Posts Tagged ‘Android’

Bmorn W4301 is a $34 Android Smartphone Powered by Intel Atom x3-C2101 Processor

November 30th, 2015 No comments

Intel unveils their plans for Atom X3, X5 and X7 processors last year, but so far we’ve mostly seen devices with Atom X5 processors.  The lowest end Intel Atom processor, namely X3-C2101 “Sofia” dual core processor, with an ARM Mali-400MP GPU and 3G connectivity did find its way into Teclast X70 3G tablet that is now selling for $64 and up retail (but there’s a deal on Geekbuying for $45.99), and a company called Bmorn is about to launch their W4301 smartphone based on Intel/Rockchip X3-C2101 SoC for just $34 ( factory price in quantities), but I think the retail price should be around $60 including shipping.

Bmorn_W4301Bmorn W4301 preliminary specifications:

  • SoC – Intel Atom x3-C3130 dual x86 core processor @ up to 1GHz with Mali-400MP2 GPU @ 533 MHz
  • System Memory – 512MB or 1GB LPDDR2
  • Storage – 4 or 8 GB eMMC
  • Display – 4″ touchscreen with 800×600 resolution
  • Connectivity – WiFi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0, GPS
  • Cellular Connectivity – 3G (WCDMA)
  • Camera – 2MP rear camera, 0.3MP front-facing camera
  • Battery – TBD – 4 hours talk-time
  • Dimensions & Weight – N/A

The phone runs Android 4.4, but I understand Android 5.1 Lollipop will be used once the phone ships. There’s little information about the phone right now, but you can still go to Bmorn W4301 product page, and/or watch Charbax video below about this phone, and other products from Bmorn.

If the SoC can be had for such a low price, it could be suitable for a 3G IoT board too.

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K1 Plus Amlogic S905 TV Box Review

November 28th, 2015 14 comments

Videostrong KI Plus is one of the first Amlogic S905 TV boxes to be launched on the market, and it also happens to be one of cheapest model selling for around $45 on various sites, and it’s even available for $39.99 on GearBest for Black Friday / Cyber Monday. I’ve posted the specifications and pictures of the device previously, and after updating the firmware, I’ve finally completed the review.

First Boot, Settings and First Impressions

As usual, I’ve connected a whole bunch of cables and peripherals to the device to make the power supply can handle it, including a USB hard drive, a USB webcam, a USB keyboard, a USB hub with two RF dongles for Tronsmart Mars G01 gamepad and MeLE F10 Deluxe air mouse, as well as a HDMI, optical audio and Ethernet cables, and a speaker connected to the 3.5mm AV jack and powered by one of the USB port of the device. Turn on the power, and the device will boot automatically (no need to press the power button), with a typical boot taking around 48 seconds.

Click for Original Size

Click for Original Size

The launcher is quite basic, which can be advantage for a TV interface, with the time, a list of customizable shortcuts which including IPFox and Private Live TV by default, and 5 icons on the bottom for Kodi 15.2, Explorer file manager, the list of apps, settings, and a web browser. There are also some icon on the bottom right for networking and storage. IPFox asks you to scan a QR code to buy something, and Private Live TV will download an IPTV plugin and work out of the box with various TV channels including Sky Sports F1…

Click for Original Size

Click for Original Size

I quickly tried one of the streams and it worked OK.

The settings’ user interface is basically the same as found as on Android 5.1 Amlogic S812 TV boxes such as WeTek Core, minus some features like automatic frame rate switching.

Click to Enlarge

Click to Enlarge

The most interesting settings include:

  • Network – WiFi, Ethernet, and VPN configuration
  • Display
    • Screen resolution: Auto, 480p-60Hz, 576p-50Hz, 720p 50/60Hz, 1080i 50/60Hz, 1080p 24/50/60Hz, 4K2K 24/25/30/50/60Hz or SMPTE
    • Screen position
    • Screen rotation (middle port, force land, original)
  • Sound – System sound (On/Off), and Digital sounds (Auto detection, PCM, HDMI or SPDIF)
  • Preferences – HDMI CEC (But not working: “This remote device does not support CEC”), and Play back settings with “HDMI self-adaption” On/Off. I don’t really understand what that means…

I had no problem to connect to my WiFi router, and setting video to 4k2k 60Hz also worked perfectly via Onkyo TX-NR636 AV receiver or LG UHD TV. However, the box did not always keep my video output settings, often falling back to 1080p50. I only tested the AV port by connecting it to my speakers, and it worked fine with both HDMI audio and stereo audio outputted at the same time.

