Cherry Mobile TV Box first impressions
Cherry Mobile has caused quite a stir in the local tech scene after showcasing two of their latest non-smartphone offerings, the Ultra On The Go and the CM TV Box. We’ve already shared with your our quick unboxing of CM’s new 4G/LTE Pocket Wi-Fi, now it’s time for their new Android set-top box to get the same treatment.
What’s in the box?
Before we go straight to the actual device, let’s check out what other stuff that comes with the Cherry Mobile TV Box. Down below, you’ll see the unit’s remote control which uses a 3-volt CR2025 Lithium-Ion battery to keep the thickness of the remote at a minimum.
Sadly, it comes at the price of convenience since batteries like that are not that easy to come by compared to AA or AAA batteries. Another thing we didn’t like about is that the battery tray is really difficult to pry open, making it tricky to replace the battery and may eventually lead to it being easily chipped or broken.
Apart from the actual set-top box and the accompanying remote controller, the only other two components that are worth mentioning here is the TV Box’s proprietary power adapter and a relatively short HDMI cable. Truth be told, we’re really not a huge fan of anything proprietary since it’s not interoperable with other devices and breaking/losing a proprietary power adapter will prove costly (literally and figuratively).
As for the pre-bundled HDMI cable, we really can’t complain much about its length since other set-top boxes doesn’t even have one to start with. However, when we placed it side-by-side with a regular HDMI cable, we immediately noticed that it’s not only short, but it’s also skinnier which raises some doubts about its durability. Having said that, we think you’re better off getting an after-market HDMI cable should you opt to get one of these.
Note: While testing the unit, we found out that the HDMI cable that came with our unit is defective right out of the box.
Design and Construction
Now that we’ve seen the other components that come with the CM TV Box, let’s get a little more acquainted with this device. In terms of its size, the TV Box is about as long as my Lumia 1020 (roughly around 115 – 120mm give or take), about twice as thick on the sides (around 20 to 25mm) and has a slightly wider frame when held vertically.
The top portion of the device has a smooth and glossy finish which makes it prone to scratches and fingerprints. Not that it would matter a lot since you won’t be carrying it as often as you would with a smartphone, but it’s something to look out for if you’re a neat freak.
On the front, you’ll see a strip of black semi-transparent plastic that hides the LED lights for the Ethernet and Power. Around the back is where most of the magic happens. Here’s you’ll find three ports (AC, HDMI out and RJ-45), a full-sized SD card slot and the device’s power button.
Now over to the right side, there are two full-sized USB 2.0 ports which you can use to plug in supported external devices like input peripherals (mouse and keyboard), USB receiver for your wireless keyboard and mouse, as well as a thumb drive.
There’s not much on the TV Box’s underbelly to write home about, though it’s good to note that each of the corners of the device’s bottom section is cushioned with tiny rubber feet. In the process,it also elevates the unit a few millimeters off the ground, preventing the bottom panel from being scratched easily and creating a traction on the surface where it’s placed.
From the design and construction standpoint, the Cherry Mobile TV Box gets our nod for having a clean and minimalist design that we think will appeal to most consumers. When held, the device provides a reassuring heft which generally translates to durability.
Cherry Mobile TV Box key specs:
1GHz quad-core CPU
WiFi 802.11 b/g/n, dual-band
Support for 2.4GHz and 5GHz channels
Air Play support
1x HDMI out
1x Ethernet port
2x USB 2.0 ports
SD card slot, supports up to 32GB
Android 4.2 Jellybean
As far as its functionality is concerned, we think that CM, or whoever manufactured this device, did a good job in allowing users to expand its functionality by providing two USB ports on the side. Unfortunately, even at this early stage, we’ve already encountered a few misses like the proprietary power adapter, flimsy battery tray on the remote control and an appalling bundled HDMI cable which we’re hoping that we can easily sweep under the rug, provided that it performs as advertised.