Editor rating : 8
Editor rating : 8
Editor rating : 8
Editor rating : 8
Editor rating : 7.5
Over the past few years, technology in televisions has expanded vastly and what was previously essentially a video playing device, has now evolved into being a multi-faceted device, allowing you to do so much more – streaming content off the Internet, playing games using apps, video chat and the list goes on and on. However, a television is a system that cannot be updated regularly like you would do a smartphone and hence many of us tend to have older HDTV sets with basic functionality, such as just being HDMI compliant without smart TV features. That’s where brands like Amkette come in and they have now launched media players that bring smart TV capabilities to HDTVs. Amkette recently unveiled the EvoTV in India that runs on Google’s Android operating system, thereby expanding the usability of your television making it an even smarter TV. Read on to know if this device will benefit your television experience or not.
Minimalistic in appearance
Design and Build Quility
HDTV sets are generally rather big and may take up quite a sizable amount of space in your home. So keeping this in mind, Amkette has designed the EvoTV in an extremely small frame that can complement the look and feel of your home. This EvoTV is finished in a combination of matte and glossy black, which means it can suit practically all homes. The size of the box is not that big, as touched upon earlier and is slightly larger than a coaster. The design team's done a brilliant job and made it measure a mere inch in height.
The brand has added a range of connectivity options at the sides, allowing one to pair up to four USB drives with the EvoTV. Apart from these slots, the other connectivity options featured here include ports for an SD card, SPDIF, HDMI, AV, Ethernet and one for connecting the charging cable. This device looks quite classy and Amkette has done good in giving it a minimalistic look. While the look of the player can be mentioned as one of its main features, it is only the tip of the iceberg.
A range of ports at the side
Amkette have also added a remote control with this player, which is an integral part of using the EvoTV. The remote has a matte black finish, which means it can resist fingerprint residue to quite a large extent and has only a few buttons which are well-spaced. The remote has a touch sensitive button at the back, which allows you to use the remote like a mouse on the TV. The overall build quality of the remote control is great, except for the button at the back which feels a bit cheap in comparison to the rest of the unit.
Though it can be argued that the design is enough to warrant a purchase, the EvoTV comes equipped with a range of features that can surely keep you hooked to your television. The EvoTV runs on Android 2.3.4 Gingerbread and the processor found here is an ARMv7 processor that features a CPU frequency of 200.0 – 750.0MHz. Amkette has used a Mali 400 GPU, which takes care of the graphics on this Android-powered player. The brand has added 4GB of internal storage on this device and have used 512 MB RAM.
While the technical specifications may be decent enough to render content, it is the device’s capabilities that make it a truly exciting player. If you have a standard flat panel HDTV, there is a high possibility that it is devoid of any smart TV capabilities. With this system connected to it using the supplied HDMI cable and a Wi-Fi connection, you can have all the features that are found on your smartphone or tablet blown up on the large screen of your TV.
The interface of the EvoTV is easy to navigate through and with the help of the remote, your television can be used in the same fashion as you use an Android powered smartphone. The scaling of the layout is really good and the text appears crisp across all areas of the screen. You have the ability to edit the way you view the homescreen by adding or removing widgets based on your preference. The widgets on the main screen are placed in blocks that are arranged by the category they fall under. For instance, there are dedicated sections for apps, games, media, Web, YouTube Viewer, etc. By having these sections on the interface, it becomes a convenient way to easily choose your favourite application directly from the homescreen. This feature is similar to that of Android devices.
The Amkette EvoTV supports FAT32 as well as NTFS drives and this helps you to easily expand upon the storage capabilities. There is another convenience in this as you can playback videos stored on your portable hard drive as well as the EvoTV can read a range of file formats. The supported formats, include AVI, MKV, MP4, MOV, 3GP, 3GPP, FLC and a whole range of others as well.
Another handy feature of this media player is that you can see the weather as well and it gives you the forecast of the next five days’ weather, along with wind speed, pressure, humidity, time of sunrise and sunset. This allows you to have the convenience of viewing the weather without having to wait for the weather to flash on a local news channel. If you have a webcam attached to your television, then you can use Skype as well. If you do not have a mic, then you need not worry as this remote control also comes with this capability.
Summing up this section of the review, we can safely say that this EvoTV set can expand upon the features of your flat panel TV or even your smart TV.
To check the performance of the Amkette EvoTV, we paired it with a Samsung smartTV and we tested the player’s usability while running apps, videos, music, etc. To start off, we noticed that the set-up process was extremely simple and a consumer does not need a technician to install it. All you need is an Internet connection and a Wi-Fi router to wirelessly stream content. If you do not have a Wi-Fi router, then an Ethernet cable can allow you to browse online content through this media player.
SD media card slot along with USB ports
While using this player, we noticed that there was a slight lag where the mouse was. This was not so bad and was more than bearable and it did not put us off at all. Alternatively, using the mouse is not the only way one can pan through the homescreen, as the buttons on the remote can also act as directional keys. We tested the player by playing apps, such as Angry Birds and Fruit Ninja and we were pleased with the overall performance. Again there was a slight lag seen, but not so much to disrupt the outcome of the game. The overall usability of the Amkette EvoTV was good, but nothing exceptional. In short it gets the job done.
We paired the Amkette EvoTV with a 320GB NTFS hard drive and we played Full HD 1080p as well as HD 720p videos through it. The HD 720p video playback was good and there was a lot of detail noticed on screen. There was no framing, pixelation or any other anomaly noticed. We then connected a 500GB NTFS hard drive, along with the 320GB drive and that is where things started to go bad. While playing Full HD 1080p videos that ran at a frame rate of 60fps, we noticed that there was a fair amount of judder and framing visible and watching the video was a pain. We removed the 320GB hard drive and played the same video back and the performance was flawless. So though it can read two hard drives at the same time, it is advisable to pair the EvoTV with a single one to ensure that the playback is smooth.
Slight lag during gameplay
The remote control does a decent job, but its performance fluctuates a bit. Most of the time the remote does well, but at times it can get stuck. Another issue we observed was that while playing Fruit Ninja, we would have to lower our hands, so that the sword in the game would remain in the centre of the screen. By the end of the game, our hands were nearly touching the floor. This was a bit of a put off, but the game still played well, despite this issue with the remote control.
The handy remote that comes along with the EvoTV
Verdict and Price in India
The Amkette EvoTV is available in India at an MRP of Rs.12,995. This device is a great solution for those who have flat panel television without smartTV capabilities. Having Android Gingerbread on board is another great advantage for your television. The price of the device is a bit of a bother as it is on the pricier side, when compared to other media players available in the market, such as the Portronics Limebox, which is available in India for Rs. 8,499. However, where this model gets a thumbs up is that it is more visually pleasing than a range of other media players available. To conclude this review, we have to say that if you definitely want Internet on your television, then the Amkette EvoTV is a great option and should be worth considering.
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