REVIEW: Alfawise A8X a small TV-Box with RK3328 SoC and Android 9 Pie

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Alfawise A8X is a small Android TV-Box of which we present today his review, in this device we found the Rockchip RK3328 SoC, a processor model widely spread within the low-cost sector. This TV-Box integrates a total of 2GB of RAM and 16GB of internal storage, has a dual band Wifi adapter, Bluetooth 4.1, Ethernet 10/100 and as an operating system surprises us with Android 9 Pie in its classic version. Let’s see in our review how this device and its hardware behaves compared to its direct competition.
  • Alfawise A8X can be purchased in Gearbest.com only for $34,99 (31,5€) with shipping cost included
  • You have a list of add-ons such as Flymouse, disks or USB memories to improve this device

PRODUCT DETAILS

ModelAlfawise A8X
Basic SpecsSoC: Rockchip RK3328 Quad Core Cortex A-53 (64bit) / GPU Mali-450 MP2 / 4x ARM-A53 @ 1.3GHz / 28nm
System: Android 9 Pie (64bit)
RAM and Storage: 2 GB DDR3 – 316 GB eMMC
Network: Wifi dual band – Bluetooth 4.1 – Ethernet 10/100
Ports: HDMI 2.1 / USB 2.0 / USB 3.0 / MicroSD / Reset / Jack audio / Ethernet 10/100
Extras: IR Remote control / HDMI Cable / Manual / DC 5V 2A adapter

Description

The little TV-Box Alfawise A8X has a classic design with a plastic box with the logo on top. On the front we have a status LED that lights when connected. At the connector level, we have a USB 3.0 port, we also have HDMI 2.0 connector up to 4K@60fps, another USB 2.0, microSD reader, power connector and audio jack with the internal reset that we can press to enter flash mode.

  • Materials and measures: Plastic / 82 x 82 x 16 mm / 220 gr.
  • Leds and panel: Frontal LED light / Can not turn off.

In the lower part we have only four very low rubber legs, if we open this we can see the Wifi dual band + BT 4.1 chip (IT6334) a very little extended model, has a single internal antenna attached to the housing. The cooling system consists of an aluminum heatsink attached to the SoC, the box has only a few ventilation slots.

  • Remote control: Basic IR control / Mouse emulator with cursors / No copy keys mode
  • Improved remote: We recommend changing it with a fly mouse or wireless mouse to have much better control.
  • Alternate control: We can control remotely using the app  Cetusplay / Don’t have its own remote control app.

SYSTEM AND PERFORMANCE

Environment and Android system

To power on the Alfawise A8X we press the power button to bring up the logo of the brand and the front led lights up. We arrived at the launcher by default based on squares, it has several main categories and default launchers that can not be customized, at the bottom we have an area with the shortcuts of the apps that we are using but can not be directly customized. A pretty basic launcher oriented to use with the included remote control.

  • Launcher: Basic Launcher / YES we can change launcher but only Pixel launcher works 100% / Android UI rendering at 1080p.
  • Multitasking and access: Multitasking not available / DON’T have lower access bar or notification area
  • Installed apps: Google play, Netflix, Update, WifiDisplay, DLNA, Media center, Youtube, Files, kkplayer (KODI) and Settings.
  • Languages: All the international Android classics.
  • On/Off Controls: If we keep press the power button we have reset and power off option / Configurable in settings.

We check the system data within the Android settings and through analysis software, we can see the details of the system installed by default, in this case in Android 9 Pie in its classic version.

  • System version: Android 9 (64 bit) / Kernel 4.4.159 / Build 2019-01-15 / Reference RK3328.
  • App store: Google Play with all the apps available for the Android system.
  • Settings and root: Lateral Android + Droid Settings + Classics / System NOT rooted by default / NO menu to configure in settings.
  • SupportAlfawise has a website but no info for this product / Firmware NOT available / Custom firmware NOT available

Power and performance

In the power aspect the Alfawise A8X allows us to move the system correctly, we can run the classic apps but the powerful games if they feel something just power. At power level it has some basic results, the Rockchip RK3328 Quad Core SoC with ARM Cortex-A53 processors and Mali-450 MP2 GPU is in the low range. This SoC is manufactured in 28nm has a contained consumption and temperatures have some low peaks at maximum performance.

  • Consumption: Off 0.1W / Standby 3.4W / Basic use 4.5W / Maximum 6W
  • Thermals: Minimum 55ºC / Maximum 72ºC / Maintains performance up to 83% / Heat zone on the top / Noise 0db

Observing the performance tests we can see how the Rockchip RK3328 SoC is almost on par with Amlogic S905X of the previous generation, in general section is below other SoC as the current Amlogic S905X2 that has better GPU and is made in 12nm. A valid processor to run games and emulators at the basic level without reaching the top of the range.

