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Posts Tagged ‘Android’

$125 Com 1 Android Wear Watch Powered by Ingenic JZ4775 MIPS Processor (Crowdfunding)

September 15th, 2014 2 comments

If you’d like to get an Android Wear watch, but are not quite ready to spend $200+ for the models currently available, the Com 1 Android Wear smartwatch could be interesting as you may get one for as low as $125, albeit with higher risks since it’s part of a flexible funding Indiegogo campaign. The watch is powered by Ingenic JZ4775 MIPS processor, features a 1.6″ AMOLED display, and is IP67 rated (Water- and dust-proof).

Android_Wear_Watch_Com_1

Com 1 watch hardware specifications:

  • SoC -  Ingenic JZ4775 XBurst (MIPS) processor @ 1.0 GHz with 2D graphics, and VPU (MPEG-2, MPEG-4, VC-1, H.264, VP8, RV9), 720p@30fps
  • System Memory – 375 MB LPDDR1
  • Storage – 4 GB eMMC
  • Display – 1.6” AMOLED touchscreen display, 320 x 320 resolution, 16.7 Million Colors , LED back light, Brightness: 300 cd/m^2.
  • Connectivity – WiFi (802.11 a/b/g/n at 2.4/5 GHz), Bluetooth 4.0 + EDR (BLE Compliant), FM, and NFC
  • Sensors – 3-axis gyroscope, accelerometer, magnetometer, pedometer, GPS, heart rate sensor, pressure, humidity and temperature
  • Audio – DMIC, speaker
  • Ingress Protection Rating – IP67 (Waterproof up to 1m deep)
  • Power – USB and 400 mAH Battery, with PMU and a custom magnetic lock 4-pin charger. Battery life: Around 2 days.
  • Dimensions – 37x40x10mm
Back of Com 1 Smartwatch with 4-pin for Charging

Back of Com 1 Smartwatch with Charging Pins

The watch body is made either of “aircraft grade” aluminum 6061 or stainless steel, depending on models, and straps are available in silicone, leather or stainless steel.

You can pledge $125 (early bird) to get a Com 1 smartwatch with an aluminum body and a black silicone strap, or $145 (early bird) for a stainless steel watch. Options for white silicone, leather, or stainless steel strap respectively add $5, $10, and $20. Shipping is free to the US, and $15 to the rest of the world with delivery scheduled for January 2015. Several stretch goals are also planned: Charging Cradle ($20,000), Wireless Charging ($80,000), and Paywave and Paypass Contactless NFC Payment System ($150,000).

The project also has its own website com1watch.com, but there’s not much too see over there for now.

Via Connectedly

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Qualcomm Unveils Snapdragon 210 LTE SoC for Entry-Level Smartphones

September 15th, 2014 No comments

Android smartphones with LTE connectivity are now available for a little over $100, for example with LANDVO L200G powered by Mediatek MT6582 with an external MT6290 LTE modem, but prices may soon even get lower, as Qualcomm has now unveiled their latest Snapdragon 210 processor with integrated LTE modem to bring sub $100 LTE smartphones to market in 2015.

Snapdragon_210For once, they’ve even provided detailed technical specifications for their new mobile application processor:

  • Processor – Quad ARM Cortex A7 up to 1.1GHz
  • GPU – Adreno 304 GPU with OpenGL ES 3.0, OpenCL, DirectX, content security, and decreased power consumption
  • DSP – QDSP6 DSP
  • Memory/Storage – LPDDR2/LPDDR3@533MHz, eMMC 4.5, and SD 3.0 (UHS-I)
  • Display – Up to 720p, with external displays supported
  • Modem
    • Integrated 4G LTE-Advanced World Mode, supporting LTE FDD, LTE TDD, WCDMA (3C-HSDPA, DC-HSUPA), CDMA1x, EV-DO Rev. B, TD-SCDMA and GSM/EDGE
    • 4G LTE CAT4 speeds of up to 150 Mbps with 2×10 MHz Carrier Aggregation
    • Qualcomm RF360, LTE-Broadcast and LTE multimode dual-SIM
  • RF – Second Gen RF and Qualcomm RF360 front end solution and 3rd generation 28nm RF Transceiver for world mode bands, lower power and PCB & BOM reduction
  • Video – 1080p@30fps, FHD Native HEVC playback, HD H.264 capture
  • Qualcomm Audio – Fluence HD with Noise Cancellation, and SVA (Snapdragon Voice Activation).
  • Camera – Single ISPs can support 320MP/sec throughput and image sensors up to 8MP
  • Connectivity – 802.11n (2.4GHz), BT4.1 + BLE, Qualcomm IZat location technology Gen8C, USB 2.0
  • Power Management – Quick Charge 2.0 Support
  • Security – Snapdragon StudioAccess, Trustzone, and SecureMSM

The company will also provide a reference design based on Snapdragon 210 for developers. If you don’t need LTE, a 3G-only version called Snapdragon 208 with a dual core processor, and support for qHD (960 x 540) displays, will be launched around the same time, and should find their ways into in devices in Q1 2015.

