CS918S Android STB Features AllWinner A31s Processor, a Retractable Webcam, Built-in 3G

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.

CS918S - Top Left with Camera "closed", Bottom Right with Camera "opened"
CS918S – Top Left with Camera “closed”, Bottom Right with Camera “opened”

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.

CS918S_3G_ModuleDue 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.

CS918S can now be purchased from several sellers on Aliexpress starting at $110 including shipping, as well as on DealSprime for $99.99 with free shipping to most countries.

Via Google+ mini PCs community.

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Yar Rick
Guest

It’s Huawei EC156 as a 3G module there )

Jacob
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Jacob

Does device can be rooted ???????

adem
Guest
adem

i will never trust a31 or a31s devices

onebir
Guest
onebir
japusa
Guest
japusa

@cnxsoft
Yes, the method for root work. Thanks from Spain.

Jon Smirl
Member

I ordered one. Came with 1GB RAM and 8GB flash, 2MP under same part number – CS918S. Did not have the internal USB pocket but there was room for it. Not worth the $85 I paid. Don’t get tricked by the part number like I did.

Not a good deal for $85…
http://www.aliexpress.com/item/CS918S-Android-4-2-2-Set-Top-Box-smart-TV-BOX-camera-Quad-Core-A31-1GB/1529995174.html

What I meant to order for $99
http://www.aliexpress.com/item/Free-Shipping-New-CS918S-Quad-Core-Android-TV-Box-2GB-DDR3-16GB-Built-in-5MP-Camera/1479373538.html

Marius
Guest
Marius

Just received the 2GB version which I bought for $95 on Aliexpress. Looks nice and works pretty well I guess but I still need to test it more.
Came with Android 4.2.2 but Skype couldn’t use the HW encoding which I assume the A31s does have.

Keith
Guest
Keith

I just upgraded to the April 1st firmware release, its like an entirely new device!!!

studiousnr
Guest
studiousnr

@Keith
Hi keith i just got this device cs918s 5mp one, as u said you updated the firmware, i read that bluetooth and google mouse would stop working after that, please would you let me now how has your experience been cuz my device is doing some problem in on and off and icefilm is too laggy thanks

Milind Patwardhan
Guest
Milind Patwardhan

Hi, I have purchased the CS918S.. WiFi hotspot, HDMI output to TV works fine but any of the 3 USB ports on the device cant detect pen drive OR 1TB HDD… is there a solution?

Keith
Guest
Keith

Full development community has been kicked off ever at the following forum: http://dragondevs.com/index.php/forum/604-ott-cs918s-android-tv-box-allwinner/

From the looks of it, multiple drivers have been added to one of the new roms. Also, it looks like they have the source code.

Marius
Guest
Marius

@Keith
Thanks a lot. Given that it’s an Allwinner SOC the FEX system means that the kernel source code is indeed available.

Keith
Guest

@studiousnr
I apologize to everyone, its been busy for me. But I come bringing gifts.
Here is the link to the source code of the 4.4 Kitkat rom for this device. HOWEVER!!!!!
CSQ who made the device claims that several of the devices we have maybe fakes which is why
BT, Wifi, the Camera dont work. However, the 4.4 version still uses kernel 3.3.0. Someone with the right know how could replace the the new drivers with the old and make it a better rom. Now I did do a custom over at dragondevs.com, and could use a little more assistance. However a lot of us will still be working on 4.2.2 but also 4.4.2. Enjoy: https://mega.co.nz/#!GhA2zCpR!GAjLVxCdqvKV3vmJAF0r8xbkGHCboU-7G8cQfQ6Ts0o

adem
Guest
adem

i think this firmware works with the cs868 but BT WIFI and ETHERNET does not work is there any one that could help me out with that

adem
Guest
adem

any one

Keith
Guest
Keith

@adem
What you are asking is a massive undertaking. However, what I do suggest is going to Xda, download the imageRepacker and decompile the image. Take the time to go through and google the names of the files, which will start giving you some insight on this. This what I did when I couldn’t find anyone to initially help me with mine.

Keith
Guest
Keith

@studiousnr
I’ve since moved on from that rom, and sorry for the late response, but that version worked fine for me. I had no problems. Now there is a custom rom, not perfect yet, over at dragondevs.com. All non-devs and devs are welcome to come and join in to help.

adem
Guest
adem

@Keith
thanks dude

JK
Guest

it this a custom 4.4.x rom or rom from the vendor? I have multiple devices and would like to replicate configuration, can anyone help?

Keith
Guest

@JK, this was from the vendor the rom. Anyway, guys I’m looking for some help. Does anyone know how to edit the new version of the script.bin and u-boot? Its config.fex and u-boot.fex. Its the only thing standing in my way from having full 1080p on this device. Also I just updated rom on dragondevs.com to v2.0 PowerMod.

belend
Guest
belend

dear Keith
i download that firmware, but it is not in im format.. how can i put it to phoenix?

Dan-O
Guest
Dan-O

How do you get Skype to work. Also, I know the camera works well, but is there a microphone to talk into? Thx

GLENN
Guest
GLENN

I HAD PURCHASE CS918S ANDROID BOX TV 2 MONTHS AGO FROM ONLINE AND GOT DELIVERED.

BUT NOW WHEN I TRY SKYPE, IT IS NOT WORKING, IT IS GIVING ME A MESSAGE ” CANNOT LOGIN NOW. PLEASE CHECK MOBILE NETWORK CONNECTIONS AND TRY AGAIN”

I AM USING WIFI CONNECTION. CAN YOU PLEASE HELP ME KNOW, HOW CAN I CONNECT TO SKYPE FOR VIDEO CHAT USING ANDROID BOX CONNECTED THROUGH HDMI CABLE ON MY TV?

I WOULD APPRECIATE YOUR HELP