Today I will present one of the best tv boxes for 2021 under $40, X98 Mini equipped with a new generation of Amlogic SoC under the name S905W2 Quad-Core SoC which offers superior performance in all tasks with support AV1 codec and it’s powered by Android 11, in addition to 4GB RAM and storage capacity of up to 64GB, all this allows you to watch and enjoy thousands of movies and series in 4K resolution, so it’s time to talk about this TV Box and see if it is worth investing in and what its pros and cons.
X98 Mini TV BOX Features
- Amlogic S905W2 Quad-Core ARM Cortex A35
- ARM Mali-G31 MP2
- Android 11
- LPDDR3 2/4GB, eMMC 16/32/64GB
- Dual Wifi 2.4 – 5.8G
- Support: AV1, 4K 60fps
Design And Build Quality
The design applied in the X98 Mini is very simple but with some elegant touches, it’s just a square black plastic box with a circular world map plate and X98 logo on the top and illuminated by blue LED lighting as an aesthetic appearance. in the front, we find an LCD panel with lamps Blue LED displays, and from the bottom, there are ventilation holes and four rubber legs for added stability.
Moving on to the ports, what we often find in TV BOX devices includes 2* USB 2.0 ports, TF Card slot, AV port, DC port output, RJ45 Ethernet (10 / 100M), 3.5mm jack, and HDMI 2.1.
Note: The top LED light can not be disabled and we will have to open it to disconnect it physically, a negative and incomprehensible point.
Under The Hood
The SoC used in the X98 Mini is Amlogic S905W2 64-bit Quad-core ARM Cortex A35 1.8GHz, This processor is known for its good manufacturing quality at 12nm and gives you more performance than the previous generation compared to the S905W found in some budget TV box devices. Also, It’s designed for high-performance devices and supports AV1 decoding which is now mandatory for popular streaming services.
The Mali-G31 MP2 GPU offers good performance without forgetting the 4GB RAM ( or 2GB ) for greater multitasking capabilities and provides excellent results in navigating and running applications. And storage capacity, it has 3 options of 16GB, 32GB, or 64GB eMMC and there is a TF card slot to support expansion up to 64GB.
Connectivity Of The X98 Mini
For connectivity, the X98 Mini box contains 2.4GHz / 5GHz WIFI IEEE 802.11 b / g / n / ac dual-band, the network is acceptable but not the most stable, and has a 100MB LAN port, not the best thing but its more reliable than WI-FI and provides even better data transmission. And has Bluetooth 4.1 is not the latest generation but is It works well, however, is acceptable at this price point.
X98 Mini TV Box equipped with Android 11 to provide you with more efficient and safe operation and better compatibility with the latest apps, so better user experience.
In the beginning, it’s fast to boot up, it will not take more than a few seconds to take you directly to the launcher with no setup wizard.
The launcher is clean with a flat design that is familiar to many devices, it has a complete desktop layout for Android 11, On the home screen, you look at 5 shortcuts that are: Google Play, Netflix, Youtube, Google Chrome, KD Player. which that you cannot remove, it’s a downside since android is all about being customizable according to what the user likes and what makes him comfortable. Also, has 3 buttons on the bottom, for Settings, Apps, and backgrounds.
Unfortunately, What I find missing is the lack of a navigation bar and status bar for easy navigation and multitasking but, you can try an alternative application for this matter. The overall performance is very good, we can move smoothly and quickly between menus.
Android 11 allows the installation of apps from Google Play Store and contains pre-installed apps such as Google Play, Netflix, Youtube, Files Browser, Miracast, KD Player, Movie Player, and Setting.
X98 Mini supports Google services and allows you to install some app that is available in the play store because is not a certified Android TV box don’t get access to the full Google Play Store, or you can use a third-party store or use Google browser to search the apk app, then download and install the app you want.
