Nexbox A95X Pro Review: Android TV Box and HD Netflix for under $40

The Nexbox A95X Pro promises so much for under $40. Is it too good to be true?

0

If you’ve been looking for a media player running Android TV, there’s hasn’t really been much available – particularly if you’re looking for a budget option. The Nexbox A95X Pro is the cheapest Android TV box currently available at coming in at under $40 and the second Chinese Android TV box on the market following the excellent Mecool M8S Pro L.

Armed with the quadcore Amlogic S905W chipset, real Android TV, support for HD Netflix and a voice remote for accessing Google Assistant, the A95X Pro certainly appears to offer a lot of bang for your buck.

In this Nexbox A95X Pro review, I’ll take a look at the hardware, software, Android benchmarks and video playback tests to answer the most important question of all – is the Nexbox A95X Pro worth it?

Nexbox A95X Pro Specifications and Features

CPU: Amlogic S905W
GPU: Mali-450MP5
RAM: 2GB DDR3
Storage: 16GB eMMC (expandable via Micro SD)
Ports: HDMI, Ethernet, microSD, 2x USB 2.0
Connectivity: 2.4GHz 802.11n Wi-Fi
OS: Android TV
Size: 93 x 93 x 15mm (L x W x H)

The A95X Pro’s specifications are impressive for the price. The unit’s quadcore Amlogic S905W isn’t the fastest TV box processor around (that honor goes to the impressive Tegra X1 in the Nvidia Shield TV). However, it’s got enough grunt to offer a decent media experience whilst the 2GB of DDR3 RAM and 16GB of storage is enough for media playback and installing a few of your favorite Android apps.

There’s a surprising amount of connectivity options available, with optical audio output, composite video output and more. However, you’ll need to grab adapters in order to take full advantage of these connection options.

Connectivity seems to be where most compromises were made to hit the budget price tag. The 2.4GHz wireless N and 100M Ethernet is fine for 1080p streaming, though if you’re wanting to stream 4K or high-bitrate video, you should probably look at other options.

Bluetooth is also noticeably absent so you’ll need to grab a gamepad with a wireless dongle like the Gamesir G4S if you wanting a good gaming experience on this box.

In terms of video playback, the A95X Pro supports up to [email protected] in addition to High Dynamic Range (HDR) video on supported TVs.

Netflix fans will also be happy to know that Widevine L1 is supported for 720p Netflix and HD YouTube support which is a massive plus.

What’s in the Box?

Inside the box, you get:

  • Nexbox A95X Pro Android TV Box
  • Power Adapter
  • 2.4GHz wireless voice remote
  • HDMI Cable
  • English User Manual

Nexbox A95X Pro Design

The Nexbox A95X Pro is a pretty typical looking Android TV box, with a compact plastic case with ports on the back and right sides.

The right side of the box has a micro SD card slot that can be used to expand the on-board storage, as well as 2 USB 2.0 ports for USB devices such as an airmouse or gamepad.

On the back of the unit is DC In, HDMI output, composite video (with a separate adapter), Ethernet and optical audio output (which also needs a separate adapter).

The included voice remote offers all the basic media controls you’d need, including a mouse mode and volume controls. There’s also a large voice button for accessing the Google Assistant. This lets you search for videos on YouTube or Netflix, ask questions and more with your voice which unlocks a huge amount of possibilities.

The mouse uses an included wireless dongle to connect to the Android TV box which takes up one of the two USB 2.0 ports but the fact you don’t need to have line of sight when using the remote is a massive plus.

The remote did a good job recognizing my voice but there was a slight delay between pressing the button and being able to talk to the Google Assistant which took a bit of time to get used to.

Nexbox A95X Pro Software

The Nexbox A95X Pro runs Android TV – Google’s OS designed from the ground up for TV use. Most Android TV boxes use “standard” Android which means you get a sub-par user experience. Android TV only appears on a few Android TV boxes so it’s nice to see it make an appearance on such a cheap media player.

After going through the quick setup Wizard and using the streamlined Android TV login process, I was up and running in only a few minutes.

There’s a few pre-installed apps such as YouTube, Netflix MX Player, ES File Explorer and even DRM Info for checking out what DRM the box actually supports so you’re almost ready to go out of the box. However, I’d definitely recommend installing Kodi to round out the A95X Pro’s media playback capabilities.

OTA updates are supported and I was happy to see there was a firmware update already available. Here’s hoping the company keeps updating the box to get the latest fixes and features.

Nexbox A95X Pro Video Playback Using Kodi

Kodi 17.6 Splash Screen

Video playback was tested using Kodi 17.6 downloaded from the Google Play store.

After setting up Kodi, videos were played from a USB 3.0 thumb drive or streamed over wifi from my server’s NFS share.

If you're planning on streaming movies and TV shows with Kodi, protect yourself with a VPN.

