Mecool BB2 Pro is yet another Amlogic S912 Android 6.0 TV box, but after Eweat R9 Plus, it’s my second TV box with DDR4 memory that should deliver much higher bandwidth compared to DDR3 memory used in most TV boxes. But so far, it’s clear how much performance can be extracted from the system with higher memory bandwidth in actual use, and that’s exactly what I hope to find out in the second part of the review, but in this post I start by going through the specs, check the box and its accessories, as well as the hardware design.
Apart from the DDR4 memory, BB2 Pro has pretty common specifications:
- SoC – Amlogic S912 octo-core ARM Cortex A53 processor @ up to 1.5 GHz with ARM Mali-820MP3 GPU
- System Memory – 3 GB DDR4
- Storage – 16 GB eMMC flash + micro SD slot up to 32GB
- Video Output – HDMI 2.0a with HDR and CEC support up to 4K @ 60 fps, and AV port for composite output
- Audio Output – HDMI, AV (stereo audio), and optical S/PDIF
- Connectivity – Gigabit Ethernet, dual band WiFi 802.11 b/g/n/ac + Bluetooth 4.0
- USB – 2x USB 2.0 ports
- Misc – IR receiver, power button, recovery pinhole, LEDs
- Power Supply – 5V/2A
The device runs Android 6.0 with Kodi pre-installed.
Videostrong sent the package to me as Mecool is one of the brands together with YokaTV, and they are also found in some OEM products like Vontar.
The device ships with an IR remote control with IR learning function requiring two AAA batteries, a HDMI cable, a 5V/2A power supply, and a user’s manual.
The device itself looks pretty similar since it’s based on the exact same case as YokaTV KB2 we’ve just reviewed, and all ports are the same including the front panel’s IR receiver and LED window and power button, two USB 2.0 ports and a micro SD slot on the side, and the rest on the rear panel: Gigabit Ethernet, optical S/PDIF, AV port, recovery pinhole, HDMI 2.0a output, and the power jack. There’s also an external Wifi antenna.
D0:76:58 MAC addresses used by Videostrong still do not look up to anything. [Update: The company told me that “The MAC we’re using is not IEEE MAC. It works in localized network, and it is the only id for empowering applications to activate, specially IPTV applications.”] Anyway, I had to remove the four rubber pads in the metallic bottom cover, and loosen the screws underneath in order to open the device.We’ll find two Samsung K4A8G165WB-BCRC DDR4 SDRAM chip (8Gbit each) so we’ve not been lied too, and the device indeed has DDR4 memory :), as well as the marking (3.3V, Tx, Rx, GND) for the serial console on the bottom of the board.
We’ll need to use a small plastic tool to pull out the board from the plastic case. A heatsink – plus two thermal pads – covers Amlogic S912 processor and the remaining DDR4 chips, and a LED is connected to the bottom of the case. You’ll also notice an elliptic opening (unused) on the top right of the plastic, that’s probably reserved for a power button in other designs.
Samsung KLMAG1JENB-B041 eMMC 5.1 flash provides 16 GB of storage with theoretical 285/40 MB/s sequential R/W performance, while Realtek RTL8211F and Pulse H5009NL chips enabled Gigabit Ethernet, and a KM63350711 wireless module – whose naming reminds me of Ampak AP6335 – delivers 802.11ac WiFi and Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity. Finally DIO2133 audio driver completed the most noticeable components on the board.
I’d like to thank VideoStrong for sending the review sample, and interested distributors may inquire the company via the product page. Mecool BB2 Pro can also be purchased for $68 and up on Banggood, GearBest, and eBay, or just about the same as YokaTV KB2 with 3GB DDR3 instead of 3GB DDR4, and 32GB storage instead of just 16 GB, with the rest of the specifications being equal.
[Update: you can now read the second part of the review @ Mecool BB2 Pro Review – TV Box with DDR4 Memory – Part 2: Android Firmware, Benchmarks, Kodi]