Best Android TV Boxes For 2022 [We’ve Tested Them All]

OK, you have decided you want a TV box to enable content streaming on your big screen, and that Android is the best operating system for you. Now all you need to do is find the best Android TV box. Simple, right?

When you start searching, you will find that there are literally hundreds of different Android TV boxes available, all with slightly different specifications. So, how do you know which Android box for TV is best for you?

Well, to get you started, I have reviewed the best Android TV boxes on the market. I have listed which one is best for what type of streaming, so you can find not only the best Android TV box but also the best TV box for what you want to do with it.

Best Android TV Boxes – Top Picks

NVIDIA Shield TV
1Our Pick
NVIDIA Shield TV
  • 5.1 Audio Passthrough
  • OTA Firmware Updates
  • The latest version of Kodi
  • Read More
Fire TV Stick 4K
2
Fire TV Stick 4K
  • Voice control
  • Smart home integration
  • Unlocks Netflix and Prime Video in 4K
  • Read More
Dynalink Android TV Box
3
Product NDynalink Android TV Box
  • Android 10 operating system
  • Google Assistant voice remote and skin
  • 2GB of RAM and 8GB of ROM
  • Read More

If you’re buying your first streaming media player, check out our starting point to learn more about Android TV boxes. Or, look here if you’re just looking for good, cheap Android TV boxes.

Won’t Any TV Box Work?

Let me be clear about something: The best streaming media player, otherwise called a TV box, depends on what streaming services you want to use.

If you’re going to be using it solely to run Kodi, then the field is open and you have your choice of TV boxes. If you’re planning on streaming a good portion of your content through Netflix or Amazon Prime, though, then you’re going to be limited either by number of options or quality of service, depending on your priorities.

While Netflix will work on most TV boxes, only a limited number of TV boxes can stream Netflix in 4K.

Why? That’s a good question.

The short answer is that there are DRM (Digital Rights Management) services that limit who can see specific content to those devices that run those services.

Think about it this way: Would you rather watch a fuzzy camcorder version of the latest movie or go see it in the theater? The fuzzy version is cheaper (even free), but you miss out on the experience.

For Android media players, you need a box with Netflix Approval and a Google Widevine Level 1 license to playback DRM 1080p or 4K video streams. For HBO Now, it will need a Microsoft PlayReady license as well.

Without the right hardware, you’ll never get better than Standard Definition (SD) resolution with those streaming services.

What Should I Look For?

There are some “must-have” features you should be looking for in your next Android TV box, so I’ve made this list with those in mind.

Note: If you’re wondering, what is an Android TV box?” click on the link to find out. Each of the devices I recommend will have a list of which features it supports and which ones it doesn’t. Think of it as your own personal shopping checklist.

Must Have Items

  • 4K streaming
  • Minimum Quad-core CPU
  • H.265 hardware decoding
  • Android 9.0 (or higher)
  • Dynamic Refresh Rate Switching
  • OTA firmware updates
  • HDMI 2.0
  • USB 3.0
  • Dual-band Wi-Fi and\or Gigabit ethernet

Nice To Have items

  • Unlocks Netflix in 4K
  • Voice control
  • Smart home integrations
  • Dolby Digital sound options

Not every device on this list will have all of these features. That would make things way too easy, but I’ve set this up so that you can decide for yourself which of these features is important to you and which you can skip this time around.

Here is the list of the best Android TV boxes:

1. NVIDIA Shield TV – Best Overall 

If you are looking for a powerful Android TV box that does it all, you aren’t going to find anything better than the NVIDIA Shield.

Released in 2019, it has a powerful Tegra X1+ processor that is managed with the Android 9.0 operating system and is designed specifically for Android TV.

This gives it the power not only to deliver Ultra 4K with Dolby Atmos audio, but also to deliver gaming features, facilitated by access to NVIDIA’s GeForce games library.

The NVIDIA Shield is also authorized to stream content from Netflix and Amazon Prime Video in full 4K, so you aren’t wasting any of that power no matter what you are streaming.

The whole setup is also super easy to use with one of the best voice remotes on the market. It can also integrate with both Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant smart home systems.

