Z28 TV Box Review: Android TV Box powered by Rockchip RK3328
Today we want to introduce you to Z28 TV Box review. The Z28 TV Box is one of the newer TV Boxes featuring the new SoC Rockchip RK3328 from Android 7.1. As usual, at the beginning of the review we discovered some information about the device being tested. Considering that it is a budget TV box and has quite good level of specifications (adequate for the price), this is a good TV Box, which most of you should be satisfied, it can also be treated as another TV Box at home. Of course, he has minor bugs, but more in the review 🙂 . 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 Z28 TV Box to review. Now Z28 Android TV Box is available on Gearbest for $39.99 + free shipping (2GB RAM / 16GB eMMC) at Flash Sale.
Z28 Android TV Box specifications:
- Chipset – Rockchip RK3328
- CPU – Quad-core Cortex A53 processor @ 1.5 GHz
- GPU – Mali-450MP GPU
- Memory – 2GB RAM
- Storage – 16GB eMMC flash + micro SD card (up to 64GB)
- Video – HDMI 2.0a up to 4K @ 60 Hz with HDR10
- Audio – SPDIF (2CH, 5.1CH) port
- Video Codec – 4K VP9, H.265 and H.264. 1080p VC-1, MPEG-1/2/4, VP6/8
- Connectivity – 10/100M Ethernet, 802.11 b/g/n WiFi
- USB – 1x USB 2.0 port, 1x USB 3.0 port
- Misc – IR receiver, power LED
- Power Supply – 5V/2A
- Dimensions –11.00 x 11.00 x 2.50 cm
- Weight – 250g
What we find in the box? The box included everything that you need to get started:
- Z28 Android TV Box
- HDMI cable
- Power adapter 5V/2A (EU)
- Remote control (without AAA batteries)
The following video from our YouTube channel where you can take a look at more Z28 TV Box and bundled accessories.
First impressions, settings, overview of features
Z28 TV Box is a very small (11 x 11 x 2.5 cm) well and solidly made TV Box with good not shiny plastic. Visually resembles the Z68 (probably for the Z28 TV Box is responsible for the same manufacturer). As we said at the beginning of his heart is Rockchip RK3328 64bit Quad core Cortex A53 processor which also supports 4K UHD H.264/H.265/VP9 video. Device runs on Android 7.1. The front panel has IR receiver and power LED. On one side is a two USB ports (1x OTG USB 2.0 and 1x USB 3.0) and micro SD card slot. On the rear panel are: RJ45 Gigabit Ethernet port, HDMI 2.0 port, Optical S / PDIF port and 5V/3A DC jack.
At the bottom of the device is a hole to reset and MAC address. At the bottom of the device there are also rubber pads to prevent shifting. Below also remote control.
As we said at the beginning of Z28 is a very small TV Box. Below we include the Z28 TV Box photos in combination with a matchbox, so it was easier to see the size of Z28 Android TV Box.
The Z28 TV Box has a new UI with well-arranged quick-access features. On the “home screen” you can assign a preferred application to the “+” button, unfortunately only from applications previously installed with the factory firmware. This is a minor bug, but the functionality is quite important.
We chose typical the resolution of FHD 1920×1080 (1080p 60Hz) but you can also adjust the preferred resolution or set the auto switch. Unfortunately, although you can set FHD resolution, the device probably works at a resolution of 1280x720px (see later on the screenshots of the CPU-Z application). Also, Youtube is displayed at maximum resolution 720p (maybe it’s a bug and the device needs optimization by the developers). Everything worked stable and very quickly without delays, Netflix (only SD) also works without problems. Z28 Android TV Box support also DLNA and Miracast. We had no problem with Ethernet and WiFi connection to the router and to Internet. In addition to the remote control, we used a standard keyboard, mouse and Gamepad GameSir G3s. Although the device in its specification has 16GB eMMC, storage has 14.56GB of data. The big advantage of the TV Box is the ability to display the User Manual (always on hand, on the big screen). The TV Box comes with a pre-installed RKMC application based on Kodi 16.1-RC3. Below some screenshots.
We have not found a dedicated smartphone app for Z28 TV Box, but we can recommend a good app called CetusPlay. Applications (app on host and app on smartphone) are available on the Google Play store. Install CetusPlay On TV/Box app on TV box and open, Install CetusPlay on a smartphone.
On Z28 simple games from Google Play are working properly. You can play without a problem just connect gamepad or keyboard. We used GameSir G3s. Beach Buggy Racing, Real Racing 3 works without problem, even with high resolution works trouble free.
Operating system and components
The Z28 TV Box runs on the new Android 7.1 Nougat, namely version 7.1.1 and the Linux Kernel version 3.10.104. Z28 TV Box comes with firmware build number rk3328_box-userdebug 7.1.1 NMF26X eng.lushen.20170412.232208 test-keys. The new firmware for the Z28 (both versions – 1GB / 8GB and 2GB / 16GB) can be downloaded here.
TV Box is equipped in the new a SoC Rockchip RK3328 Quad-core Cortex A53 processor @ 1.5 GHz processor and GPU ARM Mali-450MP, CPU speed between 408 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). The device is detected as rk3328_box (rk30board) and board rk30sdk. Below screenshots.
After using the DRM info (app) we know that Z28 TV Box does not support Google Widevine Moudlar DRM, also Microsoft Playready DRM, Marlin DRM and Verimatrix VCAS. Device does not have root access.
Performance tests and benchmarks
For testing, we use the AnTuTu Video Tester 3.0 app and AnTuTu Benchmark 6.1.4. The result 927. Also worthy of note is that Z28 TV Box did not have not supported codecs.
Video playback by RKMC based on Kodi 16.1-RC3 Jarvis and MX Player runs smoothly and stable. Unfortunately, you can not update Kodi to Kodi 17.1 versions of Krypton, nor can you remove the RKMC app (another bug or intended operation). The Z28 TV Box without problem seems plays movies with the resolution of 480p,720p and 1080p (24fps, 30fps, 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 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. TV Box As mentioned at the beginning, during an overview of features, the device unfortunately, plays a video on Youtube in only 720p (a big minus). Also, we tried to play VP9 4K video runs smoothly.
|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|
|Sintel – H264 / AAC 2.0 – 24fps||OK|
|BBB Sunflower -H264 – 60fps||Not smooth (delays)|
|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||OK|
|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|
|Demo Samsung 2014 TS/HEVC 10bit – 51.4Mbps||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|
Z28 TV Box Benchmarks
The Z28 Android TV Box scored 35253 on AnTuTu Benchmark v6.1.4. The Z28 on GeekBech 4 scored: Single Core score – 603 and Multi Core score – 1643, and RenderScript score – 1163. Below screenshots.
The Z28 scored 2274 on Ice Storm Extreme. Failed to perform other tests in 3DMark app.
Below screen with the results in Vellamo and GPUbench. Z28 TV Box has the internal memory benchmarks: Read 55.72MB/s – Write 12.70MB/s. RAM copy speed was 2151.61MB/s.