YokaTV KB2 from Videostrong is the first TV box I review that is built around the brand new Amlogic S912 chipset. This is the direct successor to the successful Amlogic S812. But so far, it doesn’t seem to be that much more powerful than it’s predecessor.
Here’s a bit about the manufacturer, taken from the company’s “About Us” page:
Videostrong Technology Co., Ltd.,founded in 1998 ,a well established manufacturer of Android Players & STB( Android with DVB Hybrid box &DVB-T2/S2/C/ISDB-T/DTMB-TH/ATSC,,)as well as HD media players, which are well sold to all over the world.
I want to thank Videostrong’s Leia and Emmy for the review samples, and I hope that our co-operation continues.
What’s in the Box?
As we can see, the box contains only the necessities: A (Big) learning IR Remote control, A short User manual, HDMI 2.0 cable, and a DC power adapter.
Looks & Design
YokaTV KB2 is a silver/grey plastic box with black accents and a bottom aluminium plate. Simple design, but simple also means easier and cheaper to manufacture (it is used in many of the other boxes Videostrong sells). All the ports are marked clearly with labels above them – which is a nice touch not seen with most boxes. The external antenna comes separately and requires screwing on. On the bottom, we can see venting holes, which are proven necessary as the box reaches temperatures (if the internal sensor is reliable) of over 80 degrees celsius.
|Chipset||Amlogic S912 octo-core ARM Cortex A53 processor @ up to 2.0GHz|
|GPU||ARM Mali-T820MP3 GPU @ up to 750MHz (DVFS)|
|Memory / Storage||2GB DDR3 / 32GB eMMC flash, micro SD slot up to 32GB|
|Wireless||WiFi 802.11 b/g/n/ac|
|OS||Android 6.0 Marshmallow|
|Video Output||HDMI 2.0a with HDR, CEC and (maybe) HDCP 2.2 support + 3.5mm AV jack|
|Audio Output||HDMI, AV, and optical S/PDIF|
|Peripheral Interface||2x USB 2.0 ports, 3.5mm AV jack, micro SD slot up to 32GB, 1x Optical SPDIF|
|Packing Included||1x YokaTV KB2, 1x DC Power adapter with local plug, 1x HDMI 2.0 cable, 1x IR Learning Remote, 1x User manual|
Benchmarks and Testing
The 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. YokaTV KB2 is placed in the middle of the row.. between the Minix U1 (above it) and the Eny EM95 (below it). Both are S905 boxes that are supposed to under perform it by a margin, but do not. Is it due to underclocking? or maybe early firmware that does not optimize the SoC’s usage? only time will tell, but for now.. YokaTV KB2 takes the very modest 7th place – way bellow Rockchip and Hisilicon based solutions.
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. YokaTV KB2 passes the S905 boxes in this test, but passes the older s812 based box by not a big margin, and still remains 7th in place after octa cores of the Rockchip variety.
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). When it comes to RAM and (internal only) storage, YokaTV KB2 really shines. It takes the top place in RAM copy speed – possibly thanks to the improved memory controller in the S912 SoC. in the Internal storage tests it is only second to Minix U1.
PC Mark Benchmark
PC 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. YokaTV KB2 again shows a certain weakness that is not expected from a brand new S912 based box, and is placed between s905 and s905x based boxes on the 12th place.. Let’s hope that future firmware updates will get this box to shine brighter.
3D Mark Benchmark
3D Mark benchmark is considered as one of the best ways to test 3d performance on Android (and other platforms). YokaTV KB2 does not disappoint here, and takes a respectable 4th place, thanks to its T820 GPU. It still trails after the older generation S812 and two Rockchip based solutions.
Usage and Performance
YokaTV KB2 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. And I wouldn’t mind that, but the Superuser app itself is hidden and so it’s quite difficult to manage the permissions.
Aside from that, as mentioned below, the box did not start well. I experienced multiple crashes from Kodi (16.1 and SPMC 16.4) to the home screen, and video performance issues in 4k and even 720p/1080p videos.
However, this was (almost) all resolved once I uninstalled the pre-installed Kodi 17 Alpha, and switched to the newer 17 Beta. The 4k content played fine (at least locally), and I haven’t experienced another crash so far.
The box begins with a boot animation that includes sound. This is a cool touch, but might seem too much to some people. I’ve read that some people complain about the volume of this sequence.
YokaTV KB2 in general is a good performer, with some rough edges that may be sorted out with firmware updates. For Kodi it’s a solid performer, even though the 4k over LAN performance is not as uniform as I would have liked.
Bugs & Issues
- YokaTV KB2 arrives with Kodi 17 Krypton Alpha 2 pre-installed. On this version, video over LAN is pretty much unplayable as it stops playback and freezes after a few seconds. With Kodi 16.1 or SPMC (based on Kodi 16.4) the situation is much better. However, updating to Kodi Krypton 17 Beta 2 seems to have solved many of the issues.
- HDMI-CEC function seems to be broken. It manifests in that if I turn the box on when my TV is off or on another output port, and then switch it to the box – I see no image. The only solution then is to turn the box off by taking out the power cable.
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 2.4GHz, Wired (Lan over Powerline), and Wireless 5GHz:
Video Playback testing
Video playback testing was done with the latest official Kodi 17 beta 2 – installed by me on the box (the box comes pre-installed with Kodi Alpha 2 which was not too stable):
|Resolution||Video Format||Local Playback||Network (Wi-Fi/LAN) Playback|
|720p (1280*720)||AVC (High@L4.1)||Playing correctly||Playing correctly|
|1080P (1920*1080)||AVC (High@L4)||Playing correctly||Playing correctly|
|2160P (3840*2160)||HEVC (H.265)||Playing correctly||Some Buffering & Stutter|
|4K (4096*2304)||AVC (High@L5.1)||Playing correctly||Buffering & Stutter|
|4K / HD / FullHD||HEVC (H.265) 10Bit||Playing correctly||Some Buffering & Stutter|
I noticed an issue with one of the AVC (H.264) videos freezing while the audio kept playing – forcing me to restart the box. After restart it did play, but showed some micro-stutter. I hope that future firmware updates will address these problems.
Kodi 17 Beta 2 resolved most of the issues, though micro-stutter was still visible in some 4k files.
Asphalt 8 Airborne – a 3d graphic intensive racing game. Game run very smoothly with fast load times and speedy 3d performance all across the board.
Angry Birds 2 – a popular 2d action game. The game run flawlessly with possible slight delays in loading sequences. But inside the game it was pretty smooth sailing.
Walking War Robots – an online robot warfare game that requires a game-pad. The game recently had its graphics upgraded. The game shown some sluggishness during gameplay. Might be due to the network heavy (or heavier) style or something else.
YokaTV KB2 Conclusions
Did I like it? Yes. It is far from perfect, and the firmware is a bit of a work in progress, but I expect that this box will only improve in time as s912 becomes a more established chipset and the kinks are cleared out.
Would I recommend it? Yes. I found it worked quite well in most situations, both in Kodi and in general performance.
If you like this box, and interested in buying it – you can find it on the link below for 80 USD:
YOKATV KB2 Amlogic S912 TV BOX Android 6.0 2G32G 802.11AC WIFI Bluetooth 1000M LAN KODI OTA
For wholesale purchases, please use this link (much better prices for big purchases):