Android Buying Guides Entertainment

The Best Android TV Box for All Budgets

Dan Price Updated 02-08-2019

Android TV boxes are one of the best ways to watch on-demand video services, live IPTV, and local media on your television. The devices are more customizable than products like Roku and Apple TV, and their range of price points means everyone can find a box to suit their needs.


But which are the best Android TV boxes? The answer depends on how much you’re willing to spend and where in the house you’re planning to install the device.

Keep reading to find out more about the best Android TV boxes for all budgets.

1. Best Android TV Box Overall:
Nvidia Shield Gaming Edition

Nvidia Shield Gaming Edition Nvidia Shield Gaming Edition Buy Now On Amazon $224.99

The Nvidia Shield range of products has dominated the Android TV landscape for several years. Its reign shows no sign of abating.

Today, the Nvidia Shield Gaming Edition is the best device. It’s only a few bucks more expensive than the standard Nvidia Shield, but you get a gaming controller in the box too. Under the hood, there’s 16GB of storage, an Nvidia Tegra X1 processor with a 256-core GPU and 3GB of RAM, support for 4K HDR video playback at 60 frames per second, and Dolby Atmos audio.


The Shield also boasts two USB ports (which can be used for expanded memory), integrated Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa, Bluetooth connectivity, and a built-in Plex Media Server. But before you hit the shops, a word of warning.

The current model has been in circulation since January 2017. It seems likely that Nvidia would refresh the Shield lineup. If you want to ensure you have the latest device, it might be better to hold fire and see what materializes.

2. Best Alternative Android TV Box:
Xiaomi Mi Box S

Xiaomi Mi Box S Xiaomi Mi Box S Buy Now On Amazon $79.99

The Nvidia Shield might be the best Android TV box, but it’s also the most expensive. If you want a cheaper alternative that’s still feature-rich, the Xiaomi Mi Box S should be near the top of your list. Although the Mi Box S is capable of being the streaming hub on your main TV, it’s ideally suited for taking smart capabilities to secondary TVs around your home. For example, perhaps in the kitchen or the kids’ bedrooms.


The device can play 4K video at 60FPS, has 8GB of storage, and 2GB of RAM. Powering the box is a Cortex-A53 quad-core 64-bit CPU and a Mali-450 GPU. And unlike many cheaper Android TV boxes, it runs the stock version of the Google Android TV operating system. As such, there’s no bloatware, and navigation is perfect with the remote control.

Around the back, there’s only one USB port You can use it for adopted storage—but it means you lose the ability to easily move other files onto your box, like an APK for sideloading, via a USB memory stick. The Mi Box supports Google Assistant, but there’s no Alexa integration.

3. Most Powerful Android TV Box for Kodi:
Beelink GT King

Beelink GT King Beelink GT King Buy Now On Amazon $125.00

If you value performance over all else, the Beelink GT King is probably the best Android TV box on the market. Despite its impressive specs, it comes with a surprisingly affordable price tag. So, what makes the box so powerful? Hardware-wise, it provides 64GB of storage, 4GB of RAM, a Hexa S922X CPU, and a Mali G52 GPU. They combine to give it some of the best benchmark scores in the industry.


There’s also 5.1 surround sound, Bluetooth connectivity, and support for 2.4GHz and 5GHz Wi-Fi networks. However, although the Beelink GT King might be one of the most powerful machines from a specs standpoint, it has drawbacks in other areas.

For example, it runs the tablet version of Android 9.0, not Android TV. That means you’re going to have to deal with a lot of apps don’t play nicely with your remote. And because the Beelink GT King is a generic box manufactured in China, there’s a fair chance it’ll never see the next version of Android when Google eventually releases it.

Where the device can really shine is when it’s used as a Kodi box, rather than for running Google Play apps. Remember, it’s possible to make an Android TV boot straight into Kodi, meaning you’ll never have to deal with the mobile Android interface.

4. Best Budget Android TV Box:
Tanix TX6

Tanix TX6 Tanix TX6 Buy Now On Amazon $49.99


If you’ve spent any time researching the best Android TV boxes, you’ll know there are dozens of cheap no-brand Chinese products that flood the market. Often, they are available for basement prices—we’re talking sub-$20 in some cases. Avoid those super cheap boxes. If you want an affordable Android TV box from China that’ll actually perform, go for the Tanix TX6.

Sure, the Allwinner H6 CPU and Mali T720 aren’t as powerful as the other devices we’ve looked at so far, but for the price, it’s hard to argue. The box also comes with 32GB of storage, 4GB of RAM, Bluetooth, and a USB port. And, unlike the Beelink model, there is support for both Miracast and Airplay. You will be able to cast your computer’s desktop with ease, regardless of whether you’re a Windows or Mac user.

Perhaps the most significant trade-off for the price is the design. The Tanix TX6 isn’t bulky, but there is an unattractive aerial attached to the side along with a primitive-looking clock display on the front.

5. Best Android TV Fork:
Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K

Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K Buy Now On Amazon $49.99

It’s easy to forget that the Amazon Fire TV operating system is based on Android TV—the operating system is just a heavily modified version of Google’s stock release.

Amazon makes several Fire TV devices, but the Fire TV Stick 4K is the model to go for. It’s two biggest selling points are the price point (you’ll struggle to find a more affordable option that’s made by a well-known manufacturer), and the integration with Amazon’s other services. There’s a built-in Amazon Prime Video app, and Amazon’s Alexa is fully functional thanks to the voice-enabled remote.

