Best android boxes in 2021: for tv, gaming, and everything else

An Android TV box allows you khổng lồ stream shows or movies onlớn any TV, including those that don’t have smart capabilities.

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Android TV boxes are a little less comtháng in the UK compare to lớn across the pond, with many of us choosing the smaller streaming stick over these bigger TV boxes.

A smart TV stiông chồng và Android TV box work much in the same way; by plugging inkhổng lồ the baông chồng of a TV so that you can wave sầu goodbye to lớn watching all your favourite shows on your tiny tablet screen.


However, as the name suggests, all Android TV boxes run on the Android operating system, rather than those designed by Apple or Roku.

In this guide, we will do our best answer the most common questions about Android TV boxes including how they work, whether they’re worth the money và menu some of the most popular Android smart TV box brands.

An Android TV box isn’t the only way to lớn upgrade your TV, read our guide on Roku vs Fire TV Stiông chồng to find out more. Or, try our round-up of the best streaming devices.

What is an Android TV box?

An Android TV box is a streaming device that you can plug inkhổng lồ your TV to lớn be able lớn watch streaming services, such as Netflix, which are typically only available on portable devices such as laptops, tablets and phones, or on smart TVs. These TV boxes are also sometimes known as streaming players or set-top boxes.

How does an Android TV box work?

Much like a NOW TV Stick or Google Chromecast, an Android TV box plugs into the baông chồng of a TV via the HDXiaoMI port. However, once plugged in an Android TV box will look and feel different lớn a NOW TV Stiông chồng or other devices because they operate on different systems.

The Android operating system can also be customised so while brands like Nvidia and Xiaongươi use the same basis for their streaming player, the homepage will likely look very different.

Once the box is set up, various streaming services & apps can then be accessed on your TV, rather than on a tablet or laptop, & no casting is required.

Can you watch normal TV on an Android TV box?

The streaming services, on-dem& services & apps you can access will vary depending on the br& of Android TV box. For example, the homepage of the Amazon’s Fire TV devices has a live TV tab where you can access apps to lớn watch TV including Đài truyền hình BBC iPlayer, All4 và My5.

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Many of these apps require you khổng lồ create an tài khoản, but are không tính phí lớn watch. However, if you want to watch live sầu football on an Amazon Fire TV Stichồng that does require a Prime Video membership, which costs £3.99 a month.

Android TV box or smart TV stick: which is better?


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Smart TV sticks have sầu become increasingly popular due to lớn their small kích thước & portability. Android TV boxes, on the other hvà, tend to be bigger & a little more difficult to lớn hide on a TV stand.

The kích thước of the device can correspond to how powerful it is. For example, many of the most popular Android TV boxes offer 4K streaming or gaming capabilities, while this is only offered on mid-range or more expensive sầu smart TV sticks.

However, even most 4K smart TV sticks are considerably cheaper than an Android TV box. The starting price for an Android TV box is £80 và it can go as high as £200. When smart TV sticks can be as cheap as £30, it is easy khổng lồ see why you might choose a smart TV stichồng over a more expensive TV box, especially when both devices are primarily used khổng lồ give a new lease of life to lớn an already old TV.

Therefore, it largely comes down to weighing up your budget against streaming unique how powerful you would lượt thích the device lớn be.

If it is just for a small TV in the spare room, a smart TV stiông xã lượt thích Roku Premiere would bởi vì a fine job for £39.99. Otherwise, you may prefer khổng lồ invest in a device that’s powerful enough lớn game on or have more sophisticated voice recognition giải pháp công nghệ like the Amazon Fire TV Cube or Nvidia Shield TV Pro.

Popular Android TV boxes lớn buy in 2021

Interested in buying an Android TV box? Here are some of the most popular Android TV boxes available right now.

Nvidia Shield TV Pro


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With Dolby Vision and Atmos, the Nvidia Shield TV Pro streams in 4K HDR. Google Assistant is built-in khổng lồ allow you lớn control your TV with your voice. And if you’ve sầu tried out previous Nvidia Shield devices, you’ll be pleased to know that this Android smart TV box is 25 per cent faster than its predecessor thanks to lớn the Nvidia Tegra X1+ processor.

Amazon Fire TV Cube


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A smart TV stiông xã and Amazon Echo smart speaker combined, the Fire TV Cube is Amazon’s most powerful TV device. A great option for anyone with more Amazon subscriptions than they can keep track of with navigation made easy thanks to lớn voice assistant Alexa. Read our full Amazon Fire TV Cube Đánh Giá.

For those looking to spend a little less, the Amazon Fire TV Stiông chồng offers access to lớn the same apps, channels and streaming services in HD streaming unique.


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You may be more familiar with Xiaomi’s phones than TV boxes but the Xiaomày Mi TV Box S gives you access lớn a range of apps including Netflix, YouTube, and Google Play. This Android smart TV box offers 4K streaming & built-in Google Assistant means you can navigate the TV box via voice commands.