REVIEW: H96 MAX with the new Rockchip RK3318 SoC

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H96 MAX is an Android TV model of which we present today its analysis or review, a model with which we analyze for the first time the Soch Rockchip RK3318 which is a slightly cropped version of the classic RK3328. This TV-Box we have several versions that have 2/4GB of DDR3 RAM and 16/32/64GB internal storage, has a WiFi a/b/g/n + BT 4.1 adapter and operating system has Android 9 Pie. Let’s see in our review how this device behaves and how it defends itself with respect to direct competition.
  • H96 MAX with RK3318 SoC can be purchased in Geekbuying.com only for $39,99 (36€) with the coupon 3EQJW1GL

PRODUCT DETAILS

ModelH96 MAX
Basic SpecsSoC: RK3318 Quad Core Cortex A-53 (64bit) / GPU Mali-450 MP2 / 4x ARM-A53 @ 1.3GHz / 28nm
System: Android 9 (64bit)
Ram and storage: 2/4GB DDR3 – 16/3264GB eMMC (4/64GB in Review)
Network: Wifi a/b/g/n Dual Band (HS2734C)  + Bluetooth 4.0 – Ethernet 10/100
Ports: HDMI 2.0a 4K@60fps / AV Jack / 1x USB 2.0 / 1x USB 3.0 / MicroSD / Reset
Extras: IR remote control / HDMI cable / Manual / DC 5V 2A adapter

Description

This TV-Box H96 MAX TV-Box is presented in a basic cardboard box, inside we have the TV-Box, remote control, HDMI 2.0a cable, small first steps manual and 5V 2A power adapter with its adapter if necessary. The IR remote is a very basic model, it has a key to move the pointer on the screen using the crosshead.

  • Remote Control: Only basic IR remote for basic functionalities. We can choose other alternatives.
  • Voice control: Not available by default, see previous alternatives.
  • Alternate control: We can control remotely using the app  Cetusplay / Don’t have its own remote control app.

The model H96 MAX has a classic design, is a black box only with logo of the brand in the top. On the front we only have a small discrete white LED and on the perimeter we have all the connectors, the USB 3.0 port that is new in this SoC, we also have HDMI 2.0 connector up to 4K@60fps, AV jack, another USB 2.0, microSD reader and indicated with a red circle the power connector. In audio jack we have a hole for the update button of your firmware if necessary.

  • Materials and measures: Plastic / 109 x 109 x 18 mm / 167 gr.
  • Package contents: Manual / Adapter DC 5V 2A / HDMI cable / IR remote (2x AAA batteries not included).
  • Interfaces: HDMI 2.0 4K@60fps / AV Jack / 1x USB 2.0 / 1x USB 3.0 / MicroSD / Reset.
  • Leds and panel: Frontal LED.

When opening the TV-Box we can see the Wifi a/b/g/n Dual Band + Bluetooth 4.0 (HS2734C), It has one internal antenna fixed to the outer shell. The cooling system consists of a simple metallic heatsink attached to the SoC, a fairly basic design that we will see how it behaves in the thermal tests.

SYSTEM AND PERFORMANCE

Environment and Android system

We connect the H96 MAX to the DC adapter, it boots automatically with an animation and the frontal led lights up. We arrived at the launcher by default based on pictures, we can customize the lower area by adding icons of direct access to the apps we want, little more customizable. The system does NOT have a lower and upper navigation bar, something that limits the functionalities to the environment. The correct performance level of desktop or with basic apps, the Android 9 system works well without forced closed apps.

  • Launcher: Android 9 Launcher / YES we can change launcher but only Pixel launcher works 100% / Android UI rendering at 1080p.
  • Multitasking and access: NO notification system / NO multitasking available.
  • Installed apps: Google play, Netflix, Youtube, Files, Settings, AirPin, VLC, DLNA and RKMC (KODI).
  • 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 with support for 64bit apps, the system is Root.

  • System version: Android 9 (32 bit) / Kernel 4.9.118 / Build 2019-05-22 / Reference rk3318.
  • App store: Google Play with all the apps available for the Android system.
  • Settings and root: Lateral Android settings / The system IS root by default / NO menu to deactivate it in settings.
  • Support: H96 don’t have website for direct support / Firmware not available / Custom firmware not available

Power and performance

In terms of power, the H96 MAX has acceptable results and moves 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 RK3318 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 are high if we demand performance in powerful games, it is not a TV-Box suitable for playing but there are no problems in a use outside that scope.

  • Consumption: Off 2.3W / Standby 4W / Basic use 5W / Maximum 7.9W
  • Thermals: Minimum 53ºC / Maximum 80ºC / Maintains performance up to 75% / Heat zone on the top / Noise 0db

Observing the performance tests we can see how the Rockchip RK3318 SoC is almost on par with his brother RK3328 and SoC Amlogic S905X of the previous generation, in general section is below other SoC as the current Amlogic S905X2 has better GPU and It is made in 12nm.

This model is not compatible with PUBG because the lack of OpenGL ES 3.1 support. A valid processor to run games and emulators at the basic level without reaching the top of details.

  • Games and emulators: IS 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 H96 MAX we have integrated eMMC memory as internal storage, USB 3.0 ports and SD card reader. In the network section we have a Wifi a/b/g/n Dual Band (HS2734C)  + Bluetooth 4.0 and Ethernet 10/100 port. The performance of the Wifi chip is basic and we do not have a satisfactory top speed as we can see in the results.

  • Storage: Total 64GB expandable with a USB memory stick / NTFS + exFAT compatible.
  • RAM: Total 4GB – Free 3GB / DDR3.
  • Network: Basic speed with one external wifi antenna / Range 42 dBm, correct. / Bluetooth 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 / Write21/17 MB/s113/36 MB/s18/19 MB/s

VIDEO AND AUDIO TEST

Video playback test

Regarding the video playback section, the H96 MAX has the RK3318 SoC and a VPU compatible with most modern video formats such as h.265 and VP9 with native 4K resolution support. In this TV-Box we can use players like MX Player or install KODI from Google Play without the slightest problem, the system comes by default with a KODI version full of addons that we recommend to uninstall. This model has image quality settings with brightness, contrast and saturation, which can help us to fine-tune the result on the screen.

We passed several tests of multimedia playback with the H96 MAX we verified that it works efficiently using the new Rockchip RK3318 SoC, which has support of video output by HDMI 2.0 that allows maximum resolution up to 4K@60fps with HDR information and is also compatible with HLG .

Video results

FormatsResult
h.264 / 1080i / 8bitOK
h.264 / 1080p / 4K / 8bitOK
h.264 / 1080p / 10bit (anime)Frameskip
h.265 / 1080p / 8bitOK
h.265 / 1080p / 10bit (anime)Frameskip
h.265 / 4K / 8bitOK
h.265 / 4K / 10bit HDROK
VP9 P1 / 4K / 8bitOK
VP9 P2 / 4K / 10bit HDRLow 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

For testing the audio in the H96 MAX we use a Yamaha 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 / OKCoreCorePCM / 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

In our usual tests with streaming services we see how the most popular services work. The H96 MAX presents the classic configuration without certificates that limits us in quality in several streaming services, luckily it seems that if it is compatible with most services even if they are in their most basic SD quality

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

H96 MAX _

0.00
5.5

DESIGN AND CONNECTIVITY

6.0/10

HARDWARE

5.5/10

AUTONOMY

6.5/10

SUPPORT

4.0/10

PRICE/QUALITY

5.5/10

Pros

  • Compact
  • Cheap
  • Works as a 4K player

Cons

  • Hot in gaming

Opinion

Once analyzed the TV-Box H96 MAX we can say that this is a classic low-cost based on the new Rockchip RK3318 SoC, that is very similar to the RK3328. A basic hardware for multimedia use that includes as an interesting point USB 3.0 support. At the network level, the Wifi dual band adapter that integrates with its internal antenna gives us 5G basic results and the 10/100 Ethernet port speed is correct but it could be Gigabit, a few hardware cuts usual in products of this price range.

The H96 MAX has variants with up to 4GB of RAM which allows us to run apps without problems but without loading a large number of apps in memory. This is a valid Box as a video player, for example with KODI or for simple games although it heats up a lot in long sessions. The installed system is Android 9 but apart from that it does not contribute anything to stand out from what we find in other models. This model has no Android navigation bars, no root selector account or other extra options.

This small TV-Box only stands out for its price that can be valid for use as a multimedia player in KODI if we need something discreet. Consult our recommended models to see other alternatives.

WHERE TO BUY AND ADD-ONS

  • H96 MAX with RK3318 SoC can be purchased in Geekbuying.com only for $39,99 (36€) with the coupon 3EQJW1GL

Add-ons

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

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Thank you for your review. It makes me more clearly understand before buying those products.

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