Thursday, May 23, 2013

Android stick 2

This Android 4.2 stick is an upgrade from the one I got a few months ago, Android 4.1. It was also sourced via ebay.

spec: Tronsmart T428, RK3188 SOC, Android 4.2.2

The winning use case was mother being able to watch her stories which are not otherwise available on local TV, so my effort were well regarded.

This one has the standard Android desktop, which I like -- the previous had an annoying proprietary shell.

Everything is more responsive, but you still noticed times when the mouse cursor sticks when the CPU is busy, like when playing youtube in HD -- in spite of all those cores.

As before, the dongle plugs into the TV's HDMI socket, this time via a short cable that was provided, which gives some safety against an accidental fatal nudge that may snap something vital. Power via 2A USB. Wireless mouse via USB.

This one has bluetooth. I tried connecting my burger speaker with mic, but the mic was not recognized (works fine with phones). Also the sound output was 'switchy'. So don't bother.

Nothing to do with the stick but, I wasted about an hour trying to connect the dongle to the house wifi. First I changed the router wifi mode from N only to Auto, which then connected but at only 8Mbps, too low for youtube. Second, used Wifi Analyzer app on the dongle and phone to figure out that the router must be moved.  Initially it was inside a wooden entertainment cabinet (in the dvd player space -- omg i know), so I moved it the the top of the cabinet and closer to the hallway (router and tv are in different rooms). This improved the connection speed to 48Mbps -- also good for other devices.

Cost, about $100 -- compared to the last one, about $45. A bit expensive but it delivers a much more user friendly experience. I did not want to wait 6 months for the price to fall while we suffered at the old one, if that counts as opportunity cost.

Android good.