Recommended android box

I bought two 4/32 X96 Air and both have gigabit. From a seller on Aliexpress with a German warehouse.

First of all, sorry for another thread like this, I’m sure there are many. I will try to be as specific as I can.

My requirements -

  • will be connected via HDMI to receiver
  • need lossless audio passthru
  • good cooling
  • oem regular updates for firmware and support
  • known to be stable

good to have -

  • if firmware provided also enables audio passthru in Android
  • easy dual boot (e.g. as found in Ugoos)

I’m new to CoreElec and I’m having difficulty in understanding which to pick from the huge number of boxes all based on same SOC.

I have narrowed down to box based on S905X3 or S922X. Both seem to have same decoding capabilities. There also seem to be many variants of above as well as S905X4 etc which I don’t know if they are supported.

The other question I have is how to find which device is supported. The device tree doesn’t seem to have everything or I don’t know how to look.

e.g. I am looking at this -

But X88 Pro X3 is not listed on device tree page which only has X88 king. There is a thread on it (X88 PRO X3, Choose DTB and Install to EMMC) which says to use generic image but after reading the thread its still not clear if the device is supported or not?

I also looked for Transpeed as I considered this - www_amazon_com/Android-32GB-Streaming-Media-Player/dp/B0815T4B38, but again cannot find them in device tree page.

My questions -

  • is S905X3 vs S922X a big difference when using heavy skins and large libraries? Is the S922 much snappier in daily use? Is it worth the almost $80 premium?

  • does CE allow changing partition size to allocate more space to it, vs Android. e.g. most of these have 32GB RAM which can be used for addon, cache etc since I wont be using the Android partition much

  • who makes a reliable hardware with good cooling etc and support, besides Odroid, since its out of stock, plus after adding needed parts the cost works out same as other Android boxes

  • I am in US and prefer to buy from Amazon if possible due to better return policy and short shipping times. I know Aliexpress has much larger variety so I don’t mind that if needed.

  • can someone recommend a good choice for S905X3 based box (see many choices like X96, H96, Transpeed, X88 and many other brands its hard to tell if they are supported by CE) as well as S922X (Ugoos looks good to me but is close to $160 and not sold by Amazon), or anything else I should be looking at


Discard X88 Pro X3. It has an encrypted bootloader, so you cannot use bl_301 features and it detects only 2Gb of RAM in bootloader. I changed them in favour of H96

Your requirements will be met by purchasing a supported CE device.
Android support for Chinese branded boxes will be ZERO
Narrow your choice to the hardware below.
Khadas Vim3 or Vim3L
Odroid N2+ or the C4

Good factory and community support for Firmware.

Going to repeat this again - as far as I can see none of the Android boxes are adequately cooled - none. If you want to squeeze the maximum performance out them then this is an issue.
The only AMLogic devices which provide adequate cooling are the Odroids, the Khadas have pathetic cooling solutions which are totally unsuitable for a media player.

And for CE use there is no practical difference between the performance of the S905x3(running performance governor) and the S922.


Hmm, is Ugos AM6 Plus not an Android Box?

Same procedure as every year ?

There are two options

  1. buy cheap and earn trouble
  2. buy Khadas or Odroid and be lucky

Many people pay a lot of money for the TV, why save a few euros and having a lot of trouble with a piece of crap ?

I have no issues with my Vim3 reported HERE
It runs as cool as my Odroid N2+

My VIM3L HTPC Kit version has no heating issues whatsoever.

Most advises are here for Khadas or Odroid. I understand that this is reliable hardware, but all these boxes doesn’t bring a tuner with them. But there are not much threads discussing tuners with these boxes. Is it so clear what to use?

I assume, the common way to go is using an USB tuner. Is this correct? Are there recommended ones?

There are no boxes with reliable tuners built in - they are a constant source of support headaches for the CE team. It is likely that support for built in tuners will be dropped at some point in the future.
The teams recommended solution for live TV from sat or terrestrial is
Separate TV server box running something like TVheadend , this can be a low spec box or a decommissioned Android box.
This will take its sat or terrestrial feed from a SAT > IP box or a HDHomerun box.
The main box attached to your TV will only be a client to the TVHeadend server and the Server box can be left on a stable build indefinately.

Most people have an old Android box for the server, and the SAT > IP can be had for about a €100.00 extra. Since SAT > IP is an industry standard which TVHeadend supports and which is largely fixed - there is no possibility that a driver will suddenly break and your propitiatory tuner stops working.

In the long run this is the only way to ensure Live TV continues to work through multiple updates.