Further details may be available on Snapdragon 210 and Snapdragon 208 pages on Qualcomm website.

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Tronsmart Orion R28 Meta RK3288 TV Box Unboxing

September 13th, 2014 12 comments

GeekBuying sent me one of their Tronsmart Orion R28 Meta (Beta) Android TV boxes powered by Rockchip RK3288 SoC. This model comes with 2GB DDR3, 16 eMMC, and 802.11 b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi. R28 Mega is the mid-range model, and there are two others models R28 Pro (entre-level) and R28 Telos (premium). I’ve already listed specifications for the three Tronsmart Orion R28 models. Today, I’ll show some picture of the device, and the board to find out more about the design of the product. Before reviewing the product in another post, I’ll probably build the image using the provided Android 4.4 SDK (provided I can download it), and perform the full review next week with the resulting firmware.

Tronsmart Orion Meta R28 Unboxing

I’ve received the parcel via DHL within 2 days. The same package will be used for all three models, but you’ll have a sticker on the side for Pro, Meta or Telos, as well as specifications at the back with options for 2 or 4 GB RAM, 8, 16 or 32 GB eMMC, and 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac or 802.11 b/g/n.
Tronsmart_Orion_R28_Meta_PackageThe box comes with an external Wi-Fi antenna, a IR remote control requiring 2x AAA batteries (not included) a micro USB to USB cable, an HDMI cable, and a 5V/3A power adapter. There’s also a user’s manual in English that I forgot to include in the picture below.

Tronsmart_Orion_R28_Accessories

Orion R28 and Accessories (Click to Enlarge)

There’s a new good trend for power buttons which are now located on the top of the boxes that I recently received, and it’s the same for Orion R28. On the front panel, there’s just the window for the IR receiver, two USB 2.0 ports and a micro SD slot can be found on the side, and the rear panel has most of the ports: DC in barrel, AV output, optical S/PDIF, Gigabit Ethernet, antenna connector, HDMI 2.0 output, another USB 2.0 host port, and a micro USB OTG port. A micro SD card with the SDK was supposed to be included, but they forgot to include it in my package, so instead I’ll have to download it (link provided at the end of this post).

Tronsmart Orion R28 (Click to Enlarge)

Tronsmart Orion R28 (Click to Enlarge)

Markings for FCC and CE are written on the package, but on the bottom of the enclosure I can only see a CE marking.

Unboxing video:

Tronsmart Orion Meta R28 Board

Now let’s open the enclosure. Removing the two rubbers pads on the bottom reveals three screws. After I had untightned them I expected the box to open easily, but it would not come off despite all my efforts… That’s because there’s another screw, under the “Tronsmart Orion R28″ sticked. After you remove that one, it becomes much easier…

Orion R28 Meta Board (Click to Enlarge)

Orion R28 Meta Board (Click to Enlarge)

The wireless module is indeed AP6335 which supports 802.11 b/g/n, 802.11ac, and Bluetooth 4.0. Sandisk SDIN7DP4-16G is a 16GB eMMC, and RK1000 chip is used for composite output. Access to the serial console should be very easy since there are the four through holes for Tx, Rx, GND and 5V on the top right. Other accessible I/Os are I2C and UART3 (bottom right), and 4 more pins for USB. The board name is not readable as they’ve stuck a “Tronsmart Orion R28″ sticker on top.

Bottom of Orion R28 Board (Click to Enlarge)

Bottom of Orion R28 Board (Click to Enlarge)

The only noticeable chip on the back of the board is Realtek RTL8211E Gigabit Ethernet transceiver.

Rockchip RK3288 Soc and RAM (Click to Enlarge)

Rockchip RK3288 Soc and RAM (Click to Enlarge)

Removing the heatsink is easy as there’s just two small bits with springs holding it. Instead of using thermal pad like in Kingnovel K-R68, there’s some thermal paste between the heatsink and Rockchip RK3288. Four DDR3 memory chips (MIRA P3P4GF4BLF) are used to get 2GB RAM.

That’s all for today,. The next step is to download the Android SDK (if somebody can re-upload it to mega.co.nz, it would be help Link to mega.co.nz mirror. Thanks Kostas!), build the Android image, and flash it to the box. You can pre-order the final version of Tronsmart Orion R28 Meta for $119.99 on GeekBuying, but if you don’t need 802.11ac, and can do with 8GB eMMC instead of 16GB, the Orion R28 Pro goes for $99.99.

