Table of Contents
The Mecool KM3 TV-Box is presented in a cardboard box with magnetic lid, inside we have the TV-Box, remote control with microphone, HDMI 2.0 cable, small manual first steps and 5V 2A power adapter with its adapter if necessary. The IR + Bluetooth remote control with microphone can be connected automatically by pressing OK + Vol- on the remote control.
- Remote Control: The default IR + Bluetooth remote with integrated microphone, basic but functional. We can choose other alternatives.
- Voice control: By default we can use Google Assistant to perform searches by pressing the microphone button.
- Alternate control: We can control remotely using the app Cetusplay / Don’t have its own remote control app.
The model Mecool KM3 has a classic design, the tiny black box only has the logo of the brand in relief at 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 2.1 connector up to 4K@75fps, 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 / 166 gr.
- Package contents: Manual / Adapter DC 5V 2A / HDMI cable / BT+IR remote with microphone (2x AAA batteries not included).
- Interfaces: HDMI 2.1 4K@75fps / AV Jack 3.5mm / Jack AV / 1x USB 2.0 / 1x USB 3.0 / MicroSD / Reset.
- Leds and panel: Frontal RGB LED.
When opening the TV-Box we can see the Wifi ac 2T2R + Bluetooth 4.2 (AP6359S), It has two antennas stuck 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 Mecool KM3 to the current, the TV-Box starts automatically with an animation and the frontal LED lights up. The system installed by default is Android TV 9, an Android version focused on its use on television screen and use with remote control that has its advantages and disadvantages, we have a lot of installed streaming apps (too many, we recommend deleting them). The performance is very good and the system moves very fluid, it shows much more powerful hardware than a Xiaomi Mi Box S for example.
- Launcher: Android TV 9 Launcher / We can’t change the default launcher / Android UI rendering at 1080p.
- Multitasking and access: Android TV notification system / Multitasking available directly with long press in Home.
- Installed apps: Google play, Netflix, Sideload launcher, Youtube, FX Explorer. Settings and dozens of streaming apps.
- 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 TV 9 with support for 32bit apps only. The system has a Google Certification because Chromecast has an encrypted system that can only be obtained with that license, but that does not mean that we have Google system updates, we will only find a firmware file released by Mecool if we are lucky.
- System version: Android TV 9 (32 bit) / Kernel 4.9.113 / Build 2019-03-20 / Reference U211.
- App store: Google Play with all the apps available for the Android system.
- Settings and root: Android + Droid Settings / The system IS NOT root by default / NO menu to deactivate it in settings.
- Support: Mecool DON’T has a website to contact / Firmware available / Custom firmware no yet
Power and performance
In the power aspect the Mecool KM3 has very good results in the line of the new Amlogic S905X2 Quad Core SoC with ARM Cortex-A53 processors and Mali-G31 MP2 GPU in a very good position. This new SoC made in 12nm offers us a good efficiency, the temperatures do not reach a worrying figures at any time and in normal use it behaves fast and cool.
- Consumption: Off 0W / Standby 2.7W / Basic use 3.8W / Maximum 7.2W
- Thermals: Minimum 46ºC / Maximum 71ºC / Maintains performance up to 100% / Small heat zone on the top / Noise 0db
- You can read our Comparison article for Amlogic S905X2 SoC with all its technical details
We pass our benchmarks and we can see how the Amlogic S905X2 SoC is almost on par with the most powerful Amlogic last generation SoC the S912. In general the results are below that a powerful SoC like the Rockchip RK3399 or the new Amlogic S922X as we has seen in the Beelink GT-King review few days ago.
In the following you can see a test of how PUBG moves in medium settings with the S905X2 SoC, the result is good and we can move without problems. We recommend reading our tutorial to play with keyboard and mouse to PUBG in a TV-Box.
- Games and emulators: IS 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 Mecool KM3 model we have integrated eMMC memory as internal storage, USB 3.0 ports and SD card reader. In the network section we have a Wifi ac 2T2R + Bluetooth 4.2 (AP6359S) and Ethernet 10/100 port. The performance of the Wifi chip is good and we arrive at correct figures for this type of adapter.
- Storage: Total 64GB expandable with a USB memory stick / NTFS + exFAT compatible.
- RAM: Total 4GB – Free 3GB / DDR4.
- Network: Good speed in 5G with two wifi antenna / Range 26 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 2.0||USB 3.0||microSD||SATA|
|Read / Write||21/17 MB/s||113/36 MB/s||18/19 MB/s||–|
VIDEO AND AUDIO TEST
Video playback test
Regarding the video playback section, the Mecool KM3 has the S905X2 SoC and a Amlogic TruLife Gen8 VPU compatible with most modern video formats such as h.265 and VP9. 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 the option to install to install KODI that works without problems. Thanks to the Google Certification we can use Chromecast from applications such as Youtube, Google Play Movies, Music or similar, but due to security limitations and certifications we can not use it in apps like Netflix or similar.
