Entertainment plays an incredibly large part in our lives, from crying with laughter at the latest comedy, jumping in fright at the scariest of slasher friends with friends to enjoying the beautiful art of a Pixar movie with your kids. With the technological improvements that are being made every day, such as faster internet speeds, people have a wealth of choices on how they want to access their media content. Some people choose to stream their content online whilst other like to build a collection of locally saved movies and TV shows that they can access at any time without the need of an internet connection. This is where Zappiti steps in, offering fantastic hardware solutions that work for everyone.
Zappiti is one of the most well known media player manufacturers in the market today. They are known for creating some of the most high quality and feature rich players out there that provide users with pretty much all the functionality they could need. Today we are taking a look at the Zappiti Mini 4K HDR player to see how well it stands up against the competition.
Let’s jump in and take a look at the Zappiti Mini 4K HDR.
Zappiti Mini 4K HDR Review – What’s in the Box?
The Zappiti Mini 4K HDR comes packaged in a medium sized matte white cardboard box. On the front of the box it shows the Zappiti Mini 4K HD logo along with a photo of the media player itself.
Turning to the sides of the box you will find the Zappiti Mini 4K HD logo printed again along with the serial number and MAC addresses, an image of the media player dashboard as well as a series of icons the showcase some of the main features of the media player.
Opening the box the media player is safely packaged, keeping it safe from damage during transit. The box also includes:
Various power adapter connectors for different country outlets
SATA cable connection
It was a welcome sight to see that Zappiti included an HDMI cable and Ethernet cable as most manufacturers do not include these with their media players.
The Zappiti Mini 4K HDR – Packed Full of Options
Now that we have taken a look at the packaging and the contents of the box, let’s take a closer look at the Zappiti Mini 4K HDR itself.
The media player is extremely well constructed and feels very high quality. The metal construction looks fantastic and is nice and sturdy. At the front of the Zappiti Mini 4K HDR there is the Zappiti Mini 4K HDR logo printed to the left and in the middle there is a display which showcases the Z logo lit up when the unit is powered on.
Turning to the left side of the media player there is a USB 3.0 port and SD/MMC memory card slot, allowing you to connect external media. There are ventilation slots cut into the sides of the unit to allow air to flow freely, keeping the device nice and cool during use.
On the right side of the media player there is the SATA connection as well as 2x USB 2.0 ports, also allowing for external devices to be connected.
Looking at the rear of the unit you will find all of the remaining ports. There is the power switch, power adapter connection, IR input, Ethernet LAN, HDMI 2 Output, HDMI 2 Input, AV, Optical and 2x Wifi antenna.
Flipping the Zappiti Mini 4K HDR over to its underside there is a sticker which displays the MAC address, Zappiti Token and Serial number. There are also mounting holes so that you can mount the media player to your wall or rear of the television.
The Zappiti Mini 4K HDR really does give you everything that you need as well as a heck of a lot more. There are not many other media players available today that give you this many options.
Zappiti MagicPixel v2
One of the best features available on the Zappiti Mini 4K HDR is that of MagicPixel. Rather than having to use outboard video processors which cost a fortune Zappiti has instead implemented their solution in the Zappiti MacixPixel version 2. MagicPixel delivers fantastic video quality by improving the dynamics, colorimetry accuracy, contrast and deinterlacing of your video content. MagicPixel handles video up scaling up to 4k resolution which ensures that you get the best video quality possible whether you are watching on a standard 1080P TV, 4k TV or projector.
Ultra HD 4k
Another key features of the Zappiti Mini 4K HDR is the inclusion of 4K video support. With the price of 4K capable TV dropping significantly in recent months 4K viewing has never been more affordable. The Zappiti supports 4K HDR, ensuring that you get the best video you can on your TV. The media player is capable of upscaling your video content to 3840×2160 giving you ultra HD quality.
Zappiti Media Center and Zappiti Cloud
Now we are getting into the heart of the Zappiti Mini 4K HDR, the media center. The Zappiti Media Center is one of the most well laid out and designed media centers out there. Think Kodi but with everything pretty much setup and ready to go with full remote control support.