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Intrinsyc OPEN-Q 8084 Development Kit Powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 Processor

September 12th, 2014 4 comments

Inforce Computing IFC6540 was the first low cost development board powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 processor I discovered a few months ago, but is currently “for pre-approved customers only and have not yet been released to public”. Intrinsyc has now launched their own Snapdragon 805 development kit called OPEN-Q 8084 based on a mini-ITX carrier board, and a SoM with 3GB RAM, and 16GB eMMC. The board target applications include ruggedized tablets, digital signage, government/public safety, medical, robotics, wearable displays, video streaming/conferencing, gaming systems, and in-flight entertainment.

OPEN-Q 8084 Snapdragon 805 Development Board (Click to Enlarge)

OPEN-Q 8084 Snapdragon 805 Development Board (Click to Enlarge)

Specifications of APQ8084 Open-Q System-on-Module:

  • SoC – Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 (APQ8084) quad core Krait 450 @ 2.5GHz, with Adreno 420 GPU @ 500MHz, Hexagon QDSP6 V5A (600MHz), and two ISPs for up to 55-megapixel stereoscopic 3D
  • System Memory – 3GB PoP LPDDR3 RAM
  • Storage – 16GB eMMC 5.0 flash, expandable to 64GB, micro SD signals, and SATA signals (via MXM connector)
  • Connectivity – Gigabit Ethernet (via MXM connector), 802.11a/b/g/n/ac WiFi (2.4GHz/5GHz) for 600Mbps throughput, Bluetooth 4.1
  • Other I/Os accessible via 314-pin MXM 3.0 edge connector:
    • PCIe
    • HDMI
    • SPI, I2C. I2S, GPIO
    • 3x MIPI CSI, 2x MIPI DSI
    • NFC, UIM
    • Slim bus
    • USB – 2x USB 2.0 (host and client),  2x USB 3.0 (host and client), USB HSIC
    • JTAG
    • Serial ports
  • Power +3.3V DC; PMIC supporting processor and peripheral LDOs, boost regulators as well as clock management and auxiliary signals.
  • Dimensions – 82 x 35mm
  • Temperature Range – 0 to 70°C

One of the advantages of Snapdragon 805 is its 4K/UHD capabilities including 4K capture with H.264/AVC format, 4K playback with H.264/AVC and H.265/HEVC formats, and 4K UHD on-device display concurrent with 4K UHD output to HDTV.

Open-Q 8084 devkit mini-ITX + SoM has the following specs:

  • Processor, Memory, Storage and Connectivity – As listed forAPQ8084 Open-Q SoM with Snapdragon 805, 3GB RAM, 16 GB Flash, Wi-Fi…
  • External Storage – microSD slot, SATA 3.0 I/F
  • Connectivity – Apart from Wi-Fi and Bluetooth on the module, the carrier board adds a Gigabit Ethernet port, GPS with GLONASS and COMPASS support
  • Video Output
    • HDMI 1.4
    • 2x MIPI-DSI I/F with support for optional qHD LCD capacitive touchscreen
  • Camera I/F – 3x MIPI-CSI I/F with support for optional cameras
  • Audio – 5.1 channel, 3.5mm headphone output and microphone input jacks, 6 digital mics
  • USB – 1x USB 3.0 host port, 1x micro USB 3.0 port, 2x USB 2.0 host ports.
  • Sensors – Optional compass, gyro, accelerometer
  • Debugging – JTAG and UART (DB9)
  • Headers – Sensor/IoT header, NFC/UIM header
  • Expansion Slot – mini-PCIe slot
  • Misc – 3x user buttons, 3x user LEDS and power indicator
  • Power – 12V power supply with external battery connector; optional PMIC with battery support
  • Dimensions – 170×170 mm (Mini-ITX form-factor)
OPEN-Q 8084 Block Diagram

OPEN-Q 8084 Block Diagram

The company will provide an Android 4.4 BSP, but “embedded Linux customization” is also available. The full development kit includes Open-Q 805 8084) SoM in MXM 3.0 custom form factor, the Mini-ITX Carrier board for IO and expansion, a power supply, an HDMI cable, a Quick Start Guide, a licence agreement, and access to documentation and platform BSP. Cameras, LCD touchscreen displays, and extra sensors are available as options.

Intrinsyc’s OPEN-Q 8084 module is selling for $219, whereas the development kit goes for $449, with shipments scheduled for October. You may want to visit  Open-Q 8084 SOM and Open-Q 8084 Development Kit product pages for further details.

