Best Kodi TV Boxes 2017 – Android TV Box Reviews and Ratings

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One of the best ways to watch Kodi is through a Kodi box hooked up to your TV. As Android is an open, easily adaptable and relatively inexpensive OS, you’ll find that the most Kodi boxes are simply android-based TV media players that can easily be repurposed to run Kodi. These devices are everywhere these days, sometimes varying significantly in price, power, functionality and additionals.

Here, we take a look at a long list some of the best Kodi TV boxes 2017 has to offer – and a few of the ones you might want to avoid. Some of these come pre-loaded with a simple Kodi build, while others can easily be turned into a Kodi TV box. We have a quick and easy guide on how to turn any Android TV media player into a Kodi TV box. Additionally, if you’re interested in getting a Kodi remote or keyboard to streamline your experience, check out our article on the best Kodi remotes and keyboards of 2017.

First, we’d like to provide a quick word on using VPNs with Kodi TV boxes.



Using a VPN with Kodi TV Boxes

Some Kodi users have received copyright infringement notifications from their ISPs. Many large content providers and copyright holders have agreements with ISPs to monitor internet usage and automatically send alerts to users when the viewed content is suspected to be copyrighted material. This is not a problem with all Kodi add-ons or all Kodi usage. However, it has been known to happen with some add-ons. To help avoid this situation, some Kodi users turn to a VPN. 

Our personal recommendation for the best Kodi VPN is IPVanish.

kodi security

VPN solutions like IPVanish are designed to mask a user’s online identity. By changing your IP address, a VPN helps prevent an ISP or copyright holder from knowing who you are or where you’re actually located.

IPVanish provides a fully-featured suite of resources for Kodi users, all packaged in a very convenient and easy-to-use application. If you do plan on using a VPN with your Kodi TV box, we’ve also provided a guide for how to

If you do plan on using a VPN with your Kodi TV box, we’ve also provided a guide for how to install a VPN on your new TV box.  


Rating and Research Methods

In the near future, we plan on personally testing each and every Kodi TV box we can our hands on, providing in-depth guides and reviews for each Kodi TV box on our list. For now, our research methods involve looking at all of the following:

  • Online from sources such as Amazon
  • Price listings
  • Availability
  • Personal user reviews
  • Listed spec and feature analysis
  • Video reviews, where available and applicable

We’ve taken all of these data points together to provide a holistic review of each device, and whether you should take the risk on and purchase the box, or whether you’d be better off moving to the next one.


Best Kodi TV Boxes 2016 – What You Should Buy

#1 NVIDIA SHIELD

NVIDIA SHIELD

The NVIDIA SHIELD is undoubtedly one of the most well-received devices on the market and a potentially great device for anyone who’s looking for a Kodi TV box that can also do more than just play Kodi. There are multiple iterations of this device on the market, although the 4K and 4K Pro are the most well received and popular of the bunch. The 4K comes in with an impressive Amazon user score of 4.3 out of 5 stars, over more than 1,500 user reviews. Ratings in other locations are not as hot (3.5 from TechRadar and a 3.5 from CNET). Nevertheless, we find that the word-on-the-street in major online forums are mostly positive for this device. Many users, for example, are excited over the new Nintendo Switch for no other reason than that it’s basically a NVIDIA SHIELD with Nintendo dressings.

This is a fairly powerful solution for Kodi users. The device comes with 16GB of storage, expandable up to 128GB, can display video in 4K HDR, includes wi-fi and ethernet connectivity, has two USB ports, runs on a Tegra XI processor, utilizes a 64-bit CPU and also includes SHIELD controller. The biggest complaint with this device, however? Support. A few users have found that the company maintains very little support for the device or its software, hence the very large community that exists on troubleshooting all of your problems at home. That, and the price. A new one will set you back almost $500, while a used one can still cost over $200. You may be able to find a refurbished version for under $200, however.

Pros:

  • Solid device with a lot of power.
  • Included game controller expands the potential of the device.

Cons:

  • Difficult to find new.
  • Little support for the device from NVIDIA.

buy from amazon

#2 Amazon Fire TV

Amazon Fire TV

Amazon Fire TV, coming in as a simple USB stick and an assuming remote control, is one of the commonly adopted solutions for anyone looking for a Kodi TV box. This device will display 4K Ultra HD video and stream in 1080p. Amazon has also upgraded the device several times since it was first released. It now possesses 2GB of memory, 8GB of storage (expandable up to 200GB), includes a remote with voice support, connects via wi-fi or ethernet connection and also includes Bluetooth, allowing you to connect it to Alexa.

