The MECOOL KM3 is the company’s latest Google-certified Android TV box powered by the quadcore Amlogic S905X2 processor. With solid hardware and Google’s backing, is the MECOOL KM3 worth it?
Table of Contents
MECOOL KM3 Specifications and Features
|CPU:||Quadcore Amlogic S05X2|
|Storage:||64GB (expandable via Micro SD)|
|Ports:||HDMI, Composite Video Out, Ethernet, microSD, 1x USB 2.0, 1x USB 3.0|
|Connectivity:||100Mbps Ethernet, 802.11n Wi-Fi (2.4GHz/5GHz), Bluetooth 4.1|
|OS:||Android Pie 9.0|
|Size (Lx W x H):||109 x 108 x 16.6mm|
The MECOOL KM3 is an updated version of other Android TV-powered MECOOL boxes we’ve seen of late.
Sporting the increasingly popular quadcore Amlogic S905X2 processor, the MECOOL KM3 offers plenty of power for watching movies in Kodi, gaming and browsing the web.
4GB of RAM is plenty for pretty much everyone whilst the 64GB of onboard storage is heaps for storing apps (and can easily be upgraded by installing a micro SD card)
Networking-wise, the MECOOL KM3 is a mixed bag. It’s wireless AC is plenty fast but it’s disappointing to see only 100Mbps Ethernet in 2019. I would have much rathered Gigabit Ethernet here.
What’s in the Box?
Inside the box, you get:
- MECOOL KM3 Android TV Box
- 5V 2A Power Adapter
- 2.4GHz Bluetooth Voice Remote
- HDMI Cable
- English User Manual
MECOOL KM3 Design
The MECOOL KM3 is a standard-looking Android TV box. The mirror black finish looks great (if only for a few seconds after unboxing before ending up covered in fingerprints). There’s also an RGB light at the front which acts as a status indicator, changing colors based on things such as boot up or standby. It’s a nice touch – though I didn’t like the breathing effect when idle as I tended to find it distracting when watching a movie.
Ports are on the left and rear side of the unit. The left side has a USB 2.0 port, USB 3.0 port, and a micro SD card slot. Around the back, we’ve got composite video out, Ethernet, HDMI out and DC in.
The included Bluetooth voice remote is the same one we’ve seen in other MECOOL TV boxes. It’s got all the standard Android buttons plus a dedicated button for triggering Google assistant.
As it’s Bluetooth powered, you don’t need a separate USB dongle and you don’t need to aim the remote at the box like some other Android TV boxes which is great.
The voice part of the remote works well. You need to hold the button down to trigger Google Assistant and keep it held down to speak. Voice recognition is reasonably accurate and you’ll get access to all the usual goodies such as asking questions and accessing your smart home devices.
You can also use the Android TV Remote app to control the box but I’d recommend you get an air mouse for the best possible experience.
MECOOL KM3 Software
The MECOOL KM3 runs Android TV 9.0 Pie with a fairly stock configuration. Content is organised into “Channels” along the left side, including Apps. YouTube and more.
You’ll be able to install more apps via the Google Play store (though you’ll get Android TV’s cut down selection). However, you can install an alternative app store like Aptoide TV to fill in the gaps or just sideload apps directly.
- Boot Time: 57 seconds
- Pre-Installed Apps: Sideload Launcher, FX Explorer, YouTube, DRM Info, MoviePlayer, FX TextEdit, Netflix
- Power On/Off: You can power the MECOOL KM3 on and off using the remote.
- Google Play Store: The Google Play Store is available
- Storage: 57/57GB free out of the box
MECOOL KM3 Firmware
OTA updates are supported but no updates were available at the time of publishing.
MECOOL KM3 Video Playback Tests
Video Playback Using Kodi
Video playback was tested using Kodi 18.2 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.
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Media playback on the MECOOL KM3 was good, handling most files without issue. I was surprised to see that the 4K 30fps samples failed to play properly which is disappointing.
