REVIEW: A95X MAX with S905X2 SoC, 4GB RAM and 2,5″ disk bay

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A95X MAX is a new Android TV-Box of which we present today in a review, a model that has internal bay for 2.5″ disks and also mounts the new Amlogic S905X2 SoC, a product that provides improvements over the previous S905X as we have seen in a special article, this TV-Box has a 2/4GB of DDR4 RAM and 32/64GB of internal storage, it integrates a WiFi AC 2×2 dual band adapter, Bluetooth 4.1, Gigabit Ethernet and as a system we have Android 8.1. Let’s see in our review of how this device behaves and the power of its hardware compared to all current models.
  • A95X MAX with 4/64GB can be purchased in Geekbuying.com for $69,99 (60.82€) with shipment using the coupon YKAXZYCM 
  • Buy the best add-ons like, USB HUB, USB memory to expand storage or others.

PRODUCT DETAILS

ModelA95X MAX
Basic SpecsSoC: Amlogic S905X2 Quad Core Cortex A-53 (64bit) / GPU Mali-G31 MP2 / 4x ARM-A53 @ 1.8GHz
System: Android 8.1 Oreo (32bit)
RAM and Storage: 2/4 GB DDR4 – 32/64 GB eMMC (4/64GB in review)
Network: Wifi ac 2×2 (AP6356S) – Bluetooth 4.1 – Ethernet Gigabit
Ports: HDMI 2.1 4K@75fps / AV Jack (reset) / SPDIF / 1x USB 2.0 / 3x USB 3.0 / MicroSD / SPDIF / SATA
Extras: IR Remote control / HDMI Cable / Manual / DC 5V 2.5A adapter

Description

The TV-Box A95X MAX as we can see, comes out of the conventional line, in the upper part it has the logo of the brand and perimeter ventilation slots. On the front we have a led panel with the time and information of the connections, on the perimeter we have all the connectors, stand out its three USB 3.0, we also have HDMI 2.1 connector up to 4K@75fps, AV jack (with internal flash button), another USB 2.0, microSD reader, SPDIF and the power connector.

  • Materials and measures: Plastic / 100 x 100 x 19 mm / 140 gr.
  • Package contents: HDMI Cable / Manual / DC 5V 2.5A adapter / IR Remote control (2x AAA batteries not included).
  • Interfaces: HDMI 2.1 4K@75fps / AV Jack (reset) / SPDIF / 1x USB 2.0 / 3x USB 3.0 / MicroSD / SPDIF / SATA
  • Leds and panel: LED panel with time information and connections / Can not turn off.

In the lower part we have several ventilation slots, it does not have a internal fan even though it looks like it, the lower design it is only air intake, this SoC does not heat anything and does not need active fan. If we open the top cover by means of a rear button, we access sata bay where we can mount a 2.5″ disk.The base plate has a small heatsink and has two Wifi antennas integrated in the own PCB.

  • Remote control: Basic IR Remote with keys to copy functions of other remotes and quick color keys for quick access.
  • Alternative remote control: We can control remotely from our mobile or Android TV-Box using the app  Cetusplay or connect a flymouse, mouse or keyboard.

ANDROID SYSTEM

Environment and user experience

We start the A95X MAX by connecting it to its power adapter, it starts up automatically and we have an input animation with some sound. We arrived at the default launcher based on squares where we can customize almost all the squares, it is a simple but very practical launcher. We have very few apps installed by default, highlights the video recorder to capture what is on screen. In this TV-Box the system moves fluidly between the apps, the hardware performance is correct thanks to the S905X2 SoC and the 4GB DDR4 RAM.

If we are going to play and make an intensive use of this model we recommend buying the model with 4GB of RAM, if we want to adjust our budget and we are only going to use it as a multimedia player, maybe with the 2GB model we can have enough.

  • Launcher: Basic Launcher / YES we can change launcher but only Pixel launcher works 100% / Android UI rendering at 1080p.
  • Multitasking and access: Multitasking not directly available / HAVE lower access bar and notification area.
  • Installed apps: Google play, Google, Media center (DLNA), Update,  Youtube, Files, TVMC (KODI) and Settings.
  • Languages: All the international Android classics.
  • On/Off Controls: If we leave the power button off,the TV-Box show a configurable menu in settings.

System, support and store apps

The model A95X MAX TV-Box has installed three different settings menus, one the classic side menu with global android settings, inside More Settings the TV-Box settings and finally the Android classics with the background in white. The Google Play store behaves normally and we can find the most common apps. The version of the system and the compilation of the kernel is quite new as we can see.

  • System version: Android 8.1.0 (32 bit) / Kernel 4.9.76 / Reference U211.
  • App store: Google Play with all the apps available for the Android system.
  • Brand support: We do not have official support, if we find a firmware we will publish it.
  • Root:The system IS root by default / HAVE a menu to deactivate it in settings.
  • Firmware and Scene:  Firmware soon / NO custom firmwares / NOT compatible with LibreELEC.

