There are many Android media player companies to choose from nowadays all offering products with varying specs and price brackets that it makes it difficult to know which Android box to purchase. Ideally you want to find something that hits the sweet spot between decent specifications, affordability and great support. This can be a somewhat tricky thing to find, Probox2 however aims to fill that gap with their affordable Android box, the Probox2 Z. Does the Probox2 Z fill this requirement? Let’s find out in our Probox2 Z review.
Probox2 Z – What’s in the Box?
The Probox2 ships in a nice medium sized box with a nice mate black finish to it. Upon opening the box I found that all the box contents were securely packaged to ensure that they are not moving around the box whilst being transported.
Inside the box you will find:
- Probox2 Z Android Media Player
- HDMI Cable
- IR Remote Control
- Power Adapter
- Instruction Manual
A Sleek and Minimal Design
When it comes to product design Probox2 has taken a nice approach to the design of the Probox2 Z. The media player is nicely sized coming in at around the size of a Roku or Apple TV box however it is noticeably thinner than those 2 devices. The small footprint of the device means that you can fit it just about anywhere you want to put it such as inside your home theatre cabinet or behind the TV itself.
The device comes in a matte black finish which is really nice. This matte black finish means the device will not look out of place when placed alongside your valued home theatre setup at home. The Probox2 Z also handles fingerprints well with no fingerprints showing during my time handling it.
On the rear and side of the Probox2 Z you find all of the input and output options which a built nicely into the housing ensuring that all ports are flush with the device.
The Ins and Outs of it
The front of the Probox2 Z has a nice minimalist look to it with only the power light being displayed. I think this is a nice touch as so many media players today have awful looking power buttons and logos stamped on the front of them.
On the side of the media player you will find the TF card reader and 1x USB port which can be used to expand storage and connect any USB devices.
Turning to the rear of the Probox2 Z is where you will find the remaining inputs and outputs located. This includes an SPDIF output, Ethernet, HDMI, USB and power input.
The Probox2 Z IR Remote Control
The Probox2 Z comes with an included IR remote control that is pretty much stock standard. Like most other IR remote controls being provided with Android boxes it comes with your standard android function buttons and media playback controls.
As this is an IR remote control you need to maintain a direct line of site between the remote control and the media player. I would have loved to have seen a Bluetooth remote included as a standard in the box as this would have made controlling the Probox2 much easier.
As IR remote controls go it does what it is intended to do and it does a good job of it.
- Amlogic S905 Quad Core 64-Bit Cortex A53 CPU, up to 2Ghz
- Penta Core Mali-450 GPU, up to 600Mhz
- 1GB DDR3
- 8GB eMMC
- 11n WIFI
- Bluetooth 4.0
- RJ-45 Ethernet Port (10/100/1000Mbps)
- Android Lollipop 5.1
- HDMI 2.0, up to 4K @ 60fps
- Support HDMI-CEC
- Via HDMI 2.0,
- optical SPDIF
- DC 5V 2A adapter (CE, FCC, CCC Certified)
- USB 2.0 Port x 2
- TF Card Reader, IR Sensor
- 110mm x 110mm x 17.5mm / 185g
Initial Setup and the Dashboard
Setup of the Probox2 Z was as easy as pie, simply plug the media player in, connect it to your TV and power it on. Upon starting the Probox2 Z I found the boot time took around 23 seconds from start up to being taken to the dashboard.
Once the device has booted you are taken to the dashboard. The dashboard interface provided by Probox2 is a nice change from the usual metro style launchers that we are used to seeing, instead Probox2 has gone for a nice grid based layout that is easy to navigate.
At the top of the dashboard you will find 3 tabs, Home, More and All Apps. Selecting one of these tabs will change the view that you are seeing.
The main view is the Home tab view where you will find your most commonly used shortcuts. 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.
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 additional options for Favorites, Photos, Streaming, Social, Task Killer (great for speeding the device up) and settings.
Finally the All Apps tab will show you all of the apps you have installed, similar to your standard Android experience.
Once thing that I did like was the settings menu which is the same as what you see on the Android TV OS such as on the Nvidia Shield TV. I love the look of this settings menu and I find it very easy to use.
I did notice some lag every now and then whilst browsing between apps due to the 1GB installed in the device. I was using mouse and keyboard for navigating.
Probox2, Keeping You up to Date
When it comes to updating the Probox2 Z the process could not be easier. Thankfully Probox2 have incorporated OTA updates which allows you to easily update the device using the updater app on the device. Simply load the update, hit update and it will automatically download the latest firmware update and apply it for you.
You can also manually update the Probox2 Z firmware should you want to. You can find a step by step guide on how to do this over at the Probox2 support page.
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 Kodi was a smooth experience and during my time using Kodi on the Probox2 Z I noticed no speed issues or bugs. Animations were smooth, navigation seamless and fluid and performance was great.
I ran AnTuTu Video Tester to determine media playback compatibility where it scored 923:
Running the Geekbench3 benchmarking app the Probox2 Z achieved a Single-Core score of 620 and a Multi-Score score of 1795.
Testing the device with Vellamo saw the device receive a Metal score of 863.
The Probox2 Z is connected to my home network via an Ethernet cable and my internet connection is running on 100mb Fibre. Network performance on the Probox2 Z showed good stable speeds for download of 72.55 Mbps and upload of 6.29 Mbps which ensured smooth media playback when streaming.
Where to Buy
Head on over to the Probox2 Z product page where you can find links to buy the Probox2 Z Android media player.