Via LinuxGizmos

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Review of Kingnovel K-R68 Android Mini PC

September 9th, 2014 8 comments

I’ve already listed specs, and shown a few pictures of Kingnovel K-R68 Android media player based on the latest Rockchip RK3288 quad core processor. I’ve now gone through all my usual tests, so today, I’ll write the review, going through the user interface, testing video playback, reporting one various performance benchmarks including network and storage performance, tested most hardware features, and played a few games.

First Boot, Settings and First Impressions

Albeit there’s an infrared remote control with the device. I’ve not used it all, especially, as we’ll see below the default user interface is the stock Android home screen. As usual, I’ve connected an RF dongle to use Mele F10 Deluxe air mouse. Before powering up the device, I’ve also connected an HDMI cable, a USB hard drive, and an Ethernet cable. Albeit there’s a power button, the device will boot automatically as you connect the power adapter, and the boot completes in just over 20 seconds.

Home Screen (Click for Original Size)

Home Screen (Click for Original Size)

The status bar is shown by default with a power (Standby or Reboot) button, volume buttons, the back, home, and app list icons, as well as an icon to hide the status bar. I’ve enabled the screenshot button in the settings. The user interface defaults to Chinese as shown in the screenshot above, so I had to go to the settings to change the language. The resolution was set to 1920×1080.

The Settings are basically the same as Uyesee G1H, but with some colorful icons on the left, instead of the usual black and white icons, and there’s no “Home” to select between launchers. The Wireless and Networks section features Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Ethernet, and Data Usage sections, as well as a “More” section with VPN, Portable Hotspot and so on. You can choose between “Default Output” (PCM / Down-mixing), “Spdif Passthough”, and “HDMI Bitstream” (HDMI pass-through) in the sound settings, (Not tested, as I don’t have audio receiver). The Display settings include options to adjust for overscan, select HDMI, YPbPr, and “TV” (Composite) video output, as well as the resolution: “auto”, 1080p 24/25/30/50/60Hz, 720p 50/60, 720×576 or 720×480. Again it’s exactly as the previous RK3288 sample I tested (G1H). 4K options should also show if the box is connected to  4K TV, Most of the tests have been done using HDMI output, but I also tested composite and component (YPbPr) video outputs.

Composite (NTSC) - Click to Enlarge

Composite (NTSC) – Click to Enlarge

Composite (PAL) - Click to Enlarge

Composite (PAL) – Click to Enlarge

Component (720p) - Click to Enlarge
Component (720p) – Click to Enlarge

Composite works, but in NTSC mode I had a green line on the bottom, which I could not hide with the “Screen Scale” menu. I had no such problem in PAL mode.  I had the same problem with Component (YPbpr) output as with my other RK3288 device, as only the Chrominance signal would apparently be displayed. Resolutions selectable with YPbPr are only 720p, 720×576 (PAL) and 720×470 (NTSC), and there’s no option for 1080p.

About_K-R68K-R68 features a 8GB eMMC flash partitioned with a 1.91GB “Internal Storage” partition for apps with 1.53 GB free, and a 4.27 GB “NAND FLASH” partition for data. A single partition for apps and data would be ideal, but this partitioning should work fine for most people. The “About device” section reports the model number as “rk3288″, Android 4.4.2 on top of Linux kernel 3.10.0. The firmware is not rooted, and I don’t have male to male USB cable, so I could not root it via the OTG port. In this review, I won’t show a video of the settings and user interface, because it’s just the same as Uyesee G1H, apart from a different home screen (pictured above), and colorful icons in the settings menus.

Google Play Store works as expected, and I could install most apps such as ES File Explorer, MX Player, Antutu, Quadrant, Beach Buggy Blitz, etc…  and even paid apps such as Sixaxis Controller installed properly. Vidonn activity tracker app was reported as “incompatible with your device”. I also installed Amazon AppStore after downloading it via the stock browser, and loaded Riptide GP2 on the device.

I haven’t used the remote control, but the power button on the status bar only lets you reboot and put the device into standby. Press the Power button on Mele F10 deluxe also brings the same menu. The power button on top of the device can only be used to power off the device completely, and to do so, you’ll need to press it for 10 seconds. The enclosure also gets pretty hot. The maximum temperatures measured with an infrared thermometer on the top and bottom of the box were respectively 46 °C and 56 °C after running Android 5 benchmark, and after playing Riptide GP2 for 30 minutes at 1080p (right after playing a 1080p movie for 2 hours), the measured max. temperatures reached 58 °C and 77 °C…

The firmware is stable and fast. I had no reboot and hang ups during my testing. Thanks to fast eMMC, apps loading times can be impressive, for example XBMC loads in less than 2 seconds, and I never had slowdowns as experience in Uyesee G1H while installing apps. The user interface resolution is 1080p by default, but if you want some extra performance for some games for example, you can switch to 720p if you wish.