- HDMI CEC: Available in Settings but didn’t work with my Samsung TV
- Automatic Refresh Rate: Settings available but doesn’t work
|Format (Resolution / Codec / Container / Framerate)||Status||Notes|
|1080p 3D SBS H.264 (1920×2160 / AVC / MPEG-4 / 30fps)||Ok|
|1080p 3D ABL H.264 (1920×1080 / AVC / BDAV / 23.976fps)||Ok|
|1080p24 H.264 (1920×1080 / AVC / MPEG-4 / 24fps)||Ok|
|1080p High Bitrate H.264 (1920×1080 / AVC / Matroska / 23.976fps)||Ok|
|1080p60 H.264 (1920×1080 / AVC / MPEG-4 / 60fps)||Ok|
|720p50 H.264 (1280×720 / AVC / MPEG-TS / 50fps)||Ok|
|1080i25 H.264 (1920×1080 / AVC / MPEG-TS / 25fps)||Ok|
|4K 30FPS H.264 (3840×2160 / AVC / MPEG-4 / 30fps)||No|
|4K 60FPS H.264 (3840×2160 / AVC / MPEG-4 / 60fps)||No|
|1080p24 HEVC (1920×1080 / HEVC / Matroska / 24fps)||Ok|
|4K 30FPS 8-bit HEVC (3840×2160 / HEVC / MPEG-4 / 30fps)||Ok|
|1080p VP8 (1920×1080 / VP8 / WebM / 25fps)||Ok|
|720p Hi10p (1280×720 / AVC / Matroska / 23.976fps)||Ok|
|1080p Hi10p (1920×1080 / AVC / Matroska / 23.976fps)||No|
|1080p MPEG2 (1920×1080 / MPEG Video / MPEG-PS / 25fps)||Ok|
|1080p VC1 (1920×1080 / VC-1 / Windows Media / 25fps)||No||Played too fast|
|Unencrypted Bluray ISO (Sintel) (1920×1080 / AVC / AVC / 24fps)||Ok|
5.1 Audio Passthrough
Dolby Digital 5.1 passthrough over HDMI worked when set up in Kodi.
|Amazon Prime Video||SD (480p)||Stereo|
|Google Play Movies||Full HD (1080p)||Stereo|
As promised by Beelink’s marketing, the KM3 supported 4K Netflix playback and has support Google Widevine L1 DRM. You don’t need to install Netflix from the Google Play store as its pre-installed.
However, I suspect that this works via a workaround rather than official Netflix certification so it’s possible it won’t be supported in the future.
For more information about Netflix on Android TV boxes, check out my HD Netflix on Android guide.
As the MECOOL KM3 is Google-certified, you’ll get access to Chromecast built in (with some pretty serious caveats).
Whilst you can you use Chromecast to stream from YouTube, Google Play Movies and other Google services, other Chromecast-compatible services such as Netflix won’t work. It’ll simply fail whenever you try.
MECOOL KM3 Gaming Performance
Gaming performance was tested using my GameSir G4S controller (review) via Bluetooth with the following games:
Gaming performance was generally good. Titles such as Beach Buggy Racing playing well when maxxed out. More demanding titles like Asphalt 8 remained playable, but I did have to drop settings pretty significantly.
The Amlogic S905X2 does a decent job for emulation, handling Super Nintendo, Super Nintendo, N64 and PS1. However, PSP emulation via PPSSPP was too demanding, resulting in an unplayable experience.
Steam In-Home Streaming
With its excellent wireless hardware and strong CPU, the KM3 can handle Steam In-Home Streaming via the Android app on the Google Play store.
I was able to play using the “Beautiful” preset over wifi which requires 30mb/s of bandwidth, though a wired connection would probably improve performance.
MECOOL KM3 Benchmarks Comparison
|GeekBench 4.3.2 Single Core||727|
|GeekBench 4.3.2 Multi Core||2044|
|3DMark Ice Storm Unlimited||9752|
|3DMark Ice Storm Extreme||5404|
|3DMark Slingshot||Not Supported|
MECOOL KM3 Power Consumption
|Operating State||Power Consumption (W)|
|1080p Video Playback||4.2W|
Should You Buy The MECOOL KM3?
The MECOOL KM3 is a decent Android TV box, with good specs, access to Google Assistant and more.
It’s great to see excellent Google support, including 1080p Google Play movies and Chromecast support (though subject to some limitations.)
However, slow 100Mbps Ethernet, no automatic framerate switching and SD Netflix does hurt the value proposition for those who rely on these features.
That being said, most users will find this to be a solid Android TV box which will meet their needs.
Where to Buy the MECOOL KM3
The MECOOL KM3 is available from:Check Price at Amazon