Review

MINIX NEO U22-XJ Review: Powerful Android TV Box

We’re already after testing, so today, we would like to show you the MINIX NEO U22-XJ review.

MINIX NEO U22-XJ is another, after Beelink GT-King / Beelink GT-King Pro and UGOOS AM6 powerful Android TV Box dedicated to home entertainment. Like the previous models, the NEO U22-XJ TV Box is also powered by the powerful Amlogic S922X SoC, this time another variation, the Amlogic S922X-J SoC. MINIX NEO U22-XJ is not only an alternative to previous models, but also valuable Android TV Box that can easily compete with TV Boxes other vendors, and even? well, you will find more in our review and in conclusion. We invite you to read.

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We want to say thanks to from MINIX company (MINIX Technology Limited) for sending us a MINIX NEO U22-XJ TV Box and MINIX NEO A3 V2.0 Backlit Version Wireless Air Mouse with Voice and QWERTY Keyboard to review.

Availability and price

Now MINIX NEO U22-XJ Android TV Box is available at:

The Geekbuying store for $169.99

The MINIX Official Store at Aliexpress for $164.24

MINIX NEO A3 v2 Backlit Version (not only for MINIX’s TV Box) is available at the MINIX Official Store at Aliexpress for $34.90

MINIX NEO U22-XJ Review: Product details

MINIX NEO U22-XJ TV Box Specifications:

  • CPU – Amlogic S922X-J Hexa-core processor with Quad-Core Cortex-A73 + Dual Core Cortex-A53 (64bit)
  • GPU – Arm Mali-G52MP4 GPU
  • Memory – 4GB DDR4 RAM
  • Storage –  32GB eMMC 5.1 flash, microSD card slot
  • Video Output – HDMI 2.1 output up to 4Kp60 with HDR10, HDR10+, Dolby Vision support
  • Audio – 3.5mm audio jack, optical S/PDIF, HDMI digital audio
  • Connectivity – Gigabit Ethernet, dual-band 802.11ac WiFi 5 2×2 MIMO with external WiFi antenna, Bluetooth 4.1
  • USB – 3x USB 3.0 ports, 1x USB-C OTG port for data transfer only
  • Misc – Power button & LED, Kensington lock ready, IR receiver, reset pinhole
  • Power Supply – 5VDC/3A via power barrel jack
  • Dimensions – 128 x 128 x 28 mm
  • Weight – 0.912 kg

The box included everything that you need to get started:

  • MINIX NEO U22-XJ TV BOX
    IR remote (It does not contain NEO A3, the device can be purchased separately)
  • USB-C cable
  • HDMI cable
  • Power adapter with plugs
  • User manual

As we mentioned together with NEO U22-XJ we received MINIX NEO A3 Backlit Version Wireless Air Mouse with Voice and QWERTY Keyboard

The package contains:

  • NEO A3 Wireless Air Mouse with Voice and QWERTY Keyboard
  • USB Receiver
  • User manual

The following video from our YouTube channel where you can take a look at more MINIX NEO U22-XJ TV Box with bundled accessories, and below also MINIX NEO A3 v2.0 unboxing video.

MINIX NEO U22-XJ Review: First impressions, settings, an overview of features

The NEO U22-XJ TV Box has a well-known and characteristic MINIX’s aluminum housing. The quality of workmanship is very aesthetic. As always with the MINIX TV Box, the device looks great and stylish. You get the impression that this is a decent device from a higher shelf.

On the upper cover, there is a characteristic MINIX logo. The front panel has an IR receiver. On the right side is a Power button, 3x USB 3.0, TF card slot, and USB-C OTG port. On the left, there is an external Wifi antenna and Kensington lock. On the rear panel are DC jack, Gigabit RJ45 Ethernet port, HDMI 2.1, optical S / PDIF port, 3.5mm Audio Jack. At the bottom of the device, there are four rubber pads to prevent shifting and information about the serial number and MAC address. TV Box comes with simple remote control (known from other MINIX’s TV Boxes) but without the mouse cursor. Below pictures.

MINIX NEO A3 V2.0 Backlit Version

NEO A3 is the second generation of the popular remote control with Wireless Air Mouse with Voice, QWERTY Keyboard, and Six-Axis Gyroscope additionally supports backlight buttons. Voice Remote Control works very well. Recognizes voice commands without any problem. Just press the button with the microphone symbol and say the command (supported by Google Assistant). All you have to do is put the 2.4G USB receiver in the USB port at TV Box. Air mouse works great, makes using the TV Box easier, and works great when playing for example in Fruit Ninja / Angry Birds. QWERTY keyboard (also backlit) makes typing easier. Backlighting makes operation easier at night. It’s a really great product that also works with other Android TV Boxes. Below pictures. We recommend MINIX NEO A3 v2.0 

Impressions from the use

In MINIX NEO U22-XJ we have the option of choosing a MINIX Metro launcher that looks great and has well-spaced features, and a typical launcher/wallpaper on which we can set selected applications. On the main screen we can also display the status bar (can be turned off in the settings). 

After starting the device and connecting to the Internet, we receive information about the available firmware via OTA, a Big Plus!. You can update the device to the latest version without a problem and quickly (V003A).