HARDWARE TESTS

Storage and RAM Memory

We pass our usual memory tests for the internal storage in the A95X MAX using the SD bench app. The internal memory has a pretty good speed. In this model we also have as a novelty with a SATA bay that as we see in the tests really uses a USB 3.0 connector, the transfer speed is quite good and serves to save or view high bitrate content without problems.

  • Storage: Total 64GB – Free 52GB. / Is expandable with a USB memory stick
  • RAM: Total 4GB – Free 3GB / DDR4.
  • Compatible formats: NTFS compatible / exFAT compatible
USB 2.0USB 3.0microSDSATA
Read / Write21/20 MB/s163/47 MB/s21/19 MB/s

WIFI and Bluetooth

In Wi-Fi connections, the A95X MAX TV-Box has a Wifi ac 2×2 2.4/5GHz (AP6356S)with Bluetooth 4.1 with which we connect to an ASUS RT-AC1200G+ Router, a mid-range device. We perform tests on the use of streaming using the iPerf measurement tool to see the maximum performance of each network adapter.

  • Wifi speed results: Correct speed for this wifi adapter, quite stable with their 2 internal antennas.
  • Wifi range: At a distance of 5 meters with a wall we have a signal of 38 dBm, good value.
  • Ethernet: Gigabit with good speed.
  • Bluetooth: We can connect compatible devices without problems.
  • We recommend reading our Tutorial SAMBA on Android networks if we are going to use files from our network PC.

Power consumption, temperature and noise

In the consumption side this Android TV A95X MAX using the Amlogic S905X2 SoC has very good results in terms of efficiency. This new SoC is manufactured in 12nm and has a maximum consumption of only 6.8W, this model is feeding a large number of USB 3.0 ports seems to require more power.

We test the performance of the TV-Box in scenarios of maximum sustained performance and in its usual use, we use a stress app for fifteen minutes and thermal camera to detect hot areas. As we have seen the A95X MAX has a good number of ventilation slots, we can use this TV-Box without heating problems.

  • Loss of performance: The system maintains a maximum constant performance, maintains the 94% of his performance.
  • Temperature: The upper part heats up a little but does not affect the general use of the TV-Box.
  • Noise: Fanless system, 0db.

PERFORMANCE TEST

SOC

As for power deployed the model A95X MAX has very good results in the line of the new Amlogic S905X2 Quad Core SoC with ARM Cortex-A53 processors and Mali-G31 MP2 GPU in a very good position. Observing the results we can see how it is almost on par with the most powerful Amlogic SoC from  the last generation the S912, in general section is below from a powerful SoC like the Rockchip RK3399 that already has ARM Cortex-A73 cores, in general a excellent product with ridiculous power consumption figures.

Benchmarks

Games and gamepads

In this area the A95X MAX have the Amlogic S905X2 SoC that integrates a Mali-G31 MP2 GPU, this model allows us to correctly move most Android titles without performance problems and good compatibility. The titles with a lot of 3D load also move quite well and this GPU allows us to play them correctly in low or medium settings, even with PUBG that is demanding.

VIDEO AND AUDIO TEST

Video and audio connections

At multimedia playback level the A95X MAX works perfectly using the new Amlogic S905X2 SoC, which has video output support for HDMI 2.1 that theoretically allows maximum resolution up to 4K@75fps with HDR information. We also have AV jack output for stereo or audio for old TV’s.

This SoC we verify that we have image quality settings with brightness, contrast and saturation, and several preconfigured, also has DNR “Digital Noise Reduction” that effects a smoothing effect of the image with results that depend on personal tastes, all of these settings do not seem to work because of some problem in the Amlogic SDK that could fixed soon. We also have specific settings to activate Dolby Vision if we have a compatible TV.

Video playback test

Performing our video playback tests on the A95X MAX, with the S905X2 SoC and a VPU compatible we can seen that model is compatible with the most modern video formats as we see in the video tests. We can use players like MX Player or install KODI from Google Play, we can uninstall the pre installed without problems. This model is NOT compatible with LibreELEC.

With the VPU called TruLife Gen8 gives us a pretty good image quality, we have more defined colors than in the S905X models where video processing is basic. We must also highlight the best compatibility with VP9 P2 video in 4K resolution, plus we notice improvements in the playback of Anime HVEC but still charge the CPU although it is a very specific niche format.

