The T95 is a high quality Android TV Box, currently offered by several different chinese reselling companies.
You may find it marketed as *whatever brand* T95 TV Box, but it is essentially the same hardware in all instances. Hence for our reviewing and ranting purposes, this is just the “T95” while there is no need to focus into any specific reselling brand.
As we unbox the T95 TV box, we are pleasantly surprised: The device is cased in an all-metal enclosure, quite weighty and solid feeling at hand.
The T95 runs Android 5.1.1, not the newest Android in town, but certainly a nice improvement over the oldish Android 4.x Android TV boxes out there.
The Google Play Store app comes pre-installed: You just need to add your Google account and voilá, the whole app market opens up for your T95 media player.
The current T95 version also includes 2Gb of RAM (there was an earlier version with only 1Gb of RAM). It also includes 8Gb of flash RAM in order to store your downloaded apps.
Chipset wise, the T95 is powered by the Amlogic S905 and Mali 450 chipset, including a new ARM quad-core processor generation Cortex-A53 clocked at 2Ghz. This processor is running faster and cooler than earlier cortex A9 or A7 versions usually included inside earlier Android TV Boxes.
On the I/O side, you will find plenty of connectivity, including an RJ45 ethernet, microSD, micro USB OTG, HDMI and analog video input / outputs connectors. You will also find two standard USB connectors, which will accept memory sticks, keyboards, mouses, etc. essentially behaving just as a desktop computer USB.
T95 Media Player Box problems
Up to this point you may be positively impressed by this T95 Media Player box. But then, here comes the “chinese quality”, factored in, which makes us to lower our overall rate:
For a start, there is a flimsy plastic WIFI antenna coming out of the metal case. This antenna is not detachable. Believe me, you may not want to mix WIFI and 4K video streamings as a winning path for flawless media playing. I use my T95 connected to an ethernet cable.
You turn the T95 Media Player on and a nice kind of retro led time display welcomes you ligthing up in the front of the device, which is definitely an addition that puts it above most of the rest TV Boxes out there.
The T95 display will automatically fetch the time from the net and update it, clearly indicating a connectivity and control path between the clock and the underlying Android OS.
But then you learn that it will only show current time and that’s it. There is no connection between -say- any internal media player software, be it Kodi or the simpler Android basic media player, and this display, in order to show the media time code, which would be the main if not only reason to put an lcd clock display on the front.
You plug it in for the first time and you are greeted with a nice 3D animation, as it boots up, quite fast. You get a nice simple front end interface with easy access to Kodi -obvious choice- and other apps like Dropbox -not obvious at all-.
Under the Apps section you will find Netflix and Youtube, among others, which will surely make you feel that you are pretty much covered in terms of media player needs: You run those apps for the first time, place your account settings and view a couple of videos, while being progressively impressed with the T95 processing speed, certainly faster than -say- an Amazon’s FireTV box.
But then, after trying other apps included in the T95 -and probably deleting some, if not most of them- you return to either Netflix or Youtube … Only to find they won’t play any more videos!
After this bittersweet introduction, you may better understand my opening comment about chinese quality. As it happens, some of the mentioned caveats, can be fixed.
T95 Media Player firmware issues
The most offending problem on the T95 media player box is Netflix and Youtube not working after their first run. This is a very weird and serious bug, indeed, which is probably because of a badly messed up Android version.
I would say that T95 developers tried to somewhat customize the OS, eliminating some libraries and -what the thought would be- Android visual cumbersomeness (like the home, settings and back buttons bar).
Not to worry too much as now Netflix and Youtube are working just fine, starting with firmware LMY47V.20160516 … which at the time of this writing is NOT easy to get, but I hope it will become available.
In order to install a new firmware on your T95 you will either need an -oldish- PC computer running windows OS with a USB 2.0 adapter (yep, firmware update utility won’t work with USB 3.0), or as an alternative you will need a microSD card formatted in a certain way (with an included SD FORMAT utility) carrying the new firmware inside.
I am still searching for a solution about the LCD display clock showing actual media playing time. Once I get that working, I will post it in here. Of course, please of you got a solution for this, feel free to contribute by writing in our comments section.
All in all, the T95 media player review is a positive one, provided that you feel comfortable with the technicalities involved on firmware updating.