While it is a fantastic device, it is expensive. The basic model will set you back about $150, and the Pro model almost $200. The gaming model is even more. Considering you can get a 4K capable TV box for $30, you need to be sure you are going to be using all of those features that you are paying for.

Specifications
Release Date2019
Video ResolutionUnlocks Netflix and Prime Video in 4K
ProcessorTegra X1 + Core
Operating SystemAndroid 9.0
SoundDolby Atmost audio
Hardware decodingH.265
Display RefreshDynamic Refresh Rate Switching
OTA Firmware Update
Voice Control
Smart Home Integrations
HDMIHDMI 2.0
USBUSB 3.0
Wi – FiDual-band Wi-Fi and/or Gigabit ethernet

2. Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K – Best For 4K Streaming

As you go down this list, you are going to find that the main drawback with a lot of Android TV boxes is that they are not authorized to unlock Netflix and Amazon Prime Video in 4K.

All the Android TV boxes on this list have the power to deliver 4K streaming, but the streaming services have to authorize the boxes to have access to their content. To date, they have only authorized boxes from big name brands such as Sony, Samsung, and NVIDIA. More affordable Android TV boxes from lesser-known brands aren’t on the list.

This means that in most cases if what you want your Android TV box for is to stream content from your favorite streaming services in full 4K, you need a pretty expensive box … or you need an Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K.

This little stick will cost you less than $50, and it is still only $70 if you choose to get the bundle with the Gigabit ethernet connection adapter. That is a pretty good deal considering it comes with the Alexa remote, which costs $30 if you want to buy it on its own, and the stick integrates with your Alexa smart home system.

Many people still avoid the Fire TV Stick, despite being the best value method for streaming in 4K. Why?

Because it is an Amazon product, it does not use a standard Android operating system but rather the Amazon Fire TV operating system, which is locked down. You can’t download from the Google PlayStore, only a much more limited range of apps from the Amazon store.

In addition to this, when you search on Amazon Fire TV, you will always get Amazon results first. They will even rank paid-for-access content from Amazon above free access to content that you might have in other apps.

The stick is also designed only for streaming apps and isn’t really powerful enough to support more sophisticated activities, such as gaming.

That being said, if all you want to do is watch Netflix or Prime Video in 4K there isn’t a better affordable option.

Checklist
Video ResolutionUnlocks Netflix and Prime Video in 4K
ProcessorTegra X1 + Core
Sound5.1 audio passthrough
Hardware decodingH.265
Display RefreshDynamic Refresh Rate Switching
OTA Firmware Update
Voice Control
Smart Home Integrations
HDMIHDMI 2.0
USB
Wi – FiDual-band Wi-Fi and/or Gigabit ethernet

3. Dynalink Android TV Box – Best For Google Interface

If you want an affordable Android TV box, but want a lot of the premium features that come with the more expensive boxes, the Dynalink may be exactly what you are looking for. It manages to do this by running the Google Operating System to deliver a similar experience to the Amazon Fire TV Stick.

This allows this affordable box to offer a lot of things that other boxes at its price point are missing. Specifically, it lets you watch the main streaming services in 4K, and you get Google voice command and smart assistant functionality as well.

Like the Fire TV Stick, it is pretty limited on storage and it doesn’t have any USB drives or an SD card storage expansion. This means that the box will stream content well, which is what it is designed to do, but it is limited if you want to use it as the central node in your home media library.

It is best compared to the Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K, which has very similar specs. The difference is that while with the Fire TV Stick you are stuck with the Fire OS, with Dynalink you get the Google OS, which many people consider a significantly better user experience.

Checklist
Video ResolutionGoogle Legit Certified for 4K
Memory2GB of RAM and 8GB of ROM
Operating SystemAndroid 10
ProcessorAmlogic Quad Core
Hardware decodingH.265
Display RefreshDynamic Refresh Rate Switching
OTA Firmware Update
Voice ControlGoogle Assistant voice remote and skin
Smart Home Integrations
HDMI
USBmicro
Wi – FiDual-band Wi-Fi and/or Gigabit ethernet
ChromecastBuilt – In

4. QPLOVE Android TV Box – Best Customizable Box

If you are looking for a powerful TV box ideal for downloading Kodi or setting up your own media library, then the QPLOVE is an excellent affordable choice for customization.