Sound good? It gets better with this one. Amazon ratings are through the roof, hitting a 4.3 out of 5 stars across impressively large 20,000+ customer reviews. The device is also rated well by Digital Trends (8/10) and Best Buy (4.7/5). Techradar gave it a somewhat lukewarm 3.5, however, which appears to have more to do with Techradar generally being more critical than the average user. Indeed, you’ll a large number of positive stories on forums about the Amazon Fire TV or the Fire TV stick, both of which come in under $100. That said, many users claim they ditched their Amazon Fire TV for a Roku. That said, Roku is not Kodi-friendly, so we wouldn’t recommend making that particular switch if you’re looking to create a Kodi TV box out of your device.

As good as all of that sound, Amazon Fire TV is not without its downsides. Amazon is keen on sending automatic updates which have been known to block sideloading applications, especially Kodi. Now, you can use some sneaky methods to help prevent this, but for casual users not interested in fighting that battle, Amazon Fire TV may simply be not worth the price.

Pros:

  • Very inexpensive.
  • Excellent array of additional features.
  • Integrates well with other services.

Cons:

  • Amazon shadow updates may render 3rd party applications like Kodi inoperable.

buy from amazon

#3 WeTek Core

WeTek Core

This somewhat new device was built with Kodi in mind. You can actually find a detailed mention of this one on the official Kodi forum, which lays out a rather significant and detailed breakdown on this device. The positives? It comes with a preloaded version of Kodi 16.1 Jarvis and is loaded to gills with tech designed to maximize your Kodi viewing experience. That includes 8GB ROM, 2GB RAM, an RF + IR Remote with Google Voice, 2GHz quad-core AMLogic processor, microSD slot, and wi-fi and ethernet connectivity. You can also dual load Android and OpenELEC on this device. It runs on an Android TV OS, so it’s easily usable for Kodi users. Video quality is excellent as well: 1080p, with 4K HD as well.

That said, consistent negative reviews do exist for this device. The most damaging one relates to the video playback, where a noticeable number of users have complained that there’s a significant amount of stuttering on that end. One user said it was the “worst video playback device I have ever used in my 30 years of messing with video players.”  On the flip side, another user described it as “one of the best Android box[es] on the market.” So who’s to believe? A bit of both, actually. Based on specs and user experiences, you can trust you’ll more likely than not get a good experience out of this one. And at just over $100, it’s may be worth the price for hardcore Kodi users. Unfortunately, you won’t find this one on Amazon or any other 3rd-party dealer. You’ll have to buy it direct from WeTek.

Pros:

  • Power and functionality in a small package.
  • Capable of dual loading Android and OpenELEC.

Cons:

  • Known issues with video stuttering.

#4 RUPA M8S Pro TV Box

M8S Pro

The M8S Pro TV Box is a bit of a mixed bag but lands solidly on the good side of this list for doing exactly what it’s advertised to do with few hiccups. You’ll find this one sold by a wide number of dealers, with most ratings for each of them coming in at no less than 3.7 stars. The device is also rated well on Gearbest (4.4 out of 5) and BangGood (4.7 out of 5). The Kodi community is a bit mixed on this one, as am I, having personal experience with this one myself. Its specs are good, with 2GB of RAM, 8BG of ROM, wi-fi and ethernet connectivity, an included remote, and the option to add in a wireless remote or keyboard through a USB connection.

Dig into the reviews and you’ll soon find why the experiences have been mixed. The software is extremely laggy at times, something that is only supplemented by resetting the system, which can also take a long time. The remote control is lousy, to say the least, so installing new add-ons for Kodi on this device is going to be a pain unless you have a mouse or a keyboard to use with it. Once you do get videos streaming, however, you’re on pretty solid ground. But navigating the interface is a hassle. That said, many users rave about it, and not all of these are paid reviewers. You’ll have a good experience, but that can sometimes be based on simply ending up with a good device.

The price is the real selling point for this one. You can get this device for around $40, easily besting some of the higher-priced Android TV boxes many people use for Kodi streaming. This is a case of “you get what you paid for”, with the value and functionality of the device being slightly better than what you’re paying.

Pros:

  • When streaming, quality is good.
  • Comes with updated Android version.
  • Includes a remote, and can expand to use a USB wireless mouse or keyboard.