Video Playback

Contrary to Uyesee G1H, Kingnovel K-R68 comes pre-loaded with XBMC. So I played videos from a SAMBA share over Ethernet using XBMC, only switching to MX Player in case of issues. I had problems with Gigabit Ethernet again (instability), so I used a 10/100M hub between the device and my Gigabit switch (D-Link DSG-1005A), and the connection was perfectly stable. So all results are based on XBMC playback unless otherwise stated.

I started by playing videos samples from samplemedia.linaro.org, and H.265/HEVC video by Elecard:

  • H.264 codec / MP4 container (Big Buck Bunny), 480p/720p/1080p – OK
  • MPEG2 codec / MPG container, 480p/720p/1080p
    • XBMC – OK, but smoothness could be better.
    • MX Player – Video playing at an estimated 2 to 4 fps, with most frames skipped
  • MPEG4 codec, AVI container 480p/720p/1080p – OK
  • VC1 codec (WMV), 480p/720p/1080p
    • XBMC – Audio only
    • MX Player – OK (H/W decode)
  • Real Media (RMVB) – RV8, RV9, and RV10 – OK and relatively smooth, also not perfect like on PC (VideoLAN)
  • WebM / VP8 – OK
  • H.265 codec / MPEG TS container
    • XBMC – Audio only
    • MX Player – OK (H/W decode)

So XBMC can’t play H.265, no VC1 videos, and MPEG-2 play, but are not super smooth.

Next are some higher bitrate videos:

  • ED_HD.avi – OK, no problem even in fast moving scenes
  • big_buck_bunny_1080p_surround.avi (1080p H.264 – 12 Mbps) – OK.
  • h264_1080p_hp_4.1_40mbps_birds.mkv (40 Mbps) – OK
  • hddvd_demo_17.5Mbps_1080p_VC1.mkv (17.5Mbps) – Audio only (That’s the VC1 codec issue in XBMC).
  • Jellyfish-120-Mbps.mkv (120 Mbps video without audio) – OK

All high definition audio codec could play (downsampled) in XBMC:

  • AC3 – OK
  • Dolby Digital 5.1 / Dolby Digital 7.1 – OK
  • TrueHD 5.1 & 7.1 – OK
  • DTS-MA and DTS-HR – OK

Sintel-Bluray.iso Blu-ray ISO file could play just fine in XBMC.

None of the 4K videos could play without issues in XBMC. The HEVC/H.265 video were all played in MX Player:

  • HD.Club-4K-Chimei-inn-60mbps.mp4

    • XBMC – OK most of the time, but skips about 60 frames at the end of the video (The image will freeze before the end of the video).
    • MX Player – OK
  • sintel-2010-4k.mkv
    • XBMC – Played in slow motion, unwatchable.
    • MX Player – OK
  • Beauty_3840x2160_120fps_420_8bit_HEVC_MP4.mp4 – OK (H/W decode), but some white “fog” appears on the black background
  • Bosphorus_3840x2160_120fps_420_8bit_HEVC_MP4.mp4 – OK (H/W decode)
  • Jockey_3840x2160_120fps_420_8bit_HEVC_TS.ts – Plays with S/W decode (MX Player reports codec not supported by H/W).

Finally, I played some Several AVI, MKV, FLV, VOB and MP4 videos in my library. Most could play, but several had audio/video sync issues, a number of FLV videos could not play at all, and one XVID video had lot of frames skipped during playback. A complete 1080p video (1h50) could be played in XBMC without issues. Once XBMC refused to exit, as clicking on the exit button did not work at all, but I could not reproduce the issue. Overall, the XBMC experience is disappointing, but if you combine MX Player and XBMC capabilities most videos can be played.

Links to various video samples used in this review and be found in “Where to get video, audio and images samples” post and comments.

Network Performance (Wi-Fi and Ethernet)

The network test consists in transferring a 278 MB file between a SAMBA share and the internal flash, and vice versa, repeating the test three times using ES File Explorer. Wi-Fi performance is excellent and very consistent, as transfer times were all between 1m42s and 1m44s, averaging a cool 2.69 MB/s.

Wi-Fi Performance in MB/s

Wi-Fi Performance in MB/s

While I’m with Wi-Fi testing, I also ran Rockchip’s “Wi-Fi display” app, but even though the display was detected by my phone and “successfully” connected, mirroring did not work at all. I tried several times, but my subsequent attempt all failed to connect at all.

As mentioned previously, I had stability problems (again) with Gigabit Ethernet, so I could only properly test Fast Ethernet performance. Using the same test procedure as Wi-Fi, K-R68 shows very good performance compared to other solutions I’ve tested.

