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Horrible Android Boxes (and Tablets) over the years...

Discussion in 'General Android Discussion' started by dryster, Mar 15, 2017.

  1. dryster

    dryster Active Member

    I thought I would start a thread after someone said that their MINIX box was horrible, I've had a few interesting (but never really horrible) boxes and tablets over the years, so I'll start the thread with one of them.

    I was going to start with my PIVOS XIOS DS back in 2013, but that was an example of the trend towards better, more supported Android TV boxes, but now that I've mentioned it, I suppose I will have a go at it.

    I bought it because of the XMBC client, and I recall that 2013 was the year I bought my first Apple TV after my frustration with the PIVOS and for that, I have to be grateful.

    The remote on the PIVOS was terrible, a little white thing and next to useless, and really, XBMC was a letdown for me on this box, perhaps because I was comparing it with the version running on one of my DELL machines, perhaps I was expecting too much from the little PIVOS box.

    Updating the firmware was like diffusing an unexploded bomb on the PIVOS, and I did it the once and that was that, after only a few weeks of playing around, the unit went back on eBay and then I bought my ATV.

    It wasn't a "horrible" box but it was a disappointment as the hype did not really pan out, story of our gadget lives I expect.

    More to come, what was your bad experience in Android history?
  2. Gh0st

    Gh0st Australia's Finest Since 1981 Administrator

    For me it has to be my Madcatz M.O.J.O.

    I purchased it a bit over 3 years ago... It boasted a Tegra 4 SoC, USB3.0 and a nice looking controller (that was a win).
    I wanted it to accompany my MINIX X7 at the time as the Mali GPU is pretty crap and my secondary main wish for these boxes (after Kodi/XBMC) is retro emulation, namely RetroArch.
    (I'd done a lot of testing of Retroarch in the PS3 homebrew days and worked with a few devs to try and get Dynarec re-enabled to fully unlock the potential of PS3 retro emulation.. Unfortunately by the time that dream was realised, the homebrew scene had pretty well died.)
    The Tegra 4 was the only way I was going to get my dual shader support, game aware shaders, etc. on an Android box.
    The hardware was all I wanted and to this day is very snappy, the official software was a mess... Madcatz supported rooting and promoted the way to do it which seemed great at the time until it dawned on me what their intent for the box was.
    My later conclusion is that they just intended to drop the box to the community and have them do the software side of things. It probably could have worked if it wasn't so expensive at the time and if they maybe donated some boxes to some well known firmware devs.
    I remember spending $10+ on hacky apps just to get it displaying properly on my 1080p TV among other things.
    Things that have been part of MINIX firmwares since I purchased my first X5 not long after release
    To be fair though after having spoken to MINIX about the potential for a MINIX Tegra device, I also learned that Nvidia would not have made things any easier (no support etc)

    It took a year and a half at least until I saw any kind of update from one dev who purchased one and released Droid TV, CM12.1 & Remix OS. He got it to the point where the box wasn't just a piece of crap.
    A group of people recently donated some money towards a new box for him as his old one died and he is supposedly working on Lineage OS now but unfortunately for me it will never be a daily driver as the Mali in my U9-H can support the dual shaders I craved.

    My dream now is a MINIX Tegra X1 device.... MINIXs great support with a gaming beast SoC (Gamecube and Wii emulation)
  3. dryster

    dryster Active Member

    In the run up between my PIVOS box and the point where I assembled a NUC for TV streaming, I was pinballing around with all sorts of attempts to achieve an acceptable set top box from an Android device, and one which I had hopes for was from a kickstarter campaign back around 2013 (yes, ancient times for sure) and it held great promise (or hype) to do what I wanted.

    The box was the OUYA based on the Tegra 3 SoC and I bought one a few months after the kickstarter had completed, as I did not want to be part of the unwitting beta test bunch who "won" their devices through the process. The prospect of a supported microconsole and a TV box with dedicated controller was exciting, but as history showed, that really did not pan out as well as expected.

    The games like controller was definitely a bit laggy, and of course, and not supported by a lot of the popular games available (basically phone games) at the time.

