X96 Max Amlogic S905X2 4k TV Box Review
So the X96 Max Amlogic S905X2 TV box is officially out from pre-release, and it is causing quite a stir amount the TV box community. It is one of the first TV boxes to feature the new Amlogic S905X2 CPU and the ARM Mali G31 GPU, and it is doing this on a maxed out hardware configuration of 4GB of DDR4 RAM and 64GB of eMMc flash ROM. Though I myself was eager to see this new CPU and GPU in action, from experience I learned not to get my hopes up too high as I have seen many failed attempts at new launches. Nonetheless I ordered one so I can give a good account the performance and features of this box.
Right away as I opened the box and looked at its design, I was pleased to see that I had a USB 3.0 port and an optical audio port, everything else was standard. The box has a semi flat matte and glossy trim around the edges giving it a really nice appearance. It comes with an LED clock display and ventilation holes at the bottom. Once I connected the box and pulled up its hardware information, I was pleased to see that the new Amlogic S905X2 CPU was clocked at 1.9GHz. The Bluetooth version is 4+ which indicates that is has Bluetooth 4.1, however the sales page says 4.0. I also saw that it has Dual band 2.4GHz + 5.8GHz WiFi support and Ethernet LAN 1000Mbps.
The UI experience
As a TV box user a feature filled and easy to use launcher is vital to a great TV box experience. The launcher though it has an attractive design that looks like Android TV OS it is not, it is the full version of Android 8.1 with a theme skin that looks like the TV OS version. The launcher came up short in a few areas. First the box is not rooted making it impossible to run apps that require root access to work. The does not come with a navigation or a status bar multitasking and easy navigation with a mouse or touchpad keyboard. The home screen of the launcher responds weird to a mouse, but navigating the launcher with the stock infrared remote works really well.
The main purpose of a TV box is to provide entertainment via streams of movies and TV shows, playing personal 4K video samples, watching YouTube videos, and playing 3D Android games. The X96 Max delivered for the most part a great entertainment experience but with some slight issues here and there. Streaming of movies and TV shows via Kodi and APKs was good with no issues what so ever. Netflix ran OK but it is limited to standard quality due its limited Google Widevine DRM support. Youtube plays, but it plays up to 1080p quality only. Attempts were made to install the Android TV OS version of YouTube but the app failed to run. 4K video playback was 95% OK with 2 videos from my samples having some difficulty. The 3D gaming experience was better than I expected, the S905X2 + MAli G31 is the perfect match for Android games, it played all my sample really well. I believe that the box could even perform better if they had configured this box in 64bit mode instead of 32bit.
- Antutu – 59275
- Geekbench 4 – 717 single-core 2135 multi-core
- RAM copy – 3697 MB/s
- ROM Speed – 145 MB/s read 111 MB/s write
- Ice Storm Extreme – 5256
I thing this box is a teaser, sort of a taste of what this box can really do. If they correct the issues with the firmware such as toot access, 64bit mode, navigation bar, DRM support, and access to YouTube in 4K it would be a hell of a TV box to deal with . They should have included a remote with voice commands. Other than that, the hardware is performer, much better than the previous S905X.