WeTek Play 2 Android TV Box Review: Media Powerhouse

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The WeTek Play 2 is the successor to the WeTek Play, an Android TV box featuring an integrated TV tuner. This allows you to watch your live TV, use your favorite Android apps and more. Boasting a more powerful processor and improved specifications, is it any good? Keep reading my WeTek Play 2 review to find out.

I want to say thanks to WeTek for sending me a sample to review.

Key Features

  • Comprehensive video playback up to 4K
  • Integrated TV tuner lets you watch and record live TV
  • Use your favorite Android apps and games on your TV
  • Full HD Netflix
  • WeTek is a Kodi Diamond partner for best-in-class Kodi support
  • DTS and Dolby Codecs supported
  • Regular firmware updates

Where to Buy the WeTek Play 2

The WeTek Play 2 is available from WeTek starting at around $110. Those in the UK can also buy it in Amazon.

Check Price at WeTek

In This Review

WeTek Play 2 Technical Specifications

General

  • Processor
    AMLogic S905-H
  • CPU CPU
    Quad-Core Cortex-A53 up to 2.0GHz
  • GPU
    Penta-Core ARM® Mali™-450
  • Operating System
    Android 5.1.1
  • RAM
    2GB DDR3
  • Storage
    8GB eMMC
  • Other Features
    IR Sensor
    Modular TV Tuner - DVB-S2 (satellite), DVB-C/T/T2 (cable/terrestrial) and ATSC (North America, South Korea)
    Supports Google Widevine, Microsoft Playready, HDCP 2.2

Interfaces

  • Video Output
    HDMI 2.0
    Composite Video
  • Audio Output
    HDMI 2.0
    SP-DIF Optical Audio
  • Other Interfaces
    3 x USB 2.0
    MicroSD Card Slot

Connectivity

  • WiFi
    802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi (2.4GHz/5GHz)
  • Ethernet
    1000Mbps
  • Bluetooth
    4.0

Physical

What’s in the Box?

Inside the box, you’ll get:

  • WeTek Play 2 Android TV Box
  • Power Adapter
  • IR Remote
  • RS-323 Debug Cable
  • HDMI Cable
  • English User Manual

I really liked that WeTek have included a universal power adapter so no need to worry about buying the correct “version” for your country. It’s really something I wish more manufacturers would do.

WeTek Play 2 Review: Hardware

The WeTek Play 2’s design sticks fairly closely to its predecessor. It’s a reasonably large device, with rounded corners and a bold WeTek logo on the top. An attractive vent and curved power LED adds some character however.

Ports are on the back and right of the unit. The right side features a micro SD card slot and a USB 2.0 port. Around the back, there’s the modular TV tuner (more on that in a moment), 2 more USB 2.0 ports, A/V out, Ethernet, HDMI out, optical audio output, the debug port and DC in.

The TV tuner is easily removable and WeTek offer various tuners for different regions. Swapping out the tuner is as easy as sliding out the old tuner and clipping in the new one.

I’m glad WeTek have included an easily accessible USB port on the side. However, I wish there was one in the front for quick and easy access as side ports can be a little awkward to access.

The included IR remote is fairly comprehensive, offering all the key Android functions, multimedia keys and even a mouse mode. The buttons are quiet too.

However, I really didn’t like the layout of the directional keys surrounded by function keys. I found myself accidentally hitting the mouse or back button when I wanted to go right. Given that you’re rarely looking at your remote, I found it incredibly frustrating.

Overall, it’s better than 90% of the IR remotes included with Android boxes, though I’d still recommend looking at an air mouse. You can check out my Best Air Mouse guide for some suggestions.

WeTek Play 2 Review: Software

The WeTek Play 2 automatically turns on when you plug it in. A cold boot takes around 30 seconds with a wireless keyboard and mouse connected.

There’s no standby mode supported so the box has to boot every time it’s turned on. However, I found myself just leaving it on so I could schedule recordings and such.

The WeTek Play 2 runs WeOS, WeTek’s proprietary Android skin that provides WeTek devices with a user interface designed for TV. It reminds me of Android TV, with large, bold icons and multi-layered menus.

WeOS 2.0 changes the UI significantly, presenting a dashboard of content and apps. There’s everything from app shortcuts to notifications and suggested YouTube videos.

WeTek have done an excellent job skinning everything. I have to say it’s one of the best Android TV box launchers I’ve used to date.

There’s a few pre-installed apps such as Aptoide TV store for TV-friendly apps, DRM Info, WeUpdate, and more. There’s also WePlayer, the company’s Kodi fork based on Kodi 16.1 featuring optimisations specifically for the WeTek Play 2.

Over-the-Air (OTA) updates are supported via the WeUpdate app. The whole update process was dead simple.

WeTek have done an excellent job optimizing the WeTek Play for the Amlogic S905H. Apps launched quickly and navigating the UI felt snappy, though some apps were a little slow to close on occasion.

WeTek Play 2 Review: Media Playback

WeTek have actually bundled in two versions of Kodi: the stock version of Kodi from the Google Play store and WePlayer, a fork based on Kodi 16.1.

My video tests were done using WePlayer as it is tailored for the WeTek Play 2.

