Android 7.1 Nougat. This means you have full access to Google’s Play Store and most of the apps that work on your smartphone will work on your G-Box too.

Matricom also fully supports Amazon Apps and Video and comes with a built-in Kodi Media Center. This means you pretty much get a 3-in-1 device at the price of one.

Some users mention having problems with Internet connectivity. The G-Box works best when connected via Ethernet as download speeds on WiFi can be pretty poor.

Tech Support

Matricom provides tech support in the form of in-store support (in Florida), email support, and has a new public forum where their tech experts and community members assist people and answer queries.


The box is 4 inches long, 4 inches wide, 1.5 inches tall and weighs about 8.8 ounces.

Compared to the old Q2, the Q3 comes with a new user interface that lets you categorize your apps into individual sections, so you’ll find your favorite apps more easily.

Matricom’s G-Box Q3 is a handy device and is ideal for you if you want your games, movies, TV shows or videos to be Ultra High Definition without compromising on the speed your device works at.


Android OSAndroid 7.1 Nougat
ProcessorAmlogic S905 Quad-Core @ 2GHz
Memory2 GB
Internal Storage16 GB
Supported ResolutionUp to 4K Ultra HD at 30 fps
WiFi ConnectivityDual Band 802.11
5.1 Audio PassthroughYes
H.265 Video DecodingYes
Expandable storagemicroSD slot
HDMI1 x 1.4
USB2 x 2.0


Android 7.1 Nougat OS
Supports Google Play Store and Amazon Apps
Comes with Kodi pre-loaded
4k Ultra High Definition picture quality
Supports 3D content
New easy-to-navigate interface
New remote can be glitchy


Runs an older CPU processor
Some people experience problems with firmware updates
Issues with Internet connectivity
No USB 3.0
Doesn’t stream Netflix or Youtube in 4k

Best Android TV Box 2018 – Buyer’s Guide

In case you don’t know what an Android TV box is, here’s a small summary:

An Android TV box is a small device that can be plugged into pretty much any TV to turn it into a fully customizable Smart TV. You can find great smart TV reviews on top7.tech.

Although they are mainly used to stream TV shows and movies, they also support most of the apps and games available in the Google Play and/or Amazon App Store, turning your TV into a multi-functional device.

Android boxes come with different types of hardware, memory, specs, support network, etc. so before you can pick the right Android TV box, let’s take a look at some of the factors to consider.

OS Android 6.0 or Higher

When taking a closer look at the specs of a potential TV box, make sure to check which version of Android OS it runs. Even some big manufacturers still offer devices with the older Android versions, so make sure your chosen device comes with Android 6.0 Marshmallow or higher.

Devices running the older version may be cheaper, but they won’t come with improved performance, bug fixes, or support for the future.


Make sure the manufacturer of your chosen model offers regular firmware updates. Without them, you may end up with an outdated box sooner than you expected!

Additionally, make sure those they offer those updates over the air (OTA). Some brands still require manual updates, which may end up being too complicated for most people.

Technical Support

Depending on your budget and personal needs, you may opt for a box with a pre-made build or choose to set up your box from scratch. If you do decide to customize it yourself, you need to have at least some technical knowledge as most boxes are not “plug and play.”

Some brands offer technical support over the phone, some brands have built support forums or thorough Frequently Asked Questions pages, but you won’t have these options with many of the cheaper models on sale.


Android TV boxes require the use of the Internet to connect you to some of your favorite apps. There are three things to pay attention to in this regard:

First, your Internet connection needs to be fast enough to support the resolution of the video you intend to stream. Most manufacturers recommend a minimum of 4-5Mbps for HD content.

Secondly, some boxes need to be set up with an Ethernet cable; others also support wireless Internet. Keep in mind that there can be significant differences when it comes to how well video is streamed over WiFi versus over a cable. If you intend to use your box over WiFi, check how it’s meant to stream over a wireless setup and make sure it comes with a dual-band router for more power.

Third, if you do run higher speeds and use Fiber Optic Internet, you need to make sure your TV box supports that. Some models use Fast Ethernet, which supports speeds up to 100Mbps, while others come with Gigabit Ethernet which can handle speeds up to 1000Mbps.

Audio Passthrough

Audio passthrough allows you to send the signal from the box to another device without affecting the quality of it. Some sources recommend the box to have a minimum of 5.1 audio passthrough, but it’s not necessary if you don’t have a Home Theatre System and don’t mind using regular (TV) speakers.

Most Android boxes these days come with some sort of passthrough capability anyway, and many are 5.1 surround sound capable.

HDMI 2.0

This is something you should pay attention to if you intend to stream a lot of 4K Ultra High Definition content. Services like Hulu, Netflix, and even Youtube are already offering movies and TV shows in UHD, but these can only be enjoyed uninterrupted if your chosen Android box has the 2.0 port.

The 2.0 version offers higher bandwidth compared to the older version and is the only way you’ll be able to play 4K videos at a consistent 60 frames per second.

USB Ports

If you plan to use a keyboard/mouse for easier navigation or plug in an external hard drive/a microSD card reader, you might need more than one USB port. Make sure your box comes with a couple of ports, and at least one of them is 3.0. The newer version is much faster and more powerful than USB 2.0.

Devices like speakers, keyboards, etc. don’t require higher speed to work effectively, but if you want to stream movies from a hard drive, you’ll need the 3.0 port to ensure the quality of the video is not affected.

Frequently Asked Questions

How does an Android TV box work?

An Android TV box runs an Android operating system and works just like a smartphone, with the exception of better input/output options and additional add-ons like an air mouse, wireless keyboard, remote control, etc. The box needs to be first connected to your TV via an HDMI cable and then to the Internet via WiFi or Ethernet. After set-up is complete, you can proceed to download apps and games.

How to set up an Android TV box?

Setting up an Android TV box is very easy. You first need to plug all the cables and then connect the box to the Internet via Ethernet or WiFi. The process is basically the same as connecting your phone to your chosen network.

The next important step is checking for any firmware and software updates. Then, you’re ready to install your favorite apps and media players like Kodi or Plex.

Please refer to your manufacturer’s instructions for additional information.

How to use an Android TV box?

An Android TV box works very similarly to Android smartphones. If you’re new to this Operating System, you might need some time to get used to it, but it is very simple to understand. The exact interface you have to work with depends on your chosen device.

Which Android TV box is the best?

Many companies manufacture Android TV boxes, but nothing beats devices produced by Nvidia. The Shield TV and Shield TV Pro come with Nvidia’s latest Tegra X1 processor, Android 7.0 Nougat, the ability to play Netflix, Youtube and Amazon’s Prime in Ultra High definition, and much more. Amazon Fire TV is the best “Plug and Play” TV box and easy to use even if you don’t know much about technology.

Wrapping It Up

As you can see, there are quite a few things to look at when choosing your streaming box. Since some of them are pretty expensive, you want to make sure you buy a device that lasts longer than a couple of months.

I hope you got all the information you need to purchase your first TV box. If you have any questions or comments, let us know below.

About the author

Max is a 29-year-old blogger, passionate about new technologies, outdoor activities and travelling.

He is an online marketing professional, currently working as a Head of SEO in a web agency..

Best Android TV Box 2018 – Buyer’s Guide
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