HiMedia’s Q10 pro is not your average Android TV box with limited capabilities, there is hardly any feature that you cannot find on this bulky beast. Having been testing it for a while now, we feel it is a complete package for any AV enthusiast as it not only has the next gen capabilities like support for 4k UHD & 3D but also has support for legacy formats.
The Android TV box category is slowly expanding and there are NO major contenders here, but most of the products are as such generic and being sold with having “Kodi” as a major selling feature. HiMedia Tech is a rather well established brand as compared to the other products currently available. There are a few other brands like WeTek & Minix which stand out in this category but none have certain features available on the Q10 Pro
What’s in the Box ?
Q10 Pro Android TV box
IR Remote (Which is kind of universal, you dont need another remote to control your TV)
Build Quality, Buttons & Ports
The first impression is that, it is too bulky. None of the other TV boxes are of this size, but once you open it you will find a feature that you probably wouldn’t have come across in any other TV box yet: An Option to add a 3.5′ HDD.
It can actually be installed within the box and completely forgotten about. This is a sweet addition and can justify the bulky size to a great extent. Overall, it has a kind -of premium build with ports on the side of the device and on its back. This is due to the fact that there are way too many connecting options for one one to choose from. We will come to it below.
On the front, it has an LED panel constantly displaying time, the numbers are a bit too large for my liking. We also have touch sensitive buttons for basic control including the power on button.
Coming to the right, there is a switch that can slides to open the top of the device. You will see the space to add a 3.5″ HDD, which can be up-to 6TB in size!
There are 3 USB ports on the left of the device which are spaced out so that there is no difficult while using all three of them but the only put off is that only one among them is a USB type 3.0, there is a SD/MMC card slot just in case.
You will find the rest of the ports on the back, including a USB 3.0 Type B port, Audio & video out, Ethernet , HDMI out, an firmware upgrade button and the power adapter inlet.
Software / UI
The device itself runs on an Android 5.1 build with some modifications over it, The user interface is pretty simple, it is completely in English and there is not a single trace of text in any other language which is a constant problem with other OEM’s based in China. The launcher is completely straight forward, there are a few pre-installed apps which include Facebook(Why?), Skype, Kodi, Happy-cast and a file explorer to name a few. There was absolutely no lag while playing around with the apps and the device as such, this can be attributed to the clean & bloat less firmware which is a great plus point.
There is access to the Google Play store, and we faced no hiccups in downloading various apps & games, while we can say almost every major app was compatible not all run smoothly. High graphics demanding games were not really smooth.
One thing that needs to be stressed about is the HiControl App which is basically an App for your Android phone with which you can control the Q10 pro. This has saved a lot of time for me since it took a while for my wireless mouse to arrive.
The boot time was always less than 18.00 secs which is pretty cool & shows that the software is free from bloat and is well optimized.
Interestingly there are a couple of custom firmware’s available on the web, this is something very rare for a product in this category. This is undoubtedly a huge thing to have other developers support it. We did try a custom ROM and it was better looking than the official ROM which had a skin to it.
Honestly, there wasn’t a single file on my 2 TB HDD that the internal player could not handle. I checked it with right from 720p videos to 4k all the way. 10-bit H.265/HEVC, H.264, VC1, MPEG4, MPEG2, VP9, VP8, VP6, AVS video decoding up top 250 Mbps bitrate. 3D blu-ray, BD-ISO, 3D BD-ISO are the formats supported as listed.
On the spec sheet, you will find a Hisilicon Hi3798C V200 quad-core ARM Cortex A53 @ 1.6 GHz processor that comes with a Mali-T720 GPU coupled with 2 GB of RAM and 16GB of inbuilt storage. There is also a WiFi on-board along with Bluetooth for wireless connection solutions. This makes it a complete solution from all ends. The 2 GB RAM seems to be a bit let down as compared to the other specs but I dont think anybody would want to play some graphic intensive games on it.
I tried connecting my wireless Logitech mouse which comes with a dongle and it started working instantly, Went ahead and connected my SteelSeries Stratus XL to it and it paired without any problems. We also connected a WD Ultra 2 TB external hard disk via the USB 3.0 port on the side to play a few 2k & 4k videos and it turned out to be a pleasant experience on the whole.
Should I buy it?
HiMedia is one of those rare Chinese companies which actually rolls out OTA updates to their products. The $299 price tag may may not be entirely justifiable given the RAM limitations it has at just 2GB. On the contrary, it supports a HDD which is a huge plus for people who have lots of offline media content. This completely justifies the bulky size for me, since I have a loads of offline content on my drives. Sellers on eBay are offering for it less than $220 which is a more justified price tag. I would highly recommend to purchase it off eBay at that price.