• REVIEW: Ugoos UM4 a XXL TV-Stick with Rockchip RK3328 Quad Core SoC

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    Today thanks to the collaboration of the Gearbest.com store we present the analysis of the new TV-Stick Ugoos UM4, a model of the Russian brand Ugoos that as we will see has certain peculiarities. In this XXL-size TV-Stick we find the Soch Rockchip RK3328 that as we know is working very well in the low cost sector, this time we have 2 GB of DDR4 RAM and 16 GB of internal storage expandable by microSD card and operating system Android 7.1. This processor defends itself well in media player functions in next generation formats with HDR and 10 color bit encoded using h.265. Let’s see what this TV-Stick performs in our detailed review.

    • The TV-Stick Ugoos UM4 can be purchased at Gearbest.com only for $92 including shipping.

    SPECIFICATIONS

    ModelUgoos UM4
    CPURockchip RK3328 Quad Core Cortex-A53 1,5GHz
    GPUMali-450mp2
    OSAndroid 7.1.2
    RAM2 GB DDR4
    Storage32 GB eMMc
    WiFiWiFi ac
    Bluetooth4.0
    Ports1x USB 2.0
    1x USB 3.0
    1x microUSB DC-IN
    microSD reader
    HDMI 2.0b
    Jack AV
    Jack IR
     OthersRecovery button
     ContentIR Remote
    IR Cable
    HDMI Cable
    5V 2,5A (12,5W) DC adapter
    Manual
    Wifi Antenna
    Measures: 6.3 x 2.7 x 0.4 inch
    Weight: 10.5 oz

    CONTENT DESCRIPTION

    Package content

    The TV-Stick Ugoos UM4 is presented in a cardboard box with the basic specifications reflected, in a close-up we find the TV-Stick, down in a compartment we have the HDMI cable, power adapter 5V / 2.5A (12.5 W), device manual, USB to USB cable to update, IR receiver cable and IR remote control.

    Product Details

    The TV-Stick Ugoos UM4 is made of plastic and as you can see, it has very small dimensions, specifically it measures 6.3 x 2.7 x 0.4 inch and it weighs only 10.5 oz, a very compact model where its external Wi-Fi antenna attracts attention.

    On the front we have two USB 2.0, one of them OTG to update from PC, we can also see a series of ventilation slots to keep the system cool.

    In one of the sides of Ugoos UM4 we have the HDMI 2.0 port that allows us to have video up to 4K@60fps resolution

    On the opposite side we can see the microUSB connector for power supply, AV video jack and the connector for the IR extender.

    In the back we have the recovery button to update from a PC, the antenna connector that allows us to screw the one that comes by default or mount any other, we have a slot for the SD card reader and another strip of perforations.

    In the lower part of the Ugoos UM4 we only have a sticker with basic data of the model.

     

    CONNECTING THE DEVICE

    Connection and desktops

    When we start the Ugoos UM4 for the first time we have a configuration wizard where we can choose the language, adjust the screen size, connect to the wifi and launcher options although it does not let modify this section.

    The default launcher Ugoos UM4 is possibly the simplest we have seen in any TV-Stick, as we see is almost pure Android which allows us to modify it to our liking without problems.

    • Boot time: 19 seconds

    By default in the installed applications we find very few, Chrome, Google Play, Gallery, Camera, Clock, access to the settings, Total commander as file explorer and Media Center to share by DLNA.

    The default system as we see has a bar of Android shortcuts that we can hide and top curtain for notifications, something useful to use for example with a mouse.

    If we check the system settings we see that we can change the language to another without problems, we also have the usual list with all the languages of the Android system by default.

    User Experience

    In the section of performance of the Ugoos UM4 works very well thanks to SoC Rockchip RK3328 Quad core and a quite worked firmware, with its 2 GB of DDR4 RAM we can load a good number of applications in multitasking without being closing its, we have a direct access to this function in the taskbar and in the IR remote. In general use this is a stable and fairly fast system that has not given us many problems running the most common apps.

