The best Android boxes of 2021 are incredibly versatile devices. Plug one into a TV, and you've suddenly got a smart device that has access to all the latest streaming services, like Netflix and Starz Play.
The best Android boxes are also impressively powerful, so you could hook one up to a monitor and use it as a mini PC. These make them great affordable alternatives to big and bulky Windows 10 desktop PCs. Because of their small size, they can be hidden away behind a screen (or even attached to it), which means they are great choices for powering interactive displays, adverts and points of sale.
Android boxes have also become very popular as Kodi streaming devices, to such an extent that Android boxes have almost become synonymous with Kodi boxes.
But unlike the latter, Android boxes are more versatile and don’t suffer the bane of being tied to customized user interfaces or Android builds. And in this article we’ve listed the best Android boxes you can currently buy for work, play, or indeed anything else.
Best Android boxes - at a glance
The latest Nvidia Shield Pro doesn’t do much new, but doesn't have to in order to remain the best streaming box and retro gaming machine out there. An Android-powered set-top-box / games console, it's about as powerful as streaming devices come, and is jam-packed with features that will tempt movie and video game fans alike.
Whether you're after high-spec PC gaming streamed to your TV, or 4K movies in multiple HDR formats, it's got you covered. It does offer less value for money than previous models however, despite a spec bump.
The Xiaomi Mi Box S doesn’t compare to the likes of the Nvidia Shield TV, but if you’re looking for Android TV on a budget, it’s an option to consider. While it’s not perfect, it has a lot going for it, and if you’re looking for an Android-based streaming box and don’t want to spend much, this is a decent device to go for.
However, know that you will need to put up with a few bugs, a remote that doesn’t always work properly, and you won’t be able to use it for too many high-performance tasks.
Featuring speedy video that stretches up to 60fps, the NEO U9-H 64-bit Media Hub for Android delivers smooth, responsive, and crystal-clear picture quality thanks to its 4K capabilities. Even better, the U9-H offers impressive picture performance thanks to full HDR10 support.
Its HDR (High Dynamic Range) technology widens the color spectrum, displaying brighter whites and deeper blacks, accentuating the contrast to create a more natural, vibrant viewing experience. All of this is available in a package that costs less than AED 400.