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Are you a film fanatic who’s tired of watching your favourite shows off a small laptop screen? While we’ll always have our favourite Astro, sometimes they just don’t have the one international show that you really want to watch on the big screen.

Enter Android TV Boxes. These small devices (usually no longer than 5 inches in width and/or length) act as a streaming device that operates on the Android system. This means that they can run Android applications (think, games, news and TV apps) by projecting them onto your TV via HDMI.

Most TV boxes usually come with a slew of both free and paid apps. The T9 TV Box is no exception. In fact, it’s one of the best Android TV box in Malaysia.

For our own benefit (and our readers’ as well), we decided to get one and see what the big deal is. Here’s our brief review.

What’s in that body?

T9 Android TV Box

Processor

Quadcore, Cortex A53

Memory

4GB RAM / 32GB ROM

GPU

Mali-450MP2

CPU

RK3328

RAM Type

DDR3

Battery

x2 AAA Battery (Remote control)

Weight

0.2kg

Operating System

Android 8.1 Oreo

 

Setting Up

TV boxes are known to be slightly complicated to operate as compared to the likes of Chromecast, another streaming device. However, T9 keeps it simple. Upon opening the packaging, you’ll find a manual which offers a brief explanation of operating the TV box.

To start, just connect T9 to a TV via HDMI cable. Make sure to insert a pair of AAA batteries into the included remote control. Then, switch to the HDMI channel on your TV and turn it on via the included remote control. From here, you should be able to see T9’s menu. Input your internet details and that’s it. It’s ready to entertain!

What does it have to offer?

At first glance, the menu seems to replicate that of an Android TV’s menu (no surprise, actually). You’ll find your faithful Google App Store, and typical video apps such as YouTube, Netflix, Hypp TV and Prime Video. There’s also the Chrome browser and RedBoxTV, which contain country-exclusive shows such as UK Fox channel and Disney.

T9 also offers support for 4K Ultra HD Image, so as long as your line is steady. With Quad Core (Cortex-A53) and 4GB of RAM with a 32GB ROM, you should be facing little to no lag while operating it. At least, we didn’t.

What was it like using the T9?

  • Time for a drama marathon!

For this review, we used Popcorn (which is similar to Kodi) as our streaming app. Glad to report that everything is simple and easy to use. Also, we found very little ads throughout streaming, which is a big bonus as ads can be very annoying for many.

To add, we had no problem streaming most shows. We did, however, run into streaming problems on country-exclusive shows. Even though it was a minor issue, it would’ve been fun to stream these channels. Perhaps this is when the built-in VPN comes into play (which we were too lazy to sign up for).

“Can’t play this link because a network error occurred."

Not to mention, although there’s HD support, we found many of the shows to be of low resolution. This is, however, dismissed once you access the HD versions. Of course, not all channels have the said version.

  • Navigation, why are you doing this?

We realized a huge problem of the T9 (this is probably TV boxes in general) is lack of optimization. As Android is an open source system, not all apps are properly optimized and projected for TV. As such, this Android box has quite complex navigation.

Going back to the included remote control, you are able to switch between button arrow (default) mode and mouse mode, which you’ll still use the default mode to navigate with.

Arrow (Default) Mode

Mouse Mode

At first, navigating around Popcorn was painful on our fingers, as the remote doesn’t always respond to commands. We also tried using a USB mouse to navigate, only to find that it doesn’t work.

Over the next few days, however, we eventually learned to switch between the default and mouse mode. This enables us to navigate around easier without frustrating over one mode at a time.

Due to the absence of apps optimized for TV, you may find some buttons and options not showing on-screen. For instance, the “watch it now” option disappeared due to the length of the synopsis on Popcorn.

Left: Where is it? / Right: Where it should be.

After-sales support

As T9 is not exactly sold in any local physical store, the need for customer support is understandable for such a device. We’ll have you know that after-sales support is available as long as it is bought through our preferred merchant mentioned at the end of this article. Should you find any defect on your TV box within 3 months, you’re entitled to an exchange.

Conclusion

  • What we like and didn't

Ease of use was a no-brainer; everything is straightforward and easy to use. That is if you’ve used a TV before, of course. Setting up is also very simple, as you’re likely to face little problems.

We definitely did not like that apps are not properly optimized. Because of this, certain apps may not fully work. With that, it leads to difficult navigation. We feel that TV boxes still have a long way to go if it’s going to make a lasting relevance in our lives.

  • Who is it for?

If you love watching your shows on a big screen, and you happen to be a frequent user of streaming apps such as Popcorn or Kodi, you’ll love the idea of the T9 Android TV box. Easy to use and not bombarded with ads, T9 offers joy once you’ve figured out the controls.

 

7.0
Price from RM 169.00

If you're in the market for an up-to-date, affordable and easy-to-use Android TV box, the T9 will do just fine. After all, it's a much nicer experience to watch shows on a bigger screen than a small one.

What’s Good
  • Easy to use & set up
  • Affordable within its range
  • High RAM; hardly any lags
  • Lots of storage
  • Relevant, updated OS
What’s Bad
  • Annoying navigation
  • There's still room for better optimization
End of Article
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