REVIEW: Alfawise H96 PRO+ with SoC S912 Octa and 3GB RAM

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Today thanks to the online store Gearbest.com we bring you the review of Alfawise H96 Pro+ a new TV-Box with Android 6.0, a device that stands out mainly for integrate 3GB DDR4 RAM, it also includes 32GB eMMc storage, dual-band WiFi ac and Gigabit Ethernet connector among in his interesting specifications. Let’s see how this device behaves in our review.

  • Buy the Alfawise H96 PRO+ in Gearbest.com only for $57.82 free shipping

SPECIFICATIONS

ModelAlfawise H96 PRO+
CPUAMLogic S912 Cortex-A53 Octa Core
GPUMali-T820MP3
OSAndroid 6.0.1
RAM3 GB DDR4
Storage32 GB eMMc
WiFiWiFi ac
Bluetooth4.0
Ports2x USB 2.0
HDMI 2.0a
microSD reader
Ethernet Gigabit
SPDIF audio port
AV connector
 OthersRecovery button
 ContentIR Remote
HDMI Cable
5V/2A DC adapter
Manual

CONTENT DESCRIPTION

Package content

This new Alfawise H96 Pro+ TV-Box comes in a cardboard box with a very conventional design. Inside we have the TV Box and the rest of the accessories that accompany this model that are located in the bottom under a cardboard cover. We have a fairly simple manual with the first start up steps, an HDMI cable, IR remote and a 5V / 2A power supply with round plug.

Product Details

The Alfawise H96 Pro+ has a quadrangular plastic box, although it is designed with some decorative details. On the front, on one side we have a status LED that can be disabled by software.

On one of its sides we have two conventional USB 2.0 connectors and a reset button.

On the back of the Alfawise H96 Pro+ we find an RJ45 Gigabit Ethernet connector, SPDIF optical digital audio output, HDMI 2.0a port, A / V output and the round power connector for the power adapter.

Finally at the level of connectivity, in one of the sides we find a micro-SD card reader.

If we look at the bottom of the Alfawise H96 Pro+ we find four small legs and different grating vents.

CONNECTING THE DEVICE

Connection and desktops

We plug the Alfawise H96 Pro+ through its power adapter and it automatically turns on, in a few seconds the brand logo appears and the TV-Box starts.

  • Boot time: 27 seconds

This model have navigation bars and an upper notifications tab that is appreciated when want to use a mouse for example. The launcher is based on the usual design with large icons, that work fine with the included remote control or other control system. From the bottom bar we highlight a small icon of a light bulb that when pressed allows us to activate or deactivate the power led that this TV Box has on the front and that can be annoying if we have the lights off.

The setting options of this launcher are minimal we can only add or remove apps and configured folders. In the system of the Alfawise H96 Pro+we also have the classic settings of Android 6.0 where we can change the options of the device.

User Experience

The Alfawise H96 PRO+ execute the apps with no problem thanks to the 3GB of DDR4 RAM installed on the motherboard, we can launch the most commons apps without problems and don’t have force closed messages. The performance of the hardware is enough to run the most commons apps on Android 6, play games and play movies in the local storage or using streamings sources.

Android System

In the TV-Box Alfawise H96 Pro+ we have Android 6.0.1 as operating system, an interesting point since we are to the last in compatibility. The kernel is 3.14.29 and the compilation is dated 12-22-2016, with this version of firmware we have done the review that you can read below and you have it available for download on our website.

Brand Support

In the Alfawise H96 Pro+ we have an OTA updating app by default, although we did not find any web reference for support. We will see what support we get for this model at long-term, surely it will be very basic.

Storage and RAM

The Alfawise H96 Pro+ includes 32GB of eMMc storage memory, from this storage memory we have actually available about 24GB, a figure enough to install a good number of apps. As a device with AMLogic SoC this has a single partition in the storage memory which facilitates the management of our files.

As we have seen we also have 3GB of DDR4 RAM and 2.1GB that are free after a long navigation through the system, so we can load quite a lot of content in it.

