REVIEW: Beelink GS1 with the new Allwinner H6 SoC

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Thanks to the collaboration of the Beelink brand today we present the review of the new TV-Box Beelink GS1, a model that integrates the new and interesting Allwinner H6 SoC . As always in this review we test all the hardware that integrates this device. We have Wifi ac with integrated Bluetooth, Gigabit Ethernet and a USB 3.0 port. This small TV-Box is quite complete in specifications, supports Netflix HD and have a very careful design, let’s see in our review how it behaves in all its aspects.

SPECIFICATIONS

ModelBeelink GS1
CPUAllwinner H6 Cortex-A53 Octa Core
GPUMali-T720mp2
OSAndroid 7.1 (32 bit)
RAM2 GB DDR3
Storage16 GB eMMc
WiFiWiFi ac
Bluetooth4.1
Ports1x USB 2.0
1x USB 3.0
HDMI 2.0a
microSD reader
Ethernet Gigabit
SPDIF
 OthersRecovery button
 ContentIR Remote
HDMI Cable
5V/2A DC adapter
Manual
Medidas: 3.78 x 3.78 x 0.63 inches
Peso: 6.7 oz

CONTENT DESCRIPTION

Package content

The new Beelink GS1 comes in a cardboard box with the logo of the model on top. Inside the box we have the device in the upper part, the rest of the accessories are housed in separate boxes with IR remote, HDMI cable, manual and a 5V 2A power adapter.

Product Details

The Beelink GS1 chassis is made of plastic and the upper part has the logo of the model, the edge of the box is shiny and the upper part matte, the dimensions make it very compact and have a light weight. In the front part behind the dark plastic an IR receiver hides and one side has the status LED.

On the side where we find a microSD card reader with the typical self-extracting mechanism, next to it we can see one USB 3.0 Type-A conventional port.

On the next side we have a DC-IN connector, a USB 2.0 port, HDMI 2.0a that allows resolutions up to 4K@60fps, Gigabit Ethernet, and finally the SPDIF audio output.

In the back of the Beelink GS1 we have four plastic legs that raise the TV-Box minimally to improve ventilation, in one of the corners we have the reset button that allows to update from a PC if necessary.

CONNECTING THE DEVICE

Connection and desktops

After connect the Beelink GS1 to the DC adapter athe mini TV-Box is started directly lighting the front led, in a few seconds a waiting message appears and then we have the configuration wizard to start the system.

The Beelink GS1 launcher is the classic of this brand based on tiles, we have a weather widget, basic app launchers and in the right zone a customizable area to put the apps we want. In the lower zone we have different messages of connected networks, volume and icon to shut down the system.

  • Boot time: 15 seconds

If we press right or left of the main screen of the launcher we have two more zones that we can personalize, in general this system is designed to handle with the IR remote control that comes to us of series.

We have navigation bar and notification bar something helps us if we want to use a mouse to manage the system for example.

By default we have few apps installed by default, we have Bee Files Explorer and Bee Music, two applications designed by Beelink to manage files and music on a simple way with the IR control.

Bee Files Explorer allows us to navigate the internal drive or the external drives we connect to handle files in a comfortable way, the same happens with Bee Music that shares design but is focused on audio files.

In the Beelink GS1 we also have the Media Center app with a design that gives us the option of exploring media content on the device, on connected external drives, or on SMB and NFS network paths.

System Settings

In the Beelink GS1 we have only one type of settings, the appearance is that of the classic Android settings in tablet or phone, among them we have all the network, video and audio settings.

User Experience

The user experience in the Beelink GS1 as we have been able to verify is fluid and we have not seen applications with force close at any time. The Allwinner H6 processor move Android quite fast, the 2 GB of DDR3 RAM and the internal storage of 16 GB eMMC run the apps fluently. It is possible to run any multimedia app, games and utilities in a satisfactory way, perhaps in heavier games we notice some punctual frame rate drop but in general we have a very good performance.

From the multitasking window we can drag applications to right or left and split the screen in two to have two applications at the same time, something useful to navigate and perform other actions.

Android System

As an operating system in the Beelink GS1 we have installed Android 7.1 , a very modern system. The kernel as we see is quite old, the version is 3.10.65 and the compilation is dated 11-01-2017. With this version we have done the review that you can read in the following pages.

Brand Support

The brand Beelink gives us a rather prolonged support to their TV-Boxes as we have seen over the years. The OTA system works perfectly and update our firmware to version 102NO.

