Beelink is a well-known media box manufacturer.
We have reviewed Beelink products in the past with very good results. This time Beelink launched the beefed up Ultimate version of GT1 model (reviewed here) with extra memory options and a different remote.
Let’s see how it performs.
Packaging – Specifications
Beelink Ultimate GT1 arrived in a small black carton box.
Besides the media box itself, inside you will also find the power adaptor, an HDMI cable, the remote and a quick start manual. No batteries are included for the remote.
Specs are very good and worthy of the “ultimate” name it carries. It is equipped with 3GB DDR4 RAM and 32GB eMMC 5.0 ROM that promise much better multitasking and effortless playback of media files compared to other models with less RAM .
The Amlogic S912 8-core CPU with Mali T820 GPU ensures fast processing and 4K / HDR compatibility.
I/Os feature 2 x USB 2.0, 1 x S/PDIF out, HDMI 2.0 (4K and HDR support) and SD slot (up to 32GB).
For wired network connections an RJ45 with Gigabit LAN is the best available option and the same applies for wireless connections with dual band Wi-Fi AC and BT 4.0.
Android 6.0 is the selected operating system.
Media Player – Remote
Beelink’s Ultimate edition is pretty similar in terms of looks and build quality to its liitle brother, GT1.
Small, elegant with grey frame and black-themed top.
1 x USB port and the SD slot are on the side which means that cable management will be required if you want two USB HDDs connected. (1 USB port is at the back)
If you use a wired LAN, things are much better since all the needed ports will be located at the back (power, HDMI, RJ45).
The remote is different, and that is a good thing since it is much better.
The grip is great and the layout will make you feel comfortable from the first minute of use. The range is also good and that is also the case for the feel when pressing the keys. A numeric keypad is included as well.
The remote can be programmed (learning mode) with the instructions on how you can do that found on the back.
Menus – Settings
The Ultimate edition shares the same graphical user interface with the older GT1 model.
The main gray theme provides a very pleasant look. Big icons beautifully designed are there for all the popular options and apps (fork of KODI, Play Store, Web browser, File manager and settings) while a very nice clock/weather widget adds a nice touch to the left side.
There is only one “main” page since the other two are used for favorites. You do of course have the option to add shortcuts of your own.
The settings menu is once again the dark themed one we find in almost every media box these days. You will be able to setup the GT1 Ultimate according to your setup/needs in no time. You can also find the classic Android menu for additional options.
There are OTA options but we didn’t receive one during our tests.
As expected, playback of all popular audio files (mp3/FLAC) was an easy task for the 8-core processor.
Regarding video playback, it performed really great with KODI 17 (don’t expect “add-ons”, nothing extra is pre-installed after the first boot. More on that later).
Playback of 4K video files proved to be an easy task for the majority of the encodings. Only some rare ones(10bit, HECV @60fps) had issues during playback. All “popular” ones had good playback.
Once more, S912 SoC proved to be very powerful for 1080p playback since every file tested, from a simple WEB-DL to BD.ISO was an easy task for Ultimate GT1. Auto frame rate switching is not supported but that is the case with the majority of media boxes. At least 24p playback appeared to be fine without annoying hiccups every now and then. Just make sure you select the correct output prior to playback.
Regarding audio bit-streaming, DD/DTS pass-through had no issues but HD-Audio was a no-go (PCM and DTS core was the result in cases of True-HD and DTS HD Master Audio respectively) which is the case for all the S912 based media boxes we reviewed so far.
Edit: New, Nougat versions of Beelink GT1 Ultimate can bitstream HD Audio just fine.
Wi-Fi performance was ΟΚ with Wi-Fi AC being able to stream low bit-rate 1080p files hassle free. Wired performance was great for media streaming since streaming of BLU-RAY backups was possible.
Gaming performance was also very good with demanding 3d games having very good performance. With the addition of a gamepad, Ultimate GT1 will give many hours of good gameplay.
Furthermore, throughout every task, Ultimate GT1’s gave us the impression that it could handle all tasks with “ease” which is the case for the majority of 3GB RAM media boxes. Overall, a very good performance.
Although Nougat version of Google’s Android OS is out for some time now, media boxes still depend on the previous Marshmallow (but certainly not old) version and Beelink’s latest media box is no exception. YouTube, Gmail, Chrome and all applications and games in Play Store are at your disposal in order for you to choose the ones you prefer.
There is extra software pre-installed with APP4TV and QodiMate standing out for installing 3rd party add-ons and applications.
Browsing the user interface was fast and responsive and that has to do with the increased RAM compared to competition offering 2GB RAM or less.
After the first boot, you will have ~25GB available for apps and games.
Beelink Ultimate GT1 has great performance. Although the additions (more RAM/ROM and different remote) don’t add any extra features, the real life overall experience is considerably enhanced.
The price is within the expected range of similar equipped media boxes (~$80) and only ~$15 more than the “simple” GT1 version.
If you care about every aspect of performance and user experience, definitely keep an eye on Beelink Ultimate GT1. It will serve you well.
We would like to thank www.gearbest.com for sending the player in exchange of an unbiased presentation.
- If this review helped you towards making your decision, we would appreciate if you made your order through the previous affiliate link(s). This way we will be able to review more products in the future.