You get an awfully large amount of power and space for less than $70 with a decent chipset and 4GB of RAM. Cheaper boxes often come with just 2GB, which can be restrictive.

It also has a very generous 128GB of ROM as well as options for expanding storage, so you have space for your own media if you prefer to download rather than stream.

It does not, however, come with the premium features standard with more expensive boxes. It doesn’t come with voice control or smart home integration, and it won’t get you Netflix or Amazon Prime Video in full 4K.

That is why this box is not for all streamers, but rather for next-level streamers who want to set up their own media centers suitable for Kodi, torrenting, gaming, and more.

Checklist
Video Resolution4K, 6K, and 3D capabilities
ProcessorAllwinner H616 Quad-core
Operating SystemAndroid 10.0
Memory4GB of RAM & 128GB of ROM
OutputTF card and USB 3.0
Buetooth5.0
Wi – FiEthernet LAN and 2.4/5G Dual WiFi
ExtraWireless backlit mini keyboard

5. Amazon Fire TV Cube With Alexa – Best For Smart Integration

If you are considering investing in a TV box, and you also quite fancy an Alexa speaker for sending things to your shopping list and controlling all your smart devices with voice commands, you should consider the Fire TV Cube.

It is a top-quality 4K media streamer but also a full-fledged Alexa speaker. Dim the lights, check the weather, and search for your favorite TV programs, all without raising a finger. The Cube also comes with the Amazon remote, so you can use that as well. Of course, with all these Amazon goodies included you can expect the home screen and navigation to be skewed towards Amazon content.

The Cube offers excellent 4K Ultra HD streaming, using Dolby Vision and HDR10+ with no delays. Unlike the 4K Fire TV Stick, it comes with an ethernet adapter included, so you can get maximum bandwidth and your Cube will process quickly with hexa-core.

It also delivers some of the best 4K SDR playback of any device on the market, plus it does YouTube better than most streaming boxes with its own native app. While that might seem trivial, it is a big step forward as YouTube was unavailable on Fire TV products for a period of time.

The Cube only has 16 GB of internal storage, rather than the 32 GB you see with some devices, but this is more than enough for most users. It also doesn’t have a MicroSD slot, despite the pretty hefty size of the cube.

Considering the Cube is also an Alexa speaker, the $100 price tag isn’t bad but it doesn’t come with an included HDMI cable, so bear that in mind. If you want to get a streaming box and a smart speaker in one, you won’t find a better option than the Cube.

What we love: We love that this is a full-fledged Alexa speaker, so it is like getting two pieces of amazing tech in one. We are also impressed by the lightning-fast speeds and the quality of the 4K playback.

What’s missing: This machine could have had more storage, and there is also no MicroSD card slot to easily expand the storage to rectify the flaw. Plus, as you would expect with an Amazon player, the launcher is always skewed towards Amazon products.

Checklist
Video ResolutionUnlocks Netflix and Prime Video in 4K
Hardware decodingH.265
Sound5.1 audio passthrough
Display RefreshDynamic Refresh Rate Switching
HDMI2.0
Voice control
Smart home integrations
OTA firmware updates
Wi – FiDual-band Wi-Fi and/or Gigabit ethernet
USB

6. Magicsee Android 9.0 N5 Man TV Box 

If you are looking for an affordable box that is capable of streaming 4K but doesn’t have all the bells and whistles that push up the price, then this box from Magicsee might be exactly what you are looking for.

For less than $50, you get a decent CPU running on Android 9.0 and capable of delivering 4K at 60 frames per second; however, it is not authorized to unlock Netflix in 4K so you will have to settle for HD.

It also comes with an impressive 32 GB of ROM and much of the latest tech, including USB 3.0 and dual Wi-Fi.

Anyone looking for the bells and whistles of voice control and smart home integration will be disappointed, but it certainly delivers a lot for the price tag.

Read our full review here.

