Tronsmart T428 unboxing and review!

deadhp1
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Joined: Thu Sep 20, 2012 5:22 pm

Tronsmart T428 unboxing and review!

Postby deadhp1 » Fri Apr 26, 2013 8:04 pm

I'm reviewing the T428 by Tronsmart.
http://www.geekbuying.com/item/Tronsmar ... 14524.html

It's one of 2 next generation android tv sticks I'll be reviewing this week.

First off let's explore the specs of the T428.

-Android 4.2
-Rockchip RK3188 quad core Cortex-A9 up to 1.8GHz(Probably underclocked 1.2-1.6ghz)
-quad core Mali-400 MP4
-2GB DDR3 @ 1333MHz
-8GB NAND Flash
-micro SD slot
-Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n/ac
-Bluetooth – BT4.0
-Full size USB port
-micro USB for power
-Male HDMI 1.4 port
-reset button
-5V/2A usb power adapter
-micro USB cable
-HDMI adapter cable

box2.jpg

box1.jpg

access1.jpg


The Physical Casing:

The casing for the T428 is a hybrid of plastic center and smooth metal edges.
It provides a bit of a nicer feel and more modern look than the last generation of android sticks.
back1.jpg


As usual only a few ports are available.
One the end there's a full size usb port for mice/keyboards. Of course this port can always be used for a usb hub.
Located directly next to the full size usb port is the micro usb port used for power. At minimum a 5V/2A adapter should be used.
usb1.jpg


The end opposite of the usb ports contains the HDMI male port.
Even though the full size male port can introduce a level of stress to the pcb I prefer it over adapters.
If you prefer adapters one is included.
hdmi1.jpg


One of the metal sides contains a micro sd slot and the reset button.
The reset button is easy to push and doesn't require a pin.
front1.jpg


The Software:

Android 4.2.2 comes installed on the Tronsmart T428. This provides an up to date Android experience.
My T428 had the following installed on it:
Build number:
rk31sdk-eng 4.2.2 JDQ39 eng.root.20130411.140611 test-keys
Kernel:
3.0.36+ (root@lhh) (gcc version 4.6.x-google 20120106(prerelease)(GCC)#1 SMP PREEMPT Thu Apr 11 11:04:44 CST 2013

From the factory this version is not rooted.
I expected it to be quick and wasn't let down. The RK3188 is clearly an excellent match.
At the current moment 720p is the only native resolution supported by the T428.(1280x672 because of navigation bar)
It upscales or downscales this based on your tv. Futures software versions will be available in 1080p.
The included Play Store seems to be compatible with most apps I've searched for. The only exception being Speedtest.net

Media Playback:
The RK3188 plays back most media formats. I tested it with a variety of different files ranging from 600mb avi's to 10GB 1080p mkv's.
They all played well. Even the VC-1 files I tried were supported.
DTS and AC3 both had no problems with playback. Although passthrough audio is not supported.
I haven't experienced and audio/video sync issues.

MX Player works great as an alternate player.
HBO Go had no problems with playback.
Netflix from the Play Store seems to have issues with some Android 4.2 devices. I installed an older version(1.8.1) in order to get it working.

Even better news is the RK3188 seems to have some support for XBMC.
I was able to install the Experimental libstagefright build of XBMC. Playback was excellent for 720p files up to 2GB in size.
Higher resolution and bigger file sizes seem to cause dropping of frames. (This doesn't happen in the other video player software)
Since I mostly use XBMC for it's amazing plugins this doesn't cause a problem for me.

Performance:
I've attempted to run Antutu on the T428 multiple times but haven't been successful yet. It reboots after 2% of testing.
This usually happens on android sticks when enough power is not supplied. So perhaps the T428 requires an adapter higher than the included 5V/2A.
All in all you can tell that this stick is blazing fast. Apps open instantly. Web pages are very fluid.
With 2GB of ram there is plenty of memory to spare.
The experience is much better than the previous dual core sticks. It's a great step up.

Wifi:
The T428 supports 802.11 b/g/n/a/c networks. I've been unable to test the 5Ghz support that's included since my router doesn't have this freq.
My connection never showed higher than 65Mbps. This is common with the Broadcom wifi modules recommended by Rockchip.
Still 65Mbps is more than enough to saturate my FIOS connection. I've had no problem with wifi connection drops.
The only place where 65Mbps wasn't enough for me was streaming 8GB-10GB 1080p mkv's.
My solution was simple. I just used a hub and a usb ethernet adapter.


