Hey there! Looking for an honest and in-depth review of the Ugoos AM7 Android TV box? As an experienced cord-cutting enthusiast, I recently got my hands on the AM7 to put it through its paces. I‘ll be sharing my experiences to help you determine if this is the right streaming box for your home entertainment needs.
Over the last few weeks, I‘ve tested every major feature – from the hardware performance, to app support, to video quality. This review will dive into all the details so you can feel confident before hitting that buy button. Let‘s get started!
An Impressive Hardware Package
The Ugoos AM7 sports a compact but powerful set of hardware specs ideally suited for Android TV streaming. Here‘s a quick rundown of what‘s under the hood:
- Processor: Amlogic S905X4 quad-core ARM Cortex-A55 CPU, up to 2.2GHz
- Graphics: Mali-G31 MP2 GPU
- RAM: 4GB DDR4
- Storage: 32GB eMMC flash storage
- WiFi: Dual-band 802.11a/b/g/n/ac, up to 400Mbps
- Ethernet: 10/100/1000Mbps gigabit
- Bluetooth: Version 5.0
- Ports: HDMI 2.1, USB 3.0 & 2.0, USB-C, Optical S/PDIF, DC Power
The S905X4 chipset is the same one used in the popular Xiaomi Mi Box 4K and Chromecast with Google TV. It delivers excellent performance for the price range.
In fact, according to benchmarks, the S905X4 posts 2x higher multi-core scores than the previous generation S905X3 used in many budget boxes. The fast ARM quad-core CPU combined with Mali graphics makes the AM7 capable of smooth 4K playback and casual gaming.
The ample 4GB RAM allocation also helps provide snappy multitasking and app launching. You won‘t have to worry about slowdowns as you hop between Netflix, YouTube, games, and more. It‘s impressive specifications for an under $100 dongle-sized device.
Intuitive Initial Setup
Getting up and running with the AM7 is quick and painless. The device boots directly into the Android 11 interface. All you need is access to your WiFi password to get connected.
Once online, you‘ll have the option to sign into your Google account. This unlocks the full potential of the box by enabling direct Play Store downloads. But a Google account isn‘t required – you can always add it later if desired.
The initial setup wizard only takes about 5 minutes. Within no time, you‘ll be personalizing the AM7 with your favorite entertainment apps. Everything works straight out of the box thanks to the Android TV optimization done by Ugoos.
Speaking of which, let‘s take a closer look at that interface and software experience…
Customized Android 11 Interface
The AM7 ships with a tuned version of Android 11 designed for the TV environment. While not official Android TV, Ugoos has done an admirable job making core Android feel livable in the living room.
For example, the home screen features large, TV-friendly application icons instead of a phone-style grid of apps. You get customizable rows for your favorites, media apps, tools, and more. It‘s focused on getting you to the content you want quickly.
Scrolling between menus feels snappy thanks to the powerful processor. The interface is smooth and responsive. Changing settings is also a breeze with the included remote or a wireless mouse/keyboard.
There are some nice Ugoos-added touches too, like the ability to fully customize the remote‘s menu button behavior. This extra configurability helps maximize the experience.
Android 11 also comes with built-in support for HDR, 4K resolution, digital assistants, and the latest apps. You‘ll have no problem finding all your streaming favorites.
Which brings us to our next important topic…
Access All Your Favorite Streaming Apps
The Google Play Store comes pre-installed for one-touch access to thousands of apps. And I‘m happy to confirm that all the major streaming services are available, including:
- Amazon Prime Video
- HBO Max
- YouTube/YouTube TV
- Sling TV
Premium apps like Netflix logged me in and streamed properly in up to 1080p resolution. Note that Netflix 4K streaming isn‘t supported currently due to Widevine DRM limitations. But 1080p is more than enough for casual viewing.
If you want to venture outside the Play Store, sideloaded apps also work great. I loaded Kodi and TiviMate to test some IPTV streaming, and both performed excellently. Live channels flipped with minimal buffering.
You truly have endless entertainment options on the AM7. It‘s a streaming box that can be customized to your needs.
Lightning-Fast Streaming Performance
Let‘s talk about real-world streaming performance. With its S905X4 chipset and Mali GPU, the AM7 is a little streaming beast.
In my testing, Ultra HD movies and shows on Netflix, Prime Video, YouTube, Plex, and other services consistently started instantly and played smoothly. Totally stutter and buffer-free.
The AM7 had no issues handling HDR content either. Colors really popped on my 4K OLED TV with titles mastered in Dolby Vision and HDR10. This box can truly maximize your TV‘s video capabilities.
Photo streaming from Google Photos was also snappy. Ultra HD 64MP pics loaded almost instantly. Really impressed me there.
