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Beelink GT King Review: the New King of TV-Boxes

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    Beelink GT King Review: the New King of TV-Boxes




    The good:
    Attractive design.
    Great build quality.
    Impressive performance.
    Lots of connectivity options.
    Android 9 Pie.

    The bad:
    No Netflix and Amazon Prime Video in HD.
    32-bit version Android OS.

    It has been a long time since the last time I was excited by a TV box. The other day I saw a video on ASBYT?s YouTube Channel, introducing the Beelink GT King. I was so intrigued by the design and specs of this device, and decided that I had to get my hands on the box, and here we are.

    The Beelink GT King is the latest addition to Beelink?s TV box lineup, and it comes with some of the most astonishing specs ever seen in an Android TV box. Not only is it the first TV Box powered by the all new Amlogic S922X chipset, which has a big-LITTLE hexa-core CPU (4 cores of Cortex A73 clocked at 1.8GHz , 2 cores of Cortex-A53 clocked at 1.9GHz ), a beefy Mali-G52MP6 GPU clocked at 846MHz, and uses very advanced 12nm manufacturing process, it also comes with 4GB LPDDR4 RAM, 64GB eMMc storage, HDMI2.1 and a slew of connectivity options.

    But what do those specs mean to us average consumers in our day to day use? Do we really need that much horsepower from a TV box? We will try to find out the answer in this review.


    Main Specs of the Beelink GT King

    Operating System: Android 9.0 (32-bit)
    Processor: Amlogic S922X chipset (big.LITTLE Hexa-core CPU and Mali-G52MP6 GPU )
    RAM: 4GB LPDDR4
    Storage: 64GB eMMc Internal Storage, TF Card support (up to 128GB)
    HDMI: HDMI 2.1 output up to [email protected]
    Bluetooth: Bluetooth 4.1
    Internet Access: dual-band WiFi 2.4G / 5.8G, Gigabit Ethernet
    Ports: Ethernet port*1, SPDIF Port*1, DC-in port*1, Micro SD card slot*1, USB 3.0 Port*2, USB 2.0 Port*1, HDMI*1.
    Dimension: 4.25 x 4.25 x 0.63 (L x W x H)
    Power Supply: 12V DC/1.5A
    Weight: 190g
    Chassis: Black, Plastic
    Retail Package: TV box*1, Remote control*1, HDMI cable*1, Power adapter*1, User manual*1


    Retail Packaging



    The Beelink GT King comes with very refined retail packaging, the half-skull on the front of the black box looks extremely cool.





    Inside of the packaging we have found the GT King TV box, and some accessories: including an AC Adapter, an HDMI cable, a remote and a user manual. The user manual offers instructions in different languages: English, German, French and Japanese.


    Design and build



    The GT-King has a very premium and attractive design, definitely one of the best of all Beelink devices. The matte black finish of the shell looks pretty nice, while the highlighted skull on the top side looks identical to the one on the famous Skull Canyon mini PC.



    Also on the top side, there?s a raised Beelink logo on the top left corner.



    The eyes of the skull will light up in green once the box is powered on, giving it a more interesting look.



    There?re lots of interfaces on the relatively small GT-King. The front plays host to an IR receiver, which works with the stock remote coming with the box.



    On the left side, you can find two USB 3.0 ports, which ensure high-speed data transfer between the GT-King and USB-mounted storage such as a portable drive and a flash disk. There is also a MicroSD card slot, which can support cards up to 128GB.



    The back side of the box sports an DC-in port, a USB 2.0 port, an HDMI 2.1 port, an Ethernet connector, an SPDIF port, a 3.5mm AV (RJ45) port.



    There are 4 very short feet on the bottom side.



    The GT-King measures 4.25 x 4.25 x 0.63 inches and weighs 190g, pretty compact even by TV box standards. The build quality is great, as the box looks extremely polished, with no ugly mold lines. It feels pretty sturdy, too.



    The supplied remote is predictably lightweight, and feels very well-built as well. The box responds quickly to its commands and the infra-red range are acceptably long and broad. What puzzled me at first was that the infrared remote came with a USB receiver, which seemed quite unnecessary. I then contacted Beelink and they told me that the remote for the GT-King was designed to feature air mouse functionality, but due to the lack of material, they removed this feature from one batch of GT King. Well, I ended up being the unlucky few.


    Setting it up



    Setting up the Beelink GT-King is as easy as setting up any TV box. Connecting it to a TV set (or projector) via HDMI, plugging in the DC power adapter and you are good to go. After being powered on, a skull will show up on the TV screen, with its eyes blinking in different colors.



    The startup is quite fast, as the familiar Beelink homescreen will show up only seconds afterwards.


    System & Apps



    The Beelink GT-King ships with Android 9.0 Pie, with the very familiar Beelink skin on top. The launcher has everything laid out beautifully and is very easy to navigate. The date and time is located at the top left with the temperature widget below. In the center of the screen you have a link to the media center, internet browser and Google Play Store, There are also shortcuts to ?clear memory?, app drawer, and settings laying below. To the right is an area where users can pin their favorite apps. Finally, at the bottom left you have shortcuts to power, volume, at the bottom right you have shortcuts to Wi-Fi, Bluetooth.



    The navigation bar at the very bottom is defaulted to be hidden, but you can bring it up with a mouse. It has many virtual keys, including a power button, a back button, a home button, a recent apps button, a screenshot key, a volume- button, a volume+ button and a hide-bar button.

    I personally think that Beelink should design a skin and some wallpapers more in line with the design of the GT-King, since this is such a special device, but developing something completely different for one device may be costly for such a small operation like Beelink.



