Matricom G-Box Q2 Android TV Box Review

Another guest review from Karl, this time, with Matricom G-Box Q2 Android 5.1 TV box based on Amlogic S812 processor.

First Impressions

gbox_q2_package

Today I will be reviewing the G-Box Q2 by Matricom. This is a follow up device to the popular G-Box Q. The first day I plugged it in and did some basic first impressions I thought it was laggy…..but after using it and setting up the way I am accustomed to using it…I found it very fast and responsive. From the time power is applied to launcher is loaded is about 33 seconds. The software seems solid and I ran into only minor issues. It got very respectable scores between 38000 and 42000 on Antutu. The box does have a lot of software that I am not a fan of, but these can be easily uninstalled. The launcher that comes with it is ok but I prefer a more vanilla launcher. I do wish it had gigabit Ethernet it would help streaming high bitrate 4K movies but in reality other than test videos I have no 4k movies. I did end up testing a USB 3.0 gigabit adapter and was pleasantly surprised it just worked and got significant improvement over the integrated Ethernet.

gbox_q2_accessories

Specs

  • CPU/GPU – Amlogic s812 Quad Core @ 2GHz Mali-450 Octo Core 3D GPU
  • Memory – 2GB DDR3 SK Hynix
  • Storage – 16GB Flash Storage Samsung
  • Android OS – Android Lollipop
  • USB Ports – Two (2) USB 2.0
  • Ethernet – 10/100 Full Duplex
  • Wi-Fi – Broadcom 5G 802.11 Dual Band Via AP6330
  • Bluetooth – V.4.0 Low Power, Full Speed
  • Dimensions – Length: 12.5cm, Width: 12.5cm,
  • Height: 2.5cm

gbox_q2_board

gbox_q2_board_closeup

Chrome

Chrome is the only app that I found major deficiencies with…it was very laggy. The built it browser worked much better for me. I recently installed an Emby server and it takes a good minute for it to load,  and when I click a link 5-10 seconds for a response. I found 5-10 seconds to respond on most pages.

Video

SPMC works great plays everything in my collection. Further down I did testing with some test vids. With the Masters going I loaded there app from the play store….I watched several pre-recorded items and they played well but live was jittery. YouTube plays 1080p and is nice and fluid.

Launcher, Home, and UI

The stock launcher is OK, and you can install others, but there is no way to make it default unless the Matricom launcher is totally removed. One thing that kind of grew on me is when pressing the home button the app switcher loads at the bottom of the screen. The app switcher is part of the Matricom Launcher so I opted to keep it and just click Nova Launcher every boot.

Click to Enlarge
Click to Enlarge

One thing I found odd was there is a mixture of double clicks and single clicks in the UI. There are no notifications or navigation buttons at the bottom of the screen. To get around the lack of app switcher to kill a process I had to hold an alt-tab and slide the app off the screen to kill it.

Testing

Moving Files around

Scenario Size in MB sec MBytes/sec
From NAS to Internal SD over Wi-Fi 5GHz

1575.246

658

2.393990881

From NAS to Internal SD over Ethernet

1575.246

194

8.119824742

From Internal SD to NAS over Ethernet

1575.246

226

6.970115044

From NAS to External SD over Ethernet

1575.246

174

9.053137931

From Internal SD to External SD

1575.246

154

10.22887013

From External SD to Internal SD

1575.246

102

15.44358824

From USB Thumb to Internal SD

1575.246

57

27.63589474

From Internal SD to USB Thumb

1575.246

142

11.09328169

External SD to USB Thumb

1575.246

146

10.78935616

From NAS to Internal SD over Gig USB to Ethernet

1575.246

98

16.07393878

From Internal SD to NAS over Gig USB to Ethernet

1575.246

157

10.03341401

After connecting a USB Gigabit adapter you can tell there is a significant advantage to using it. My NAS is the limiting factor. I max out around 16-17 MB/s. I would imagine it could go as high as the USB to thumb drive move of about 27 MB/s which is about the typical throughput of USB 2.0.

4k Video Test

Kodi 16.0

MX Player

SPMC 16.2.1

big_buck_bunny_1080p_H264_AAC_25fps_7200K_short.MP4

ok

ok

ok

big_buck_bunny_1080p_MPEG2_MP2_25fps_6600K_short.MPG

ok

ok

ok

big_buck_bunny_1080p_MPEG4_MP3_25fps_7600K_short.AVI

ok

ok

ok

big_buck_bunny_1080p_VC1_WMA3_25fps_8600K_short.WMV

ok

ok

ok

big_buck_bunny_1080p_VP8_VORBIS_25fps_7800K_short.WebM

ok

Stutters

ok

Ducks Take Off [2160p a 243 Mbps].mkv

Pauses occasionally almost perfect

Pauses occasionally

Pauses occasionally almost perfect

jellyfish-120-mbps-4k-uhd-hevc-10bit.mkv

Weird video issue

Plays few frames skips plays few frames skips

Weird video issue

Samsung_UHD_Dubai.ts

ok

Plays few frames skips plays few frames skips

ok

tears_of_steel_4k_H264_24fps.mov

ok

ok

ok

tears_of_steel_1080p_H264_24fps.mov

ok

ok

ok

140626_4k_hm130_4s_sao_dbf_qp27.265.mpeg

Slight stutter

ok

ok

140803_4k_hm130_4s_sao_dbf_qp27.265.mpeg

Slight stutter

Ok but slight pause at same spot every time

ok

SPMC is the clear winner.

Benchmarks

CPU-Z

Click to Enlarge
Click to Enlarge

Antutu 6.0.1

Click to Enlarge
Click to Enlarge

Vellamo

gbox_q2_vellamo3DMark Ice Storm Extreme

gbox_q2_3dmark_ICS

Apps

  • Netflix – Only SD
  • Asphalt 8 – OK
  • Riptide GP 2 – OK
  • YouTube 1080 – OK
  • Google Play Movies – Black Screen no audio
  • Crackle – OK
  • Hulu – OK
  • Emby – Works well with MX player as external player. Everything stretched 16:9
  • Plex App – OK, some streams won’t play

Final notes

I have really enjoyed my time with this box. Everything but Chrome seemed to work very well. Video test went very well. S/PDIF worked perfectly. I do wish it had a notification bar and navigation bar so I could kill apps and get notifications easily. I would have tried to change this but I was fearful I would brick the box and not get it back. Matricom/Google should resolve the Chrome issue soon. I would say it is the best overall box that I have played with, behind the NVidia Shield.


CNXSoft here. Matricom G-Box Q2 can be purchased for $97 on Amazon US, but I have to thank Sandroid.co.uk instead, as they are the one who sent the device for review, and they sell it in the UK for £83.33 to £94.16 depending on the chosen remote control. And of course, thanks to Karl for the review!

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The user interface looks nice. Is the Wi-Fi a/c though?

Corey
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Corey

Jay :
The user interface looks nice. Is the Wi-Fi a/c though?

Yes, it is. Karl is mistaken.

adem
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adem
Eddie
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Eddie

Can OpenELEC be installed on it?