A95X F4 is the Android TV-Box that we present today its review. Undoubtedly this will be one of the most popular devices on the market for those looking for something economical, powerful and do not need certificates for streaming.
The new A95X F4 has the new Amlogic S905X4 SoC that allows Android to move smoothly, a hardware far superior to the Xiaomi Mi Box for example and has support for the new AV1 codec. This TV-Box has Android 10 operating system, includes a remote control and flashy colored LEDs. This hardware as we say is not intended for paid streaming systems, but we have that if much more freedom to install and manage apps of all kinds.
Let’s see in our review how the A95X F4 performs and what it offers compared to its current rivals.
Table of Contents
Unboxing A95X F4
The Android TV-Box A95X F4 comes in a cardboard box with the image of the product in the upper area and little information about its functions. Inside we find the TV-Box, remote control, HDMI cable, 5V 2A charger and a first steps manual.
This A95X F4 has a hexagonal design, on the sides we have a 10/100 Ethernet connector, USB 2.0, AV jack, HDMI 2.1, SPDIF, power connector, a USB 3.0 and microSD reader to expand the internal storage. We also have a fairly basic IR remote control that may not be worth changing for a wireless PC mouse to operate it more comfortably with a pointer.
This TV-Box has a Wifi aC + Bluetooth 4.2 chip (RTL8822CS) with an internal wifi antenna. The passive cooling system is very basic. On one side it has a reset button to reboot the system if it suffers a software catastrophe and be able to reset it.
- Remote Control: Basic IR Remote / Compatible with keyboard and mouse / App control for Cetusplay.
SYSTEM AND PERFORMANCE
Environment and Android system
We turn on the A95X F4 and it starts automatically, after a few seconds we get to the new launcher installed which is based on rows with different shortcuts. In general this launcher is quite uncomfortable and we can change it for another that we like more from Google Play. The performance is good, we can move smoothly and quickly between menus. Unfortunately we do not have navigation bars or notification area.
- Launcher: We can change de the launcher / Android UI rendering at 1080p.
- Multitasking and access: Multitasking NOT available / Notifications NOT available.
- Languages and Google Play: All the international Android languajes / Google Play installed.
We check the system data and the options it includes as far as root is concerned, we also observe what power on/off system this device allows us. This TV-Box will have updates via OTA to correct possible failures, at least for now.
- On/Off Controls: Sleep mode / Shutdown settings available.
- System version and root: Android TV 10 (32 bit) / NO rooted / NO root menu / CPU r2p0 (S905X4) / Model ohm.
- Support: OTA support / IMG firmware available.
Network, storage, RAM and ports
The TV-Box A95X F4 has 4GB of RAM and for storage we have 32 GB eMMC that we can expand with a USB memory. It has a USB 3.0 port for connecting external drives (read only) or peripherals and we also have an extra USB 2.0 port. In the network section we find a wireless adapter Wifi ac + Bluetooth 4.2 that as we can see in the tests the results are quite good, the network connector is only Ethernet 10/100, a pity. The internal memory is not the fastest but fortunately does not slow down much.
- Storage: Total 8GB – Free 3.5GB / Expandable with a USB external memory.
- RAM: Total 4GB – Free 3GB / DDR3.
- Network: Good speed with internal wifi antennas / Range 40dBm, good. / Bluetooth YES.
- Read/Write Ports: USB 3.0 OTG / On external USB drives it is only possible to read data.
- We recommend reading our Tutorial SAMBA on Android networks if we are going to use files from our network PC.
Power and performance
On the performance side the A95X F4 features the Amlogic S905X4 Quad Core SoC with ARM Cortex-A55 processors limited to 1.8GHz, on the graphics side it has a mid-range Mali-G31 MP2 GPU. This SoC is an improvement of the previous S905X2 and is very similar to the previous S905X3. As the results show we have a good performance for the hardware set and the performance of this new AMLogic SoC, it is equal to the new Googlecast TV and far exceeds the Xiaomi Mi Box which is already somewhat outdated in comparison.
- CPU performance: Min 0.5 GHz / Working 1.0 GHz / Max 1.8 GHz
- Check our Amlogic S905X4 SoC Comparison against all SoCs in the sector for more details.
As for games we can run PUBG in medium/low quality and also cloud gaming services like NVIDIA GForce Now or Google Stadia using the APK to install it. In the emulators section we can get at most run some Wii titles, but we will not have problems with 2D games of classic consoles with emulators like Retroarch or using KODI, the full OS EmuELEC is not compatible yet.
- Games and emulators: Possible to play titles such as PUBG / YES Vulkan support / Basic emulators in RetroArch or KODI.
- Controls: Compatible with Bluetooth or USB Gamepads.
This SoC is manufactured in 12nm, has a fairly low power consumption and the cooling system maintains low temperatures in normal use. The processor manages the speeds correctly so as not to heat up excessively.
