A little while ago we reviewed the entry level Probox2 Z Android media player from Probox2 which proved to be a good little Android box with a great price tag. The Probox2 Z was able to handle most of the things we threw at it with in an acceptable manner however it would have been nice if the device had a bit more grunt to it. This is where the beefier Probox2 EX+ Android media player comes in. Packing higher specs and double the RAM the Probox2 EX+ looks great on paper, but how well does it actually perform? Let’s jump in and take a look with our Probox2 EX+ review.

Probox2 EX+ What’s in the Box?

When I received the Probox2 EX+ media player in the post the first thing I noticed was that the packaging was larger than that of the Probox2 Z. The same design trends have been carried over to the packaging of the Probox2 EX+ with the nice use of matte black and minimal visuals on the box which I like. The packaging was sturdy and I couldn’t feel any items rattling around inside the box.

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Opening the box I found that all of the contents were securely packaged, of which there was the following:

  • PROBOX2 EX+ Android Box
  • Power Adapter
  • IR Remote
  • Dual-Band Antenna
  • AV Cable
  • HDMI v1.4b Cable
  • USB Cable
  • User Manual

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The Product

The Probox2 EX+ – Similar Look, Which isn’t a Bad Thing

The Probox2 EX+ comes has the familiar design that we have come to expect from Android boxes today. Like the previous Probox2 Z the EX+ is made of solid plastic construction and has a nice matte black finish. The power button is located on the bottom right corner of the top of the device and is a nice recessed oval. There is a reason that Android boxes generally follow a similar design to each other and that is so that the device can sit nicely with your home theatre setup and no look out of place.

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The Ins and Outs of it

The Probox2 EX+ comes with a range of input and outputs which a located around the device. On the top of the media player you will find the Probox2 logo as well as the recessed oval power button. The front of the EX+ houses the IR sensor for the remote control.

Turning to the left side of the Probox2 EX+ you will find the WiFi antenna connection for the removable WiFi antenna.

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To the right of the android box you will see the micro SD slot, micro USB OTG and 2x USB ports.

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Flipping to the rear of the Probox2 EX+ is where you find the power input, composite video output, Ethernet, HDMI output and optical audio output.

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All of the input and outputs were securely housed and components were easy to connect and disconnect.

The Probox2 EX+ Remote Control

As is common with most Android boxes today the Probox2 EX+ comes with an included IR remote control which has your common android functions, navigation and media playback controls. The remote control is an IR remote control which means that you are required to maintain a direct line of sight with the box in order to use it.

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As always I recommend that if possible you use a 3rd party remote control in order to make full use of the Android box and get the best experience. I highly recommend the Probox2 Remote+ control (we shall have a review up this week) or the Rii Mini i25 remote control.

Specifications

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)

Interface            

  • RJ-45 Ethernet Port (10/100/1000Mbps)
  • USB 2.0 Port x 2
  • OTG Port
  • TF Card Reader
  • AV Port
  • IR Sensor

Using It

Initial Setup, Dashboard and Using it

Setting up the Probox2 EX+ Android box was simple and straight forward. It was a matter of simply plugging in the provided power adapter, connecting a HDMI and Ethernet cable, plugging in to the TV and turning it on. Once pressing the power button the boot time took around 30 seconds. Once the device has finished booting you are taken to the dashboard.

The dashboard of the Probox2 EX+ plus is similar to the grid based layout of the Probox2 Z which I think is a good move. The dashboard makes use of a tab system that allows you to click through to different screens on the dashboard.

The main view is the Home tab view where you will find a folder like structure. Selecting one of these folders will load apps that relate to your selection, for example selecting the Movies item will show you apps that relate to watching movies, the same thing happens for the TV Shows, Music and Games items. You can add additional app shortcuts inside each of the folders.

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There is a shortcut for the installed Kodi media player app as well as the internet browser, file browser and Google Play Store.

Under the More tab you will find a similar setup to the home screen where it provides additional options for Favorites, Photos, Streaming, Social, Task Killer (great for speeding the device up) and settings.

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Finally the All Apps tab will show you all of the apps you have installed, similar to your standard Android experience.

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Probox2 EX+ OTA Updates

The Probox2 EX+ support OTA updates which I am very thankful for. 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 slick the check for updates button and if there is an update simply hit the download and install button and the Probox2 EX+ will take care of the rest.

Media Playback

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 1020.

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Putting the Probox2 EX+ through the Antutu Benchmark test saw the device score 39926.

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Running the Geekbench3 benchmarking app the Probox2 EX+ achieved a Single-Core score of 537 and a Multi-Score score of 1493.

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Testing the device with Vellamo saw the device receive a Metal score of 878.

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3DMark IceStorm Extreme test scored 5978.

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Network Performance

The Probox2 EX+ is connected to my home network via an Ethernet cable and my internet connection is running on 100mb Fibre. Network performance on the Probox2 EX+ provided stable speeds both up and down which will allowed me to enjoy buffer free streaming. I received stable speeds for download of 83.68 Mbps and upload of 6.45 Mbps.

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Probox2 EX+ Review
When comparing the Probox2 Z with the Probox2 EX+ you can see that there is a clear difference in performance between the 2. Probox2 has made all the right spec upgrades to make the Probox2 EX+ a great Android box. I found no issues whilst using the media player, Google Play worked fine and there were no issues with installing apps. The apps were snappy and there was no noticeable lag. At a price tag of only $99 is a great purchase that I can happily recommend to anyone looking to purchase an Android box.
Design
Features
Performance
Usability
Value
4.0Overall Score

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