This review unit was sent to me courtesy of the nice people at UYESEE, so thank you all, and especially Ryan, for the speedy communication.
The S1 is Uyesee’s first attempt at creating a budget box that can still provide 4K video playback. This attempt still has ways to go, due to lacking Kodi/XBMC support and poor firmware optimization. However, the hardware itself has a sound base for this purpose.
Looks & Design
As can be seen, the package is quite sparse, with the smallest list of items I ever seen in a box (which is not even printed, just plain white). No HDMI cable is included, presumably to cut costs or because it’s an early production sample. The design does not include any Micro/SD expansion slots, and the power button is a click switch on the side. However, the remote control is not bad, and quite responsive usually.
|Chipset||Hi3798M V100 ARM Cortex A7 Quad-core 1.5G|
|GPU||ARM Mali-450 Quad-core 3D GPU, Support OpenGL ES 1.1/2.0 and OpenVG 1.1 EGL|
|Memory / Storage||1GB DDR3 / 8GB eMMc|
|Wireless||2.4Ghz 802.11 b/g/n|
|Video Output||HDMI 1.4 UHD 3840×2160p(2K/4K)|
|Audio Output||HDMI out, RCA|
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. This is the first time that I include both the results from the older 5.7.3 version (on the left) and the new 6.0.1 version (on the right). The 3d portion of both Antutu tests proved a bit problematic for this box, and on version 5.7.3 it went into a loop that had to be existed without completing all of the 3d tests, but still completing the rest and providing a score. The score on both instances is quite poor and places the S1 on the very bottom of the list. This is not a gaming machine.
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. However, the S1 could not install GPU 3D Benchmark correctly, and so a scoring is not available for this device.
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). As can be witnessed, the performance is one of the poorest of the bunch. I also got notifications that warned against low memory that may cause the test to be incomplete. This should not happen – even with a box that packs just 1 GB of RAM. That’s what firmware optimization is for – to keep the system resource usage at a proper level and stabilize the system. RAM copy speed places the S1 at one of the last 3 places on the chart, and contribute greatly to the poor performance.
PC Mark Benchmark (*)
* The PC Mark benchmark tests are lacking, because this box could not complete all the tests successfully. The S1 managed to complete most of the tests, but not the video portion – just like the Gecko which is based on a similar/identical chipset. As it takes the very last place in the tests, I would not recommend it for everyday tasks.
3D Mark Benchmark
* 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||* Buffering and stutter|
|4K (4096*2304)||AVC (High@L5.1)||* Playing correctly||* Buffering and stutter|
|4K TS HEVC files||HEVC (H.265) 10Bit||Does not play||Does not play|
- This box comes with a customized XBMC version (based on the old XBMC 13.3). It’s a very buggy version that crashed multiple times, and did not let me do testing fully or properly. I used SPMC 15 (which had to be installed on top of SPMC 14 in order to work correctly), and that took away the ability to play any 4K/UHD content – unless the pre-installed media player is used. I also lost the pre-installed XBMC following a box reset (which should not happen if the application is defined as a system app).
Testing was done both in wired network mode (Ethernet over power lines) and Wireless mode (in this case 802.11N 2.4Ghz speed). Even with the external antenna, something was wrong with the wireless network performance. However, the wired performance proved to be quite good:
The box is not rooted, nor is there an available rooting solution out there. No frame rate or resource usage measurement could be performed.
Asphalt 8 Airborne – a 3d graphic intensive racing game. The game would not run, after installation and download of game data, it would just exit out after the first splash screen.
Angry Birds 2 – a popular 2d action game. would not install on this box from Google play store, but I was able to install it from an APK file. It run quite well, although the loading screens were slow, and “Google play games” service did not log in properly (or so it seemed).
Walking War Robots – an online robot warfare game that requires a game-pad (I don’t have a game-pad). The game refused to install – from both the play store and an APK file. No data is available.
Did I like it? Not really. It has some way to go, even at its low price point. The S1 needs to go back to the drawing board in terms of both design (power on button, lack of storage expansion slot, Bluetooth and 802.11ac WiFi support), and in terms of software. Also, the lack of HDMI cable in the package is quite inexcusable.
Would I recommend it? No. There are plenty of cheap boxes out there that would do a better job. Some are even based on the same chipset (although cost roughly twice as much).
So, you like it? You can get it for around 70 USD at Amazon.
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