We passed our memory and internal storage tests to check the hardware that is integrated in this device, we used the SD bench app as usual. The results of the Alfawise H96 Pro+ are very good in storage memory while the DDR4 RAM maintains the speeds we have been able to see in other similar devices with DDR3.

Consumption and temperatures

In terms of power consumption, the Alfawise H96 Pro+ with the S912 SoC shows results within the range of other devices, even putting the SoC to the brim with games with 3D graphics only 6 W peak are reached in consumption terms in specific moments.

Google Play and Amazon App Store

With the Google play store we had no problem finding the most common apps in our tests except we only had some inconvenience with specific apps, we can always download the APK’s we are interested in and install them manually. With the Amazon App Store equal result, no problem noticeable with this new TV-Box.

Root

In the Alfawise H96 Pro+ TV-Box we have root access enabled in this software so we have full access to the file system of this device.

Power Off / Standby / Power On

In the Alfawise H96 Pro+ TV-Box we do not have a physical shut-off button in the box, we only have it on the IR remote control. If we make a short press on the button of the IR control the device cuts off the video signal and if we press it for a longer time we have a menu where we can completely turn off the device. The option to switch off by means of the short key-press can be controlled by a setting in the configuration. Finally note that we have a virtual shutdown button on the bottom bar of the launcher.

TEST BENCH

Video and audio connections.

The Alfawise H96 Pro+ TV-Box with the AMLogic S912 SoC is in the line of devices of this price range, it has video output support for HDMI 2.0a that allows a maximum resolution of 4K @ 60MHz and videos with 10 bit color. Within the setup menus we have the few options that appear in most of the TV-Boxes that incorporate this AMLogic SoC. The image quality is correct, although we have to keep in mind that we are in front of a computer that costs what it costs.

In these systems as always we lack control of brightness, contrast and saturation. In the settings we have an option to activate automatic refresh change that does NOT work as it always happens in these systems, something necessary to avoid the Judder effect as we have seen. We also find support for changing the RGB mode something that is needed on some TV models that have incompatibility with the current color modes.

DLNA and Miracast

The Alfawise H96 Pro+ system has installed the typical DLNA app called MediaCenter. With this system we can access the multimedia content that we have in our device easily using an app like BubbleUPnP from an Android mobile or from a PC with Windows’ file explorer. We can share the screen with the Miracast app although we have occasional pixelations with a Smartphone LG G3, as we know this type of connections depends on many factors.

Webcam

We ran several videoconferencing tests with the Alfawise H96 Pro+, we verified in Hangouts we have problems of image reception from our emitter in the TV-box. With Skype we have been able to video conference without any notable problems using a simple webcam Logitech C170, a model very compatible with Android.

NETWORK CONNECTIONS

Wi-Fi and Ethernet

By default in the Alfawise H96 Pro+ we have a Dual Band Wireless Wi-Fi Adapter and Gigabit Ethernet chip, with which we have connected with an ASUS RT-AC1200G+ Router, a mid range device. We transferred files over a SAMBA network connected through 2.4Ghz Wi-Fi and achieved a speed of about 20 mbps, with the 5Ghz Wi-Fi network we reached about 27 mbps a value that can be improved. This model has a Gigabit network connector with which we used a Category 6 network cable to guarantee the speed, using this connection we reach about 152 mbps which is a fairly good transfer speed for this type of TV Box.

We also ran tests on the network adapters for streaming using the iPerf measurement tool with which we have the maximum connection speed in each type of network. With this figure we have how far we can reach using the available connections, the final performance will depend on our internet provider, the contracted speed, the distance of our Wi-Fi network and other factors. The results are correct for this kind of hardware but not excellent.

During the Wi-Fi coverage tests with the device located at a distance of about 16 ft as always and with a wall in between we verified that we have connection without cuts, the signal reaches a level of about 55 dBm a figure that indicates we don’t have a very long range.

Bluetooth

In the WiFi adapter of the Alfawise H96 Pro+ we have integrated Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity with which we have no major problems in detecting other devices.