The Zappiti Media Center is available across the Zappiti product range and is the primary place that users will spend most of their time. This is where you access your media content and sit back and relax. Similar to Kodi and Plex, the Zappiti Media Center utilises Covers when browsing your video content which presents with cover art of the movie of TV show that you have selected. This gives you a very nice way of navigating your content as it is much more visually pleasing than reading a simple list with movie names and it also provides a much faster browsing experience as you can quickly see what is in your library. Meta Data for your video content is scraped from the Zappiti servers once you connect your device to your Zappiti account.
Zappiti boasts having the biggest movie database of any media player company in the world with around 1,200,000 titles. This ever expanding database is what is responsible for giving you all of the meta data that you need for your media library.
When it comes to the artwork posters no one else does it quite like Zappiti does. Every single artwork poster is cleaned up and designed by the Zappiti team which ensures that the posters are always of exceptional quality and correct. The team adds more than 100 posters each week to the database. Now that is what I call dedication.
Aside from allowing you to scrape meta data for your content the Zappiti Media Center and Zappiti Cloud work together to sync your data across multiple Zappiti devices.
The Media Center GUI is fantastic. The visual design of the GUI is a pleasure to use and is very intuitive thanks to its use of subtle animations and special effects when navigating the UI. When you select a movie or TV show that you would like to watch you will see the movie or TV show synopsis, duration, rating, director, actors, languages, subtitles and specifications of the video file itself.
Are you wanting to watch a movie that requires subtitles? Well now you no longer have to go online and try and find the correct subtitle file to download as the Zappiti Media Center will automatically download any required subtitle files for you.
One of the features that we love about the Zappiti Media Center is the ability to watch trailers for your video content directly from the media player itself. The problem with having a large library of content is that it is easy to forget what a particular movie may be about. With Zappiti Trailer you can watch the trailer for the movie to refresh your memory.
Do you watch movies in different rooms of your house and want a simple solution to be able to access your content? Well it seems that Zappiti has got you covered with this as well thanks to the inclusion of Zappiti Share.
Zappiti Share provides a simple solution to allow you to use the Zappiti Mini 4K HDR media player as a server in order to distribute your media library stored on internal or external hard drives to other Zappiti media players that you may have around the house.
You may ask yourself why this is so good, well the answer is pretty simple. It basically means that you can watch your video in full native playback on the other devices without recompression of the video stream at all, giving you buttery smooth playback no matter what room you are in. The Zappiti Share function is not just limited to video files, you can also share other media types such as your photo library and favourite music.
Android Operating System
The Zappiti Mini 4K HDR media player comes equipped with the Android operating system. This was an absolute pleasure to see included as often times when a company uses their own proprietary software they include their own operating system which is generally not that great. With the inclusion of the Android OS you are able to download any apps that you like from the Play Store in order to get the most that you can out of the media player. Want to install Kodi, Netflix or Hulu? Go for it!
When it comes to the remote control we can easily say that the remote control that is bundled with the Zappiti player is hands down the best remote that we have seen from any of the media players we have reviewed. The remote control is a nice size that contours to the hand and isn’t too small or too big. The control should feel comfortable for everyone regardless of their hand size.
One of the things that the Zappiti remote control has over other controls is that is it backlit which means that when you are watching the latest movie in the dark you can still see the buttons on the remote control without having to get up and turn the light on. I honestly do not know why most other remote controls are not backlit, it actually boggles my mind.
The control contains shortcuts to all of the Zappiti functions that you should need for the media player. The power button is located at the top of the control to allow you to turn the media player on and off without having to get up and flick a switch on the box. There are shortcuts to the Zappiti Media Center, Zappiti Explorer, settings, video chapters, firmware updates, HDMI recording, volume control and a whole host of other options.
Another key feature of the remote control is the learning function which allows you to map the functions of other remote controls and devices to your Zappiti remote control. Let us say that you want to be able to turn on your TV and receiver with the Zappiti remote control so that you don’t need to use 3 different remote controls. Well, with the IR learning functions that’s not a problem at all, simply map the buttons of the TV and Receiver remote controls to the Zappiti remote and your good to go.
