REVIEW: H96 Max Plus, RK3328 SoC, 4GB of RAM and Android 8.1

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H96 Max Plus is the Android TV-Box of which we present today its analysis or review, thanks to the collaboration of the Geekbuying online store. A new model that has the well-known RK3328 Quad Core SoC, which integrates enough hardware to use it as a media player in a fluid way. This model is advertised as compatible with Netflix HD but in our tests we will see if this is true or not (Updated: Geekbuying has already removed the advertising with reference to Netflix HD). Inside the TV-Box we have 4GB of RAM memory and it has versions with 32 or 64GB of eMCC storage. Let’s see in our analysis how this hardware behaves and how it is related to the competition.
  • H96 Max Plus can be purchased in Geekbuying.com only for $48,99 (€42,07) with shipping cost

PRODUCT DETAILS

ModelH96 Max Plus 
Basic SpecsSoC: RK3328 Quad Core Cortex A-53 / GPU Mali-450MP2 / 4x ARM-A53 @ 1.3GHz
System: Android 8.1 (64bit)
RAM and storage: 4 GB DDR3 – 32/64 GB eMMC
Network: Wifi b/g/n 2.4/5GHz – Ethernet 10/100
Ports: HDMI 2.0a 4K @ 60fps / AV Jack 3.5mm / 2x USB 2.0 / 1x USB 3.0 / microSD
Extras: Remote Control RF / Manual / Adapter DC 5V 2A / Manual English
Check full specifications

Description

The TV-Box H96 Max Plus is made of plastic and has a box that we have seen in other products of the same brand, a box that does not have many ventilation slots and is not surprising in any way.

  • Materials and measures: Plastic / 3.8 x 3.8 x 1.2 inches (98 x 98 x 26 mm / 0.3 lb (120 gr)
  • Interfaces: HDMI 2.0a 4K @ 60fps / AV Jack 3.5mm / 2x USB 2.0 / 1x USB 3.0 / microSD / Reset in audio jack
  • Leds and panel: Frontal led status / No panel
  • Package content: IR remote control with light / Manual / DC adapter 12V 3A Europlug / Manual in English.
  • Remote control: The RF remote control with USB adapter is very simple and has a button to use the microphone with Google Assistant, we can only use it with this app and it does not work in other apps with search option like Youtube. We can control remotely from our mobile or Android TV-Box the system using the Cetusplay app or connect a flymouse, mouse or keyboard.

In the back we have the bulk of the audio and video connections. On the sides we have the data connectors, on the one hand we have two connectors 2x USB 3.0, SATA and on the other side 2x USB 2.0, SATA and reset.

ANDROID SYSTEM

Environment and user experience

We connect the H96 Max Plus and it starts up automatically, installed by default we have a simple launcher based on the classic boxes that we can easily handle with the remote control. We can load any app without problems thanks to the Quad Core RK3328 SoC and the 2GB of RAM, we must bear in mind that some leading games like PUBG are not available for this SoC. With the remote control we can use in the app Google Assistant, but we can not use the command to enter words in the search boxes, a very uncomfortable problem to perform searches.

  • Launcher: Launcher based on squares, customizable lower row / We can change the launcher.
  • Multitasking and access: There is no direct access to the task change / We do not have bar access or Android notifications.
  • Installed apps: Streaming apps, highlight Google play, Netflix, AirPin, DLNA, Cleaner, RKMC, Prime video and YouTube.
  • Languages: All the international Android classics.

System, support and store apps

In the section of settings of the H96 Max Plus we have the classic side menu with all the usuall settings, we also have a special section called Advance Settings with specific settings for the TV-Box. The system is Android 8.1 Oreo (64bit) with kernel 4.4.12 that seems quite stable in our tests.

