Table of Contents
The small Android TV-Box X96Q comes in a generic cardboard box with a image of the device in the top, inside we found the TV-Box, IR remote, HDMI cable 4K@60fps compatible, Manual and a DC 5V 2A adapter.
On the front of the small X96Q we have a LED that lights up when connected. We have all the connections available on the sides and the rear area, it stands out without a doubt for its small dimensions as we have compared with the control. This box includes a basic IR remote control that allows you to use some functions of the TV-Box directly.
- Remote Control: Basic IR Remote / NO microphone / We can choose other alternatives.
- Alternate control: Does not have its own control app / We can try Cetusplay in our smartphone.
On the motherboard we can see the Wifi bgn – No BT (XR819) chip which has an internal wifi antenna. The cooling system is an aluminum plate and silicone rubber attached to the processor, very basic. Inside the audio jack hole we have the update button useful in case we need to update the firmware.
SYSTEM AND PERFORMANCE
Environment and Android system
We connect the X96Q and it starts automatically, we have a custom launcher based on squares where we can modify only the lower row. This is valid for use with the remote control included, in the upper zone we have a clock and the indication of the network connected. In the installed apps we can highlight AirScreen, Miracast, KD Player (KODI), Netflix and Prime Video. We check that the performance of Android 10 is basic if we demand speed in the load apps, in normal use we can say that it is enough. Unfortunately we have Google Play Android TV version which limits the compatibility of many apps and only annoys us.
- Launcher: As an alternative we have Pixel launcher to use mouse / Android UI rendering at 720p.
- Multitasking and access: Multitasking NOT available / NO lower or upper Android bar.
- Languages and Google Play: All the international Android classics / Google Play for Android TV installed.
- On/Off Controls: NO configurable in settings.
- System version and root: Android 10 (32 bit) / NO root by default / NO root menu / Build 20200809 / Model X96Q.
- Support: X96Q don’t have a site with firmware / NO firmware available / Custom firmware not available yet.
Network, storage, RAM and ports
This new Android TV-Box X96Q has eMMC memory for internal storage and DDR3 RAM, it has two USB 3.0 port and SD card reader. In the network section it has a wireless adapter Wifi b/g/n Dual – No BT (XR819) and Ethernet 10/100 port. As we can see in the tests the results are very poor, the wifi does not reach decent speed figures and the adapter never connects good speed in 5G.
- Storage: Total 16GB – Free 9GB / NTFS + exFAT compatible / Expandable with a USB or SD external memory.
- RAM: Total 2GB – Free 1GB / DDR3.
- Network: Low speed with one internal wifi antenna / Range 42dBm, low. / Bluetooth NO.
- We recommend reading our Tutorial SAMBA on Android networks if we are going to use files from our network PC.
|USB 2.0||USB 3.0||microSD||SATA|
|Read / Write||21/17 MB/s||101/37 MB/s||20/19 MB/s||–|
Power and performance
In terms of performance the mini TV-Box X96Q has the SoC Allwinner H313 Quad Core with ARM Cortex-A53 processors at 1.34 GHz and in the graphics section a Mali-G31 MP2 GPU that is in the medium range. This SoC is manufactured in 28 nm, as we have seen the cooling system is basic and the temperatures are high, the processor scales correctly the speeds, it maintains the performance correctly. In general we have enough power for streaming or KODI apps.
- CPU performance: Min 500 MHz / Working 1 GHz / Max 1.34 GHz
- Check our Allwinner H6 SoC Comparison against all SoCs in the sector for more details.
- Thermals: Min. 51ºC / Working 62 ºC / Max.79ºC / Maintains performance up to 87% / Heat zone on the top / Noise 0db
- Consumption: Off 0.1W / Min 2.3W / Working 3.4W / Max. 3.8W
- Games and emulators: NO possible to play titles such as PUBG even with low settings / Emulators up to Wii / NO Vulkan support.
- Controls: Compatible with Gamepads with cable.
VIDEO AND AUDIO TEST
Video playback test
The little X96Q features an Allwinner H313 SoC that on the one hand has the Allwinner Phoenix 3.0 VE Engine that allows us to decode H.265 / VP9 and on the other hand we have the Smartcolor 3.0 DE Engine that is responsible for controlling HDR modes such as HLG and HDR10, although Dolby Vision is missing. It does not have an app for video quality settings, but the image quality is good. We can use players like KODI or PLEX without the slightest problem, the system comes by default with a version of KODI full of addons that we recommend uninstalling. At the audio level we can play DD and DTS sound up to 5.1 through the HDMI port. Check our Allwinner H6 SoC Comparison against all SoCs to see more details about A/V aspects of this SoC.
- Video Settings: Image quality settings / RGB and SDR / HDMI-CEC available, see manual / Automatic refresh rate with root + AFRd.
- Audio Settings: HDMI and SPDIF up to 5.1 audio / Stereo Jack.
- Media sharing: GoogleCast No* / Miracast YES* / DLNA with BlubblePnP / Airplay YES* / *With Airscreen.
- 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.
|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|
|VP9 P1 / 4K@24fps / 8bit||Frameskip|
|VP9 P2 / 4K@60fps / 10bit HDR||Frameskip (SW)|
|VP9 P2 / 8K@60fps / 10bit HDR||Frameskip (SW)|
|AV1 / 4K@24fps / 10bit||Frameskip (SW)|
|Max. Bitrate||65 Mbps = 8 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 test results
|Formats||DD / DTS 5.1||DD+ / DTS MA||DD True / DTS HR||DD Atmos / DTS X|
|HDMI||OK / OK||OK / Core||Core||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 / DTS base system
* Our AV receiver does not support these native formats but we verify that it is played back to 7.1
In our usual tests with streaming services we see how the most popular services work. The X96Q presents the classic configuration with basic certifications which limits us in quality in several streaming services, in addition to bringing installed Google Play Services from Android TV also limits us to Android TV apps and gives us problems.
- DRM: Google Widevine L3 / Microsoft Playready
- Audio 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||Video / Audio||Result||Manual|
|Youtube||FullHD (1080p) / Stereo||OK, problems with 4K.||–|
|Google Play Movies||HD (720p) / Stereo||OK.||–|
|Netflix||SD+ (540p) / Stereo||OK, installing the apk with mouse||Netflix on Android|
|HBO||–||Not working.||HBO on Android|
|Amazon Prime Video||SD (480p) / Stereo||OK.||Amazon Prime video on Android|
|IPTV||FullHD (1080p) / Stereo||OK||–|
CONCLUSIONS AND BUY LINKS
After testing the mini TV-Box X96Q with the new SoC Allwinner H313 we can say that it mounts enough hardware for multimedia use up to 1080p, using players like KODI or for IPTV streaming. The installed Android 10 system behaves normally even if it does not stand out for its speed, we do not have forced shutdowns although the environment is rendered only at 720p. The system comes with Google Play in its version of Android TV which imposes a limits the application compatibility.
As for hardware we have a basic bgn Wifi adapter without Bluetooth, in terms of power we can run the classic Android apps or games without performance problems, heavy games like PUBG better avoid them. The remote control included is also very simple and only works for basic apps. This is a hot TV-Box if we demand a lot of performance but in normal use we have no problems in this regard.
In short, the X96Q is a TV-Box for basic use up to 1080p and does not stand out in any special way. The only notable surprise is that we have received several OTA updates, although we have not noticed any improvements over the original firmware. You can consult other options with more interesting hardware.
Where to buy