Kingnovel_K-R68_EthernetThis test is not a pure network performance test, as it may be affected by storage write performance. Having said that, I’ve experience similar results writing to flash or USB hard drive for all devices under test.

Under Linux, you can test network performance with iPerf, and it turns out iPerf app is also available for Android. So I gave it a try using “iperf -t 60 -c 192.168.0.104 -d” command line. This runs a “dualtest” (a bidirectional test simultaneously) for one minute, and based on the test results, there’s definitely an issue with Gigabit Ethernet, but only in one direction (872 Mbps vs 314 Kbps), but Fast Ethernet is running great:

Client connecting to 192.168.0.107, TCP port 5001
TCP window size:  425 KByte (default)
------------------------------------------------------------
[  6] local 192.168.0.104 port 37734 connected with 192.168.0.107 port 5001
[ ID] Interval       Transfer     Bandwidth
[  6]  0.0-60.0 sec  6.09 GBytes   872 Mbits/sec
[  4]  0.0-63.4 sec  2.38 MBytes   314 Kbits/sec
[  5] local 192.168.0.104 port 5001 connected with 192.168.0.107 port 51937
------------------------------------------------------------
Client connecting to 192.168.0.107, TCP port 5001
TCP window size:  136 KByte (default)
------------------------------------------------------------
[  6] local 192.168.0.104 port 37843 connected with 192.168.0.107 port 5001
[  6]  0.0-60.0 sec   654 MBytes  91.4 Mbits/sec
[  5]  0.0-60.1 sec   658 MBytes  91.8 Mbits/sec

I’ve tried different Cat5e Ethernet cable with it did not solve the issue.

Miscellaneous Tests

Bluetooth

I could easily pair K-R68 to my Android smartphone (ThL W200) over Bluetooth, and transfer a picture.

Since the firmware is not rooted, and I’m not sure how to root it, I had to skip Sixaxis test for PS3 Bluetooth Gamepad support

Vidonn X5 activity tracker suppoert Bluetooth 4.0 LE, so I installed the Android app, and successfully connected to my wristband to get the data.

Storage

FAT32 formatted micro SD card and USB flash drive could be recognized and properly mounted by the system
I’ve also connected my USB 3.0 hard drive with NTFS, EXT-4, FAT32, and BTRFS partitions, and as usual only NTFS and FAT32 could be mounted automatically.

File System Read Write
NTFS OK OK
EXT-4 Not mounted Not mounted
FAT32 OK OK
BTRFS Not mounted Not mounted

A1 SD Bench was run to benchmark the NTFS partition (/mnt/usb_storage/USB_DISK2/USB3_NTFS). The read speed was 29.47MB/s, and the write speed of 24.63MB/s, both of which are pretty consistent with the results achieved with other devices, albeit the write speed was the weakest of the products tested by a small margin.

K-R68_USB_Write_SpeedThe internal storage read and write speeds are very important to apps loading time, and overall system performance, and K-R68 excels in this benchmark, at least compared to Uyesee G1H, and Probox2 EX.

K-R68_eMMC_PerformanceThe fast eMMC write speed explains why I never felt slowdowns during my testing, contrary to what happened with G1H.

USB Webcam

Using a white brand UVC USB webcam with built-in microphone. I could test audio successfully with the Echo service in Skype, and I could see the video, but as I tried to leave a video message, the app exited.

Google Hangouts could detect the webcam (Video icon at the top right of the screen), and I could start a video call, but the webcam image was not shown.

Gaming

I’ve tested three games: Candy Crush Saga, Beach Buggy Blitz, and Riptide GP2.

I played Candy Crush Saga with my air mouse, and used Tronsmart Mars G01 wireless gamepad in the two other games.  Beach Buggy Blitz was super smooth even with graphics settings maxed out and 1080p resolution, and Riptide GP2 was very smooth most of the time, and albeit not perfect, RK3288 devices are a massive jump in terms of playability compared to earlier generation of chip, and even Amlogic S802. I’ve also tested stability by playing Riptide GP2 for 30 consecutive minutes, and everything runs fine, but the bottom of the device can get pretty hot (Over 75 °C). Thanks to the rubber pads, it does not touch the table though. The top is much cooler at around 55 °C.

Kingnovel K-R68 Benchmark

CPU-Z app returns the exact same data as for G1H TV box, that is a Rockchip processor with four Cortex A12 cores @ 126 MHz to 1.80 GHz with a Mali-T764 processor. Only the firmware version differs.

G1H got 39,273 in Antutu 4.x @ 1080p resolution. Since them Android 5 has been released, and K-R68 got 37,428 points between Redmi Note (MediaTek MT6592) and Xiaomi Mi3 (Qualcomm Snapdragon 800). Results between Antutu 4.x and Antutu 5.x are not directly comparable.

