MECOOL KM8 Review: Android TV Box with Voice Remote
There are several new TV Boxes from MECOOL brand on the market equipped with Android TV OS and Voice Remote Control, so today we want to introduce you to MECOOL KM8 with Voice Remote review. As you remember, MECOOL KM8 is called, advertised as Google Certified Android TV Box, rightly so? you will learn about this from the MECOOL KM8 review.
We want to say thanks to Gearbest store for sending us a MECOOL KM8 TV Box with Voice Remote to review. Now MECOOL KM8 “Google Certified Android TV Box” with Voice Remote is available on Gearbest store for $54.99 with coupon code: GBKM8.
MECOOL KM8 Android TV Box with Voice Control Specifications:
- CPU – Amlogic S905X quad-core ARM Cortex-A53 @ up to 1.5GHz
- GPU – Penta-core Mali-450MP GPU @ 750 MHz
- OS – Android TV 8.0 Oreo
- Memory – 2GB DDR3
- Storage – 16GB eMMC flash + micro SD card slot (up to 32GB)
- Video Output – HDMI 2.0 up to 4K @ 60 fps, AV port
- Audio – HDMI, AV port (stereo audio)
- Video Codec – [email protected] Hz video decoding 10-bit HEVC and AVS+ codec support; H.264 up to 4K 30 Hz
- Connectivity – 10/100M Ethernet, 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth
- USB – 2x USB 2.0 host ports
- Misc – IR receiver
- Power Supply – DC 5V/2A
- Dimensions – 9.80 x 9.80 x 2.60 cm
- Weight – 120g
The box included everything that you need to get started:
- MECOOL KM8 ATV
- Voice Remote Control
- Power Adapter (US)
- HDMI Cable
- External WiFi antenna
- User Manual
The following video from our YouTube channel where you can take a look at more MECOOL KM8 Android TV Box and bundled accessories.
First impressions, settings, overview of features
The MECOOL KM8 ATV (Android TV) TV Box is made solidly, with good quality plastic. The housing has a lot of holes at the bottom, so there should be no problem with ventilation. As mentioned at the beginning of TV Box is equipped with a popular Amlogic S905X SoC, which supports VP9-10 Profile-2 up to [email protected], H.265 HEVC [email protected] up to [email protected], H.264 [email protected] up to [email protected], H.264 MVC up to 1080p @60fps, MPEG-4 [email protected] up to [email protected] (ISO-14496) and more. TV Box also runs on Android TV OS 8.0. The front panel has IR receiver and power button with power LED. On one side are two USB ports USB 2.0 and micro SD card slot. On the rear panel are: AV port, RJ45 Ethernet port, HDMI 2.0 port, DC jack (same as in MECOOL M8S PRO W).
On the bottom there are holes for good ventilation and MAC address. At the bottom of the device, there are also four rubber pads to prevent shifting. Below also IR Voice Remote Control. How to use it? Just press the button with colored circles and say the command.
Unfortunately, the google assistant did not work at the beginning, the voice commands did not work. We found a solution (and we recommend this universal solution to all TV Boxes, if something does not work, do not update the device, first reset the device to the factory settings – factory data reset). Restart and restoration of factory settings helped, but not completely. Voice commands were recognized with difficulty, and in comparison with Mi Box, as well as with MECOOL M8S PRO L, this feature was poor.
Android TV launcher is based on recommendations from many external sources, Youtube, Google Movies, Google Play Games, Google Play Music etc. The recommended content is displayed in rows. We can choose typically the resolution of FHD 1920×1080 (1080p 60Hz) but you can also adjust the preferred resolution or set the auto switch. Everything worked stable and very quickly without delays. TV Box supports Chromecast (you can stream your favorite entertainment via smartphone, tablet or laptop). We had no problem with Ethernet and WiFi connection to the router and to the Internet. WiFi connection (802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi 2.4GHz) works stable but not quickly (Ethernet: Download – 93.2Mbps Upload – 35.6Mbps, WiFi: Download – 24.0Mbps Upload – 32.8Mbps). In addition to the IR remote control with voice feature, we used a gamepad from iPega called iPega PG-9076 (paired via bluetooth). The device has 11GB eMMC storage. As we mentioned at the beginning of the TV Box is equipped with IR remote control with voice search button (colored circles), so by pressing the button, you can output voice commands. Unfortunately, it does not work quickly and correctly, after several attempts the voice command is recognized exactly, this function works better in M8S Pro L TV Box and Xiaomi Mi Box. TV Box supports YouTube 4K (2160p) and and unfortunately is not compatible with the Netflix Android TV app (This version of Netflix app is not compatible (-13)). As you’ll see below on screenshots from the DRM info app, the TV Box supports Google Widevine Modular DRM, HDCP-1.x with security level L1, Microsoft Playready DRM and other, but the Netflix app (from Google Play Store) is incompatible. We obtained Netflix in 720p resolution from application Netflix 4.16.1 app (find it here). This is another minus that confirms that MECOOL KM8 should not be called as the Google Certified Android TV Box. It may have Google Certification, but it does not work like a certified device should work, the device needs optimization (we hope that the improvements will appear in the firmware update). MECOOL M8S Pro and Google Certified Xiaomi Mi Box work better. For video testing, we installed the Kodi 17.6 app from the Google Play store. If you need to control the TV Box through a smartphone, you can use the Android TV Remote Control app or our favorite CetusPlay (Install CetusPlay On TV/Box app on TV box and open, Install CetusPlay on a smartphone).
