AllWinner MK802 - A Quick Hands-On Review

TheRezGroup

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[This review has been written using only the AllWinner MK802 Android Mini PC, using Jota Text Editor. It was posted using the MK802, using the Android Central Forum app.]

I purchased my MK802 from AliExpress, from a seller in Shenzhen, China. I received it in 13 days. Generally, I've been pretty impressed with the power in this little device. However, I made my purchase based entirely on faith as there were no reviews online at the time I placed my order. As the device is becoming more easily available, I thought it might be useful to give a personal hands-on review.

The MK802 comes with an HDMI cable, a USB cable and a power supply. The device has 2 USB connectors; one is for connecting to a PC as with any Android phone or tablet, and the other is for running external devices (HDD, keyboard, mouse). My USB multi-hub expander works perfectly. It does not have Bluetooth, so you will need a wired or USB wireless keyboard and mouse. There's also a MicroSD slot.

The device came with a lot of preloaded software, most of which was geared to the Chinese market and which I deleted immediately. It also came with Angry Birds and Skype pre-loaded, but I deleted them without testing. Be careful if you like Angry Birds; you won't be able to reinstall it from the app store.

The good news is that the MK802 comes with Google Play installed. I was slightly worried that, as with some of the Polaroid products, I'd have to side-load apps or use Amazon's market with its reduced offerings.

The MK802 works very acceptably as a Netflix device. I attempted to install the free SnagFilms service, but I could not get it to work.

The bad news is that it doesn't seem to do streaming Shoutcast/IceCast playback - all of the apps that I use on my Samsung Galaxy Media 5.0 for streaming radio errored out when I tried to use them. This was a real disappointment for me, as I had a project in mind for the MK802 which involved playback of a Shoutcast stream.

Spotify does work, but as even the updated app does not have a landscape mode, it spins over to portrait mode, making navigation a challenge.

Twicca, my favorite Twitter app, is not compatible. Tweetcaster, however, works acceptably.

K-9 Mail works perfectly.

Meebo, my preferred IM client, works wonderfully with the MK802. However, it looks like Meebo will be closing in Mid-July as Google has acquired the company. Ebuddy is not compatible.

A quick list of apps I use that I can verify are not presently compatible: Winamp, TuneIn, Boat Browser, Twitter's official app, Facebook's official app, Blogger's official app, Wordpress's official app, Diaro, Ubersocial, Twigee, Tweetdeck, HootSuite, Soundcloud, Tasks N Todo's, EasyMoney, Google Currents, HeyWire, and News360.

Of course, there's no possible way to make a complete list - if there's an app in particular that you'd like for me to test, please reply and I'll try to test it as my time permits.

I tested 1080p video using the copy of "Inside Job" available for download on Vimeo. It played flawlessly. Same with all of my DVD-to-MP4 rips.

It detected my Western Digital 1gb Passport drive without issues.

I do have a display problem with the AllWinner on my 720p bedroom television - the left and right margins of the display are slightly clipped. Granted, it's a very old and off-brand LCD flatscreen (Element). The AllWinner displays gorgeously on the huge-screen Samsung 1080p in the living room.

There is the small issue of capacitive interface translating to a mouse. Getting used to 'clicking and throwing' takes a little bit of getting used to.

All in all, for $72 including shipping, it functions respectably in the "Internet Set-Top" department. If you want a cheap way to expand your TV's capabilities without having to buy a bunch of proprietary add-ons, you can't go wrong. Just remember that it's a first-gen product, and all of the glitches that come from early adoption apply.

Sent from my AK-MINI-PC-002 using Android Central Forums
 
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MobileMenace

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I just got a MK802 in the mail yesterday. For the price, it is fun to play with. The hardware is a little janky: the HDMI cable needed some jiggling for the colors to display correctly. By default it displays 720P, but can be changed to 1080P in the Display settings. Netflix and Chrome in the Play Store come up as being incompatible and won't even install. Plex and XBMC work great, though! Many games just don't work b/c of the interface: FPSs like Dead Trigger won't work with keyboard/mouse, though I was able to get an old Logitech USB controller to work through a powered USB hub. The controller configuration was limited and prevented useful controls. Crazy Snowboard is fun to play b/c another Android device can act as the controller. Getting CWM installed as well as CM10 seems to be more work than I'm willing to invest right now and in doing the research on the subject, I am now intrigued by the MK808 that's dual core and comes with Jelly Bean!
 

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