    It had potential, but a lot of devices had (optimistic) potential "way back then"

    It is funny that I'm thinking back to 2013 as ancient history in this game, as the NEO X6 was released at the end of the following year, but my experiences with the PIVOS and the OUYA had turned me off Android boxes completely, and I bought the i3 NUC and added 4GB ram, 64GB ssd and a wifi card and that has been the core of my TV streaming world for three and a half years now (along with the trusty ROKU and ATV boxes)

    The MINIX NEO X6 even though it was touted as a low end unit at the time, is still capable of a lot of good stuff, and it sits under my spare TV in the other room complimenting a ROKU 3 on the second HDMI input, and those two provide everything we need on that TV. The 18 months between the PIVOS, the OUYA and the NEO X6 made all the difference, but as I said, I was turned off Android for a bit there and only really started being interested in devices again about six months ago and I am glad I have "found" MINIX.
  4. dryster

    dryster Active Member

    At times, the underlying hardware on Android boxes is good, but the support on generics is usually, none existent.

    There are lot of people joining the forums just to vent frustration that a certain box will not get a Lollipop upgrade and this will continue into the forever, as people are disgruntled that their obsolete box will not get Marshmallow, etc.

    The next horrible box that I have owned, still own as it happens, is one of the early S905 offerings to hit the online stores, and I had some spare Paypal money and thought it would be another page in my education, to see how far the game had come with generics.

    It is a Susay box, 2GB and 16GB, Lollipop 5.1 and S905 : another one of those offerings that sell by KODI and not really anything else.

    It is a solid box, nice looking motherboard, annoying useless LED around the edge, crap remote. I ditched the bloated KODI that came with it, and installed my preference, they all work, and gigabit ethernet is good with pegged throughput, I use a Logitech k400 and m315 with a single unified receiver. I really have not had one glitch with KODI or a bunch of the important apps that add to the TV experience.

    However, there are bugs with other stuff, and I have not made a full list yet, but here's a few, SD cardslot does not work, it recognizes all the cards I install, but every one has zero capacity, WiFi appears to be solid and works well, BUT, any attempt to modify parameters when in a fixed IP mode, such as DNS values, just seem to be ignored, although they work when on ethernet. There is no power option really on this thing, it's either on, or off and it looks like one push of the remote power button just cuts A/C to the unit, now that's not good is it?

    Online support is zero, and funnily enough, I made a promise to myself several years ago that I would never buy another android device before checking out if there was a good, solid support system in place, but the yearning to have something shiny and some paypal cash just pushed me into a stupid move, no one to blame but me.
  5. dryster

    dryster Active Member

    I thought it would be fun, and good for my brain to make the full list :

    Some none-android in here too, a history and an evolution for android and me :

    90% of the time I buy and sell on the auction site.

    HP100LX
    HP200LX
    Apple Newton and accessories $190 (Back in 1990's) - probably sold for $100
    Various iterations of Pocket PC, I favored the Dell Axim X51 at the end of that phase.
    Some 10" Zpad thing running Eclair. First tablet I ever took apart to "jump start" the battery (would not be the last) - definitely lost money
    Witstech A81g Nationite MIDnite (Froyo) - lots of fun and some support - bought for $200 sold for $120
    Renesas EV2 Tablet (Froyo) - lots of fun and some support - bought for $130 sold for $100
    Pivos XIOS - as discussed (lost money)
    Ouya - as discussed (lost money) after those two, I went off Android for a bit...
    Microsoft Surface RT 32GB - not a big fan of that one - broke even.
    Blackberry Playbook 32GB - a big let down with available apps - made a few bucks.
    A few Kindles along the way, two of them stopped working after not being charged.
    ASUS MeMO Pad FHD (Jellybean) - $130 broke even - Absolutely excellent tablet.
    Various iPads - still have a Mini 1st Gen. $80 - $220 : Always get money back or break even.
    HP7 Plus G2 (Jellybean) $35 - broke even
    HP Stream 7 (Windows) $60 - lost $10 but was given a $25 credit on MS store.
    MyGica Stick (Ice Cream Sandwich) $15 - sold for same
    MyGica A520E (Jellybean) $30 - sold for same
    RCA Voyager II (Marshmallow) $48 Walmart - sold for same.
    MINIX NEO X6 (KitKat) $90 - still have
    MINIX NEO X8-H Plus (KitKat - maybe Lollipop) $102 - still have

    I've had a few others but my memory sort of melds them altogether, as for PCs - well, that's another, ridiculous story starting around 1986
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2017