H96 Max TV Box Review
Today in my H96 Max TV box review, you’ll discover what it means to use high end hardware, and what are the benefits and challenges of having a powerful Android TV box like the H96 Max. Also in this review I experienced something I haven’t seen in any other TV box I’ve reviewed.
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Well I was really excited when I looked at the specs of the H96 Max, because the specs were the same as the Yundoo Y8 TV box. It has a Rockchip RK3399 hexa core CPU running up to 2.0GHz, yes really up to 2.0GHz. It is also a fully 64bit system, not only is the hardware a 64bit instruction set, but the 64bit ABIs are also supported, meaning the H96 Max can run 64bit applications.
The box comes with 4GB of DDR3 RAM, which I would have liked to be DDR4, and 32GB of internal storage. This is great for running multiple apps or multitasking as it is called, and the 32GB of internal storage is good for allowing you to download and install large apps and games. Added to that you have convertible storage up to 64GB under Android 6.0 and later versions.
The H96 Max comes with Dual Band WiFi 2.4GHz + 5.8GHz frequencies, which allow you to use any router with the supported bands. However in my benchmark tests I found that the WiFi download speeds were not the best I’ve seen but it good enough to achieve good streaming of movies and downloading apps and browsing. It comes with Bluetooth 4.0 that works really well.
In my software experience I sort to run my usual system and hardware information apps and my benchmarks apps. First off I checked to see if the box was rooted, and it showed that the box is rooted, so I then proceeded to install the rest of my benchmarking apps where I discovered that the the box has a sort of a custom root where when you try to install certain apps it shows that ” this app is not compatible with this device”. However, you can still install the app using the APK version of the application. In some of the apps the APK install works normal, and in others the APK installed fine but didn’t function as how it was supposed to.
My box did not come with Kodi installed which I found strange as I saw Kodi installed in other TV box bloggers reviews. However, this is not a problem because Kodi installed fine off the Google Play Store, and addons installed without a problem. Streaming movies and TV shows was a breeze with all addons and movie APKs working 100%
The DRM information is not so good, it showed that the box does not have support for any of the available services. But that’s OK because if it did it would mean that the box would not have been rooted.
4K Experience – Surprised!
I usually test the box’s 4K capabilities by running a series of 4K video samples at various frame rates and bit rates using the Kodi media player application. This is done because Kodi has its own built in codecs that plays 4K videos better than the stock video player that comes in the Android installation. However, when I attempted to run these video samples a lot of them refused to play in Kodi for some reason or the other. So I ran them using the video player that came with the Android installation.
What happened next was a big Surprise to me. Not only did it play all the 4K videos, but it played the second jellyfish video at 250Mbps which no other TV Box to date has been able to play in or out of Kodi, and in my book that’s a hell of an achievement for the H96 Max and it deserves recognition for this.
There was also something else that was a surprise to me which was the included 64bit ABIs support. Most other TV boxes in my AIDA64 demonstration shows under CPU information that the box only has support for 32bit ABIs, which means that even though the box runs on a 64bit instruction set, the box only has support for 32 bit ABIs, allowing the box to only run 32bit apps. The H96 Max has support for both 32bit and 64bit ABIs allowing it to run 64bit applications.
There’s one more surprise but it’s a 50/50 one. With all that powerful hardware activity going on the the box, the box overheats very quickly under heavy activity like during my benchmarks and playing games. Temperatures rose to over 65° Celsius which resulted in the box freezing up a couple of times. However, this situation was fixed by simply placing a cooling pad fan like the ones used to cool laptops below the box. What I used was a small PC cooling fan with a USB power cord see here, and again I was Surprised! to experience the lowest operating temperatures ever on my reviews. See more in the results below.
Benchmark Scores – High!
- A1 SD Bench: RAM Copy – 9853MB/s | ROM – 96.83MB/s 73.48MB/s | SD – 39.22MB/s 15.47MB/s
- Antutu – 67711
- Geekbench 4 – 1352 Single-core 2556 Multi-core
- 3D Mark Ice Store Extreme – 7241
- Rooted – YES
- DRM – NO
- WiFi Speed – Average
- Gameplay – Good
- 4K Playback – Excellent
- Streaming – Good
A few of my fellow bloggers have said that the H96 Max is not a good TV box buy, but I am going out on a limb here by saying that the H96 Max is a good box to buy. Yes! it has a few kinks to straightening out, and remember the cooling issue and to use a cooling fan. But the performance in the benchmarks, and the 4K video playback I was really impressed with what I experienced with it. I don’t know if the overheating problem affected their experience with the box but once I used the cooling fan everything went fine, I hope I am making sense to people here. So see you in the next one.
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