Beelink is one of the most well down companies when it comes to media players that are both very affordable and high quality. They are known for packing some very decent hardware specs into their machines whilst still managing to keep the cost very low. Beelink looks as though they intend to keep delivering on their previous offerings with the release of their latest media player, the Beelink GT1 Amlogic S912 Android media player. The Beelink GT1 is one of the first media players on the market to support Android 6.0. Does the Beelink GT1 live up to our expectations? Let’s take a look in out Beelink GT1 review.
Beelink GT1 Review – What’s in the Box?
As is common with Android boxes, the Beelink GT1 was shipped using the standard brown shipping cardboard boxes that we are used to seeing. The GT1 was securely packaged in the shipping box and there were no real issues of damage during transport. Opening the shipping box I was greeted by the product packaging of the Beelink Android box. Beelink has opted for a nice textured black cardboard packaging for the GT1 which has the company name and slogan printed on the front. On the read of the packaging is where there are some specifications printed as well as the Beelink logo and power adapter specs. I think the packaging looks great with its clean and minimalist approach.
Opening the GT1 packaging I found the following contents within:
- Beelink GT1 device
- HDMI cable
- IR remote control
- Power adapter
The GT1 – A Great Looking Android Box
When it comes to the design of the GT1 Beelink has followed a similar trend to the packaging by keeping the GT1 to a nice and simple design. The box is square like other Android boxes and is quite small, the device however feels much more sturdy than a lot of the other media players out there. The box definitely feels more premium than others on the market today.
The Beelink GT1 is constructed of a high quality black and grey plastic with ports located around the sides of the box. On top of the box there is a pattern similar to that of carbon which looks nice with the Beelink logo printed on top.
The Ins and Outs of it
The Beelink GT1 comes with all of the ports that you should require in order to hook it up to your home entertainment setup. On the right side of the device you will find USB and Micro SD ports. Flipping the device to its rear you will find optical audio, Ethernet, HMDI, another USB port and power adapter. It would have been great to see an extra USB port if possible but I am sure 2 ports should be enough for most people.
The Beelink GT1 Remote Control
The Beelink GT1 comes with an IR remote control that looks substantially better than the IR remotes that other companies are shipping with their boxes. The GT1 remote control looks much more premium and fits very comfortable in the palm of your hand.
The remote control comes with all of the buttons that you should need to be able to fully interact with the GT1 including power, home, mouse click, navigational control pad, OK button, back, menu, volume up, volume down and mute.
The remote control is powered by 2x AAA batteries which is not included in the box.
Although the remote control is goodI still highly recommend using a 3rd party remote control such as the Rii i25 Mini.
- OS: Android 6.0
- CPU: Amlogic S912 Octa Core ARM Cortex-A53 CPU up to 2GHz(DVFS)
- GPU: ARM Mali-T820MP3 GPU up to 750MHz(DVFS)
- RAM: DDR3 2GB
- ROM: Onboard eMMC Flash 16GB
- Connectivity: 1000Mbps LAN; WIFI: IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n/ac，2.4G+5.8G
- Bluetooth: BT 4.0
- USB: 2x USB 2.0 ports
- Expand Memory: Micro SD Card (Maximum support 32GB)
- Language: Multi -language
- Power Supply – 5V/2A
Initial Setup, Dashboard and Using it
The Beelink BT1 design looks nice and simple and thankfully the setup process is also very simple. In order to setup the Android box you simply need to connect the HDMI cable and plug in the power adapter which will then start the boot process. The boot time was approximately 21 seconds after which we were taken to the Beelink launcher.
Once the device has booted up you are able to configure any settings you would like via the settings menu such as internet connection, display etc. I am using an Ethernet connection which did not require and setup on the GT1 in order to get it connected and working.
The GT1 comes with the new Beelink Android 6.0 launcher which looks great. The launcher is very easy to navigate and looks great when displayed on a large TV.
At the top left of the launcher you will find your common time and weather widget with the shortcut to the custom Kodi installed located to the right hand side. Kodi came pre-loaded with all of the addons you could possibly need in order to stream media content online.
Underneath the Kodi shortcut you have the shortcuts to the web browser and Google Play store. I found no issues whatsoever when using the Google Play store and everything worked as expected.
On the bottom of the launcher there is the shortcut to cleanup system resources which is a great bit of functionality should you ever find the box running slow. There is the shortcut to the installed applications screen, file browser and settings menu.
On the far right of the launcher you will find the “My Favorite” widget which allows you to add and remove shortcuts to any applications that you use regularly.
I noticed no lag or freezing issues with using the Beelink launcher and I was able to navigate between screens and applications with ease.
Beelink GT1 OTA Updates
The Beelink GT1 supports OTA updates which is great. In order to update Android boxes you generally need to load the latest firmware on an SD card or USB and then manually flash the latest update. The issue with this is that its time consuming and there is always a chance you can brick the device.
With OTA updates you can simply click the check for updates button and if there is an update simply hit the download and install button and the GT1 will take care of the rest.
For media play back I used Kodi which is what I use for all of my media playback on my different media players. Kodi is available on the Google Play store for free.
Launching the Kodi app was trouble free and I did not notice any issues such as lag or stuttering. Navigating around the Kodi app was a smooth experience and media playback was great.
I ran AnTuTu Video Tester to determine media playback compatibility where it scored 864.
Running the Geekbench3 benchmarking app the Beelink GT1 achieved a Single-Core score of 645 and a Multi-Core score of 2,779.
Testing the device with Vellamo saw the device receive a Metal score of 726, Multicore score of 1,500 and Navegad score of 2,614.
Finally the GT1 scored 37,801 in the Antutu Benchmark test.
The Beelink GT1 is connected to my home network via an Ethernet cable and my internet connection is running on 100mb Fibre. Network performance on the GT1 provided stable speeds both up and down which will allowed me to enjoy buffer free streaming. I received stable speeds for download of 87.32 Mbps and upload of 5.64 Mbps.
Where to Buy
If you are interested in purchasing the Beelink GT1 for $66.97 over at Amazon.