• REVIEW: Nagrace HPH NT-N9 with 2GB of DDR4 RAM and Rockchip RK3328 SoC

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    We bring today the review of the new TV-Box Nagrace HPH NT-N9, in this device we found the Rockchip RK3328 SoC that as we see is working very well in the low cost sector, a Quad core processor with enough power to move the most common Android apps. A SoC that behaves well as a media player in next generation formats with HDR and 10 color bit encoded using h.265. In this model we find integrated 2GB of DDR4 RAM and 16GB of internal storage. Let’s see what this new TV-Box brings and how it behaves in the detailed tests of our review.

    • Buy the Nagrace HPH NT-N9 with 3/32GB on the store Gearbest.com for only $57 with free shipping

    SPECIFICATIONS

    ModelNagrace HPH NT-N9
    CPURockchip RK3328 Quad Core Cortex-A53 1,5GHz
    GPUMali-450mp2
    OSAndroid 7.1.2
    RAM2 GB DDR4
    Storage16 GB eMMc
    WiFiWiFi b/g/n
    Bluetooth4.0
    Ports2x USB 2.0
    1x USB 3.0
    microSD reader
    HDMI 2.0b
    Jack audio / video AV
    SPDIF
    Ethernet Gigabit
     OthersRecovery button
     ContentIR Remote
    HDMI Cable
    5V/3A DC adapter
    Manual

    CONTENT DESCRIPTION

    Package content

    The TV-Box Nagrace HPH NT-N9 is presented in a large black cardboard box with text and blue logo. Inside we have the device 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 / 3A (15W) power supply.

    Product Details

    The model Nagrace HPH NT-N9 is made of plastic, the edge is white and in the front we have the power button, in the upper part we have the logo of the brand with the acronym HPH, in the upper part we have a blue led of on.

    In one of its sides we have an on / off button, the system turns on automatically when connected to the power adapter, so we will use it only few times.

    On one of its sides we have a USB 3.0 port one of the few substantial differences offered by this SoC of Rockchip compared to similar alternatives from other manufacturers, a USB 2.0 port, microSD card reader, button to restore the system and jack of with video and audio output.

    If we look at the rear of the Nagrace HPH NT-N9 we find the rest of connectors, DC connector, SPDIF audio output, two USB 2.0 connectors, HDMI 2.0b that allows resolutions up to 4K@60fps and Gigabit Ethernet.

    In the lower part of the Nagrace HPH NT-N9 we have a totally closed flat surface, this SoC is heated very little and this design will apparently not be a problem.

    CONNECTING THE DEVICE

    Connection and desktops

    When starting the Nagrace HPH NT-N9 for the first time we have a simple configuration wizard, when finishing the steps we find the classic launcher in this type of TV-Box and we have a panel of boxes that we can not customize, in the part lower we have an area where it is possible to include the app that we want to have on the first screen. Interestingly, we can not change the launcher since the three that we have tried when executing makes an error. The Android system is natively rendered at 720p, which you can appreciated by the poor definition of this environment.

    • Boot time: 19 seconds

    The list of installed applications by default is short, Chrome browser, Explorer to manage files, MediaCenter which is a system for mounting media, Google Play store, weather app and WiFiDisplay for Miracast.

    The large boxes of the launcher can be customized by adding apps of each category.

    The lower bar can be customized by adding icons, we can change it or delete them with the menu button on the remote control.

    The system after making several updates by OTA we see that it has Android shortcuts bar and top notification curtain, something useful to use for example with a mouse.

    User Experience

    On the performance side the Nagrace HPH NT-N9 is fluid thanks to its 2 GB of DDR4 RAM, we can jump between applications without problems thanks to multitasking. The Android system loads the apps quickly thanks to its internal memory and during our tests we have not suffered any forced closure which indicates that the firmware behaves normally. In general, the system seems stable and we have enough power to run any modern app from Google Play.

    Android Settings

    Installed by default on the Nagrace HPH NT-N9 we have the Android 7.1.2 system and as usual in this environment we have a side menu where the settings are displayed while we have the desktop in the background.

    Accessing from the menu “More settings” we also have the classic settings of Android that allow us to further refine our configuration, within this section the different categories of options are distributed in the conventional way.

    Android System

    In the TV-Box Nagrace HPH NT-N9 we have Android 7.1.2 as operating system, an interesting point since we are to the last in compatibility. The kernel is 3.10.104 and the compilation is dated 11-22-2016, with this version of firmware we have done the review.

    Brand Support

    The model Nagrace HPH NT-N9 seems to have a correct support and we have received three OTA updates that has added and corrected several points, we see the brand Nagrace has a website with data of their products but has no firmwares.

    Storage and RAM

    The Nagrace HPH NT-N9 includes 16GB of eMMc storage memory, from this storage memory we have actually available about 12 GB, 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 2 GB of DDR4 RAM and 1.1 GB that are free after a long navigation through the system, so we can load quite a lot of content in it.

    We check the memory and internal storage testing the hardware that is integrated in this device, we used the SD bench app as usual. The results of the Nagrace HPH NT-N9 give us very good figures and helps the user experience.

    Consumption and temperatures

    In terms of power consumption, the Nagrace HPH NT-N9 with the RK3328 SoC shows results within the range of other devices, even putting the SoC to the brim with games with 3D graphics only 5,4 W peak are reached in consumption, the temperatures are low.

    Google Play and Amazon App Store

    Searching apps on the Google play 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 Nagrace HPH NT-N9 TV-Box we don’t have root access in the firmware so we can’t have full access to the file system of this device.

    Power Off / Standby / Power On

    By default in the Nagrace HPH NT-N9, by pressing the power button on the remote control the TV-Box asks us how we want to turn it off, in the off mode we are left with a minimum consumption of 0.2 W, if we press sleep it only closes the HDMI signal and we’re left with 2.3 W.