Checklist
Video Resolution4K
Operating SystemAndroid 9.0
Sound5.1 audio passthrough
Hardware decodingH.265
Display RefreshDynamic Refresh Rate Switching
OTA Firmware Update
HDMI2.0
USBUSB 3.0
Wi – FiDual-band Wi-Fi and/or Gigabit ethernet

7. Transpeed Android 11.0 TV Box

While you would never get a new Android phone that wasn’t running the latest operating system, the same is not true for TV boxes. They don’t need to do as many different things, so they often work pretty well on older versions of the operating system.

A lot of the boxes on the market today are still using Android 9.0 because this was specifically designed with Android TV in mind, so it is a very stable operating system. There are a few boxes out there that are already using 11, though, and this option from Transpeed is one of them.

Available for less than $70, it has a powerful quad-core CPU, 4 GB of RAM and 32 GB of ROM, USB 3.0, Dual Wi-Fi, and all the latest decoding software.

What you don’t get is voice command, smart home integration, or Dolby Digital Sound delivery, though this is true for most of the boxes on this list.

To make up for the lack of voice command, it does come with a mini-keyboard which is incredibly useful when it comes to complicated search terms.

Checklist
Operating SystemAndroid 11.0
Memory4GB RAM and 32GB ROM
Hardware decodingH.265
ProcessorS905X4 64-bit quad-core chipset
HDMI2.0
USBUSB 3.0
Video Resolution4K/8K at 60 frames per second
Wi – FiDual-Band Wi-Fi and/or Gigabit Ethernet

8. Tanggula X1 128GB TV Box

If you are looking for a “fully loaded” box that comes with access to high-quality content included, then this option from Tanggula is probably the best on the market.

The box itself is pretty powerful with a quad-core, Android 9.0 operating system, 4 GB of ROM and 128 GB of RAM, all of which put together is capable of delivering not just 4K but full 8K image quality. It doesn’t have voice command or smart integrations, but it does have a very handy air mouse.

What most people are looking for when buying this box is access to 4,000 TV channels, including more than 2,000 local and national U.S. channels, 800 UK channels, 400 Canadian channels, and many more. While that might sound like a lot to navigate, it is actually very intuitive and you can code the few channels you watch most often as favorites.

All of this access is included, but is not actually free. The box will set you back about $300 and includes one year of access to all Tanggula content. After that, you need to pay $79 per year for continued access to the content included.

That is still a lot cheaper than a live TV streaming subscription, and Tanggula is one of the few brands still offering this kind of IPTV service.

Read our full review here.

Checklist
Video ResolutionSupports 8K Ultra HD resolution
ProcessorCortex-A55 CPU
Operating SystemAndroid 9.0 OS
Memory4 GB RAM and 64 GB ROM
Wi – FiEquipped with 2.4G/5G Dual-band Wi-Fi
Bluetooth4.0

9. TUREWELL Android 10.0 TV Box

I was skeptical when I saw that this TV box from Turewell was available for less than $30, but it actually delivers a lot of bang for your buck.

It has a powerful quad-core, it is already using the Android 10.0 operating system, and the air mouse control is very welcome in the absence of voice command.

Don’t expect any fancy features from this box; there is no voice command, smart home integration, or Dolby Digital sound. It also has a very low running capacity. While this should be fine if all you want to do is stream, you might find yourself getting frustrated with wait times if you try and do anything more complicated.

Nevertheless, if you are looking for the cheapest way to smartify your home set-up, this is a great choice. It is an especially good investment if you don’t have a 4K TV and therefore aren’t worried about accessing the likes of Netflix in 4K.

Read our full review here.

Checklist
Operating SystemAndroid 10.0 OS
Memory2 GB DDR3 RAM
Storage16 GB EMMC Flash storage
Video ResolutionSupports 3D & 4K HD viewing
USB2

Other Top Picks

While these boxes didn’t make our top 10, they deserve an honorary mention.

Xiaomi Mi Box S

Affordable box that is easy to use and comes with voice control and Google Assistant.

  • 4K HDR
  • 2GB of RAM and 8GB of ROM
  • Voice control remote
  • Google Assistant
  • Less than $70

D905 Diyomate Android TV Box

Affordable box for basic watching from streaming apps on a non-4K home set up.

