Review: Tronsmart Prometheus Amlogic M6 Dual Core Android TV Box
The next thing that caught my attention is that Prometheus is based on Amlogic 87 26m6 Dual Core 1.5 GHz chipset.In addition to the fact that I have not tested Android devices based on Amlogic chipset, I am also attracted by the fact that development on Android device XBMC targets Pivos XIOSAmlogic 8726 chipset is also used.Contact me and ask if I would like to write a review about the Tronsmart Prometheus and I took the opportunity right away.
Statement: The comment units used in this review are provided and sponsored by GeekBuying and Tronsmart.This review is written in the context of understanding that the review will be fair.Geekbuying and Tronsmart have no impact on the content of this review, just to clarify the issues raised during the writing process of the review itself.
.Prometheus arrived at a huge package because GeekBuying was particularly careful to put the box in a hoverbag that did a great job of protecting what was inside.If other retailers do this more often, we will have much less problems with damage to good things during shipping.The Prometheus Android TV box comes in a simple but sturdy box.
In addition to the picture of Prometheus itself on the box, there are logos for Amlogic, WiFi, YouTube and XBMC.Most Android Mini PC devices in China use XBMC as a selling point, but so far, XBMC on Android is still in the testing stage at best.Prometheus, however, does have more credibility than other Android devices as it runs on the Amlogic chipset.
There are Prometheus device itself, power adapter, HDMI cable, AV cable and user manual in the box.The user manual does contain some useful information such as the UI menu structure, a simple trouble shooting guide, and instructions on how to do a firmware upgrade.Good quality building.The plastic case has a matte black finish and in my book it looks better than the shiny smooth black plastic.
There are four LED lights around the surface and they all light up in different colors.I\'m not sure if each of them has a different function, but I do notice that the amber light on the right flashes when the device is processed.The function of the lamp is not mentioned in the manual.
On the right side of Prometheus is an SD card reader slot and 3 USB 2.0 host ports.Behind the device is the Ethernet LAN port, standard HDMI port, 3.Simulate Port 5mm for AV cables, rocker power switches, and power ports.
For a device listed as a TV set-top box, it\'s strange that Prometheus doesn\'t come with a remote control.The IR remote control is listed as an optional accessory in the manual, and GeekBuying confirms that they do provide the remote as an option.The AV cable is also listed as an optional accessory in the manual, but it is included in the box itself.
Amlogic of Sirius-The 826m6 Cortex A9 CPU is its brain.AML8726-The SoC series of Amlogic has dual core 1.5 Ghz Cortex A9 core.This is a similar GPU that uses the A10 RK3066 and Quanzhi chipset of Ruixin micro.
In terms of performance, Amlogic-Based on some of the benchmarks I found online, the 87 26m6 is in the same category as the Rockchip RK3066.It has 1GB DDR-3 RAM and 4 gb nand flash memory are very common for this Android device.The operating system is Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean.For network connections, it has both a wired Ethernet LAN and a built-in WiFi 802.
Network sharing is supported through SAMBA and DLNA.Prometheus supports FAT, FAT32, and NTFS file systems.The last one is important because NTFS supports more than 4 gb of file size, which is very common for HD video files.
It is also worth noting that analog video/audio output is supported through analog A/V output.One of the great things about Tronsmart Prometheus is that it supports audio transmission through HDMI.This means that you can pass multi-channel surround sound (such as Dolby numbers and DTS) to A/V receiver that supports multi-channel surround sound through an HDMI cable.
These three USB ports can be used to connect external storage drives and USB peripherals such as a wireless keyboard/mouse and a USB webcam.The HDMI output on the Tronsmart Prometheus is only 720 p, but zoomed in to 1080 p.This is very common in Android Mini PC devices, but some of them have custom firmware to achieve real 1080 p resolution.
Add support for Bluetooth 2.
1 connected via Bluetooth USB dongle.
OS -Android 4.
Chipset -Amlogic-87 26m6 Cortex A9 cpu 1.
Memory -Built-in Storage-Network -WiFi 802.11 B/g/n and Ethernet LAN.Bluetooth 2.1 dongle via USB.Additional storage-Video Formats -MPEG-2, H.264,MPEG-4,VC-Audio Formats -Video/Audio output-HDMI 1.
USB Ports -3 USB 2.
Setting up the Tronsmart Prometheus includes plugging in the power adapter, HDMI cable and LAN cable, and plugging in the USB dongle from my Logitech wireless keyboard.Then all I have to do is switch to the correct input on the TV and turn on the power on the Prometheus.It takes about 40 seconds to start, and it has an interesting sequence of startup animations.
Prometheus boots to the startup app that helps the user set up the device.By looking at the setup order, you can set the language for the UI, adjust the TV display layout, and configure the wired Ethernet LAN and WiFi.One thing to note is that when setting the display layout, you need to enter some Android-specific function keys, such as the Back key to be saved or the Menu key to save the default value.
I don\'t have these keys on my Logitech keyboard so I can\'t save my settings.While experienced Android users won\'t have any problems getting into the Android setup page and manually setting everything up, the setup page is very helpful for people who are not familiar with Android.Next, the user has the option to go to a custom launcher or the default Android launcher.
At this point, you can also decide if you want to set one of the options to the default.The customized launcher screen is represented by a virtual desktop with physical items on the desktop, representing short links to web browsers, setup pages, application pages, photos, video players, and file browsers.Why is the file explorer shortcut represented by the modem, which is very confusing because I can\'t see the connection.
In addition to adding the screen capture feature on the menu bar, the interface is very standard.While I\'m not sure how useful the screenshot button is for regular users, it\'s a great help for reviewers like me.It\'s definitely better than having to root the device and install the screen capture app.
A more useful feature is the power off button, which is included in some models, but unfortunately it does not exist.I was able to put Prometheus in sleep mode by using the power button on my Logitech keyboard, but it doesn\'t support wake up devices.The only way to restart the device is to turn the power off and turn it back on.
Tronsmart Prometheus is equipped with a simple built-in video player.I tried my usual set of test videos and the video player managed to play all the files in addition to the files encoded by the MP43 codec.So far, most Android minicomputers based on Rockchip RK3066 have not been able to play this file.
However, the advantage of Android-based devices means that you can select dozens of other video players (most of which are free) from the Android Play Store ).It is known for being able to play everything with hardware video decoding and is not disappointing.The only problem I have with MX Player is that there is a terrible menu bar at the bottom, so the video cannot play in full screen.
This seems to be a common problem for many Android devices and we only want the manufacturer to release a new firmware with the option to hide the menu bar.HideBar.But unfortunately this app requires Root access to work and Prometheus is not ahead of schedulerooted.Pivos xios ds settings-top-, I will be able to get the hardware video decoding on XBMC.
.Tronsmart responded that they are currently working with the XBMC team to get hardware decoding support on Prometheus, and although there is no exact time frame, they expect an updated version of XBMC to get hardware noted soon.If XBMC is an important factor for you, I suggest you wait until the actual release before making a purchase decision.The two apps I tested for video streaming are YouTube and Netflix.
YouTube works well on Prometheus, including playing HD videos.YouTube is one of the pre-The apps and versions installed on Prometheus are older versions with \"Video Wall.I didn\'t update the app to the latest version because the current version lacks a full screen button and limits the small window playback of about 1/4 screens.
On the other hand, Netflix is not operating properly.During video playback, there is a wide horizontal line in the center of the display.I questioned GeekBuying, and a few days before this comment, Tronsmart released a firmware update for Prometheus, which solved the problem of Netflix.
The firmware release notes also mention the YouTube fix, but since I haven\'t had any problems on YouTube, I\'m not sure what the YouTube fix is about.Prometheus comes with a standard Android web browser, but again, you are free to choose one of the many alternative browsers available on the Google Play Store.I tried Chrome on Prometheus as this is the browser currently selected on all my Android devices.
From a performance perspective, even if multiple tabs are opened at the same time, the experience of browsing Prometheus is relatively smooth and fast.However, it cannot be compared to a full-size computer, since the available RAM is much smaller, there are a lot more page updates involved.The only observation I would like to point out is that the Prometheus video output is 720 p and is raised to 1080 p.
This means that the number of screens is actually lower than most computers.If you run Prometheus off the monitor and sit in front of it, everything will look much bigger than normal, and you will want you to narrow down the elements on the screen, see more on the screen.However, if you use a large screen TV and sit at a reasonable distance from it, the 720 p resolution looks good.
Games on Android-based set-top box devices have been hampered by a lack of touch screens and support for gyro controllers.Some simple games require simple touch controls like Angry Birds, which of course are very easy to play, but for games like shadow gun or dead space,However, the game simulator runs quite well on the Tronsmart Prometheus and with the right hardware, such as the supported game handle, it can become a very competent classic console.Just download many of the available emulators for free and paid from the Google Play Store and game away.
Updating firmware is an easy process and more user friendly compared to all other Android Mini PC and set-top box devices.All you have to do is copy the update file to the root of the SD card or flash drive and insert Prometheus.Then go to the app list page and look for the firmware update app.
Select the storage location of the update file and Prometheus will update and restart automatically once the update is complete.The Tronsmart firmware download page lists all official firmware updates that have been released so far, and the latest firmware updates will be released on January 18, 2013, which adds support for Bluetooth via Bluetooth USB dongle.Strangely, the download page only mentions the use of reset buttons and paperclip method updates similar to other Android mini computers, and no mention of the use of firmware update apps.
I have personally updated my Prometheus using the update app and confirmed that it works.Only if the simpler method does not work, I suggest using the reset button method.I originally tried Skype with Prometheus with stock firmware but it didn\'t work.
However, the firmware update was released, which included a fix for Skype, so I tried Skype again after performing the update.I connected the Logitech C210 webcam to Prometheus and launched a video call to myself on my Android phone.The Android phone rang, but when I answered the phone, Skype crashed on Prometheus.
I tried it a few more times and the same thing happened.Then I tried a voice call and it worked out this time.The sound at both ends is clear.Then I started the camera on Prometheus and the camera works like a charm.
The resolution is only VGA, but this is the limit of the Android driver, not the fault of the camera or Skype.Next, I turned on the camera on my phone and made a full video call.If I initiate a video call right away, there must be a bug that will cause Skype to crash.
I will do some further testing with some other cameras to see if I can narrow down the reason.So, while you need a solution, it\'s possible to make a video call over Skype on Prometheus.Fast start-up and stable latest firmware.The installation application is launched for the first time to guide users to important settings.
Comes with 3 USB ports for additional storage and peripherals.Bluetooth is supported by Bluetooth USB dongle.Support video calls using USB webcam and Skype.
Tronsmart offers powerful support with frequent firmware updates and bug fixes.Sd TV is supported by analog AV connection.Using the firmware update app, the firmware update is very user friendly.
The menu bar is not hidden during Netflix and YouTube video playback.Although Prometheus has an Amlogic chipset, XBMC for Android does not have hardware decoding support.Tronsmart informed that they are currently working with the XBMC team to support the appropriate ports that support hardware decoding.
Although Prometheus is sold as a set-top box, the remote control is not included.No soft power off button.The only way to turn off Prometheus is to use the power switch on the back of the device.The shape of itself.I think this is one of those people who like or hate this situation.