Posted by: Racd« on: May 19, 2021, 10:50:20 »
(Background: Electronics engineer with +30 years software experience and have over 30+ Android TV box/TV models tested and installed in all sorts of environments since Android came out, so not a beginner :-)
I was shopping around for an upgrade to the great little cheap workhorse MI BOX S as some of my apps now lagging and needed more uuumpf, but wanted to keep the ports and get a great remote for older users at the same time as a bonus. Hence the trial of the NOKIA Android Stream Box 8000.
The slightly larger than Mi Box S device has a backlit full remote with with numeric keys (that my older parents like) and also the box can be run on power from USB-C (tested according to good point by "vertigo"'s comment) so barrel 12Vdc is not required (however I still used it for the tests), and there in ends the good part :-(...
Now to the sad so called "NOKIA" reality (not really NOKIA anymore as we knew it once as "Thud Daddy" said):
1) The locked bootloader blocks any cleanup of baked in FW that contains a Trojan Dropper in the "Nes_Skyway.apk" (inside classes.dex). Scanned the fw with multiple antivir and once alerted I took a copy of the offending file and scanned further on PC and its not worth the risk even in case it is a false positive as the Mi Box S and many others do not have those issues. Lesson: always put those untrustworthy devices on a separate vlan or network altogether (as I always do) just in case. You can see it here for analysis
2) USB 3 port useless and constantly drops out anything connected to it and the USB-C did not detect anything so not much better
3) Using AIDA and dev tools checked and detected that the box claims USB-CAMERA support for uses like google Duo or Trueconf (for parents to videcall on TV, as it works on Mi Box S, some SONY Android TVs and more). Connected several cameras and the box does not even detect them, better yet it did not detect even powered USB hubs or much else. Only intermittent memory-stick connection or a USB network adapter (for testing 1Gbps) could sometimes work for a few seconds. So basically useless. (Could be the USB port is dodgy, but why nothing on USB-C either?)
4) No support in FW for any normal 2.4Ghz Airmouse or keyboard (needed for sideloaded non "ANDROID TV" apps or for normal apps sometimes too, of course ANDROID TV does not require it as it uses the remote for the normal GUI but its a very nice option to have and should cost a few kB in fw to run so no reason not to include it like others have). Tested 5 different models and 0 worked with this FW on the device. I did not test any BT versions as it seemed pointless with all the USB issues.
5) A somewhat unusual test I guess is a test for touchscreen support on these devices I know, but I have a few USB touchscreens I may want to use with the boxes (works with the normal non "Android TV" boxes from UGOOS and similar with HID-multitiuch.ko) but no support in FW here (which is unfortunately normal on most if not all "ANDROID TV" boxes).
6) Support site is a joke: When looking for support on NOKIA's site you are redirected to the Chinese Manufacturer's support site which has some simple FAQ and for everything else they want you to email. No downloads nor nothing else. No FW even to force an update on the box in case it would need it. Total letdown. Community support is non-existent as Box and maker new to market and they seem uninterested in support anyway.
7) No Dolby Vision and some other HDR and HD Audio standards missing/flawed. Basic HDR stuck sometimes? SAD
So in 4 days of hardcore testing the conclusion is simple:
Even with the slightly better s905x3 CPU and Android TV 10 and all the promising of a cheap MI BOX S upgrade...its not an upgrade, not even a close contender.
Same CPU and similar spec (unfortunately missing a normal USB 3 port, Optical-OUT, RJ45 LAN and so forth without special adapters for extra $) on the Chromecast 4 with Google TV you get Dolby Vision at least.
So for the moment, unless XIAOMI does not invest in a better CPU than the now "ancient" s905x v1 we are either stuck with it's MI BOX S or with the CCwGTV 4 or SONY /Philips ANDROID TV's for certified NETFLIX/AMAZON PRIME/DISNEY/ 4k streaming (the few other certified other boxes are not available in my local EU market so no reference) (PS Philips also has USB-CAMERA-Microphone issues for DUO and such ...felt I should mention that). The NOKIA FW is a DISASTER.
Summing up I wish this box delivered all that it promises as it has all the specs (more RAM would be nice for another few $) but with all the kinks and unfinished parts, the possible dodgy trojans in the FW, lack of support, HW issues and so forth its a total disappointment and to be avoided unless you want frustration and obstacles all along the way trying to get something to work on it while it may be spying on you or dropping in ads via some trojan downloaders.
My gut feeling is this will soon be abandonware by the manufacturer and any decent long time support like the MI Boxes is a fading dream.
Final recommendation: like living dangerously and want a hobby trying to get anything working? then get it, else AVOID AT ALL COST and get something else that works as advertised.
My NOKIA ASTB 8000 is on its way back to the seller.
Hope it helped someone.