REVIEW: X2 CUBE a great micro TV-Box with Amlogic S905X2 SoC

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X2 CUBE is a compact model of the Ugoos brand of which we present today in his review, a peculiar device that attracts attention for its really compact size, a cross between a TV-Box and a TV-Stick that we had already seen with the Ugoos UM4 model. In this Box we have integrated 2GB of DDR4 RAM and 16GB of internal storage, it has a WiFi ac Dual Band adapter, Bluetooth 4.1 and as an operating system it has Android 9. Let’s see in our review how this device behaves at the hardware level and software.
  • X2 CUBE can be purchased in Geekbuying only for $51,99 (46€) with shipping cost included with the coupon X2CUBE

PRODUCT DETAILS

ModelX2 CUBE
Basic SpecsSoC: Amlogic S905X2 Quad Core Cortex A-53 @ 1.8GHz (64bit) / GPU Mali-G52 MP6 / 14nm
System: Android 9 Pie (32bit)
Ram and storage: 2GB DDR3 / 16GB eMMC
Network: Wifi ac + Bluetooth 4.1 (AP6255) – Ethernet Gigabit
Ports: HDMI 2.1 4K@75fps / AV Jack/ IR Jack / SPDIF / USB 2.0 / USB 3.0 / MicroSD / MicroUSB / Reset
Extras: HDMI cable / IR cable / Antenna / Manual / DC 5V 2A adapter / IR remote

Description

The X2 CUBE model arrives in a cardboard box with the logo of the model, inside we have the TV-Box, remote control, HDMI 2.0 cable and IR cable, small manual of first steps, 5V 2A power adapter and Wifi antenna. The IR control that comes standard is quite simple and only serves us for the basic functions, it is necessary to connect the IR cable to make it work. As special functions of the command, we highlight that by pressing and holding the menu key we activate and deactivate the Android bars, pressing the screen icon we access the multitasking, the blue icons can be customized from the Remote Control Buttons app.

  • Remote Control: Only basic IR remote. 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 X2 CUBE has a small status LED on its side and on the perimeter we have all the connectors. It highlights the USB 3.0 port that is new in this SoC, an HDMI 2.1 connector up to 4K@75fps, AV jack, IR jack, SPDIF, USB 2.0, microSD card reader, power connector and an update button in case It is necessary to recover it.

  • Materials and measures: Plastic / 110 x 62 x 22 / 101 gr.
  • Package contents: HDMI cable / IR cable / Antenna / Manual / DC 5V 2A adapter / IR remote (2x AAA batteries not included).
  • Interfaces: HDMI 2.1 4K@75fps / AV Jack/ IR Jack / SPDIF / USB 2.0 / USB 3.0 / MicroSD / MicroUSB / Reset
  • Leds and panel: Frontal LED.

If we open the TV-Box we can see the Wifi ac + Bluetooth 4.1 chip (AP6255) and it has an antenna mounted on the outer case. The cooling system consists of a metal heatsink attached to the SoC.

SYSTEM AND PERFORMANCE

Environment and Android system

We connect the X2 CUBE and the TV-Box automatically starts with an animation and the side led illuminates. The system installed by default is Android 9, as we can see the system does not have any type of modification or adornment with respect to the native version and we have upper and lower navigation bars that we can configure. Performance is good and the system moves smoothly thanks to the hardware set controlled by the Amlogic S905X2 SoC.

  • Launcher: Android 9 Pie Launcher / YES we can change launcher but only Pixel launcher works 100% / Android UI rendering at 1080p.
  • Multitasking and access: YES lower nav bar and notification area / Multitasking available, remote screen icon.
  • Installed apps: Google play, Media center, Youtube, Remote buttons, Media player, Chrome and Total commander.
  • Languages: All the international Android classics.
  • On/Off Controls: If we keep press the power button we have reset and power off option / Not configurable in settings.

The Ugoos X2 CUBE system has several interesting special functions, among them we highlight the Firefly own remote control app although in our Android 9 mobile the app closes. We also have a system to map the blue keys of the remote control with special functions, we also have a mapping app for gamepad buttons and a system of file servers type SAMBA, NFS and CIFS.

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 Pie with support only for 32bit apps. The system is not rooted by default but it has a root selector to activate it, we also have a user scripts launcher, debug and very complete hardware monitor. We have OTA updates that correct some bugs detected as soon as you turn it on.

  • System version: Android 9 Pie (32 bit) / Kernel 4.9.113 / Build 2019-07-17 / Reference X2CUBE.
  • App store: Google Play with all the apps available for the Android system.
  • Settings and root: Lateral Android settings + X2 Settings / The system IS NOT root by default / YES menu to control it in settings.
  • Support: Ugoos have website but not reference about this model / Firmware  not available / Custom firmware ATV available

Power and performance

At the power level the X2 CUBE has correct results in the line of the new Amlogic S905X2 Quad Core SoC with ARM Cortex-A53 and Mali-G31 MP2 GPU processors, the speeds and firmware data are the classic ones. The processor works reaches 1.8GHz and as governor we have interactive which is conservative.