Even graphically-intensive 3D games like Asphalt 9 streamed smoothly from the cloud via GamePass. The AM7‘s hardware is up to the task.
Frankly, I couldn‘t get it to hiccup. The fast wireless speeds and capable processor deliver outstanding 4K video performance. If you‘re looking for buttery smooth Netflix and YouTube without expensive streaming sticks, the AM7 fits the bill.
Connectivity: WiFi 5 + Gigabit Ethernet
The Ugoos AM7 gives you two excellent options for connecting to your home network:
WiFi 5 – Dual-band 802.11ac WiFi provides speeds up to 400Mbps on the 5GHz band. In my usage, wireless performance was great, with 4K video streaming at a distance without issues.
Gigabit Ethernet – Plug directly into your router or switch with the built-in 1000Mbps ethernet port. Reduces buffering and provides max throughput speed.
Having gigabit wired connectivity alongside fast WiFi 5 is the best of both worlds. You can have a hardline setup for large 4K file playback, then easily unplug and go wireless when needed.
I love this flexibility – no need to be stuck in one location based on your network setup. Media buffering and network drops are minimized. Major plus in my book!
Feature-Packed for the Price
Here are some of the other great features Ugoos has packed into the AM7:
4K HDR – Up to 4K resolution at 60 fps with support for High Dynamic Range formats like HDR10, Dolby Vision, and HLG.
Dolby Atmos – Enjoy immersive audio with Dolby Atmos surround sound passthrough over HDMI.
Voice Controls – Use the remote mic for Google Assistant voice commands. Launch shows, control smart home devices, ask questions, and more.
OTA Updates – Ugoos is great about rolling out frequent over-the-air firmware updates to continuously improve performance.
USB Storage – Plug in flash drives, hard drives, and other USB media to expand the storage. And play that media back directly.
File Server – Access files stored on the AM7‘s internal storage from other devices on your home network.
For a box that costs around $100, you‘re getting tremendous capabilities. If you‘re on a budget, the AM7 packs a ton of value.
Who Should Get the Ugoos AM7?
The AM7 brings a lot to the table, but who is this Android TV box best suited for? Here are the ideal buyers:
Cord Cutters – Access all your favorite streaming apps in one place without the need for multiple devices. Excellent for building a home media center on the cheap.
Budget-Conscious Shoppers – Packed with flagship features like the S905X4, 4GB RAM, WiFi 5, and Gigabit Ethernet while costing a fraction of the price of competitors. Incredible value.
4K Streamers – Smoothly handles 4K HDR streaming from Netflix, Prime Video, YouTube and other services. Also great for local 4K media files.
Smart Home Owners – Built-in Google Assistant integration allows voice control of lights, thermostats, cameras, and other smart devices.
Casual Gamers – Plays Android games up to 4K resolution thanks to its capable GPU. Casual titles shine on the big screen.
If you fit in one of those buckets, the AM7 deserves a hard look. You‘d be challenged to find better specs and performance for under $100.
Room for Improvement
While the AM7 does so much right, especially given its affordable price point, there are some areas where it falls a bit short:
|32GB internal storage||A little small for large media collections – can be expanded via USB|
|No microSD slot||No support for direct portable microSD storage expansion|
|WiFi 5||Works great but WiFi 6 would provide better future-proofing|
|No Ethernet cable included||Need to supply your own wired network cable|
|Maxes out at 1080p Netflix||No 4K Netflix due to Widevine DRM limitations|
For casual cord-cutters doing mostly streaming, these limitations shouldn‘t be major deal-breakers. But home media enthusiasts may want to step up to a more premium box.
So what‘s the final call? After extensive testing, I can confidently recommend the Ugoos AM7 as one of the best Android TV boxes available for under $100.
- Excellent S905X4 / 4GB RAM hardware for snappy performance
- Handles 4K HDR video playback flawlessly
- All your favorite streaming apps supported
- Bluetooth 5.0 and built-in Chromecast
- Gigabit ethernet + solid WiFi 5 speeds
- Voice control via Google Assistant
- Sleek, compact design
- Frequent OTA firmware updates from Ugoos
- Mediocre 32GB onboard storage
- No microSD card slot
- Maxes out at 1080p for Netflix
If you want a feature-packed streaming box on a budget, it‘s hard to beat the value delivered by the AM7. It nails the core functions like 4K playback and app support while costing much less than competitors.
Factor in the great connectivity and free OTA firmware updates from Ugoos, and you‘ve got yourself a winner. If you have any other questions about the AM7, feel free to reach out! I‘m happy to share my experiences to help inform your buying decision.
Hope this detailed review helped shed some light on what the Ugoos AM7 Android TV box is capable of. Thanks for reading!