Android box selection for 4K HDR (CoreElec)

I would like to ask you for help with choosing Android TV box.

CPU: min. Amlogic S912 and above (also maybe S905X3 if it is better)
Playback: 4K HDR via Kodi (streaming …)
Gigabit Ethernet (if 100 Mbps is enough for 4K, then this)
OS: CoreElec compatibility (I want to run on the box) = Android to replace OS CoreElec (maybe this is the best way? Or leave the original Android?)

Price: preferably around $ 40 or more (price only approximate, depending on box quality)

Before setting up this topic, I read through various discussion forums, including this one, but I didn’t reach a conclusion that could advise me about a particular type of boxing. I would like to order it from abroad (Aliexpress / Banggood / Gearbest …). I haven’t been looking for such a box yet and I don’t have any personal practical experience with it.

Therefore, I would like to ask, does anyone own such a box? How satisfied are you with him? Would you recommend specific types? Ali or BG have a very large selection and I would like to buy a really verified. In addition, I am afraid of solved cooling at individual boxes. When playing 4K HDR, it may last. Therefore, CoreElec should be built.

At the moment I am inclined to this box:
Magicsee N5 Max Amlogic S905X3

But I really don’t have much experience with it and most of all I’m afraid that the selected box will be poorly cooled and will overheat over 4K to 55 "OLED long playback.

Thank you very much for specific tips / series / your own experiences and recommendations.

Avoid S912, jump straight to S905X3 as it has better software support for its hardware and benchmarks show that it runs faster. Four higher clocked cores is better than 6 slower cores on the S912
The best option out there seems to be one of the X96AIR variants. People have reported that everything works on this on the new Kernel. Not certain yet that it accepts internal install but running from SD would be fine. Waiting for mine to arrive.


S922X Odroid N2 will be the powerfull, best supported and best passive cooled option I think.

There is no stable CE for the s905X3, only Nightly versions. Maybe next stable version will add suport for the S905X3.

Tere are some X905X2 cheap boxes doing the job very well with CE 9.2.1 with all of the “dinghies” working, except the bluetooth in some cases, and running from internal eMMC (or booting from a SD and running on internal eMMC) wich is faster than de sd card. X96 Max for instance. But I’ve not tried 4k HDR from a X96 Max yet.

CE installed on a fast USB memory like SanDisk Extreme Pro on a X96 Max powers up five times faster than form a SanDisk Pro microSD card. The microSD adapter of this boxes is very slow.

There are al least three versions of the X96 Air, P1, P2 and P3. P1 does not have 1gbps network adapter.

Thank you for help.

I am inclined to Magicsee N5 Max with CPU Amlogic S905X3. I have read that the X96AIR has a problem with overheating.
I would like to ask if this CPU will handle 4K HDR over LAN 100 Mbit? Really only 100? I suppose Wi-fi can’t handle it.

Thank you

I own S905X, S912 and N2
Best choice was to buy the N2 CE edition

Will never buy one of this chinese box where You never know about the cheap chips, overheating, missing open source drivers etc.

Its unlikely this will overheat in CE duty. If it does I will add a lazy fan.


Is there such a big difference in using the original Android system and CoreElec? How is it possible? I have no experience with it.

Kodi playback in Android is buggy and slow, a constant battle to get things optimised. Since Team Kodi has stripped out all the “fixes” which made things tolerable on Android, things are likely to be worse rather than better of late.
CE uses all the fixes and the proven Kernel to make the best possible experience.

I would never use Android on a AMLogic box - I learnt this lesson years ago.


Android on an Amlogic box is a very bad idea

Odroid N2 is expensive for me. It costs $ 100 for me, Amlogic box only $ 40.

Thanks. So are there any big diference between these boxes?
Magicsee N5 Max and X96AIR with S905X-3?
If I couldn’t put CoreElec there, then the boxes would be useless.
Is it enough to play 4K HDR via kodi with only 100 Mbit LAN connection? Both boxes have only 100 and I’m not sure if 1 Gbit is better.
I thought Amlogic boxes are the best …

I think those boxes will be almost identical and if one overheats the other is likely to as well. As far as I am concerned this is the price you pay for buying cheap and it is not at all daunting to me to correct the designers mistake by modifying the box. If thats an issue for you then you need to increase your budget.
100Mbit seems to be fine for people using 4K.



You will get what You pay for.

There are a lot of 4k videos not playing smooth.
Better use 1000Mbit

OK I don’t use 4K so had not come across that.
Seems the buyer is going to have to jump a price bracket. Whats the VIM3L got out of the box.


I do and spent a lot of time until i bought 1000Mbit USB-network adaptor for use at my S905X

100mbit can be a little slow for 4K. On some boxes you can use gbit USB adapter. Not sure if on all. I know for Xiaomi and Fire Stick it’s said to be working. But buy one that isn’t crap :slight_smile:

That’s about the difference in quality, performance and support between these two…
My first choice is always good support, as no hardware is worth it’s price to me if not adequately supported

Good. Now I’m really thinking about Odroid N2, but the price is too high. I’m from Europe, so I would have to pay taxes and duty if the Odroid N2 came from America. Do you know where to buy it cheaper?

You better buy it from EU so you can use the EU mandatory warranty. Or if you buy it from ameridroid, be sure to add a warranty (costs extra).

I bought my N2 in europe, no tax and 2 years warranty