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    REVIEW: Beelink GTmini-A with Netflix 4K support and Android TV 4

    Beelink GTmini-A is an Android TV-Box model that we present today in his review, in this device is identical in hardware to the Beelink GT1-mini model that we review recently, in turn has the same advantages as the Beelink GT1-A with DRM certificates and a modification that allows you to play Netflix 4K among others. This TV-Box has versions with 2/4GB of DDR4 RAM and 32/64GB of internal storage, it has a WiFi Dual Band adapter, Bluetooth 4.0, Gigabit Ethernet and as an operating system it has Android TV 8. Let’s see in our review How this device behaves and the power of its hardware compared to its competition.

    Opinion

    The new model of TV-Box Beelink GTmini-A is without a doubt a very interesting variant of the previous GT-mini with S905X2 SoC but with DRM certificates and with the possibility of being able to watch in 4K Netflix and Youtube quality. A compact but interesting model since it has a USB 3.0 connector, visual improvements in video playback and a very controlled consumption for its power. At the network level, the Wifi ac Dual Band adapter that gives us good figures and the Gigabit Ethernet port speed allows us to use network files without any problems of local bandwidth.

    The small Beelink GTmini-A has on its motherboard with 4GB of DDR4 RAM, which allow us to load several apps from the internal memory and switch between them from the remote with the double click on the Home button. This TV-Box with Android TV 8 allows us to handle it in a very comfortable way on our TV with the Flymouse remote to which we can give orders with the microphone through Google Assistant. It also behaves well as a video player, for example with KODI or for powerful games and all kinds of apps within the Android store.

    This TV-Box is compact and powerful, a perfectly valid model for users looking to play Netflix and Youtube 4K at a reasonable price, it also has by default a flymouse remote with microphone for a very easy-to-use .

    Beelink GTmini-A is an Android TV-Box model that we present today in his review, in this device is identical in hardware to the Beelink GT1-mini model that we review recently, in turn has the same advantages as the Beelink GT1-A with DRM certificates and a modification that allows you to play Netflix 4K among others. This TV-Box has versions with 2/4GB of DDR4 RAM and 32/64GB of internal storage, it has a WiFi Dual Band adapter, Bluetooth 4.0, Gigabit Ethernet and as an operating system it has Android TV 8. Let’s see in our review How this device behaves and the power of its hardware compared to its competition.

    Model Beelink GTmini-A
    Basic Specs SoC: Amlogic S905X2 Quad Core Cortex A-53 (64bit) / GPU Mali-G31 MP2 / 4x ARM-A53 @ 1.8GHz
    System: Android TV 8.1 Oreo (32bit)
    Ram and storage: 2/4 GB DDR4 – 32/64 GB eMMC (4/64GB in review)
    Network: Wifi ac + Bluetooth 4.1 (AP6255) – Gigabit Ethernet
    Ports: HDMI 2.1 4K @ 75fps / AV Jack 3.5mm / 1x USB 2.0 / 1x USB 3.0 / MicroSD
    Extras: Flymouse RF remote with microphone / Cable HDMI / Manual / Adapter DC 5V 2A

    Environment and Android system

    We connect the Beelink GTmini-A to the current, the TV-Box starts automatically with an animation and the front white led lights up. The installer system by default is Android TV 8.1, an Android version focused on its use on television screen and use with remote control that has its advantages and disadvantages. The performance is very good and the system moves very fluid, it shows much more powerful hardware than a Xiaomi Mi Box S for example. If you want this TV-Box for play games go for the 4GB model, otherwise you can choose the 2GB model.

        Launcher: Android TV 8.1 Launcher / We can’t change the default launcher / Android UI rendering at 1080p.
        Multitasking and access: Android TV notification system / Multitasking available directly in 2x Home control.
        Installed apps: Google play, Netflix, Update, AppInstaller, Youtube, File Manager, DLNA and Settings.
        Languages: All the international Android classics.
        On/Off Controls: If we keep press the power button we have reset and power off option / Configurable in settings.

     

    We check the system data within the Android settings and through analysis software, we can see the details of the system installed by default, in this case in Android TV 8.1 with support for 32bit apps only.

    • System version: Android TV 8.1 (32 bit) / Kernel 4.9.76 / Build 2019-04-16 (114N0) / Reference U211.
    • App store: Google Play with all the apps available for the Android system.
    • Settings and root: Android + Droid Settings / The system IS root by default / NO menu to deactivate it in settings (will be updated).
    • Support: Beelink has a website to contact / Firmware not yet / Custom firmware no yet

    ower and performance

    At power level the Beelink GTmini-A has very good results in the line of the new Amlogic S905X2 Quad Core SoC with ARM Cortex-A53 processors and Mali-G31 MP2 GPU in a very good position. This new SoC made in 12nm offers us a good efficiency, the temperatures do not reach a worrying figures at any time and in normal use it behaves without problems in any task.

