Rikomagic IV MK802 Mini PC is one of the most famous and popular Android, thanks to a good mix of features, performance, and especially the price. Let us see in more detail what are its real multimedia capabilities and if it really allows you to create a media center and a location from game home with very little expense.
As already clarifies the suffix of the name, it is the fourth generation of the popular TV stick Rikomagic MK802 , which brings with it a couple of technical features requested by users in a loud voice, as the quad-core processor and 2GB of RAM. The packaging in which it arrived is simple and basic but it also includes all the accessories needed to start using it.
Pack of MK802 Android miniProfile IV
The box, compact and slightly larger than the device itself, is stylized and clean lines, enhanced further by coloring black and white, with only the manufacturer’s logo and some basic information. Inside, in addition to the Mini PC, we find a classic wall charger , in our case with a plug compatible with the sockets Italian, a small extension HDMI and a so-called "OTG cable," that is a microUSB to USB adapter to full size , as well as a quick guide for the installation and initial operation.
Turning to the TV stick true you may notice that the enclosure has not changed compared to the previous model is matte plastic, thin and shows a fairly sophisticated design for this kind of products . The dimensions are extremely small , with a length of 9 cm, a width of 4 cm and a thickness of not more than 1cm. The weight is only 40g so all in all it is a pocket-sized device even if it is not "mobile" because it is not equipped with an internal battery and an integrated display, it remains a portable solution, for example, perfect for those who travel frequently and want to turn the TV to a hotel room in a PC to surf the Internet or check your email.
The Android TV stick as the MK802 IV does not come with a battery but they are pocket device
On the sides there are also two small grilles for ventilation, while such connections are, first, the main attack, type of HDMI , the Rikomagic to connect directly to a TV or any external display, a USB 2.0 host full size , two microUSB , one with technology OTG (On The Go) and the other for power, and a slot for microSD . It is important to note that the OTG technology allows you to connect external USB devices such as cameras, external HDD, pendrive, card readers, and more, in a direct and immediate a bit ‘as it happens on our laptops and desktops.
On the back there is a full size USB port and a microUSB
The HDMI video output is also of type 1.4, a fairly recent version of the standard, which also supports 3D video streams and (at least theoretically) Ultra HD 4K resolution that is up to 3840 x 2160 pixels. Officially the microSD slot supports cards up to 32GB, but you would not have difficulty with the 64GB.
The second side has a microUSB and a microSD reader
The Rikomagic MK802IV has not been manufactured with the intent to allow users to open it to access the internal components. Although the design is one of the most pleasing in its category, but the frame is made of a compound is not particularly strong , and then, in a possible attempt to disassemble, is the high probability of damaging the plastic hooks that connect the two parts that compose.
Remove the Rikomagic MK802 IV is more complicated than expected
The interior space is organized in a way very similar to that of other Mini-PCs Android. On one side of the PCB are the network controller and the memory Realtek Hynix used as storage, while on the opposite side there is the SoC Rockchip RK3188. The DDR3 memory modules are arranged on both sides of the motherboard.
The Rockchip RK3188 SoC is not covered by a heatsink
Processor and hardware platform
For his MK802IV, Rikomagic chose a System on a Chip RK3188 RockChip , a solution undoubtedly interesting because it is able to reconcile performance, fuel consumption and costs. The SoC is in fact composed of a quad-core ARM Cortex A9-type and an ARM Mali 400 MP4 GPU , also quad core. The components in both cases still be able to provide satisfactory performance but now belong to the past generation and therefore with licenses more accessible.
Rockchip also adopted a production system to 28 nm , very different from that used by other 40nm Cortex A9 SoC based and which therefore allows it to significantly reduce fuel consumption is to raise sostanziosamente the clock rate, thereby increasing significantly the computational capabilities. In this case, in fact, the CPU runs at 1.6 GHz, while the GPU at 533 MHz Thanks to miniaturization and more boost adoption of High-K Metal Gate, the Rockchip RK3188 therefore offers an energy savings of 55-60% compared other solutions ARM Cortex A9 at the same time offering superior performance by 35% compared to a core ARM Cortex A7 and 30% compared to a Tegra 3 ARM Cortex A9, while the integrated GPU is even faster than 40%, again compared to the SoC’s Green Team.
CPUz processor Rockchip RK3188
The SoC are supported well then 2 GB of RAM DDR3L produced by GEIL and 8 or 16 GB, depending on the version selected, internal memory dedicated to the storage, on-chip Hynix. Recall that the ARM Cortex A9 architecture is kind of out-of-order superscalar, a solution that guarantees high performance (think of that until the generation Intel Atom Clover Trail are still kind of in-order), the processor also supports NEON SIMD instructions, capable of performing up to 16 operations per instruction.
The ARM Mali 400 MP4 GPU instead supports OpenGL ES 1.1 and 2.0 and OpenVG 1.1, alpha blending and FSAA (Full Scene Anti-Aliasing), thus constituting a complete graphics acceleration platform based on high standards, able to ensure a better quality graphics and excellent performance.
Although the RK3188 SoC is signals for the low thermal profiles, however, has a tendency to heat up, especially because the ventilation in the Android keys as the MK802IV is poor. To enable you to keep your device powered on for extended periods of time without running the risk of overheating, and should therefore be a passive heat sink, such as the one mounted by other Mini PC with Rockchip RK3188. Unfortunately our Rikomagic MK802 IV has only a thin coating antistatic polyamide, totally inadequate . It seems there are versions of the MK802IV equipped with sink, but unfortunately you do not have to distinguish other alternative but to remove the key Android.
