K-R42-1, now better known as CS918, has been a fairly popular Android set-top box based on RK3188 due to its low price. There’s no a new model called CS918S with a similar casing, but replacing Rockchip RK3188, by AllWinner A31s, adding more flash (16GB), a retractable webcam, and an internal bay with an optional 3G/4G module.
Here are the specs of this device:
- SoC – AllWinner A31s quad cortex cortex A7 processor @ 1.2 GHz + PowerVR SGX544MP2 GPU
- System Memory – 2GB DDR3
- Storage – 16GB NAND flash + microSD card slot
- Video Output – HDMI and CVBS (AV)
- Audio Output – HDMI, optical SPDIF, and AV
- Video Playback / Encoding
- Connectivity – Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0 (Realtek 8723), 10/100M Ethernet, and built-in 3G (CDMA/WCDMA)
- USB – 4x USB 2.0 host ports (3x external + 1x internal for 3G module or flash drive), and 1x microUSB OTG port
- Camera – 5MP retractable camera with microphone
- Misc – IR sensor, recovery/firmware upgrade button
- Dimensions – 142x95x21 mm
The device comes at least with an IR remote control, and most probably with a power adapter, but it’s difficult to know for sure, as none of the sellers deemed necessary to list the package content. The retractable camera is mainly interesting for those worried about privacy, in case some hackers, or the NSA, remotely takes control of the camera to see what’s going on in your living room or bedroom. On the other end, if you’re a bit lazy, it may be an annoyance, as you’d have to get up from the sofa to open or close the camera. The other selling point of this CS918S is “built-in 3G” which is actually a USB module connected inside the device as shown in the picture below.
Due to a lack of details, it’s difficult to know if the 3G module is included in the device, or if it is just an option that can be bought separately, or is only present in some models. Of course, writing “Built-in 3G” and not selling the device with the 3G module would be false advertisement, but if 3G is important for you, better wait for some trusted reviews first, just to make sure.
On the software side, CS918S runs Android 4.2.2, and if we are to believe the video below supports applications such as Netflix, XBMC with internal player, Miracast and Fireair (for Airplay). The demo also shows the use of 4K player, but the video sample used is not a 4K video. Nevertheless the device should be capable of decoding 4K2K (2160p) videos since it’s powered by AllWinner A31s.
A possible worry is the stability of the firmware. I have only one AllWinner A31 device, CS868 mini PC, the company behind the device has now given up on providing firmware update, and the latest firmware can’t even play YouTube videos. Some months ago, people also complained about Mele Android STB based on A31, but many bugs may have been fixed now, as the company regularly provides firmware updates.