Exploring the Ugoos AM8: The Ultimate Android TV Box for 2023
Today, I’m excited to dive into the latest offering from Ugoos, the Ugoos AM8. This Android TV box is making waves with its powerful hardware, unique features, and groundbreaking Dolby Vision capability. Join me as we explore the Ugoos AM8 in this in-depth review.
Unboxing the Ugoos AM8
Let’s kick things off by unboxing the Ugoos AM8 and checking out what’s inside the box. Ugoos has packed quite a punch in this package:
- The Ugoos AM8 Android TV Box
- A Ugoos Bluetooth Air Mouse Voice Remote
- A high-quality HDMI cable
- A 12V 1.6A 20W DC power supply
- A braided USB Type-C to USB Type-C cable for the power supply
- Dual antennas for improved connectivity
- A user manual to guide you through setup and usage
Design and Hardware
Ugoos has stuck to its signature metal housing design for the AM8, which exudes a premium look and feel. The LED indicator at the top, centered on the Ugoos logo, adds a touch of elegance to the design.
The AM8 boasts an array of connectivity options, including a USB Type-C port for power delivery, an HDMI 2.1 port, a USB Type-C OTG port, Gigabit LAN, optical audio, and an auxiliary port. On the sides, you’ll find three USB 3.0 ports and a microSD card reader. The dual antennas are strategically placed on the opposite side for better reception.
At the front, there’s a single IR sensor for remote control, and at the base, you’ll find antiskid rubber feet, a recovery button, a mask ROM button, and ventilation holes. Ugoos has gone the extra mile by attaching a massive 3½ inch heavy-duty heatsink to the PCB, which is also connected to the metal body via a thermal pad for optimal cooling.
The Ugoos AM8 comes in a 4GB RAM and 32GB internal storage configuration, powered by a CR2032 lithium coin cell battery for onboard memory.
The Ugoos AM8 presents you with a choice of two launchers upon startup: Launcher 3 and the Ugoos Launcher. Launcher 3, designed for navigation with an air mouse remote or PC mouse, resembles a mobile phone launcher, offering long-click menu pop-ups and drag-and-drop shortcuts. It also features a navigation bar for easy access to recent apps and system controls.
Android 11 powers the AM8, and it offers a plethora of unique firmware features. Some notable ones include:
- Dolby Vision support with various HDR policy options
- Color mode settings up to YCbCR422 12bit
- Enhanced HDR to SDR feature
- Frame buffer size adjustment for sharper UI
- Display orientation options, including portrait and landscape
- Forced orientation settings
- Font size and density customization
- Auto framerate switching for synchronized audio and video
- Audio output options, including HDMI and optical audio
- HDMI CEC options
- Button manager for keymapping
- Bluetooth remote customization
- Mouse pointer options
- USB port speed control and USB file transfer feature
- Navigation bar and status bar customization
- Launcher selection and voice input customization
- UI animation speed adjustment
- Power LED behavior control
- CPU scale governor settings
- Storage options for network setup
- Root access switch via Magisk
- Miracast and Airscreen for wireless screen mirroring
- 32-bit app and game support
- Netflix limitation due to DRM restrictions
Ugoos AM8 Impressive Hardware
Now, let’s dive into the heart of the Ugoos AM8 – its hardware. Ugoos has manufactured the chipset themselves, and the model we’re exploring is the 4GB LPDDR4 RAM and 32GB internal storage variant. The AM8 supports Bluetooth 5.3 BLE low-energy technology, making it compatible with a wide range of IoT devices.
The CPU powering the AM8 is the Amlogic S928X-J, a 12nm HZA aluminum-coated processor with a unique penta-core configuration:
- Quad-core Cortex A55 clocked at 2.0 GHz
- Single-core Cortex A76 clocked at 1.8 GHz
While some enthusiasts may have hoped for a 64-bit configuration, the AM8 remains restricted to 32-bit apps and games.
The GPU component of the SOC is the ARM Mali G57, a 7nm dual-core graphics processor, ideal for gaming with support for Vulkan 1.1 and OpenGL ES 3.2.
For networking, the AM8 is equipped with the AP6276P (Wi-Fi 6) dual-band adapter, offering 2.4GHz, 5GHz, and 5.850GHz (6G) connectivity options.
Audio and Video Capabilities
The Ugoos AM8 is a powerhouse when it comes to audio and video. It can play 4K and 8K Dolby Vision videos smoothly, a feat previously limited to paid subscription services. The AM8 can process and output various surround sound audio formats, including Dolby Atmos, Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby Surround, Dolby TrueHD, DTS HD Master Audio, and DTS-X.
During testing, the AM8 effortlessly handled Dolby Vision, HDR10+, HDR HLG, AV1, and standard HDR content, providing a stunning viewing experience.
The massive heatsink on the AM8, combined with its thermal pad attachment to the metal body, ensures efficient cooling. Even on hot days, the AM8 maintains a comfortable operating temperature, rarely exceeding 65°C during gaming sessions.
Ugoos AM8 Benchmarks
In benchmark tests, the Ugoos AM8 performed admirably:
- RAM Copy Speed: 17,802 MB/s
- Internal Storage Read Speed: 203 MB/s, Write Speed: 71 MB/s
- M.2 SSD Read Speed: 23 MB/s, Write Speed: 39 MB/s
- Wi-Fi 6 and Gigabit LAN: Maxed out at 154 Mbps
- Geekbench 5 CPU Benchmark: Single-core – 418, Multi-core – 769
- Antutu Benchmark: 227,726
With these benchmark scores, the Ugoos AM8 secures a prominent position on our chart, outperforming Amlogic S922X models and even the third-generation Amazon Fire TV Cube.
Ugoos AM8 Pros and Cons
In conclusion, the Ugoos AM8 is undoubtedly the best Android TV box for 2023. With its robust hardware, unique firmware features, and groundbreaking Dolby Vision support, it sets a new standard in the industry. The only drawback is its inability to play Netflix in HD or 4K due to DRM restrictions.
If you’re looking for the ultimate Android TV box that combines performance, features, and innovation, the Ugoos AM8 is a top choice. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to own this remarkable device. Check out the link in the description to get your hands on one at a discounted