Years back it was hard to find reasonable and affordable solutions to running Kodi (formerly XBMC) for our home theater without severely investing in an actual PC or learning (and pulling our hair) worrying about jailbreaking an Apple TV. Fast forward a few years and we’ve got devices the size of a USB thumb drive capable of running Kodi. We don’t seem to have that problem anymore as there are hundreds available to try and test. Choosing a device though can depend on things like price, functionality, and of course what OS you need or want to use. Thankfully a device like the MXQ Amlogic S805 may be a good introductory device for those just starting out with Kodi.

A few days ago I wrote about my favorite devices for 2015 and I still stand by them as your best bets that will be the easiest to setup and cause the least amount of headaches in the long run. For those that aren’t terribly tech savvy though even choosing amongst those three may be to much. Fortunately there are more and more android boxes coming pre-installed with Kodi on them.

The s805 is one of those boxes.

Technical Specs on the MXQ Amlogic S805

The box itself is similar in size to the FireTV. It comes equipped with Android 4.4.2 Kitkat with Kodi(13.2 Gotham) and the Google Play Store pre-installed.

The rest of the specs are as follows:

  • Full HD 1080p support through HDMI, 3D Videos.
  • Chipset:Amlogic S805 Quad-Core Cortex-A5 at 1.5GHz
  • Graphics Processing Unit:Quad-Core Mali-450 at 600MHz+
  • FLASH:8GB NAND FLASH
  • RAM:1GB DDR3 SDRAM
  • Power Supply:DC 5V/2A
  • OS:Android 4.4
  • 3D:3D-HD
  • Decoder:1080P HEVC/H.264 H.265,HD AVC/VC-1,HD MPEG1/2/4,RM/RMVB,Xvid/DivX3/4/5/6 ,RealVideo8/9/10
  • Media:Avi/Rm/Rmvb/Ts/Vob/Mkv/Mov/ISO/wmv/asf/flv/dat/mpg/mpeg
  • Music:MP3/WMA/AAC/WAV/OGG/AC3/DDP/TrueHD/DTS/DTS/HD/FLAC/APE
  • Photo:HD JPEG/BMP/GIF/PNG/TIFF
  • USB host:4 High speed USB 2.0,support U DISK and USB HDD
  • Card reader:SD/SDHC/MMC cards
  • HDD file system:FAT16/FAT32/NTFS
  • HD Video output:SD/HD max.1920×1080 pixel
  • LAN:Ethernet:10/100M standard RJ-45
  • Wireless:Built in WiFi (g/b/n)
  • Mouse/ Keyboard:Support mouse and keyboard via USB;Support 2.4GHz wireless mouse and keyboard via 2.4GHz USB dongle
  • HDMI:HDMI 1.4b
  • 3G:Support
  • SPDIF/IEC958:Coaxial

The dimensions themselves are 118mm x 118mm x 25mm. Inside the box you’ll find the Android Box, a manual, a power adapter, and an A/V cable.

The MXQ Amlogic s805 Review for Kodi

At such a respectable price point ($45 on Amazon) I want to fall in love with this box. It can certainly hold it’s on but I find the polish of it’s overall functionality fails when compared to other devices like the Amazon Fire TV.

For those who are new to the Android platform and are looking for a quick and easy setup this could be a good start. Unfortunately most of the models are shipping with an older version of Kodi which is Gotham 13.2. While it’s not terribly out of date there have already been significant improvements on the Android version since then with Kodi 14.0 being a whole hell of a lot speedier performance wise. I’ve tested the latest version, 15.0 RC2 labelled Isengard and it’s a small improvement (I’ve found) even over version 14.

If you’re not someone who cares about Kodi performance then this box should work just fine. Even still if you’re someone who enjoys getting their tech hands dirty you shouldn’t have to much issue upgrading the stock Kodi version to the latest one after following a couple tutorials.

Truth Be Told
There is nothing really wrong with the s805, it can handle 1080p (based on your internet connection) just fine and has more then enough power for most media files. If you’re looking for a device just to play Kodi while saving some bucks from some of the other more popular models, the Amlogic s805 will do reasonably.

My biggest grip thus far has only come in regards to some problems with it receiving commands. I’ve had issues where the remote has taken a lot longer then expected. For example when trying to reveal the controls menu in Kodi it’s taken a good 10 – 20 seconds at times for it to show. It doesn’t seem like much but it’s very noticeable when you’re wanting to stop media or fast forward.

I actually ended up ditching the remote and instead invested in using the Yatse App to control my Kodi installs. Perhaps I may have had a faulty remote from the get go. A remote can be replaced and ultimately if that’s the only issue you have you’ll be happy you purchased this.

Wrapping It Up

If you’re looking into adding another media player to your home, wanting to take one on the road, etc then the MXQ Amlogic S805 won’t disappoint in terms of performance. It’s compact, it packs a punch, plays HD and 3D just fine and could be the perfect companion to your growing cord cutting home network.

For me I’m still more fond of devices like the FireTV and NVIDIA Shield for my main player but for something in the bedroom this has been a godsend. After struggling with the remote for a few weeks I just added it to Yatse and things have worked flawlessly since then.

I opted to purchase this at $45.50 opposed to the Amazon fireTV stick for nothing more then the integrated ethernet port. Living in a condo building I deal with hundreds of WiFi signals so having it wired is a must.

If you’re in a similar situation then this product is a no brainer.

Are you an owner or have questions about it? Ask away in the comments below.