Thursday, April 2, 2015

Product review: LYNEC M6 Quad Core XBMC Android 4.4.2 TV Box

As a background for my review I own a Tronsmart Android TV. I have owned it for over a year and use it frequently. My opinion of Lynec is influenced by the experience with the Tronsmart Android TV and in this review I compare the two devices.

❌ Lynec is also an Android TV which has XBMC software pre-installed and has its own shell over a standard Google interface. I prefer a straight Google interface and found the Lynec shell cumbersome to use as it allows less customization. Tronsmart, by comparison, uses a standard Google Interface which gives me the complete control over what I see on my desktop and how it is organized. You can see Lynec custom shell in my video.

❌ Right out of the box Lynec display did not render correctly on my screen: the left and right sides were clipped and I could see only partial menus. I needed to locate the display adjustment and scale the display 90% to stop edge clipping. I am using 1080p TV and this is the first time an Android TV display did not render correctly right out of the box. You can see what it looked like before the adjustment in my video, as well as the adjustment control in case you need to use it too.

❌ Lynec comes with a cumbersome remote control. Not only the remote is cumbersome to use especially when you need to type using the on-screen grid, but the Lynec box is not very sensitive to the remote control unless the remote is aimed directly at the Lynec box. I keep my Android TV behind the TV monitor, so I placed Lynec box next to it initially. Lynec did not respond to the remote 100% of the time when it was behind the TV. I had to move the box to be in front of the TV for it to respond reliably to every click. To enter any data you need to use on screen keyboard which is a grid that you need to navigate left/right/up/down to select letters. This is not a good experience for anyone who is used to a touch screen. I attached my own air mouse but it did not work right away as the ability to use an air mouse was disabled by default. I had to find where the option to enable it was located. By comparison Tronsmart Android TV (which also ships with the cumbersome remote) recognized the air mouse as soon as I plugged in its dongle.

❌ I normally test the speed of each device using OOKLA speedtest, but when I tried to install this app I got an error from the PlayStore that OOKLA speedtest was not compatible with my device.

✅ The basic set up was very easy. All I had to do is plug in power and connect HDMI cable to my TV. When I selected HDMI output on my TV display it was operational. I had an option to connect with Ethernet cable or WI HI. Both worked.

✅ Lynec box is fairly compact 5"W x 5"L x 11"H in size.

✅ Lynec is running 4.4.2 (KitKat) Android operating system. Many of my favorite apps worked fine: Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, Playstore, and so forth. So far Speedtest was the only one that did not work, but it is a sign that it is not totally compatible with all Android apps. To use Netflix or Hulu you need to have a subscription. Using this box does not give any more access to their content than using any other Android TV.

❌ Lynec has XBMC pre-installed. This is my first experience with XBMC. You get access to some recent movies, but out of the three I tried two failed to load and the third did load but ran with a alot of stops to buffer and I did not find it to be a great experience. I have a fast internet connection so the issue is with the source of the stream. I can't really enjoy a movie if every few minutes I need to wait for it to load the next segment.

So what is the bottom line? It worked after a bit of tinkering, but frankly I prefer a straight Android TV without a custom shell where I have more control over the look and feel of the interface. XBMC, its main differentiator, was disappointing.

You can find it on Amazon by following this link.

Ali Julia review ★★★☆☆

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