About_Mediabox_K1_PlusYou can get to Lollipop Android settings by selecting More Settings. Bluetooth is not built-in into the device, and is completely missing from the settings, so even if you decided to connect a Bluetooth USB dongle it would not work. All other usual settings appear to be here including Printing, Language & input, accessibility and so on. A single 4.66GB partition is used for both app and data with around 4.21GB free space.

The “About Mediabox” section reports KI Plus model running Android 5.1.1 on top of Linux kernel 3.14.29. There’s also a link to the Update&Backup app in this section, but OTA firmware update is not enabled. The sample was sent to my by a manufacturer (Videostrong), and they probably rely on their customers to handle this. This firmware is not rooted by default.

The IR remote control work pretty well, and I could use it reliably as far as 10 meters. The IR learning function is also doing its job and I could program with TV’s remote control Volume, power, and TV input keys. I have no used the remote that much since I prefer using MeLE F10 Deluxe remote control in Android that’s much more user friendly that IR remotes. Since the status and notification bars are missing, I had to use the Home key on the IR remote during testing…

Google Play Store did not work well at all the first time, with most application being incompatible with this device. That’s why I delayed the review, and after installing a new firmware, everything works pretty well. Applications that require telephony, Bluetooth, and GPS can’t be installed, but that’s fine, as well as the ones which can’t be installed where I live (country limitations). Finally I installed Amazon Underground to load and play Riptide GP2 3D racing game.

Power handling has been implemented correctly as I could cleanly power off the device with either the power button on the unit and the remote control. The remote control can also be used to power on the device. There’s no standby mode, so the device will fully boot each time you turn it on.

For those interested in power consumption, I’ve done some measurements both without USB devices, and one USB hard drive in two modes:

  • Power off – 1.3 Watt
  • Idle – 3.2 ~ 3.4 Watts
  • Power off + HDD – 1.3 Watt
  • Idle + HDD – 6.1 ~ 7.4 Watts

There’s still some residual power used in power off mode, but at least the USB ports are turned off.

Temperature is under control most of the time, except possibly when playing games. I measured 42°C and 53°C on the top and bottom of the enclosure after running Antutu 5.7, but after playing Riptide GP2 for about 15 minutes the temperature went up to 50°C and 62°C, and I noticed a lower frame rate in the game.

After updating the firmware, the first impressions were quite good, as despite its low cost, the system was responsive, and stable, which everything from networking to video output working fine, except for video output changing randomly? after a power on.

Video Playback on KI Plus

I usually playing videos from a network share over Ethernet and using whatever Kodi version is pre-installed on the device. So far none of manufacturers have used Kodi from Google Play, and Videostrong is no exception. So I have some Kodi 15.2 app in the device with various add-ons.


For some reasons, the resolution is shown as 1280×720 @ 60Hz in the System information when the video output is set to 4k2k-60Hz, and despite the framebuffer being set to 1920×1080 as we’ve seen with some of the screenshots above.

Kodi_1280x720But when I went ahead with testing videos samples found on linaro website, I realized something was clearly wrong:

  • H.264 codec / MP4 container (Big Buck Bunny) – 480p/720p/1080p – Letterboxed
  • MPEG2 codec / MPG container –  1080p – Letterboxed
  • MPEG4 codec, AVI container 1080p – Letterboxed
  • VC1 codec (WMV) – 1080p – Letterboxed
  • Real Media (RMVB), 720p / 5Mbps – OK
  • WebM / VP8 – OK
  • H.265 codec / MPEG TS container (1080p) – Letterboxed
  • WebM / VP9 (no audio in video) – OK

So while all videos could play, most of them would be letterboxed.

So with this bug in mind, and my contacts telling me either Amlogic had not spent much resources on Kodi this time, or that many patchsets were still submitted to Kodi to fix Amlogic S905 support, I decided to give up on Kodi on this device, and instead do all my testing with Video Player app in Android. That means you’ll either need to wait for Kodi 16, or go with the daily builds.

