REVIEW: X96 Mini+ a small TV-Box with a supposed new SoC S905W4


X96 Mini+ is the new Android TV-Box that we present today its analysis or review. A device that theoretically includes a new SoC Amlogic S905W4, a chip that brings little new features as we shall see.

Inside this X96 Mini+ we find the alleged new SoC Amlogic S905W4, we say alleged because all the data we have checked indicate that it is really just a S905W as minimal differences in terms of firmware. This TV-Box has a very basic configuration in terms of specifications and components and competes directly cheaper TV-Box. Let’s see in our review how this device behaves and what this new X96 Mini+ offers us.

  • X96 Mini+ is available at Aliexpress.com or Geekbuying only for $29.90 (25€) with free shipping using the coupon 5JXDW12M.

PRODUCT DETAILS

X96 Mini+
SoC: Amlogic S905W4 Quad Core 4x ARM-A53 @ 1.2GHz (64bit) / GPU Mali-450 MP5 / 28nm.
System: Android 9 (32bit).
RAM, storage and network: 1/2GB RAM DDR3 / 8/16GB eMMC / Wifi ac (Amlogic W150S1).
Ports: HDMI 2.0a / USB 2.0 / USB 3.0 / Ethernet 10/100 / SPDIF / AV.
Extras: IR Remote / HDMI Cable / Manual / DC Adapter 5V 2A (10W).
Materials and dimensions: Plastic / Front LED panel / 105 x 105 x 11 mm / 150 gr.

Unboxing

The Android TV-Box X96 Mini+ comes in a cardboard box with the product image in the upper area. Inside we find the small TV-Box, IR remote control, 5V 2A charger and a first steps manual in English.

Description

The design of the new X96 Mini+ is very basic and only stands out for its red lines. On the front we have a blue LED panel that shows the time, we can’t disable it so if it bothers we will have to cover it. On the sides we have the rest of the connectors: two USB ports, one of them 3.0, Ethernet 10/100, HDMI 2.0a, microSD and AV jack. The remote control is IR designed for a very basic use of the system.

When we open it on the motherboard we can see the Wifi ac (Amlogic W150S1) which has an internal wifi antenna and no bluetooth. The cooling system is an aluminum heatsink glued to the processor, very basic and has an update button on the audio jack in case we need to do a reset.

  • Remote Control: Basic IR Remote without mic / Compatible with keyboard and mouse / App control not available.
  • Reset: The reset button is located inside the audio jack, use a toothpick or paper clip.

SYSTEM AND PERFORMANCE

Environment and Android system

We connect the X96 Mini+ to the power and it starts automatically. We arrive at a simple launcher based on squares, it is valid for use with the included remote control and has a favorites section that we can customize with the icons of the apps we want. The installed apps include Miracast, Netflix, Chrome and KD (KODI) with several add-ons installed. The performance of Android 9 is poor, it moves quite slowly and the system comes with Google Play installed as standard, which makes it easy to find a good number of apps.

  • Launcher: We can change the launcher / Android UI rendering at 720p.
  • Multitasking and access: Multitasking NOT available / No lower or upper Android bars.
  • Languages and Google Play: All the international Android languajes / Google Play store installed.

System

We check the system data and the options it includes as far as root is concerned, we also observe what ignition systems this device allows us. This TV-Box does not have OTA updates, we hope to have an IMG firmware soon.

  • On/Off Controls: Only Sleep mode / Reset button.
  • System version and root: Android 9 (32 bit) / YES rooted / NO root menu / CPU r0p4 (S905W) / Model ampere.
  • Support: No support / IMG firmware NOT available yet.

Network, storage, RAM and ports

The TV-Box X96 Mini+ has a RAM memory of 2 GB DDR3 and for storage we have in this version 16 GB eMMC that we can expand with a USB or SD memory. It has a USB 3.0 port for connecting external drives or peripherals. In the network section it has a Wifi ac (Amlogic W150S1) wireless adapter without Bluetooth that as we can see in the tests has basic results and the 10/100 Ethernet adapter behaves normally. The speed of the eMMC memory is very slow as we have found, something that slows down the system.

/7

  • Storage: Total 16GB  – Free 9GB / Expandable with a USB external memory.
  • RAM: Total 2GB – Free 1GB / DDR.
  • Network: Good speed with internal wifi antenna / Range 43dBm, poor. / Bluetooth YES.
  • Read/Write Ports: USB 3.0 / Allows to connect external drives.
  • 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 X96 Mini+ has the Amlogic S905W4 SoC (renamed S905W) Quad Core made in 28nm with ARM Cortex-A53 processors up to 1.2 GHz and in the graphics section we have a Mali-450 MP5 GPU which is in the low range. A SoC that already has a few years behind it and offers nothing new, the GPU is very basic and the processors are only enough to run the most conventional apps.

