What are the best Android TV boxes to buy in 2020

Android TV boxes allow you to exploit the full potential of your living room television. But faced with the offer, it is not always easy to choose the product that best suits your needs. Read this guide to make an informed choice when buying your next media center to connect your TV.

Our selection of the best Android TV boxes

These prices have been updated on 07/29/2020 by All4affiliates. They are listed in ascending order and excluding delivery costs. Only the prices displayed at the merchants are valid.

Photo by xiaomi-mi-box-tv-s

These prices have been updated on 07/29/2020 by All4affiliates. They are listed in ascending order and excluding delivery costs. Only the prices displayed at the merchants are valid.

Free your television, gather your multimedia content in the living room! In 2020, it’s hard to do without a connected TV or a mediacenter that adds the ability to easily stream content from your smartphone, PC or Mac to your TV. Some options focus on ease of use and installation while others focus on functionality. So which one to choose? Follow the guide !

Nvidia Shield TV Pro 2019: the best

Nvidia Shield TV Pro 2019

We’re not going to go four ways: the Nvidia Shield TV Pro is undoubtedly the best Android TV box available today. It takes the design of the classic Shield TV from 2017 while providing several improvements: a new, more efficient Tegra X1 + SoC, 3 GB of RAM and 16 GB of storage, Dolby Vision compatibility and AI-assisted scaling. It comes with a new remote control in a triangular design with backlit keys.

You get all the benefits of the Android TV system plus services like Nvidia Gamestream and GeForce Now for gamers. The Nvidia Shield TV Pro is available for € 2,019.

The + The –
Design and compactness No micro SD port
Smooth media playback up to 4K definition with HDR (Dolby Vision + HDR10) Nvidia no longer ships a gamepad
All the advantages of the Android TV system
Gamestream and GeForce Now for streaming PC games
Improved upscaling system

Nvidia Shield TV 2019: just as efficient as the Pro version

Nvidia Shield TV 2019

The 2019 Shield TV sees a big change from an aesthetic standpoint. Indeed, the device is in the form of a cylindrical tube with ports on each side, designed to be placed in the extension of the HDMI cable of the television. As for technical characteristics, it has 2 GB of RAM memory, a Tegra X1 + processor, as well as 8 GB of internal storage, expandable via a microSD port.

To connect it to your internet network, you have two options: via its integrated Gigabit Ethernet port or wirelessly via its WiFi 802.11 ac connectivity. Like the Pro variant, it comes with its new remote control, the Shield TV Remote, with an original triangular-shaped design and incorporating advanced features such as voice search, and six months of battery life.

The + The –
Design and compactness A bit tight in storage space (SD card required)
Smooth media playback up to 4K definition with HDR (Dolby Vision + HDR10) No USB port
All the advantages of the Android TV system
Gamestream and GeForce Now for streaming PC games
Improved upscaling system

Xiaomi Mi Box S 4K Ultra HD: a benchmark for tight budgets

Xiaomi mi Box S 4K

The Xiaomi Mi Box S is an option to consider if you want a lower cost Android TV box. Its design and size are very reminiscent of the Apple TV 4K. Although to be clear, the comparison to Apple TV or the Nvidia Shield ends there. The main advantage of this box is that it allows you to stream content on television. However, it does not offer the power of the two aforementioned boxes. It’s particularly loud for games.

On the other hand, unlike its competitors, it offers a reasonable price – around 60 euros – a simple solution to connect the television in your living room. Expect a few bugs in the interface, though, which we hope will be fixed quickly with an update.

The + The –
Value for money The ergonomics of the interface can still be improved
Smooth media playback up to 4K definition with HDR
All the advantages of the Android TV system
Chromecast built-in

Freebox Mini 4K: the option made in Free

Freebox mini 4K

We no longer present the Freebox Mini 4K. It is undoubtedly one of the most widespread Android TV boxes in France since it is the FAI Free that offers it. When it was released, it was the first Android TV box on the market. After the ad effect, the Freebox Mini 4K has disappointed some users. Some bugs spoiled the party and some details aroused the dissatisfaction of some users. We think for example of the RJ45 Ethernet port and not Gigabit which limits the speed to 100 Mb / s. Too bad for a box supposed to be 4K compatible.

Netflix is ​​offered as an option. Rather a good point since the VOD service is one of the few to offer content in 4K. A big advantage of the Freebox Mini 4K, it is “free” or at least provided by Free with an internet subscription.

The + The –
Lightweight and compact housing. Aging material
Successful TV interface and smooth navigation Limited performance
All the advantages of the Android TV system
Newly available Netflix

📺 Sony, Philips, TCL… What about TVs connected to Android TV?

There are Android TV or manufacturer solutions (Tizen, WebOS, etc.) in order to have a range of possibilities without having to turn to a box. We can cite a few manufacturers offering Android TV in particular Sony, Philips and TCL. The main features and especially the Play Store are available – but it is not a question of making such advanced use as with an Nvidia Shield TV for example. Be careful in your choice to inquire about compatibility with certain codecs such as VP10, essential for playing 4K content on YouTube.

❓ Why an Android TV Box?

You have an unconnected TV and want to be able to use it in a versatile way: access streaming applications such as Netflix, Dysney + or Amazon Prime Video, project the screen of your smartphone or PC, benefit from a media manager worthy of the name or even play directly on your TV. There is nothing better than a box Android TV which allows access to more than 5000 Android applications optimized for televisions.

And even if you have a Smart TV under another system (LG WebOS or Samsung Tizen), you could still use a complete Android TV box such as the Nvidia Shield to benefit from an even richer experience with in particular the streaming video games.

🤔 Can I use a simple Chromecast?

If you do not have a Smart TV or an Android TV box, the Chromecast is still the best backup solution if you have a conventional TV and wanted to use it for a richer multimedia experience. You can use it to project your smartphone screen onto the TV, so you can enjoy your media, streaming services, mobile games and more directly on the TV.

But with the increasingly accessible price of Android TV boxes, like Xiaomi’s Mi Box S which costs only a few tens of euros, investing in such a solution may be more relevant to take advantage of a more complete experience.

Our other buying guides on the TV universe

To go with your TV and to equip your living room as it should be, don’t hesitate to take a look at these buying guides which also surround the world of image and sound.

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