Review | Inphic SPOT i7 Plus/Pro (Amlogic S905X) Android TV Box

SPOT i7 Plus is the latest from Spanish/Chinese manufacturer Inphic, and it is based on the updated Amlogic S905X CPU.

A note: this review has been delayed due to a mistake made with the i7 and the i7 Plus looking identical..

My thanks goes to the Inphic team and Jaime, for providing this review sample!

What do we get in the box?


The Inphic SPOT i7 Plus, DC Power adapter, HDMI 2.0 cable, and a learning Infra-red remote control.

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Looks and design


The SPOT i7 Plus, as its predecessors, the SPOT i5 and the SPOT i7, is an interesting animal in the TV boxes world. For one, it’s not even shaped as a box. Instead, it’s designed as a top hemisphere, a beetle, or half of a ball. This one arrived in blue color, and stands out in the sea of rectangular TV boxes out there. It’s made of soft plastic/rubber, and may turn sticky over time in a warm/hot environment, so be aware. One last note: the cardboard box the i7 plus comes has a different form factor which allows the inside order of items to be a bit more convenient.

Specifications


Chipset
Amlogic S905X – ARM Cortex-A53 up to 2GHz
GPUMali-450 Penta-core
Memory / Storage2GB DDR3 / 16GB eMMC
LAN10M/100M
Wireless802.11 b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi (AP6212)
Bluetooth4.0
OSAndroid 6.0
Video & Audio OutputHDMI 2.0 Standard with CEC support
PowerDC 5V/1.5A
Peripheral InterfaceMicro SD slot up to 64GB, IR receiver and LED, 1 * HDMI(A type Male), 1 * RJ45 LAN Port
Packing Included1 * SPOT i7 Plus, 1 * Adapter(DC 5V/1.5A), 1 * HDMI Cable ,1 * Learning IR Remote Controller, a user’s manual

Benchmarks and Testing


All benchmarks have been repeated 3 times and results have been averaged to give a more accurate reading:

Antutu Benchmark


antutu,benchmark,amlogic,s905x,review,tv box,ultrahd,android 6,marshmallow,kodi,test,inphic,i7 plus,spotThe 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. The i7 plus takes a respectable position in the middle between Rikomagic and Tronsmart S905 boxes.

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. SPOT i7 Plus takes the very last place in this test which makes it the least desired choice for gaming.

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 keep its contents after a reboot). SPOT i7 Plus takes an average place here next to other Amlogic S905 boxes but does not show any particular strength and quite low marks in regard to external Micro-SD card read/write performance.

PC Mark Benchmark


pcmark,work,web,browse,photo,editing,benchmark,amlogic,s905x,review,tv box,ultrahd,android 6,marshmallow,kodi,test,inphic,i7 plus,spotSadly, the SPOT i7 Plus again (as in GPUmark) takes the very last place. I believe it is directly tied to the low GPU and RAM speeds detected. Hopefully this can be improved on in future firmware updates.

3D Mark Benchmark


3dmark,3d,benchmark,amlogic,s905x,review,tv box,ultrahd,android 6,marshmallow,kodi,test,inphic,i7 plus,spot3D Mark is a labor intensive 3D animation and gaming Benchmark. It runs a series of 3d heavy game and video animations. SPOT i7 Plus shows here an average performance similar to other S905 (not S905X) boxes, which gives hope in terms of potential higher performance.

Video Playback testing (Using KODI)


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) – 10BitPlaying correctlyPlaying correctly
4K (4096*2304)AVC (High@L5.1)Stutter
Mixed – some fine some stutter
4K TS HEVC filesHEVC (H.265)MixedArtifacts and/or Stutter

* Some stutter was observed while playing some HD content off of local area network. Both over WiFi and Wired connections. Issue has been reported to the manufacturer.antutu,video,3dmark,3d,benchmark,amlogic,s905x,review,tv box,ultrahd,android 6,marshmallow,kodi,test,inphic,i7 plus,spot

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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 Symmetric Fibre connection. Performance is quite good for WiFi (AC/5Ghz standard is supported), but there is plenty of room for video playback optimization as it does not manifest well in Kodi:speedtest,3dmark,3d,benchmark,amlogic,s905x,review,tv box,ultrahd,android 6,marshmallow,kodi,test,inphic,i7 plus,spot

  • A later firmware update (2016-12-07) caused a significant drop in WiFi performance – especially in 2.4GHz band.

Issues and Bugs


  1. Gaming is quite slow – both 2D and 3D
  2. Stutter observed in most HD videos played
  3. Freezing experienced during video playback
  4. New firmware caused a drop in WiFi performance. Especially in the 2.4GHz range.

Gaming performance


As usual, I test three games: Angry Birds 2, Asphalt 8 Airborne, and Walking War Robots.

Angry Birds 2, a popular 2d game worked, but quite slowly – to the point of stutter. Loading times were also quite long.mk22,rikomagic,review,amlogic,s912,android,tv box,games,benchmarks,tests,speed,internet,kodi,4k,fullhd,ultrahd,1080p,720p,angry birds 2,game,gamebench

Asphalt 8 Airborne was playable, but was slow to load and was not fluid nor smooth.nexbox,a95x,streamer,amlogic,s905x,uhd,4k,review,items,remote,games,asphalt 8 airborne

Walking War Robots – an online 3d robot battle game – worked, but at a slow pace (under 15 frames per second).mk22,rikomagic,review,amlogic,s912,android,tv box,games,benchmarks,tests,speed,internet,kodi,4k,fullhd,ultrahd,1080p,720p,war robots,game,gamebench

i7 Plus Conclusions


The i7 Plus is testing worse than the i7 at this point in time. Hopefully it is due to unpolished firmware and not some design flaw.

This box still has ways to go, but the price may be attractive to many who are looking for a cheap solution for Kodi.

Did I like it? No. Multiple stutter issues with video playback, coupled with quite slow game performance (under 15 frames per second in some) makes this box worse than its predecessor.

Would I recommend it? Not particularly, at least not until the main issues are addressed.

I give it…  2.0/5 Stars – Failing marks, with hopes that future updates will correct some if not all the issues found.

So you’d like to buy this box? You can find it for a mere 49 USD here:

Inphic i7 Amlogic S905X Android 6.0 2G16G 4K UHD Smart TV Box KODI 802.11 bgn LAN HDMI CEC – White

Let shareasale.com find sales leads for you. Only pay when it works!

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