  • CPU performance: Min 500 MHz / Working  1.2 GHz / Max 2 GHz

As for games we can NOT run PUBG , can launch 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 still can not run from an SD card because is a very modern SoC.

This SoC Amlogic S905W4 is manufactured in 28nm, has a fairly low power consumption, the cooling system has occasional drops when performance is demanded, in normal use is not problematic. The SoC manages the speeds correctly so as not to overheat.

  • Thermals: Min. 40ºC / Working 48 ºC / Max. 70ºC / Performance up to 78% / Heat zone on the top / Noise 0db
  • Consumption: Off 0.9W / Min 2.5W / Working 3.5W / Max. 6.5W

VIDEO AND AUDIO TEST

Video playback test

In the aspect of video playback, the X96 Mini+ is compatible with modern video formats such as h.265, VP9, but NOT with the new codec AV1, the maximum supported resolution is 4K@30fps. It does not have a video quality adjustment app, we can use the automatic refresh rate change via the AFR app. In terms of audio we can play DD and DTS sound up to 5.1. Overall a basic TV-Box that focuses on 1080p content.

Video and audio results

FormatsResult
h.264 / 1080i / 8bitOK
h.264 / 1080p / 4K / 8bitOK
h.264 / 1080p / 10bit (anime)Frameskip (SW)
h.265 / 1080p / 8bitOK
h.265 / 1080p / 10bit (anime)Frameskip (SW)
h.265 / 4K@24fps / 8bitOK
h.265 / 4K@60fps / 10bit HDROK
VP9 P1 / 4K@24fps / 8bitOK
VP9 P2 / 4K@60fps / 10bit HDRFrameskip (SW)
VP9 P2 / 8K@60fps / 10bit HDRFrameskip (SW)
AV1 / 4K@24fps / 10bitFrameskip (SW)
Max. Bitrate100 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.
Audio FormatsResult
Dolby5.1 = OK | Plus / True HD/ Atmos = Core
DTS5.1 = OK | MA / HR / X = 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 or DTS base system / More info

Streaming services

We performed several tests on the streaming services to check how the most popular services work. The X96 Mini+ offers a very limited system for streaming service apps. We also only have HD quality on Youtube which gives us a rather poor image of this service.

Streaming serviceCalidad / Audio
YoutubeHD (720p) / Stereo
Google Play MoviesHD (720p) / Stereo
NetflixSD+ (540p) / Stereo / Netflix Guide
HBOHD (720p) / Stereo / HBO Guide
Disney+HD (720p) /Stereo / Disney+ Guide
Amazon Prime VideoSD (480p) / Stereo / Prime Video Guide
DAZNHD (720p) / Stereo
IPTVFullHD (1080i) / Stereo

CONCLUSIONS AND BUY LINKS

Score

X96 Mini+

0.00
4.7

Design

5.5/10

Hardware

4.0/10

Conectivity

5.0/10

Support

4.0/10

Price

5.0/10

Pros

  • Cheap
  • Wifi ac
  • Android 9 stable

Cons

  • No android navigation bars
  • Slow internal storage
  • No Bluetooth

Opinion

Once we have analyzed the X96 Mini+, we can be sure that we are before a low-cost TV-Box with all the letters and that it does not offer much. We have the supposed new SoC Amlogic S905W4 that from what we have seen is nothing more than the classic S905W renamed, an already old chip of the lowest range. The IR remote control that comes with it only allows us to control it in a very limited way and it is advisable to replace it with a PC mouse.

In connectivity the X96 Mini+ only has a Wifi aC adapter without Bluetooth that does not stand out in speed and we also have Ethernet 10/100 that provides some stability. This small TV-Box also has a very slow eMMC memory that does not improve the experience. As a system we have Android 9 stable, but it does not have navigation bars which limits the system options and we are left without notifications.

In short, the new X96 Mini+ is a low-cost TV-Box without interest, a device that can only be worth if we find it at a very low price, we have other much more interesting and powerful options on the market.

Where to buy

  • X96 Mini+ is available at Aliexpress.com or Geekbuying only for $29.90 (25€) with free shipping using the coupon 5JXDW12M.

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