    • Consumption: Off 0.8W / Standby 2W / Basic use 3W / Maximum 3.5W
    • Thermals: Minimum 45ºC / Maximum 71ºC / Maintains performance up to 100% / Small heat zone on the top / Noise 0db

    bserving the benchmarks we can see how the Amlogic S905X2 SoC is almost on par with the most powerful Amlogic last generation SoC the S912. In general the results are below that a powerful SoC like the Rockchip RK3399 that already has ARM Cortex-A73 cores, but some results are in the line of this processor. A valid processor to run games and emulators at a good level without reaching the top of the sector.

    Network, storage, RAM and ports

    In the Beelink GTmini-A model we have integrated eMMC memory as internal storage, USB 3.0 ports and SD card reader. In the network section we have a Wifi ac 2.4/5GHz and Bluetooth 4.1 (AP6255) and Ethernet Gigabit port. The performance of the Wifi chip is good and we arrive at correct figures for this type of adapter.

        Storage: Total 64GB expandable with a USB memory stick / NTFS + exFAT compatible.
        RAM: Total 4GB – Free 3GB / DDR4.
        Network: Good speed in 5G with one wifi antenna / Range 27 dBm, correct. / Bluetooth works OK.

    VIDEO AND AUDIO TEST
    Video playback test

    In the video playback section the Beelink GTmini-A features the S905X2 SoC and an Amlogic TruLife Gen8 VPU compatible with most modern video formats such as h.265 and VP9. In this TV-Box we can use players like MX Player or install KODI from Google Play without the slightest problem, the system comes by default without any multimedia player but we can install KODI that works without problems.

        Settings and HDMI-CEC: NO image quality settings / RGB and SDR modes available / HDMI-CEC works
        Automatic refresh rate change: Not available.
        Media sharing: Chromecast NO / Miracast NO / DLNA with BlubblePnP / Airplay NO.
        LibreELEC: This model is NOT compatible with LibreELEC.

    We perform several multimedia playback tests with the Beelink GTmini-A and check that it works perfectly using the new Amlogic S922X SoC, which has video output support for HDMI 2.1 that theoretically allows maximum resolution up to 4K@75fps with HDR information with  support for Dolby Vision.

    • Performance: HEVC 10 bit HDR OK / VP9 P2 OK / 8K no compatible / 1080i with frameskips.
    • Ports: HDMI 2.1 4K@75fps / Jack audio stereo
    • Max. bitrate: 100 Mbps = 12,5 MB/s.

    Video results

    Formats Result
    h.264 / 1080p / 4K / 8bit OK
    h.264 / 4K / 10bit OK
    h.265 / 4K / 8bit OK
    h.265 / 4K / 10bit HDR OK
    VP9 P1 / 4K / 8bit OK
    VP9 P2 / 4K / 10bit HDR OK
    VP9 P2 / 8K / 10bit HDR Frameskip

    Audio playback test

    We check the audio in the Beelink GTmini-A using a Yamaha AV receiver we check that they supports DD and DTS pass through sound. We can only listen to the multi-channel audio up to 5.1. If we do not have an AV receiver to listen the files with AC3 or multichannel sound we must configure the system to listen to configure the system to listen to multichannel AC3 videos in stereo on any TV.

    udio test results

    Formats DD / DTS 5.1 DD+ / DTS MA DD True / DTS HR DD Atmos / DTS X
    HDMI OK / OK OK / Core Core PCM / Core*
    Optical -*
    • PCM – Stereo only doing downmix from DD or DTS
    • Core – Only the core of the format is played back with what we passed to the Dolby / DTS base system
      * Our AV receiver does not support these native formats but we verify that it is played back to 7.1

    Streaming services

    We pass the classic tests on streaming services to see how the most popular services work. The Beelink GT1-A presents an unusual configuration since we are certified with both Google Widevine L1 and Microsoft Playready, in addition to support HDCP 2.2. As we can see Netflix works in 4K quality through some ingenious trick but unfortunately other services such as HBO or Amazon Prime Video can not be played despite having the DRM certifications, Beelink are checking these apps to see if they have a solution.

    • DRM: Google Widevine L1 / Microsoft Playready / HDCP 2.2.
    • Certification: No
    Streaming service Video / Audio Result Manual
    Youtube 4K (2160p) / Stereo OK
    Google Play Movies FullHD (1080p) / Stereo OK
    Netflix 4K (2160p) / Stereo OK Netflix on Android
    HBO No compatible
    Amazon Prime Video No compatible Amazon Prime video on Android

     

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