Later, I still decided to give Kodi a try with the “reliability” test, playing a 2-hour 1080p movie… and I worked just fine, with a some 3800 skipped frame reported by Kodi’s log overlay maybe because the mismatch between video output and video frame rate. So I was confused, until I saw the video output bug kicked in to force video out to 1080p50, and the System info reported 1920×1080 @ 50Hz…

Amlogic_S905_1080p_kodiSo that means Kodi 15.2 pre-loaded in the box works at 1080p resolution, but has a bug at 4K. VideoStrong should provide a 4K TV to their developers…

I did not re-test the videos at 1080p in Kodi 15.2, as I’m expecting 2 to 3 more Amlogic S905 TV boxes, and I’ll ahve plenty of opportunities to test Kodi on Amlogic S905, so instead I’ll report results in Video Player, using Ethernet, unless otherwise stated.

Linaro samples, plus Elecard H.265, and a low res VP9 video:

  • H.264 codec / MP4 container (Big Buck Bunny) – 1080p – OK
  • MPEG2 codec / MPG container –  1080p – OK
  • MPEG4 codec, AVI container 1080p – OK
  • VC1 codec (WMV) – 1080p – OK
  • Real Media (RMVB), 720p / 5Mbps – OK
  • WebM / VP8 – OK
  • H.265 codec / MPEG TS container (1080p) – OK
  • WebM / VP9 (no audio in video) – OK

I started to see some issues, when I switched to some higher bitrate videos :

  • ED_HD.avi – Blackscreen
  • big_buck_bunny_1080p_surround.avi (1080p H.264 – 12 Mbps) – Video OK, but no audio
  • h264_1080p_hp_4.1_40mbps_birds.mkv (40 Mbps) – OK
  • hddvd_demo_17.5Mbps_1080p_VC1.mkv (17.5Mbps) – Could be smoother, and no audio
  • Jellyfish-120-Mbps.mkv (120 Mbps video without audio) – Not very smooth (played from USB hard drive, as Fast Ethernet could not handle this file).

The audio issues are probably due of the lack of DTS and Dolby licenses, and I could confirm it in the audio test below.

Video PCM Output HDMI Pass-through S/PDIF Pass-through
AC3 / Dolby Digital 5.1 No audio OK (Dolby D 5.1) OK (Dolby D 5.1)
E-AC-3 / Dolby Digital+ 5.1 No audio OK (Dolby D 5.1) OK (Dolby D 5.1)
Dolby Digital+ 7.1 No audio No audio Audio Formats Not Supported over S/PDIF
TrueHD 5.1 No audio OK (TrueHD 5.1)
TrueHD 7.1 No audio  OK (TrueHD 7.1)
Dolby Atmos 7.1 No audio Continuous beep and Dolby D 5.1 shows in AVR
DTS HD Master No audio DTS 5.1 only DTS 5.1
DTS HD High Resolution No audio DTS 5.1 only DTS 5.1

So if you don’t have AV receiver you are out of luck to get any audio, unless you use Kodi, which may not work that well right now, or some other app that also decoded DTS and Dolby by software.

One of the main selling point of Amlogic S905 SoC is support for 4K video including 10-bit HEVC, and it’s doing a pretty good job, as long as you play from a USB hard drive:

  • HD.Club-4K-Chimei-inn-60mbps.mp4 – OK from USB HDD, but buffering a lot from network.
  • sintel-2010-4k.mkv – OK, but no audio.
  • Beauty_3840x2160_120fps_420_8bit_HEVC_MP4.mp4 (H.265) –  OK
  • Bosphorus_3840x2160_120fps_420_8bit_HEVC_MP4.mp4 (H.265) – OK
  • Jockey_3840x2160_120fps_420_8bit_HEVC_TS.ts (H.265) – OK from USB HDD, but buffering often from network
  • MHD_2013_2160p_ShowReel_R_9000f_24fps_RMN_QP23_10b.mkv (10-bit HEVC) – OK
  • phfx_4KHD_VP9TestFootage.webm (VP9) – 3 to 4 fps
  • BT.2020.20140602.ts (Rec.2020 compliant video) – OK from USB HDD (first time ever!), but buffering from network, or even stopping in some instances.
  • big_buck_bunny_4k_H264_30fps.mp4 – OK
  • big_buck_bunny_4k_H264_60fps.mp4 – Audio/video synchronization issues, and the video could be a little smoother
  • Fifa_WorldCup2014_Uruguay-Colombia_4K-x265.mp4 (4K, H.265, 60 fps) – Excellent video decoding, but no audio…
  • Samsung_UHD_Dubai_10-bit_HEVC_51.4Mbps.ts (10-bit HEVC / MPEG-4 AAC) – Perfect from HHD, but buffering a lot from SAMBA share.
  • Astra-11479_V_22000-Canal+ UHD Demo 42.6 Mbps bitrate.ts (10-bit H.265 from DVB-S2 stream) – Most of the time OK, but it will freeze and the same exact point every time for several seconds. (tested on USB drive only)