- Thermals: Min. 39ºC / Working 50 ºC / Max. 62ºC / Maintains performance up to 85% / Heat zone on the top / Noise 0db
- Consumption: Off 0.9W / Min 3W / Working 3.6W / Max. 5.2W
VIDEO AND AUDIO TEST
Video playback test
In the video playback section, the A95X F4 is compatible with most modern video formats such as h.265, VP9 with native resolution support 4K@60fps HDR, although it does support the recent AV1 codec that for now has a testimonial use. It does not have a video quality settings app and no automatic refresh rate change. We have official HDR support is available to get a better image from some streaming services.
It is possible to use players like KODI or PLEX without the slightest problem by installing them directly from the Android TV store. In terms of audio we can play DD 7.1 and DTS up to 5.1 through its HDMI port, 5.1 via SPDIF and stereo via the AV jack.
- Video Settings: NO image quality settings / RGB, SDR / HDMI-CEC available / Automatic refresh no available, needs root.
- Audio Settings: HDMI 7.1 / SPDIF 5.1 / Jack stereo / NO USB audio settings.
- Color and HDR: 10Bit / RGB / HDR 10 / HLG.
- Media sharing: GoogleCast NO / Miracast Yes* / DLNA with BlubblePnP / Airplay Yes* / *With unofficial app AirScreen.
- LibreELEC: This model is NOT compatible with LibreELEC or CoreELEC.
- Tutorials: Install add-on in KODI / Judder effect, how to fix it / Multi-channel audio guide / Correct dark video playback in Android.
- We recommend reading the Setup Guide of our TV to get the best picture quality.
Video and audio results
|h.264 / 1080i / 8bit||OK|
|h.264 / 1080p / 4K / 8bit||OK|
|h.264 / 1080p / 10bit (anime)||Frameskip (SW)|
|h.265 / 1080p / 8bit||OK|
|h.265 / 1080p / 10bit (anime)||OK|
|h.265 / 4K@24fps / 8bit||OK|
|h.265 / 4K@60fps / 10bit HDR||OK|
|VP9 P1 / 4K@24fps / 8bit||OK|
|VP9 P2 / 4K@60fps / 10bit HDR||OK|
|VP9 P2 / 8K@60fps / 10bit HDR||OK|
|AV1 / 4K@24fps / 10bit||OK|
|Max. Bitrate||100 Mbps = 12,5 MB/s.|
- The maximum bitrate depends on the port used to connect or the limitations of SAMBA Networks.
- SW = does not have hardware acceleration and may have have some frameskip in very heavy files.
|Dolby||5.1 / Plus / True HD = OK | Atmos = Core|
|DTS||5.1 = OK | MA / HR / X = Core|
- PCM – Stereo only doing downmix from DD or DTS
- Core – Only the core of the format is played back with what we passed to the Dolby or DTS base system / More info
We ran several tests on the streaming services to check how the most popular services work. The A95X F4 presents us with the classic configuration without certificates which limits us in quality on several services. We can use it with many of these services, but in basic quality.
- DRM: Google Widevine L3.
- Audio/Video certification: No.
- Tutorials: Change the size of the captions and the mouse pointer on Android / Install Addons in KODI in a simple way
|Streaming service||Calidad / Audio*|
|Youtube||HD (720p) / Stereo|
|Google Play Movies||HD (720p) / Stereo|
|Netflix||SD+ (540p) / Stereo / Netflix Guide|
|HBO||HD (720p) / Stereo / HBO Guide|
|Disney+||HD (720p) /Stereo / Disney+ Guide|
|Amazon Prime Video||SD (480p) / Stereo / Prime Video Guide|
|Apple TV+||No compabile / Apple TV+ Guide|
|DAZN||HD (720p) / Stereo|
|IPTV||FullHD (1080i) / Stereo|
- Multichannel audio only available via HDMI connection in streaming services, via SPDIF stereo only.
CONCLUSIONS AND BUY LINKS
As we have seen the new A95X F4 its main attraction is the Amlogic S905X4 SoC, undoubtedly a chip with good performance that allows us to run any app smoothly. The IR remote control included is very basic and we may have to opt for another control if we want to get more usability.
In terms of connectivity the A95X F4 integrates a fairly efficient Wifi aC adapter, we also have USB 3.0 connectivity, another extra USB 2.0 and unfortunately only Ethernet 10/100. As operating system we have Android 10 but we miss the root permissions to use AFR or other advantages of this type of permissions, sure we will soon have some custom firmware to solve this issue, this will be a very popular box.
A valid hardware to play our content in 4K HDR quality. We can also use other apps such as IPTV players, PLEX or KODI to watch local content. We have the classic limitations of Amlogic SoCs such as the lack of image quality control or automatic refresh rate change.
We can say that the A95X F4 is an acceptable TV-Box for its power and price, if we do not care about paid streaming services and we want more flexibility for little money is possibly one of the best options of the moment.