X88 PRO 20 is a new Android TV-Box of which we present today its analysis or review. The first device where we test the SoC Rockchip RK3566, we will see how well it works in a TV-Box and if it is really worth it compared to its rivals.
The new X88 PRO 20 debuts the SoC Rockchip RK3566 which is the response of this brand against the Amlogic S905X4, a hardware that improves over its rival graphics power with a superior GPU, but remains slightly below in terms of CPU. This TV-Box has Android 11 operating system, includes a conventional remote control and a peculiar exterior design. A hardware that is not intended for streaming services for not having certificates, it offers us more freedom to install and manage apps of all kinds to have a version of Android for tablets very generic.
Let’s see in our review how the X88 PRO 20 behaves and what it offers compared to its competition.
The Android TV-Box X88 PRO 20 comes in a cardboard box with the image of the product in the upper area and little information about its functions. Inside we find the TV-Box, remote control, HDMI cable, 5V 2A charger and a first steps manual.
The TV-Box X88 PRO 20 surprises us with its superior wave design, on the sides we have a Gigabit Ethernet connector, USB 2.0, HDMI 2.0, SPDIF, power connector, a USB 3.0 and microSD reader to expand the internal storage. We also have a fairly basic IR remote control that may not be worth changing for a wireless PC mouse to operate it more comfortably with a pointer.
This TV-Box has a Wifi aC + Bluetooth 4.1 chip (AP6255) with an internal wifi antenna. The passive cooling system is very basic, a simple aluminum heatsink glued. On one side it has a reset button to reboot the system if it suffers a software catastrophe and be able to reset it.
- Remote Control: Basic IR Remote / Compatible with keyboard and mouse / App control no included.
SYSTEM AND PERFORMANCE
Environment and Android system
We connect the X88 PRO 20 to the power and it starts automatically, after a few seconds we get to the installed launcher which is based on fixed shortcuts in a central row and a customizable bottom row. In general this launcher is very basic and we can change it for another that we like more from Google Play. The system performance is good, we move smoothly and quickly between menus. Unfortunately we do not have navigation bars or notification area.
- Launcher: We can change de the launcher / Android UI rendering at 1080p.
- Multitasking and access: Multitasking NOT available / Notifications NOT available.
- Languages and Google Play: All the international Android languajes / Google Play installed.
We check the system data and the options it includes as far as root is concerned, we also observe what power on/off system this device allows us. This TV-Box will have updates via OTA to correct possible failures, at least for now.
- On/Off Controls: Sleep mode / Shutdown settings available.
- System version and root: Android TV 11 (64 bit) / NO rooted / NO root menu / CPU r2p0 (RK3566) / Model rk356x_box.
- Support: OTA support / IMG firmware available.
Network, storage, RAM and ports
The TV-Box X88 PRO 20 has integrated 4GB of RAM and for storage we have 32 GB eMMC that we can expand with a USB memory. It has a USB 3.0 port to connect external drives (read only) or peripherals and we also have another extra USB 2.0 and we can expand the internal storage using the microSD reader. In the network section we find a wireless adapter Wifi ac + Bluetooth 4.1 that as we can see in the tests the results are correct, the Gigabit Ethernet network connector, the results of this port are good. The internal memory is quite fast and helps the system response speed.
- Storage: Total 8GB – Free 3.5GB / Expandable with a USB/microSD external memory.
- RAM: Total 4GB – Free 3GB / DDR3.
- Network: Good speed with internal wifi antenna / Range 44dBm, poor. / Bluetooth YES.
- Read/Write Ports: USB 3.0 OTG / microSD / On external USB drives it is only possible to read data.
- We recommend reading our Tutorial SAMBA on Android networks if we are going to use files from our network PC.
Power and performance
In terms of performance the new X88 PRO 20 has the Rockchip RK3566 Quad Core SoC manufactured in 22 nm with ARM Cortex-A55 processors up to 1.8 GHz, in the graphics section it has a mid-range Mali-G52 MP2 GPU. This SoC is an improvement of the previous Rockchip and is in a similar position to the Amlogic S905X3/4. As the results show we have a good performance compared to other boxes of similar range, it is equal to its Amlogic rivals, a little below in CPU performance and slightly above in GPU performance.
- CPU performance: Min 0.5 GHz / Working 1.0 GHz / Max 1.8 GHz
- Check our Amlogic S905X4 SoC Comparison against all SoCs in the sector for more details.
As we check in the games area we can run PUBG in medium/low quality and also cloud gaming services like NVIDIA GForce Now or Google Stadia using the APK to install it. In the emulators section we can get at most run some Wii titles, but we will not have problems with 2D games of classic consoles with emulators like Retroarch or using KODI, the full OS EmuELEC is not compatible yet.
- Games and emulators: Possible to play titles such as PUBG / YES Vulkan support / Basic emulators in RetroArch or KODI.
- Controls: Compatible with Bluetooth or USB Gamepads.
This new Rockhip RK3655 SoC found in the X88 PRO 20 is manufactured in 22 nm, has a very low power consumption, the cooling system works relatively fine and temperatures are not high in normal use. The SoC manages the speeds well so as not to overheat, although we have some points with low performance, the 22 nm are not the most optimal.