Cons:

  • Interface can get painfully laggy.
  • Remote difficult to use at times.

buy from amazon

#5 Asus Chromebox-M004U

Asus Chromebox

Perhaps one of the more underappreciated Kodi TV Boxes, the ASUS Chromebox is perhaps one device that should — and likely will — be getting more attention from the Kodi community in the future. The device already has several mentions on different Kodi forums and even a spot in the Kodi wiki. As the device runs on Chrome OS, that means that you can install Kodi onto it with the right steps.

The Asus Chromebox is an Amazon best seller, with a 4.4 out of 5-star rating on Amazon and over 1,000 customer reviews. This is supported by a 4 out of 5 on NewEgg, and a 4 out of 5 from PCMag. CNet slammed it with a mediocre 3.5, however, as did PCWorld. So can you trust this device, or is it more than it seems?

You’ll find the specs to be solid, all though a bit less than on some other devices you might use. It has a 1.4 GHz Intel Celeron processor, 2GB or RAM, a 16GB hard drive, 4 USB ports, wi-fi and ethernet connectivity, an SD card slot and supports Bluetooth 4.0. The sound also comes in at 7.1 Dolby Digital. It runs fast, is rarely down, and it does come with the excellent Asus support. That is until you decide to use it with Kodi.

This is one Kodi TV Box that is a bit more for the pros. Installing Kodi on this one requires running it in developer mode and running Kodi via LibreELEC. As the device operates on Chrome OS, you’ll need to access the underlying Linux OS to get Kodi onto it.

All told, this is an excellent Kodi box that’s priced well. At just around $150, it’s a good solution for Kodi pros or those willing to take their Kodi usage to the next level.

Pros:

  • Excellent specs.
  • Can easily expand to use peripherals.
  • Streams well.

Cons:

  • A little extra expertise needed to install and run Kodi.
  • A bit more expensive than many other high-quality options.

buy from amazon

#6 Element Ti4

Element Ti4

We have to give a quick nod to the Element Ti4. This Kodi TV box has fairly solid ratings on Amazon, with a 4.0 and over 600 ratings. Not only that, but it comes fully loaded with Kodi, so you’re good to go out of the box with this one. The specs are solid as well, with 2GB of RAM and 16GB of flash memory. It also utilizes a 2 GHz Quad Core processor and comes with a rather handy remote.

The biggest drawback on this device is the price. At nearly $200, it’s a tough sell, especially for anyone trying to save money. Generally speaking, reviews place good experiences with this one, with most users saying it’s well built, runs fast, and the included Kodi build is particularly time-saving. Perhaps the best addition to this device is an active and helpful customer service from Element Technologies. Considering using Kodi with this device voids no warranties, you’ll be free to call them. Reviews show they’re particularly responsive.

Pros:

  • Excellent customer service.
  • Powerful and fast system.

Cons:

  • High asking price.

buy from amazon


Kodi TV Boxes 2016 — What You Should Avoid

#7 Cubox i2

This device is a small-time deal but has some significant and noticeable problems. Although it has a somewhat solid Amazon rating (3.8 out of 5 stars), digging into the details reveals that there are recurrent software issues that make it somewhat unusable in the long run. Particularly is the fact that an oddly large number of users report that the device reloads to factory settings by itself. Even having that occur once would render this device unusable to many people, as all downloaded data would be lost as a result.

#8 GEM Box

Those 3.5 stars you see for the GEM Box on Amazon? Don’t trust it. PCMag gives this device a lowly 2, describing the GEM box as “underpowered, underequipped and underwhelming.” This description is verified by multiple user reviews and complaints across a variety of forum posts. The device has 20 reviews on Amazon at this time of writing. You can almost be certain that the majority of the positive reviews are either come from people who work for the company producing the device, those who were paid to write positive reviews or those who received a device in exchange for a good review. This is a common practice from non-name brand electronics dealers on Amazon, so be wary of clicking buy on this one.

  • How do you admin the kodi instance? Like messing with the advanced settings without having SSH access to the host?

  • Jaxcen

    One of the best boxes you missed is the Xiaomi Mi Box. Walmart sells them for 69.00 you need to install Kodi or SPMC yourself but it’s very easy through the Google Play Store. It comes with a Bluetooth voice remote that works simply brilliant. It is fast, powerful and supported by Xiaomi which is a pretty good cellphone company from China. Its only limitations is that it only comes with ONE USB port and NO Ethernet port BUT the wireless is AC and very good from my experience and other reviews.

    I have not tried it but the ODROID C2 S905 2GB RAM HDMI 2.0 $46 is a good option like the Raspberry Pi but more powerful for those wanting a more of a do it yourself option. Unlike the Mi Box it comes with Ethernet and 4 USB ports.