Review | Qintaix Q912 Amlogic S912 Android 6 TV Box

Q912 by Qintaix is today’s review. This company is new in the market, but is also the first to come out with the new SoC.

I want to thank Qintaix, and especially Sally, for the review sample and the chance to review their new and interesting products!

Amlogic S912 differs from its budget-y young brothers (S905, and S905X) in that it’s Amlogic’s first Octa Core SoC and it brings with it true power to the box it inhabits. Instead of having to choose between good video performance and good general performance (such as the Rockchip RK3368 Octa core option), you can now have both – at a higher price naturally.

What’s in the box?


Q912 offers an informative LCD screen on its front, next to which the recovery pin hole, IR sensor and Power button are also located. The rest of the contents are quite standard, with the HDMI 2.0a cable, DC power adapter, Quick install guide and a vanilla black IR remote. Also included is a AV cable suited for older TVs and A/V receivers lacking the HDMI port. Nice touch.

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Looks


The cardboard box for the Q912 is quite decorative with the hearts and graphics making a welcome change to the black or white simple designs. Inside, we find the elegant (black metallic) Q912 TV box, with rounded sides and its twin antennas (cannot be detached) for better reception and broadcast capability.

Specifications


CPUAmlogic S912 Octa-core Cortex –A53 2.0 GHz
GPUMali-T820 MP3 GPU up to 750MHz(DVFS)
Memory / Storage2GB DDR III RAM / 16GB eMMc ROM, micro SD/TF slot up to 64GB
LAN10/100/1000M Ethernet
Wireless2.4G/5.8 Dual Band (802.11 a/b/g/n)
Bluetooth Bluetooth 4.0
OS Android 6.0
Video Output HDMI 2.0a with HDR, CEC and (maybe) HDCP 2.2 support + 3.5 mm AV jack
Audio Output HDMI, AV, and optical S/PDIF
Power DC 5V / 2.5A
Peripheral Interface 2 x USB 2.0 ports, 1 x USB OTG port, 3.5 mm CVBS AV jack, micro SD slot up to 64GB, 1 x Optical SPDIF
Packing Included 1 x Q912, 1 x DC Power adapter with local plug, 1 x HDMI 2.0a cable, 1 x IR Standard Remote, 1 x User manual

 

Benchmarks


Antutu Benchmark


qintaix,q912,amlogic,s912,tv box,streamer,review,android,kodi,items,ultrahd,fullhd,internet,antutu,benchmarkThe Antutu benchmark tests single core performance over multi-core as it is a better indication of the performance of one device over others in most situations. This box begins showing its true colors right here with a third place out of 21 boxes in total. This points to the fact that this box is powerful enough to handle most anything you’ll throw at it!

GPU Mark Benchmark


GPU Mark tests 3d gaming performance and also provides a normalized score according to the used screen resolution (for a more accurate result). The test is quite short and should be taken as a supporting result to that of the more serious 3D Mark benchmark. The Q912 upwards trend continues here with (again) a third placement in average frame rate test, and a more modest fifth place on the average and screen normalized score.

A1 SD Benchmark


A1 SD Benchmark tests RAM and flash memory speeds. As can be seen in the provided graphs, RAM is much faster (by a factor of about 40) than flash memory – that is why it’s in smaller amount and is also volatile (does not retain its contents after a reboot). This storage and RAM benchmark gives a hint as to the source of Q912’s alleviated performance: high performing RAM, memory controller and internal SD controller – mind you, the handling of external SD via the micro-SD reader slot is not too great, probably due to it being a USB 2.0 reader and not a faster USB 3.0 one.

PC Mark Benchmark


qintaix,q912,amlogic,s912,tv box,streamer,review,android,kodi,items,ultrahd,fullhd,internet,front,pcmark,benchmarkPC Mark is a benchmark that tests several real-world aspects of android devices. Tests such as web browsing, photo editing, writing (copy, cut, paste) and so on. Here, Q912 picks only the 15th spot, even though real-world performance that I tested shows a different picture with no lags or stutter issues.

qintaix,q912,amlogic,s912,tv box,streamer,review,android,kodi,items,ultrahd,fullhd,internet,front,pcmark,benchmark,work 2.0This additional screenshot is of a new (“Work 2.0”) version of PCmark that came out recently. As I do not have any comparable data to allow for gauging the work 2.0 performance, I just put this test result here for your consideration.

3D Mark Benchmark


qintaix,q912,amlogic,s912,tv box,streamer,review,android,kodi,items,ultrahd,fullhd,internet,front,3dmark,benchmark3D Mark benchmark is considered as one of the best ways to test 3d performance on Android (and other platforms). Here the resource intensive 3d mark test shows again the prowess of Q912’s GPU which takes the third place once again. I also add the slingshot test result here, for reference:

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Usage and Performance


Q912 comes pre-rooted, as can be seen in the photo above. However, as in many cases, the root is not done with SuperSu but with Superuser.

