Android boxes and TV sticks are now the best choices for many customers without replacing the TV, but many people will also wonder what is the difference between the two?

Here I will analyze it through three aspects: system, hardware, and user experience.

  • System:

With the development of science and technology, the system of the Android box also has a history of development.

In the past few years, most boxes are Android 9.0 system. This year, the latest boxes are basically Android 11.0.

Therefore, many customers can choose the Android box which suits them according to their budget.

For example, X96 mini: the most popular box sold in 2019, it’s system is Android 9.0, and many customers are still using it.

X96 mini 2G/16G only $49


The latest Android 11.0 system, such as X96 X4, is very popular and hot-sale in 2021, is not only the Android 11.0 system, but also supports 8K decoding, and it is more high-definition when watching tvs. The price of this one is not very expensive.

X96 X4 4G/32G needs $69.9


The system of the TV stick is generally Android 7.1, and the latest 9.0 system in 2021. For example, Amazon firestick, we intercepted an interesting customer comment here:

Fire TV Stick – 2nd Gen (2016-2019) – Fire OS 5 (Android 5.1)

Fire TV Stick – 3rd Gen (2017) – Fire OS 6 (Android 7.1)

FireTV Stick 4K (2018) – Fire OS 6 (Android 7.1)

Fire TV Stick Lite – 1st Gen (2020)- Fire OS 7 (Android 9)

FireTV Stick 4K Max (2021) – Fire OS 7 (Android 9)

Although the system of the fire stick is not as new as the system of the Android box, the latest Android 11.0 version is too new, many software are incompatible with Android 11.0.

But the general Android 7.1 or Android 9.0 has no software incompatibility.

  • Hardware:

Android boxes have many kinds of chips, such as Amlogic、RockChip、Allwinner, etc.

The price and function of each chip are also different. (in fact, the difference is not very big for ordinary customers. If you are not an Android box enthusiast, you will not have a deep understanding of the difference between various chips.)

Memory: There are also have many memory options for Android boxes, 1G/8G, 2G/16G, 4G/32G, 4G/64G, 8G/128G, etc. Therefore, you can also choose the memory box you need according to your budget and needs.

Of course, the larger the memory, the better the experience.

There are not many memory choices for TV sticks, generally 1G/8G or 2G/8G. But it’s enough for just watching TV and not playing games.

  • User experience:

1. The Android TV streaming devices is larger than Fire TV streaming devices, also because the Android box has more functions, the installation is cumbersome, there are many lines, which may be a disaster for customers with obsessive-compulsive disorder LOL.
Fire TV streaming devices perfectly solves this problem, it is small and easy to carry, especially when you are traveling, you can take your TV stick. The TV stick plugs directly into the back of the TV and doesn’t require a mess of wires to connect.

2. The memory of the TV stick is small, so it is impossible to install more software, and sometimes it will freeze if it occupies too much memory.
The Android box does not have this kind of trouble, its memory is enough for you to download more applications, and some boxes can even play games, which is widely used!


3. Another disadvantage of the TV stick is that it cannot plug in the network cable or USB, it can only use wifi connection. But for some apps with higher network requirements, using an Android box is a better choice.
Especially when you want to watch a 4K or higher-definition 8K TV, using a wifi connection can be laggy.
In addition, some boxes now support 8K decoding, and you can watch higher-definition TVs. TV sticks: Amazon’s latest version supports 4K. For customers who pay more attention to visual experience, I recommend choosing an Android box that supports 8K decoding.


4. Although the TV stick and Android box are both Android systems. Most AOSP Android boxes can download apk directly through the browser link, but the process of downloading software from ATV sticks is cumbersome. Such as Amazon Firestick and Roku stick.


5. Although the process of downloading software from ATV sticks is troublesome, the apk downloaded through the play store can automatically update, and you don’t need to manually update and upgrade.
AOSP boxes cannot automatically update software. However, the app of ATV boxes on play store can also be automatically updated and upgraded.


6. Heat dissipation: TV sticks generally do not have heat dissipation holes, so they can only cool down by itselves, because of their small size and concentrated circuit boards, it is easy to heat up.
Android boxes generally have cooling holes, so the cooling function is better than that of TV sticks. Even this year’s latest X96 X6 uses an aluminum casing for better heat dissipation.


  • Finally

In our comparison, we can find that there are many similarities between the Android box and the TV stick, as well as many differences.

In general, everyone’s needs are different, which is why there are Android boxes and TV sticks.

It depends on your needs and budget to choose the most suitable product for you!


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