    The GT-King doesn?t come loaded with bloatware, but there are some preinstalled apps. Besides the stock Google Play Store, Chrome, Calculator and Gallery, you can also find Beelink?s very own App Store, Bee Files Explorer, Media Center, Movie Player and Bee Music in the app drawer.



    The Google Play Store is the normal phone and tablet variant instead of the TV version found on many other Google certified TV boxes. Although there are more apps in the phone-version Play Store, you won?t get most of your favorite TV apps here.



    Still, you can install the TV version of YouTube, Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video from Beelink?s very own App Store, those apps work better with a remote. If these are still not enough, there?s always an option to directly install the apk files of the apps you want.

    One thing we need to mention is that the GT-King runs on the 32-bit version of Android 9 Pie. There are a few apps which won?t run properly on the device, but it is not really a concern for the majority of TV box users.


    Performance



    The Beelink GT-King is powered by the new Amlogic S922X chipset, which contains 4 cores of Cortex A73 clocked at 1.8GHz , 2 cores of Cortex-A53 clocked at 1.9GHz, and a beefy Mali-G52MP6 GPU clocked at 846MHz. There?s also 4GB LPDDR4 RAM under the hood to handle multi-tasking.




    In Antutu V7 benchmark test, the GT-King scored an impressive 125,479, putting it in way ahead of almost all the other TV boxes we have tested. It didn?t fall far behind the mighty Nvidia Shield TV.




    In Geekbench 4 CPU test, the GT-King notched 1,447 in single-core, and 4,065 in multi-core.




    In the PCMark 8 Work 2.0 test, the GT-King snatched 5,334, which is on par with the scores of many mid-range smartphones, easily blowing most of the other TV boxes out of the water.




    In the more graphics-focused 3DMark test, the GT-King scored in 1,576 Slingshot, second only to the Nvidia Shield TV.




    The Ice Storm Unlimited returned the King with a score of 22511.

    The GT-King may still not be able to compete with flagship Android smartphones and tablets in terms of processing power, but it has very few competitions in the world of Android TV boxes. Probably the only thing that offers more horsepower than the GT-King is the Nvidia Shield TV, but that is more marketed as a gaming console rather than a TV box.



    As for the real-world performance, the GT-King is more than capable of handling normal day-to-day TV box tasks. Even when the HDMI output was set at 4K, we still experienced almost no hiccups, lags or delays.

    I played many video clips of different formats in Kodi, MX Player and Beelink?s very own Movie Player, the King never struggled with anything we threw at it. Only with one video did I notice some synchronization problems between the visuals and sound.



    Streaming 1080P in the YouTube app and 2K videos in the YouTube TV app was extremely smooth, but when playing the 4K Costa Rica Video in YouTube TV, there were some stutters in the beginning. We also streamed many 4K online videos in Chrome as well, and experienced almost no lags at all. Unfortunately, the GT-King only supports Widevine L1, which means you won?t be able to stream HD videos on Netflix and Amazon Videos. Many reviewers report that the maximum resolution for Netflix videos on the King is only 540P, since Netflix is not available in the country that I am living in, this is not a problem for me personally, but I know it can be a deal breaker for those devoted Netflix fans.



    However, the GT-King is by no means just a streaming box. It has more than enough power for most of the graphic-intense games you can find in Google Play Store. I tested Asphalt Extreme, Real Racing 3, Snowboard Party and World of Tennis, all of them ran smoothly at maximum settings. A joystick is highly recommended if you want to fully enjoy gaming on the GT-King,



    Browsing on the GT-King is also a joyful experience, image-heavy webpages load extremely fast in Chrome, and you won?t experience any lags switching from one page to another.



    The device is obviously designed for entertainment, as all TV boxes are, but it?s not impossible to use it for some lightweight productivity tasks and social networking. With a mouse, a keyboard and the right apps, it is easy to write Emails and even edit some documents on the King.


    Connectivity



    The GT-King offers a slew of connectivity options. It supports 2.4GHz/5GHz dual band Wi-Fi. Although without an exposed antenna, the GT-King still has solid reception, it could pick up more Wi-Fi hotspots than the ABOX A1 and Remix IO when the three boxes were placed right at the same spot. The Gigabit Ethernet jack can also come in handy when you want more stable connection via a network cable. There?s also Bluetooth 4.1 on board to take care of local data transfer and connecting with audio and input devices. I connected the GT-King with the Vifa Helsinki speaker and they worked fine together. If Bluetooth audio transfer doesn?t offer satisfying sound, the SPDIF port and 3.5mm RJ45 both support direct wired connection with most soundbars and speakers.

    The HDMI 2.1 port on the GT-King can output videos up to [email protected], and should support most TV sets, monitors and projectors. The 3 USB ports support external USB storages of up to 4TB. The Micro SD card slot had no problem reading my 128GB Samsung card.


    Verdict

    I liked my experience with the GT-King very much. For only $106, the TV box has a lot going for it. It is beautifully designed, very well built, and offers amazing streaming performance. Also, the gaming experience is pretty decent, as nothing in Google Play is really too demanding for the GT-King. There are some minor compromises, as you won?t get Netflix and Amazon Videos in HD, but besides that, you won?t find much to complain about it.

    The Nvidia Shield TV is still a more capable device overall, but it does require you to reach deeper into your pocket. For those who wants more performance and functionalities than what an average TV box could offer but have issues with the price tag on the Shield TV, the GT-King is a decent alternative.

    #2
    This is the best GT-King review I have read, thanks! Keep up the good work!

    Comment


      #3
      Originally posted by GadgetSino View Post
      This is the best GT-King review I have read, thanks! Keep up the good work!
      Thank you for reading it.

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by Brama23
        Great review!
        Thanks so much!

        Comment

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