This new SoC made in 12nm offers us good efficiency and temperatures do not reach a worrying figure at any time. In normal use it behaves perfectly although in long periods of use it does have micro drops.

  • Consumption: Off 0.7W / Standby  1.9W / Basic use 3W / Maximum 3.9W
  • Thermals: Minimum 43ºC / Maximum 60ºC / Maintains performance up to 91% / Heat zone on the top / Noise 0db

We pass our performance tests with which we can see how the Amlogic S905X2 SoC is almost on par with the more powerful Amlogic SoC last generation the S912. In general, it is below powerful SoCs such as the Rockchip RK3399 or the recent S922X that we have seen in the Beelink GT-king.

This model IS compatible with PUBG since its GPU has OpenGL ES 3.1 support necessary for this demanding title. A valid SoC to run games and emulators at a high level without reaching the top of details.

  • 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 TV-Box X2 CUBE 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 + Bluetooth 4.1 (AP6255) and Ethernet Gigabit port. The performance of the Wifi chip is ok and we have satisfactory top speed as we can see in the results.

  • Storage: Total 16GB – Free 11GB eMMC / NTFS + exFAT compatible / YES expandable with USB or SD to expand
  • RAM: Total 2GB – Free 1GB / LPDDR4
  • Network: OK 5G speed with one external wifi antenna / Range 39 dBm, fine. / 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/s111/36 MB/s17/19 MB/s

VIDEO AND AUDIO TEST

Video playback test

Regarding the video playback section, the X2 CUBE has the S9505X2 SoC and a VPU Amlogic TruLife Gen8 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. We have HDR controls and Dolby vision mode, support HDMI-CEC and we also have automatic refresh that seems to work well by activating the AFR media codec mode.

We passed several tests of multimedia playback with the X2 CUBE we verified that it works efficiently using the new Amlogic S905X2 SoC, which has support of video output by HDMI 2.1 that allows maximum resolution up to 4K@75fps with HDR information and is also compatible with Dolby Vision .

Video results

FormatsResult
h.264 / 1080i / 8bitFrameskip
h.264 / 1080p / 4K / 8bitOK
h.264 / 1080p / 10bit (anime)OK
h.265 / 1080p / 8bitOK
h.265 / 1080p / 10bit (anime)OK
h.265 / 4K / 8bitOK
h.265 / 4K / 10bit HDROK
VP9 P1 / 4K / 8bitOK
VP9 P2 / 4K / 10bit HDROK
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 X2 CUBE 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 / OKOK/ CoreCorePCM / Core*
OpticalOK / OKCoreCoreCore*
  • 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 classic tests with the streaming services we see how the most popular services work. The X2 CUBE 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, needs a mouse
Amazon Prime VideoSD (480p) / StereoOK, needs a mouseAmazon Prime video on Android

CONCLUSIONS

Score

X2 CUBE

0.00
8

DESIGN AND CONNECTIVITY

7.5/10

HARDWARE

7.5/10

SOFTWARE

9.0/10

SUPPORT

8.5/10

PRICE

7.5/10

Pros

  • Compact and discrete
  • Many ports
  • Good firmware with OTA's
  • Auto refresh rate and a root selector
  • Cheap

Cons

  • Basic IR remote
  • We miss a version with 4/32GB

Opinion

The X2 CUBE is a mix between TV-Box and TV-Stick very interesting with the efficient S905X2 SoC, this Box as well as others of the Ugoos brand offers us a very elaborated firmware with quite interesting options such as auto refresh and a root selector by default. At the network level, the Wifi aC Dual Band adapter is well defended thanks to its external antenna and we also have a Gigabit Ethernet port to get the most out of our network cabling. In the firmware we have settings for file servers with which we can also use it as a multimedia center to access from other devices.

In the X2 CUBE we have 2GB of LPDDR4 RAM, something that allows us to load several apps from the internal memory and to switch between them from the included remote control. This TV-Box has the latest Android 9 OS that allows us to control it in a basic way with the IR controller included. A Box that behaves well as a video player, for example with KODI, all kinds of commonly used apps and powerful games such as PUBG.

Undoubtedly an interesting model with very complete firmware that allows us to use it at a good level both in multimedia playback and with apps at a fairly high level. Consult our recommended models to see other alternatives.

WHERE TO BUY AND ADD-ONS

  • X2 CUBE can be purchased in Geekbuying only for $51,99 (46€) with shipping cost included with the coupon X2CUBE

Add-ons

 

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