Home > AMLogic AML8726, Android, Hardware > Droid Stick A2 mini-PC Unboxing

Droid Stick A2 mini-PC Unboxing

Droid Stick A2 is an HDMI TV Stick based on AMLogic AML8726-MX dual core Cortex A9 processor, and together with HI-802 (aka GK802) mini-PC based on Freescale i.MX6Q, is the most likely platform to get proper Linux support, as AMLogic AML8726-MX source code is somewhat open, and video playback in Linux is supported in the older AML8726-M1 processor (Cf. XBMC Linux in Pivos STB).

Kimdecent sent me a sample for evaluation, but as the Android firmware is not really ready for prime-time at this time, I’ll just show some pictures of the device, as well as the user interface, and will review the device once a firmware update is available.

Since this is still a sample, I received the device in a white box with the Droid Stick A2, a mini USB to USB cable, a small 5.2V/1A power supply and a plug adapter.

Droid Stick A2 and Accessories

There are plenty of ventilation hole for cooling the device, and this is the first mini-PC I’ve seen that has been designed to be easily attached to a keyring.

Droid Stick A2 has a male HDMI connector, an “Update” button, an IR jack, a 5+V mini USB OTG port, a USB 2.0 Host port and a microSD card socket.

There’s not much we can see from the PCB, as a heatsink almost completely covers the top of the board.

Top of Droid Stick A2 Board – Click to Enlarge

The microSD socket, flash and RAM are soldered at the bottom of the board.

Bottom of Droid Stick A2 Board – Click to Enlarge

Beside the heatsink, they also added 2 heat conductive rubber pads, so it looks like a lot of efforts were put into cooling the device.

Time to put this all back together, insert the mini-PC into the HDMI socket of my TV and connect the power supply. I’ve also tried to power the device with the TV USB port, and the boot will start, but like most other devices (excluding Telechips TCC8925 based devices such as CX-01) the boot won’t complete, so the external power supply is really needed.

Droid Stick A2 User Interface

This HDMI TV stick features a proper media player interface adapted to TV usage with access to music, videos, the picture gallery, a file manager, the stock browser, Android settings and Android apps. The interface is better suited for a remote control than a mouse, and you can’t add shortcuts, so you have to click on the Android doll each time you want to launch an app. The “About MediaBox” menu indicates the model number is MBX Dongle board (g02refDongle), and the current firmware runs Android 4.1.2 with Kernel 3.0.8.

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  1. December 7th, 2012 at 11:46 | #1

    Wow the interface is such a terrible idea. I thought imitations of physical desktop/rooms went out of fashion in 1995
    https://encrypted.google.com/search?q=Microsoft+Bob&hl=en&tbo=d&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ei=rHLBUPuXDceBhQf_hIHIDg&ved=0CAcQ_AUoAA&biw=1280&bih=927

    Indeed the authors seem to be such devote microsoft fans, that it even uses the copyrighted/trademarked IE logo. Legal issues aside, I’d say for many this would be a turn-off, “this one runs Internet Explorer? eww, not buying”.

  2. mj
    December 7th, 2012 at 15:00 | #2

    @rm The main market is China where IE is still quite used: still 21% of IE6 http://www.ie6countdown.com/

    Secondly, what’s the easiest way to represent Internet with a Logo ?

  3. Gabe
    December 7th, 2012 at 15:53 | #3

    Is the software not stable or why isn’t it ready? What is that icon with an exclamation mark to the left of the clock?

  4. December 7th, 2012 at 16:25 | #4

    @Gabe
    I haven’t used it much, but I can’t save anything to internal flash or the microSD card, even though the latter is recognized. There’s no Google Play in the current firmware, but only a Chinese app market.

    The exclamation mark is because I tried to do a screenshot, but it failed to save it.

  5. Gavin
    December 8th, 2012 at 07:33 | #5

    Only 1 amp, are you sure? I’ve only seen 5V/2A for these mini PCs.

  6. December 8th, 2012 at 09:03 | #6

    @Gavin
    The power supply takes in 100~240V and outputs 5.2V/1A, or at least it’s what’s written on it…

  7. Gabe
    December 12th, 2012 at 02:17 | #7

    Do you know what WIFI chipset does it have? Where is the antenna located( I can’t see it in the pictures)? How fast is the WIFI download speed(if you managed to run a download test)?

  8. December 12th, 2012 at 20:26 | #8

    @Gabe
    Since I cannot save anywhere I did not try to download. I could not see any antenna either. I’ll try to find a way to check the WiFi chipset tomorrow. If I forget just remind me again.

  9. December 13th, 2012 at 21:33 | #9

    @Gabe
    I can’t connect to adb since my computer does not provide enough power via USB to start the device, even when I use a 2 USB to 1 microUSB cable…

    My the WiFi analyser indicate a signal strength of -60dBm which is weaker than the signal strength I had with CX-01 at the same location, so Wi-Fi does not seem very good for now.

  10. Gabe
    December 14th, 2012 at 14:36 | #10

    @cnxsoft
    Here is an another Amlogic-MX board, I think it has a chip antenna(the component circled with red, see picture below):
    http://i50.tinypic.com/ngofg1.gif

  11. December 14th, 2012 at 15:01 | #11

    @Gabe
    Thanks I did not know this type of component existed.
    Datasheet for one chip antenna – http://www.pulseelectronics.com/download/2964/w3008_w3008cpdf

  1. December 14th, 2012 at 23:16 | #1
  2. January 29th, 2013 at 21:55 | #2