Let us say it once gain just for the record, the remote kicks ass.
Zappiti Media Control App
Now, the remote control that is included with the Zappiti player is great as we discussed, but there is another awesome way in which you can browse your media which makes flicking through your huge catalogue of movies a breeze, and that is the Zappiti Media Control App.
The Zappiti Media Control app works on both tablets and smartphones for iOS and Android and it really does make browsing your media library simple. Simple download the app to your preferred device, fire it up and connect it to your Zappiti Mini 4K HDR media player. Once connected you are given the control of the Zappiti player at your fingertips.
The Zappiti Media Control App allows you to brwose your content library like you would normally do using the remote however the app does make it easier and more natural. The app provides you with the common media library controls that you need including the ability control playback, change posters, edit settings and parental controls etc.
If there is one thing that Zappiti does give you, it’s a wide range of options on how you can control your media.
ARM® Cortex® CA53 x4 (Quad Core).
Mali™-T820 MP3 (3 Core) (equivalent to an Octa-core Mali 450) – DirectX 11.1, OpenGLES 3.1, OpenGL 1.2, FP, ASTC, Renderscript. 4x Multi-Sampling Anti-Aliasing (MSAA).
Video and Audio DSP with hardware acceleration. Native hardware 10-bit YUV support. Hardware performance optimizations for Zappiti UI.
1 MB L2.
2 GB DDR3.
8 GB (5.0).
HDMI 2.0a (TX/RX, CEC, Deep Color, 12 bits, xvYCC, MHL 3.0), 2x USB 2.0, 1x USB 3.0, audio / video analog output (both analog and digital outputs are active at the same time), S/PDIF optical digital audio output (Toslink), LAN Gigabit (10/100/1000 Mb/s), Wi-Fi 5G, SD / MMC card reader, AC connector, AC button On/Off (at the back), LED display on front panel controlled with RC.
Easily and quickly connect external SATA HDD (up to 16 TB pre formated HDD) to the Zappiti Mini 4K HDR with fast connexion (up to 6 Gbit/s in SATA III).
External HDD (USB), USB devices (USB flash drive, USB card reader, etc), built-in SD card reader (SD/SDHC/MMC), PC and NAS in local network (SMB, UPnP, HTTP), other Internet and local network media sources. External multi-bay USB storage enclosures supported.
Connect a computer mouse and keyboard to browse Internet as on a computer.
Full support of DLNA standard (1.5 or 2.0).
Zappiti Share, OpenWRT
HEVC, H.265, x265 (up to 60p in 4K), MVC, AVC, MPEG-2, MPEG-4, VC-1, H.264/x.264 (up to Full HD 60p and 4K 24p), FLV, AVS, XVID, DIVX (from version 4), Sorenson Spark L70, VP9 HW (up to 4K 60p) ; ultra high bitrate support (jusqu’à 350 Mbit/s in HEVC 4K).
Output video in any resolution and format from SD to 1080p, Ultra HD (3840×2160) and 4K (4096×2160). Up to 4K 60p. Display your movies in true 24p (23,976 Hz ouput).
AC3, DTS MPEG, MP3, AAC, LPCM, ALAC, APE, M4A, AIFF, WAV, VSELP, FLAC, Ogg/Vorbis; lossless and audiophiles formats support (up to 192 kHz / 32-bit).
Audio playback functions:
Album cover / artist / category thumbnail support (folder.jpg), folder playback, random (shuffle), repeat playlist, repeat title. Musical slideshow for live concerts. Display the internal pages of album booklet or the back cover.
Multichannel home cinema audio:
Bitstream, downmix stereo (DTS, DTS-HD MA, DTS-HD HRA, DTS:X, Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital EX, Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby TrueHD, Dolby Atmos). Warning! In SPDIF output, multichanel HD audio formats are donwmixed in stereo. Only HDMI can support HD audio formats such as Dolby TrueHD or DTS-HD.