You can watch a demo with most of these files via the post entitled “H.264 & H.265 4K Video Playback on Amlogic S905 Android TV Box“. While VP9 and H.264 @ 60 fps are not supported by current revision of S905 processor, I understand a new revision of the silicon should support VP9.

Video Player reports “can’t play this video” when I try to play Blu-ray ISO files such as Sintel-Bluray.iso and amay.iso, so I think it’s just not supported by the app. 1080i MPEG2 video samples (GridHD.mpg & Pastel1080i25HD.mpg) played OK, but Hi10p had the same artifacts issues as on Kodi on Amlogic S812, and lacked the subtitles.

I’ve played some stereoscopic 3D videos to see if the system could decode them (my TV does not support 3D):

  • bbb_sunflower_1080p_60fps_stereo_abl.mp4 (1080p Over/Under) – OK
  • bbb_sunflower_2160p_60fps_stereo_abl.mp4 (2160p Over/Under) – Audio only (Would require a dual 4K decoder)
  • Turbo_Film-DreamWorks_trailer_VO_3D.mp4 (1080p SBS) – OK

Lack of DTS/Dolby support was the main issue when I played several H.264, DViX/XVid, VOB, MKV, and MP4 movies, as many did not play audio at all, and Video Player app can not handle FLV videos, nor IFO files (although VOB is OK).

I installed Antutu Video Tester 3.0 manually, and the score (906 point) is pretty good, although not quite as high as on Amlogic S812 devices (1,000+ points).

Click to Enlarge

Click to Enlarge

If you are using premium video streaming applications such as Netflix, it might be important to check whether the level of DRM support, or whether any DRM is actually installed. This could easily be checked thanks to DRM Info app.

DRM_info_K1_PlusAnd sadly, even the basic Widewine security Level 3 is not installed. As a reminder, Widewine Level 1 is required for HD and UHD video playback.

Visit “Where to get video, audio and images samples” post and comments section for links to video samples.

Network Performance (Wi-Fi and Ethernet)

A 278MB file is transferred between a SAMBA share and the internal storage three times using ES File Explorer in order to test WiFi and Fast Ethernet performance. But during the first test,  I only did it twice because the transfer rate was stable but stuck at 130 KB/s during the whole transfer, and it took over 30 minutes for each transfer. Clearly the worst result ever, and at the time my phone could transfer the same file at over 2MB/s. But I tried again, before publishing the results, and the results are much better @ 3.45 MB/s , but I can’t explain what happened…

Performance in MB/s (Click to Enlarge)

Throughput in MB/s (Click to Enlarge)

Amlogic S905 SoC can support Gigabit Ethernet, but K1 Plus is only fitted with Fast Ethernet components, and file transfer performance is under average at about 6MB/s (48 Mbps).

Performance in MB/s

Throughput in MB/s

It looks better while using iperf with “-t 60 -c -d” to test dual duplex transfer for 60 seconds, with a very good Fast Ethernet performance.

Throughput in Mbps

Throughput in Mbps

iperf output:

Miscellaneous Tests


Bluetooth is not support by KI Plus.


FAT32 (micro SD card), NTFS, & exFAT (USB hard drive) partitions could all be mounted, but the same bug as on Amlogic S812’s Android 5.1 firmware meant the free space was wrongly reported as 10MB, making the NTFS and exFAT partition basically read-only.

File System Read Write
NTFS OK Not really (10 MB free space)
EXT-4 Not mounted Not mounted
exFAT OK Not really (10 MB free space)
BTRFS Not mounted Not mounted

I had to skip USB storage benchmarks, but I could still check out the internal storage with A1 SD bench app, which reported 22.71MB/s read speed and 8.67 MB/s write speed.