Conclusion:
I've very impressed by the T428. I enjoy the speed and the media playback abilities are impressive.
I wasn't able to test 5Ghz wifi support, but for those with 5Ghz routers this would be the stick to buy.
I only have 3 issues with it.
-I wish the wifi supported higher speeds.
-Antutu kept crashing on me.
-An extra usb port would of been nice.

More information about the Tronsmart T428 can be found:
http://blog.geekbuying.com/index.php/20 ... view-here/

You can purchase the T428 from Geekbuying here:
http://www.geekbuying.com/item/Tronsmar ... 14524.html


I'll be writing up the review for the Tronsmart MK908 in a few hours so stay tuned for that!
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didshub
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Joined: Sun Apr 28, 2013 2:37 am

Re: Tronsmart T428 unboxing and review!

Postby didshub » Sun Apr 28, 2013 2:46 am

Hi,

First thanks for the great review.

I've some questions, maybe you could answer me. (i'm a noob about all those sticks so... sorry for stupid questions)

1) Is it possible to share files with "WIFI DIRECT"? i haven't see the WIFI DIRECT option in the screenshots.

2) Is possible to plug all kind of webcam and have skype video call? (i've an old Logitech C300 i'd like to use with this stick)

3) what do you mean when you say:"I wish the wifi supported higher speeds"? is it slow while websurfing?

Thanks for the answers coming.

JugsteR
Posts: 36
Joined: Sun Jan 20, 2013 4:12 pm

Re: Tronsmart T428 unboxing and review!

Postby JugsteR » Sun Apr 28, 2013 4:16 am

How hot does it get? Is it reasonably safe leaving it at the back of your TV at full load for a couple of hours?

It is said the Mk908 has dual heatsinks, how about this one?

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deadhp1
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Joined: Thu Sep 20, 2012 5:22 pm

Re: Tronsmart T428 unboxing and review!

Postby deadhp1 » Sun Apr 28, 2013 10:44 am

didshub wrote:Hi,

First thanks for the great review.

I've some questions, maybe you could answer me. (i'm a noob about all those sticks so... sorry for stupid questions)

1) Is it possible to share files with "WIFI DIRECT"? i haven't see the WIFI DIRECT option in the screenshots.

2) Is possible to plug all kind of webcam and have skype video call? (i've an old Logitech C300 i'd like to use with this stick)

3) what do you mean when you say:"I wish the wifi supported higher speeds"? is it slow while websurfing?

Thanks for the answers coming.


1) It should be possible. I don't really use wifi direct, but the T428 does have it listed. I have been able to connect to my phablet.
2)I'm not yet sure about weather webcams work or not. I try to test this a bit later today.
4)It's not slow for web browsing at all! The wifi maximum connection rate of the AP6330 in the T428 appears to be 65Mbps.
For reference my FIOS fiber optic connection is 35Mbps down/5Mbps up. The T428 is basically able to fully utilize my connection.
The only place the wifi is a little slow for me is when streaming 8-10GB 1080p videos. I'd prefer 150Mbps.

JugsteR wrote:How hot does it get? Is it reasonably safe leaving it at the back of your TV at full load for a couple of hours?

It is said the Mk908 has dual heatsinks, how about this one?

Signature? Signature!


The T428 gets warm. Nothing nearly as hot as the MK908 gets.(The MK908 gets very hot for some reason).
BTW I took apart my MK908 and it just has the 1 thin heatsink. I tried to take apart the T428 to get at the insides, but haven't been successful yet.
The T428 has metal strips connected with double sided tape that are very difficult to pry off. Then the case needs to be unsnapped.
I'll get there once I find my plastic pry tool set.

didshub
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Apr 28, 2013 2:37 am

Re: Tronsmart T428 unboxing and review!

Postby didshub » Sun Apr 28, 2013 8:08 pm

Ok thanks for you answers, and let me know when you know for webcams use.

- I'd like to use an USB HUB, it should work if it has his own power?

linuxium
Posts: 16
Joined: Thu Jan 03, 2013 1:30 am

Re: Tronsmart T428 unboxing and review!