Install and enjoy additional apps via GooglePlay. Warning! Some Android apps are not suitable for use with the remote control. In this case, use a connected computer mouse or an AirMouse (not supplied).
Mirroring audio / photo / video:
Mirroring your Android or iOS device’s display and sound on your TV, showing off photos from a recent trip, or listening your favorite songs.
Special optimisation of the network, guaranteeing better performances of the local network playback no matter which type of media thanks to SMB protocol (HEVC UHD files included) via Gigabit Ethernet or Ethernet 10/100.
Integrate seamlessly into smart home installations via ready-to-use Control4 driver, RTI driver Crestron IP codes, Logitech, Pronto, and general IP codes. Power ON and Power OFF discrete codes.
Using the Zappiti Mini 4K HDR media player is very straight forward. Simply connect the media player to your TV using the provided HDMI cable, connect the power adapter and fire it up.
Once you turn on the media player you will be presented with the Zappiti dashboard. On the dashboard you are able to access the device settings as well as the Task Killer which will close all running tasks in order to free up system memory.
From the dashboard you are able to select the Zappiti Media Center, Zappiti Explorer and My Apps shortcuts. Selecting the Zappiti button will fire up the Zappiti Media Center, the Explorer button will load the Zappiti Explorer which is pretty much a media browser and My Apps will take you to any of the apps that you currently have installed.
When you fire up the Zappiti Media Center you will be required to enter the Zappiti Token that is located on the underside of the media player and also create a Zappiti account. This links your device with your online account which allows the media player to scrape meta data from the Zappiti servers.
The UI was very easy to navigate and there were no issues of lag or freezing experienced whilst browsing around.
Zappiti Mini 4K HDR OTA Updates
The Zappiti Mini 4K HDR supports OTA updates which is great. In order to update media players 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 Zappiti will take care of the rest.
The Zappiti Mini 4K HDR scored an Antutu Video score of 867.
In regards to video file playback it is important to mention that the Zappiti Mini 4K HDR is capable of smooth playback of 4K HEVC video content up to 400 Mbps as well as being able to playback Blu-ray 4K ISO files.
Running the Geekbench benchmarking app the Zappiti achieved a score of 582 and a Multi-Core score of 1,596
Finally the media player scored 40,790 in the Antutu Benchmark test.
The Zappiti Mini 4K HDR is connected to the network via an Ethernet cable and my internet connection is running on 100mb Fibre. Network performance on the Zappiti provided stable speeds both up and down which will allowed buffer free streaming. It received stable speeds for download of 87.25 Mbps and upload of 5.37 Mbps.
The Zappiti Mini 4K HDR is a fantastic media player that has an exceptional build quality to it. The device comes with all of the connections that you could possibly need and is very simple to setup. The GUI is intuitive and well thought out, allowing the user to be able to access their content quickly and easily. The Zappiti MEdia Center clearly has had a lot of thought put into its design and is a great alternative to Kodi and Plex as it does not require as much setup and tweaking as they do. It would have been nice if you were not required to have to create and account and link your media player in order to make use of the Media Center however we do understand why it is required. The media player is not the cheapest on the market currently sitting at $450AUD, however if you are serious about your entertainment and have the cash to burn then the Zappiti Mini 4K HDR media player may just well be worth your time and money.
There is one thing that is clear however and that is that the Zappiti Mini 4K HDR is not just another Android box. It doesn’t pretend to be the same as other boxes on the market and the reason they are using the Android operating system is so that the user has more options available to them with the device. The Zappiti Mini 4K HDR is an outright killer media player, not an Android box that has poorly developed apps built in or re-skins of existing apps.
The Zappiti media player is intended for those that want a seriously high quality media player that is both simple to use and feature rich.
Where to Buy
If you are in the market for a new media player and the Zappiti Mini 4K HDR looks like the one for you then you can pick one up for $450AUD over at the Zappiti store.
The Zappiti Mini 4K HDR media player packs a serious punch and handles pretty much everything you can throw at it. It is intended to be the ultimate media player and it comes damn close. If you have the budget you should have the Zappiti in your home.