Read and Write Speeds in MB/s (Click to Enlarge)

Read and Write Speeds in MB/s (Click to Enlarge)

Clearly not the best performance, but it was to be expected for a $40 products, and I have not found it to affect the performance of the device much.


I have never seen Candy Crush Saga on device expect when using SoC with Mali-400 GPU, and it played without issue on K1 Plus ising an air mouse. Beach Buggy Racing felt a little sluggish, and once I boosted the graphics settings to “high resolution” it started to become choppy, and at time the game seems to be slow to respond to gamepad inputs. Riptide GP2 was about the same story, but it started pretty well, then set the graphics setting to high resolution, and the game was quite not as smooth, and the game even exited/crashed once. Furthermote, I noticed the frame rate to get worse, the more I played, so the GPU must be throttling when the SoC gets hot, leading to performance degradations. So Amlogic S905 does not seem the best platform for gaming, and better stick with the more powerful Amlogic S812 or Rockchip RK3288 SoCs.

K1 Plus Benchmarks

Before running any benchmarks, let’s see what CPU-Z detects…

Click to Enlarge

Click to Enlarge

The app does not know Amlogic S905 processor, but it probably detects an ARM Cortex A53 quad core processor clocked between 100 MHz and 2.02 GHz, coupled with an ARM Mali-450MP GPU. The model is called KI Plus (p20x), the board p20x, the UI resolution is set to 1920×1080, there’s 807MB total RAM in the system, and 4.66GB internal storage. It’s running an aarch64 Linux kernel version 3.14.29 as reported previously.

I had already run Antutu 5.7.3 to compare Amlogic S905 and Rockchip RK3368 performance, but following the firmware update, I ran it again, and it yielded a marginally higher score of 29,167 points.

Please also find Vellamo 3.0 and 3DMark Ice Storm Extreme results below for reference.


Click to Enlarge

Click to Enlarge


It’s quite amazing that you can now get an Android TV box with 4K video playback and HDMI 2.0 support for about $40. However, there’s still work to be done, as while their a good based with a reasonably good user interface, and surprisingly smooth video playback at 2160p resolution using Video Player app, the pre-installed Kodi 15.2 version was unusable at 4K resolution with most videos letterboxed, DTS and Dolby licenses are missing, there’s no DRM installed at all, and various other bugs need to be fixed.


  • Recent Android 5.1 OS firmware that is both responsive and stable
  • Video Output – HDMI 2.0 up to 2160p 60Hz; 24/25/30/50/60 Hz refresh rates supported; AV port (tested with speakers)
  • Impressive 4K H.265 (10-bit) and H.264 video playback in Video Player app
  • Dolby 5.1, DTS and TrueHD audio pass-through is working.
  • Proper power handling
  • IR remote support IR learning function, and has a good range (>10 meters)
  • 4x USB ports
  • Very good value for money (once issues can be resolved)


  • Pre-installed Kodi 15.2 version does not work well for 2160p video output is selected (1080p output looks better); automatic frame rate switching is not working either.
  • HDMI – Dolby Digital 7.1+, DTS HD and Atmos pass-through not working; CEC not working; Video output resolution set in settings is not always used at next power on.
  • Missing DTS and Dolby support for PCM output
  • No DRM installed, even Widewine Level 3 required for SD playback on relevant apps.
  • WiFi performance may be erratic (TBC), very good sometimes, and near stall speed at others.
  • 3D games such as Beach Buggy Racing and Riptide GP2 are not playing very smoothly, and performance may degrade with play time (and higher heat).
  • No option to show status and notification bars, no Download icon in app list.
  • Lacks Bluetooth support
  • USB hard drive partitions (NTFS / exFAT) reported as having 10MB free only, basically rendering the partitions read-only.

There are also IPTV apps that depending on your point of view can be PROS or CONS, and OTA firmware update is missing, but this may be due to Videostrong being a manufacturer, and not a brand, so they rely on their customer to handle firmware updates with their own servers and branding.

Videostrong was kind enough to send this first Amlogic S905 box sample for review, and if you are a distributor or resellers, you could contact the company via their Alibaba product page. Individual can purchase K1 Plus (aka Ki Plus) on retail sites starting at $39.99 including shipping on GearBest, GeekBuying, eBay, Amazon US, Aliexpress and others.

