UGOOS UT3S Review: A Quadcore Android Media Player

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The UGOOS UT3S is the successor to the popular UGOOS UT3. Powered by the Rockchip RK3288, the UGOOS UT3S comes in two variants (2GB RAM/16GB Storage and 4GB RAM/32GB Storage). It’s also capable of dual booting both Android and Ubuntu, which is a big selling point for those looking for a PC alternative. I was fortunate enough to test the 4GB variant.

Thanks to GearBest for providing me a sample to review. You can purchase the 2GB/16GB and 4GB/32GB variants from them. Use our exclusive coupon “UT3S” to get the UGOOS UT3S models for$119 and $159 respectively.

UGOOS-UT3S-Photo-01

UGOOS UT3S Technical Specifications

  • Operating System: Dual operating system – Ubuntu 14.10 + Android KitKat 4.4.2
  • Chipset: Rockchip RK3288
  • CPU: Quad Core, 1.8GHz, Cortex-A17
  • GPU: Mali-T764
  • Memory: 2GB/4GB
  • Internal Storage: 16GB/32GB + Micro SD card slot (up to 32GB)
  • Connectivity: Dual band WiFi, 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, 2.4GHz, Gigabit Ethernet, Bluetooth 4.0
  • Audio/Video Output: HDMI, SP-DIF, 3.5mm Audio
  • Interfaces: 4 x USB 2.0

UGOOS UT3S Unboxing and Demo

What’s Inside The Box?

UGOOS-UT3S-Box-01

UGOOS have provided all the key components that you need to get started:

  • 1x UGOOS UT3S Box
  • 1x Power Adapter
  • 1x HDMI Cable
  • 1x IR Remote Control
  • 1x WiFi Antenna
  • 1x English User Manual

UGOOS-UT3S-Inside-The-Box

UGOOS UT3S Design

The UGOOS UT3S has borrowed the case from its predecessor, the UT3. Utilizing a 3D geometric pattern on the top of the case, the device is attractive and certainly stands out. Two colors are available, however, the color is tied to the underlying hardware configuration: blue for 2GB/16GB model and red for the 4GB/32GB model.

The front of the device is relatively minimal with the IR receiver, power led and UGOOS branding. Moving around to the left of the  device, we have the composite video, recovery, microSD slot and 2 USB 2.0 ports.

UGOOS-UT3S-Left

The back houses the Ethernet, 2 USB 2.0 ports, HDMI Out, Optical Audio out and DC In.

UGOOS-UT3S-Back

Finally, the right side of the device houses the WiFi antenna, vents and the power button. It’s nice to see that the WiFi antenna is connected via a standard BNC connector. This means that you can swap out the stock antenna for a more sensitive one if required.

UGOOS-UT3S-Right

The included remote is fairly comprehensive in functionality. In addition to the standard Android functions, it also has volume control and a power button. A small fabric pull is attached to the bottom of the remote to help remove remove the battery cover and add a splash of color.

UGOOS-UT3S-Remote

UGOOS UT3S Initial Impressions

Plugging in the UGOOS UT3S caused it to boot immediately. Cold boot times are fast, with the device becoming usable in 19.4 seconds. This makes it one of the faster Android boxes I’ve tested. The box is able to enter standby and wake by using the power button on the included IR remote.

UGOOS UT3S User Interface and Included Apps

UGOOS-UT3S-TV-Launcher-01

UGOOS have opted for two launchers here. The box initially booted into the standard Android launcher that we’re all familiar with. Entering settings, we can enable the TVLauncher, which is far easier to navigate using a remote. It seems that the skin is UGOOS own creation, which is an excellent trend I’m starting to see from bigger Android media player manufacturers. The UI takes a function-centric approach, offering category folders such as “Games” and “Streaming”. Unfortunately, you’ll need to categorize your apps yourself but it’s very intuitive thankfully.

UGOOS-UT3S-UI-Category

Navigating through the UI feels smooth thanks to the Rockchip RK3288 chip powering the device. I didn’t notice any lag at all during my testing.

UGOOS-UT3S-Apps-Menu

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The remote was excellent to use and I didn’t have any issues with range during my testing. I’d still recommend forking out for a good HTPC remote or keyboard as it makes Android much easier to use for various tasks.

UGOOS also offer a special settings section that offers a whole bunch of customisation options for the fan and LED, as well as one-click root which is amazing. I really have to commend UGOOS on this feature as it adds a lot for the power user.

UGOOS-UT3S-Settings
All the custom settings!

 

OTA Updates

The UGOOS UT3S supports OTA updates and upon first boot, I was greeted with an OTA notification. Built-in OTA updates makes this box much more user friendly then some of its competitors. After selecting “Yes”, the box downloaded the update, rebooted and installed. After a few minutes, I was back at the homescreen with the latest software.

