Cord cutting is becoming more and more popular, and there are a number of devices out there that can stream content from local and online sources. Our PROBOX2 EX+ review takes a look at an Android 5.1 media player with an optional enhanced remote that allows you to stream media from various sources. Read on to find out why it earned a spot as one of our Top Picks of 2016.
- CPU: Amlogic S812 Quad Core Cortex A9 CPU, up to 2Ghz
- GPU: Octo Core Mali-450 GPU, up to 600Mhz
- Memory/Storage: 2GB DDR3 / 16GB eMMC
- Wireless Connectivity: 802.11ac Dual Band WIFI (2.4Ghz / 5.8Ghz), Bluetooth 4.0
- OS: Android Lollipop 5.1
- Video Output: HDMI 1.4b, up to 4K @ 30fps, Support HDMI-CEC
- Audio Output: Via HDMI 1.4b, optical SPDIF
- Power: DC 5V 2A adapter (CE, FCC, CCC Certified)
- Peripheral Interface: RJ-45 Ethernet Port (10/100/1000Mbps), USB 2.0 Port x 2, OTG Port, TF Card Reader, AV Port, IR Sensor (Remote included)
- Dimensions/Weight: 115mm * 115mm * 26mm / 200g
What’s in the Box
- 1x PROBOX2 EX+
- 1x Power Adapter
- 1x IR Remote
- 1x Dual-Band Antenna
- 1x AV Cable
- 1x HDMI v1.4b Cable
- 1x USB Cable
- 1x User Manual
The Probox2 EX+ Android 5.1 media player features a pretty low key and compact design. The box itself is roughly 4.5″ square, and about an inch thick. The top of the box has the Probox2 logo and a power button in the lower right corner. The left side of the box contains a connector for the included dual-band wireless antenna. On the back of the Probox2 EX+ you’ll find the power port, an AV port, Ethernet port, HDMI port. and SPDIF port.
Finally, the right side of the device houses the microSD card slot, 2x USB 2.0 ports, and an OTG port.
Even with the antenna attached, it’s a nice compact design and is pretty non-descript when placed with your other AV equipment.
The included remote is pretty standard and includes power, mute, media, music, web, app, skip, home, return, menu, mouse cursor, and number buttons as well as a navigation wheel and OK button. Our review sample came with the Remote+, which I much preferred to the standard included remote. The Remote+ is slightly smaller, and is a unique tailor-made media remote controller with Air mouse function, Gyroscope, Gaming pad, built-in microphone and directional pad for easy navigation in media applications like the Kodi. The remote includes the standard power, menu, home, back, and volume buttons, as well as a mouse cursor/gamepad toggle, directional pad, and four gaming buttons labelled A, B, Y, and X.
Ease of Use
The PROBOX2 EX+ really is simple to use. Simply attach the antenna if you are planning on using a wireless connection, or plug in an Ethernet cable if you are going to be using it with a wired connection. Connect the HDMI and SPDIF cable as required, and finally plug it in.
Once you’ve booted up for the first time head over to the More tab on the main screen and hit the settings option to set your network, date & time, language, and more. If you’re using the Remote+, plug the included USB receiver into one of the USB slots on the side of the PROBOX2 EX+.
I’m assuming your primary use will be for video streaming, so once you have an internet connection, launch the media player to access Kodi. In this case it’s Kodi Isengard. The only thing I had to do was to install Exodus as it didn’t come pre-installed and I was good to go.
Using the Remote+ made navigating the interface and Kodi a breeze, especially when used with the mouse cursor option. You can also use a USB keyboard or mouse with the PROBOX2 EX+ as well if you choose.
The interface on the PROBOX2 EX+ is nice and clean, and is a nice overlay on the Android 5.1 operating system. The Home menu has large tiles for Movies, TV Shows, Music, Games, Media Center (Kodi 15.2 Isengard), Internet, File Browser, and the Google Play Store (labelled as Market in the app). The first four are basically shortcuts to apps that you can set for each category.
There is also a More tab which include favorites, photos, streaming, social, a task killer, and settings options. Finally, there is an All Apps tab which allows you to access all the installed apps on the system. The top of the interface displays your location, temperature, date, time, and Wi-Fi signal depending on what you’ve set up.
Kodi is the streaming media player of choice, and it came pretty much ready to go. As I previously mentioned, the only thing I had to do was install Exodus and I was good to go.
The PROBOX2 EX+ performed very well. Movies and TV shows streamed as expected from Exodus, and local and network storage streaming worked great as well. I also tested out some Google Play music streaming and Netflix, both with no issues. Most of my streaming was done over Wi-Fi and it was fast enough to keep up with the video and there was no stuttering during my use of the box.
You can also install games if you wish on the box, I tested out some Jetpack Joyride and it played fine using the Remote+ as the controller. I’m not sure I’d want to play anything more than simple games, but the option is there and it seemed to play just fine.
Most of my use of the PROBOX2 EX+ was done on a 1080p projector, but I did have a chance to use it with a 4K monitor and it streamed 4K video content just fine as well.
Priced at $99.99USD, the PROBOX2 EX+ is a great value considering its easy setup and use. For an extra $20 you can get it bundled with the PROBOX2 Remote+, and I’d recommend that just for easier use of navigation and control of the system.
If you’re looking for a streaming device to stream local and online content, you should definitely pick up a PROBOX2 EX+ Android 5.1 Extreme Media Player with the Remote+. Priced right and easy to use, this was an easy addition to our Top Picks of 2016.