The Best Android TV Box Remote 2017: We Rate the Top 7
A very common question we get asked is “what is the best Android TV Box remote control”, so we will address this in this post, by reviewing some of the most popular remotes.
We have 7 different remote controls to try out, and before we get into reviewing them individually, I’ll just say that every single one of these will give you a far better experience than any remote that comes included with your android box, so no matter which one you pick, or maybe you don’t pick any of these particular remotes, we would always advise getting a 3rd party remote for your android box, as the infra-red ones that come bundled with your TV box are absolute rubbish. It should be noted that the budget options are kind of generic, and made cheaply in Asia. They are then bought and branded by numerous companies, so the same remote can appear under different brand names.
Budget Remotes (<£15)
We will start with the cheapest remote, one that we have used quite a bit. This is a generic remote and we have seen it come packaged under a lot of different brand names. In terms of build quality, don’t expect too much, the remote is cheap, and so is the plastic used, which isn’t really a huge problem if we know what we are getting and expectations are not set too high! What you see is what you get, a basic android TV remote with rubber buttons.
There is a very similar remote which is made of higher quality plastic and has silver buttons, and also only uses two AAA batteries, whereas the lower quality remote uses three AAA batteries. In terms of performance, the both give pretty much the same result, very responsive while browsing, and no need to point directly at the android box. It also has air mouse capability which is handy for browsing the net, but if you do a lot of web browsing on your android box you are better off getting a keyboard remote, as this will most definitely slow you down. While the performance of this remote is excellent for the price, it is definitely not the best android TV box remote control.
Next up we have the Flymote C120, which is also known by many other names! In terms of build quality, it is a bit better than the previous remote, but nothing too swanky! It has the menu navigation at the front, and keyboard buttons on the back, which can be useful for web browsing. However, the key placement on the keyboard can be a bit confusing, the ‘O’ and ‘P’ keys moved down next to the space bar.
This remote is powered by an internal battery which is rechargeable via USB, which can be very handy, as long as you remember to charge it! One charge can last for 1-2 weeks, whereas remotes that use batteries tend to last for 2-3months, so the choice is yours which is more convenient for you. In terms of performance, there are no complaints, fast browsing and responsive device in general. Keyboard is handy for web browsing, once you get used to the key placement!
Our next android TV remote is also known by many names, including the UKB 500. The build quality feels a little cheap, with a plastic chassis and rubber buttons, but that what this control is, a cheap solution for an android TV box. It’s powered by an internal battery that can be removed and replaced. It has a full QWERTY keyboard, and all the keys are in the right place. The trackpad is useful, but don’t expect it to be as accurate as a laptop track pad because it’s not, but it’s still a useful feature. The control is available in black or white versions.
When it comes to performance, it is very responsive, and you can use the trackpad or the buttons to scroll. But where this remote shines is on the web browsing. It really speeds things up when you need to type fast, and the buttons are not too close together so it is quite easy to use. For those of you looking for a replacement for a keyboard and mouse, this is not a bad option at all.
Stepping it up a bit in terms of build quality, we have the Mele F10 Delux, you know you are getting an improvement in quality as this remote has its very own name! When you compare it with the other remotes so far, it definitely has the best build quality with a nice gloss finish. Although the finish can be a magnet for fingerprints, it does look much nicer than the others so far. On the front it has directional buttons made of plastic, and the rest are made of soft rubber. On the back it has a full keyboard that is pretty easy to use, but if you have very large or clumsy fingers you might end up mashing a few keys at once as there isn’t much room between the keys.
It’s powered by a rechargeable battery that lasts 2-3 weeks under normal use. The performance is very responsive, and provides a very good user experience, perfect for scrolling through apps and movies. If you use the internet a lot, the back keyboard is quite useful. A nice feature of this remote is being able to copy functions from other remote controls, such as your TV remote. Simply point your TV remote into this one while in copy mode, and you can copy the ‘Power On’ function for your TV for example. Each key however does have to be copied one at a time, so it might take a while to consolidate your remotes!
This remote can either be purchased with a Probox Android TV Box, or as a standalone remote that will work with any android box. Although it doesn’t really look like a premium remote, it certainly performs like one. I’m sure opinions will be divided by its looks, but we liked the old school Nintendo feel of the buttons and D-pad. The red buttons are a nice solid plastic and feel great, with the exception of the power button which is made from rubber, as are the black buttons.
In terms of performance, it is very responsive on any menu or app that we tested it on. For surfing the net it has a built in microphone and air mouse to somewhat speed up your typing, but it does not feature a full keyboard on the back. While it works on all android boxes, it is highly optimized for the Probox, so some features may not be available on your own box.
The Minix A2 is a very nicely constructed remote, and would be our pick of the remotes in terms of build quality. The plastic is very solid and finished in matte to avoid fingerprints and the buttons are made of a very soft rubber which feel great to the touch. It has all the usual main buttons on the front, and on the back is a really well spaced full keyboard. Compared with some of the other keyboards reviewed here, the buttons are slightly bigger, and there is slightly more space between the keys, so us chubby fingered keyboard warriors can mash away to our heart’s content!
It’s powered by two AAA batteries, one at each end of the remote, which gives it a nice balanced feel. In terms of performance, it is very responsive, whether you use the directional keys or the air mouse. For web browsing, the keyboard and air mouse promises a great user experience. In our opinion, this is the best android box TV remote available at the moment.
The Minix A2 has the exact same chassis as the A2 Lite (except the green trim is red), and all the same features that we just went through. However the Minix A2 also has a built in speaker, as well as a built in microphone. The microphone is very accurate, and great if you use your Android box for Skype. The speaker allows you to use the remote like a telephone for your Skype calls. Both the Minix A2 and the Minix A2 Lite are highly optimized for Minix machines (we review the Minix NEO u1 here), and while they should work well on most machines, there may be some functions not available.
Some of the remotes above can be used for gaming, either with the D-pad or the built in gyroscope, but in our opinion, none of them are really up to scratch for the seasoned gamer. They are great for TV remotes, and some of them could be used as a gamepad, but if you plan on doing any serious gaming, you should just invest in a dedicated pad such at the iPega 9028.
Any of these remotes will provide you with a great experience, and selection should be made based on your budget, your requirements and your own personal taste. While all of them have pros and cons, they are all far superior to the infra-red remotes that come packaged with Android boxes.
Best Value: The cheapest one. Does exactly what it says on the tin! Performs well and is a really cheap upgrade on the standard remote.
Our choice: Our pick overall would be the Minix A2 Lite. It has a great build quality, and unless you have a need for the microphone and speaker, a better choice than the Minix A2.