Why do you need a VPN for Kodi?
  • Anonymous online streaming
  • Bypass geo-blocks and access ALL Kodi add-ons
  • Prevent ISP throttling and tracking
  • Hide Your IP Address

Protect your privacy and security when using Kodi. Subscribe to the highly recommended IPVanish VPN now (save up to 46% with this link) to stay safe and private or check out our Best VPN for Kodi guide to learn more.

The Nexbox A95X Pro did an reasonable job playing my movies. In Kodi, most 1080p content played back fine.

However, high frame rate 1080p and 4K videos had issues under Kodi with dropped frames and audio sync issues. Playing these same files worked fine using the pre-installed MX Player so this could be a Kodi issue.

Unfortunately, automatic framerate switching isn’t supported which is disappointing if you’re sensitive to motion judder.

Codec Status Notes
1080p 3D SBS H.264
1080p 3D ABL H.264
1080p24 H.264
1080p High Bitrate H.264
1080p60 H.264 Playback not smooth in Kodi. Ok in MX Player
720p50 H.264
1080i25 H.264
4K 30FPS H.264 Playback not smooth in Kodi. Ok in MX Player
4K 60FPS H.264
1080p24 HEVC
4K 30FPS 8-bit HEVC
4K 30FPS 10-bit HEVC
1080p VP8
720p Hi10p Some dropped frames
1080p Hi10p
1080p MPEG2
1080p VC1
Unencrypted Bluray ISO (Sintel)

5.1 Audio Passthrough

Dolby Digital 5.1 passthrough over HDMI worked when set up in Kodi.

Netflix

The Nexbox A95X Pro can play 1080p Netflix (aka Full HD) thanks to support for Google Widevine L1 DRM.

That’s far higher than most Android TV boxes (which are limited to 480p) but not as high as the Mecool M8S Pro L (1080p), Mi Box (4K) and NVIDIA Shield TV (4K).

However, there seems to be a bug where I get a grey bar along the bottom of the screen which stops the image filling the screen. Here’s hoping the bug will be fixed in a future firmware update.

Nexbox A95X Pro Netflix Bug
Netflix seems to have a grey bar on the bottom on the A95X Pro

Update

Turns out fixing the grey bar in Netflix is quite easy. However, it does require editing some system files.

You just need to add qemu.hw.mainkeys=1 to the end of the build.prop file in the System folder. You’ll need to turn on the Root Switch under settings to enable root access so you can edit this file.

For more information about Netflix on Android TV boxes, check out my HD Netflix on Android guide.

Chromecast Built-In

The Nexbox A95X Pro has settings to enable Chromecast but I couldn’t get it working at all. Trying to cast YouTube caused the Chromecast Built-In app to crash whilst Netflix refused to try to cast anything so its safe to assume this doesn’t work at all.

Nexbox A95X Pro Gaming Performance

Gaming performance was tested using using Crossy Road (Android) and Beach Buggy Racing (Android) using my GameSir G4S controller (review) using its included USB dongle.

The pentacore Mali-450 isn’t the most powerful GPU around so gaming performance was average. Both Crossy Road and Beach Buggy Racing were playable, lowering the settings saw improved framerates.

That said, those wanting the best Android gaming experience should pick up the Nvidia Shield TV instead.

Nexbox A95X Pro Benchmarks Comparison

Antutu 7.0.7: 21575*
GeekBench 4.2.0 Single Core: 506
GeekBench 4.2.0 Multi Core: 1381
3DMark Ice Storm Unlimited: 5997
3DMark Ice Storm Extreme: 3536
3DMark Slingshot: N/A

*Antutu failed to run the GPU part of the benchmark so I suspect this score is lower than it should be

The Competition

There’s really not much that can compete against the Nexbox A95X Pro in the sub-$40 price tag.

Nexbox A95X Pro vs Xiaomi Mi Box

The closest is probably the Xiaomi Mi Box which comes in at around $30+ higher. For that difference, you’ll get 4K Netflix and better Google Cast performance. However, gaming performance and video playback will be on par.

Should You Buy The Nexbox A95X Pro?

The Nexbox A95X Pro is an impressively solid Android TV box given its budget price tag. Whilst the Netflix bug is something to be aware of and the lack of automatic framerate switching is disappointing for home theatre enthusiasts, the A95X Pro is a solid basic media player and probably the best budget Android TV box around.

If you’re looking for the best cheap Android TV box, the Nexbox A95X Pro is a must buy.

Pros

  • Runs Android TV for TV-optimized experience
  • HD Netflix
  • Incredible bang-for-your buck

Cons

  • No automatic framerate switching
  • No Bluetooth
  • Various bugs in Netflix, Kodi and Chromecast

Where to Buy the Nexbox A95X Pro

The Nexbox A95X Pro is available from GeekBuying for around $40 with free shipping.

Check Price at GeekBuying

You May Also Like...