Mecool KD2 Android 11 TV Stick Review
The Mecool KD2 TV stick is one of Mecool’s releases based on Android 11 TV operating system. It’s classified as a TV stick yet it appears like a mini TV Box, measuring 2.75 in.² x .75 inches thick it’s small enough to fit in the palm of your. It’s classified as the TV stick because it has a HDMI male connector and a micro USB power port, that can be used power the stick from a USB port.
If you are familiar with various TV stick, the assumption might be that this model is another low performance Chinese model. I too at first glance had my doubts about it, only to discover that it’s compact design has no effect on its performance. With its CPU clocked at 2.0 GHz and it’s GPU with Vulkan support, this TV stick manages to outperform lots of TV boxes. After completing various benchmark results revealed that performance ranks with the Amlogic S905X3 and S905X4 models.
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Mecool KD2 hardware specs
The Mecool KD2 runs on an ARM quad-core cortex A53 CPU with a maximum CPU clock speed of 2.0 GHz, this is a fixed frequency and it cannot be adjusted. Even though the hardware is 64bit it’s only configured with 32bit ABIs, this means you can only run 32bit apps and games.
It’s GPU is the Mali G31 and the GPU am referring to is in fact an APU which means that it’s a CPU/GPU integrated chip, so the processor handles port functions. It also has Vulkan support and open GL ES version 2.2, this greatly enhances its Android gaming performance.
For connectivity its network adapter delivers dual band 2.4GHz + 5GHz Wi-Fi connectivity. There is no ethernet LAN port however, if use a micro USB hub that has a LAN port on it you can connect it to the power port on the stick to access ethernet LAN connectivity. With the hub you can also get additional USB and microSD card options. The network adapter also provides Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity.
Mecool KD2 Android TV OS and Streaming
The primary function of the Mecool KD2 is the stream movies and TV shows. Mecool is one of the few manufacturers that uses the Android TV version as its operating system on the models. Similar to brands such as the Nvidia shield and Amazon file TV they strives to deliver a certified version of Android geared towards premium movie stream in platforms such as Netflix, Disney+, HBO Max, sling TV, Amazon prime video, among many others.
In order to do this the KD2 provides necessary piracy protection by implementing Google Widevine level 1 with HDCP 2.2 protection. This level of protection encrypts the outgoing HDMI signal so that it connected to a DVR or a capture card that does not support HDCP the signal will refuse to play, or blocked if a recording process is initiated. With this level of protection the premium movie stream in platforms authorizes the stick to show in HD and 4K quality.
However despite having this official certifying feature Mecool has attained an additional separate Netflix certification to show their movies in HD and 4K, sorry only get basic 480p. Unless you find an APK that has some sort of workaround which can be difficult to find.
4K HDR AV1 and Surround Sound Features
Like 4K HDR was the buzz over the last decade the AV1 format has emerged as the new video decoder. The Mecool KD2 as AV1 decoders included so it can play 4K HDR plus AV1 videos smoothly. When it comes to surround sound audio the standard for most TV boxes is that it can output via HDMI Dolby Atmos, DTS X, DTS HD-MA, Dolby surround, and Dolby TrueHD in certain models. These are normally displayed on a audio receiver’s LED display.
However, when connected to a seven point one audio receiver it outputs Dolby Atmos, Dolby surround, and DTS classic. What a DTS classic means I’m not quite sure what it’s not displaying DTS X, DTS HD-MA, or Dolby TrueHD.
- Antutu – 83,807
- Geekbench 4 – 686 Single-Core | 1,931 Multicore
- Ice Storm Extreme – 6,010
- SlingShot – 590
- SlingShot Extreme – 375
- RAM Copy – 3,694 MB/s
- Internal Storage – 110 MB/s read | 54 MB/s write
- Wi-Fi – 100% on 5GHZ Band | 2.4GHz 75%
- LAN via Micro USB – 36% 100 Mbps GB
Firmware Pro Features
- Amlogic S905Y4 4X CPU 2.0GHz USB port available
- Certified Android 11 TV OS
- Google Chromecast screen mirroring
- Google Assistant
- Full access to Google play services w/updates
- 4K 2060p display 59.94Hz
- AV1 Video decoding
- HDR display
- Disney+/Prime Video/HBO Max etc. in HD/4K
- Kodi/Streaming available
- YouTube in 4K HDR AV1
- Alternative launchers work w/wallpapers
- Good 4K HDR AV1 Video playback
- Dolby Atmos/Basic DTS/Dolby Surround
- Good 3D gaming performance
- Good performance benchmark
- Bluetooth voice remote included
- MOD Netflix sideloaded works in HD
- No Netflix ESN for official viewing in HD/4K
- No HDR settings (HDR always on)
- No Screen rotation
- Remote does not turn on TV stick from off position
While I appreciate the effort by Mecool to deliver a high performance TV stick with Google certification, latest Android operating system, and firmware features, the issue of Netflix ESN certification is the missing piece that would have earned it a four or five star rating.
I recommend Mecool KD2 as a good streaming TV stick that can play services such as Disney+ and Amazon prime video in HD and 4K. I am quite surprised that it’s CPU is clocked at 2.0 GHz and it has Vulkan support that delivers a really good 3D gaming experience. If you manage to get your hands on a modified version of Netflix you can get in HD or at least.
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