One of the big problems with affordable Android TV boxes is that they aren’t authorized to access some of the major streaming services, such as Netflix, in 4K. But this is one of the main things that set the Dynalink Android TV Box apart.
Running the Google operating system, the Dynalink TV box works as a Chromecast, has Google voice controls included, and is Google Certified, which means it can get you Netflix in full 4K. And all this for less than $50.
But this box has its limitations, in particular when it comes to storage and potential expansions. This is because this box is aimed squarely at folk who just want to be able to stream their favorite content in 4K, basically the same audience that might consider using the Fire Stick 4K, and not your serious streamers that want to be able to build their own media library or gaming station.
Let’s take a closer look at this box and why it should be at the top of your list if you are considering investing in a new, affordable, Android TV box.
We are going to go ahead and score the Dynalink Android TV box 4.5 out of 5 stars.
The fact is that this tiny TV box has a lot of things that other TV boxes in its price range are missing. Specifically, it lets you watch the main streaming services in 4K, and you get Google voice command and smart assistant as well.
We didn’t award it full points because it is pretty limited when it comes to storage, and it doesn’t have any USB drives or an SD card storage expansion. This means this box will stream content well, which is what it is designed to do, but it is limited if you want to use this as the node in your home media library.
This box is probably best compared to the Fire TV Stick 4K, which offers very similar specs. The difference? With the Fire Stick, you are stuck using Amazon’s operating system on top of the Android operating system, which comes with some real annoyances. The Dynalink layers the Google operating system on top of the Android 10 OS, which offers a significantly better user experience (assuming you don’t have a smart home system set up around Amazon Alexa).
This box is tiny, about the palm of your hand, so it is highly mobile. But what exactly have they managed to squeeze into that tiny space?
- Android 10.0 operating system – for the best compatibility with all the latest apps and programs.
- Google Assistant voice remote and skin – Dynalink has layered the Google Assistant operating system over Android 10, which means you can control this box using Google voice control, which is built into the remote.
- 2 GB of RAM and 8 GB of ROM – while this is enough for basic streaming, it is pretty limited when it comes to gaming or building a bespoke media library. This box is aimed at basic streamers rather than your hardcore media geeks.
- Amlogic Quad Core – this is a powerful basis for the device, which allows it to stream 4K seamlessly, barely ever dropping a single frame.
- Google Legit Certified for 4K – this matters a lot, as it means this box is authorized to access major streaming services, in particular Netflix, in full 4K.
- Chromecast functionality – as you would expect from a device that uses the Google interface, it also works seamlessly as a Chromecast, so you can effortlessly throw things directly from your smartphone to your big screen.
This is a great mini TV box for streamers that want to be able to watch content from all their favorite apps in full 4K, but will be too limited for anyone who wants to use their TV box to do more than that.
The device itself is a little bit smaller than the palm of your hand, and it comes with only one plug, a USB cable for power. It also comes with the world’s shortest USB power cable, so you will probably have to invest in another one.
But if you are going to do that, you may as well go ahead and get an OTG cable that will let you both power the device and deliver ethernet directly to the device through the same plug. Though if you don’t, the box has a very stable 5Ghz Wi-Fi connection that should be more than up to any streaming tasks (assuming your internet is good enough).
But this means this device also doesn’t have any USB ports to expand storage or space for an SD or TF card to add more storage. So, you are limited to the rather meager 8 GB of space that is available.
This is fine if you just want to download your favorite apps, but isn’t enough to accommodate any of your own media that you might want to watch on the box. It also means you might struggle with some versions of Kodi, though you can get lightweight Kodi builds that should still work.
But this box isn’t really targeted at streaming aficionados who want to be able to do it all; it is targeted at people who want a simple way to stream from their favorite applications in full 4K.
The quad-core-based Dynalink TV box runs the Google operating system on top of Android 10, and the box has been Google Legit certified. This means that it is authorized to access the major streaming services, in particular Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, in full 4K.
This is more important than it might sound because, while most affordable TV boxes have the hardware to stream in 4K, they aren’t authorized to access these services in 4K, which means that you are still limited to HD. In fact, the only other option for less than $100 that does this is the Amazon Fire Stick 4K.
You can read more about the way that Netflix and other streaming services limit access to 4K content here.
As well as giving you Netflix, this Google skin also gives you access to Google voice command, which is built into the remote. You can use it to ask Google to search the internet for you, or to control most of the apps on the device. This is another feature you shouldn’t expect to find on most Android TV boxes available for under $100.
Another advantage of this Google skin is that the box works seamlessly as a Chromecast, which will appeal to anyone who likes to connect content from their smartphone, and Google still has the best solution for doing this.
The Dynalink offers significant advantages over other affordable Android TV boxes available for around the same price point.
The fact is that most affordable Android TV boxes might seem as if they are powerful under the hood and have the hardware to offer full 4K and voice control, but they actually don’t.
But because Dynalink uses the Google operating skin, it can unblock streaming services in 4K, and you do get the Google assistant.
If you are looking for an affordable box to act as a media library hub, run sophisticated versions of Kodi, or for gaming, you will probably be disappointed with this box. But if you want to stream content from your favorite apps in 4K and not have to struggle with terrible onscreen keyboards, you will love the Dynalink.
Its main competition in this price range is the Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K, which is one of the only other TV boxes available at around the $50 mark that lets you access Netflix and Prime Video in 4K.
But many people steer clear of Fire TV products because, instead of running a pure Android operating system, they run the Fire TV operating system on top. This comes with significant drawbacks.
Firstly, it means you can’t download apps directly from the Google Play Store but instead have to use the Amazon app store. The selection of apps is more limited. Of course, there are workarounds that allow you to sideload apps, but not everyone wants to deal with this.
The other major drawback is that when you search on Amazon TV, it will always show you Amazon results first. This means you might be shown an Amazon result that you need to pay for above a result that you already have access to for no additional cost.
The Google operating skin doesn’t have these same problems. The skin is actually quite intuitive, though advertising is present, and you can access the principal app store and you don’t get the same biased search (though, of course, Google does control your search results).
The other thing to consider if you are finding yourself choosing between these two devices is that while the Dynalink will integrate with Google Smart Home, the Fire Stick will integrate with an Alexa smart home system.
Where To Buy
The Dynalink Android TV Box is currently available to buy on Amazon for just $50. However, it is worth keeping your eye out on sale days, as it has been available for just $30 in the past.
Bear in mind that you will probably need to get your hands on a longer USB power cable, as the one that comes with the box is incredibly short, and you might want to upgrade to an OTG cable, which you might expect to cost $10-15.
If you are looking for an affordable Android TV box for streaming from your favorite apps, then the Dynalink should be near the top of your list. It is one of only a handful of TV boxes available for less than $100 that will let you watch Netflix in full 4K, rather than just HD.
On top of that, you get Google voice commands, integrated Chromecast, and the box will work with your Google smart home system if you have one.
It is probably not powerful enough to form the basis of a personalized home media hub, but for most streamers, it will more than tick the boxes.
Have you used the Dynalink Android TV Box? What do you think of it? Share your thoughts with the community in the comments section below or via our social media.