UPDATE: I have confirmed that the firmware works on all variants of the T95X boxes.
Recently I purchased one of the Chinese made Kodi Android boxes. The particular model I picked up was from Amazon and was branded as the “Richino I9X”. After much digging and tinkering I discovered this was a re-badged Sunvell T95X. I was actually able to get the updated firmware loaded from Sunvell and this fixed a lot of little glitches and issues that were present on the one I purchased. They are also sold under the “Puersit” label as well as Sunvell and Richino.
When you get these boxes they will have a number of applications pre-loaded. I would recommend uninstalling them all and disabling any apps that you will not use. This will free up the background processes. Also note that while their hardware supports [email protected] output Netflix will NOT stream at 4K due to the lack of copy protection on the device, it will only be 1080p.
I am using mine with a USB keyboard so I downloaded an application that overrides the onscreen keyboard and allows you to change the key mappings. For example I mapped the physical “Enter” key to the Android “Enter” command so that I can press enter to search and/or execute commands like on a normal computer.
App Download: External Keyboard Helper Pro
These boxes are all identical and you can tell by the housing and port layout that they have. The only thing you have to check (based on posts on numerous Android TV box forums) is that you flash the correct firmware based on the RAM and eMMC memory you have. The particular firmware I have posted here is for the 1GB of RAM and 8GB of eMMC storage variant. Now this may work on other variants but you can try at your own risk, but based on my experience with Android devices the memory shouldn’t matter and the flash should work.
Until you do this update you will have issues with the Play Store crashing as well as other typos in the system. After installing this update it will be on the OEM version of the software from Sunvell and will get their automatic firmware updates from their servers. The one that comes on the re-badged versions does NOT auto update and has numerous bugs.
August 2016 Sunvell T95X Firmware: https://www.dropbox.com/s/dmk1s0htwiuo4ed/firmware082016.zip?dl=0
If you want to install this firmware you must have a Micro SD card that is 2GB or larger and something to press the hidden recovery switch.
- Format the SD card as FAT (NOT FAT32). If you have a large card use this utility to format it at FAT: https://www.dropbox.com/s/43ohryu4el9odxc/guiformat.exe?dl=0
- Copy the contents of the firmware file posted above to the root of the MicroSD Card.
- Unplug the device and insert the MicroSD Card.
- Connect the device to HDMI.
- Carefully insert a long and small object into the av/headphone port, you will feel a button inside. A toothpick works very well for this.
- While holding the button down and the MicroSD card inserted plug the power into the device.
- Keep holding the button until you see the little Android Updating logo on the screen.
- The update will take between 5-10 minutes.
Here is a video of how to install the update once it is on the MicroSD card: https://www.dropbox.com/s/z7s0lhysnd2ayb6/T95X%20SD%20card%20update.MOV?dl=0
That’s it! You are all updated.
Should you buy one?
All in all these boxes are under $35 on Amazon and if you want a small Kodi box for your TV this is it. If you pair it with a HD HomeRun tuner on your network you can ditch your cable boxes as well! If this sounds appealing pick one up.
What should you look for?
- You absolutely should get a minimum of the S905X CPU. There are others out there (specifically the S905) that are older and do not have the new processing features.
- The Android version should be 6.0 or higher.
- There are versions with clocks on the front, remote designs, external wifi antennas, and other designs. As long as it has the right CPU it doesn’t matter what one you get.
- You will see there are different RAM and storage configurations. They are as follows: 1GB RAM+8GB Storage, 2GB RAM+8GB Storage, and 2GB RAM+16GB Storage. The S912 (higher end CPU) versions have up to 3GB of RAM on them, these are more expensive though.
- There are also some with and without Gigabit ethernet. From my testing these devices cannot even max out a 100mbit connection so this shouldn’t be something you should worry about.
- There are also some with 802.11AC Dual Band, 802.11N Dual Band, or 802.11N Single Band. Get the one that suits you best. I use ethernet so this was not important to me.
I would also highly recommend getting a keyboard/trackpad device as this will make it much easier to use. I put a link to the one I recommend below, the Logitech K400 is also a larger option that works.
Richino I9X – S905X CPU, 8GB Storage, 1GB RAM, 802.11N Single Band Wifi
Puersit I9X – S905X CPU, 8GB Storage, 1GB RAM, 802.11N Single Band Wifi
TICTID T12 – S912 CPU, 16GB Storage, 2GB RAM, 802.11AC Dual Band Wifi
Rii I8 Backlit Keyboard/Trackpad – USB 2.4ghz rechargeable keypad/mouse.
Logitech K400 Keyboard/Trackpad – USB 2.4ghz keypad/mouse.