MA8-4K is a $19 Android TV Box based on Rockchip RK3229 Processor (Promo)

MA8-4K is yet another TV box running Android 5.1 on Rockchip RK3229 quad core Cortex A7 processor, but it might one of the cheapest right now, as GearBest offers it for $18.99 shipped with GBMA87 coupon instead of $27.99 “flash sale” price. This is likely valid for only a few hundred boxes.

MA8-4K specifications:

  • SoC – Rockchip RK3229 quad core ARM Cortex A7 processor @ 1.5 GHz with ARM Mali-400MP2 GPU
  • System Memory – 1GB DDR3
  • Storage – 8GB flash + micro SD card slot up to 32GB
  • Video Output – HDMI 2.0 up to 4K2K @ 60 fps, and 3.5mm AV output (composite)
  • Audio Output – HDMI, AV, and coaxial S/PDIF
  • Connectivity – 10/100 Mbps Ethernet, 802.11 b/g/n WiFi (AP6051 chip); Bluetooth is mentioned in title, but not in description, so it’s unclear whether it’s implemented.
  • USB – 2x USB 2.0 host ports
  • Power Supply – 5V/1.5A
  • Dimensions – 11.20 x 11.20 x 2.30 cm
  • Weight – 107 grams

The box runs Android 5.1, ships with a power adapter and a user’s manual in English. The remote control is not part of the package list, but they do mention “The remote control is powered by 2 x AAA batteries (not included) in the list of main features.

There’s no mention of Kodi support in the description, so it’s unclear whether there’s a custom Kodi version pre-installed. Kodi 17.3 from the Google Play Store will not work well on anything below Android 7.1 for Rockchip device, as my experience with Vorke Z3 has shown. So I would not purchase as a Kodi box, at least if you plan on using the latest version. I previously reviewed two Rockchip RK3229 with MXQ 4K and Zidoo X1 II. I abandoned the review for the former since the firmware was unusable, but Zidoo X1 II worked fairly well for H.265 and H.264 videos and audio pass-through.

Talking about cheap devices, sometimes I sell samples locally after reviews, and I’ve got several reports with cheap models (around $30) that they work fine… for about 2 or 3 months, and then just die, and people come back for a better and more expensive model.

Pressing the CPU with a Clamp allegedly extended the life of the TV box by around one month…

Maybe it’s because of the hot and humid climate here, but it’s something to keep in mind, as “buy cheap, buy twice” may be at play here.


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6 Replies to “MA8-4K is a $19 Android TV Box based on Rockchip RK3229 Processor (Promo)”

  1. I’ve got several reports with cheap models (around $30) that they work fine… for about 2 or 3 months, and then just die

    i’ve been using those cheap arm tv boxes to install linux nas/print/plex servers for 3 years, they usually run 24/7 (mostly idle) and i have suffered very few failures on the 3-4 dozens installed (3 failures as far as i can remember), various (no)brands, 80% amlogic.

    It’s most certainly not a large enough sample to get accurate statistics but i could not say if those pcb boards have a higher failure rate than some high end GPU boards.
    Failures being almost always associated with (lead free) BGA problems on the main/memory chip, caused by temperature variation / mechanical stress (corrosion in high humidity environments ?).

    It must also be said that no matter the cheap (no)brand you’re buying it from, the boards are usually coming from the same few manufacturers, moreover the circuit design is so simplified and usually follows so closely the soc manual recommendations that it’s quite hard to get a bad circuit design (i didn’t say it’s good).

    What i end up replacing the most is the power brick, so much so, that i now always replace them by higher amperage ones (5v/3a).

    That being said, since the target price is to be the lowest possible, i did come up a couple of boards that were of really poor quality, bad component alignment, poor soldering, zero heat design.

    1. The most important is when not using, just to make sure turn off the power. I believed the box die faster is because the box is over heating.

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