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Codec Video Performance (WePlayer based on Kodi 16.1)
1080p 3D SBS H.264
1080p 3D ABL H.264
1080p24 H.264
1080p High Bitrate H.264
1080p60 H.264
720p50 H.264
1080i25 H.264
4K 30FPS H.264
4K 60FPS H.264 Unwatchable – Skipped Frames
1080p24 HEVC
4K 30FPS 8-bit HEVC
4K 30FPS 10-bit HEVC
1080p VP8
720p Hi10p
1080p Hi10p Unwatchable – Skipped Frames
1080p MPEG2
1080p VC1
Unencrypted Bluray ISO (Sintel)

The WeTek Play 2’s media playback capabilities were solid. All of the most common video formats played back fine.

It did struggle with my 4K 60fps H.264 and 1080p Hi10p samples but this happens with nearly every box I test so I can’t complain.

Automatic framerate switching worked flawlessly under WePlayer which already puts the WeTek Play 2 significantly ahead of the competition. I did have some issues under Kodi 17.0, with some videos stuttering after the framerate switch, though this didn’t occur in WePlayer.

There’s actually a dedicated Display Refresh Rate app that lets you turn automatic framerate switching for apps playing video which is impressive and shows how much WeTek are dedicated to media enthusiasts.

I was able to stream 4K videos wirelessly from an NFS share on my server which is great.

Digital TV

Thanks to the Wetek Play 2’s built-in TV tuner, you can watch free-to-air and satellite TV (depending on which tuner you’ve bought). This is all handled via the WeTV app.

After a brief setup wizard which guides you through the initial channel scan, I was up and running.

The interface is great, with info about the current channel, program, signal strength and more.

The dedicated buttons on the remote let you change channels or jump directly to a channel using the number pad.

You can also view the integrated Electronic Program Guide (EPG) to get a view of everything coming up (assuming your Free-to-Air provider offers it).

If you can’t miss your show, you can even schedule recordings or timeshift (pausing live TV). Just keep in mind that you can’t record and watch TV at the same time as there’s only a single tuner. Overall, I was pretty impressed with the setup.

You can even schedule recordings or timeshift (pausing live TV)

5.1 Audio Passthrough

Dolby Digital 5.1 passthrough via HDMI worked flawlessly via WePlayer after being enabled in settings.

Netflix

I’m happy to say that the WeTek Play 2 is one of the few Android TV boxes to support Netflix in 1080p thanks to their support of Google’s Widevine DRM (though audio is 2.0 only).

This is no small feat and one only a handful of Android boxes have achieved. For more info, read my guide on streaming HD Netflix on Android devices here.

External Storage Support

Playing back movies from my 2.5″ USB-powered HDD and USB flash drive worked perfectly.

I did notice that my USB flash drive wouldn’t mount on boot if I used the rear USB ports but worked fine on the side port. I’ve been told WeTek are investigating.

WeTek Play 2 Review: Gaming Performance

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

Gaming is definitely not the WeTek Play 2’s strong suit but it’s fine for casual gaming

Jetpack Joyride was fantastic. Beach Buggy Racing was perfectly playable at the default settings but struggled when maxed out.

This is because the Amlogic S905H’s Mali-450 GPU isn’t suited for graphically demanding games.

Gaming Controllers and Bluetooth

My GameSir G4S (read my review) paired up done via via Bluetooth and worked perfectly with Beach Buggy Racing.

WeTek Play 2 Review: Benchmarks

Benchmark Score
Antutu 6.2.1 36807
3DMark Ice Storm Unlimited 7305
3DMark Ice Storm Extreme 4289
GeekBench 4.0.4 Single Core 650
GeekBench 4.0.4 Multi Core 1591

WeTek Play 2 vs WeTek Hub

If you’re trying to decide between the WeTek Play 2 and the WeTek Hub, there’s a few key differences you’ll need to take into account.

Both are powered by the same quadcore Amlogic S905-H processor. However, the WeTek Play 2 gets additional RAM, USB ports and optical audio output.

There’s also the TV tuner which is arguably the WeTek Play 2’s biggest selling point.

However, the WeTek Hub is far more compact and boasts better wifi, adding support for the latest Wireless AC standard for improved streaming.

Both the WeTek Play 2 and the WeTek Hub handle media playback equally. However, if you want to watch live TV on your device (or you need optical audio output), the WeTek Play 2 is the one you should go for.

Verdict

The WeTek Play 2 is an excellent Android TV box and one of the best available at the time of writing.

From its amazing UI, full HD Netflix support and comprehensive media playback, the Wetek Play 2 is an impressive package.

Whilst it’s let down by mediocre gaming performance, there’s a lot here to love. Well recommended.

Pros

  • 1080p Netflix supported
  • Intuitive UI
  • Other OS’ available such as LibreELEC
  • Modular TV tuner
  • WeTek offers excellent support

Cons

  • Awkward remote layout
  • Average gaming performance
  • No standby mode

Where to Buy the WeTek Play 2

The WeTek Play 2 is available from WeTek starting at around $110. Those in the UK can also buy it in Amazon.

Check Price at WeTek

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REVIEW OVERVIEW
Design
7
Features
9
Performance
9
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.