We have another media box from Minix, one of the most popular brands regarding the specific market.
This time (the excellent Windows based Z83-4 review is here) we have the latest Android based offering sporting some very nice features. Let’s see below how Minix U9-H performs.
Packaging – Specifications
The unit arrived in a box similar to the one of Z83-4 but in different color.
On the inside, you can find the media box itself, an HDMI cable, the remote, the power adaptor, the detachable antenna, a micro-USB cable and a USB-OTG one. Very rich content not seen often in Android media boxes.
In terms of specifications, Minix U9-H at first glance appears to be typical for a S912 based device but there is much more if you look closer though.
Amlogic S912-H octa-core with Mali-820 are very popular in the latest generation of Android offerings. Both are powerful enough for all major tasks including 4K playback and 3D gaming.
2GB of RAM are plenty and the same can be said for the 16GB of ROM that are expandable through the micro SD card slot (Marshmallow feature) .
I/Os are very rich with 1x HDMI out, 3x USB 2.0 ports, 1x micro SD card slot, 1x micro USB OTG, 1x S/PDIF, 1x Headphone jack, 1x Microphone jack and an infrared receiver.
For communications, the Gigabit Lan, the 2×2 MiMo Wi-Fi and 4.0BT is the best combination available.
Android 6.0.1 is the operating system of choice.
Media Player – Remote
Minix U9-H is pretty much the same with the Z83-4 Windows based model from the same company.
Square design, black color with the Minix brand engraved on the top. It is made of plastic but the overall build quality is among the best we have seen among the non-aluminum cases. During operation, a small blue led is lit that will not distract your viewing. A power button is a nice addition as well.
The majority of I/Os are located at the back and right side. If you don’t use USB ports, you will be able to have a proper cable management since all major connections (power, HDMI, LAN) are located at the back side.
The remote is small but easy to operate and handle. There is no numeric keypad (Minix actually sells some very good air mouse/keyboard combo solutions) but this makes basic selections much easier and faster. Range is good but you will have to point the remote to the Minix U9-H in order to have safe and accurate results.
Menus – Settings
Both stock Android and Minix launchers are included. Minix’s one is more suited for a media player use so most owners will go this way. The main screen consists of large, mainly gray and green themed, icons that each one of them can include shortcuts compiling an actual category.
Also in the main screen (there is only one) you will find a time/weather widget and at the top left corner indicators for LAN, Wi-Fi and BT (not clickable).
The settings menu is the gray one that we usually find in all recent media boxes. The classic (white) Android menu also exists for some extra (not common) settings.
The addition of auto frame rate (to 24p from other refresh rates) is a nice surprise that we see for the first time in S912 based media box.
In almost all previous S912 based Android media boxes we had experienced very good performance and compatibility with all major file types and encodings.
Furthermore, it is also the first time we see HD Audio pass-through in a S912 device so many extra points for home cinema enthusiasts.
Media playback is superb in 1080p files and almost excellent in 4K ones with problems (stuttering or loss of sound) appearing to rare encodings (10-bit HEVC, 4K VP9).
As expected, wired LAN performance was excellent for video playback of very high bitrate files, and via the 2×2 MiMo Dual band Wi-Fi playback of 1080p BLU RAY backup files was perfect if you have a capable access point.
Gaming performance was very good and similar to other S912 media boxes. 3D gaming (racing, shooters) has high frame rates and only heavy 3D-texture occasions can cause light stuttering.
Overall, excellent performance and the best among the S912 boxes we have seen so far.
Although the Minix launcher is preferred, we can appreciate the existence of Google’s stock one (with Minix’s theme).
The Marshmallow version of Google’s platform is installed and nothing is left behind. Play Store, You-Tube (up to 1080p), Chrome and all applications and games are ready to be installed to Minix U9-H internal storage (~11GB free after first boot.Can be expanded).
Many applications are pre-installed (task killer, ES file explorer, Skype, Mx Player among others) but don’t expect to find anything having to do with KODI add-ons.
The device is not rooted, and we already got an OTA update during our tests. Minix is a company well known for their great support so be sure that the overall experience can only get better.
Minix U9-H is definitely among the best Android media boxes currently available.
Great specifications, bundle, performance, tuning (auto frame rate, HD Audio) and support are hard to find altogether.
If you are looking for the best Android media player in the below $150 segment, then the Minix U9-H is an option you must consider.
We would like to thank www.gearbest.com for sending the player in exchange of an unbiased presentation.
PS. While you still can, use the coupon GBMU9H in order to get an extra discount from Gearbest.
- 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.