The world’s not short of Android TV boxes, that’s for sure, but for the most part they follow a pretty standard pattern. They’re grey/black rectangular boxes, with standard Android user interfaces and that’s that. The Zidoo products however try to be a little different. They tend to try and jazz up the interface software so you get an easier time navigating the system. This new Zidoo X1 budget box is another in this genre.
The product comes in a typically nicely presented Zidoo package, and the first surprise is the design. Instead of boring black square, you get a curved silver, which makes for a different touch. Whether that goes with your home decor is another matter. The specifications of the X1 are pretty typical of the type – 1.5GHz CPU, 1 GB RAM, 8 GB ROM storage, WiFi, and 4K video resolution. Rather disappointingly there’s no Bluetooth, so no way to run an external keyboard that we can see, which makes this a bit of a non-starter for serious TV use in our opinion.
The product runs most things pretty well, and once you get used to the remote control that comes with the unit, you can navigate around quite quickly. The product runs Android 4.4.2, which is adequate for the task, and the software includes a web browser, Google Play store, an additional app store, and a tweaked version of the Kodi media player manager. There’s nothing spectacular, but again this is a budget model.
Inside the box there’s the usual power block, HDMI cable, remote control and user guide, which is very basic, but should be enough to get most people going. The remote control also doubles up as a learning remote, which means you should be able to get it to learn your TV remote codes so you can control both TV and Android box with the single remote control.
We found the set up to be very easy, it took just a matter of minutes to connect up and activate the WiFi. And once running, the interface was easy enough to use, which is important with this type of consumer tech. Performance and video quality are also up to the job, and we like the fact that there’s an auto update system built in to make it easy to keep the product working properly.
The Zidoo X1 is a decent enough Android box for anyone who wants to get some basic Internet functionality added to their TV. The lack of Bluetooth does restrict it significantly in terms of keyboards and other add-on accessories, so we would say it’s not really suitable for those who need a more sophisticated experience, e.g. where a lot of typing is required. Apart from that, however, it’s important to remember that it’s definitely priced at an entry level.
Price: $49.99 / £34.01
Allwinner H3 1.5 GHz ARM quad-core CPU
Quad-core Mali-400MP2 GPU
RAM 1GB DDR3 ROM Nand Flash 8GB
802.11 b/g/n Wifi
HDMI Port Standard HDMI female, 1.4b
Other Interfaces 2 x USB; 1 x RJ45;1 x card slot;1 x AV port ;1x TF card slot