Quick Minix Neo U1 Review: Penta-Core GFX in your HTPC

Usually, as buyers, we think the more cores a processor has, the better. And generally, these cores come in pairs. You see the words Quad-Core, Octa-Core, and so on. Is this a true benchmark of performance? Well, if we look at modest, yet well-performing boxes, such as the Tronfy MXQ Android media player, we might find that notion challenged. On the other hand, the media stick market, spear-headed by the Amazon Fire TV Stick, shows us that small devices can be as powerful, or even more, than their big counterparts. Could a device with an odd (and kind of small) number of cores outperform the big players? We will find out in this quick Minix Neo U1 review.

Minix Neo U1 Review Remote
The Minix Neo U1 Includes A Remote, Enabling You To Browse Your Media And Addons Right Out Of The Box.

A big antenna, reminiscent of what we find in the Minix X8 Android media player, would make us think this is the same device; however, in this Minix Neo U1 review we see that this iteration of the box has significant advantages over that one. Framerate is higher, at 60fps, versus a maximum of 30 with the older box; provided by its 64-bit revolutionizing architecture, that surely impacts performance in a very positive way. In this Android Minix TV Box review, we see that this device can be used with a special Minix Neo U1 Kodi version, custom configured for the device, and available at the Minix website. This is a fully-functional Kodi for Android version, where you can install your favorite addons to stream movies and TV shows, such as the Kodi Velocity Addon, or any other of the 20 best Kodi addons we have recommended in the past. [Read: 10 best Kodi movies addons in 2015 for your HTPC]

Best Wireless HTPC and Android TV Box Keyboards:
  1. Logitech K410 Living-Room Wireless Keyboard with Built-In Touchpad - $37.75 Editors Pick
  2. Logitech Illuminated K830 HTPC Wireless Keyboard and Touchpad - $69.99
  3. iPazzPort KP-810-10AS Wireless Mini Keyboard Remote with Touch - $15.99
  4. Rii i8+ 2.4GHz Mini Wireless Keyboard with Touchpad - $22
  5. LYNEC C120Pro Mini Wireless Gyro Remote Keyboard Mouse - $13

Minix Neo U1 Review: Penta-Core graphics and good performance

A Quad-Core processor and a Penta-Core GPU are the first details we can appreciate in this Minix Neo U1 review. This Minix Android Box boasts a low power consumption, as well as a silent thermal control management system, which means this box operates silently. You will not get appreciable levels of background noise when using the Minix Neo U1. An included remote, which gets the job done, without being overly precise or useful. For a better experience, getting a wireless HTPC keyboard is recommended. What are the hardware specs of this Android media player? We will tell you right now:

Minix Android Box Connectivity
3 Usb Ports And Other Connectivity Options Bring The Minix Neo U1 To A High Level Of Compatibility With Most Peripherals.

Minix Neo U1 Review: Technical Specifications

  • Powered Amlogic Quad-core 64 bit Cortex A53 S905 CPU, Penta-Core Mali-450 GPU
  • Built-in Samsung 2GB of DDR3 memory, along with 16GB of Samsung eMMC 5.0 flash storage
  • Support 802.11ac 2 x 2 MIMO Dual-Band Wi-Fi(2.4GHz/5.0GHz), Bluetooth 4.1
  • Comes with 3 USB port, Optical SPDIF port and Gigabit Ethernet
  • Running Android Lollipop 5.1.1
  • Support 4K2K UHD Video Playback, HDMI 2.0
  • Support 4K HEVC Hardware Decoding, Up to 10bit, [email protected]
  • HDMI 2.0, up to [email protected], support HDMI-CEC

As you can see in this Minix Neo U1 review, this Android media box has a sizable amount of RAM, as well as a good connectivity regarding Wi-Fi (operates in Dual-Band). This, together with the 3 USB ports and SPDIF output, means that the Minix U1 aces in connectivity options, and goes very well with any peripherals you might want to install. For example, if you install one of the 10 best Kodi gaming addons, you might want to plug in a wireless joystick receiver, for a better gaming experience. With this box, you would be able to do that, and still have available ports for your keyboard and even a webcam. The possibilities are endless, and luckily, the hardware in this box can handle them.

Minix Neo U1 Kodi Box
The Minix Neo U1 Has An Oversized Antenna, Which Is Useful For Its Dual-Band Wi-Fi Connectivity And Gives You A Nice Reception.

Minix Neo U1 Review: Do you recommend this box?

As usual, the final decision rests with you, the final user. What I can tell you is that, despite its slightly steep price tag (about 120 bucks at the time of writing this note), the performance seems solid enough to justify purchasing this box. Some users have complained that the box is buggy and sluggish when they first install it; however, it comes with a Firmware OTA update feature, and once the box is updated via Wi-Fi, its performance improves greatly. As it brings a lot of connectivity options to your HTPC and includes a remote, I would say it's a good option to consider if you're setting up a new HTPC or updating your existing one. If the price tag does not seem enticing, you could take a look at our cheapest Android TV boxes list, and see if there's an attractive option for you!

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Alejandro is an electrical engineer, working as a software developer and part-time writer. He has a passion for technology, languages and games, and has been around the web since 2004.