Cable or satellite TV is so old school nowadays. For the past recent years, more and more people have decided to disconnect their cable TV and go for online streaming instead, and it’s not difficult to see why. For starters, this helps cut down on expenses, as subscribing to cable can be costly. Instead of cable, many people have flocked towards TV Boxes and other similar streaming devices to feed their entertainment needs.
One such TV Box is the X96 Max, which you may have heard good things about. If you’re looking for an Android TV Box for your home theater and were considering X96 Max, then you’ve come to the right place. Our article will give you our unbridled thoughts about this particular TV Box, discussing what we liked and didn’t like about it. Hopefully, by the end of this article, you’ll be able to make up your mind as to whether the X96 Max is something that suits your needs, or if you’re better off with a different device.
What Exactly Is an x96 Max Android TV Box?
Before we fully dive into this review, it’s worth mentioning that the X96 Max doesn’t run on Android TV OS unlike other Android TV Boxes. This particular TV Box runs on Android 8.1, which is the same stock OS used on Android tablets and smartphones. This is significant information because the Android TV OS is specially designed and optimized for TV screens. Even Amazon has its own OS for its Firestick/Fire TV streaming devices, which is essentially similar to Android TV.
Because X96 Max doesn’t run on the genuine Android TV OS, many users refer to it as a generic Android TV Box. “What’s the purpose of these TV Boxees?” you might wonder. As mentioned, this kind of device is utilized by people who have decided to cut their cable TV services, yet don’t want to pay for streaming apps like Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime. If you do use any of these paid services, then it’s recommended that you go for devices like NVIDIA Shield, Fire TV/Firestick, or Mi Box because these paid services work more smoothly on Fire OS or Android TV OS.
On the bright side, generic Android TV Boxes such as this one offer more value for money because of the fact that the manufacturers don’t really have any license requirements.
One thing we liked about the X96 Max Android TV Box is the fact that it utilizes a fast processor known as the S905X2 CPU. It’s a somewhat recent processor, and thanks to it, you don’t have to worry about lag when using the X96 Max. The device also supports USB 3.0, which allows for significantly faster data transfer capabilities.
Even though it’s not running on genuine Android TV OS, it’s at least running on Android 8.1, as mentioned. It’s not that far from the current Android version, and works much smoother than prior versions. Another thing we appreciate about this TV Box is that it has 4GB of DDR4 RAM—this is a major upgrade compared to other similar devices. Thanks to this, you can multitask with the X96 Max without having to worry about buffering or any kind of slowness.
Many Amazon Firestick/Fire TV users complain that their device’s internal storage is incredibly limited at only 8GB. As you can imagine, this isn’t a lot of storage if you’re fond of saving HD movies, shows, and other media content. Fortunately, this isn’t something you have to worry about with the X96 Max. The TV Box has a ROM storage of 64GB, which is pretty much sufficient for saving a lot of data—even games!
Another plus for the X96 Max is its simple launcher and interface. You can see most of the things you need within just one screen. If you find that you have just too many apps, you can even easily add your favorite ones to the top row. You can stay organized and you won’t have to scroll through so many apps trying to find what you’re looking for.
If you want to browse through all your installed apps, though, you can do so by clicking the multi-square icon located on the bottom-left side of the screen. The TV Box also has the standard ports you could possibly need, including a port for a Micro SD Card, USB 3.0, USB 2.0, Optical, AV, IR, and Ethernet.
The X96 Max has a LED screen displayed at the front, which showcases what the current time is along with other details you may want to know. It’s undoubtedly a very solid device; when used for long periods of time, this TV Box didn’t overheat unlike other similar devices. This is an important factor to consider because there are times when we want to just watch movies all day. Having a TV Box or streaming device that doesn’t overheat is a huge plus in such cases.
The X96 Max can go as low as $57.99, depending on where you purchase it. Considering all of its positive aspects, this is a pretty decent price tag.
Of course, we can’t just list down the positives. To remain unbiased, here are a couple of things we didn’t like about the X96 Max. For starters, the remote it comes with is the cheap IR kind—the same kind you’ll find with other similar generic Android TV Boxes. However, this doesn’t have to be a big deal. You could always just change the remote to another one, especially if you already have an extra remote lying around in your house.
As mentioned, paid streaming services don’t really work so well with generic TV Boxes. So, if you have a subscription to Netflix or Hulu, you may want to check out other devices that utilize either Fire OS or Android TV OS. That being said, it’s worth mentioning that IPTV solutions still work great with the X96 Max. These are completely different to paid service apps like Netflix, so you don’t have to worry.
The TV Box’s download speeds could be better, but it’s good enough to download high-quality movies and shows. Lastly, you have to keep in mind that generic Android TV Boxes don’t usually receive any updates in the future. In other words, the X96 Max will most likely stay running on Android 8.1. If you’re interested in a device that receives regular updates, then you might have to think twice about this one.
If you’re capable of looking past its cons, we think the X96 Max Android TV Box is a great and solid streaming device that’s definitely worth the price. It has a ton of superb features and capabilities, and is more affordable than other generic TV Boxes.