Modern day televisions aren’t mere TVs anymore. Often referred to as SmartTV’s, they expand the way we consume multimedia entertainment beyond just TV channels. They can connect to the Web, allow you to surf the Internet, come pre-loaded with an OS, give access to video streaming services, multiple applications and more. All of this, however, comes with a hefty price tag if you’re planning to buy a SmartTV from a reputed manufacturer. That’s where the Amkette Evo TV 2 set-top-box comes in, which can transform your plain jane HDTV into a smart one.
Priced at around Rs. 6,500, the device runs Android which gives access to a myriad of apps via the PlayStore and comes pre-loaded with a raft of popular video streaming services. I have been using the gadget for over a week now, and here are my thoughts about it after some intense testing.
- Evo TV 2 Media Streaming Box
- Evo Air Remote
- 3 AAA Batteries
- HDMI Cable
- 5V Power Adapter
- Quick Start Guide
Build and Design
The Evo TV2 rocks a compact square-shaped design with rounded edges. It is super-light and easy to carry around. You get 4 USB ports to connect external devices such as an external hard disc or a keyboard. There’s also an SD/MMC card slot, AV port to connect to analog televisions, SPDIF (Sony-Philips Digital Interface) to connect to supporting audio devices, an Ethernet port, and of course, the HDMI port on the back to connect your TV.
Overall, the Evo 2 is well built, compact and sturdy. The top surface gets a matte finish, while the bottom flaunts a bright orange, giving a rather neat look and feel.
Features and Performance
Under the hood, the Evo TV 2 features a 1.6GHz quad-core processor bundled with 1GB of RAM and Mali 450 graphics. You also get 8GB of built-in storage, which can be used to download apps. Connectivity options on the device include Wi-Fi, Ethernet cable, and Bluetooth 4.0.
Connecting the device is quite a breeze and rather simple. You can either use the LAN cable or a Wi-fi router for streaming online content, or hook-up and external hard drive. Once connected, I was pretty impressed with device’s ability to play full HD videos. It doesn’t twitch as I didn’t come across any lags or stutters while 1080p video playback. Media playback through streaming services such as Netflix, Hooq, and Hotstar is also a jitter-free experience.
Given the price, the hardware onboard the Evo 2 seems pretty capable of handling full HD videos, streaming content via Netflix or Hotstar and running a few apps in the background. Besides, it also supports 7.1 audio output. So audiophiles you’ve invested in a high-end audio can connect via Bluetooth or SPDIF port on the back.
Even the bundled remote is ergonomically designed and offers decent tactile feedback while navigating around the UI. It also gets the motion based control with a feature called ‘Air Mode.’ You can wave the remote in the air to control the on-screen pointer; however, it still needs some fine tuning as I found it to be ultra-responsive. It has a tendency to detect the slightest of motion which makes navigating a tad cumbersome.
However, you can’t stress the Evo 2’s hardware beyond a certain point. Sluggishness starts creeping in if you’re a bit too demanding on the device. Also, the initial setup process is a bit of a hassle, as entering texts via the on-screen keyboard using the bundled remote is quite a pain.
That said, given the relatively economical price point, the Amkette Evo TV 2 gets the job done and is well equipped to handle modern streaming services and full HD videos.
Android and Apps Galore
Here comes the cream of the crop – access to apps galore you get with the Amkette Evo TV2. Thanks to Android 4.4 KitKat onboard, you have the PlayStore at your fingertips. Besides, Amkette has also added its own Evo TV 2 store further expanding your options. It also comes pre-loaded with popular on-demand video streaming services such as Netflix, Hotstar, Saavn, and YouTube.
Apps open fairly quickly. I played a few videos on YouTube and was impressed to see the resolution scaled up to the TV display. Video quality seemed much better and smoother compared to watching YouTube videos my PlayStation 4. Though, it is quite a task to navigate around the YouTube menu with the bundled remote.
The grid based home screen layout is easy on the eye offering hassle free navigation. It’s very similar to the tile-based layout of the Windows OS, which can be customized as per your preference.
Good build quality
Compact and Lightweight
Connectivity options aplenty
Outdated Android 4.4 KitKat
Bundled remote is a tad irritating
Priced at Rs. 6,499, the Amkette Evo TV 2 is an excellent way to upgrade your simple HDTV. Moreover, it’s a great alternative for users who don’t have the money to spill on a full-fledged SmartTV. The device offers a plethora of connectivity options, an ocean of apps at your disposal, and sufficient hardware to run popular streaming services along with audio and video formats.
Using the bundled remote control can be a turn-off for some, it takes quite a while getting used to and seems a bit erratic. For the asking price, however, the Amkette Evo TV 2 gives you all the tools you’re looking for in an affordable entertainment box.