Antutu 5 Results for Kingnovel K-R68 (Click to Enlarge)

Antutu 5 Results for Kingnovel K-R68 (Click to Enlarge)

I had no luck with Quadrant, as I was greeted with gray screen when I wanted to start the test.

I’ve run Ice Storm Extreme test in 3DMark to see if there was any improvement compared to G1H score.

3DMark Ice Storm Extreme Results (Click to Enlarge)

3DMark Ice Storm Extreme Results (Click to Enlarge)

A score of 7,531 points, is only slightly higher than than 7,278 points achieved by G1H, and is about the same as the one achieved on a smartphone based on Qualcomm Snapdragon 801. However many recent devices based on Qualcomm 800 and greater get a score above 10,000 or simply maxes out the test.

Conclusion

Kingnovel K-R68 hardware has massive potential with a fast processor, outstanding 3D performance, and excellent Wi-Fi and eMMC storage performance. The firmware is stable and provides a smooth experience, but if you are looking for a device well supported by XBMC, it’s not there yet. Having said that, I’ve only tested the XBMC version provided with the sample (Gotham 13.2), and there are some version that may have better support include HEVC hardware decoding such as Beyond XBMC 3.4 (beta) and an XBMC version released for Firefly-RK3288 development board.

PRO:

  • Fast new processor
  • Excellent 3D graphics performance for games
  • Stable and fast firmware.
  • Excellent Wi-Fi performance
  • Fast eMMC, both for reading and writing speeds.
  • Both 720p and 1080p user interfaces are supported
  • Video Output – 1080p support 24, 25 ,30 , 50 and 60 Hz output which may be important for some videos. 4K @ 60Hz should be supported thanks to HDMI 2.0 (not tested).
  • HEVC video decoding support
  • Webcam supported in Skype (although it did not seem to work with Google Hangouts)

CONS:

  • XBMC has too many issues: VC1, H.265 not supported, audio/video sync issue, some MPEG-2 and XVID videos are skipping frames, none of the 4K videos I used could play properly, etc…
  • Some MPEG-2 file won’t play smooth in either XBMC or MX Player
  • Potential Gigabit Ethernet issues, at least confirmed with my switch (D-Link DSG-1005A).
  • No proper power off (standby only)
  • The enclosure (bottom) can get pretty hot, with temperatures over 75+ C after long periods of 3D gaming.
  • Video output – Component only output the Luminance signal with my TV, composite (NTSC) has a green bar at the bottom, no problem for PAL.

If you are a distributor, you may want to visit Kingnovel K-R68 page for some details, and possibly contact the company. The box does not seem to be selling on e-retailer sites yet, or it’s sold under another model name. The box  appears to be sold on Geekbuying under the model name R6 for $107.99.

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W908I & W908II Wi-Fi Smart Sockets Support US, EU, UK, or AU Plug Types, Up to 4400W Power

September 8th, 2014 4 comments

I’ve had a look at several Wi-Fi smart sockets recently. Broadlink SP2 comes with a Chinese plug and supports power monitoring (About $40), Kankun KK-SP3 is more basic but sells only for $20, and runs OpenWRT, and Orvibo Wiwo S20 does not support power monitoring either, but is available with US, Europe, United Kingdom or Australia plug (About $40). If you want a Wi-Fi smart socket with a EU plug, there’s another option: W908I selling for $32 on Chinavasion. Based on the manufacturer website (HaiDian Technology) however, there are four W908I models with US, EU, UK, or AU plugs, as well as four W908II models with a higher power ratings (4400W).

W908i_Wi-Fi_Smart_SocketInstead of just one socket like socket models, it features a 3-pin socket, a 2-pin socket, and a USB port for charging devices.

W908I / W908II specifications:

  • Wi-Fi
    • 802.11 b/g/n
    • Sensitivity – 802.11b: < -84dBm; 802.11g: < -68dBm
    • Output power – 802.11b: 16 ±2dBm; 802.11g: 13 ±2dBm
    • Security – WEP, WPA-PSK or WPA2-PSK
  • Wall Socket Power Plug – US, Europe, United Kingdom or Australia plug
  • Input Sockets – 3-pin, 2-pin, and USB
  • Output Current – W908I: 10A max; W908II: 20A max.
  • Output Power – W908I 2200W max; W908II: 4400W max;
  • Voltage Range – 90-260V AC @ 50-60 Hz
  • Power Consumption – ≤0.8W
  • Dimensions – 11.2 cm x 6.4 cm x 7.0 cm
  • Temperature Range – -20 C to 75 C
  • Weight – 116 grams

The app to control the smart socket is available for Android and iOS, and can be downloaded by scanning the QR code at the back of the socket. Their appears to be a web interface too. Power monitoring function is not available in W908I/II. By the way, Broadlink SP2 does have this function, but it stopped to work on my sample after about a month.

