ABOX A1 Plus Smart Android 7.1 TV Box with 2GB RAM 16GB ROM Amlogic Quad Core A53 Processor 64 Bits, HDMI 2.0 Output Support 4K*2K@ 60HZ Full HD, H.265, WIFI 2.4Ghz £46.99(Check current price)
There is a dedicated ethernet port with the specification of a 100Mbit/s. 100Mbit should be fine for most users needs, but gigabit would have been much more preferred.
There are also 2 USB ports, a microSD port and an optical out. It should be possible to load LibreELEC onto a MicroSD and boot directly from that
The model I was shipped with came with Android 7.1.2 installed. Kodi, Netflix etc. are not preinstalled on it.
The 2GB of DDR should allow a decent amount of buffering within Kodi. It is about £10 more than similarly specced devices, but I opted for the better-reviewed device over price saving.
Setting it up is quite straightforward, just plug everything in, switch it on and go through the necessary setup procedure. The remote is actually usable, but it is not perfect, on Netflix it just didn’t seem to work sometimes.
The remote is a bit cumbersome for logging into things, so I reported to a Bluetooth keyboard which paired quickly and made my life far more pleasant.
Once set up there were not many media apps to use straight away, no Kodi, plex, Netflix etc. I immediately went to the play store to download them all. Within the Play store, I was able to download Kodi, Plex and Amazon Prime but there was no Netflix. I then found out that you had to download the APK manually and install it, not ideal really, but the device does come with a large menu item named BoxHelp and under “Other Apps” you can download it.
Kodi and Streaming Services - GooBang Doo ABOX A1 Plus Smart Android 7.1 TV Box UK Review
I was not thrilled to find that under BoxHelp there is basically a step by step guide to downloading Kodi and setting up streaming services. It is bypassing the rules of fully loaded Kodi boxes while still offering the same service. While I have no major issue if you want to stream pirated content, I don’t think it should be built into devices; it just puts unnecessary pressure on legitimate app companies like Kodi. That being said, if you buy this box to stream, which most people do, then it should be straightforward to set up.
Performance & Usability - GooBang Doo ABOX A1 Plus Smart Android 7.1 TV Box UK Review
The ABOX can’t come close to the Shield or Amazon 4K in either performance or usability. So much so that within an hour I was tempted to pack it up and send it back.
After giving it a little more chance, it isn’t that bad. Navigation is a bit slower than the other two devices, but things load reasonably quickly.
Within Kodi, for 1080p MKVs encoded in H.264 things played smoothly with no issues. I would randomly get artefacts so I would say it is not as good as the RPI3, but it is more than adequate.
Netflix is reasonable, it seems to take a while before the image switches from grainy low res to something reasonable, but once it does it is fine. Netflix also plays 4K without issues.
Verdict - GooBang Doo ABOX A1 Plus Smart Android 7.1 TV Box UK Review
If you are looking for a low-cost Android box then this is a good option, the increased RAM and storage make it worth the extra money 1GB/8GB models.
If you want to use it for streaming from questionable sources, it appears to be quite simple to set up.
For local content, it works well, but other devices are better, but at half the price I'm not complaining.
It's a neat little device and I've enjoyed trying out the ABOX A1 Plus.