Postby linuxium » Mon Apr 29, 2013 8:55 am

Thanks deadhp1 for your rooted firmware image. How did you get ADB to recognize the device? I tried on Ubuntu and Windows 7 (both 32 and 64 bit versions) and I tried the supplied micro USB cable, a similar cable, a USB to USB cable, with and without an USB hub, pressing the reset button prior to connecting and without pressing. USB debugging was definitely set and there was no problem with the drivers as I installed these under Windows 7 when I ended up flashing your image. But even after (having gone and re-enabled USB debugging) the device refused to be seen by ADB, or Moborobo or TPSparkyRoot. It seems others have also had this problem looking at the Geekbuying blog for the T428.

Using your rooted firmware I got an Anuntu score of 15754 (+/- 10 over 3 runs) but I'd already taken the unit apart (partly because it was running hot and partly in frustration as I waited to get an old PC with Windows XP running to again try ADB!) and I ran it using a mini fan I position over the CPU as my cooling solution. Without the fan it looks like the CPU was hitting a thermo limit as the device kept power cycling early in the Antutu tests. I've posted a couple of other observations at https://plus.google.com/u/0/10945117800 ... 11mnZtJBpq

deadhp1
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Re: Tronsmart T428 unboxing and review!

Postby deadhp1 » Mon Apr 29, 2013 11:19 am

If your T428 isn't being recognized by adb you can try going into android settings--->USB---->Connect to PC.

Glad your enjoying the firmware. Nice Antutu score! Thanks for the hint about the fan. I'll give it a shot and see if I can run Antutu finally.

JugsteR
Posts: 36
Joined: Sun Jan 20, 2013 4:12 pm

Re: Tronsmart T428 unboxing and review!

Postby JugsteR » Wed May 01, 2013 5:35 am

deadhp1 wrote:If your T428 isn't being recognized by adb you can try going into android settings--->USB---->Connect to PC.

Glad your enjoying the firmware. Nice Antutu score! Thanks for the hint about the fan. I'll give it a shot and see if I can run Antutu finally.

I think this is one of the reasons we're setting very different performance results. Some are able to measure without additional cooling which results in lower scores. Some run their tests with additional cooling which gives them a different view of what this platform is capable of.

To it seems the point is moot if you can not utilize the full potential without external mods. It seems almost like the form factor of TV sticks is the culprit.

At least when compared to the cooling that you get when buying an odroid.

Perhaps something in between is what is sufficient.

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linuxium
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Re: Tronsmart T428 unboxing and review!

Postby linuxium » Wed May 01, 2013 9:59 am

Well a question has been raised over on ANDROIDini as to whether the Android 4.2.2 ROM a genuine RK3188 ROM. I tried their suggestion of installing the initial stock 4.1.1 ROM that Geekbuying first posted and found that Antutu went up to an average of 17713 (with a high of 17971 in one run).

deadhp1
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Re: Tronsmart T428 unboxing and review!

Postby deadhp1 » Wed May 01, 2013 11:09 am

I installed the 4.1.1 firmware and found that yes general performance increased, but at the same time video performance decreased.
With 4.1.1 playback appears jerky with frame being dropped.
4.2.2 on the other hand playback is nearly perfect.

The Mk908 has the same issue with video playback on 4.1.1.

So for me I'll stick with the 4.2.2 since my primary use of this stick is video playback.

JugsteR
Posts: 36
Joined: Sun Jan 20, 2013 4:12 pm

Re: Tronsmart T428 unboxing and review!

Postby JugsteR » Wed May 01, 2013 2:22 pm

Deadhp1 are you seeing the stuttering or judder that many people see on the rk3066 sticks when playing games or playing videos. I mean is it visible on rk3188 too? To a lesser extent perhaps?

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deadhp1
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Re: Tronsmart T428 unboxing and review!

Postby deadhp1 » Wed May 01, 2013 3:34 pm

JugsteR wrote:Deadhp1 are you seeing the stuttering or judder that many people see on the rk3066 sticks when playing games or playing videos. I mean is it visible on rk3188 too? To a lesser extent perhaps?

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On 4.1.1 there is a noticable frame skip going on while playing back videos. It's constant. 4.2.2 doesn't seem to have this problem.
I tested them both with the same videos.
It's different than the rk3066 stuttering.
I haven't tested games really.
Are there any free ones you want me to test?
I can compare it to some of the rk3066 sticks I've got and can also compare between the 4.1.1 and 4.2.2 on the rk3188 sticks.

JugsteR
Posts: 36
Joined: Sun Jan 20, 2013 4:12 pm

Re: Tronsmart T428 unboxing and review!