CONTROL SYSTEMS
Remote control

With the Alfawise H96 Pro+ TV-Box we have a default IR remote control powered by two AAA batteries, giving us access to all the functions of the TV Box. The keys are correctly mapped for use with KODI-type apps. In the upper part of the command we have some keys that will allow us to clone functions of other controls. Also we have in adjustment the CEC function although we could not test it.

Remote control app

To control the Alfawise H96 PRO+ remotely with the service that is integrated to be used with the AMLogic control app, with it we can handle our TV-Box remotely from a Smartphone or tablet if they are in the same Wi-Fi network. It is only necessary to enable the remote control option in the settings of the TV-Stick and install the app on the device that we want to use to control it. If have problems with this method we can use the alternative CetusPlay to control it from our mobile or tablet.

Gamepad and games

To control games on the Alfawise H96 PRO+ we connected an Xbox 360 Gamepad and the device recognizes it without problems, it also works correctly the Xiaomi Bluetooth Gamepad. We can use them in games with this type of support, in general we will not have problems with conventional PC controls. As for power the Mali-T820MP3 GPU that is incorporated in this AMLogic S912SoC runs any Android game without problems with the settings to the maximum, as we will see in the performance tests this new GPU has a performance far superior to the Mali-450 SoC S905.

PERFORMANCE TEST

SOC

In the section of performance the Alfawise H96 Pro+ with its Octa Core AMLogic S912 SoC and 3GB DDR4 RAM that works between 100 Mhz and 1.5GHz depending on the performance needs of the system. This SoC integrate a Mali-820Tmp3 GPU with incorporates hardware decoding support for the h.264, 10-bit H.265 video codec and is capable of decoding video signal at 4K@60fps thanks to the HDMI 2.0a output connector. Globally offers us a very positive user experience when using it the system runs very smooth at all times thanks to the RAM speed and storage. Otherwise a device in the line of others who carry this SoC from AMLogic.

Benchmarks

Antutu

With this famous test we get an idea of the general performance of the device and we can compare it with others. Since this tests changes a lot of scale we can not use it in our graphics.

Geekbench 4

A new benchmark in SoC testing that offers fairly reliable numbers of CPU’s working in a single core or multiple cores ate the same time, it also has a section of GPU computing that gives us an overall result of the processing capacity.

3Dmark

The graphical performance test par excellence with a fairly solid continuity in the results which helps us to compare the performance of GPU’s historically.

PCMark

This benchmark tests the device in various scenarios of image processing, web browsing and other everyday uses of our device, the results are useful to check if you defend well in these areas.

VIDEO AND AUDIO TEST

Video format test

We ran our usual video tests on the Alfawise H96 Pro+ and it obtains the same results as other TV-Boxes with the AMLogic S912. we can reproduce all the usual files without major problems with resolutions to 1080P or also in format 4K coded with h.265 or VP9 codec. This SoC also supports HDR modes with 10 bit color, an option that we can activate in its settings.

  • If you install KODI from Google Play and it closes follow these steps: KODI-System> Settings> Video> Settings level change to “advanced”, go to “Acceleration” touch where there are 3 options with 3 round points. Deactivate “amcodec” leaving the other two active.

Test results

H.264 formatDefault playerKODI
BBB – H.264 8bit – 1080p@25fps – 7 MbpsCorrectCorrect
Birds – H.264 8bit – 1080p@24fps – 40 MbpsCorrectCorrect
Samsung Oceanic Life – H.264  8bit– 1080p@30fps – 40 MbpsCorrectCorrect
Anime – H.264 10bit – 1080p@24fps – 10 MbpsArtifactsFrame skip
Skyfall – H.264  8 bit – 4K@24fps – 10 MbpsCorrectCorrect
Timelapse – H.264 8bit – 4K@24fps – 43 MbpsCorrectCorrect
H.265 format
Tears of steel – HVEC 8bit – 1080p@24fps – 17 MbpsCorrectCorrect
Beauty – HVEC 8bit – 4K@120fps – 12 MbpsCorrectCorrect
Anime – HVEC 10bit – 1080p@24fps – 21 MbpsCorrectCorrect
Samsung UHD Dubai – HVEC 10bit – 4K@24fps – 51 MbpsCorrectCorrect
HDR format
Life of Pi HDR –  HVEC – 4K@24fps – 45 MbpsCorrectCorrect
TravelXP HDR HLG – HVEC – 4K@24fps – 20 MbpsCorrectCorrect
Planet Earth II – HDR HLG – HVEC 10L5 – 4K@25fps – 31 MbpsCorrectCorrect
  • The MKV, Blu-ray ISO and BDRemux formats are only containers, inside we can have different codecs, resolutions, audio channels, chapters or subtitles. To play the Blu-ray format menus we need KODI or a compatible program.

