03 Dec M8S Android TV Box Review
There are surprisingly few cheap TV boxes out there and M8S Android TV box is one of the few options.
So how do TV Boxes actually work? TV boxes bypass traditional TV cables to provide and distribute media content through the internet. The TV no longer subscribes to networks and you can watch all kinds of media via streaming.
What’s in the box?
In an M8S Android TV Box package, you get the TV box itself along with a power adapter, HDMI cable, remote control, and user manual (which you might not even need considering how easy the set up is).
The TV box has a nice design with a plastic frame. It has a discreet blue LED power indicator which is not so bright that it’s distracting, even when other the lights in the house are off. Don’t be surprised if you don’t see any power buttons on the device. The TV Box turns on automatically once you have plugged it in.
Unfortunately, the remote uses infrared instead of Bluetooth so at certain distances or when there is an obstruction, the TV box doesn’t respond. And when it does, it usually registers the wrong commands. What’s more, it lacks some pretty essential media keys. Good thing it can be easily replaced with better universal remotes.
When it comes to resolution, the display is awesome! The TV box supports all standard HD, SD, and Ultra HD resolutions up to 4K. Especially when watching Netflix, it has a really crisp display (as the box supports the 4K codec H.265/HEVC, the code used by Netflix).
However, when it comes to playing video files in the internal or external drives, there is a slight problem. You might encounter occasional lags and glitches when it plays higher resolution files.
The hardware and software are pretty good, though. When you’re not watching videos, its Dynamic Refresh Rate Switching Capability allows the user interface to run smoothly at 60Hz and 1080p, making the menus have a superb display.
More than this, its hardware decoding capability compresses the video files, allowing them to be transmitted faster using an internet connection. This allows efficiency in the system and, in turn, high definition video playbacks and smooth frame rates.
It’s really just that hiccup you may sometimes encounter while playing 1080p videos that makes the experience not so great at times.
M8S Android TV Box is equipped with a quad-core CPU, octa-core GPU, and 2GB of RAM. Needless to say, these are pretty solid specs for a TV box.
Here’s another thing: you can play games on this TV box! Since it is powered by Android, you can go to Play Store and download and install Android games. Connect the TV box to a controller and boom! You have an instant gaming console. There were zero lags and no crashes at all, even with games with the highest system requirements. I guess that is to be expected from a quad-core processor and an octa-core graphics card, right?
M8S Android TV Box has a built-in internal storage drive with 8GB of available space. If you have video or audio files that you need to have quick access to, you can save them directly onto the hard drive. This will allow more space to download media from apps like Netflix and Spotify.
Furthermore, it also supports external storage drives. Among the memory cards readable by M8S Android TV Box are SD cards, MMC cards, and SDHC cards. You can use USB disks and flash disks as well.
As the name suggests, M8S Android TV Box is powered by Android. It runs on version 4.4.1 KitKat. You can install as many Android apps as you want (as long as there is enough internal memory, of course). Also, it comes pre-installed with essential video apps such as Netflix, YouTube, and Kodi and is pre-loaded with must-have add-ons (something that most TV boxes from other brands, like Amazon Fire TV and NVIDIA, don’t have).
What does bothers me, however, is that the operating system doesn’t automatically update to the latest Android version, which could lead to poor performance in the long run. While it may not have any immediate effect on performance, the apps will soon require the latest Android version in order to run. This could cause problems in the future.
One thing I do like about this TV box is that it is compatible with mobile devices mirroring and wireless multimedia sharing connections. This TV Box can work with Miracast, Apple Airplay and DLNA using a WiFI. Still, the M8S Android TV Box doesn’t exactly have the strongest WIFI reception. If you put it too far from the router, it might end up with very low and intolerable download and upload speeds.
For best internet speeds and seamless streaming, I recommend connecting this TV box with an Ethernet cable.
Regular Firmware Updates
Even though the operating system does not update in this TV Box, the firmware does (while it is connected to the internet). This happens automatically and should not disturb you watching your TV at the same time.
- RAM: 2GB DDR3
- ROM: 8GB NAND FLASH
- GPU: Octa-core Mali-450MP GPU @ 600MHz
- Chipset: Amlogic S812 Quad Core Cortex A9 2.0 GHz
- Support Decoder format: HD MPEG1/2/4,H.265, HD AVC/VC-1, RM/RMVB, Xvid/DivX3/4/5/6 , RealVideo8/9/10
- Support Media format: AVI, Rm, Rmvb, Ts, Vob, Mkv, Mov, ISO, wmv, asf, flv, dat, mpg, mpeg
- HDMI: HDMI 1.4b up to 4K2K
- has no distracting lights
- easy to set up and is almost plug-and-play
- has 4K resolution
- works well with Netflix
- has a flawless and smooth user interface
- compresses videos for a more efficient and better display
- has a powerful processor
- has considerable storage space
- supports external memory devices
- pre-installed with essential entertainment apps on Android
- Its Kodi is pre-loaded with essential add-ons
- can work with Airplay, Miracast, and DLNA
- performs regular firmware upgrades without interrupting its running apps
- the remote sucks
- can have lags and glitches when playing larger video files
- its Android OS cannot be upgraded
- has weak WiFi signal reception
Top Alternatives M8S Android TV Box
If you are looking for a more immersive experience and a TV box that lasts for years to come, the M8S Android TV Box might not be the best choice (due to issues with playing high-resolution videos and lack of OS updates). If you have the budget, you might opt for Amazon Fire TV or NVIDIA Shield instead.
Overall, the M8S Android TV Box is fair value for the money. Sure, there may be other TV boxes that perform better, but if you have a limited budget for a TV Box, this is pretty much the best deal you can get in this price range.