Streaming your favorite programs does not get any easier than with an Android 12 TV Box!
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An Android TV box? What Is It?
This small set-top box runs on either Google’s Android TV software or on a reskinned version of a standard Android. Android TV boxes are incredible streaming devices that are highly flexible. They let you stream content to your TV from the internet or a NAS drive. You can even playback media stored locally on the device itself.
Some of the best Android 12 TV boxes can be used as devices on which you can download the Kodi open-source software in order to gain access to music and audio streaming across a wide range of media services. A word of caution though, you might stumble across devices on sites like eBay that call themselves Android TV boxes and claim to come preloaded with subscription channels or free content. These are mostly illegal.
No need to worry, there are perfectly legal devices out there too, and the Kodi platform itself is pretty legit if you don’t use it with piracy-enabling add-ons. Use any of the VPN services when using something like an Amazon Fire TV Stick if you’re concerned about the ISP being able to see the Kodi activity. That way, the VPN will hide your traffic from your ISP and you can virtually change your location so your Kodi add-ons will work from anywhere.
Specs: Chinese-made boxes should at least bear the quad or eight-core processor, 2GB to 4GB of RAM and 16GB to 32GB or more of storage. More useful extras can include the Dual-band 2.4GHz and 5GHz Wi-Fi plus 4K support (don’t get too excited by claims of 6K or 8K support).
Software: Few Android TV 12 boxes actually run the Android TV while other simply run a version of Android that comes with the manufacturer’s TV-focused interface. Access to the Google Play store in these boxes isn’t guaranteed, they may even run preinstalled versions of Kodi and other popular video-streaming apps.
If you’re an Android TV user and want an update for your streaming device, Android 12 is finally available for developers.
However, you won’t be installing it on your existing devices any time soon because you’ll need an ADT-3 which is Google’s development box for the platform, to get it up and running.
In our opinion, streaming boxes running genuine Google Android TV are easier to use and are definitely more reliable. If you don’t like to handle the sideloaded apps or reconfiguration, get an Amazon Fire TV device or Nvidia Shield TV and you will be good to go.
The Best Android 12 TV Box For You
1. Nvidia Shield TV Pro
Running the official Google TV OS, Nvidia Shield TV gives you access to all the software on the Google Play store. Plex is preinstalled and you can still install Kodi if you want to go beyond Netflix, Amazon Prime, Player, and the other usual suspects. And while the 16GB of onboard storage space is limiting, you can always upgrade it using a USB 3.0 external drive.
The new Shield TV Pro almost makes it look weedy. With the new Tegra X1+ processor onboard it’s 25% faster, while it boasts new AI-enhanced 4K upscaling that actually works, improving both the clarity of HD pictures and the vibrancy of colors for a 4K screen. Stream games direct from Nvidia’s GeForce Now service and play through your PC games library on your TV.
Operating system: Android TV on Android 9.0 Pie
2. Amazon Fire TV Stick
The entry-level Fire TV stick comes with just 1GB of RAM, a quad-core CPU, and 8GB of storage. It can feel underpowered but the updated remote with a Channel Guide button and four app buttons instantly take you to apps such as Amazon Prime or Netflix.
Underneath the Amazon Fire TV‘s custom interface there is Google’s operating system along with the streaming applications such as Plex on Amazon’s app store.
Operating system: Fire OS 220.127.116.11
3. Easytone T95 Super
It’s a reasonably speedy, stable, and easy-to-use box with 2GB of RAM and 16GB of flash storage specifications. As with all these cheap Android TV products, you’ll need to sideload apps and may want to install your own version of Kodi but, with a few tweaks, this is an inexpensive way to get it up and running.
Operating system: Android 10.0
4. Xiaomi Mi Box S
The Mi Box S has built-in Chromecast functions, so you can cast web pages and apps direct from your tablet or smartphone, although you’ll have to check that the box and your screen are on before you start as it won’t turn on your TV.
What’s more, it’ll play 4K material from supporting apps. It runs the Google version of Android TV, meaning you get an interface designed from the ground up for use with remote control, plus a good range of apps from the Google Play store.
Operating system: Android TV 8.1
5. Dynalink Android TV Box
Do you want a lot of the premium features that come with the more expensive boxes? Dynalink is an affordable box that offers a lot of things that other streaming devices at its price point are missing. Specifically, it lets you watch the main streaming services in 4K, and you get voice control with Google voice command and Google assistant functionality as well.
It is pretty limited on storage and it doesn’t have any USB drives or an SD card storage expansion. This means that the box will stream content well, which is what it is designed to do, but it is limited if you want to use it as the central node in your smart home media library.
Operating system: Android 10
6. QPLOVE Android TV Box
Customize to your will with this Android TV Box! You get an awfully large amount of power and space for less than $70 with a decent chipset and 4GB of RAM. It also has 128GB of ROM as well as options for expanding storage, so you have space for your own media if you prefer to download rather than stream.
It is ideal for next-level streamers who want to set up their own media centers suitable for Kodi, torrenting, gaming, and more.
Operating system: Android 10
7. Magicsee Android 9.0 N5 Man TV Box
With Magicsee, you get a decent CPU running on Android 9.0 and capable of delivering 4K at 60 frames per second; however, it is not authorized to unlock Netflix in 4K so you will have to settle for Dolby Vision HD.
With an impressive 32 GB of ROM and much of the latest tech, including USB 3.0 and dual Wi-Fi, this is an ideal investment to make!
Operating system: Android 9.0
8. Transpeed Android 11.0 TV Box
There are a few boxes out there that are already using 11, though, and this option from Transpeed is one of them. Available for less than $70, it has a powerful quad-core CPU, 4 GB of RAM and 32 GB of ROM, USB 3.0, Dual Wi-Fi, and all the latest decoding software.
To make up for the lack of other services, it comes with a mini-keyboard which is incredibly useful when it comes to complicated search terms.
Operating system: Android 11.0