  • System version: Android 8.1 (64 bit) with Kernel 4.4.12 (04-04-2018).
  • Apps store: Google Play working with all the apps available for the Android system.
  • Brand support: There is no responsible brand for this TV-Box, on our website we publish the firmware we found.
  • Root and scene: The SI system is root. / There are no custom firmwares for this TV-Box.

HARDWARE TESTS

Storage and RAM Memory

We perform our usual memory tests and internal storage in the H96 Max Plus using the SD bench app. The results are correct although of course quite basic since we are testing a low-cost product. Storage can not be expanded using the microSD card reader, there is no option in the system.

  • Storage: Total 64GB – Free 53GB. / No option to expand
  • RAM: Total 4GB – Free 3GB / DDR3L.
  • Compatible formats: NTFS compatible / exFAT no compatible
USB 2.0USB 3.0microSDSATA
Read / Write22/20 MB/s72/31 MB/s25/14 MB/s

WIFI and Bluetooth

In Wi-Fi connections, the H96 Max Plus TV-Box has a Wifi b/g/n 2.4/5GHz without Bluetooth 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.
  • Wifi range: At a distance of 5 meters with a wall we have a signal of 52 dBm, correct but not excellent.
  • Bluetooth: No.
  • 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

The H96 Max Plus TV-box using the SoC Rockhip RK3328 has correct results in terms of consumption. We are in front of a SoC of low consumption and these do not shoot much when using it with classic apps like Youtube or browsers.

We check 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 TV-Box does not have many ventilation slots but it seems to hold up well in the performance tests.

  • Loss of performance: the system maintains a maximum performance of 94%, there is a slight non-critical loss of performance.
  • Temperature: The upper part heats up although it does not affect the general use of the TV-Box.
  • Noise: Fanless system, 0db.

PERFORMANCE TEST

SOC

At performance level the H96 Max Plus has correct results in the line of the Rockchip RK3328 Quad Core SoC with Cortex-A53, in the graphic section the power of the Mali-450MP5 GPU is enough to move most games or Android apps, where it suffers is running the high load 3D titles. If we compare the results we can see how it falls below the powerful Amlogic S912 and Rockchip RK3399 SoC’s, in general, correct results for this type of SoC.

Benchmarks

Games and gamepads

In the Android TV-Box H96 Max Plus we have the Rockchip RK3328 SoC that integrates a Mali-450MP5 GPU, this model allows us to correctly move most Android titles without performance problems and good compatibility. The games with a lot of 3D load are the ones that have frames drops in this GPU, so it is better to limit yourself to basic titles with little load.

VIDEO AND AUDIO TEST

Video and audio connections

As the engine of the H96 Max Plus we have the Rockchip RK3328 SoC a product that has support for video output by HDMI 2.0a which allows maximum resolution up to 4K@60fps with HDR information. We do not have SPDIF optical audio output only AV stereo jack with video output for 480p TV’s.

Video playback test

We performed our video playback tests on the Android TV-Box H96 Max Plus, a model that has the RK3328 SoC that integrates a VPU compatible with most modern video formats as we can see in the results. by default this TV-Box comes with a version of KODI called RKMC that is outdated, we recommend delete it and installing the latest official version from Google Play.

Test results

H.264 FormatResult
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
H.265 / VP9 Format
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
Jellyfish – HVEC 10bit – Main 10@L6.1@High – 4K@30fps – 392 MbpsFrameskip
Anime – HVEC 10bit –  Main 10@L4@Main – 1080p@24fps – 21 MbpsFrameskip
Eye of the Storm – VP9 – 4K@24fps – 14 MbpsCorrect
HDR Format
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 MbpsFrameskip
Peru 8K HDR – VP9 Profile 2 10bit – 8K@60fps – 20 MbpsFrameskip

Audio playback test

Testing the H96 Max Plus using a Yamaha RXV-577 AV receiver we check that they support DD 7.1 and DTS 5.1 pass through sound. Remember that you have to indicate the connector to use in audio settings so that it sends the signal to the decoder, Settings > Sound > Audio Device. If you don’t have AV receiver you can hear the multichannel audio videos in stereo, follow our multi-channel audio guide to setup the system.

