The Ugoos UM4 is the latest Android TV box from the popular manufacturer. Packing the quadcore Rockchip RK3328 and running Android 7.1, is the Ugoos UM4 worth it? Keep reading my Ugoos UM4 review to find out.
What is the Ugoos UM4?
The Ugoos UM4 is Ugoos’ latest Android TV box powered by the Rockchip’s quadcore RK3328 chipset. Running Android 7.1 and sporting 2GB of RAM, 16GB of onboard storage, and dual band wireless AC it has the specs needed to handle video streaming like a champ.
You also get Ugoos’ excellent firmware support. The company regularly releases firmware updates months down the line – long after most manufacturer’s have stopped supporting their Android TV boxes. This alone makes the UM4 a compelling device.
- Runs Android 7.1 – A recent version of Android
- Quadcore Rockchip RK3328 Processor with Mali-450MP2 GPU
- Supports modern features including HDR10/HLG, HDMI 2.0A with HDCP2.2, [email protected] video decoding (selected formats)
- External wifi antenna for improved range
- Advanced Features including 1-click Root, integrated Gamepad settings and more
Where to Buy the Ugoos UM4Check Price at Amazon
- 1 What is the Ugoos UM4?
- 2 Key Features
- 3 Where to Buy the Ugoos UM4
- 4 Ugoos UM4 Technical Specifications
- 5 What’s in the Box?
- 6 Ugoos UM4 Review: Hardware
- 7 Ugoos UM4 Review: Software
- 8 Ugoos UM4 Review: Video Playback
- 9 Ugoos UM4 Review: Gaming Performance
- 10 Ugoos UM4 Review: Benchmarks
- 11 Should You Buy the Ugoos UM4?
- 12 Where to Buy the Ugoos UM4
Ugoos UM4 Technical Specifications
What’s in the Box?
Inside the box, you get:
- The Ugoos UM4 unit
- Wifi Antenna
- Power Adapter
- Infrared remote
- IR Extension Cable (and mounting tape)
- HDMI Cable
- A USB Cable for manual firmware updates
- English User Manual
It’s really nice to see such a comprehensive set of inclusions in the box.
Ugoos UM4 Review: Hardware
he Ugoos UM4 is surprisingly small for an Android TV box, coming in at only 20x60x109mm. This makes it easy to stash away on your home theatre cabinet.
The Ugoos UM4’s ports are located all over the device. There’s two USB ports on the front of the unit. A micro USB port (for power), AV out and an IR extension port is located on the right side, whilst the HDMI port is located on the left. There’s also a micro SD card slot on the rear.
This does create a mess of cables, particularly with the HDMI and power cables being on opposite sides. Moving the HDMI and power ports to the back of the unit would have made for a much tidier setup. That said, you can use the included IR extender to just hide the device completely which is a nice option to have.
The included IR remote the the same decent, featuring all the core functions you’d need but I’d recommend picking up an air mouse for a better Android experience. See my picks for the best Air Mouse here.
Ugoos UM4 Review: Software
Ugoos have left the stock Android launcher which isn’t ideal for TV use. While you can still use it with a remote, I’d definitely recommend installing a TV-optimized launcher for a better experience.
There’s only a few apps pre-installed including Media Center (a media player) and Total Commander for file management. It’s actually nice to have a clean install for a change so I can just install what I want.
Of course, you can use the Google Play store to install your favorite apps and games.
Settings can be adjusted via the handy Settings overlay. However, there’s a special Ugoos section that contains a number of Ugoos-specific features such as gamepad settings, a file server and more. There’s even a 1-click root function for those that need root access on their device.
The OS feels snappy and handled everything well. I didn’t experience any crashes or instability during my testing.
Ugoos UM4 Review: Video Playback
Video playback was tested using Kodi 17.6 downloaded from the Google Play store.
If you're planning on streaming movies and TV shows with Kodi, protect yourself with a VPN.Why do you need a VPN for Kodi?
- Anonymous online streaming
- Bypass geo-blocks and access ALL Kodi add-ons
- Prevent ISP throttling and tracking
- Hide Your IP Address
Protect your privacy and security when using Kodi. Subscribe to the highly recommended IPVanish VPN now (save up to 46% with this link) to stay safe and private or check out our Best VPN for Kodi guide to learn more.
Media playback was generally good handling pretty much everything I threw at it. Demanding codecs like Hi10p tripped it up like most other Android TV boxes but that’s not a slight against the Ugoos UM4.
I also found some videos stuttered after I’d watched several videos in succession in Kodi – something I couldn’t replicate in the stock media player so I’m not sure where the issue lies.
Automatic framerate switching is supported and found it generally worked well after being enabled in Kodi’s settings which is great to see.
It wasn’t flawless however. I found the resolution would sometimes fail to switch back correctly (e.g. 1080p50 instead of back to 1080p60 when watching 50Hz content)
|1080p 3D SBS H.264|
|1080p 3D ABL H.264|
|1080p High Bitrate H.264|
|4K 30FPS H.264||Occasionally stuttered after repeated plays|
|4K 60FPS H.264|
|4K 30FPS 8-bit HEVC|
|4K 30FPS 10-bit HEVC|
|720p Hi10p||Some dropped frames|
|Unencrypted Bluray ISO (Sintel)|
5.1 Audio Passthrough
Dolby Digital 5.1 passthrough over HDMI worked when set up in Kodi and enabling “HDMI Bitstream” in the Ugoos UM4’s audio settings. Without enabling HDMI Bitstreaming, all I got was static for Dolby content.
The Ugoos UM4 isn’t Netflix-certified so streaming videos are limited to 480p (DVD resolution).
For more information about Netflix on Android TV boxes, check out my HD Netflix on Android guide.
Ugoos UM4 Review: Gaming Performance
The Rockchip RK3328 isn’t designed for gaming performance so its GPU isn’t the most powerful.
2D titles generally worked well (though I did need to disable shadows in Crossy Road) whilst Beach Buggy Racing played fine when graphical settings were turned down.
If you’re looking for an Android TV box for gaming, I’d recommend checking out a more powerful device like the Nvidia Shield.
Ugoos UM4 Review: Benchmarks
Should You Buy the Ugoos UM4?
The Ugoos UM4 is decent Android TV box from the company that will likely keep improving with future firmware updates.
Media playback was generally good, automatic framerate switching works in Kodi natively and I didn’t have any issues watching YouTube or streaming from Netflix (aside from the SD resolution).
However, the average performance of the Rockchip RK3328 combined with the lack of a TV-friendly launcher and some Kodi bugs which makes it difficult to recommend for casual users.
- Powerful features including 1-click root
- Automatic frame rate switching supported in Kodi
- Ugoos has excellent history with firmware updates/support
- Awkward port layout creates a mess of cables
- No TV-friendly launcher included
- 480p Netflix only