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MECOOL KM7 Plus Android TV Box Review

The MECOOL KM7 Plus is one of the latest Android TV boxes to hit the market. As more cord cutters look to ditch traditional cable and satellite TV in favor of streaming, devices like the KM7 Plus provide an easy way to access all of your favorite streaming apps on your TV.

I‘ve been testing out the MECOOL KM7 Plus for the past few weeks to see how it stacks up against competitors like the Chromecast with Google TV and Fire TV Stick 4K. In this MECOOL KM7 Plus review, I‘ll cover everything you need to know about this Android TV streaming box including features, performance, app support, gaming capabilities and more.

MECOOL KM7 Plus Features and Specs

Here‘s an overview of the key specs and features included with the MECOOL KM7 Plus:

  • Android TV 11 OS
  • Amlogic S905Y4 quad-core CPU
  • Mali-G31 MP2 GPU
  • 2GB RAM
  • 16GB internal storage
  • microSD card slot for expanded storage up to 128GB
  • HDMI 2.1 output
  • AV1, VP9, H.265, and H.264 video decoding
  • Dual-band WiFi 5 (802.11ac)
  • Bluetooth 5.0
  • Ethernet port
  • 2 x USB 2.0 ports
  • Voice controls with Google Assistant
  • Chromecast built-in
  • Comes with Google TV remote control

Design

The MECOOL KM7 Plus features a compact rectangular design that‘s comparable in size to an Amazon Fire TV Stick. It measures 3.9 x 3.9 x 1.0 inches, making it easy to hide behind your TV.

The exterior has a matte black finish that feels sturdy. The bottom of the device has four rubberized feet to prevent sliding.

On the back panel, you‘ll find all of the ports including HDMI 2.1, AV, Ethernet, optical audio, two USB 2.0 ports, microSD slot, and the DC power input.

Having both wired network and USB connectivity is a big advantage compared to streaming sticks that only offer WiFi and no USB.

Remote Control

The MECOOL KM7 Plus comes bundled with the Google TV remote which has quickly become one of my favorite streaming remote controls. It has a simple and intuitive design that feels great in the hand.

The remote connects via Bluetooth and has all the standard playback controls. There‘s also a directional pad for navigation, volume/power controls for your TV, and dedicated app shortcut buttons for YouTube, Netflix, Prime Video and Disney+.

Voice commands work very responsively with the built-in Google Assistant button. This allows you to launch apps, search for content, control smart home devices, and more completely hands-free.

The remote has very good range and never disconnected during my testing. The Bluetooth connectivity means you don‘t have to worry about any line-of-sight issues compared to IR remotes.

MECOOL KM7 Plus Review and Performance

Next, let‘s dive into how the MECOOL KM7 Plus actually performs and what it‘s like to use on a daily basis.

User Interface and Software

The MECOOL KM7 Plus runs the latest Google TV interface on top of Android 11. This provides a polished UI designed specifically for the living room.

Google TV aims to help you discover new content from all your streaming apps and subscriptions. The home screen shows customized recommendations and highlights trending movies/shows.

You also get standard Android TV features like the ability to add favorite apps to the home screen rows and rearrange app order.

Google TV has some ads on the home screen promoting content, which some users may find annoying. But the ads are fairly unobtrusive in my experience.

The software experience is generally smooth and fast thanks to the capable internal hardware. Animations and scrolling have a nice fluidity to them.

Apps open quickly and I didn‘t experience any sluggishness even with multiple apps running. The 2GB of RAM is sufficient for most streaming use cases. However, more RAM would help provide extra breathing room for multitasking and gaming.

One downside of Google TV is that it takes up quite a bit of the limited 16GB internal storage – around 6GB. Luckily there is a microSD card slot to expand the storage affordably. More on that later.

App Support and Streaming

When it comes to app support, you get full access to the Google Play Store for Android TV. This gives you thousands of apps to download for streaming, gaming, productivity and more.

All the major streaming services like Netflix, Prime Video, Disney+, Hulu, YouTube and more are available. Apps like Plex, Kodi, and TivoStream 4K can also be installed for advanced media server and DVR capabilities.

I tried streaming 4K HDR content from Netflix, Prime Video, YouTube and Plex and everything worked flawlessly. Picture quality was fantastic thanks to HDR10/HLG support.

The built-in Chromecast functionality makes it easy to cast videos, music and photos from your phone or tablet as well.

Most IPTV services also work great. I was able to install an IPTV Smarters app and had no issues streaming live TV channels in HD. Just make sure your IPTV service provides an Android TV-compatible app.

Gaming

Gaming capabilities on the MECOOL KM7 Plus are decent but not outstanding. Less demanding games like Beat Saber or Sonic Racing play smoothly. Graphics-intensive 3D games like Asphalt 9 are playable but suffer from some occasional lag and stuttering.

