The Tronsmart Orion R68 is Tronsmart’s latest Android TV box and their first featuring the increasingly popular Rockchip RK3368. It’s available in two versions. The Pro features 1GB of RAM and 8GB of storage whilst the Meta increases both with 2GB of RAM and 16Gb of onboard storage. Is Tronsmart’s latest box a success? Read on to find out in our Tronsmart Orion R68 review.
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Tronsmart Orion R68 Technical Specifications
- Operating System: Android 5.1
- Chipset: Rockchip RK3368
- CPU: Octacore Cortex A53 processor @ 1.5 GHz
- GPU: PowerVR G6110
- Memory: 1 (Pro) or 2GB (Meta) DDR3
- Internal Storage: 8 (Pro) or 16Gb (Meta) eMMC + Micro SD card slot (up to 32GB)
- Connectivity: 10/100M Ethernet (should be Gigabit on newer models), 2.4GHz (Pro) or Dual Band (Meta) 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0
- Audio/Video Output: HDMI 2.0, SP-DIF
- Interfaces: 3 x USB 2.0, 1 x micro USB OTG
- Power Supply: DC 5V/2A
- Other: IR Sensor, Power button
- Dimensions: 119 x 119 x 23mm
What’s in the Box?
Inside the box, the Tronsmart Orion R68 comes with:
- 1x Tronsmart Orion R68 TV box
- 1x Power adapter
- 1x HDMI cable
- 1x IR Remote Control
- 1x Micro USB OTG Cable
- 1x English instruction manual
Tronsmart Orion R68 Design
Tronsmart haven’t done anything exciting with the Orion R68’s design. It’s another minimalist black square that looks almost identical to Tronsmart’s other recent offerings, except the stylish Tronsmart Ara X5.
The R68’s ports are on the rear and side of the box. On the back, from left to right, we have the power button, DC in, a USB port, HDMI, Ethernet and optical audio.
The side of the device houses an SD card slot, 2 fullsize USB ports and a micro USB OTG port.
Tronsmart’s included remote is basic but functional. Identical to the one included with the Beelink i68, it’s got basic Android and navigation controls as well as a power button.
Booting up the Tronsmart Orion R68 takes around 32 seconds from a cold start. That’s on par with other devices using the RK3368. Resuming from standby is instant.
The Tronsmart Orion R68 runs Android 5.1 and thankfully, Tronsmart haven’t tweaked it much. Out of the box, apps such as eHome Media Center, Netflix and Kodi 14.2 are pre-installed but all can be uninstalled.
OTA update functionality has also been added. After I’d written my Impressions, Tronsmart released a new update fixing Netflix and some other bugs. The whole process was painless, automatically downloading and installing the patch.
The RK3368 didn’t struggle with Android 5.1 at all. Everything animated smoothly and apps opened quickly. It felt great to use.
It’s a shame that Tronsmart didn’t bring over a TV-friendly launcher for this box, particularly after the impressive UI they used on the Tronsmart Pavo M9. The default launcher is functional but I’ve experienced far better alternatives.
Tronsmart Orion R68 Media Playback
Media playback was tested using with Kodi 15.1 and MXPlayer. Both were downloaded from the Google Play store.
|Video Codec||Video Performance (Kodi)||Video Performance (MX Player)|
|1080p 3D SBS H.264||OK||OK|
|1080p 3D ABL H.264||OK||OK|
|1080p High Bitrate H.264||OK||OK|
|4K 30FPS H.264||OK||OK|
|4K 60FPS H.264||Unwatchable (Dropped Frames)||Unwatchable (Dropped Frames)|
|1080p Hi10p||Unwatchable (Slow Video)||Unwatchable (Decoding Issues)|
|1080p VC1||No Video||OK|
|Unencrypted Bluray ISO (Sintel)||OK||N/A|
Video playback was generally good. I experienced the same issues with tougher samples as I did on the i68, with my 1080p Hi10p sample tripping the box up. However, few units will decode it in hardware so I’m not penalising the R68 here.
After the latest firmware update, Netflix now works but is limited to a low resolution stream like other Android boxes.
External Storage Support
I was able to plug in my USB drive and 2.5″ HDD and play videos without any issues. There’s a “safely remove” function in the notification shade that’s really useful.
Tronsmart Orion R68 Gaming Performance
To test gaming performance, I installed 2 games,1 2D and 1 3D title:
As with the i68, the unit handled the games excellently. At 1080p, both games maintained a solid framerate, even when turned up to max.
Gaming Controllers and Bluetooth
I was able to pair my iPega PG-9025 Bluetooth controller to play Beach Buggy Racing.
Tronsmart Orion R68 Networking Performance
Networking performance was tested using WiFi Speed Test. 100Mb of data is transferred between the device and a PC running the benchmarking server application. This is repeated 3 times for each direction and the average is taken.
The Tronsmart Orion R68’s wireless performance was excellent, with download and upload speeds of 108.5 and 20.4 Mbps respectively.
Moving over to the real world tests, I could stream 1080p video samples from an NFS share fine. I did have some minor stuttering at the start of my 4K samples but this could be due to WiFi congestion.
Ethernet performance was close to the specifications, achieving download and upload speeds of 96.0 and 94.0 Mbps respectively.
Tronsmart Orion R68 Android Benchmarks
The R68 scored on 37160 on Antutu 5.7.1, almost identical to the Beelink i68.
Epic Citadel achieved 58.6 FPS at the 1080p High Quality setting.
3DMark – Ice Storm Extreme
On 3DMark’s Ice Storm Extreme benchmark, the i68 achieved 5078.
RAM and Storage (A1 SD Bench)
Internal memory read/write speeds were around 34.4 and 24.9 MB/s respectively, which was slightly higher than I experienced with the Beelink i68. RAM copy speed was impressively fast at 2655 MB/s.
Tronsmart Orion R68 Power Consumption
|Off||Standby||Idle||1080p30 Video||Under Load|
Should You Get One?
The Tronsmart Orion R68 generally impressed me as an Android TV box. Despite an uninspired design, it does have the latest version of Android and generally handled video playback and gaming well. The addition of OTA updates over the Beelink i68 is also a massive bonus. Overall, it’s a good unit for the price.
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