The WeTek Play is an Android powered media player by WeTek, one of Kodi’s sponsors. It’s also one of the few Android mini PCs packing a TV tuner.
I want to say thanks to WeTek for providing a sample to review. You can purchase a WeTek Play from WeTek here.
WeTek Play Technical Specs
- Operating System: Android 4.2.2
- Chipset: AMLogic AML-8726 MX
- CPU: 1.5 GHz Dual Core
- GPU: Mali MP400 (Dual Core)
- Memory: 1GB DDR3
- Internal Storage: 4GB NAND + microSD card slot
- Connectivity: 802.11 B/G/N WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0, 10/100 Ethernet
- Audio/Video Output: HDMI, Composite Video, SPDIF Audio
- Interfaces: 5x USB 2.0 (3 external, 2 internal)
- Other Features: IR/RF Remote, TV Tuner (DVB-S2, DVB-T/T2/C, ATSC, ISDB-T)
What’s in the box?
Included in the box is:
- 1x WeTek Play Box
- 1x Power Adapter
- 1x HDMI Cable
- 1x IR/RF Remote Control
- 1x English User Manual
- 1 x Membership Card
It’s clear that WeTek have spent a considerable amount of time getting the packaging experience right and it shows. The last time I saw this much care was with the VidOn Box. Everything is so carefully thought out and adds to the feeling of polish.
Unboxing Video and Demo
The device is larger than I anticipated. However, WeTek have done an excellent job making the device match the aesthetics of other home theater appliances. It definitely looks right at home amongst your other devices.
Connectivity is excellent, with a large variety of connectivity options. From left to right: Antenna In, Antenna Out, 2x USB 2.0, Composite Video Out, 10/100 Ethernet, HDMI Out, Optical Audio out, RS-232 and DC In.
Plugging in the WeTek Play caused it to immediately boot. On the first boot, you are taken through a setup wizard that makes sure you get everything set up properly. I wish more manufacturers would incorporate these sort of touches as it definitely makes the WeTek Play much easier to use. I want to say it’s great to see the WeTek allow you to use the device without creating a WeTek account, a complaint I had with its nearest competitor, the VidOn Box.
Subsequent boots were quite lengthy however, taking 1 minute and 2 seconds to reach a usuable state. This is far longer than some other devices that I’ve tested and, given that the WeTek Play doesn’t offer a standby mode, can be quite a pain. Here’s hoping standby can be added later.
The included remote is excellent and I’d go as far to say that it’s one of the best included remotes that I’ve seen. Not only have WeTek provided all of the buttons you need to navigate the device, but its also an airmouse with a built-in reciever. Cleverly, WeTek have added the mouse toggle on the bottom of the remote like the Z trigger on the old Nintendo 64 controller. I really like this layout as it is very intuitive and doesn’t require you to lift your finger to activate the mouse. This allows you to easily move between both control modes. Range was good and I had no issues with the remote from across the room.
HDMI CEC is also supported, and I had no issues using my Samsung TV remote to control the device.
WeTek have done something fantastic with their user interface, opting for a custom launcher rather than re-skinning the MediaBox launcher which is awesome. Using a subdued black and white color scheme, the WeTek UI is elegant and feels “premium”. Unfortunately, the UI on the WeTek Play is limited to 720p. However, this doesn’t appear to affect video playback at all, with MX Player successfully rendering my 1080p test file.
Navigating the user interface feels nice and snappy despite running on a dual core processor. It’s clear that WeTek have done a good job optimizing their firmware for the platform.
For those who need root, the WeTek Play is rooted out of the box.
Unfortunately I haven’t had an opportunity to test the DVB-T TV tuner, but I will cover it in detail in the full WeTek Play review.
WeTek Play Gaming Performance
Even though the WeTek Play is marketed as a media player, I thought I’d test out its gaming capabilities. I fired up Beach Buggy Racing and played a quick race to see how it performed.
Given that the UI of the WeTek Play is locked at 720p, Beach Buggy Racing ran at the lower resolution then upscaled to 1080p. As you can see in the demo video above, gaming performance was playable at maximum settings. Lowering the settings helped smooth out the framerate. Angry Birds performed excellently. For a bit of casual gaming, the WeTek play holds up well.
WeTek Play Benchmarks
WeTek Play Temperatures
Temperatures were measured after benchmarking using an IR thermometer. With an ambient temperature of 23.1°C, the top and bottom case temperatures were 36.2°C and 45.3°C respectively.
WeTek Play Power Consumption
|0 W||N/A||4.7 W||7.8 W|
WeTek offer an OpenELEC distribution for those of you wanting a more powerful media player experience, sacrificing some of the Android features in the process.
Verdict So Far
Having used the WeTek Play for a week, I have to say that its a cool device. With WeTek’s sponsorship of Kodi, it’s clear that the company is passionate about media and it shows. For approximately $99 (depending on your configuration), you get a TV tuner, Internet TV and Media Player plus strong developer support. Whilst gaming wasn’t cutting edge, casual games played great. And for those of you wanting a stronger media player option, you can even replace Android with the excellent OpenELEC platform. Keep posted for my in-depth review for my final score.
You can purchase a WeTek Play from WeTek here.