Audio format test

In the Alfawise H96 PRO+ we have the Amlogic S912 SoC Octa core that as we know it is NOT licensed for the use of audio pass through for DD and DTS. For the sound tests we use our Yamaha RXV-577 AV receiver and we naturally check that in the device we have audio pass through for DD and DTS 5.1 as usual, with 7.1 sound the results are variable depending on the software we use or the type of file. In the audio settings we have option to configure the DRD Mode for reduction of imperfections.

Test results

Formato audioPCM*HDMIOptical
Dolby Digital 5.1CorrectCorrectCorrect
Dolby Digital Plus 7.1CorrectPCMCore
Dolby True HD 7.1CorrectCoreCore
Dolby Atmos 7.1CorrectCore *Core
DTS 5.1CorrectCorrectCorrect
DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1CorrectCoreCore
DTS-HD High Resolution 7.1CorrectCoreCore
DTS-X 7.1CorrectCore *Core
  • PCM – Stereo downmix from DD or DTS
  • Core – Only the core of the format Dolby / DTS is played
  • * Our AV receiver does not support these native formats but we check that it does downmix fine

WEB NAVIGATION AND STREAMING

Navigation

On the TV Box Alfawise H96 Pro+ we can navigate in a satisfactory way opening a good number of tabs, something normal since it includes 3GB DDR4 RAM and manages them quite well. The contents that are reproduced in HTML5 do not have major problems with the included default browser which has a good general compatibility, we can install the browser that we like.

DRM

As for DRM certificates necessary for some paid Streaming apps we have Google Widevine L3 so we can watch basic contents on this platform, in platforms like HBO or others we will not be able to use this hardware.

Youtube and streaming apps

We installed some of the most common Streaming apps to watch TV online that we downloaded from the Play Store, we don’t have problems. This TV-Box can play Youtube up to 1080p without any problems with the version that comes installed by default.

Streaming services with subscription

We do our battery test as usual on the most popular streaming services to verified if can work correctly, the power of this device is more than enough to see any type of content on this services, although as we know we are limited on the streaming quality for the restrictions of each company.

  • NOTE: We remind that these TV-Box do not have official support for these streaming apps, the compatibility with these services can vary depends of any new limitations imposed for this companies. The tests are perform with the indicated firmware and the version of the streaming app at the date of the review.
Streaming serviceVideoAudioPerformance
NetflixSD (480p)*StereoCorrect
Amazon Prime VideoSD (480p)StereoCorrect
HBONot working
  • For more details consult our Guide for Netflix on Android, inside you can found a solution for Error 0013 and installation method on rooted devices or chinese TV-Boxes.

CONCLUSIONS

Alfawise H96 PRO+

6.2

DESIGN AND CONNECTIVITY

6.0/10

HARDWARE

7.0/10

SOFTWARE

6.0/10

SUPPORT

5.0/10

PRICE/QUALITY

7.0/10

Pros

  • 3GB RAM DDR4
  • Stable OS and fast
  • Root by default
  • Good as media player
  • Cheap

Cons

  • Poor wifi performance

Opinion

The Alfawise H96 Pro+ TV-Box within its range is an interesting product thanks to the 3GB of RAM installed on the motherboard and a very fast storage memory that makes the system run with great speed. Otherwise a device with the usual shortcomings in software in this kind of devices and a nonexistent support as we can see in other Chinese devices. But this device can work properly as a media player Kodi for a low cost apart of other many other uses.

Where to buy

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