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. We had no problem with Ethernet and WiFi connection to the router and to the Internet. Wifi 2×2 MIMO works really fast. Ethernet: Download – 315Mbps Upload – 45.7Mbps, WiFi: Download – 219Mbps Upload – 30.8Mbps In addition to remote control with an air mouse feature, we used a standard keyboard and a gamepad from iPega called iPega PG-9076

More details

The device has 4GB DDR RAM and 32GB eMMCTV Box supports DLNA and also Miracast. Unfortunately, SAMBA does not work, while in the next firmware, the MINIX team is to fix the problem. In this firmware, you can boot CoreELEC OS from USB 3.0. If you need to control the TV Box through a smartphone, you can use CetusPlay (Install CetusPlay On TV/Box app on TV box and open, Install CetusPlay on a smartphone). 

NEO U22-XJ TV Box, unfortunately, supports Netflix up to 540p (we have installed the Netflix version 6.26.1 build 15 31696) and 1080p Youtube (only full HD), but 4K works via YouTube for Android TVIn addition, TV Box has a lot of picture settings (Screen rotation, TV Dolby Vision, etc. ). TV Box comes with preinstalled Kodi 18.6 “Leia”. Of course, On NEO U22-XJ you can play in games from the Google Play store. We can confidently say that this is an Android TV Box perfect for games. Games run smoothly with maximum settings. Just connect a gamepad or keyboard or use NEO A3. We used iPega PG-9076 and played Beach Buggy Racing, Asphalt 8, PUBG Mobile, Ninja Fruit, and Angry Birds.  Below a lot of screenshots.

MINIX NEO U22-XJ Review:  Operating system and components

The NEO U22-XJ TV Box runs on the Android 9.0Kernel version 4.9.113. The TV Box. As we mentioned earlier, TV Box supports OTA updates. We did the review on the latest V003A firmwareTV Box is equipped with an Amlogic S922X-J processor with a Hexa-core processor with Quad-Core Cortex-A73 + Dual Core Cortex-A53 (64bit) @ 1.8 GHz and GPU Mali-G52MP4, CPU speed between 500MHz and 1.8GHz.

Below screenshots from the CPU-Z app, DRM info app, and Root Checker app. As we mentioned, you can enable ROOT Access in MINIX Settings, and we did it

Performance tests and benchmarks

For testing, we use the AnTuTu Video Tester 3.0 app and AnTuTu Benchmark v8.3.4.

NEO U22-XJ ReviewVideo Tests

AnTuTu Video Benchmark the result 1072 and two unsupported codecs. Video playback by Kodi 18.6 Leia runs almost smoothly and stable. The TV Box without problem seems to play movies with a resolution of 480p,720p, and 1080p (24fps, 30fps, 60fps) and also 4K (60fps) with various codecs videos such as H.264, H.265MPEG2, 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 18.6. TV Box also copes well with playing the video on YouTube, videos play only in 1080p, but 4K video works via YouTube for Android TV. We tried to play VP9 4K video and also runs smoothly.

Video Playback via Kodi 18.6

The following table of video samples tested for Kodi 18.6.

Typical 1080pKodi 18.6
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
Jellyfish 1080p HEVC 10bit – 90MbpsOK
4K Video 
Sintel – H264 / AAC 2.0 – 24fpsOK
BBB Sunflower -H264 – 30fpsOK
BBB Sunflower -H264 – 60fpsAlmost smooth, sound delays
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 – 200/250/300/400MbpsAlmost 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
Samsung UHD DUBAI TS/HEVC 10bit – 51MbpsOK
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.webmvOK
VP9 / 4k – 10 Incredible 4K (Ultra HD) Videos.webmvOK
VP9 / 4k – Australia – Land Down Under in 4K.webmvOK

Benchmarks

MINIX NEO U22-XJ a score of 118926 points in AnTuTu Benchmark v8.3.4. Below Benchmark screenshots we were able to do: AnTuTu Benchmark, GeekBench 4, 3D Mark: Sling Shot Extreme, Sling Shot.

MINIX NEO U22-XJ Review: Conclusions

If you are looking for a really good and efficient TV Box for home cinema / home entertainment centerMINIX NEO U22-XJ is certainly for you. Although it is not Google Certified and does not support Netflix HD / 4K it has many advantages. Copes well with 4K video playback, has fast and stable WiFi, gigabyte Ethernet connection, valuable additional MINIX settings, is efficient in android games, has a great design (aluminum housing), supports Dolby Audio and Dolby Vision. Of course, the most important feature in all of these is the FOTA update. MINIX company ensures frequent updates (via OTA) of its devices to satisfy users. In combination with MINIX NEO A3 v2.0 air mouse with voice control and QWERTY keyboard (with backlit) using NEO U22-XJ is even more simple and fun. The price is not low, but still, it is worth buying NEO U22-XJ. We recommend MINIX NEO U22-XJ TV Box and MINIX NEO A3 (backlit version).

MINIX NEO U22-XJ

$164.24
9.1

PERFORMANCE

9.5/10

USABILITY

9.0/10

FEATURES

9.0/10

DESIGN

9.3/10

VALUE

8.8/10

Pros

  • Fast and stable work
  • Greate performance
  • Good video playback
  • Dolby Audio and Dolby Vision
  • High frequency of firmware update via OTA

Cons

  • Netflix up to 540p
  • Youtube only 1080p, 4K via YouTube for Android TV
  • Problem with SAMBA
  • The price could be a little lower

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