Storage and RAM

Inside the Beelink GS1 we have a total of 16 GB of eMMc storage memory, from this storage memory we have actually available about 11 GB , a correct figure, luckily the system has a single partition in memory storage thing that facilitates the management of our archives. We can always expand the internal space using an SD card since Android 7 allows it.

In this mini TV-Box we have 2 GB of DDR3 RAM that behave normally, of this amount we are available about 1.4 GB at boot which allows us to open a good number of apps or tabs of our internet browser.

We passed our tests to memory and internal storage in the Beelink GS1 using the SD bench app that gives us a very good figures for this range of devices, this speed improve the user experience. The USB 3.0 port gives us speeds of 57 MB/s a correct figure for this type of connector.

Consumption and temperatures

The power consumption in the Beelink GS1 using the Allwinner H6 SoC gives us a low figures like other similar boxes. At peak performance the SoC reaches 6.7 W as a peak consumption point. The temperature of the box can be somewhat high if we make heavy use because it is very compact, for multimedia playback use this should not be a problem.

The temperature of the box is not worrisome and we have not noticed a loss of performance running applications, the upper part goes little hot using games for example. In our test we see the SoC arrives punctually at 1.5 GHz although normally it stays in 0.8 GHz

Google Play and Amazon App Store

If we browse the Google Play Store we have excellent compatibility with all apps and there is no problem when installing them. With the Amazon Apps store equal result, a good alternative to Google.

Root

In the system of the Beelink GS1 as we can see if it has root by default, something that will not affect us in services like for example Netflix or Amazon Prime Video as we will see in our analysis in the corresponding section.

Power Off / Standby / Power On

In the Beelink GS1 when pressing power off key on the IR remote control or in the launcher the system turns off completely leaving with 0.1 W of consumption, to turn it on we can do it from the remote control.

TEST BENCH

Video and audio connections.

As we have seen in the Beelink GS1 we have integrated the new SoC Allwinner H6 a product that has video output support for HDMI 2.0a which gives us the option to see content with a maximum resolution of 4K@60MHz with 10 bit of color , in the settings we miss brightness, contrast or saturation options.

In this system there is no automatic refresh rate adjustment option, something that would be interesting since it avoids us to reproduce contents with the annoying Judder effect.

Within the advanced screen settings we have support to change the RGB mode something that is necessary in some old TV models that have incompatibility with the current color modes, we also have color modes up to YUV420 10bit and automatic management option.

In this section of the settings we have the HDR modes, an interesting point because with this menu we can force it globally for the whole system if necessary.

DLNA and Miracast

Installed in the Beelink GS1 we can share the screen using the Miracast app the system connects and we can transmit the image correctly. As we always say these Miracast systems depend on many factors.

Webcam

We perform videoconference tests on the Beelink GS1 using the Skype app, the results are correct in both audio and video, we use a simple webcam Logitech C170, good results in general are correct.

NETWORK CONNECTIONS

Wi-Fi and Ethernet

Installed in the Beelink GS1 we have a Dual Band AC 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 36 mbps, with the 5Ghz Wi-Fi network we reached about 59 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 168 mbps. The correct figures within this protocol.

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 and undoubtedly highlights the 5 GHz Wifi adapter and the Ethernet Gigabit port.

In our tests of wifi coverage with the equipment as always located at a distance of about 5mts and with a wall we verified that we have connection without cuts, the signal reaches a good level with about 28 dBm, an excellent result for an internal wifi antenna.

Bluetooth

Integrated with the WiFi adapter of the Beelink GS1 we also have Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity with which we have no issues detecting other devices, we have tested a few helmets BT and some one gamepad BT without major problem.

CONTROL SYSTEMS
Remote control

By default with the Beelink GS1 we have a basic IR remote to handle the device, is powered by two AAA batteries. Apart from the usual keys we have several keys to clone functions of other controls, in the back we have a text that explains how to do it. If we keep pressing the Home button appears the multitasking function to change the active app, we also have mouse function to move the pointer with the central crosshead.

Remote control app

In the Beelink GS1 we do not have by default al remote control app. We can use CetusPlay as an alternative to control it from our mobile, that app offers to us some good functionalities, we just have to install the server on the box and the client on our remote device, we need to be connected to the same local network to work properly.

Gamepad and games

To control games on the Beelink GS1 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. With the GPU Mali-T720mp2 that incorporates this SoC Allwinner H6 the performance is something fair in heavy games where we notice that they drop some frames per second, in conventional games we are not going to have this problems.

