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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.

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Z28 TV Box

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

Z28 TV Box

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)
Z28 TV Box

Z28 TV Box and Accesories (Click to Enlarge)

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.

Z28 TV Box

Click to Enlarge

Z28 TV Box

Click to Enlarge

Z28 TV Box

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Z28 TV Box

Click to Enlarge

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.

Z28 TV Box

Click to Enlarge

Z28 TV Box

Click to Enlarge

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.

Home screen

Home screen (Click to Enlarge)

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 (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 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.

Typical 1080p KODI
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
 –  –
4K Video
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
Cinemartin H265/HEVC 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
H.265/VP9 Video
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.

Conclusions

Z28 TV Box

 As we wrote at the beginning, the Z28 TV Box has some minor bugs. The biggest complaint we have to play the video on Youtube in the resolution of 720p, and the inability to update and install Kodi 17.1. TV Box requires corrections and optimization, but given the price ( and specifications are adequate for the price), this TV Box falls not too bad. It handles 4K video playback (despite playback via RKMC app) and can play on it. If you are looking for budget TV Box, and you do not have exorbitant expectations, or just looking for another TV Box to the house, then you should consider buying the Z28 TV Box. We do not recommend buying the Z28 with 1GB RAM / 8GB eMMC even though its price is even more attractive.

Z28 TV Box

$39.99
Z28 TV Box
84.8

Performance

9/10

    Usability

    8/10

      Features

      8/10

        Design

        10/10

          Value

          9/10

            Pros

            • Good video playback
            • Fast and stable work
            • Simple UI
            • Small design
            • Price

            Cons

            • Minor bugs
            • Youtube only 720p
            • No update for RKMC / Kodi 17.1

            • Matt

              Any recommendations on alternatives to this box at around this price point?
              Does the A95X R2 TV Box review better?

            • Mimie & Kazar Gadget Gallery

              bluetooth?

              • Ron Landers

                The included Remote is IS IR,but you can download an app for your phone that will work through your home network.

            • Ron Landers

              I bought one, and its a piece crap. I have to UN plug it about every 4 hours of use to reboot it because it is constantly freezing up one every installed app.
              this is the second TV box i have bought that uses a Rock chip CPU and android. both have the same problem. I would recommend to the Manufacturer to go to an Intel solution and architecture. And google Play store thinks this is a phone! Come on people, develop a repository that suits this device.