Postby JugsteR » Wed May 01, 2013 4:14 pm

Below is what is being said in another thread... So Angry Birds demo should suffice to test stuttering.



"hyp3r,

Nevermind the video players; try it in an opengl game ie. the Angry Birds demo, before you hit "Play Game" there is a smooth scrolling bird flying in the screen. The stutter is EXTREMELY obvious there -- if it's gone, you'll see it right away.

The video players can give different results (different files, streaming speeds etc...). The bug is more fundamental -- it's in the video output.

I still haven't tried the MK802 firmwares. I will report when I do."

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indfo
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Re: Tronsmart T428 unboxing and review!

Postby indfo » Thu May 02, 2013 1:55 pm

Geekbuying.com, just be careful!

Ah! There came the shipment “Order number 3037184″. I was so so happy!
Then I open the box, wow! I got the free ethernet to USB cable, wow I got the power adapter and the awesome box! I just jumped seeing it… but oh wait! where is the Tronsmart T428? It is such a magical device that it vanished through the packaging!!!

The delivery came without the device and what was delivered was every accessory. How can this even happen? Isnt such basic thing checked?

deadhp1
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Joined: Thu Sep 20, 2012 5:22 pm

Re: Tronsmart T428 unboxing and review!

Postby deadhp1 » Thu May 02, 2013 2:03 pm

On 4.1.1 there is a slight stutter in the Angry Birds demo at the beginning. It only lasts for about 3 seconds then all is normal.
On 4.2.2 there is no stutter in the demo.

deadhp1
Posts: 677
Joined: Thu Sep 20, 2012 5:22 pm

Re: Tronsmart T428 unboxing and review!

Postby deadhp1 » Thu May 02, 2013 4:13 pm

I've mirrored the 4.1.1 firmware, and written a quick guide for users to upgrade to 4.1.1 should they choose to.
viewtopic.php?f=208&t=2020


indfo wrote:Geekbuying.com, just be careful!

Ah! There came the shipment “Order number 3037184″. I was so so happy!
Then I open the box, wow! I got the free ethernet to USB cable, wow I got the power adapter and the awesome box! I just jumped seeing it… but oh wait! where is the Tronsmart T428? It is such a magical device that it vanished through the packaging!!!

The delivery came without the device and what was delivered was every accessory. How can this even happen? Isnt such basic thing checked?


indfo,
You should contact geekbuying asap and get this issue resolved. That has got to be a big mistake on their part.

JugsteR
Posts: 36
Joined: Sun Jan 20, 2013 4:12 pm

Re: Tronsmart T428 unboxing and review!

Postby JugsteR » Thu May 02, 2013 5:14 pm

deadhp1 wrote:On 4.1.1 there is a slight stutter in the Angry Birds demo at the beginning. It only lasts for about 3 seconds then all is normal.
On 4.2.2 there is no stutter in the demo.

Thank you.

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murat
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Re: Tronsmart T428 unboxing and review!

Postby murat » Wed May 08, 2013 4:04 am

I'd appreciate if you help me have a problem with the device. see, but does not read the flash drive. You see the same way, but it does not read the hard drive. In both cases:'' Error read, please check this file readable or exist. '' Warning. I do not know what caused the problem, please somebody help me!
Note: I have tried the same result with usb hub.

Radiant311
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Joined: Thu May 30, 2013 9:33 pm

Re: Tronsmart T428 unboxing and review!

Postby Radiant311 » Thu May 30, 2013 9:51 pm

So has anyone managed to hook up a usb terabyte sized hard drive with a powered usb hub and also what about a 128gb usb 2.0 flash drive would this be as fast or faster read speeds than a external SanDisk Ultra Microsd Card?

oren01
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Jun 24, 2013 12:10 am

Re: Tronsmart T428 unboxing and review!

Postby oren01 » Mon Jun 24, 2013 1:04 am

murat wrote:I'd appreciate if you help me have a problem with the device. see, but does not read the flash drive. You see the same way, but it does not read the hard drive. In both cases:'' Error read, please check this file readable or exist. '' Warning. I do not know what caused the problem, please somebody help me!
Note: I have tried the same result with usb hub.



Hi all,
I'm experiencing the same problem and tried connecting through and without a usb hub (unpowered)
any solution yet? i searched google , and the only mention for a similar problem like myn is Murats.

Murat , any news?


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