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The home screen is quite standard with the familiar tile arrangement. I did not try to install other launchers, but I believe there shouldn’t be any issues. No RAM cleaner is installed by default.

Thankfully, the bottom bar was not cancelled or edited by Qintaix, so using the internal screenshot tool was allowed.

Bluetooth has been tested and works as advertised, with a BT speaker streaming the sound just fine.

However, the Gamebench utility I use to measure game performance would not run natively inside Q912 even with all the permissions it needed given – It simply asked to use the jar file that requires a PC connection.

Q912 is quite a speedster, with some small issues that may be sorted out as firmware updates arrive. For Kodi it is mostly a solid performer, even though the UltraHD over LAN performance is not as smooth as I hoped, mostly due to the poorer WiFi performance as explained in the network performance section below.

Bugs & Issues


  • Buffering occurred some times at the beginning of playback of 720p/1080p videos
  • Air mouse had a strange bug inside applications (not on the home screen) where it could not exit the application when clicking “return” but only go to another screen
  • When clicking “back” on the remote while video is playing in Kodi, and then returning to full screen playback, the video is frozen for awhile as the audio continues
  • Speed is hindered due to the missing 802.11ac support – limiting the top speed (as tested under “Network performance”) to about 35 MB/s
  • Gamebench would not work properly and so the game performance is only by first hand experience and cannot show actual resource usage or frame rate

Network performance


Network performance has been tested using Speedtest.net Internet speed measuring app, in WiFi and in Wired mode. My Internet connection is 200 Mbit Synchronous Fibre connection. Speeds measured are Wireless 2.4 GHz, Wired (LAN over Power-lines), and Wireless 5 GHz:qintaix,q912,amlogic,s912,tv box,streamer,review,android,kodi,items,ultrahd,fullhd,internet,ookla,speedtest,upload,download

As can be seen, even though the box supports both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands, the higher speed one is far from impressive. This may be due to the lack of support for 802.11ac protocol, so that the speed is limited to 802.11n which in this case is similar to the (relatively) good results of the wired (over power line) connection.

Video Playback testing


Video playback testing was done with Kodi 17 Alpha which comes pre-installed on the Q912:

ResolutionVideo FormatLocal PlaybackNetwork (Wi-Fi/LAN) Playback
720p (1280*720)AVC (High@L4.1) Playing correctlyPlaying correctly
1080P (1920*1080)AVC (High@L4) Playing correctlyPlaying correctly
2160P (3840*2160)HEVC (H.265) Playing correctlyPlaying correctly
4K (4096*2304)AVC (High@L5.1) Playing correctlyAudio Loss, Buffering, Stutter, but a few play fine
4K / HD / FullHDHEVC (H.265) 10Bit Playing correctlyBuffering, Audio Loss, Stutter

As long as you stick to videos up to 1080p, or use higher resolution files locally (Micro-SD card or a USB hard drive), you should be fine.

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As can be seen from the video file testing, and the Antutu video report, the video format/resolution support is leaving a bit to be desired. Other S912 boxes I tested mostly passed the 900 mark without a hitch, and the video playback over LAN is affected adversely due to the network speeds which are lower than 100 MBit/s.

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Gaming performance


 videostrong,yokatv kb2,streamer,amlogic,s912,uhd,4k,review,items,remote,tv box,asphalt 8,gameAsphalt 8 Airborne – a 3d graphic intensive racing game. Game run smoothly with fast load times and speedy 3d performance all across the board.


mk22,rikomagic,review,amlogic,s912,android,tv box,games,benchmarks,tests,speed,internet,kodi,4k,fullhd,ultrahd,1080p,720p,angry birds 2,game,gamebenchAngry Birds 2 – a popular 2d action game. The game run flawlessly without any noticeable stutter or delay.


mk22,rikomagic,review,amlogic,s912,android,tv box,games,benchmarks,tests,speed,internet,kodi,4k,fullhd,ultrahd,1080p,720p,war robots,game,gamebenchWalking War Robots – an online robot warfare game that requires a game-pad. The game recently had its graphics upgraded. The game played quite smoothly


Q912 Conclusions


Did I like it? Yes. I must say the Q912 surprised me. Even with its rough edges it flew past most of the competition and got itself placed in one of the top places in almost all of the benchmarks. It comes to show that there is quite a bit of performance waiting within the new S912 chipset that other manufacturers have yet to reach.

Would I recommend it? Yes. But keep in mind that the Kodi version pre-installed is Krypton (17) alpha, and the most current one is Beta 5 – which I haven’t tested.

So if you like that Q912, you can buy the 2G/16G reviewed version here for 98 USD:
AliExpress.com Product – [4K HDR S912] Amlogic S912 Octa Core Android 6.0 Marshmallow TV Box 2GB RAM Kodi 16.0 Dual Band WiFi Aluminum Case Qintex Q912

 or 111 USD for the 3G/32G version (make sure that your ad blocker is off):

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