Tronsmart Prometheus - media player with Android 4.2 on board
The idea of mini-computers smoothly extends to the development of media players with the Android operating system. In fact, these are the same mini-computers in which they added some details for ease of use. Namely: several USB ports, Ethernet, AV-out.
In this review, we will look at one of such devices called Tronsmart Prometheus and try to determine how successful the extension of functionality came out.
SpecificationsDual-core video accelerator Mali 400MP4
Dual-core Amlogic 8726-MX processor based on Cortex A9 architecture
1 GB of RAM
Android 4.1.2 operating system (update to Android 4.2.1)
4 GB of user memory + microSD card slot
Communication: Wi-Fi (802.11 b / g / n), Ethernet
Appearance and equipmentThe media player is delivered in a large cardboard box: The
capabilities of the device in the form of icons are briefly listed on the side:
And in the back in large print in English there is a description of those features:
In the box, we find such a device in the form of a spaceship:
- HDMI cable
- AV cable
It would be nice to have a control panel in the kit.
The instruction is completely in English with many illustrations:
There are no Chinese characters on the box or instruction, which hints at orienting the device to the foreign market.
Tronsmart Prometheus is made of rubberized plastic (soft touch), which is very surprising when you first pick it up.
No gloss, just a small decorative insert made of plastic in front:
Perhaps one could come up with a functional purpose for this insert. For example, set a small screen and display the time. By the way, due to the lack of a battery, the date and time in the media player constantly get lost when turned off. You need to install the ClockSync utility, which will synchronize the time on the Internet every time you turn it on.
If there was a battery, it would have turned out a clock ...
To prevent the media player from sliding on the surface, rubberized legs are installed below:
I / OOn the front right, there are 3 USB ports for connecting various devices: mice, keyboards, flash drives, external hard drives and other USB devices.
Also in front is a slot for SD memory cards:
It should be noted that the slot is for SD memory cards, not microSD. But it doesn’t matter if you only have microSD cards. You just need to use the adapter.
There are 4 of them, all in different colors. But to get rid of them is very simple, when disassembling, I accidentally damaged one without even noticing it.
At the back are located:
- power switch toggle
- reset button
- AV out
- LAN port
- charger input
View with monitor:
PerformanceIn the Tronsmart Prometheus, an Amlogic 8726-MX chip is installed, which consists of 2 Cortex A9 cores with a frequency of up to 1.3 GHz and a 2-core Mali 400MP GPU. The amount of RAM is 1 GB, the constant is 4 GB.
This chip is often used in Chinese tablets. Rockchip Rk3066 loses a little in performance.
In the Antutu 3.2.2 performance test, the media player gains 7725 points:
testing test - Vellamo: Quadrant benchmark tests unfortunately did not start.
DisassembleDismantled by Prometheus is very simple: you need to unscrew 6 screws from the bottom, 2 of which are under the rubber legs.
Inside there is a large board:
Hynix RAM modules:
“Heart” of the system - Amlogic 8726-MX
chip As you can see, the chip does not even have the simplest radiator - and this leads to very strong heating during prolonged use. Without an additional radiator, using the device 24/7 is extremely dangerous. One of the forums provides one of the options for installing a radiator:
I contacted the store to find out if the manufacturer knows about this problem with heating. And he received an answer that in new batches cooling radiators are already used.
Realtek RTL8188 WiFi module:
Wifi, EthernetThe Wifi signal reception level is good, but if you plan to watch online video, then you should not hide the router further than one wall.
And watching online video in HD is very convenient even when connected to a Wifi router with support for only 802.11g.
When you connect an Ethernet LAN cable, the connection does not rise automatically. You need to go into the settings and enable the corresponding option.
You can configure obtaining an IP address via DHCP, or assign it manually:
It is possible to automatically create a PPPoE connection:
SoftwareOut of the box, Android 4.1.2 was installed, which was immediately updated to Android 4.2.1 in the following way:
1. Download the archive
2. Unpack and copy 6 files to the SD card
3. Clamp the Reset button, turn on the device. The blue diode flashes 3 times, the clip can be released. The firmware will update automatically.
Firmware with Android 4.2.1 is in beta testing, the following features were added / fixed with respect to 4.1.2:
1. Fixed error in DTS sound decoding
2. Hardware video decoding in XBMC The
manufacturer claims support for USB Bluetooth dongles and USB web cameras. Unfortunately, I did not have a webcam, but a simple Bluetooth dongle did not want to work.
The first time we turn on, we are greeted by a wizard that will offer you to select the system language, adjust the image frame, configure Wifi and LAN connections.
Android 4.2.1 desktop:
Information about the system:
Google Play is already preinstalled in the system:
Convenient system for installing updates:
True, updating via the Internet constantly gives an error connecting to the server. But updating from a local file works fine.
VideoThe list of output modes includes both 720p and 1080p. But actually only 720p mode works.
The AV output also works very peculiarly. Taking the media player out of the box, I connected it to the old TV, but was immediately disappointed - only black and white stripes were on the screen. The solution to this problem is as follows: connecting the device via HDMI, you need to select 480p mode. After that, connecting the media player to the TV through the AV output, everything will work correctly.
Web browsingScrolling pages is a little thoughtful, viewing pages on a large screen is unusual, the font is large and well read.
XBMCIn the updated firmware with Android 4.2.1, the manufacturer boasts XBMC with support for 1080p hardware decoding.
The firmware archive contains the installation apk file for XBMC version 12.0.
Let's check how well video in various formats is decoded and compile a table of results:
Video with various audio codecs have also been tested. Namely:
- Dolby Digital 5.1 / Dolby Digital 7.1
- TrueHD 5.1 & 7.1
- DTS-MA and DTS-HR
In general, everything looks good, but on some AVI and MKV video files there is a sound out of sync. And quite large - about 1 second. So, watching regular movie rips in XBMC will not work.
Let me remind you that this applies only to watching movies through XBMC. Through third-party players (for example MX Player) - there are no problems with sound and video.
By the way, so that the XBMC does not have a black bar in place of the status bar and the video plays in full screen - you need to install this patch .
Advantages and disadvantagesAndroid 4.2
hardware decoding of 1080p video in XBMC
Ethernet ports are
not supported image output with a resolution of 1080p
Tronsmart turned out to be a very interesting product. Android 4.2, hardware decoding of FULL HD in XMBC, a good level of Wifi reception, the ability to connect to an Ethernet network. Perhaps the disadvantages include a rather high price - about $ 90.
You can purchase Tronsmart Prometheus at Geekbuying.com . With an additional FLEMHJIO discount coupon, the price will be $ 89.99 with delivery by Singapore post.
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