The MK809 II is an Android powered device
that effectively turns any TV (with HDMI input) into an advanced Smart TV. The
problem with most Smart TVs is their features effectively become obsolete in as
little as a year of purchase as the TV manufacturers limit new features to new
TVs, even on TVs with marketing such as “Software-upgradable for future
services”. By using an Android set top box such as this MK809 II, the user
gains access to a huge range of apps available on Android, far more than what’s
available on most Smart TVs, including those that feature downloadable Apps.
Most Android apps that work on an Android
Smartphone or Tablet will also run on the MK809 II, which means that if there
is a music or video service anyone likes to use on their Android based Tablet,
it will likely work fine on the MK809 II, allowing the user to take advantage
of their large TV or sound system without wondering if the app/service will
ever be made available for their so-called Smart TV. In fact, most Android
Apps can be simply “side-loaded” from a SmartPhone or Tablet to this without
According to its specifications, it is
preloaded with Android 4.1, features a Cortex A9 Dual Core CPU with Bluetooth
and Wi-Fi connectivity, and supports Full HD (1080p) with its HDMI output, so
we can expect similar performance to a typical Android Tablet with a Dual Core
CPU. As it lacks multi-touch support and motion sensors, it will have
compatibility problems with Apps that depend on these features, such as certain
games and utilities that rely on two finger gestures.
Unlike most products we review, the MK809
II appears to be resold under various brands and does not have a familiar brand
name. Our model was sold as Justop, a company which sells various Android
devices and accessories.
The product does have its own website,
appropriately named MK809.com, which provides technical specs and firmware
updates for the device.
We obtained the specifications of the MK809
II from its website (typos corrected):
The main function
Interface definitions and specifications
What’s inside the box
Let us first start by taking a look at the
retail packaging as well as what the device ships with.
The following images show the retail box
this drive came shipped in.
Top & Bottom
Top Cover removed
contents of the package are as follows:
The retail bundle consists of:
- Android 809 II Mini PC
- Micro USB cable
- HDMI extension cable
- OTG to USB port adapter
- USB power supply*
- MK809 operating guide
power supply is usually sold separately, but was included in the bundle we
purchased for this review.
Unlike most set top boxes that are ready to
use out of the box, the MK809 II requires a USB mouse, which is not included. Pretty
much any PC USB mouse and keyboard can be used, including cordless mice and
combo keyboard/mouse kits. The device does not come with a remote control
either. Whilst this device is usually sold without a power supply, it can be
powered by the USB port present on most modern LCD TVs. Based on user reports
around the web, a dedicated power supply gives better Wi-Fi reception and
allows it to provide additional power over its USB ports.
Now let us take a closer look at the MK809
The MK809 II is about the size of a typical
mobile Smartphone and is made of hard black plastic. Unlike most set top
boxes, it has no buttons or LEDs and thus totally depends on a USB mouse to interact
Now let’s take a look at its connections:
Micro USB for power and main USB port
HDMI connector, revealed under its cap
MicroSD card slot and OTG Micro USB port
The MK809 II has the following connections:
- Micro USB port that supplies its power
- Full size USB port
- OTG Micro USB port to connect a second USB
device using the supplied OTG adapter
- MicroSD card slot for additional storage
As we can see in the first picture showing its
connections, the quality control during production is quite poor with the USB
ports not aligning properly with the openings in the outer case. However, from
our testing, all ports on this device appear to function properly and did not
give any connectivity issues throughout our review.
Due to its compact size, the device can be
easily hidden behind a TV without the need to make room for yet another set top
box. If the TV has a USB port that can provide adequate power, then this
device can be powered without taking up an additional power outlet either.
The device is very straight forward to hook
up – Just plug the HDMI end into a HDMI port on the TV, attach the USB receiver
of a USB mouse and connect the micro USB cable for power. The device
automatically powers on and then it’s just a matter of choosing this input
source with the TV remote. The HDMI extension cable can be used to plug it
into a recessed HDMI port or to move the device further away from the TV to
improve its Wi-Fi reception.
Unlike most media players and set top
boxes, the MK809 II does not have any analogue TV outputs, let alone any audio
connections. This means that the MK809 II can only be used with a HDMI port.
As the audio is carried over HDMI, this rules out the possibility of using an
old PC monitor with DVI/HDMI input as a display unless the user uses Bluetooth
headphones or speakers.
The following shows an example of what it
looks like along with an SD card reader attached to its OTG port: