Review

Beelink GT1 Review: Smart TV Box with Android 6.0 powered by Amlogic S912

Today we want to introduce you to Beelink GT1 review. This is our one of the first TV Boxes equipped with Amlogic S912We do not know whether you remember, but writing an article about unboxing of Beelink GT1 we asked ourselves, whether rightly Beelink company used the name referring to the sports car racing or game “Gran Turismo” (racing game). And you know what ?, Yes! rightly Beelink used the GT1 name for his new TV Box. Already now we can tell you that the TV Box characterized by speed, reliability, good performance and stability. Also In this review (typically) we want to bring you the the features and impressions of using Beelink GT1 TV Box and answer the questions: how new GT1 TV Box powered by S912 chip works in normal use, as copes with video playback at 4K and that we stumbled upon some problems. Together we follow the standard stages of our review. We invite you to read.

I want to say thanks to Gearbest store for sending us a Beelink GT1 to review. Now Beelink GT1 Android TV Box is available on Gearbest for $55.99 + free shipping with coupon code: GBGT1.

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Beelink GT1

Beelink GT1 Android TV Box specifications:

  • CPU – Amlogic S912 octa-core ARM Cortex A53 processor @ up to 2.0GHz
  • GPU – ARM Mali-T820MP3 @ up to 750MHz
  • Memory – 2GB DDR3
  • Storage – 16GB eMMC flash and micro SD slot up to 32GB
  • Video Output – HDMI 2.0a
  • Audio Output – HDMI and optical S/PDIF
  • Video codecs – VP9-10/ and H.265 up to [email protected], H.264, WMV, MPEG-1/2/4, VC-1, AVS, and RealVideo up to [email protected]
  • Connectivity – Gigabit Ethernet, dual band WiFi 802.11 b/g/n/ac 2.4G+5.8G, Bluetooth 4.0
  • USB – 2x USB 2.0 ports
  • Misc – IR receiver
  • Power Supply – 5V/2A
  • Dimensions – 9.6 x 9.6 x 1.6 cm
  • Weight –  180g

Beelink GT1

What we find in the box? The box included everything that you need to get started:

  • Beelink GT1 Android TV Box
  • HDMI cable
  • Power adapter 5V/2A (EU)
  • Remote control (without AAA batteries)
  • User Operations Guide
Beelink GT1 unboxing
Beelink GT1 TV Box and Accesories (Click to Enlarge)

The following video from our YouTube channel where you can take a look at more Beelink GT1 TV Box and bundled accessories.

First impressions, settings, overview of features

Beelink at first glance makes a very good impression. It is a small, very well and solidly made TV Box, with great attention to details. TV Box looks really nicely. The housing is made of high qualityplastic. Top cover is coated with a protective film. At the center of the top cover also we find arefreshed logo Beelink brand. The sides of the device are in silver. The front panel has IR receiver and power LED. On one side is a USB 2.0 port and micro SD card slot. On the rear panel are: another USB 2.0 port, Optical S / PDIFport, HDMI 2.0a port, RJ45 Gigabit Ethernet port and 5V/2A DC jack. 

Beelink GT1_4
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Beelink GT1
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At the bottom of the device is a hole to reset. At the bottom of the device there are rubber pads to prevent shifting. Below also remote control which works easily and well in the hand.

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Beelink GT1
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As we said at the beginning of Beelink GT1 is a very small (9.6 x 9.6 x 1.6 cm) TV Box and extra thin.Below we include the GT1 4K UHD TV Box photos in combination with a matchbox and NEXBOX A95X (which is also a small) so it was easier to see the size of GT1 Android TV Box.

Booting Android to the “home screen” takes about 00:25:08 seconds. “Home screen” launcher has a new and fresh look. Launcher looks very simple as most recently reviewed TV boxes, but it is a new look, easy and friendly navigation . In addition to the remote control I used a standard keyboard and mouse, VENZ VZ-RK-1 airmouse with keyboard. Also, we used a new Gamepad GameSir G3s, and Xiaomi gamepad.

home-screen
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The device worked (typcally) in the resolution of FHD 1920×1080 (1080p 60Hz) but you canalso adjust the preferred resolution or set the auto switch. With a new Android 6.0 received some functionality, you can set the HDR and see RAM usage. As you can see launcher looks really fresh, everything is well arranged. GT1 like other models has also DLNA and Miracast. I had no problem with Ethernet and WiFi connection to my router and to Internet. Below are two screenshots from SPEEDTEST app. Recently we changed ISP, and we have 300 Mb / s optical fiber. You can see the differences on the screenshots.

Everything worked stable and very quickly without delays, Netflix also works without problems.Below a some screenshots.

The Beelink GT1 TV Box is another TV Box which has Kodi 16.1 with AddonsTV.

Beelink GT1 is a good TV Box to play. Without any problem, you can play the famous game available in Google Play. For testing we launched a Beach Buggy, Asphalt 8: Airborne and Modern Combat 5: Blackout . You can play without a problem just connect gamepad or airmouse and keyboard ( VENZ VZ-RK-1). I used GameSir G3s and Xiaomi gamepadThe combination of GT1 TV Box with gamepads is great fun. Beach Buggy Racing, Asphalt 8: Airborne and Modern Combat 5: Blackout works without problem, even with high resolution works trouble free. 

