the DroidBOX T8-S Plus doesn’t look like the usual Android TV boxes you often see, it actually looks like a small set top box, including a little clock on the front.
It’s a nicely designed unit with a nice silver trim. There are a generous 3 USB ports on the side along with an SD card slot. Around the back you’ll find a HDMI port to connect this to your TV as well as Ethernet and external WiFi antenna which can be hidden away if you’d prefer to use a wired connection.
In a first for the Android boxes I’ve used this actually has the ability to add a 2.5″ hard drive via via a removable plate on the bottom of the DroidBOX, a real bonus that means you won’t need to worry about additional memory cards or external storage devices for some time.
It also comes with a remote control which is functional but not as good as the recently reviewed DroidBOX VIP remote, an optional extra that’s well worth getting as it’s an airmouse with simple media controls on one side and a mini keyboard on the other, perfect for mini data entry such as entering usernames and passwords.
On powering up the DroidBOX you’re greeted with a custom menu which works really well on a TV. Nice large buttons and even in the app tray the icons are an easy to see size.
Rather than just a basic install of Android with a TV skin on top the DroidBOX comes with a lot of well thought out additional features. You’ve access to a special DroidStore for apps tried and tested by the manufacturer (you can still use the Google Play store); There is a special help section with guides on how to do things and the ability to problem solve issues you might encounter; It has Airplay/Chromecast features built in for throwing content onto the big screen and it also has a quick memory clearing app on the main dashboard.
Netflix and YouTube streamed fine, with the Netflix interface being silky smooth, however Google’s own Play service didn’t work, displaying a ‘Device isn’t supported’ error message.
There are a few options if you want to use Kodi, there is a version pre-installed which is a forked custom version, you could install the offical release, or you can make use of the alternative OpenELEC system that’s pre-installed. You can easily switch between Android and OpenELEC so you’re not locked to using just one system.
Games run very well so it’s well worth getting a controller to go along with the DroidBOX to turn this into a little games sole.
Cracking little Android box, just be aware there seem to be lots of different purchasing options, e.g. some with the airmouse some with other accessories, so check carefully to ensure you get the version you want.