  • Games and emulators: NOT possible to play demanding titles such as PUBG / Emulators up to Wii / NO Vulkan support.
  • Controls: Compatible with Gamepads by cable or bluetooth.

Network, storage, RAM and ports

In the TV-Box Alfawise A8X we have integrated eMMC memory as internal storage, USB 3.0 port and SD card reader. In the network section we have a Wifi dual band 2.4/5GHz adapter with Bluetooth 4.1 and Ethernet 10/100 port. The performance of the unknown wifi chip that it integrates is quite basic and as we can see we arrived at quite low figures in 5G.

  • Storage: Total 16GB – Free 12GB expandable with a USB memory stick / NTFS + exFAT compatible.
  • RAM: Total 2GB – Free 1GB / DDR3.
  • Network: Low speed in 5G with one wifi antenna / Range 42 dBm, correct. / Bluetooth works OK.
  • We recommend reading our Tutorial SAMBA on Android networks if we are going to use files from our network PC.
USB 2.0USB 3.0microSDSATA
Read / Write20/18 MB/s21/20 MB/s19/18 MB/s

VIDEO AND AUDIO TEST

Video playback test

In the video playback aspect the Alfawise A8X has the S905X2 SoC and an Rockchip TruLife Gen8 VPU compatible with most modern video formats such as h.265 and VP9. In this TV-Box we can use players like MXPlayer or install KODI from Google Play without the slightest problem, by default we have installed kkplayer a version of KODI that we recommend removing to install the official one to our liking.

We perform several multimedia playback tests with the Alfawise A8X and check that it works perfectly using the new Rockchip RK3328 SoC, which has video output support for HDMI 2.0 that allows maximum resolution up to 4K@60fps with HDR information in the basic formats.

Video results

FormatsResult
h.264 / 1080p / 8bitCorrect
h.264 / 4K / 8bitCorrect
h.265 / 4K / 8bitCorrect
h.265 / 4K / 10bit HDRCorrect
VP9 P1 / 4K / 8bitCorrect
VP9 P2 / 4K / 10bit HDRSome Frameskip
VP9 P2 / 8K / 10bit HDRFrameskip
  • The maximum bitrate depends on the port used to connect or the limitations of SAMBA Networks.

Audio playback test

We check the audio in the Alfawise A8X 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 to listen the 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.

Audio test results

FormatsDD / DTS 5.1DD+ / DTS MADD True / DTS HRDD Atmos / DTS X
HDMIOK / OKPCM / CoreCore / CorePCM / Core*
Optical-*
  • 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 Alfawise A8X model presents the classic configuration without certifications that limits us in quality in several streaming services, all the compatible services works without problems.

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) / StereoPause icon in the middle of the screen
Amazon Prime VideoSD (480p) / StereoProblems with the controlsAmazon Prime video on Android

CONCLUSIONS

Score

Alfawise A8X _

0.00
6.6

DESIGN AND CONNECTIVITY

6.5/10

HARDWARE

6.5/10

SOFTWARE

8.5/10

SUPPORT

4.0/10

PRICE/QUALITY

7.5/10

Pros

  • Compact
  • Android 9
  • USB 3.0
  • Good as a basic media player
  • Cheap

Cons

  • Poor Wifi 5GHz
  • No Android control bars

Opinion

Once reviewed the tiny TV-Box Alfawise A8X we can see a classic low-cost TV-Box based on the Rockchip RK3328 SoC. A basic processor for multimedia use that includes as an interesting point USB 3.0 support. At the network level, the dual band Wifi adapter that integrates with its internal antenna gives us somewhat poor results in the 5G network and the 10/100 Ethernet port speed is correct but it could be Gigabit, those are usual bill cuts in products with this price.

The Alfawise A8X model has integrated in the board 2GB RAM, something that allows us to run apps without problems but not load a lot of apps in memory. This is a valid model as a video player, for example with KODI or for simple games but not for demanding titles such as PUBG. The system surprises us with the integration of Android 9 but apart from that does not bring anything to stand out from what we find in other models, this model does not have Android navigation bars, no root selector or any other extra options.

This small TV-Box only stands out for its price and size, a classic model that competes in price and that can be valid for use as a multimedia player in KODI if we need something discreet.

WHERE TO BUY AND ADD-ONS

  • Alfawise A8X can be purchased in Gearbest.com only for $34,99 (31,5€) with shipping cost included
  • 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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