AMLogic S802 Android TV Boxes are currently available for pre-order, and are expected to ship by the end of the month. Last time I wrote Tronsmort Vega S89 and Eny ES8 featuring the latest quad core SoC from AMLogic. Geekbuying currently has test samples for both Vega S89 and M8 (similar to ES8), has open them, and taken some pictures of the boards. The good news, if you want to tinker, is that both of them appear to give relatively access to the UART port.
Tronsmart Vega S89 Board
There are two models: Vega S89 and Vega S89 Elite. The former is the high-end version with dual band Wi-Fi (2.4/5.0GHz) and 16 GB flash, and the latter only supports 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi and comes with 8GB flash. Price: $120 and $105.
The serial port appears to be on the left side of the board (TBC), just above the two USB ports. You’d need to solder small cables to add a USB to TLL board but with the through holes it should be easy. On the bottom right, we have the Wi-Fi module which happens to be AP6330 (Vega S89 only) like in many previous devices. I could not see any sort of cooling in the pictures published by GeekBuying.
The device comes with 8GB flash, 2GB RAM, and a dual band Wi-Fi module. Price: $103.79. ES8 is also available for $99, but pictures are not available.
On the top picture, we’ll find a 4-pin connector (soldered) which according to the marking on the back of the board is definitely the serial console port with GND, 3.3V, Tx and Rx. Contrary to Vega S89, there’s a heatsink, so the device is less likely to overheat. The same AP6330 Wi-Fi module is used in this board. The silkscreen shows M9_V0.91, although the board is sold as M8. In this sample at least, the company has decided not to solder the IR sensor.
If you are interested in getting one, Geekbuying pre-sells four models based on S802 SoC. You can also find sellers on Aliexpress with prices starting just below $100.
Jean-Luc started CNX Software in 2010 as a part-time endeavor, before quitting his job as a software engineering manager, and starting to write daily news, and reviews full time later in 2011.