Allwinner launched Allwinner H3 in December 2014 for Android TV boxes supporting 4K resolution selling for $35 to $50, but the first devices that started showing up in January sold for about $80. As the year passed, prices became more reasonable such as the $59 Zidoo X1 TV Box or $35 Tronsmart Draco H3 TV stick , and when Orange Pi PC development board launched for $15 + shipping, it was clear Allwinner H3 was a dirt cheap processor. The good thing is that you can now buy a 4K Android media player for just $31.99 shipped with Beelink X2 sold on GearBest.
- SoC – Allwinner H3 quad core ARM Cortex A7 @ 1.2GHz with quad core Mali-400MP2
- System Memory – 1 GB RAM
- Storage – 8 GB NAND flash + micro SD slot up to 32GB
- Connectivity – 10/100M Ethernet, 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi
- Video Output – HDMI up to 4K2K @ 30Hz
- Audio Output – HDMI, and optical S/PDIF
- USB – 2x USB 2.0 host ports
- Misc – IR receiver, power button and LED
- Power Supply – 5V/2A (power barrel)
- Dimensions – 11 x 11 x 1.75 cm
- Weight – 162 grams
The device runs Android 4.4 with Kodi pre-installed. I’ve seen a few people buying Orange Pi PC development boards just to run Kodi in Android, but Beelink X2 is probably better value for this purpose as it comes with a power adapter, an HDMI cable, a remote control and a user’s manual in English. It also has an enclosure, and you don’t need to flash the firmware to a micro SD card to get started. Firmware and flashing instructions are also provided on GearBest, so if you need to reflash the device all you need is there.
The only Allwinner H3 TV box I reviewed was Zidoo X1, and video playback was pretty poor, although since then Zidoo has fixed many of the issues, and they should keep on providing firmware update for a while. There’s however a relatively thorough review of Beelink X2 by Gadget Friendly.
That was his conclusion in August:
The Beelink X2 is a super affordable entry level Android media player that has the benefit of using a GPU that has matured in terms of software enhancements over the past few years. Out of the box it shows an impressive ability to playback HD video with little effort which is something that some of the newest boxes on the market cant even say with confidence. If you’re looking to get your feet wet with Android Mini PCs or just don’t have a whole lot of extra money to spend on non-essentials the Beelink X2 is the perfect compromise between price and performance and it definitely gets the Gadget Friendly seal of approval for being the best bargain device on the market at this time.
Bear in mind that many reviewers are a bit more positive, or let’s say forgiving, than yours truly…
Beelink X2 is also sold on other online shops such as Aliexpress or eBay, but prices start at $36 including shipping even if you buy in small quantities. DealsMachine offers it for $29.99 but you also need to $6 to $7 for shipping.
Thanks to Onebir for the tip.