Welcome back ladies and gentlemen! Today I review a device that I usually don’t get to review: a TV Dongle (Rikomagic V3). These are basically the same as TV Boxes, but they are (mostly) smaller in size and also plug directly to your display (be it a TV or a PC monitor) via HDMI.
I must admit that I personally prefer TV Boxes over dongles because the box design allows for better ventilation and usually also translates to better hardware performance all around.
This review unit was sent to me courtesy of the nice people at Gearbest, so thank you all, and especially Carol & Patricia, for the review unit provided.
What’s in the Box?
Rikomagic did not include much in the tiny box that houses the V3. All you get is the dongle itself, a short HDMI extension cable, and the DC power adapter.
|Chipset||Rockchip RK 3328 Quad-Core Cortex-A53 up to 1.5 GHz|
|GPU||Mali-450MP2 GPU, support OpenGL ES 1.1/2.0|
|Memory / Storage||2G RAM / 8G ROM|
|LAN||10/100M LAN port|
|Wireless||2.4GHz 802.11 b/g/n Wi-fi|
|OS||Android Nougat 7.1.2|
|Video Output||HDMI 2.0 (4K/2K 60 FPS)|
|Audio Output / Input||HDMI out|
|Power||DC 5V / 2A|
|Peripheral Interface||1 * USB 3.0 Host, 1 * USB 2.0 Port, 1 * Micro SD card (TF card) reader, 1 * RJ45 LAN Port|
|Packing Included||1 * V3, 1 * Adapter(DC 5V/3A), 1 * Quick Guide, 1 * Product Brochure|
Benchmarks and Testing
All benchmarks have been repeated 3 times and results have been averaged to give a more accurate reading:
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. V3 found a place in the lower quadrant of the graph which attests to a somewhat weak device for general use.
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. V3 shows similar (poor) results to those found in the more extensive 3dmark benchmark. It is placed on the lower half of the list. Not a great candidate for 3d 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). Both RAM copy speeds and SD card read/write speeds of the V3 are quite satisfactory and places the V3 in the top half of this category’s ratings
PC Mark Benchmark
3D Mark Benchmark
3D Mark benchmark is considered as one of the best ways to test 3d performance on Android (and other platforms). As can be seen, the V3 is not one of the strong contenders on this list and is placed 8 from the bottom. This may indicate poor performance in 3d heavy tasks – such as 3d gaming.
Bugs and Issues
- The Dongle comes with no remote. The only way to control it is with a wireless air mouse, or any control device that connects to a USB port
- No On/Off button. Yes, in order to turn it off you need to use the on-screen power button, and to turn it on you’ll need to take out the power cable and stick it back in..
- Root support is built-in, but no permission manager is installed (need to install Super-Su). Also, the root solution is not working perfectly and does not always prompts for permission as it should
- Some issues playing heavy 4k TS files (stutter, audio loss, and buffering)
- Asphalt 8: Airborne would not start correctly and went to a blank (black) screen (with audio) when trying to load
Video Playback testing (Using KODI)
|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||Playing correctly|
|4K (4096*2304)||AVC (High@L5.1)||Playing correctly||Mixed (some files Buffer)|
|4K TS HEVC files||HEVC (H.265) 10Bit||Buffering, Audio Loss||Buffering, Audio Loss|
Mostly, the V3 performed well and in a stable fashion. I have tested several Kodi add-ons successfully and streamed various content.
I tested the network performance using the popular Speedtest.net application from the play store. As can be seen, network performance leaves quite a bit to be desired. Possibly because the Wifi antenna is contained within the small body of the V3, and it only supports the slower 2.4GHz bandwidth. The Wired LAN connection speeds are quite adequate even though they cannot be considered top notch:
Asphalt 8 Airborne – a 3d graphic intensive racing game. The game installed and downloaded data fine, but went to a blank screen once it tried to load. No go.
Angry Birds 2 – a popular 2d action game. Game loaded fast and run quite well. There is still the issue where it does not allow to click on the blue bird cage, but that seems to be due to a game bug with this and other TV boxes I tested.
Walking War Robots – an online robot warfare game that requires a game-pad (I don’t have a game-pad). Game played relatively smoothly without apparent issues
Did I like it? Somewhat, although it does not do well for gaming and does not include a remote control
Would I recommend it? Yes, as long as you are aware of the limitations
You like it! Where can you buy it? Find your V3 at Aliexpress: Rikomagic RKM V3 for a mere 65 USD