Last month, we wrote that Jide’s Android PC, the Remix Mini, is now available for purchase in the Philippines. It runs its own custom version of Android called Remix OS with a Windows-like user interface. Find out if the Remix Mini is indeed a “true Android PC” by reading our review below.
Table of Contents
Design and Construction
The first thing you’ll notice about the Remix Mini is its small body. Unlike other Android TV boxes in the market, this one is no bigger than your palm and can be easily placed in your pocket.
It is made of plastic with matte finish in black color. The design is reminiscent of a pebble, making it look simple yet sleek at the same time.
Up top, we have the Remix logo which also hides a capacitive button for switching it on or off. Facing the front is a small LED power indicator.
The sides are devoid of any physical buttons and ports as all of it are concentrated at the back. Here we can see the power jack, Ethernet port, two USB 2.0 ports for your wireless or wired keyboard and mouse, HDMI out, microSD card slot, reset pinhole, and the headset jack.
Underneath is a circular rubber base to make sure that the Remix Mini doesn’t slip.
As for the rest of the packaging, the Remix Mini comes with its own HDMI cable, power cord with adapter, manuals and a warranty card.
OS, UI, Apps
Running the software department is Remix OS 2.0 which is based on Android 5.1 Lollipop. Upon booting up, it required us to go a simple setup process similar to Android – Terms of Agreement, WiFi connection, then Software Update Check. Our review unit is due for an upgrade which took around 15 minutes to download and install.
From there, you will be greeted by a homescreen that is still very Android-like but with a Windows-like interface. There’s a taskbar at the bottom with a Start button (which will show all your installed apps and quick access to the shutdown/restart/standby button) on the far left and taskbar buttons and the notifications tab on the other side.
The icons are placed on the left-hand side just like in Windows. Installing a new app will automatically place a shortcut icon on it.
Using a mouse you can also right click on the desktop to reveal options like Display Settings, New Folder, Change Wallpaper, and Arrange Icons. Right clicking on an app’s icon will reveal choices like Open, Copy, Cut, Rename or Delete.
Opening an app will require a double left click. By default, it will launch apps in landscape mode. It’s not an issue if the app uses the same orientation but for vertically-designed apps, the Remix OS will try to force it into landscape which sometimes causes bugs in gameplay. Other issues we encountered is the lack of keyboard support in apps as most are designed for devices with touch screens.
The good news is, you can still use it in vertical mode by minimizing the app by hovering on the upper right side of the app’s Window. The only downside is that you won’t be able to fully utilize your display’s screen size.
As for pre-installed apps, it’s kept to a minimum and only includes the Play Store app, Gmail, and Google Docs. Overall, it gives you 12GB of usable space out of the 16GB claimed.
Performance and Benchmarks
Powering the device is an Allwinner quad-core CPU clocked at 1.2GHz, Mali-400 MP2 GPU, and 2GB RAM. It had no problems running at Full HD but we noticed it’s much quicker when running in HD. Performance is decent, not sluggish and not lightning fast either. It should suffice for heavy browsing, quick document work, movie playback, and light to mid-heavy gaming.
As for the benchmark scores, take a look below:
* AnTuTu – 24,478
* Quadrant Standard – 6,434
* Vellamo – 1,312 (Multicore), 873 (Metal), 1,888 (Chrome)
* 3D Mark – 2,140 (Ice Storm Extreme)
Jide’s Remix Mini is a very capable Android PC with attractive looks. However, the main star of the show is not the hardware but the software. The Remix OS is a great reinvention of Android, making it a better productivity tool compared to its original counterpart. However, it’s full potential is still hampered by app compatibility. If Jide can overcome that hurdle, then the Remix can become the ultimate platform not just for productivity but for gaming as well.
The Remix Mini is available at Lazada for Php3,999. See listing here.
Remix Mini specs:
1.2GHz quad-core cortex A53 (64-bit) Allwinner CPU
Mali-400 MP2 GPU
16GB internal storage
2x USB 2.0
WiFi 802.11 b/g/n
H.265 4K hardware decoding
1080P HDMI output
12.4 (L) x 8.8 (W) x 2.6 (H) cm
* Small and portable
* Comes with its own HDMI cable
* Remix OS’s fresh new approach to Android UI
* App compatibility especially for keyboard and mouse