As mentioned above, the W908I-Euro is available on Chinavasion for just $32, but other W908I plug types are available on Aliexpress for prices between $35 and $50, and a few shops sell W908II for about $60.

Thanks to Onebir for the tip.

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Categories: Android, Hardware Tags: Android, IoT, automation, haidian, ios, wifi

Kingnovel K-R68 4K Android STB Unboxing

September 6th, 2014 8 comments

Kingnovel has sent me a sample of their K-R68 Android media player powered by Rockchip RK3288 quad core processor with 2GB RAM, 8GB flash. Today I’ll start by listing the product specifications, before showing pictures of the device and PCBA. A full review will follow in the next few days.

Kingnovel K-R68 specifications

The box technical specifications as shown in the product manual are pretty standard:

  • SoC -  Rockchip RK3288 quad core ARM Cortex A12/A17 processor @ 2.0 GHz (TBC) with ARM Mali-T764 quad-core 3D GPU with support for OpenGL ES 3.0, OpenCL 1.1, and DirectX11
  • System Memory – 2GB DDR3 (Optional 4GB DDR3)
  • Storage – 8GB flash (16G/32G optional) + micro SD slot
  • Video Output – HDMI 2.0 up to 4K @ 60fps, 3.5mm AV jack
  • Audio Output – HDMI,  AV, and optical S/PDIF
  • Video Codecs – MPEG-1, MPEG-2, MPEG-4, H.264, H.265, RV,.. @ 4K resolution
  • Video Containers – AVI, VOB, MKV, TS, MP4, M2TS, MPEG, WMV, RM/RMVB, etc…
  • Audio Format – MP3, WMA, WAV, MIDI, OGG, AC3, DTS
  • Connectivity – Ethernet (No speed mentioned), dual band 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi with external antenna, and Bluetooth 4.0 (AP6330 module)
  • USB – 2x USB 2.0 host ports
  • Misc – Power LED, IR receiver.
  • Power Supply – 5V/3A
  • Dimensions –  185 x 143 x 30 mm (excluding Wi-Fi antenna)
  • Weight – 190 grams

The device runs Android 4.4.

Kingnovel K-R68 Pictures

The company send me the device by DHL in the package below marked with “4K Ultra HD 4k2K OTT TV BOX”.

Kingnove_K-R68_4K_Package
Inside the package, we’ll get a the relatively large TV box, a 5V/3A power adapter, an HDMI cable, an IR remote control that requires two AAA batteries, and a user’s manual in English describing the remote control, explaining how to use the user interface, and troubleshoot the system.

K-R68 4K and Accessories (Click to Enlarge)

K-R68 4K and Accessories (Click to Enlarge)

A closer look shows the device is made of two plastic parts with the top made of ABS (I think), and the bottom of lower quality plastic. The power button is located on the top of the device which is the location I find most convenient, and all ports can be found on the rear panel: Ethernet, optical S/PDIF, HDMI, AV, micro SD card, two USB ports, and DC jack.

Kingnovel K-R68 4K (Click to Enlarge)

Kingnovel K-R68 4K (Click to Enlarge)

You can watch the unboxing video below if you please.

K-R68 Internals

Opening the device is relatively straightforward. Remove four sticky rubber pads on the bottom of the enclosure to reveal the screws and remove them. The two parts of the casing then come apart quite easily.

Top of K-R68 4K Board (Click to Enlarge)

Top of K-R68 4K Board (Click to Enlarge)

There are two boards in the device: CYX_R6_IO with the power button, the IR receiver, and the power LED, and CYX_R6 V1_1 the main board with RK3288. The heatsink is larger than on Uyesee G1H, so hopefully it will do a better job at keeping the temperature lower. The Wi-Fi module is AP6330 providing dual band Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n (no ac) and Bluetooth 4.0.

Bottom of K-R68 4K Board (Click to Enlarge)

Bottom of K-R68 4K Board (Click to Enlarge)

You need to remove three more screws to completely detach the board from the enclosure. The back of the board features the micro SD slot, RK1000 (for TV out), and another IC (can’t read). There does not seem to be an issue way to access the serial console.

Zoom on Rocchip RK3288 SoC (Click to Enlarge)

Zoom on Rocchip RK3288 SoC (Click to Enlarge)

Removing the heatsink is easy with just two “bits” that hold it, and that can be popped out. There’s also a thermal pad (shown on the top of the picture) between the heatsink and RK3288.

The box does not seem to be available on Aliexpress for now, if you are a distributor, you may want to visit Kingnovel K-R68 page for some details, and contacting the company.

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