UGOOS-UT3S-OTA-Update-01

UGOOS UT3S Media Playback

Antutu Video Tester 2.2

To test media playback, I started with Antutu Video Tester 2.2. This application runs through a number of video files with different codecs and outputs the results. The final test score was only 320.

UGOOS-UT3S-AVT-03

 

UGOOS-UT3S-AVT-01

UGOOS-UT3S-AVT-02

Interestingly, the benchmark didn’t show any video or audio files that it couldn’t handle and watching the benchmark run didn’t show any clear issues so I’m not sure why the score was so low. I’ll keep investigating.

App-Based Video Playback

Video CodecMX PlayerKodi 14.1
1080p 3D SBS H.264OKOK
1080p 3D ABL H.264OKOK
1080p30 H.264OKOK
1080p High Bitrate H.264OKOK
1080p60 H.264OKOK
720p50 H.264OKOK
1080i50 H.264OKOK
4K H.264OKOK
4K HEVCOKOK
1080p VP8OKOK
720p Hi10pOKOK
1080p Hi10pUnwatchableUnwatchable
1080p MPEG2OKOK
720P RMVBOKOK
1080p VC1OKTBA
1080p VP8OKOK

Screen Mirroring

Using the built-in “WiFi Display” app, I was able to mirror my Samsung S4’s screen. I did experience a little bit of image breakup initially, however, it quickly disappeared and never returned.

UGOOS UT3S Gaming Performance

To test gaming performance, I installed 2 games – 1 2D and 1 3D title:

Gaming was excellent on the UGOOS UT3S, no doubt thanks to the Mali-T764. Angry Birds played flawlessly, without a hitch in the framerate. 3D performance was also exceptional with Beach Buggy Racing maintaining an excellent framerate with everything on maximum. If you’re after gaming, this box is a solid performer.

Gaming Controllers and Bluetooth

I connected my iPega 9025 controller over Bluetooth without any issue and played Beach Buggy Racing without any noticeable lag.

As the device isn’t rooted out of the box, I didn’t test SixAxis Compatability Checker. I will look at rooting the UGOOS UT3S soon and update the review.

UGOOS UT3S Networking Performance

WiFi Performance

To test WiFi performance, the device is connected via WiFi to a 2.4GHz 300Mbps router approximately 5.7m from the device without obstructions. A 100Mb file 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.

Wifi performance was pretty solid. Upload speeds were good at 17.8 Mbps and download speeds were 12.0 Mbps.

I had no issues streaming a 1080p video from an NFS share.

Ethernet Performance

A 100Mb file 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. Download and Upload were some of the fastest so far thanks to the Gigabit Ethernet interface, with upload and download speeds of 228.8 Mbps and 410.7 Mbps respectively.

UGOOS UT3S Benchmarks

Antutu 5.6.1

The UGOOS UT3S scored 38512 on Antutu 5.6.1

UGOOS-UT3S-Antutu-01

Epic Citadel

Epic Citadel achieved 37.5fps at 1920×1080.

UGOOS-UT3S-Epic-Citadel

A1 SD Bench

UGOOS-UT3S-A1-SD-Bench

The internal storage achieved read/write speeds of 58.32MB/s and 41.84MB/s.

RAM copy speed was exceptionally fast at 1982.55MB/s.

Other Notes

Custom ROM Support

At this stage, there are no custom ROMs for the UGOOS UT3S. A dual boot image for Android and Ubuntu is available from UGOOS however.

UGOOS UT3S Temperatures

Temperatures were measured after a benchmarking using an IR thermometer. With an ambient temperature of 21.9°C, the top and bottom case temperatures were 30.9°C and 40.4°C respectively.

Case Fan

Those of you who follow this blog know that one of the key features of the UT3S that aimed to solve heat issues with the RK3288 was the addition of a case fan. I can assure you that, on default settings, the case fan only turns on when the SoC temps are high. However, even when it is switched on, it’s still really quiet.

UGOOS-UT3S-Photo-10

UGOOS UT3S Power Consumption

Powered OffStandbyIdleLoad
0 W3 W3.5 W8 W

Getting One

If you’re interested in getting one for yourself, GearBest are currently offering them in the 2GB/16GB and 4GB/32GB variants. Use our exclusive coupon “UT3S” to get the UGOOS UT3S models for $119 and $159 respectively. Alternatively, it’s available from GeekBuying.

UGOOS UT3S Additional Photos

REVIEW OVERVIEW
Design
8
Features
8
Performance
8
Usability
8
Value
8
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Michael is a technology expert with over 10 years of experience in IT, Home Theatre and Automation. Feel free to send Michael a message here.
  • Brian Severn

    Appreciate the review, but please dump the music, very distracting from the review.