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H.264 & H.265 4K Video Playback on Amlogic S905 Android TV Box

November 27th, 2015 12 comments

I’ve almost completed my review of Videostrong K1 Plus Android box powered by Amlogic S905, and while there are many shortcomings, 4K video playback is actually pretty good with Android’s Video Player (Kodi is not really usable @ 4K).


4K 10-bit HEVC Video Played in Android Video Player

I connected the device to LG 42UB820T 4K UHD TV, and set video output to 2160p @ 60Hz, and went through several video samples:

  • Beauty_3840x2160_120fps_420_8bit_HEVC_MP4.mp4 (H.265 @ 30 fps – No audio) – OK
  • big_buck_bunny_4k_H264_30fps.mp4 (H.264 @ 30 fps – MPEG1/2 and AC3 audio) – OK
  • big_buck_bunny_4k_H264_60fps.mp4 (H.264 @ 60 fps – MPEG1/2 and AC3 audio) – Video looks somewhat OK, but big audio delay or AV sync issue.
  • BT.2020.20140602.ts (H.265 Rec.2020 compliant – AAC audio) – OK (First time I can play this video on any hardware).
  • Fifa_WorldCup2014_Uruguay-Colombia_4K-x265.mp4 (H.265 @ 60 fps – AC3) – Video is very good, but no audio
  • MHD_2013_2160p_ShowReel_R_9000f_24fps_RMN_QP23_10b.mkv (10-bit HEVC @ 24 fps – no audio) – OK
  • phfx_4KHD_VP9TestFootage.webm (VP9) – 3 to 4 fps (software decode)
  • Samsung_UHD_Dubai_10-bit_HEVC_51.4Mbps.ts (10-bit HEVC / MPEG-4 AAC) – Perfect!
  • Sintel.2010.4k.mkv (H.264 @ 24 fps – AC3) – Video OK but no audio
  • Astra-11479_V_22000-Canal+ UHD Demo 42.6 Mbps bitrate.ts (10-bit H.265 from DVB-S2 stream) – Most of the time OK, but it will freeze and the same exact point every time for several seconds.

You can watch the tests in the video below.

I have to say I’m pretty pleased with 4K support on Amlogic S905 so far. 4K H.264 @ 60 fps and VP9 are simply not supported by the VPU in Amlogic S905 SoC, and the only problem I’ve seen with regards to video was with the DVB-S2 stream bug, which could be software or hardware, with the latter requiring a new silicon revision. Only time will tell. That’s not to say there’s still some work to be done, as DTS and Dolby are not supported in the device I tried, and if you are interested in Kodi, you’ll need to be a little more patient.

You can find links to the videos in the comment section of this list of video samples.

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MINIX NEO U1 Android Media Hub Combines Amlogic S905 Processor with 2GB RAM, 802.11ac WiFi

November 27th, 2015 7 comments

MINIX has posted several graphics on their Facebook page about a new NEO U1 media hub in the last few days. The company will launch the new model which include 2GB RAM, and 802.11ac WiFi next Friday (December 4, 2015) for $129.90 on their Amazon store, and other official resellers.

Minix_Neo_U1MINIX NEO U1 specifications:

  • SoC –  Amlogic S905 quad core ARM Cortex-A53 @ up to 2.0GHz with penta-core Mali-450MP GPU @ 750 MHz
  • System Memory – 2GB DDR3
  • Storage – 16GB eMMC 5.0 flash + micro SD card slot
  • Video Output – HDMI 2.0 up to 4K @ 60 Hz with HDMI CEC support
  • Audio – HDMI, optical S/PDIF, and 3.5mm headphone and microphone jacks
  • Connectivity – Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11 b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi (2×2 MIMO) and Bluetooth 4.1
  • USB – 3x USB 2.0 host ports, 1x micro USB OTG port
  • Misc – Power button, IR receiver, Kensington lock ready
  • Power Supply –  5V/3A
  • Dimensions & Weight – N/A


The device will run Android 5.1 as on other Amlogic S905 TV boxes, but likely with the usual MINIX user interface. It’ one of the Amlogic S905 TV box with the highest specifications on the market, and similar to Ugoos AM1, but with Bluetooth 4.1 support, an extra USB OTG port, and a Kensington lock.