On the MECOOL KM8 ATV with Voice Remote (as well as most other Android TV Boxes) you can play in games from the Google Play store / or via flashdrive. You can play without a problem just connect a gamepad or keyboard. We used iPega PG-9076 gamepad (paired via bluetooth). Beach Buggy Racing, Real Racing 3, Riptide GP2 works without problem. Below some screenshots.
Operating system and components
The MECOOL KM8 runs on the Android 8.0 (TV) with the Linux Kernel version 4.9.61. The KM8 TV Box comes with firmware build number OPR6.170623.013.V0412.201806271453 release-keys. As mentioned before, TV Box is equipped with a SoC Amlogic S905X quad-core ARM Cortex A53 processor @ up to 1.5GHz processor and GPU Mali-450MP, CPU speed between 100 MHz and 1.51 GHz. On the following screens, you can see exactly the components used and their specification (Information taken from the CPU-Z app). After using the DRM info app (screenshots below) we know that KM8 with Voice Control TV Box supports Google Widevine Modular DRM with HDCP-1.x and support CENC ClearKey, Microsoft Playready DRM and not supported: Adobe Primetime DRM, Marlin DRM and Verimatrix VCAS. The device hasn’t root access. Below screenshots.
Performance tests and benchmarks
For testing, we use the AnTuTu Video Tester 3.0 app and AnTuTu Benchmark 7.1.0 The result 940. Also worthy of note is that MECOOL KM8 TV Box did not have not supported codecs.
Video playback by Kodi 17.6 Krypton runs smoothly and stable (typically for S905X and S912 SoC). The MECOOL KM8 with Voice Control without problem seems plays movies with the resolution of 480p,720p and 1080p (24fps, 30fps, 60fps) and also 4K (60fps) with various codecs videos such as H.264, H.265, MPEG2, MPEG4, RMVB, and audio – DTS and AC3. Dolby Digital 5.1 passthrough worked fine via HDMI. Also, we 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 TV Box plays video files in 4K (also 60fps) almost without any major problems. The following table of video samples tested for Kodi 17.6. TV Box also copes well with playing the video on YouTube, videos play in 4K (2160p). We tried to play VP9 4K video and also runs smoothly.
|Typical 1080p||Kodi 17.6|
|MPEG2 / MP2 2.0 – 6.6Mbps||OK|
|MPEG4 / MP3 2.0 – 7.6Mbps||OK|
|H264 / AAC 2.0 – 7.2Mbps||OK|
|VC1 / WMA3 2.0 – 25Mbps||OK|
|VP8 / VORBIS 2.0 – 7.8Mbs||OK|
|Jellyfish 1080p HEVC 10bit – 90Mbps||OK|
|Sintel – H264 / AAC 2.0 – 24fps||OK|
|BBB Sunflower -H264 – 30fps||OK|
|BBB Sunflower -H264 – 60fps||OK|
|Honey Bees – 96fps||OK|
|Skyfall – H264 / AAC 2.0 – 10Mbps||OK|
|Puppies Bath – h264/AAC 2.0||OK|
|Tears of steel – 60fps||OK|
|HD Club Chimei – H264 / AAC 2.0 – 60Mbps||OK|
|Jellyfish 4k uhd HEVC 10bit – 140Mbps||OK|
|Jellyfish 4k uhd HEVC 10bit – 200/250/300/400Mbps||Not smooth/ artifacts|
|LG Demo – Istanbul 3840×2160 MP4/H264 8bit – 116Mbps||OK|
|Sony 4K – Camp HDR MP4/HEVC 10bit – 75.8Mbps||OK|
|Demo Samsung 2014 – USA Road Trip TS/HEVC 10bit – 51.4Mbps||OK|
|Samsung UHD DUBAI TS/HEVC 10bit – 51Mbps||OK|
|Tears of steel – H265-HVEC / AAC 2.0 – 15Mbps||OK|
|Youtube – VP9 / 1080p||OK|
|VP9 / 4k – Eye of the Storm 4K Ultra HD.webmv||OK|
|VP9 / 4k – 10 Incredible 4K (Ultra HD) Videos.webmv||OK|
|VP9 / 4k – Australia – Land Down Under in 4K.webmv||OK|
MECOOL KM8 Android TV Box with Voice Remote Benchmarks
Below Benchmark screenshots we were able to do: AnTuTu Benchmark, GeekBench 4, 3D Mark Ice Storm Extreme, GPUBench. The KM8 TV Box has the internal memory benchmarks: Read 56.59MB/s – Write 31.02MB/s. RAM copy speed was 2640.68MB/s.
The MECOOL KM8 TV Box as “Certified Google Android TV Box” can not compete with Xiaomi Mi Box, and also MECOOL M8S PRO L (at least for the moment). TV Box requires some optimization, mainly voice recognition via remote control and Netflix support app via Google Play store (works on Netflix app 4.16.1) lack of support Netflix (TV app) – this is a big minus, MECOOL M8S PRO L supports Netflix HD, and Mi Box supports Netflix 4K). When it comes to playing video via flash drive, streaming and general operation, we have no major reservations.