PERFORMANCE TEST

SOC

Installed in the Beelink GS1 we have the new SoC Allwinner H6 that includes four processors ARM Cortex-A53 of 64bits and a GPU Mali-720 with two nuclei shader core. A medium-range SoC that theoretically reaches up to 1.8 GHz although it arrives very occasionally and normally at most works at 1.5 GHz. This SoC incorporates Hardware decoding support for the H.265, VP9, 10-9 video codec bit of color and even HDR, is able to playback video at 4K@60fps thanks to the HDMI 2.0a video output connector. As we can see in the following tests at performance level is close to Amlogic S912 which is not bad.

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 test the Beelink GS1 in the video playback area, the SoC Allwinner H6 that integrates a Mali-T720 GPU has good performance. In this model we find two interesting points, on the one hand the Allwinner Phoenix 3.0 VE Engine that allows us to decode H.265 and VP9 up to 4K@60fps natively and on the other hand we have the Smartcolor 3.0 DE Engine that is responsible for controlling the modes HDR as HLG and HDR10, although it does not support Dolby Vision. We install without problems KODI official from the Google Play store that behaves normally since it has hardware acceleration, in this model we do not have the specific version of KODI. As we see in our tests we can reproduce any type of 4K content without problems even in the most modern formats.

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.

Native player

The native player of the Beelink GS1 leaves much to be desired because in other models with SoC Allwinner H6 we have seen how this hardware is really used, here we have very few options and there is no sign of automatic refresh or fine adjustment of the image for brightness, contrast or saturation.

Audio format test

The Beelink GS1 has a Allwinner H6 SoC, this is a processor that is officially NOT licensed for the use of audio pass through for DD and DTS . For sound testing we use our Yamaha RXV-577 AV receiver and check that the device has audio pass through for DD and DTS 5.1, we have problems with KODI that not shows the passthrough audio menus, need a firmware fix.

Test results

Formato audioPCM*HDMIOptical
Dolby Digital 5.1CorrectCorrectCorrect
Dolby Digital Plus 7.1CorrectCoreCore
Dolby True HD 7.1CorrectCoreCore
Dolby Atmos 7.1CorrectPCM*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

We pass some performance tests on the Beelink GS1 using the standard browser where we have no problems opening a good number of tabs thanks to its 2 GB of DDR3 RAM. Content that is rendered in HTML5 does not have major problems with the included serial browser that is Chrome.

DRM

As for the DRM certificates needed for some paid streaming apps we do not have any installed series, something habitual in this type of models, as novelty we see that we have CENC ClearKey .

Youtube and streaming apps

From Google Play we installed some of the most common Streaming apps to watch TV online and we have no problems. By default we have Youtube up to 1440p, although at the most we will really see it at 1080p.

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: This device don’t have support for Netflix HD any more
  • 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

Beelink GS1

7.5

DESIGN AND CONNECTIVITY

7.5/10

HARDWARE

7.5/10

SOFTWARE

6.5/10

SUPPORT

8.5/10

PRICE/QUALITY

7.5/10

Pros

  • Compact
  • Good on video playback
  • Fast and stable
  • Nice design
  • Good network performance

Cons

  • 24hz mode and detailed image control are missing

Opinion

As you see on the Beelink GS1 review, we can say that this is a good TV-Box, the overall performance is good and the firmware is stable. Also in the hardware section we have USB 3.0, Wifi ac and a Gigabit Ethernet port that ensures any type of streaming. The image quality is also very good thanks to the dedicated video chip of the Allwinner H6 that supports all the current file formats without flinching and is natively compatible with KODI.

The Beelink GS1 system based on Android 7.1 as we have seen has few modifications and comes quite clean. On the other hand it is a pity that we do not have automatic refreshment change and as we have seen the native player does not exploit the maximum video capacity of this SoC leaving it in its basic functions. Undoubtedly one of its strengths is in the ability to playback Netflix in FullHD quality which adds some good points. In general, a very interesting device that could be excellent with some small improvements in your system.

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MAXIME DISTRICT

There is an error : the conclusion is the same as Beelink A1.

techs
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techs

The Netflix mod app you have is mobile version still 720P and it is not 1080P, please test it yourself.

techs
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techs

How did you get AMlogic S912 which is part of AMlogic and AllWinner mixed? cause they are not the even same company?

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