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Graperain Introduces G8916 Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 SoM and LTE Mobile Development Board

November 27th, 2015 No comments

Qualcomm applications processors used to be found mostly in consumer devices like smartphones and tablets, but recently the company has expended their use to the embedded space, and for example, we’ve seen Snapdragon 410 64-bit ARM processor used in DragonBoard 410c board, Intrinsyc Open-Q 410 SoM, Inforce 6309 SBC, and today I’m going to have a look at Graperain G8916 system-on-module that’s also integrated into a 4G/LTE mobile development platform.


G6916 CPU module specifications:

  • SoC – Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 (MSM8916) quad core Cortex A53 processor @up to 1.4GHz with Adreno 306 GPU
  • System Memory – 1GB DDR3 (2GB optional)
  • Storage – 8GB eMMC 4.5 flash (16 and 32GB optional) + micro SD support up to 128GB via I/Os
  • Connectivity – 802.11 b/g/n WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0 LE, FM, NFC/RFID, GPS/GLONASS with 4x on-module antenna connectors.
  • Cellular Connectivity
    • TD-LTE – B38/B39/B40/B41; FDD-LTE – B1/B2/B5/B/B26
    • TD-SCDMA -B34/B39
    • GSM – 850/900/1800/1900
    • CDMA – 1x/EVDO BC0
  • Audio – Unnamed Audio codec with signals for two microphones, headset and speakers
  • Other I/O via half through holes around the module:
    • 4x I2C, 1x PWM, 2x ADC
    • 2x SIM card
    • 1x SD card
    • 1x USB OTG, 2x USB host
    • 20x GPIO
    • Camera – MIPI-CSI up to 12MP rear camera, and 5MP front-facing camera.
    • LCD interface up to 1920×1800
  • Power Supply – N/A
  • Dimensions – 56.5 x 40.5 mm
Snapdragon 410 SoM Block Diagram (Click to Enlarge)

Snapdragon 410 SoM Block Diagram (Best Resolution I could get from them).

The hardware specifications should be for reference only, as the company has very poor documentation about their module, and exact details, e.g. LTE frequency bands, differ from document to documents. There’s absolutely zero information about software support, so I had to ask again, and they support Android 4.4, and no other operating systems for now.

The company also has a mobile development platform (M9) using the module.Graperain_Snapdragon_410_Mobile_Development_Platform

Snapdragon_410_som_development_board No details technical could be provided in time for this article however.

G8916 module sample price is $115, and less in quantities. More details, but not that many, might be found on Graperain G8916 SoM page.

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Xiaomi MiPad 2 Tablet Runs Android or Windows 10 on Intel Atom x5-Z8500 Processor for $156 and Up

November 26th, 2015 2 comments

Xiaomi launched their first MiPad tablet last year with an Nvidia Tegra K1 processor and running Android, and the company recently introduced an update with MiPad 2, with similar features to the original one, but replacing the ARM processor by an Intel Atom x5-Z8500 quad core “Cherry Trail” processor supporting both Android and Windows.

Xiaomi_MiPad_2Gizmo China made a comparison table between the two model’s specifications which I reproduced and edited below.

Model Mi Pad Mi Pad 2
Processor Nividia Tegra K1 quad core Cortex A15 @ 2.2 GHz Intel Atom X5-Z8500 quad core x86 up to 2.24GHz
Internal Storage 16 GB/32 GB + micro SD slot 16 GB/64 GB, no micro SD slot
Display 7.9″ (2048 x 1536 pixels)
Connectivity 802.11ac 2×2 Wi-Fi + Bluetooth 4.0 802.11ac 2×2 Wi-Fi + Bluetooth 4.1
USB micro USB USB type-C
Camera 8 MP/ 5 MP
Battery 6700 mAh 6190 mAh
Dimensions 202.1 x 135.4 x 8.5 mm 200.4 x 132.6 x 6.95mm
Weight 360 grams 322 grams
OS Android OS Android OS/ Windows 10

So beside the processor difference, the new MiPad is lighter, and thinner, replaces the micro USB port by a new USB type-C reversible port, loses the micro SD slot, and comes with a smaller battery. I understand that MiPad 2 does not dual boot, but instead supports either Android (MIUI 7) or Windows 10.

MiPad_2_Battery_LifeMiPad 2 will launch in China for 999 RMB ($156) for the 16GB version (November 27) and 1,299 RMB ($203) for the 64GB version, available by the end of December.

