- Very affordable
- Good design
- Android 7.1
- Connectivity ports
- Good performance
- No FullHD NetFlix playback
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In the past few months the small Chinese company Tanix has released a number of exciting TVBoxes which are well balanced and offer more than what some of their competitors do at similar prices. To give you an idea where we are in terms of budget – this is a contender for best affordable TV-Box of 2018.
What is fair to highlight – unlike most of the unpopular brands, Tanix places their logo and some meaningful information on the package. And that shows at least to people like me commitment to brand awareness and makes me think that they know what they are doing.
Inside there are the standard accessories to be found – an HDMI cable, a remote controller and a charger.
This remote controller somewhat reminds me of the Xiaomi RCs, but this one has a few more buttons and is programmable!
Design and highlights
The box itself is not as big as the “max” model suggests. So we will look for max-elements somewhere else. Good choice of plastic and there have obviously been some budget spent on designing it to look and feel good. As most of the Tanix boxes there is a front LED display, rubberized legs and a bunch of ports. Nothing too interesting at the bottom, except the reset button. This one is mostly used by ROM-flashing enthusiasts. And review freaks like me :-].
Quite a good set of ports, including LAN, S/PDIF, HDMI, and – surprisingly AV. If you have an old TV, that does not support digital output, it may still be able to work with that TV box! On the other side you have two more USB ports alongside with microSD slot.
Hardware-wise it is powered by the Amlogic S905w, has 2GB RAM, 16GB ROM, and out of the box based on Android 7.1 Nougat. The CPU is in fact a lower-end version of the 905 chip, that AMlogic is releasing to compete the Rockchip’s RK3228. The downgrades are related to 4K playback – maximum supported are 30 frames-per-second, which is twice less than the pure S905 processor, but… How many 60fps 4k videos did you actually watch in the past month? So yeah – this system on a chip seems to beat the Rockchip 3228 in the low-end segment and we are going to see more TV-boxes with it. And I have the feeling that this one will remain one of the best!
Since I mentioned the display – I like two things about it: compared to my TX9 model the blue color is nicer, and the digits are larger, so there definitely is better visibility.
Software and performance
The boot process takes less than a minute and you will see the WiFi icon as soon as connection is in place.
Tanix are making a big thing out of their new skin. Which reminds of a gamer’s desktop. Nothing bad – it’s just that this exact TV box is not with the best hardware for games. A big thump up to Tanix for creating this unique design of the so-called “AliceUX” – the boot animation is really interesting. Once the android 7.1 is ready for you, there’s the launcher – it is good, clean, doesn’t crash and is highly customizable. Because everything here is based on stock Android, you can use a launcher of your choice. Although the Alice UX does all that it is supposed to!
Most of the TV boxes lately are getting the app Mobdro which streams TV online. Not sure how much longer it will survive, considering the lawsuits against similar services. So enjoy it for as long as it is active. Obviously Tanix developers are working more and more on improving their builds, and searching thoroughly the settings – there is no longer access to the classic android settings sections. Everything is grouped in a meaningful main menu, and if you look for more settings – just clock it at the bottom of this one.
There IS Root, out of the box. Can be enabled from the settings. And I found a working TWRP – for flashing everything you like, including Xposed framework or making a Nandroid backup.
Tests and benchmarks
Starting with the tests – you can see some interesting facts about the internals. Codecs are first – you do have everything which is current as of march 2018, as well as hardware support for HEVC (x265).
Netflix fans may be somewhat disappointed – 720p is there, but full HD or better – currently not supported due to the level of google licensing
Benchmark results are more than satisfactory for a lower end TVbox. Geekbench shows just below 500 on a single core and close to 1300 multi core score. Of course it is far from being close to beasts like the snapdragon-based top smartphones.
Going through a storage test we are not disappointed again. Where most of the manufactures will save from NAND, Tanix stays mid-range and this is why we get pretty decent scores.
If we do not pay attention to speed tests – although this could be subjective – unless you are a serious gamer, you’ll hardly make a difference in execution of daily tasks between this device, and something much more capable and expensive. It is great to see that low end TV boxes of 2018 are close to performance of mid-range devices of last year. Not to mention the port features.
Kodi is full of add-ons and I recommend you to get to know them, if you already have this TX3 Max.
Gaming is also a pleasing activity. Having no issues to connect my Xiaomi Bluetooth joystick, I had a race with no dropped frames and no lag, despite the fact a recording was running on background.
At the end – do I recommend this TVbox? Totally! I am a fan of Tanix and they obviously are fans of pleasing their customers with great features at a great price. So what does the MAX stay for? It is actually the ratio – for less than 40USD you get MAXXimum possible amount of power and features. This is THE deal from the budget segment. Should you want to save a few more bucks and on top of that to support our reviews – please use the links and coupons provided below to purchase it.
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Make sure to check our detailed video review:
android tvTanixunboxing 6:01 pm