MK808 Mini PC Android Jelly Bean Review!

So I bought mine from China and it cost around 66 UK Pounds by the time it arrived. I’ve since had a search around Amazon and it looks like you can get the stick for between 50-60 UK Pounds. See link. First MK808 looks like the one I reviewed, but rebranded by SainSmart, the second MK808 look like same System On Chip, but slightly different form factor -> The HDMI socket built in (Both look like they are running the older Ice Cream Sandwich OS rather than Jelly Bean).

Finally, this one looks like the one I reviewed! With Jelly Bean as well – this is a seller via Amazon UK. This is a seller from Amazon US for 1.6GHz unit on Ice Cream Sandwich and also for 1.2GHz, but on Jelly Bean – what a pain in the ass! [EDIT 28th October 2012: I have not confirmed this, but I actually think that the processor is 1.2GHz to 1.6GHz -> i.e. they are all the same] Not sure if you can just upgrade via an image from these guys… probably best to double check before buying…

Update: See the “buying” page for more info on specs and links…

EDIT 30th December 2012: See Finless 1.5a ROM Upgrade for MK808 for improved performance.

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14 Responses to MK808 Mini PC Android Jelly Bean Review!

  1. Kayax says:

    So, what is better MK802 or MK808?
    Which one do you like/used most?
    How is it on 1080p? can it handle it?

    I hope this PC-on-stick will be able to replace my mom old PC, it’s dying,
    she only use it for e-mail, read and print documents, web-browsing and watching YouTube and some video files…
    Thanks!

    • monstermash1million says:

      Funnily enough, the main reason i started looking at the sticks was because my brother and i wanted to get my mum internet accesss on her tv so she could watch various tv programmes online.

      Both devices had a setting for 1080p, but i could not really validate this. To be honest, it was clear enough for my purposes and my tv is a reasonable size (37 inch). From what i have seen so far, you should be good to surf the web, watch youtube, watch movies and read emails on both sticks, but i have not tried printing or using a usb hub.

      In terms of “pros”, i like the following on both sticks:

      + Quick boot up
      + Can surf web, watch youtube, watch videos (from files and playstore)
      + They are not financially prohibitive for many – even as a toy
      + Most of the things i needed were preinstalled and additional apps were easy to get hold of on the playstore
      + Bit torrent seems to work fine
      + You can use an external micro SD memory card to save things
      + fantastic it just plugs straight into HDMI. I just leave it plugged in theses days and flick channels when i want to check something online

      Some negatives about both sticks:

      + i bought a microsoft livecam cinema unit and tried to use Skype with both but failed on both camera and sound… Video “worked a bit” on one of them. Will try harder so reserve judgement for now. I’ll try to get video online soon!
      + android as an OS is quite fun as a novelty on a big screen, but some of the quirks can get annoying… Surfing on a browser is not as much fun as on a pc or mac if you are wanting a replacement… Perhaps consider waiting for that quad core unit… It is suppose to be able to run ubuntu and thats a “proper” desktop os.
      + i havent tried very hard yet, but i have yet to get a remote management tool like vnc or logmein to work yet – important for mum-technical-support!
      + hard to buy from a big name so feels a bit risky when buying…
      + i use bbc iplayer frequently and the android apps for this work, but have proven to be very poor… I imagine this will change in time. The PlayStation app is much better and even better than that is on my laptop!

      I like the following about the mk802:

      + Did not usually need extra power supply when drawing power from USB on my TV so seemed tidy
      + The OS had a power off button!
      + seems to be powerful enough to run the things i usually use on Android
      + Cheaper
      + There appears to be more forums for Rikomagic and the guys who sell the sticks seem to really be working on software improvements
      + The AllWinner chip that is being used has code openend up so there are evolving distributions

      Did not like the following about the mk802:

      + Little less responsive than mk808
      + I have yet to use it in anger with android so not sure how stability is… No problems so far though
      + Although linux works… It is too slow to really use for entertainment – for me anyway. Ok for geeking out and trying things, but quite frustrating when you just want to do day to day things
      + Adobe flash does not appear to work on the linux distribution(!) – for me this is a deal breaker in the argument to use linux a for day to day use on the mk802.. No YouTube or BBC iPlayer :(. I believe the issue is that Adobe do not support Flash and the Arm chip that is used… However, html5 is suppose to be replacing flash in the future… So who knows… Not something i am going to wait for unless i have to
      + Open source flash on linux works but very slow/jerky so not really usable… Good try though…i believe there are some other options, but have not tried yet
      + (i want to get a short video to show the linux on the nit, but not enough time recently!)
      + Just to be clear though – flash works fine on the android operating system it comes with

      I like the following about the mk808:

      + More responsive as faster processor
      + Was cool to have a later edition of android – Jelly Bean
      + My unit has proven to be very stable so far (apart from when bit torrent is running! But this could be an issue with the Micro SD i was using… It was speed 4 i think)

      Did not like the following about mk808:

      + Needed to plug into mains power which makes things a little messy – the power adapter also needed an additional adapter to work with uk plugs
      + There was a warning to said that it was not a goof idea to leave unit plugged in
      + There seems to be less of a “community” working on this device to get improvements
      I believe Rockchip has not open sourced some of their code so there is no linux image either available or planned as far as i know

      Not sure if the above helps or confuses, but just wanted to get it out there as i have not had a chance to get a video online this week – work is nuts at the moment!

      Hope this helps!

    • iqbal says:

      I brought MINI TV 808. I face problem with skype communication. When I try to connect some one. After dial ring the call is dropped.

      Any who used MINI TV 808 device please help.

  2. ben says:

    Hi, I have an 808 and an RC11 airmouse. After the MK808 shuts down completely i cant managed to power it up again from the RC11? Is this possible and how do you do it?

    Also BBC i-player says my device is not supported? How can i get iplayer to work as i know it works on andriod devices?

    Thanks

    • monstermash1million says:

      Hi Ben, I upgraded by MK808 to the Finless 1.5a firmware last week and the power button now works (I can power on and off from the RC11 stick). As for BBC, I’ve not tried it since upgrading, but my experience so far for BBC iPlayer on Android is that it sucks! I am hoping that they will improve the Android application soon… sorry if not that much help!

    • monstermash1million says:

      Just an update, I measured the power consumption on the MK808 stick after I hit the power button on the RC11 remote -> it looks like the “power off” is shutting down the display output and the stick is still sucking up power so not really a proper shutdown…

      Regarding iPlayer, I’m not ure if you have tried again, but I have found that the latest release of iPlayer is better and I can now watch iPlayer programmes in “HD” mode. The sound seems to go out of synch after a while on long videos. I think that this is an issue with the sound driver on the MK808; I posted a query on FreakTab.com to see what the others think.

  3. Kerwin Medwynter says:

    I love the in depth reviews and the website and will be ordering one from Amazon UK tomorrow (payday lol) but this will be one of my Xmas treats…like you said work is crazy right now..I’m in just hoping I can use it for a few sites such as Veetle.com to watch streaming movies and tv and also my football matches when possible if it does that I am more than happy….i also think you should get the creative minds together so maybe we can improve on this great little PC..

  4. Bevan says:

    Hi, I am looking into buying a tvstick soon, but I cant decide as there are so many, just wondering if you have had any experience with the newest Rikomagic stick the Mk802 iiiS or the Zeal GK802 Quad core?? They both seem like excellent value. but i cant seem to find any comparisons of them.

    • monstermash1million says:

      Hi Bevan, I’ve just done a review of the Zealz GK802, but have not tried the MK802 IIIS yet so cannot compare yet… sorry!

  5. daniel says:

    Hi there,

    I connected it all to TV and did not start. Is my new MK808 damaged?

    Please help.

    Thank you,
    Daniel

    • monstermash1million says:

      Hey Daniel, that sounds like bad news! I am assuming you powered it from mains? It is possible that the ROM could have been corrupted as well and you can fix this by flashing it again using something like the Finless ROM from FreakTab.com. However, probably best to check out what to do next with your supplier first. Where did you buy it from? Perhaps it would be useful for others if you could share your support experience from whoever your supplier is? Really sorry to hear that you’re having trouble with your stick :(

  6. kay says:

    hya
    i have recently bought an android mini tv stick
    set it all up to my tv all is well except the browser always says page not available and i cannot get any email connection going
    it says the wireless connection is ok and strength is good
    so can somebody HELP ME!!!!!! HELP ME!!!!!!!!!!!! PLEASE
    kay

    • Pratik says:

      Hi,

      It may happen when the wireless protocols supported by your device and the wifi router is different. For example, some devices only support 11N mode, in that case you need to change your wifi router setting to 11N mode.

      - Pratik

  7. alex says:

    ive been intregued by these things for a while but just couldnt bring myself to get one, on the grounds that i see it taking a while for a lot of flash content to be changed for other formats, and i want to watch any format now today even if it means rendering in software (needing max cpu resources) without stuttering etc. having returned a netbook years ago as it was unable to cope with youtube content, i wasnt going to risk it again.

    I went the other way and bought an i3 nuc. these certainly arent just as small/cheap/frugal on power, but as this is a micro sized full pc with lots of ram & ssd it hardly breaks a sweat running xbmc, amongst other things.

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