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Inforce 6309 micro SBC is Software Compatible with DragonBoard 410c Board, Includes an Ethernet Port

November 26th, 2015 3 comments

I’ve recently written a review of DragonBoard 410c with Android, one of the first board part of Linaro’s 96Boards initiative that’s supposed to get Android and Debian distributions with recent Linux kernel & U-Boot, together with full source code. Inforce Computing has now launched Inforce 6309 micro Single Board Computer (SBC) with the same footprint, albeit different connectors’ placements, and software compatible with DragonBoard 410c development board powered by the same Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 processor. The board targets applications such as industrial automation, “sophisticated” IoE devices, medical devices, augmented reality computing, and robotics and drones.

Inforce_6309_micro_SBCInforce 6309 micro single board computer specifications:

  • SoC- Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 (APQ8016) quad-core ARM CortexA53 @ 1.2 GHz with Adreno 306 GPU and Hexagon QDSP6 @ 700 MHz
  • System Memory – 1GB LPDDR3 @ 533MHz, Single-channel 32-bit (4.2GBps)
  • Storage – 8GB eMMC flash (eMCP package with RAM) + micro SD slot
  • Video Output / Display IF – micro HDMI up to 1080p30; LVDS and touch screen up to 1920×1200 (24-bit) or 2048×1536
  • Audio – HDMI, combo jack for headphone and microphone, PMM8916 audio codec
  • Connectivity – Gigabit Ethernet (USB 2.0 to GbE bridge), 802.11 b/g/n WiFi, Bluetooth 4.1 LE, and GPS/GLONASS
  • USB – 2x USB 2.0 host ports, 1x micro USB OTG port
  • Camera – Dual MIPI-CSI2 (4/2 lanes) for dual camera support up to 13MP
  • Serial – Optional RS-485 port via interface card
  • Expansion – 26-pin header with I2C, SPI, I2S, UART and GPIOs
  • Power Supply – 12V/1.5A DC input; optional PoE
  • Dimensions – 85×54 mm
  • Temperature Range – Operating & Storage: -30ºC to +85ºC
Block Diagram (Click to Enlarge)

Block Diagram (Click to Enlarge)

The board size and specifications are similar to DragonBoard 410c, but the board gains Gigabit Ethernet (limited to the USB 2.0 bandwidth), and replaced LS and HS connectors by MIPI-CSI, LVDS and a 26-pin I/O header. The company provides Android Lollipop, Linaro Ubuntu, and ROS operating systems for the board, as well as Qualcomm SDKs (Vuforia, Alljoyn, FastCV, MARE…), and Dronecode open-source UAV. As usual with Inforce Computing, public documentation is limited to the product brief and a short explanation about the SDK, and all other downloads (datasheets, application notes, software released, and reference manuals) are only available to customers.

A development kit based Inforce 6309 micro SBC will soon be available for pre-order for $120 via the product page. Price for the SBC will start at $99 for small quantities.

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Android 5.1 Firmware for Rockchip RK3288 TV Boxes by Ugoos and CloudNetgo

November 25th, 2015 6 comments

There are times when you are happy to have spend a little extra for a device to get better software support, and while most Rockchip RK3288 TV boxes are still running Android 4.4, a few companies have been porting Android 5.1 Lollipop to their products, including Ugoos and CloudNetgo.

Android 5.1 based Light Biz OS in Ugoos UT3 (Click for Original Size)

Android 5.1 based Light Biz OS in Ugoos UT3 (Click for Original Size)

Ugoos has been working on Android 5.1 for RK3288 for while, releasing several beta firmware in the process, and the latest beta firmware (3.0.2b) includes Light Biz OS (aka Multiwindow) support to provide a better Android desktop experience, OTA firmware updates, and several bug fixes. One new small-yet-neat option is to customize the use of the power LED on the devices (WiFi, Ethernet, IR, CPU usage….), or if you don’t like it turn it off. The Android 5.1.1 firmware (still beta) is available for three devices:

The company has also uploaded a video demo on YouTube.

Separately CloudNetgo has also released an Android 5.1 firmware (no mention of beta or release status) for their CR12, CR13 and CR16 TV boxes.  A single link is provided for download: CR12-13_5.1_cloudnetgo_ap6330_20151123.rar. There’s no changelog and specific information about this firmware, except it’s definitely based on Android 5.1, and the version 5.0.00.

Via ChinaGadgetReviews and

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