bravomail (bravomail) wrote,

Review of MK808B - android-on-a-stick mini PC - followup to UG802

Everybody knows what iPad is. It's a tablet, like iPhone or IPod Touch, but with a big screen. It is more convenient to surf the web or to watch the movies. Some folks are aware that there are iPad alternatives, running Android OS. The same touch interface graphical UI tablets. Now just imagine a tablet the size of your home big flat screen TV. From 32 to 65 inch diagonal approximately. In order to get this kind of super tablet you need to connect your TV to a little Android-on-a-stick device. - previous review of UG802.

Chinese manufacturers didn't stop on buggy half-ass Android stick UG802. Somebody there came up with an ingenious idea: Why can't we fix all the hardware and software bugs in UG802, add there Bluetooth and sell it for the same ridiculously cheap price? The resulting wonder was named MK808B.
So this device was acquired by me for my friends (my UG802 still peacefully huffs and puffs in the corner) for an amazing price of $55 from AliExpress. A little advice for Aliexpress customers - lookout for 2 things - the price and the catalog of the seller. Sometimes little known seller, without any previous orders of Android sticks, has a good history of selling other commodities like USB drives or iPhone cases etc. My ordered device came in nice black-and-green semitransparent plastic box.

Let's start from the hardware. In the kit with a stick there came 3 cables - power miniUSB, miniUSB OTG and microHDMI. All 3 cables are ringing clear, checked by me and working good.

A little difference of MK808B is in the fact of replacing HDMI male jack to microHDMI female socket. There are 3 USB sockets - two of them miniUSB (not microUSB!) and one full-size USB. I say that in case of you trying to buy your own cables, longer or more colorful - you never know.
Weak singleamper power supply of UG802 was replaced by manufacturer to the same ordinary looking, but fully functional, two-amper kind. I couldn't notice any problems with it.

Android stick MK808B

UG802 has a No-No-notorious WiFi. You had to pry open the case and invoke the antenna on the God's light for the least bit acceptable data reception. In MK808B I didn't open the case. I get one less bar of WiFi, but the aesthetics saved and there are no slowdowns.
Let's get to the software side of things. Device came with preinstalled Andoid JellyBean 4.1. Oh, bitter sweat JellyBean! The applications are the same as in UG802, but crippled unter-Shell was replaced by a regular Android Launcher (Start Menu, Home Screen, Desktop), which will warm the soul of anybody who has it.

The apps which are interesting for the video viewing - Video, Netflix and Youtube - all know, how to properly extend to full screen and hide Navigation bar with buttons out of sight, which is appreciated by viewers. Adobe Flash is there to save a day and works good from built-in Internet Browser.
This should have been the end, but the multitude of websites offer to root the device (jail-break it). Armtvtech or FreakTab sites have a downloadable file, which should be written onto microSD card, inserted into MK808B (it has microSD slot - ta-da!), and -??? Profit! During this operation there happened a little corruption of built-in NAND flash memory, which was cured by formatting it and Factory resetting a data of the whole device. After update MK808B changes for better. Now I could fix build.prop file for Google Play Market signature - and download more apps. Then 3 key apps for any Android were downloaded - QuickBoot, Voltage Control and AdAway. Now I can set faster CPU governor, reboot in 3 modes and get rid of advertising.

Performance of MK808B didn't get worse. The same dual core Rockchip Cortex-A9 CPU at 1.6GHz with RAM of 1GB, which pulls faster than Tegra3, or on Samsung Galaxy II level (give-or-take). Antutu Total: 9955. All games run fast, even the most demanding 3D heavyweights. I watch TV on it though. Built-in flash memory is only 8GB, but it's expandable using microSD to 32GB.

In dry residue - bravo to Chinese communists! They fixed bugs! Those bugs were from Chicag's!
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