    Android Settings

    Installed in Ugoos UM4 we have Android 7.1.2 and as it is normal in this environment we have a side menu where the settings are displayed while we have the desktop in the background, in this model we also have more of settings than usual that allow us to adjust the system in detail.

    Inside the System icon in Ugoos Settings we have access to a series of quite useful advanced settings, Root ON / OFF system, file server control, hardware monitor, wireless remote control from our mobile, gamepad settings, debug and scrips tools of user at the boot. We will see these options in details in their corresponding sections of the review.

    Within the Hardware monitor option we can activate infinite options to see how the TV-Stick behaves as you can see in the data of the upper bar.

    If we click on the More Settings menu we also have the classic Android settings 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-Stick Ugoos UM4 we have installed as system Android 7.1.2, a quite modern version. The kernel as usual is old, specifically we have the version 3.10.104 and the compilation has a date of 11-29-2017. With this version we have made the review that you can read in the following pages.

    Brand Support

    The Ugoos brand has a well-worked website that has all the firmwares of its devices, curiously for the Ugoos UM4 we do not have the firmware available but it will be soon. As we can see in the review this is a brand that takes cares of the software of its devices and has OTA updates.

    Storage and RAM

    The Ugoos UM4 includes 16 GB of eMMc storage memory, from this storage memory we have actually available 11 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 check we also have 2 GB of DDR4 RAM and 1.3 GB that are free after a long navigation through the system, so we can load quite a lot of content in this amount of RAM.

    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 Ugoos UM4 give us very good figures compared with other devices.

    Consumption and temperatures

    The power consumption performance on the Ugoos UM4 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 5,5 W peak are reached in consumption, the temperatures are a little high when you need performance.

    Google Play and Amazon App Store

    Searching for 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-Stick.

    Root and developement

    If we check the Ugoos UM4 system we can see that we have by default a root selector, a very interesting option since it allows us to activate or deactivate this option, something that is going well so as not to have problems with some apps.

    We also have the option to start user scripts from init.d, which allows us to fully customize the start of our TV-Stick if we have sufficient knowledge.

    Within the Debug Settings we also have the ability to activate ADB by cable or Wifi and the ability to see the log files of the TV-Stick messages, certainly worked aspect in this device.

    Power Off / Standby / Power On

    By default in the Ugoos UM4 we have many options of turn off the device, that allows us to select various optiones like sleep, reboot, start the recovery or the bootloader, peculiarly missing the option of complete shutdown.

    TEST BENCH

    Video and audio connections.

    Installed on the Ugoos UM4 we have the new Rockchip RK3328 SoC with 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, but works with no problem with HDR videos.

    In this system we do we have automatic refresh rate option but NOT work, something very interesting since it avoids us to reproduce content with the annoying Judder effect.

    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.

    Within the advanced settings of HDMI we have quality controls for Brightness, Contrast, Saturation and Tone, something that will help us fine-tune the image quality with respect to our TV.

    DLNA, Miracast and Airplay

    By default in the Ugoos UM4 firmware 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. We don’t found options for Miracast or Airplay.

    Webcam

    We test the videoconferencing with the Ugoos UM4, 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 Ugoos UM4 we have a ac 2.4/5Ghz Wireless Wi-Fi Adapter, 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 30 mbps, on the 5 GHz network we can reach 49 Mbps, a correct values for this kind of adapters.

    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 fine but could be better in the 5 GHz adapter.

    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 52 dBm a figure that indicates we have a normal range.

    Inside the network settings in the Ugoos UM4 have several options to activate file servers in Samba protocol, NFS and CIFS, something that gives us alternatives in this regard.

    Bluetooth

    In the WiFi adapter of the Ugoos UM4 we have integrated Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity with which we have no major problems when it comes to detecting other devices, we have tried BT headphones and a BT gamepad without major problem.

    CONTROL SYSTEMS
    Remote control

    By default with the TV-Stick Ugoos UM4 we have a simple IR remote control to operate the device, it is powered by two AAA batteries and is quite light, as we can see the functions are very basic.

