In the era of technological advancement, watching television with the provided channels seems mundane. The inception of smart TV boxes came as a new and broader element of entertainment. Now televisions can be used for media streaming in online, working or playing games.
There are many options, both Android and Windows operating systems are available in present TV boxes. Users who want to get into the tech more and meddle with all the internal features to get an experience like using a laptop, can choose TV boxes with built in Windows. These are often costlier options but delivers better customizability.
But if the main goal is to get an inexpensive option to stream media and use apps as efficiently as a smartphone without any technical hustle, they can choose Android set top boxes like this Alfawise A8 Pro review shows.
Alfawise A8 Pro Review
The Alfawise A8 Pro is one of the forerunners in the field of inexpensive TV boxes manufactured by renowned Chinese brand Alfawise. In this sightly upgraded version of Alfawise A8, there are a lot of interesting features packed in such a small price range.
Powerful Device for Daily Usage
The A8 Pro comes with good quality internals that ensure better processing and output. It has a Rockchip RK3229 CPU with a clock speed of 1.5 GHz frequency. Containing a quad-core cortex A7 chipset, it has 2 gigs of RAM and 16 gigs of internal storage. An extra SD card of up to 32 GB can be added as additional storage.
Another 3-32 GB variant is also available at a slightly higher price. Considering a TV box, it is enough to run most of the applications smoothly. For greater visual experience, Mali-400 MP graphics processing unit is added to the device.
The 1.5 GHz clock speed is not very high for multitasking heavy applications frequently, but it’s more than enough as a TV box at this price range. There are also higher quality GPUs like snapdragon or Tegra available in the market, but the provided Mali-400 is quite enough for processing and projecting vivid videos and delivering good experience while gaming.
Latest Software for Better Experience
Alfawise A8 Pro is an android based TV box which comes with Android version 8.1 (Oreo). The latest OS is compatible in various fields, comes with a lot of customizing options for user interface, and enables user to install and run any games and applications from the Google Play Store, delivering every functionality a modern Android smartphone offers.
What’s in The Box
The packaging of the device is simple and overall small in size. It contains an Alfawise A8 Pro TV box with a power adapter. For connecting to monitors, high speed HDMI cable is provided which is relatively short. Also, an English user manual and an infrared remote control is given.
The remote control is powered with 2 AAA batteries which are not included in the package. As for the device, it uses charge adapter for power delivery, having an output of 5V 2A, which runs on relatively low consumption of power.
Simple and Small Structure
The TV box and the package itself is very small in both size and weight. The package weighs 325g in total, and just 1.7 cm thin. The TV box is only 81g in weight and has a dimension of 9.2 x 9.2 x 1.7 cm, which is just a little bigger than the size of a hand. It is made pf plastic with a chrome finish, comes in black and has a glowing infrared receiver on its head.
The design is simple, a black box containing an RJ45 HDMI port, a LAN port and 4 USB ports, an S/PDIF 3.5mm audio output and an AV input. Under the box, there are numerous holes for ventilation. The extremely small size lets the user to place it anywhere without having to worry. Although there are no hooks provided to attach it to the TV or walls.
Uninterrupted Connectivity for Better Streaming
To get a complete multimedia experience, a powerful connection to networks is essential. For this, the TV box comes with Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n standard, which is a 5G 100 Mbps connection. Needless to say, the Wi-Fi connectivity is very stable and uniform, also delivers high speed internet.
The TV box is connected to monitors or TVs via HDMI cable, which can withstand a very broad data streaming. All these ensures a flawless multimedia streaming and strong connection. Media can also be streamed from smartphones to the monitor via Wi-Fi.
Smooth and High-Quality Streaming
The set top box is able to stream videos in up to 4K x 2K resolutions at 30 frames per second. The fps is not the highest, but it can deliver extremely high-quality videos uninterrupted, thanks to the better connectivity. It also supports 3D videos.
Beside videos, the box also supplies better quality audios. It supports MP3, WMA, FLAC, AAC, OGG, RM formats of audio. For implementing these features, any of the external media players available in the Play Store can also be used. The result is a very pleasant experience of smooth and vivid multimedia streaming.
Ease of Access
The A8 Pro can be used like any other smartphones with Android OS. For better efficiency, keyboard and mouse can be connected to the 4 USB ports provided with the box. An external hard drive can also be used via USB as additional storage option.
Apart from these, there are other perks associated with accessibility. For example, switching on the PIP (picture in picture) mode gives additional menus and lets user store personal information, important web pages and other documents or files, which may come in handy while using social media, mail or official accounts. The A8 Pro can be used in a wide range of multiple languages too.
The device can literally turn any regular television to a smart TV. Moreover, it has quicker response time than other set top boxes and comes with faster data transmission. Changing from different channels is also smooth and fast. It also lets the user to record and save from real time media streaming.
Cons of Alfawise A8 Pro
Despite offering many sweet features and perks at such a low price, the A8 Pro is not flawless. The biggest problem users can face is the shortage of storage. 16 gigabytes of internal storage aren’t adequate and will extinguish pretty soon, and users have to constantly worry about cleaning up and freeing storage. Moreover, only 12 GB storage comes available and the rest are used by system.
The 2 GB memory is not great for every occasions. It is enough for a phone to run smoothly but as a TV box handling higher graphics and bigger screen, it results in poor performance in running some of the high-end apps and games. But overall for multimedia purposes it’s enough. The startup time is also very long.
The benchmarks given by external apps like AnTuTu benchmark, Ice Storm and Geekbench are very low for this TV box. These benchmarks evaluate the maximum performance given by CPU and states that the A8 Pro is not a very powerful device for hardcore usage.
The Mali-400 MP GPU falls behind in processing graphics in many occasions, and it’s not as powerful as many other GPU manufacturers out there. Moreover, the 30-fps frame rate is also inadequate compared to the 60-fps rate used nowadays for smooth experience. Basically, these specs are enough for great media experience but lags behind in high-end gaming.
From the Alfawise A8 Pro review, it is safe to state that this device would make a great deal compared to other TV boxes in the market. It has all the essential features needed, in astonishingly low range of price. Android 8.1 makes the experience more efficient.
If users can live with the minor drawbacks with this device and looking for a set top box which can deliver high resolution of video streaming with uniform connectivity and smoothness, all things considered the Alfawise A8 Pro will be a great choice at such a low price.