  • Amlogic Quad-core ARM Cortex A53 CPU
  • Android 11.0
  • 2GB of ROM and 8GB of RAM
  • Less than $30

HK1 Max Android TV Box 11.0

Affordable but powerful Android TV box with plenty of storage.

  • RK3318 Chipset
  • Android 11.0 operating system
  • 4GB of RAM, 64GB of ROM
  • Backlit mini keyboard
  • Less than $60

Magcubic Android TV Box

Powerful but affordable box ideal for Kodi and torrenting entertainment.

  • Amlogic S905X4 64-bit quad core
  • Android 11.0 operating system
  • 4GB of RAM and 64GB of ROM
  • Mini keyboard
  • Less than $70

Magicsee Q Plus Android TV Box

A great box if you are on a budget but want a box good enough to act as a central node for your home entertainment system.

  • 64-bit Quad-Core
  • Android 9.0 operating system
  • 4GB of RAM and 64GB of ROM
  • USB 3.0
  • Less than $40

FAQs About Android TV Boxes

Which Is The Best Android TV Box To Buy?

Which Android TV box is best for you depends on what you want to do with it, as they all have different features.If you want to be able to stream films and television in top-quality 4K, you will need a high-end device that supports an ethernet connection and has a powerful processor. If you are just looking for a way to get your favorite streaming services such as Netflix and Hulu onto your TV, then you can get a more basic option at half the price, especially if you don’t have a 4K compatible TV or whether your streaming content comes in at that quality.The key is to know what you want to use your device for, and then you can find something that meets your specifications.

What Are The Best Features Of An Android TV Box?

When considering the features of an Android TV box, there are minimum “must-have” features, and then there are “best” features that push a TV box to the front of the queue.In terms of must-have features, our list includes 4K streaming capabilities, quad-core, Android 8.0 or higher, H.265 hardware decoding, and dual Wi-Fi or ethernet connection.We also have “nice-to-have” features that you shouldn’t expect to see with a cheaper Android TV box (for less than $100), but you would expect from any more expensive box. These include authorization to unlock Netflix in 4K, voice remote, smart home integrations, and Dolby Digital audio capabilities.When considering the features of an Android TV box, there are minimum “must-have” features, and then there are “best” features that push a TV box to the front of the queue.In terms of must-have features, our list includes 4K streaming capabilities, quad-core, Android 8.0 or higher, H.265 hardware decoding, and dual Wi-Fi or ethernet connection.We also have “nice-to-have” features that you shouldn’t expect to see with a cheaper Android TV box (for less than $100), but you would expect from any more expensive box. These include authorization to unlock Netflix in 4K, voice remote, smart home integrations, and Dolby Digital audio capabilities.

Are Android TV Boxes Worth It?

If you want to cut the cord to cable and instead stream the entertainment content you want on-demand, then a TV box is a good investment and an Android TV box is a better investment than most because it comes with no restrictions.If you get a proprietary TV box, like Apple TV, you are restricted on what you can use and how. You need to use Apple-approved apps through the standard Apple interface. That is fine for most people, as Apple has done a very good job of creating a sleek and usable interface and all the most popular entertainment content is available.While Android comes with a great proprietary launcher and many amazing native apps, it is open-source so there is much more you can do with it. You can download and run third-party apps and even launchers and interfaces on your device, so you have the option of customizing both your entertainment and how you access it.

Which Is Better: Smart TV Or Android TV?

Smart TV and Android TV are essentially the same thing. They are both pieces of tech that allow you to stream content directly to your television. The main difference is that with a smart TV this is all integrated into the TV itself, and an Android TV box is an extra device you use to make a “normal” TV “smart.”In fact, some smart TVs are even based on the Android TV operating system.If you have a smart TV, you don’t need an Android TV box. If you don’t, an Android TV box is an affordable way to make your “dumb” TV smart.

Are Android TV Boxes Illegal?