X98 Mini Performance
The X98 Mini TV Box offers you a good solution if you are a fan of series and movies and like to enjoy the highest possible resolution, then this device will give you a resolution of 4K and compatibility with most programs that display video content with the ability to play games for a great experience.
X98 Mini supports 4K 30fps video output via HDMI 2.1 port which brings you high definition viewing and fluent video playback, making it the highest resolution signal available for home movies to let you watch 1080P movies smoothly, every detail of the screen is clear and with high color saturation and quality Excellent picture, no lag or stuttering, that’s the strength of this device.
X98 Mini Streaming Service
As it’s known, it’s not possible to watch paid services like Netflix and amazon prime in 4k because these applications require specific licensing, This means it don’t have the DRM support required to stream HD or 4K from Netflix or other streaming services. And this is where the strength of Android TV OS, which you cannot find in the Chinese TV box.
Nevertheless, you can still enjoy Netflix and all other streaming services at a smooth 480p (Basic Quality). However, IPTV services remain one of the solutions that you will find on this tv box and support high resolutions, and there are also other programs similar to Netflix.
When you go to YouTube, you can play videos on 1440P 30FPS, and this is the maximum limit to enjoy high quality without freezing and with smooth performance, although playing videos on 1080p will be more than enough. However, this box has a maximum refresh rate ranging from 40 to 60 fps on average in HD / FULL HD.
The graphics processing in the X98 Mini is based on the Mali-G31 MP2, which offers good performance on medium games like Asphalt 8, and this is at a resolution of 1080p because at 4K the situation will be disastrous, as for powerful games like PUBG or Call of Duty you will be able to play with low settings, that is why I think that the rest of the games will not face any problems and the gameplay will be smooth for the best gaming experience.
When you put this X98 Mini under pressure its temperature can be reached 85ºC or more, causing a performance little drop. But on normal use like watching movies, the temperature is acceptable between 65ºC – 75ºC And I find that the cooling system is bad on this box. So, you can make it even lower by using a cooling fan for this purpose.
Remote can’t navigate on some Apps, It is a common issue for almost all android tv boxes that are hard to navigate on some Apps with the remote, as these Apps are mainly provided for tablets and phones that have a touch screen. I suggest purchasing the iPazzPort mini Wireless Keyboard/Remote, It will make it much easier navigating the screen in apps that aren’t remote-control friendly.
In general, the X98 Mini smart TV box provided good performance, especially in playing 1080P videos without any problems, as for YouTube, 4K resolution may have some delay, perhaps its disadvantages are the lack of DRM for Netflix in 4K and this is normal, playing games was ok, The launcher remains fast, but it lacks a lot of things, the most important of which is the status bar and the navigation bar, However, the specifications and features were at the required level compared to a cheap TV box.
X98 Mini Price And Where To Buy
The X98 Mini TV BOX is currently available on Banggood and Aliexpress Store for a very good price So, don’t miss out on this great deal. And to view its price or buy it, you can access the offer by clicking on the store icon.
- X98 Mini TV Box
- Remote control
- HDMI cable
- Power adapter
- User manual
X98 Mini TV BOX Specifications
Quad-Core ARM Cortex A35
for OpenGL ES 1.1/2.0/3.2，for OpenCL 2.0，Vulkan 1.1 support
|External storage||USB Storage Devices|
Micro SD card
|Audio||Supports MP3, AAC, WMA, RM, FLAC|
|Image||HD JPEG, BMP, GIF, PNG, TIF|
|Option Support WiFi: IEEE 802.11 b/g/n or IEEE 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac|
Option:2.4G or 5G
|Charge||DC connector||DC IN(5V/2A)|
|Video output||HDMI||4K*2K UHD Output, HDMI 2.1|
|IR Receiver||3.5mm Earphone jack||Remote Receiver Connect|
|Micro SD||External memory||Support|
|USB port||USB host||2 x USB 2.0|
|Size||90 x 9 0 x 19.5(mm)|