- Thermals: Min. 39ºC / Working 50 ºC / Max. 62ºC / Maintains performance up to 85% / Heat zone on the top / Noise 0db
- Consumption: Off 0.9W / Min 3W / Working 3.6W / Max. 5.2W
VIDEO AND AUDIO TEST
Video playback test
In the video playback section the X88 PRO 20 has a VPU compatible with modern video formats such as h.265 or VP9 up to a native resolution of 4K@60fps, but unfortunately it does NOT support HDR, nor is it compatible with the recent AV1 codec, although for now it has a testimonial use. We have video quality settings for contrast, color and brightness but we have no option for automatic refresh rate change, nor HDMI-CEC support or RGB color settings.
It is possible to use players like KODI or PLEX by installing them directly from the Google Play store, but in HDR and VP2 content we will have problems with the video software in KODI. As for audio, it does NOT support DD and DTS sound, it has given us many problems in audio and we do not recommend this box for this type of audio.
- Video Settings: YES image quality settings / NO RGB / HDMI-CEC NO available / Automatic refresh NO available.
- Audio Settings: HDMI SPDIF NO multichannel / Jack stereo / NO USB audio settings.
- Color and HDR: 10Bit / HDR not available.
- Media sharing: GoogleCast NO / Miracast NO / DLNA with BlubblePnP / Airplay NO.
- LibreELEC: This model is NOT compatible with LibreELEC or CoreELEC.
- Tutorials: Install add-on in KODI / Judder effect, how to fix it / Multi-channel audio guide / Correct dark video playback in Android.
- We recommend reading the Setup Guide of our TV to get the best picture quality.
Video and audio results
|h.264 / 1080i / 8bit||OK|
|h.264 / 1080p / 4K / 8bit||OK|
|h.264 / 1080p / 10bit (anime)||Frameskip (SW)|
|h.265 / 1080p / 8bit||OK|
|h.265 / 1080p / 10bit (anime)||OK|
|h.265 / 4K@24fps / 8bit||OK|
|h.265 / 4K@60fps / 10bit HDR||OK (No HDR, SDR)|
|VP9 P1 / 4K@24fps / 8bit||OK|
|VP9 P2 / 4K@60fps / 10bit HDR||OK (No HDR, SDR / only native player)|
|VP9 P2 / 8K@60fps / 10bit HDR||No compatible|
|AV1 / 4K@24fps / 10bit||Frameskip (SW)|
|Max. Bitrate||100 Mbps = 12,5 MB/s.|
- The maximum bitrate depends on the port used to connect or the limitations of SAMBA Networks.
- SW = does not have hardware acceleration and may have have some frameskip in very heavy files.
|Dolby||5.1 / Plus / True HD / Atmos = PCM|
|DTS||5.1 / MA / HR / X = PCM|
- 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 or DTS base system / More info
We ran several tests on the streaming services to check how the most popular services work. The X88 PRO 20 presents us with the classic configuration without certificates which limits us in quality on several services. We can use it with many of these services, but in basic quality.
- DRM: Google Widevine L3.
- Audio/Video certification: No.
- Tutorials: Change the size of the captions and the mouse pointer on Android / Install Addons in KODI in a simple way
|Streaming service||Calidad / Audio*|
|Youtube||HD (720p) / Stereo|
|Google Play Movies||HD (720p) / Stereo|
|Netflix||SD+ (540p) / Stereo / Netflix Guide|
|HBO||HD (720p) / Stereo / HBO Guide|
|Disney+||HD (720p) /Stereo / Disney+ Guide|
|Amazon Prime Video||SD (480p) / Stereo / Prime Video Guide|
|Apple TV+||No compabile / Apple TV+ Guide|
|DAZN||HD (720p) / Stereo|
|IPTV||FullHD (1080i) / Stereo|
- Multichannel audio only available via HDMI connection in streaming services, via SPDIF stereo only.
CONCLUSIONS AND BUY LINKS
After testing the new X88 PRO 20 with the new Rockchip RK3566 SoC, we can say that we are before a processor with good performance for its price, but that does not bring much compared to its Amlogic rivals. This is a device that is only slightly better in 3D performance, but in areas such as audio and video playback leaves much to be desired. The included IR remote control is basic and we will probably have to opt for another control if we want to get more performance out of it.
In terms of connectivity, the X88 PRO 20 integrates a Wifi aC adapter with basic performance, USB 3.0 connectivity, another extra USB 2.0 and stands out for its Gigabit Ethernet port. As operating system we have Android 11, but it lacks root permissions to be able to perform more actions and have this type of permissions, seeing the result that gives this SoC we do not think it will have much activity from the community to improve the firmware.
A hardware that as we have been able to verify does not have HDR support and also gives some problems in KODI that we do not find in Amlogic SoCs. We also have the classic limitations of poorly worked firmware where we miss automatic refresh change, android bars and only stands out for the global image quality controls.
We can say that the X88 PRO 20 is a TV-Box is not recommended compared to similar Amlogic options, its only value is the improved performance of the GPU in 3D, but does not compensate for the rest with failures in audio and video.