MINIX NEO U22-XJ 4K Ultra HD Android Media Hub Review

MINIX NEO U22-XJ 4K Ultra HD Android Media Hub

9

9.0/10

The MINIX NEO U22-XJ 4K Ultra HD Android Media Hub is designed to be the centre of your home entertainment needs. Transforming the entertainment experience with hardware that captures the cinematic experience, delivering dynamic audio and visual experience that puts you right at the heart of the action. Immerse yourself in next-level entertainment all from your living room with NEO U22-XJ.

MINIX NEO U22-XJ 4K Ultra HD Android Media Hub Review

The NEO U22-XJ is a slim square device with rounded corners. The device is a sleek shape, with IO ports on the back and side. The wifi aerial can be connected on the left, and this will take away from the sleek look. But I will take faster wifi over a blemish on a sleek look.

Speaking of IO, on the back is a headphone jack, HDMI 2.1, S/PDIF, Gigabit Ethernet and the power port. On the right are the power button, 3 x USB 3.0 ports, TF card slot and an OTG USB-C data port. Other than that is the ariel socket on the left and the power LED and IR receiver on the front. As a Nivida TV user, it was a nice treat to see all this IO, as there are times when you want to plug a couple of devices in.

Turning on the NEO U22-XJ took around 18 seconds from power on for it to fully boot. The initial screen is a bit bland, with no colour and just whites on a dark background. The interface is built to be used with a mouse or a directional pad.

MINIX NEO U22-XJ 4K Ultra HD Android Media Hub Specs:

  • Processor – Quad Core Cortex A72+ Dual-core Cortex A53 Processor (64-bit)
  • Graphics – Mali-G52 MP4
  • Memory – 4GB DDR4
  • Storage – 32GB eMMC 5.1
  • Wireless Connectivity – 802.11 ac 2 x 2 Dual-Band Wi-Fi(2.4GHz/5.0GHz), Bluetooth 4.1
  • Video Output – HDMI®2.1, up to 4K @ 60Hz HDR
  • Audio Output – HDMI®, 3.5mm stereo jack, optical SPDIF
  • Power – DC 5V, 3A adapter included (CE, FCC certified)
  • OS Support – Android 9.0 Nougat
  • Supported Video Formats – DAT/MPEG/MPE/MPG/TS/TP/VOB/ISO/AVI/MP4/MOV/3GP/FLV/MKV/M2TS/MTS/M4V/WMV/ASF
  • Supported Audio Formats – MP2/MP3/WMA/WAV/OGG/OGA/FLAC/ALAC/APE/AAC

The homepage consists of some pre-set shortcuts to apps. Others can be added along the bottom, but these show the original icon and this can look a little messy. I’d suggest switching to the other launcher included for a brighter home screen.

MINIX NEO U22-XJ 4K Ultra HD Android Media Hub Review

A nice addition is Fake HDMI, as this spoofs the HDMI output signal for apps that don’t allow HDMI output. There a huge amount of little settings like this littered through the system.

There wasn’t a lot of pre-built in apps out of the box. Kodi and Express VPN were both included, with a couple of MINIX apps. But apart from that its a pretty clean system to start playing with. The full version of the Play Store is pre-installed, which was great to see. The Miracast app worked with our inhouse devices, including the S20 Ultra and iPhone SE.

Firstly, to start testing video playback, I used a formatted USB Drive with some 4K video samples on it. Also, this was used in one of the USB 3.0 port on the right. I played them using the pre-installed MoviePlayer app. Finally results are below:

Results:

  • 4K High Bitrate 160mbps – PASS
  • 4K 60FPS H.265 – PASS
  • Youtube 1080p – PASS
  • Youtube TV 4K – Pass

After that, I had to install the Youtube app via the play store and I was only able to get a maximum of 1080p. However, the Youtube TV app can be sideloaded on and this will give you the much-wanted 4K resolution. Netflix and Amazon Prime Video can be sideloaded on, but they don’t have 4K capacity and limited to around 480p.

Finally, gaming wise, I installed RetroArch and tested several emulators and they all ran without any frame drops of issues. Also, performance hungry games like Asphalt 8 played perfectly.

Overall, the MINIX NEO U22-XJ 4K Ultra HD Android Media Hub is an entertainment powerhouse. Furthermore, with a wide array of features and powerful specs, this will take everything you can throw at it. Though, the negative points for me are the lack of support for Netflix and Prime video.

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