Operating system and components

The Beelink GT1 runs on the Android 6.0 Marshmallow, namely version 6.0.1 and the Linux Kernel version 3.14.29. GT1 TV Box comes with firmware build number GT1_102M0 (version number: MHC19J.20160819.093020 test-keys), but the good news is that now there is a new version (MHC19J.20160902.145523 test-keys) of the firmware via OTA update (big plus!). Release date: 2016-09-09 (changes: Optimization system and minor bug fixes)

V Box is equipped in the recently very popular a SoC Amlogic S912 octa-core ARM Cortex A53 processor @ up to 2.0GHz processor and GPU ARM Mali-T820MP3, CPU speed between 100 MHz and 2.02 GHz. On the following screens you can see exactly the components used and their specification (Information taken from the CPU-Z app). The device is detected as Beelink GT1 (q201_9377) and board q201_9377. Below screenchots.

After using the DRM info (app) we know that GT1 TV Box supports Google Widevine Moudlar DRM, but unfortunately does not support Microsoft Playready DRM, Marlin DRM and Verimatrix VCAS.

drm

Performance tests and benchmarks

For testing I use the AnTuTu Video Tester 3.0 app and AnTuTu Benchmark 6.1.4. The result 862. Also worthy of note is that Beelink GT1 TV Box did not have not supported codecs.

 

antutu-video_1a

Video playback by Kodi Jarvis 16.1 and MX Player runs smoothly and stable. MX Player runs smoothly and stableThe Beelink GT1 without problem seems plays movies with the resolution of 480p,720p and 1080p (24fps30fps, 60fps) and also 4K (60fps) with various codecs video such as H.264,H.265, MPEG2, MPEG4, RMVB and audio – DTS and AC3. Dolby Digital 5.1 passthrough worked fine via HDMI. Also I tested several video formats – AVI, MKV, MP4 (typical formats in which it holds the majority of movies), ISO and also videos was played fine. The tested GT1 TV Box plays video files in 4K (also 60fps) almost without any major problems. The following table of video samples tested for Kodi. TV Box Also copes well with playing the video on YouTube – videos plays in 1080p. Also, we tried to play VP9 4K video runs smoothly but unfortunately without sound (test samples download from YouTube)

Typical 1080pKODI
MPEG2 / MP2 2.0 – 6.6MbpsOK
MPEG4 / MP3 2.0 – 7.6MbpsOK
H264 / AAC 2.0 – 7.2MbpsOK
VC1 / WMA3 2.0 – 25MbpsOK
VP8 / VORBIS 2.0 – 7.8MbsOK
 – –
4K Video
Sintel – H264 / AAC 2.0 – 24fpsOK
BBB Sunflower -H264 – 60fpsOK
Honey Bees – 96fpsOK
Skyfall – H264 / AAC 2.0 – 10MbpsOK
Puppies Bath – h264/AAC 2.0OK
Cinemartin H265/HEVCOK
Tears of steel – 60fpsOK
HD Club Chimei – H264 / AAC 2.0 – 60MbpsOK
Jellyfish 4k uhd HEVC 10bit – 140MbpsOK
Jellyfish 4k uhd HEVC 10bit – 200/250/300/400MbpsNot smooth
LG Demo – Istanbul 3840×2160 MP4/H264 8bit – 116MbpsOK
Sony 4K – Camp HDR MP4/HEVC 10bit – 75.8MbpsOK
Demo Samsung 2014 – USA Road Trip TS/HEVC 10bit – 51.4MbpsOK
Demo Samsung 2014 TS/HEVC 10bit – 51.4MbpsOK
H.265/VP9 Video
Tears of steel – H265-HVEC / AAC 2.0 – 15MbpsOK
Youtube – VP9 / 1080pOK
VP9 / 4k – Eye of the Storm 4K Ultra HD.webmvwithout sound
VP9 / 4k – 10 Incredible 4K (Ultra HD) Videos.webmvwithout sound
VP9 / 4k – Australia – Land Down Under in 4K.webmvwithout sound

 

Beelink GT1 Benchmarks

The Beelink GT1 scored 33339 on AnTuTu Benchmark v6.1.4 The GT1 on GeekBech 3 scoredSingle Core score – 429 and Multi Core score – 2290, and RenderScript score – 1423. Below screenshots.

antutu-benchmark_1a

The Beelink GT1 scored 6262 on Ice Storm Extreme. 10127 scored on Ice Storm Unlimited. 389 scored on Sling Shot using ES 3.1 and 399 scored on Sling Shot Unlimited using ES 3.1.

Below screen with the results in Vellamo and GPUbench. GT1 TV Box has the internal memory benchmarks: Read 56.40MB/s – Write 30.83MB/s. RAM copy speed was 3464.17MB/s.

Conclusions

Beelink GT1

Beelink GT1 is well made TV Box holding pocket size. It also looks aesthetically. It has a nice-looking and easy to use launcher for easy navigation and access to the most important features. GT1 TV Box wonderfully copes with 4K files, other resolutions and video formats. On TV Box from Beelink you can play without a problem in known games available on Google Play. An important feature of which we mention often, is access to updates and new firmware. Beelink GT1 has OTA update (over-the-air update), you do not have to do anything, the device will tell you about a new update, just accept it. Beelink GT1 addition to good performance and specifications, also has a very good price. It is good value for money. Once again I want to say thanks to Gearbest for sending us a Beelink GT1 Android TV Box sample. Is it worth buying? YES !. If you are looking for TV Box at a low price, but having a good specification based on the new Amlogic S912, which works seamlessly supports video playback at 4K and has OTA updates – the Beelink GT1 is for YOU. According to us, this is one of the better TV Boxes available on the market, so it is not surprising that it is a hit sales. We recommend a Beelink GT1.

Beelink GT1

$55.99
9.4

Performance

9.0/10

Usability

9.0/10

Features

9.5/10

Design

9.5/10

Value

10.0/10

Pros

  • Good video playback
  • Good Value for money
  • OTA update
  • Fast and stable work
  • Simple UI

Cons

  • Nothing so far

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