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Mecool KM8 Review: Does Google-Certified Equal Good?

Mecool KM8 Review Featured Image

Android TV – Google’s TV-optimized model of its smartphone working system – is quickly rising in reputation because of improved help and its look on various common Android TV bins such because the Mi Field and Mecool M8 Professional L.

Nevertheless, some current Android packing containers haven’t been operating an “official” model of Android TV which suggests points reminiscent of Chromecast not working or different quirks.

The brand new $60 Mecool KM8 is among the few Chinese language Android TV packing containers to function official Google certification which suggests extra performance for you – the top consumer.

On this Mecool KM8 evaluate, we’ll check out the hardware, software program, video playback exams and Android benchmark comparisons to reply crucial query of all – is the Mecool KM8 value it?

Mecool KM8 Specs and Options

CPU: Quadcore Amlogic S905X
GPU: Mali-450MP5
RAM: 2GB DDR3
Storage: 16GB (expandable by way of Micro SD)
Ports: HDMI, Ethernet, Composite Video, microSD, 2x USB 2.zero
Connectivity:

 

100M Ethernet, 2.4GHz 802.11n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth
OS: Android TV Eight
Measurement (Lx W x H): 98 x 98 x 26mm

View Full Specs

The Mecool KM8’s specs are fairly normal on this worth level. The unit’s quadcore Amlogic S905X processor isn’t the quickest by any means however provides loads of grunt for watching films in Kodi, searching the online and even some mild gaming. 2GB of DDR3 RAM and 16GB of storage (which could be expanded by chucking in a micro SD card) rounds out the package deal.

Networking is the weakest a part of the field, with solely 2.4Ghz wi-fi n and 100Mbps Ethernet. While this might be fantastic for 1080p streaming however these hoping for 4K streaming might encounter points similar to buffering.

You’re additionally getting newest model of Android TV Eight Oreo which is a pleasant contact.

What’s within the Field?

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http://hometheatrelife.com/

Contained in the field, you get:

  • Mecool KM8 Android TV Field
  • 5V 2A Energy Adapter
  • Bluetooth Distant
  • HDMI Cable
  • English Consumer Guide

Mecool KM8 Design

The Mecool KM8 is a reasonably normal wanting Android TV field, with a matte black end.

As regular, ports are situated on the left and again of the unit. On the left aspect, we now have two full-size USB 2.zero ports and a micro SD card slot.

Across the again is composite video output , Ethernet, HDMI out and the exterior wifi antenna. That wifi antenna is certainly the worst antenna I’ve ever seen. It’s weirdly unfastened so it tends to fall over, regardless of how a lot I’ve tried to tighten it.

The included Bluetooth voice distant is identical one we’ve seen in bins such because the Mecool M8L Professional. It’s obtained all the usual Android buttons in addition to a Google Assistant button to entry Google’s AI assistant and being Bluetooth, it doesn’t want line of sight which is an enormous plus. That stated, I’d nonetheless contemplate an airmouse which provides you a couple of extra management choices.

http://hometheatrelife.com/

http://hometheatrelife.com/

The distant’s Google Assistant button is clearly one of many Mecool KM8’s standout options. Nevertheless, I discovered the entire thing a ache to make use of. To make use of the distant’s inbuilt microphone, you’ll want to carry down the button which feels pointless. This additionally signifies that voice search gained’t truly work anyplace else except for Google Assistant as making an attempt to activate the microphone brings up the Assistant, inflicting the voice search immediate to be cancelled.

http://hometheatrelife.com/

http://hometheatrelife.com/

Truly utilizing it’s nice when it recognises what you’re truly saying however voice recognition was the worst I’ve ever seen with just one out of each 10 or so makes an attempt truly resembling what I requested it. It was truthfully extra of a headache to attempt to use.

Mecool KM8 Software program

The KM8 runs Android TV Eight Oreo which suggests you’re getting a elegant TV-optimised expertise which is nice to navigating with a distant. Android TV Eight shuffles some issues round, with vertical classes resembling Apps, Suggestions and extra which could be scrolled via horizontally.

http://hometheatrelife.com/

http://hometheatrelife.com/

There’s additionally a handful of pre-installed apps comparable to a file browser and media participant, and also you’ll get entry to the Google Play retailer to put in your favourite apps comparable to Kodi. That stated, as an Android TV system, you’ll have a extra restricted number of apps out there so I’d advocate putting in a Google Play various corresponding to AptoideTV to get entry to a extra full set of Android apps.

http://hometheatrelife.com/

http://hometheatrelife.com/

The firmware itself appears to run properly, with the quadcore processor protecting all the things operating clean. Nevertheless, it’s clear that there’s fairly a number of bugs that have to be ironed out. As of writing, Netflix isn’t working in any respect (both within the app or by way of Chromecast) and I had frequent “wifi disconnected” messages. These really feel like software program points so right here’s hoping Mecool repair them in future firmware updates.

Talking of software program updates, they seem like supported however on the time of writing, Mecool haven’t launched any.

Mecool KM8 Video Playback Utilizing Kodi

Kodi 17.6 Splash Screen

Kodi 17.6 Splash Screen

Video playback was examined utilizing Kodi 17.6 downloaded from the Google Play retailer.

After establishing Kodi, movies have been performed from a USB three.zero thumb drive or streamed over wifi from my server’s NFS share.

