Back at the beginning of June, I reviewed the Skystream X5 Android TV box. An amazing streaming box with brilliant style and amazing performance. Today I am looking at the Element Ti5 Android TV box. This is a box with similar specifications, but a much lower price.
So what does this lower price point get you in terms of specifications ?
- Amlogic Quad core S905 CPU clocked at 2.0 GHz (64-bit Cortex-A53)
- Penta-Core Mali 450 GPU
- 2 GB of RAM
- 16 GB Flash storage
- Resolutions up to 4K
- Running rooted Android 5.1 (Lollipop)
These are some pretty amazing specifications given the lower price of this box. They aren’t comparable to what you would find in a modern flagship smartphone, but they are still brilliant and gets the job done well. The 2GB of RAM alone is really decent as applications nowadays do tend to take up precious amounts of RAM.
The Ti5 has a fairly simple design. It’s a square unit that offers all of the essentials, such as two USB ports and a MicroSD slot. Two USB ports should be enough for most users as a way of connecting a keyboard and mouse, but if you require more simply connect a USB hub to one of the available ports.
Around the back are the basic input and output ports, which are an AV port, an ethernet port, a HDMI port, an optical audio port and lastly the DC in port. There’s also WiFi built-in to this box but unlike some other boxes, the WiFi antenna isn’t on the outside of the box.
On the top plate of the box is a set of three horizontally running lines that form part of a capital E minus the vertical line. I may be wrong, but I’m probably right in assuming this does represent the letter E. These three lines light up Blue when the box is powered on.
The box is coloured in black with a gloss finish on the top plate and a matt finish running around the bottom of the unit. This makes it sit extremely well with my entertainment center (Where my T.V lives) as it blends in nicely with its surroundings which include a T.V, audio setup and a PS4.
Now onto the remote, which I hate, yes I said it, I hate this remote. Just like I hate the remotes provided with every other Android T.V box I have reviewed (with exception to the X5 of course). The remote here is generic and bland, it has the basic set of buttons and a rather horrible on-screen mouse. If you really want to get the best experience out of this box either get a wireless remote such as this one or hook up a mouse and keyboard because trust me the basic remotes that come with boxes like this truly suck. For some odd reason, the manual shows a picture of a better looking remote with two sides, maybe whoever wrote this manual was hoping to rid the world of generic Android TV Box remotes.
Luckily for me, I already have a pretty decent air remote mouse that works superbly with the Ti5.
Software and performance:
The Ti5 comes with a heavily skinned version of Android 5.1, which has also been rooted to offer the user more control over what they can do with the Android O.S. I have plenty of respect for the design that Kodielement have designed for the User interface of the Ti5. The U.I in use here is very simple and very easy to use. it combines bright colours with bold visuals that give it really friendly look, one that’s not intimidating and literally screams that it wants to be your friend throughout your streaming journey.
The main menu makes use of six tiles for the main shortcut options that take you to pages such as the application page or even the page with applications specifically for online video streaming. Also present is a quick navigation bar that you can set up to display up to 10 applications of your choice for quicker access. The overall experience of navigating this U.I is an enjoyable one that doesn’t leave a sour taste in your mouth.
In terms of entertainment, this box has you covered thanks to its access to the Google Play Store, where you can download applications, games, movies, TV shows, music, and even ebooks. This means everything you could ever need is there in this small box. You can use applications such as Netflix, Youtube, Iplayer, other catch up on demand applications and so much more. If you’re into Kodi you can even use and add-0ns for it.
You can even play games on this box, but I will say this get an Android game controller first, you can find them on amazon and other online retails for quite low prices. I have been playing GTA: San Andreas on here and I have had a right blast playing it, almost reminds me of the days I was playing it on the PS2.
The performance of this box has so far for me been great I have had no major issues, the WiFi works well, the O.S runs smoothly and give me next to no trouble at all. The combination of hardware and software has been done really well here, the two seem to get on like a house on fire. I haven’t yet experienced any lag or other latency issues unless of course caused by my own internet service.
Overall: the Ti5 is an amazing box that comes at an amazing price. It works well, looks good and has great under the hood specifications. The only thing that makes it similar to the horrible cheaper T.V boxes you can buy on Ebay or Amazon is the horrible basic remote that comes with it.
The Ti5 is an amazing box that comes at an amazing price. It works well, runs smoothly, is user-friendly, looks good and has great under the hood specifications. The only thing that makes it similar to the horrible cheaper T.V boxes you can buy on Ebay or Amazon is the horrible basic remote that comes pre-packaged with it, although a simple keyboard and mouse combo can easily fix this issue.
DISCLAIMER: I received the Ti5 for free in return for my honest and unbiased review. This has had no effect on my overall opinion of the product.