Android TV boxes are entirely legal. There is nothing dubious about using equipment that allows you to stream content directly to your television.If you have heard talk about the legality of Android TV boxes, it relates to how people use them, rather than the box itself. A TV box lets you stream Netflix, TV channels, and movies to your television using the legal apps that provide this content, usually for a cost.Since you can stream almost anything to your TV using your TV box, though, it is also possible to play content that has been downloaded illegally or use streaming apps that you might be using illegally by, for example, using a VPN to appear as though you are in another country.These acts are still illegal.

What Internet Speed Do I Need For An Android TV Box?

To use your Android TV box effectively, you will need internet speeds of at least 2 MB/per second for standard content, and 4 MB/per second for HD content. Speeds should also be consistent so you don’t suffer frustrating dropouts while watching.Standard household internet is usually more than enough to accommodate these speeds. Issues usually occur if you are running your box over Wi-Fi, which is why it is usually a good idea to plug your box into the ethernet.

Do I Need An Android Box If I Have A Smart TV?

If you have a smart TV, you don’t need an Android TV box as a smart TV is essentially a television with a TV box built-in. Depending on your smart TV, you may find its interface more restrictive than an Android TV box but usually not enough to justify the additional expense.

The Verdict

There are many TV boxes on the market, but an Android TV box is one of the best options if you are looking for something flexible.

While the Android launcher and app are awesome, Android is also open source so you have a lot more options at your fingertips if you want to customize your experience.

That also means there are lots of different options on the market, and it can be incredibly difficult to choose.

Which Android TV box is right for you depends on what you want to do with it. Do you just want to stream a bit of Netflix? Do you want to download and store your own content? Do you want to make the most of your 4K or even 8K TV?

Whatever your need, one of the items on our list will fit the bill.

What do you think? Have we missed any Android TV boxes you think would be a better choice? Let us know in the comments below.

242 Comments

  1. Steve Bortolussisays:

    Hi Tim, a couple of years a go you and others had raving reviews about the Minix Neo U1, it was rated just below the shield, Minix had a great support structure and a very helpful forum, unfortunately that is no longer the case,based on the reviews i purchased a MINIX neo U1 , the box worked great till couple of months a go, now I cant access the setting page any more, when I press on setting it just flickers and stays on the apps or home page, everything else works fine but without the settings page it will be impossible in the future to manage the box, I tried contacting Minix trough the help page on their website but got no response, doing a Google search of the problem shows that others are having the same problem after an update., I bought a Minix neo U9-h for my cousin last year and has the same problem
    Do you have any idea how to fix this or do you have a costumer service number that is working and that could help me with this problem, issues like this where usually talked and solved on the Minix Forum but that is no longer available,
    This android boxes where top rated and on the high end of cost and one of the top selling feature was the outstanding support from Minix, unfortunately that seems to have disappeared and without access to settings this boxes will eventually be unusable
    Apparently doing a factory reset will only work until you do an update to any of the installed apps and the the problem returns
    Your help is greatly appreciated

    Steve

  2. When I first started with android boxes, I got the Matricom G-box q. It was ok, but required alot of resetting because it would hang. I now have a minix u1 and u9. they both work well and I have no issues with either. no updates to u1 recently. one thing to note : most android boxes run a version of android os designed for phones, not tv’s. android TV was meant to run on TV’s, so it doesn’t assume you have a touch screen, so apps work great with only the remote (having wireless keyboard still helps). With that in mind i purchased nvidia. my biGGGGG issue with nvidia is very limited apps available on google play store. couldnt get chrome and some apps required manual install of APK file. Tunein radio app version on play store did not have a version that allow you to login so you could play favorite channels. so even though performance is there, make sure app store has and supports your media player.

  3. Robert De silvasays:

    I am one of those suckers that bought the bulebox s4 from streamsmart and sorry to say I now have a paper weight..It totally disconnect the box from tvapp store where you have to go to get the update and of course it comes back no results. I called the 800 number(save your time) then told me the only thing I could do was buy another box at a discount..Hell no, turns out they refuse to even tell me how I could revive my box. Everyong stay away from streamstart now called stream station.. Not happy at all

  4. YouTube will not run on FireTV boxes unless you use a browser to view it. Since I use YoutubeTV, this means I cannot use my 3 Amazon firetv devices. I really wish Google and Amazon would shake hands and stop this madness.

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