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Media playback on the Mecool KM8 was fairly good. Most of my check information performed with none points however 60fps content material wasn’t clean in any respect – disappointing provided that I’ve examined different Amlogic S905 bins which have performed it flawlessly.

Automated framerate switching isn’t supported which is disappointing for these delicate to movement judder.

Format Standing Notes
Decision / Codec / Container / Framerate Okay/No/Points Any notes about playback help
1080p 3D SBS H.264 (1920×2160 / AVC / MPEG-Four / 30fps) Okay
1080p 3D ABL H.264 (1920×1080 / AVC / BDAV / 23.976fps) Okay
1080p24 H.264 (1920×1080 / AVC / MPEG-Four / 24fps) Okay
1080p Excessive Bitrate H.264 (1920×1080 / AVC / Matroska / 23.976fps) Okay
1080p60 H.264 (1920×1080 / AVC / MPEG-Four / 60fps) Okay
720p50 H.264 (1280×720 / AVC / MPEG-TS / 50fps) Okay
1080i25 H.264 (1920×1080 / AVC / MPEG-TS / 25fps) Okay
4K 30FPS H.264 (3840×2160 / AVC / MPEG-Four / 30fps) Okay
4K 60FPS H.264 (3840×2160 / AVC / MPEG-Four / 60fps) No Too many dropped frames to be watchable
1080p24 HEVC (1920×1080 / HEVC / Matroska / 24fps) Okay
4K 30FPS Eight-bit HEVC (3840×2160 / HEVC / MPEG-Four / 30fps) Okay
1080p VP8 (1920×1080 / VP8 / WebM / 25fps) Okay
720p Hello10p (1280×720 / AVC / Matroska / 23.976fps) No Too many dropped frames to be watchable
1080p Hello10p (1920×1080 / AVC / Matroska / 23.976fps) No Too many dropped frames to be watchable
1080p MPEG2 (1920×1080 / MPEG Video / MPEG-PS / 25fps) Okay
1080p VC1 (1920×1080 / VC-1 / Home windows Media / 25fps) Okay
Unencrypted Bluray ISO (Sintel) (1920×1080 / AVC / AVC / 24fps) Okay

5.1 Audio Passthrough

Dolby Digital 5.1 passthrough over HDMI labored when arrange in Kodi.

Streaming Providers

Netflix

Although the Mecool KM8 helps Google Widevine L1 DRM, Netflix wouldn’t work in any respect with the app simply giving error -13 – “This version of Netflix app is not compatible with your device”. This can be a large drawback for Netflix customers and is disappointing to see on a field that’s supposedly “Google-certified”

For extra details about Netflix on Android TV packing containers, take a look at my HD Netflix on Android information.

YouTube

YouTube playback works at as much as 4K decision.

Chromecast

As a Google-certified Android TV field, the Mecool KM8 options Chromecast help inbuilt, permitting you to forged movies, pictures and music from all kinds of apps.

I didn’t have issues casting from most apps corresponding to YouTube and Freeview (Australia’s catch-up TV app). Nevertheless, Netflix movies wouldn’t begin regardless of seeming to attach. It definitely seems that Netflix is properly and really damaged on the KM8.

Mecool KM8 Gaming Efficiency

http://hometheatrelife.com/

http://hometheatrelife.com/

Gaming efficiency was examined utilizing my GameSir G4S controller (assessment) by way of Bluetooth with the next video games:

As with different Amlogic S905 packing containers, the Mecool KM8’s gaming efficiency is cheap. Easy 2D titles play nicely, while 3D titles like Seashore Buggy Racing performed nicely on decrease settings.

Mecool KM8 Benchmarks Comparability

Benchmark Rating
Antutu 7.1.zero 25633
GeekBench Four.2.three Single Core 649
GeekBench Four.2.three Multi Core 1779
3DMark Ice Storm Limitless App crashed when making an attempt to entry benchmark
3DMark Ice Storm Excessive 4228
3DMark Slingshot Not Suitable

Energy Consumption

Working State Energy Consumption (W)
Powered Off zero.6W
Standby 2.5W
Idle three.0W
1080p Video Playback 5.1W
Full Load 5.8W

Ought to You Purchase The Mecool KM8?

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http://hometheatrelife.com/

I used to be hopeful that the Mecool KM8 can be a winner as one of many first Google-certified Android TV bins to return out of China. Nevertheless, there’s fairly a couple of points that forestall it from surpassing its nearest competitor, the Xiaomi Mi Field, resembling damaged Netflix help, buggy firmware and lackluster connectivity. The shortage of Netflix help is an enormous deal breaker and anybody utilizing the streaming service ought to undoubtedly look elsewhere.

That stated, Chromecast help is an enormous plus and the field does deal with Android TV and basic playback nicely so it’s not all unfavorable.

General, the Mecool KM8 Plus finally ends up being a reasonably common Android TV field, regardless of its Google certification. While Android TV Eight, primary media playback and Chromecast help are all nice promoting factors, the bugs and damaged Netflix make it a tough one to advocate till these points are (hopefully) resolved0.6 in a future firmware replace.

The place to Purchase the Mecool KM8

The Mecool KM8 is on the market from GearBest for round $60 with free delivery.

Examine Worth at GearBest

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