- Settings and HDMI-CEC: NO image quality settings / RGB and SDR modes available / HDMI-CEC works
- Automatic refresh rate change: Not available.
- Media sharing: Chromecast NO / Miracast NO / DLNA with BlubblePnP / Airplay NO.
- LibreELEC: This model is NOT compatible with LibreELEC.
- Tutorials: Judder effect and how to avoid it / Multi-channel audio guide / Correct dark screen when playing video on Android.
We perform several multimedia playback tests with the Mecool KM3 and check that it works perfectly using the new Amlogic S922X SoC, which has video output support for HDMI 2.1 that theoretically allows maximum resolution up to 4K@75fps with HDR information with support for Dolby Vision, check the settings.
- Performance: HEVC 10 bit HDR OK / VP9 P2 OK / 8K no compatible / 1080i with frameskips.
- Ports: HDMI 2.1 4K@75fps / Jack audio stereo
- Max. bitrate: 100 Mbps = 12,5 MB/s.
- Tutorials: Install Addons in KODI in a simple way / LibreELEC installation guide for the TV-Boxes with Android
|h.264 / 1080p / 4K / 8bit||OK|
|h.264 / 4K / 10bit||OK|
|h.265 / 4K / 8bit||OK|
|h.265 / 4K / 10bit HDR||OK|
|VP9 P1 / 4K / 8bit||OK|
|VP9 P2 / 4K / 10bit HDR||OK|
|VP9 P2 / 8K / 10bit HDR||Frameskip|
- You can see more details in the article Video decoding tests with Amlogic S905X2 SoC.
- 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 Mecool KM3 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.
- Ports: HDMI up to 5.1 / Stereo Jack
- Passthrough and certification: Available in settings / NO official certificates / NO Chromecast audio.
- Tutorial: Multi channel audio configuration in Android devices
Audio test results
|Formats||DD / DTS 5.1||DD+ / DTS MA||DD True / DTS HR||DD Atmos / DTS X|
|HDMI||OK / OK||OK / Core||Core||PCM / Core*|
- 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
We pass the classic tests on streaming services to see how the most popular services work. The BMecool KM3 presents an unusual configuration since we are certified with both Google Widevine L1 and Microsoft Playready, in addition to support HDCP 2.2. On a practical level despite these certificates we can only see Netflix in SD+ quality, other services such as HBO or Amazon Prime Video can not be played despite having the DRM certificates for different incompatibilities.
- DRM: Google Widevine L1 / Microsoft Playready / HDCP 2.2.
- Certification: No
- Tutorial: Change the size of the captions and the mouse pointer on Android / Install Addons in KODI in a simple way
|Streaming service||Video / Audio||Result||Manual|
|Youtube||4K (2160p) / Stereo||OK||–|
|Google Play Movies||FullHD (1080p) / Stereo||OK||–|
|Netflix||SD+ (540p) / Stereo||OK, installing the apk and needs a mouse||Netflix on Android|
|HBO||HD (720p) / Stereo||OK, with Android TV apk||–|
|Amazon Prime Video||SD (480p) / Stereo||OK with apk for Android Mobile + mouse
Playback control are not the best
|Amazon Prime video on Android|
The TV-Box Mecool KM3 is a very interesting model based on the S905X2 SoC that has Google Certificate, a certificate that allows to use the Chromecast system in Google applications although unfortunately outside these app we can not use it, apart from that point the certificate does not provide special support or something extra remarkable. At the network level, the Wifi ac Dual band adapter gives us good figures, regrettably that a simple 10/100 Ethernet port is mounted instead of a Gigabit one that will allow us to go more relaxed in a local network.
This model Mecool KM3 integrates on its motherboard 4GB of DDR4 RAM, which allow us to load several apps from the internal memory and switch between them from the included remote control. This TV-Box has the latest Android TV 9 system that allows us to handle it in a very comfortable way on our TV and we can give orders with the microphone through Google Assistant, it’s a shame that it is not Flymouse because it limits the use of certain apps. A model that behaves well as a video player, for example with KODI or for powerful games and all kinds of commonly used apps.
This TV-Box is powerful and have Chromecast (to a certain extent), a perfectly valid model for local content playback that also has a remote control with microphone that facilitates user-level use. Consult our recommended models to see other alternatives.
WHERE TO BUY AND ADD-ONS