    TEST BENCH

    Video and audio connections.

    As we know in the Nagrace HPH NT-N9 we have the new Rockchip RK3328 SoC a product that has support for video output by HDMI 2.0b which gives us the option to see content with a maximum resolution of 4K@60MHz with 10 bit of color, in theory this system is compatible with HDR but we have not seen any option in the settings. In this system we do not have automatic refresh option, something very interesting since it avoids us to reproduce content with the annoying Judder effect. We also do not have image quality controls like brightness, contrast or gamma.

    In the settings at Android development level 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.

    DLNA and Miracast

    Installed in the Nagrace HPH NT-N9 we can share the screen using the WifiDisplay app and we have NO problem using a Smartphone LG G3, as we know this type of connections depends on many factors. 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.

    Webcam

    We ran several videoconferencing tests with the Nagrace HPH NT-N9, 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 Nagrace HPH NT-N9 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 32 mbps. 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 130 mbps which is a fairly good transfer speed.

    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, if is possible we recommend to use the Ethernet port.

    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 40 dBm a figure that indicates we have a good range.

    Bluetooth

    In the WiFi adapter of the Nagrace HPH NT-N9 we have integrated Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity with which we have no major problems in detecting other devices.

    CONTROL SYSTEMS
    Remote control

    Included with the Nagrace HPH NT-N9 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 and other similar apps.

    Remote control app

    To control the Nagrace HPH NT-N9 we can use the alternative CetusPlay to control it from our mobile or tablet, we only need to install the server in our TV-Box and the client app in or desired device.

    Gamepad and games

    To control games on the Nagrace HPH NT-N9 we can connect a 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-450MP2 GPU that is incorporated in this Rockchip RK3328 SoC runs any Android game without problems at medium level.

    PERFORMANCE TEST

    SOC

    In terms of performance in the Nagrace HPH NT-N9 we have a Rockchip RK3328 SoC that includes four processors ARM Cortex-A53 64bit and a GPU Mali-450MP2. A fairly basic SoC that theoretically reaches up to 1.51 GHz although it is really limited to 1.3GHz. This SoC incorporates hardware decoding support for the H.265 video codec, VP9, 10-bit color and even HDR, it is capable of outputting video signal at 4K@60fps thanks to the HDMI 2.0a video output connector. We can use this hardware without problems to move most modern Android apps and games.

    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 passed our usual video tests in the Nagrace HPH NT-N9, in this model we have the Rockchip RK3328 SoC and we obtain quite positive results. It is possible to reproduce the most common files without major problems in native resolution in a fluid way. We can watch videos at 1080P resolutions or also in 4K format encoded with the h.265 codec, this SoC also supports HDR modes and 10 bit color files, an option that we can not control from the system menus but it seems to work correctly in the native player. The Android system as we have seen is rendered at 720p but if we reproduce video files in KODI or the native player they reproduce at their native 1080p or 4K resolution.

    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 Nagrace HPH NT-N9 we have the Rockchip RK3328 SoC Quad 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 DTS 5.1 as usual, with 7.1 or DTS sound the results are variable depending on the software we use or the type of file.

    Test results

    Formato audioPCM*HDMIOptical
    Dolby Digital 5.1CorrectCorrectCorrect
    Dolby Digital Plus 7.1CorrectCutsCuts
    Dolby True HD 7.1CorrectCutsCore
    Dolby Atmos 7.1CorrectCuts *PCM
    DTS 5.1CorrectCutsCorrect
    DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1CorrectCutsCore
    DTS-HD High Resolution 7.1CorrectCutsCuts
    DTS-X 7.1CorrectCuts *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

    Using the TV Box Nagrace HPH NT-N9 we can navigate in a quite good way opening a good number of tabs, something normal since it includes 2GB 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 the DRM certificates needed for some paid Streaming apps we have Google Widevine L3 that gives us access to Google Video content, as a novelty we see that we have CENC ClearKey.

    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 installed from Google Play.

    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
    HBO nordicHD (720p)StereoCorrect (Since HBO v3)
    • 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

    Nagrace HPH NT-N9

    Nagrace HPH NT-N9
    6.5

    DESIGN AND CONNECTIVITY

    6.0 /10

    HARDWARE

    6.5 /10

    SOFTWARE

    6.5 /10

    SUPPORT

    7.0 /10

    PRICE/QUALITY

    6.5 /10

    Pros

    • Compact design
    • Good video Playback
    • USB3.0 and Android 7.1.2
    • Fast DDR4 and eMMC
    • Good Ethernet performance

    Cons

    • Not possible to change the launcher
    • Only b/g/n wifi
    • Android environment only at 720p

    Opinion

    After doing all the tests of our review on the Nagrace HPH NT-N9 we can certainly agree that this is a nice TV-Box for its price range, the system moves smoothly thanks to the 2GB DDR4 memory that integrates, the internal storage speed which is very fast and help the system. The system is also Android 7.1.2 which allows us to be up to date for quite some time and we also receive various OTA updates.

    The TV-Box Nagrace HPH NT-N9 with the Rockchip RK3328 SoC defends itself quite well in the section of video playback and as we have seen the network adapters behave normally, on the other hand it is a pity that the wifi is only b / g / n, on the other hand the Ethernet connector gets good speed. Another point in which flojea is its native resolution of 720p for the Android environment, something not ideal for the streaming apps although the video files if they are viewed at native resolution. In general, a TV-Box with a reasonable price that can be enough for a basic use as a multimedia player.

    Where to buy

    • Buy the Nagrace HPH NT-N9 with 3/32GB on the store Gearbest.com for only $57 with free shipping

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