Again, however, there’s a trade-off. The modified version of the operating system does not have Play Services, so there’s no Google Play Store. The Amazon Appstore is a solid alternative, but the amount of content is not comparable. On the positive side, you can sideload any Android APK, but you may encounter navigation issues.

The Best Android TV Box for You

The Android TV boxes we’ve covered here are some of the best available, but for different reasons. Whatever your budget or use case, you should find something here that works for you.

If you’ve not owned an Android TV box before, check out our beginner’s guide to Android TV boxes Android TV Boxes: What Are They and What Can They Do? Is Android TV better than satellite, over-the-air TV, or cable? Here's what you need to know about Android TV boxes. Read More .

Related topics: Android TV, Back to School, Home Theater, Media Streaming, Smart TV.

Affiliate Disclosure: By buying the products we recommend, you help keep the site alive. Read more.

Whatsapp Pinterest

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. Don
    May 31, 2018 at 10:22 am

    This page keeps crashing. Never ends loading. Too much crap on it to load. Therefore useless since impossible to use. (This is my second attempt att commenting.)

  2. Nathan
    May 22, 2018 at 6:43 pm

    I use the ChannelMaster Stream+ Android TV device, not reviewed here. Unlike the AirTV Player, it has dual internal TV tuners, and runs Android TV Nougat, and uses the Google Live Channels App to view and record OTA live tv. When it was initially released to pre-order purchasers, it was plagued with issues, but within 3-4 weeks, Google released updates to its Live Channels App that have resolved those issues and make this a real contender. There are no monthly fees for the Guide or DVR features. It isn't as Spec heavy as Nvidia Shield TV, but isn't meant to be a gaming device, although it plays most games in the Google Play Store. The downside,... No official Netflix or Amazon Prime apps yet.

  3. Realjck
    March 16, 2018 at 11:53 pm

    I wanna get an Android box for gaming and I finally found the best alternative with the Android VM 'Nox Player' connected from my PC to the TV via a cheap Steam Link. Once properly configured, it works very well and has also a full gamepad support that allows to emulate gestures on screen and motion sensor, it's very convenient and offer much more possibilities than a nVidia Shield in my opinion.

  4. wade
    December 15, 2017 at 8:47 pm

    How can you tell if a box is running tablet-optimized Android?

  5. Harry Skelton
    October 3, 2017 at 1:32 pm

    The biggest complaint for all these boxes is the inability to have common Android features such as access to your contacts list. Oddly enough, these boxes make great Android consoles. Especially the ones that are not Android TV OS. However, the upgrade/update path of these boxes still hover at ZERO. Support for many do not include OS upgrade paths. While the vendors place such features into the box, the actual ability to upgrade to something better is not there.

    Then there is the fact that many of these boxes are ROOTED. Which means if you don't leave the apps alone you could run them, but re-install one and you might get a message on how your device is not trusted.

    At this moment I am typing this on my Android TV box - a AEWin AE256 (from which the Yoka KB2 is made from). Running on a 4K 43" screen that I use for my monitor. With Nova Launcher and all the common apps I use in a normal Android environment.

    So when you do your next review, see how many actually allow access to the contacts, and how many have a working upgrade/update path - such as upgrading from Android 6 to Android 8. You'll find it is all glamour and no brains behind the companies that issue the boxes.

  6. Mister Wirez
    October 3, 2017 at 5:44 am

    I have a Minix NEO U9-H. I love it.

  7. likefunbutnot
    October 2, 2017 at 8:51 pm

    A strong negative for the MiBox: it lacks a proper ethernet port. Given its size and form factor, there's really no reason for it to not have that.

    I do own a Shield TV. It's a good STB, but for the most part I don't think there's any part of its feature set that's worth more than a FireTV that costs less than half as much. Game streaming is meh and while it can kinda-sorta transcode video for Plex, it struggles with multiple simultaneous streams. Were it $50 or $75 cheaper, I'd give it an unqualified recommendation.

    • KwaK
      October 3, 2017 at 7:25 am

      You have my uncertified approval of your unqualified recommendation. I agree with your comment on Nvidia Shield TV - it's a nice piece of hardware ... but for the features VS price, there's no good reason to get it over cheaper alternatives. Heck, there was an article right here not too long ago, which highlighted how you can set-up Raspberry Pi as a TV set-top box. Granted, it requires more fiddling around to get it set up (compared to other plug-and-play, actual TV set-top/media, boxes), but right off the bat - it blows many of them right out the water with the extensibility and features they offer in return.

  8. Alek Davis
    October 2, 2017 at 8:34 pm

    As a parent, it's important to me to have a TV OS that allows my kids to log in with a separate account. I recently purchased an Android box running Android 7.x, and it only supported a single account. Had to sell it on Craigslist.

  9. Doc
    October 2, 2017 at 8:25 pm

    "The base model includes 16GB of storage built in. Whereas the Nvidia Shield TV Pro boasts a 500GB hard drive."
    "Whereas" is a **joining word** - this should be just one sentence. Drop the period, insert a comma, and drop the capital "W".

    • Jeff L
      October 2, 2017 at 11:39 pm

      Thanks for contributing.

    • Mister Wirez
      October 3, 2017 at 5:47 am

      Noone likez a jErK... howz'm Idoin?

      • Doc
        October 3, 2017 at 12:44 pm

        Absolutely fabulous! :p