The key limitation is the Mali-G31 GPU. While capable for media playback, it doesn‘t provide enough muscle for high-end Android gaming. The processor also caps out at 2.0Ghz clock speeds under load which can‘t match flagship Android TV boxes with faster CPUs.

Casual gaming is enjoyable on the KM7 Plus but serious gamers will want to look at more powerful options like the Nvidia Shield TV.

Network Connectivity

For network connectivity, you get dual-band WiFi 5, Bluetooth 5.0, and a 10/100Mbit Ethernet port.

In my testing, wireless performance was solid with my 300Mbps Internet connection. I measured over 200Mbps downloads speeds in the same room as my router over 5Ghz WiFi. Just note the WiFi maxes out at 802.11ac specs, not the latest 802.11ax WiFi 6 standard.

The Ethernet port is handy for a hardwired connection if your WiFi is unstable. Just know that it‘s limited to 100Mbps maximum speeds. Faster Gigabit Ethernet would have been nice for the price.

Storage and Expandability

As mentioned earlier, internal storage is a bit lacking at just 16GB. After the OS, you‘re left with only around 10GB free. This is enough for some streaming apps and games, but can quickly fill up.

Luckily, the microSD card slot allows you to massively expand the storage cheaply. I tested a 128GB card which worked perfectly. Apps and games can be set to install directly onto the SD card.

The two USB 2.0 ports also enable external drives for more storage expansion. I connected a 1TB portable SSD which performed well. The USB ports can even power external hard drives without the need for a separate power adapter.

While the ports are limited to USB 2.0 speeds, that‘s still more than fast enough for streaming media. The only downside is longer transfer times for large files.

Voice Controls

Voice control functionality is another highlight of the MECOOL KM7 Plus thanks to Google Assistant integration. Pressing the microphone button on the remote allows you to control the streaming box completely hands-free.

Some examples of voice commands include:

  • "Play Stranger Things on Netflix"
  • "Search for action movies"
  • "Pause video"
  • "Show my smart home cameras"
  • "What‘s the weather today?"

I found voice requests to work very quickly. The remote‘s mic picked up my voice even from across the room. You can also use this feature to control smart home devices like lights, thermostats and more.

Two minor downsides are that you must press the mic button first instead of always-listening voice, and it doesn‘t support follow-up commands without pressing the button again. But overall it‘s still a very useful hands-free feature.

Picture Quality

When it comes to AV performance, the MECOOL KM7 Plus delivers excellent 4K HDR picture quality to your TV. It supports all the major formats including:

  • 4K at 60fps
  • HDR10/HDR10+
  • HLG
  • Dolby Vision is notably absent

Streaming 4K HDR content was spectacular. Movies and videos displayed sharp detail, vibrant and accurate colors, great contrast and highlights.

The powerful video decoding capabilities really shine thanks to the combination of the S905Y4 processor and AV1 support. Even high bitrate 4K files played back smoothly without any choppiness or frame drops.

Upscaling of lower resolution content was also decent. 720p and 1080p videos still looked relatively crisp on my 4K TV. Some more expensive streamers do have better upscaling thanks to machine learning but I was satisfied with the picture for the price.

Audio Support

For audio, you get support for all the major surround sound codecs including Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby Atmos, and DTS. This allows you to take advantage of your home theater speaker setup.

The optical S/PDIF port allows older receivers without HDMI ARC to transmit surround sound as well.

One odd omission is DTS:X surround sound. But Dolby Atmos is the more widely used format these days anyways.

Pros

  • Excellent 4K HDR streaming performance
  • Google TV provides a polished interface
  • Voice controls work very well
  • Plenty of storage expandability options
  • Great remote control included
  • Solid app support from Google Play Store
  • Good value for the price

Cons

  • Only 2GB RAM and 16GB internal storage
  • No support for Dolby Vision or DTS:X
  • No USB 3.0 ports
  • WiFi maxes out at 802.11ac specs
  • Some may not like Google TV ads

Bottom Line

The MECOOL KM7 Plus delivers virtually everything you need in an affordable 4K HDR streaming box. It nails the core essentials like smooth streaming performance, extensive app support, and excellent AV capabilities.

The addition of Google TV provides a robust software experience that‘s optimized for the living room. Intuitive voice controls and Chromecast streaming make it easy to control your entertainment hands-free.

There are a few nitpicks like the lack of Dolby Vision support, limited internal storage, and no WiFi 6. But considering the price, it‘s hard to complain. The microSD slot, USB ports, and Ethernet connectivity add great expandability.

If you want best-in-class gaming or are an audio/videophile looking for every last high-end spec, you may want to look at pricier options. But for most cost-conscious cord cutters, the MECOOL KM7 Plus hits the sweet spot.

It beats out mid-range competitors like the Fire TV Stick 4K and Chromecast with Google TV as an overall package while costing much less than premium models like the Shield TV.

So if you‘re looking for an affordable Android TV box that delivers excellent 4K HDR streaming and beyond, the MECOOL KM7 Plus is easily recommended.

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