UG008 Android Mini PC Box

In an earlier article I stated that we use an MK808 for media streaming on the living room TV.  However, a few complaints on the system would be

1.) The wifi connection will not always be at its best.  Even when the router is directly behind the wall of where MK808 is hanging.

2.)  YouTube will sometimes just buffer forever, even though the internet connection is there on other apps.

3.)  Once every week or so we’ll have to go into Settings and Apps to Clear Data for the Netflix app resulting in having to log back in every time, this is a big deal as you’re username is your full email address and typing that out with just a mouse can be tedious.

UG008 Android Mini PC Box

The UI, hardware and programs are identical to the ones found on any other Android Rockchip RK3066 Dongle (MK808, MK808B, MK808III, MK809, MK809II UG007, etc), and since we’ve already covered the iPEGTOP MK808, we’ll only look at the differences.

Bluetooth Connectivity

Bluetooth is one of the reasons why I was looking into a new dongle to begin with.  Since these dongles and boxes usually have only 1 or 2 USB inputs at most, it becomes an issue to attach more peripherals to the unit.  The UG008 uses bluetooth V2 which is not the best, but is good enough for wireless mouses and keyboards.

RJ45 Ethernet LAN and External Antenna

Due to the common connection problems with these dongles and boxes, the selling point for the UG008 is the fact that it has both an external antenna and a an RJ45 port.  The ethernet port is only at 10/100 instead of the common 10/100/1000 found on brand name media players.  However, even with this slight draw back, it’s still a better option than WiFi as even with the external antenna the connection could be better.

One common problem with using an external USB to RJ45 on the dongles is that when you turn off the system and turn it back on, you need to activate the Ethernet connection through the Settings area every time, since the port is internal on the UG008, it is based on the configured settings prior to shutting down the system.

Physical ON/OFF button

Wow, I love this feature on the UG008.  Prior to ordering this, I had ordered a UG007 as a replacement for the MK808 and accidentally hit the turnoff button to shutdown prior to unplugging the machine.  Unfortunately, after trying to turn it on again, it just wouldn’t.  All the cables would be plugged in, but neither my monitor or TV would recognize a connection to their HDMI ports.  Since I did not have a wireless keyboard with a physical power ON/OFF button, the UG007 became a brick.

Proprietary power cable

I’ve always disliked power cables that are not standard USB as it results with having switch between one cable and another over and over again.  However, in the front of the unit is a micro-USB input which can be used for power as well.  I have the gadget plugged directly to my TV to turn off and on with the TV.

On the first day I received this product I installed AdAway and Adblocker since we watch online videos through the browser instead of YouTube, and those videos contain much more ads than the standard YouTube video ( for example).

    The UG008′s best selling points over the standard MK808 are

  • Bluetooth
  • External Antenna
  • Ethernet RJ45
  • Physical Power Button

However, at $20 more than the standard MK808 and MK808B dongles, it only has half the Nand Flash at 4GB instead of the standard 8GB found on the dongle models, but we rarely use internal space, so it’s not that much of a problem for us.  A 2GB RAM model would have been better since streaming videos use up more RAM than CPU.    The kernel model is still using the 720p resolution which is expanded to 1080p, so don’t expect to watch full HD videos, but even at 720p it’s very sharp.  The model does not heat up as much as the iPEGTOP MK808 but then again I’ve only tested it for 4 days.

Would I recommend the model?

Yes, even if you have a dongle that has the bluetooth feature, this would still be an upgrade for the external antenna and the RJ45 port.  An external antenna means you don’t have to worry about the heat from the mother board interfering with the connection and the antenna itself can be replaced and upgraded at any time.  The internal RJ45 port makes the model look more sleep without having extra dongles sticking out.