    Within the screen settings we have the option to activate the HDMI CEC controls but we do not have specific settings to configure it in a basic way.

    Remote control app

    As a remote control for the Ugoos UM4 we have the Fireasy app that allows us to use our mobile or tablet as a remote control, it is quite good and also allows us to use it as a gamepad by configuring the buttons individually.

    As alternative we can control the Ugoos UM4 using the app CetusPlay from our mobile or tablet, we only need to install the server in our TV-Stick and the client app in or desired device.

    Gamepad and games

    To control games on the Ugoos UM4 we try to connect a Bluetooth Gamepad and it works without problems, we can use this control in games with this type of support, in general we will not have problems with conventional PC control, we also have a specific app to adjust all the buttons of our gamepad.

    As for power the Mali-450MP2 GPU that is incorporated in this Rockchip RK3328 SoC runs any Android game without many problems at medium level.

    PERFORMANCE TEST

    SOC

    Integrated in the Ugoos UM4 we have an Rockchip RK3328 SoC that integrates four processors ARM Cortex-A53 of 64bits and a GPU Mali-450MP2. A fairly basic SoC that surprised us in this device because it actually reaches up to 2 GHz, something not very normal since it usually remains at 1.5 GHz, as you can see the Ugoos firmware is working well in this aspect. 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. This processor can be used without problems to move most modern Android apps that we want to install.

    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

    On our video playback tests the Ugoos UM4 works well thanks to the Rockchip RK3328 SoC. We can playback the most common files without problems at 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 media player. The system performs well both using KODI and the native media player in its native resolution at 1080p or 4K@60fps.

    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 Ugoos UM4 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 and DD 7.1, only in some 7.1 files the system playback them as 5.1.

    Test results

    Formato audioPCM*HDMIOptical
    Dolby Digital 5.1CorrectCorrectCorrect
    Dolby Digital Plus 7.1CorrectCorrectCore
    Dolby True HD 7.1CorrectCoreCore
    Dolby Atmos 7.1CorrectCorrect *Core
    DTS 5.1CorrectCorrectCorrect
    DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1CorrectCorrectCore
    DTS-HD High Resolution 7.1CorrectCoreCore
    DTS-X 7.1CorrectCorrect *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

    The TV-Stick Ugoos UM4 can navigate in a quite good way opening a good number of tabs using Chrome, something normal since it includes 2 GB 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

    At the level of DRM certificates needed for some payment Streaming apps as we see we have Google Widevine L3, as a novelty we see that we have CENC ClearKey.

    Youtube and streaming apps

    As test we install 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-Stick 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-Stickes.

    CONCLUSIONS

    Ugoos UM4

    Ugoos UM4
    6.7

    DESIGN AND CONNECTIVITY

    6.0 /10

    HARDWARE

    6.0 /10

    SOFTWARE

    8.5 /10

    SUPPORT

    7.0 /10

    PRICE

    6.0 /10

    Pros

    • Compact design
    • Good firmware
    • Excellent in video Playback
    • Max speed for the SoC
    • External wifi antenna

    Cons

    • No Ethernet
    • Wifi 5GHz could be better

    Opinion

    The TV-Stick Ugoos UM4 as we have seen is a quite peculiar device, in a format that is halfway between TV-Box and TV-Stick we have its advantages in terms of size but its drawbacks of lack of ports as it is for example with the Ethernet port. On the other hand it should be noted that despite its compact size the system moves correctly and as we see in the review at the firmware level is very well worked as often happens with Ugoos brand devices.

    At the hardware level Ugoos UM4 gets the maximum performance of Rockchip RK3328 SoC by squeezing it up to 2 GHz, something not very usual in this sector that usually remains at 1.5 GHz. A device perfectly valid for viewing multimedia content and working well at the network level in streaming although an Ethernet port or a better Wi-Fi chip would have been good to be better in that regard. In short, as we have seen in our review, we are dealing with a very careful product at the software level, but with a more conventional design it would have been better.

    Where to buy

    • The TV-Stick Ugoos UM4 can be purchased at Gearbest.com only for $92 including shipping.

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