[Updated] Review | HiMedia Q5 Pro Hi3798C V200 TV Box

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Q5 Pro was sent to me courtesy of the good people at HiMedia, so thank you all, and especially Nicole, for the great communication and help.

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Today, I look at one of Himedia’s latest and greatest TV Box offering, the Q5 Pro. The Q5 Pro is based on HiSilicon’s Hi3798C V200 SoC.

HiMedia is a Chinese brand name located in Shenzhen,China and has been operating since 2005. They have a large range of TV Boxes and that’s their sole product range. As a result, they are quite experienced in the field.

What’s in the Box?

The box contains the basic items: Q5 Pro TV Box, DC power adapter, HDMI 2.0a cable, IR Remote control, and a Quick Guide.

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Looks

Q5 Pro is the younger brother of Q10 Pro, a larger TV box with a HDD drawer which I reviewed a few months ago. Essentially, the hardware is identical, aside for the SATA support offered by the Q10 Pro.

Specifications

Chipset HiSilicon HI3798CV200 quad-core ARM Cortex A53 processor
GPU Mali-T720 supporting OpenGL ES 3.1/2.0, OpenVG 1.1, EGL, and Imprex 2.0 PQ engine with HDR, Dolby vision support.
Memory / Storage 2 GB DDR3 RAM / 8 GB Flash Memory
LAN Gigabit
Wireless Dual-band WiFi(ac)
Bluetooth Bluetooth 4.0 + EDR
OS Android Lollipop 5.1
Video Output HDMI 2.0a @ 60 Hz, Composite
Audio Output HDMI out, SPDIF (optical)
Power  12V / 2A
Peripheral Interface 1 x USB 3.0 host port, 2 x USB 2.0 host ports, composite AV, Micro-SD/TF Card Reader, SPDIF Optical Audio Input, 1 x HDMI 2.0 cable, 1 x RJ45 LAN Port
Packing Included 1 x Q5 Pro, 1 x Power Adapter (DC 12V / 2A), 1 x HDMI 2.0a Cable ,1 x IR Remote Controller,1 x Manual


Benchmarks and Testing

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

Antutu Benchmark

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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. The Q5 Pro takes the second place and pushes it’s older bigger brother down one spot, to the third place.

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. Sadly, the Q5 Pro does not perform well on this benchmark, even though it surpasses the Q10 Pro.

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). Q5 Pro takes a mid-position in this test, passing the Q10 Pro again. This time, I was able to test external SD card read/write speeds, and they are quite fast.

PC Mark Benchmark

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The PC Mark benchmark tests shows good results for the Q5 Pro, though not the best. Still, it is one of the top 6 boxes, and again pushes the Q10 Pro down to the 7th spot.

3D Mark Benchmark

3D Mark could not be run with the standard “Ice Storm” test as it freezes when attempting to download that test. “Slingshot” test did download and run but the results are less relevant in comparison to all the other boxes as they were all tested with “Ice Storm”.

3D Mark benchmark is considered as one of the best ways to test 3d performance on Android (and other platforms).

Usage and Performance

First impressions and testing shows a fast boot time of 22 seconds from “On” to desktop.

Q5 Pro is quite a performer. It uses a metal body, USB 3.0 port, physical on/off button, a small LCD screen, and a HDMI 2.0a (up to 18 Gbps) interface.

Rooting is not built into the default firmware, but can be achieved with a manual local file upgrade (Be aware that it will may void your warranty, and any issues that arise from this step will not be dealt with by the manufacturer!).

Performance is even better than the Q5 Pro’s bigger brother, maybe since it’s using (essentially) the same hardware but does not use a SATA controller. Also, it is just as stable as the Q10 pro, even with the 3d mark continued issues.

Kodi is able to play EVERYTHING I threw at it, and that includes all UltraHD/4K content. That is a big accomplishment seeing that all the new boxes claim that they can do that, but most of them can only play a percentage of the 4K content in its different encoding forms. The only small issue I noticed in regard to video playback was the inability to control volume via the remote in some clips. Also, the required use of the Himedia “wrapper” to get optimized performance is not so great as it limits Kodi abilities.

Bugs & Issues

  1. 3DMark would freeze (again) when attempting to download “ice storm” benchmark.
  2. A1SD RAM/Storage speed benchmark does not recognize external SD card, unless a custom path is mapped manually.
  3. A wrapper is used to make the best use of the video processing capabilities of the box. The wrapper makes many of Kodi’s advantages (e.g. subtitles download, information overlay and others) inaccessible.
  4. Certain videos will not allow to change volume via the android audio support (the volume up and down buttons on the box remote)
  5. Rooting was not provided for this box (unlike for the Q10), and so, reliable testing of games was not possible.

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 Synchronous Fibre connection. Speeds measured are Wired (LAN over Power-line), Wireless 2.4GHz, and Wireless 5 GHz:

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Wired, 2.4 GHz WiFi, 5 Ghz WiFi

Be aware, that repeat tests showed some variation in results.

Video Playback testing

Video playback testing was done with the latest official Kodi (16.1), and using the internal himedia “wrapper” (customized codec):

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 Playing correctly
4K / HD / FullHD HEVC (H.265) 10Bit Playing correctly Playing correctly

I must say a few words about this box, and the results I got: They are unprecedented! This is the first box that managed to play all of my 4k samples without a hitch – both locally, and via WiFi (5Ghz) network connection from my PC.

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Gaming performance

I have tested the Q5 Pro with three games, but could not measure frame rate or resource usage accurately due to performance measuring issues. (both GameBench could not grab statistics correctly, and FPS meter was unable to maintain correct frame count at all times)

Asphalt 8 Airborne – a 3d graphic intensive racing game. Run mostly well. Sometimes it was not smooth.

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Angry Birds 2 – a popular 2d action game. Run quite smoothly, but load times tended to be longer.

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Walking War Robots – an online robot warfare game that requires a game-pad. The game run mostly smooth.

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Q5 Pro Conclusions

Did I like it? Yes. This box is a real performer and a deserving little (stronger) brother to one of the more stable devices I encountered. Considering it’s a brand new model, that’s a real achievement.

Would I recommend it? Yes, Himedia managed to squeeze a lot of goodness into a much smaller box, and use the same quality materials. The touch interface is gone, but not overly missed, and the need to use the wrapper aside, it is a solid contender with a good price.

For purchase, you can find it here: Himedia Q5 Pro HI3798CV200 4K@60fps Android 5.1 TV BOX 2G8G 802.11AC WIFI 1000M LAN KODI H.265 3D Bluetooth for a hefty 120 USD.

I hope you enjoyed the review, as you can expect quite a few more, and soon!

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