Hi Shoog,
That sounds not really promising to me, having three boxes: SAT>IP,TV Headend and CoreElec.
Currently I use one WeTek Play 2 for all these tasks and it works great. I am just pondering about the next box, when WeTek Play 2 is maybe not supported anymore in CoreElec. I will see what is possible than…

You can keep your WeTek Play and freeze its CE version to use it as your TVHeadend server. If you don’t upgrade it - support cannot be dropped. This should carry on working until the box dies.
You can run a new upgraded box as the client to this server and keep this version of CE cutting edge.

There is never any reason to simply ditch old tech unless it stops working in the way you need it to work.


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The only AMLogic devices which provide adequate cooling are the Odroids, the Khadas have pathetic cooling solutions which are totally unsuitable for a media player.

I see some other devices with heatsinks. I have also read posts here and on Kodi forums that people use other devices too. e.g. Ugoos AM6 is recommended.

My issue as I said is I’d prefer to buy from Amazon/US seller and the Odroid is out of stock for a month if not more.

And for CE use there is no practical difference between the performance of the S905x3(running performance governor) and the S922.

I understand the format support and decoding is going to be same, but there is a cpu speed difference. Won’t this have an impact?

It looks like the Ugoo is indeed an Android box with good cooling - but it costs more than a tricked out N2+ so I personally would still prefer the N2.

I really can’t say that I have noticed any difference between the performance of the S905x3 and the S922 when running CE, remember CE is a fairly undemanding program so all the extra grunt of the S922 largely goes unused in this application. Why pay 3x as much for such a small potential gain in performance ? Other people personal experience may be different. The clock on my N2 and the clock on my X96Air run at the same speed. The N2+ runs higher clock speeds - but I really do not feel that there is any need for better than what the S902x3 is capable of when running Perormance governor.

Of course these are my personal opinions - but for what its worth I use the X96Air as my main living room system and my N2 as my backup bedroom system.

w.r.t performance have you compared the 2 with some heavy Kodi skins? I think most skin code and addon code runs in Python which should be affected. But not playback.

Its hard to find any direct comparison videos etc. I saw this on reddit comparing N2 2GB and 4GB C4 -

“While the hardware video decoding is the same for the formats and addons not supported in hardware having the S922x makes a huge difference. Also makes a big difference for CPU intensive skins like Aeon Nox Silvo and addons like automatic-rewind, up-next, etc.
The 2GB N2 is the better overall Coreelec device.”

Also would appreciate your thoughts on the A95x F3. From review here -, it has a passive heatsink and good thermals, I don’t think heatsink is common in these devices. And seems to run CE.

I dont think there should be much difference in devices based on same chipset. It will come down to build quality, oem support for firmware etc. Which is the hard thing to tell.

I read this in the comments regarding this box, which sort of echo’s my experience with the X96Air (apart from the fact that all the X96Air boxes are working with CE):

“Wanted to edit but time was up. A95X F3 RGB 2/16 version Firmware 202006 Not possible to install CoreElec even with trying to reflash older version. When USB3 port is used by USB 3 hub wifi shut off after 1-3 min. In USB 2 port no problem. Box reaches 75 C even the cpu is already limited to 1700. The front vent is blocked by the display unit and there is no top vent. The aluminum heat sink ist flimsy at best but glued very strong to the chip. (not possible to replace) If you remove the display board, 2… Read more »”

Cheap Android boxes are a crap shoot which could leave you disappointed - or not.


Seems right. Other comments on that page are totally opposite.
I guess for $40-50 you can’t expect much QC.

But at same time my best purchase remains FireStick4K bought on sale for $30. I know its subsidized by Amazon but still remains great value and has worked flawlessly every day for 2 years now. Wish it ran CE and was open platform.

@Shoog I can imagine that supporting the internal tuners of a lot of different boxes can be a nightmare and if you cannot support it anymore you must do so.
But personally, having all in one little box, with little power consumption, no tinkering with the hardware, was always appealing to me. This was one of the main reasons for me to start using Kodi on Android/Amlogic instead of e.g. Rasberry PI.

Reading the forum for the last year or so you can find that the main dvb developer afl1 left the scene and isn’t reachable since September 2019. A great part of the work out there about dvb always leads to afl1’s work. The devices already supported will still be supported (as they are) and for the most part work very well. What Shoog mentioned is that we suggest separating server from client because we found it to be more stable and better working. I use it this way as others do. Leaving an old device as tvheadend server without much changes seems to be the way to go. The sat>ip or hdhomerun path is even better because you’re safe from drivers not working and other kind of trouble. Yes you multiply the devices but you get a better working set. It’s up to each user and his use case.

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