Shenzhen Tomato Technology has send me a sample of their M8 Android TV Box based on the latest quad core AMLogic S802 processor which is said to run Android 4.4 Kitkat. In this post I’ll go through the specs, and show some pictures of the device, and internals. Later, I’ll write a full review with XBMC 13, which I’ve been told is pre-installed. I’ll also receive Tronsmart Vega S89 next week for unboxing and review.
M8 has more or less the same specs as other S802 Android TV boxes:
- SoC – AMLogic S802 quad core Cortex A9r4 processor @ 2GHz with Mali‐450MP6 GPU
- System Memory – 2GB DDR3
- Storage – 8GB NAND flash + SD card slot
- Connectivity – 10/100M Ethernet, dual band Wi‐Fi (2.4GHz/5GHz), Bluetooth
- Video Output – HDMI 1.4b, AV. HDMI supports 1080p, 4K2K 30fps
- Audio Output – HDMI, AV, and optical S/PDIF
- Video Codecs and Containers – MPEG1/2/4, H.264, AVC, VC‐1, RM/RMVB, Xvid, DivX3/4/5/6, RealVideo8/9/10…
- Audio – MP3, WMA, AAC, WAV, OGG, AC3, DDP, TrueHD, DTS, DTS HD, FLAC, APE…
- USB – 2x USB 2.0 host ports ,Support U DISK And USB HDD
- Misc – Power LED (ON:blue; Standby:Red), IR receiver
- Power Supply – 5V/2A
The box runs Android 4.4 KitKat.
The company send me the sample via Fedex, which I received in the package below.
A 5V/2A, a remote control and a user’s manual are included with the media player.
Although it’s mentioned in the user’s manual there was no HDMI cable. The two AAA batteries required by the remote were not included either. I’d assume these may be included in retail packages, depending on the seller requirements.
A close up on the box, shows a small triangular window at the front for the IR receiver, an SD card slot on one side, and most of the connectors at the back: two USB host ports, an HDMI output, Ethernet RJ45 connector, AV output, optical SPDIF (that feels low quality because of the plastic), and a power jack.
You can watch the unboxing video below.
M8 Board and Enclosure
I’ve already shown pictures of the boards of the M8 and Vega S89, but as I got this sample, I found a few more interesting bits.
It may be because the SoC faced down in this box, but there’s a heatsink on the CPU itself, as well as a metallic plate on the casing itself to keep everything cool. I’m not sure if it’s because of the thermal design of the box, or because S802 produce lots of heat, or both.
All the connector are on the top of the board, and this is the same PCB manufacturer on the 12/12/2013 and named M9_V0.91 as shown in my previous post.
At the back, we’ve got AP6330 module for dual band Wi-Fi, and the serial debug port on the top right of the picture. There’s also a sticker with a MAC address starting with C4:4E:AC…
It’s quite easy to remove the heat sink from the SoC, as there’s no need to put thermal paste after putting it, as they use a small “cushion” (what’s the right word?). The marking on the SoC is S802. AndroidPC.es reported there are three type of S802:
- S802 – No HDMI pass-through support
- S802D – HDMI pass-through for Dolby, but not DTS
- S802DD or S802H – HDMI pass-through for Dolby and DTS
I don’t know if the different names will show differently on the SoC marking, or if it will be more subtle than that.
If you are a reseller, you could get this device from Shenzhen Tomato Technology (Alibaba). Individuals can purchase the box from sites such as DealExtreme, Aliexpress or GeekBuying for about $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.