Test results

H.264 / VC-1Result
BBB – H.264 8bit – Simple@L1 – 1080p@25fps – 7 MbpsCorrect
Samsung Oceanic Life – H.264  8bit – High@L5.1 – 1080p@30fps – 40 MbpsCorrect
Timelapse – H.264 8bit – High@L5.1 – 4K@24fps – 43 MbpsCorrect
Anime – H.264 10bit – High 10@L5.1 – 1080p@24fps – 10 MbpsCorrect
MKV – VC-1 – Advance@L3 – 1080p@24fps – 17 MbpsCorrect
H.265 / VP9 SDR
Tears of steel – HVEC 8bit – Main@L6.2@Main – 1080p@24fps – 17 MbpsCorrect
Samsung UHD Dubai – HVEC 10bit – Main 10@L5.2@Main – 4K@24fps – 51 MbpsCorrect
Anime – HVEC 10bit –  Main 10@L4@Main – 1080p@24fps – 21 MbpsCorrect
Eye of the Storm – VP9 – 4K@24fps – 14 MbpsCorrect
H.265 / VP9 HDR
Life of Pi HDR10 –  HVEC 10bit – Main 10@L5.1@High – 4K@24fps – 45 MbpsCorrect
LG Demo – Dolby Vision – HVEC 12bit – Main 10@L5@Main – 4K@24fps – 30 MbpsCorrect
Planet Earth II – HDR HLG 10bit  – Main 10@L5@High – 4K@25fps – 31 MbpsCorrect
The world in HDR – VP9 Profile 2 10bit – 4K@60fps – 20 MbpsCorrect
Peru 8K HDR – VP9 Profile 2 10bit – 8K@60fps – 20 MbpsFrameskip
MAX BITRATE
Jellyfish – HVEC 10bit – Main 10@L6.1@High – 4K@30fps – Test up to 400 Mbps100 Mbps = 12,5 MB/s
  • * The maximum bitrate depends on the internal storage, usb port, Ethernet adapter or wifi used, we have used the fastest available, see Hardware tests section of this same review to have more information and have consider the limitations of SAMBA Networks.

Audio playback test

At the audio level the A95X MAX using a Yamaha RXV-577 AV receiver we check that they supports DD and DTS pass through sound. We can only listen to the multi-channel audio up to 5.1, if we do not have an AV receiver and we have problems to listen to files with AC3 or multichannel sound we must configure the system to listen to configure the system to listen to multichannel AC3 videos in stereo on any TV.

  • Ports: HDMI up to 5.1 / SPDIF 5.1 / Stereo audio jack
  • Certification: No
  • Chomecast Audio: No

Audio test results

FormatsDD / DTS 5.1DD+ / DTS MADD True / DTS HRDD Atmos / DTS X
HDMIOK / OKOK / CoreCorePCM / Core*
OpticalOK / OKCoreCoreCore*
  • 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 / DTS base system
    * Our AV receiver does not support these native formats but we verify that it is played back to 7.1

Streaming services

We pass the classic tests on streaming services to see how the most popular services work. In this model does not have certificates for these services. The A95X MAX model presents the classic configuration without certifications that limits us in quality in several streaming services, all the compatible services works without problems.

  • DRM: Google Widevine L3
  • Certification: No
Streaming serviceVideo / AudioResultManual
YoutubeFullHD (1080p) / StereoOK
Google Play MoviesHD (720p) / StereoOK
NetflixSD+ (540p) / StereoOK, installing the apk and needs a mouseNetflix on Android
HBOFullHD (1080p) / StereoOK
Amazon Prime VideoSD (480p) / StereoOKAmazon Prime video on Android

 

CONCLUSIONS

Score

A95X MAX _

0.00
7.8

DESIGN AND CONNECTIVITY

9.0/10

HARDWARE

8.0/10

SOFTWARE

8.0/10

SUPPORT

6.5/10

PRICE/QUALITY

7.5/10

Pros

  • 2,5" disk bay
  • 3x USB 3.0 and SPDIF
  • Wifi ac 2x2 and Ethernet Gigabit
  • Good thermals
  • Firmware and launcher well done

Cons

  • Without known support or DRM certificates

Opinion

The TV-Box A95X MAX has surprised us for its software and the possibility of adding a 2.5″ disk, the daily use is fluid thanks to the Amlogic S905X2 SoC which in this case also has three USB 3.0 ports, we also have with visual improvements in video playback and a very controlled consumption.The performance of Wifi ac 2×2 adapter is good and the Gigabit Ethernet port speed allows us to get the most out of our home network.

The model A95X MAX also has 4GB of DDR4 RAM, something that helps to work fast when loading several apps from the internal memory. This model works perfectly as a video player for example with KODI or for powerful games such as PUBG and all kinds of apps. The firmware is stable, the launcher is simple but very customizable and practical, it has navigation bars and has a Root selector, something that helps us avoid compatibility problems.

We have not done it for a long time but this model will be added to our recommended models for their good performance, you can compare this product with our recommended models to know alternatives.

WHERE TO BUY AND ADD-ONS

  • A95X MAX with 4/64GB can be purchased in Geekbuying.com for $69,99 (60.82€) with shipment using the coupon YKAXZYCM 
  • You can compare this product with our recommended models to know alternatives.

Add-ons

Did you find apk for android? You can find new Free Android Games and apps.

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