As far as wireless connections instead Rikomagic MK802IV offers support Bluetooth and WiFi module via a combo . The WiFi is managed by a controller Realtek RTL8188 , a single type of single-chip solution band at 2.4 GHz, with support for all standard until recently no. This controller is equipped with advanced features for recognition of the signal and interference and should therefore ensure better reception and a more stable signal.
But this generation of MK802 has a problem of WiFi range , very low, due to interference generated by other internal components. Rikomagic is aware of the problem and advised to verify the correct assembly of the antenna and compare with what you see in an official photo, then pulling back as much as possible the antenna within the frame to move it away from sources of interference, then performing a Update to the latest version of the firmware. However there are those who report having solved the problem only after a hole in the frame and having brought outside the WiFi antenna.
The antenna WiFi is subject to interference problems
As for the software, our Rikomagic MK802IV is equipped as standard with the 4.1.1 version of the Google Android operating system, upgradeable, however, the version 4.2.2 . Anyone who buys one of these Mini PC now you probably already receive a specimen with Android 4.2 pre-installed, but if not, you can still upgrade to 4.2 using the official firmware the manufacturer has released recently or any of the custom ROM in circulation .
The UI of Android is the standard
The official firmware version includes a stock or "vanilla" OS in Mountain View, with very few differences, such as the virtual button for screenshots on the navigation bar, buttons for adjusting the volume and the one to turn off the device. More than in the UI, the changes are concentrated in the settings window, which has a page dedicated to the Ethernet network, the choice of resolution and frame rate for the HDMI output and the size of the characters.
Finally Rikomagic pre-installs some apps utility, including a file explorer and eHomeMediaCenter , which adds features DLNA client and multimedia container. On paper, therefore, Rikomagic MK802IV seems to have everything you need to allow anyone to create a media center with little expense or an Android based console. But before you go to verify practically the behavior of this solution through benchmark tests and playing games and video, we focus on the hardware equipment.
To verify the performance of the hardware platform of Rikomagic MK802IV we ran some benchmarks among the most common, as AnTuTu, Quadrant and Vellamo, able to provide a fairly accurate picture of the capabilities of each component of the device, ie CPU, GPU, RAM and storage. The results, in fact, do not surprise us that much because we already know the quality of the SoC Rockchip to have them tested on other devices, such as this HP tablet .
Quadrant score is particularly good results a bit ‘in all areas, but especially with regard to the CPU and the GPU. The general level of performance falls within the same range of some devices equipped with Nvidia Tegra 3 processor as the HTC One X or ASUS Transformer Pad TF201.
Comparison Chart of Quadrant
Similar considerations can do on AnTuTu , in which the Rikomagic MK802 IV is however very well but obviously is positioned behind the latest generation of devices such as smartphones Samsung Galaxy S4 or HTC One, with higher performance SoC and noble.
Comparison Chart of AnTuTu
Vellamo , the benchmark of Qualcomm, has a slightly different approach, because more than determine a performance index of the system as a whole focuses on the navigational skills of the Internet devices (HTML5 test) and the computing capacity of the CPU (test Metal) .
Comparison Chart of Vellamo
In these benchmarks now traditional, hath been recently added 3DMark , that since the last release has become multiplatform, and also includes a test, Ice Storm, able to run on Android devices. The scores recorded in this case amounted to 3734, 4079 and 2807 3DMarks respectively in the standard versions, unlimited and extreme.
In any case, to be a device that costs just $ 80, the results are considered excellent. However, these synthetic tests, which can certainly give a rough idea about the overall placement of the device, but that do not return a more complete, coherent, credible and realistic performance of which may be capable of. For this reason we preferred saggiarlo also work with games and real-world applications. Let’s see how he behaved the Rikomagic MK802IV in these scenarios.
Multimedia and 3D gaming
Headings used in this test were DeadZone ShadowGun, Dead Trigger, Beach Buggy Blitz, Riptide GP 2 and Virtua Tennis Challenge, with the addition of Epic Citadel, the demo technological (but which also includes a benchmark) based on Unreal Engine . Before continuing with a little ‘gaming is proper to make a premise: all PC Mini TV Stick and Android based are likely to experience a specific problem, which concerns the gamepad support on the part of securities used. As we can see in our Videorecensione for example, the first title, ShadowGun DeadZone, despite supports this type of control device, still requires the presence of a touch display for the initialization phase, without which it is impossible to continue, even using the mouse. This limitation affects not only the Rikomagic but is common to all solutions of this type. In fact, Android is spreading from little about this type of device for which developers often do not pay particular attention to the support of external control devices, instead giving for granted the presence of a touch screen.
But when the gamepad support is implemented properly, as in the case of all the other titles we tested, the results are egregious and control is perfect. As you can see also, despite the advanced graphics of many titles (all set at the highest quality settings) and the fact that the ARM Mali 400 GPU is not exactly new, the games show an enviable fluidity , which makes them perfectly playable and satisfying , also for the eye.
The field of gaming however is not the only exploitable by our TV stick. We then tried to start the Web browser to verify the behavior while browsing the Internet, maybe even visiting sites with flash and Youtube videos, like ours. Once again we must admit that the Rikomagic MK802IV did not bat an eyelid, loads pages were a breeze and video playback smooth and trouble-free.
In general then the multimedia experience is good even if it emerges occasional flaw. For example there is some problem with the fluidity of Full HD video decoding hardware. The thing does not depend specifically dall’MK802IV, nor by the Google Android operating system, as the limit of performance occurs both with version 4.1.1 that with the upgrade to 4.2.2. The behavior is due to immaturity rather than the SDK released by Rockchip. For the more experienced, however, the problem can be solved by adopting third-party ROMs with modified kernel ad hoc, which by the way were subjected to the same RockChip so that you can incorporate them in a future release of its SDK.