  • Ports: HDMI up to 7.1 / Audio jack stereo
  • Certification: None.

Audio test results

FormatsDD 5.1DD+ 7.1DD True 7.1DD Atms 7.1DTS 5.1DTS MA 5.1DTS HR 7.1DTS X 7.1
HDMIOKOKCoreOK*OKCoreCoreCore*
SPDIF
  • 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 as we can see in stores is advertised as compatible with Netflix HD and Youtube 4K but it is false, this is a TV-Box without any official certificate and offers us standard support with Netflix in SD and YouTube quality up to 1080p.

  • WARNING: From AndroidPCtv we encourage you to report this type of fraudulent advertising and claim the stores, use our source.
    UPDATED: Geekbuying has already removed the advertising with reference to Netflix HD.
  • DRM: None
  • NOTE: We remind this product 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 serviceVideo QualityAudio QualityResult
YoutubeFullHD (1080p)StereoOK
Google Play MoviesDon’t work
NetflixSD (480p)StereoOK
HBO NordicHD (720p)StereoPause icon in the center of the screen
Amazon Prime VideoSD (480p)StereoOK

CONCLUSIONS

Score

H96 Max Plus _

5.5

DESIGN AND CONNECTIVITY

6.5/10

HARDWARE

6.0/10

AUTONOMY

4.0/10

SUPPORT

5.0/10

PRICE/QUALITY

6.0/10

Pros

  • 4GB of RAM and 32/64 GB of storage
  • Android 8.1
  • Compact
  • Stable
  • Fine at the video playback level

Cons

  • Misleading advertising in some stores

Opinion

As we have seen in our review, the H96 Max Plus is another model in the universe of low-cost products in this sector. A model that has a interesting hardware because it has 4GB of RAM and options with 32 or 64GB of internal storage, although as we have seen the internal storage is quite slow. By default this model has a RF remote control with integrated microphone with which we can give orders to Google Assitant but as usual it is not very well implemented because we can not perform searches on other apps like YouTube.

Undoubtedly the controversial point of this H96 Max Plus is that it is advertised in some stores with support Netflix HD and YouTube 4K that as we have verified is simply FALSE (Updated: Geekbuying has already removed the advertising with reference to Netflix HD), we are before a generic TV-Box in this aspect and the quality of the services is the usual, we will see Netflix in SD and Youtube quality in FullHD quality. We recommend directly claiming if we expected to see these services as reflected in their advertising, it is necessary for stores to avoid this type of misleading advertising and not to sell these types of products. In general as we can see is a totally generic product.

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George Titus AlbulescuC kumarGordon B WilliamsDmitryAubrey Parsons Recent comment authors

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Alex Stanley
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Alex Stanley

Rubbish, really bad sound . Poor chip design. Try watching Netflix through a digital amplifier…

Aubrey Parsons
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Aubrey Parsons

What do you mean by (Remember that you have to indicate the connector to use in audio settings so that it sends the signal to the decoder) where is this settings.

Dmitry
Guest
Dmitry

Tell me, please, can I change wallpaper and can I drag icons by airmouse on the screen (in particular, in the programm Nova launcher?)?

Gordon B Williams
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Gordon B Williams

I’ve purchased one. I’m very disappointed. Its poor wifi has made it unusable to me. Even using a repeater doesn’t really help. My previous M8s (which I unfortunately bricked) worked perfectly. My daughter bought me an Amazon Fire stick. It’s reception was fine. It’s just that they are rubbish in Australia. No applicable apps.

C kumar
Guest
C kumar

Hi: there no built-in Bluetooth, which Bluetooth receiver works to connect to a game pad controller (gen game s3)

George Titus Albulescu
Member

Hi! Please, tell me, works HBO GO on this tv box version 32 GB?

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