Egreat A5 is on today’s review. Egreat is the third company I review with products based on HiSilicon’s chipsets (after Openhour, and Himedia) and even though HiSilicon is less known than Amlogic in the streamer market, their video performance is quite remarkable.
I want to thank Egreat and their representative, Dennis, for the review sample and the opportunity to review their new product line!
The HiSilicon Hi3798C V200 SoC used in Egreat A5 is the same as the one used in Himedia’s Q5 Pro and Q10 Pro. However, there are some important differences between the Himedia and the Egreat designs.
What’s in the Box?
As can be seen in the unboxing, the box content is quite succinct and includes the Egreat A5 streamer with attached antenna (non detachable), HDMI 2.0a cable, AV coaxial cable (stereo + video), SATA + power combined cable, DC power adapter, and a learning IR remote control:
Looks & Design
Egreat A5 is a black brushed aluminium box with a single antenna, and an elegant design which includes a lit up “Egreat” logo on the top, and a multitude of ports, including coaxial audio and video, optical, HDMI, USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 as well as Gigabit LAN.
|CPU||HiSilicon HI3798CV200 Quad-core 64-bit high-performance ARM Cortex A53 with NEON|
|GPU||High-performance multi-core GPU Mali T720 with OPENGL ES3.1|
|Memory / Storage||2GB DDR III RAM / 8GB eMMc ROM, micro SD/TF slot up to 64GB|
|LAN||10/100/1000M, standard RJ-45|
|Wireless||802.11B/G/N 2.4GHz WiFi with external antenna|
|Video Output||HDMI 2.0a output, 4K x 2K@60fps, Coaxial, AV|
|Audio Output||HDMI, AV, and optical S/PDIF|
|Power||DC 12V / 2A|
|Peripheral Interface||2 x USB 2.0 Host ports, 1 x USB 3.0 Host port, SATA Host x 1, 3 x AV jack, 1 x Video, 1 x Optical SPDIF, micro SD / TF Card slot up to 64GB|
|Packing Included||1 x A5, 1 x DC Power adapter with local plug, 1 x HDMI 2.0a cable, 1 x SATA cable, 1 x Infrared Learning Remote, 1 x User manual|
|Dimensions||18.5 cm * 12.5 cm * 3 cm / 7.3 inches * 5 inches * 1.2 inches ; 504 g / 17.8 oz|
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. Egreat A5 shows some muscle and takes the 5th place in this test.
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. Here the Egreat A5 does not shine and takes one of the last places.
3D Mark benchmark is considered as one of the best ways to test 3d performance on Android (and other platforms). Here it shows some real muscle, taking the 6th place. I have also included the newer Slingshot test results that also shows strength:
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). The RAM copy speed measured is quite low in the total count, and places the Egreat A5 at the bottom third of the list. The SD read/write speeds is somewhat better and places the Egreat A5 in the middle of the list. However, one would expect much higher benchmarks from such a premium targeted box.
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. Egreat A5 takes a place just above the middle of the list, showing a good, but far from excellent general performance for a premium box.
Also included are the results of the newer iteration of PC Mark test suite titled “Work 2.0” for reference:
Issues and Bugs
- Subtitles download but do not show due to implemented codec
- Buffering occurs in some videos 720p and over. * Issue was improved upon with new 188.8.131.52 firmware, but not resolved
- Moving through menus in Vidon when it first starts causes it to crash back to home screen. Requires to wait till scanning begins detection
Google account access not possible nor optionalgoogle account access allowed in new 184.108.40.206 firmware and above Google play store – not installed nor possible to install (Egreat’s own limited app store installed)
- No root solution available, and not expected due to commercial secret/patent issues
- No access to top or bottom bar in the default launcher, and so no built-in screenshot capability
- Video app/Movie Poster online subtitles would not download
- Run time for any episode or movie in the movie poster app showed only 0:00
Usage and Experience
Some of the selling points of the Egreat A5 are: Full BD Menu support (Blu-ray menus from ISO files), Movie poster automatic detection (within the internal video player app), and SATA support.
I have tested all of these functions, and found them to be working – with a few caveats: the Vidon (XBMC/Kodi unauthorized commercial fork) app network speed limitations I mention in other sections of this review, causes serious stuttering in Blu-ray playback due to the higher bandwidth required for these ISO files.
I also found that for some reason (could be a normal thing), all the trailers included in the ISO play prior to the menu showing.
SATA worked as advertised, with a 3TB HDD tested. Make sure that you connect the HDD/SSD before turning on the Egreat A5 – it does not support hot plugging/unplugging.
Also, online subtitles would not download from the video movie poster app, and run time for any episode or movie showed only 0:00.
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:
Egreat A5 dissapoints with network speed measurements that place it on a low bar – mostly due to the limited use of 2.4GHz bandwidth only. (no 802.11AC support).
Video Playback testing
Video playback testing was done with Vidon XBMC which comes pre-installed on the A5:
|Resolution||Video Format||Local Playback||Network (Wi-Fi/LAN) Playback|
|720p (1280*720)||AVC (High@L4.1)||Playing correctly||Occasional buffering|
|1080P (1920*1080)||AVC (High@L4)||Playing correctly||Occasional buffering|
|2160P (3840*2160)||HEVC (H.265)||Playing correctly||Buffering|
|4K (4096*2304)||AVC (High@L5.1)||Playing correctly||Buffering|
|4K / HD / FullHD||HEVC (H.265) 10Bit||Playing correctly||Buffering|
As can be seen, although the antutu video results show good (as expected) compatibility with different video formats and codecs, the slower WiFi support holds the box back to a degree in which practical UltraHD (and even high bandwidth HD) playback over (even) local network is experiencing issues:
Testing with my usual myriad of 4k (UltraHD) samples yielded similar results.. and unless you have a good wired connection (unlike me – with LAN over power-lines) – getting a smooth ride may prove difficult:
** I must mention, that using the built in video player of the box (on the home screen) produces much better results in network playback.. but since most people use Kodi it is less relevant..
Asphalt 8 Airborne – a 3d graphic intensive racing game. Egreat A5 run it smoothly and without any issues (once google play store was running correctly).
Angry Birds 2 – a popular 2d action game. Egreat A5 run smoothly with no issues and the loading times were quick
Walking War Robots – an online robot warfare game that requires a game-pad. The game recently had its graphics upgraded. Egreat A5 run smoothly though connecting to a server took a bit longer than usual
Egreat A5 Conclusions
Did I like it? Not at first. The expectations from such a high end, pricey box are high to begin with. Some questionable decisions were made during the design and build of the box.
The lack of Google play store and The low storage capacity (8GB) and the frequent buffering are just some of the main issues I found with this TV box. But Egreat does listen and several firmware updates came out during the prolonged review process which corrected some of the issues.
Would I recommend it? If you can get it for a more affordable price, and/or don’t mind waiting for further firmware update, you’re welcome to buy this streamer:
If you’d like to buy the box, be aware that it is not a cheap option, and you can find it for 205 USD here:
Egreat A5 Hi3798CV200 4K HDR 2G8G TV BOX 802.11AC WIFI 1000M LAN Dolby DTS-HD 3.5 SATA HDD Bluetooth Media Player