Mecool KM3 Review
So the Amlogic S905X2 boxes are still coming out and Mecool has released their official Andriod TV model the Mecool KM3 4K Ultra HD TV box. Mecool went all out on this and they tried to include as many features as they can into this one. I give them an “A” for effort, and though this is a great high performance among the top 10 in the S905X2 line, it still has some kinks to iron out. This is my first official review of a TV box that I’m doing in 4K quality and I was able to test for HDR video, Dolby digital passthrough, and 4K resolution setting.
Mecool KM3 Hardware
Like I said I love how Mecool ramped it up in this little box, they didn’t hold anything back. First, they clocked the CPU at 1.8 GHz which I believe is the highest the CPU can go in this configuration without crashing or overheating, and I was quite impressed that there was no overheating. It comes with 4GB of DDR4 RAM and 64GB of internal storage which provides lot’s room for installing apps and games. You have dual-band 2.4GHz + 5GHz WiFi support and Bluetooth 4.1. The box comes with an included wireless voice remote control to use with Google assistant support.
- CPU – Amlogic S905X2 4X 1.8GHz
- GPU – Mali G31
- RAM – 4GB DDR4
- Internal Storage – 64GB
- WiFi – 2.4GHz + 5GHz ac
- Bluetooth – 4.1
KM3 Design and IO ports
The body is mostly made of plastic but the base has a metal plate with lots of ventilation holes for cooling and it does a great job at that. They have even included a breathing LED power light to the front of the box which adds a nice techie look to it. The entire surface an side of the body has a glossy finish so it fingerprints and dust galore, so take note of that. These are the ports
- 1 HDMI
- 1 Ethernet LAN 100Mbps
- 1 USB 2.0
- 1 USB 3.0
- 1 Micro SD
- 1 AV Port / reset
Android TV OS and Mecool UI
This is where things get a bit interesting. The box runs on an official Android 9 Pie operating system and it is not rooted. This is is a good thing because Android TV requires it if you want to have your box certified to run Netflix in HD and 4K quality. However, this is not the case. If you open the DRM info app you would see that the box has Google Widevine level 1, but no HDCP protection for Netflix to play in HD. I read somewhere that Mecool has been blocked by Netflix, I don’t know how true that is but if it is not, they need to fix this issue, as Netflix is very popular among TV box users.
Android TV provides Google Assistant and Chromecast and it provides higher screen resolution settings than other TV boxes because it is optimized for large 4K TV and monitors.
4K Video Playback and YouTube in 4K
So I recently bought some new hardware to be 4K compatible just so that I can begin testing TV boxes for true 4K HDR playback capability. Well, I am happy to report that the Mecool KM3 can output 4K HDR resolution and it has Dolby digital audio pass-through. You can set the screen resolution to as high as 3840 x 2160p which is a great achievement for this box. I played my usual set of 4K video samples and the Cambodia video and the jellyfish video had some playback difficulty.
3D Android Gaming
To me, this was the best experience on this box. I never got to see Android games played in 4K quality till now, and I must say that I am truly impressed at the quality of some of these games, and how smooth the KM3 graphics was. Take my word for it, if you want a top Android TV box the KM3 does a splendid job. This is Android TV OS so the box is not rooted gamepad Key mapping does not work on this box, but I was able to use my gamepad directly on Android games with gamepad compatibility.
Benchmark Scores and Ranking
The Mecool KM3 at the time of making this review ranked 4th on the Antutu chart for best TV box for 2019 which is a great achievement. I know its rankings is going to drop as the new line of Amlogix S922X CPU TV boxes start to role out. This is a really great high-performance TV box and it is a superb gamer and movie streamer. The only concerns I have is that the box needs a firmware update to fix a bug that sometimes makes the WiFi networks disappear and they need to fix the DRM and Netflix issue.