Tanix TX2 Budget TV Box Release
Hello, everyone! I’m Nick, and today I’m here to talk about the Tanix TX2, the second TV box from Tanix that I promised in my previous post. This model is built using the Allwinner chipset, and I want to give you the lowdown on what you can expect from this budget-friendly Android TV box.
Tanix TX2 Important notice
Before we dive into the details, let me set the expectations straight. The Tanix TX2 is not designed for high-performance gaming. It’s a budget-friendly Android TV box primarily meant for streaming movies and TV shows.
If you’re looking for a gaming powerhouse, this isn’t the box for you. However, I’ll thoroughly test its capabilities to see what it can do within its limitations. So, if you’re interested in streaming content at an affordable price, stick around for my full review.
Design and I/O
The contents of the Tanix TX2 package are pretty standard, and they match what I shared in my previous video. Inside the box, you’ll find the TX2 model, an infrared remote control, an HDMI cable, a 5V 2A DC power adapter, and a user manual. The design of the TX2 is minimalistic, featuring a plastic body with the Tanix logo at the top. It comes with an HDMI 2.1 port, an RJ-45 non-gigabit LAN port, a DC power input socket, an AV port, two USB 2.0 ports, and a microSD card reader.
The front has a simple LED power light, and the base has four hard plastic feet for stability and plenty of ventilation holes.
Now, let’s talk about the software and user interface. When you boot up the Tanix TX2 for the first time, you’ll go through a startup wizard before reaching the Alice UX interface. The interface is quite similar to what I showed you in my previous video, with a left main panel and a pop-out recent apps bar. It doesn’t have a navigation bar or a status bar, and attempting to install alternatives won’t work. This firmware is based on Android 12 TV OS, but it features the mobile version of the Google Play Store, so it’s not a hybrid firmware.
Tanix TX2 Malware Detection Scan
Before I go any further, I want to touch on something important. Given recent findings of malware on Android boxes, I decided to research and test various methods to scan and detect malware. After trying several applications, I settled on Bitdefender, a powerful malware scanner for both PCs and mobile devices. Bitdefender detected malware in the preinstalled TV center application, a custom version of Kodi.
I uninstalled it and replaced it with the official version from the Google Play Store, and the malware was gone. If you have expertise in detecting malware at the firmware level, please share your recommendations in the comments or contact me directly at email@example.com to help me effectively scan these boxes for malware. Your assistance is highly appreciated.
Now, let’s talk about the firmware features of the Tanix TX2. While it offers some features, it falls short compared to the model I reviewed in my previous video. Here are the key features:
- 4K 2160p@60 Hz display resolution.
- HDR display with options for HDR off, always on, and auto HDR (useful for non-HDR TVs).
- Gaming mode switch.
- Format selection for video decoders.
- Auto-frame rate switching.
- Mouse pointer cursor options.
- Audio output options.
- Audio passthrough.
- Surround sound audio options.
- Support for 54 languages.
- Screensaver and energy-saving options.
- Google Assistant feature.
However, some features are missing in this firmware, including built-in screen rotation, a root switch, hardware monitor, and HDMI CEC options.
Tanix TX2 System and Hardware
Now, let’s delve into the hardware and specifications of the Tanix TX2. This TV box is powered by the Allwinner H618 chipset and comes with 2GB of DDR3 RAM and 16GB of internal storage. Notably, it lacks Bluetooth support. The CPU is a quad-core Cortex-A53 model clocked at 1.5GHz in 32-bit mode, while the GPU is the ARM Mali G31 with OpenGL version 3.2 support. It features a single-band 2.4GHz Wi-Fi adapter but doesn’t support the 5GHz band.
The operating system is Android 12, and it comes rooted. The GPU supports Vulkan API version 1.1. The idle operating temperature is around 67°C.
When it comes to audio and video decoders, the Tanix TX2 can handle 4K video formats like H.264, HEVC, and VP9 decoding. However, it lacks support for Dolby Vision or AV1 decoders. For surround sound audio, there are no Dolby Atmos or DTS audio decoders in the list, although I will test for them later in this review.
Google Certification and DRM
One significant limitation is that the Tanix TX2 lacks the necessary components for streaming services like Netflix, Prime Video, and Disney+ in HD and 4K. It does not have Google Widevine level 1 with HDCP protection and a Netflix ESN license, which means you can only stream in 480p resolution, even if you have an HD subscription. Additionally, the firmware being rooted doesn’t provide the security you might desire. However, if you need to run apps that require root access, this box allows you to do so.
Mobile Screen Mirroring
For mobile screen mirroring, the Tanix TX2 includes a Miracast receiver application that works with Android mobile devices. It can cast your mobile device in HD quality but lacks the official Chromecast feature.
4K Video & Surround Sound Audio
Now, let’s talk about video playback. When tested with 4K HDR videos, the Tanix TX2 could only process 4K HDR10 formats. It struggled with Dolby Vision videos and had issues with certain video formats. What’s interesting is that some audio formats that failed to play when connected directly to a TV played perfectly when connected to an AV receiver. So, it’s worth noting that this box might behave differently depending on your setup.
For YouTube videos, the Android TV version of the app is limited to 1080p resolution. However, the mobile version from the Play Store can play content up to 4K 2160p, albeit without HDR support.
3D Gaming & Overheating
When it comes to gaming, the Tanix TX2 is not ideal. It struggled to render smooth graphics and experienced overheating during GPU-intensive tasks. If gaming is your primary goal, you should look elsewhere.
Tanix TX2 Benchmarks
Let’s move on to benchmarks. The Tanix TX2 sports 2GB of DDR3 RAM and 16GB of internal storage. In benchmark tests, it achieved a RAM copy speed of 2878 MB/s, with internal storage read and write speeds of 124 MB/s and 74 MB/s, respectively.
In terms of network speed, the box only supports a single-band 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi adapter and a non-gigabit Ethernet LAN port. The 2.4 GHz band delivered an average download speed of 30 Mbps, while the Ethernet LAN port averaged around 91 Mbps.
In the Geekbench 5 test, the Allwinner H618 CPU of the Tanix TX2 scored 101 in single-core and 382 in multi-core.
For 3DMark GPU benchmarking, the box only qualified for the Slingshot test and scored 414 with very low average FPS.
In the AnTuTu benchmark, the Tanix TX2 achieved a score of 53,568. These scores indicate that this TV box falls into the low-performance category.
To summarize my thoughts on the Tanix TX2, while I aim to feature the latest TV boxes available, this particular model raises questions about its relevance in 2023. Despite its affordability, the Tanix TX2 has numerous drawbacks, such as the absence of Bluetooth, dual-band 5GHz Wi-Fi, USB 3.0 ports, gigabit LAN, and other missing features. For me, it’s hard to see the value this model brings to the table.