Huawei is getting into the Android set top box market with the MediaQ M310 quad core Android set top box. Huawei is the second major device manufacturer to announce a product in a product category that prior to this was mainly dominated by small to medium sized manufacturers, majority of them from China.
Dell was the other major manufacturer and they just made an announcement on Project Ophelia just a couple of weeks ago. The Ophelia device is also an Android based mini computer that works by plugging it into a TV.
While the Ophelia is nothing to get excited over as it has very mediocre specifications, the MediaQ M310 is one of the few devices to feature a quad core ARM based processor. The MediaQ M310 is powered by a HiSilicon K3V2 ARM Cortex-A9 processor and comes with a pretty standard 1 GB RAM and 4 GB storage.
The HiSilicon chip is paired with a Vivante GC4000 GPU and for connectivity, it has both WiFi and Bluetooth 4.0. Since the MediaQ M310 has a set top box form factor, it also has SPDIF audio out as well as a 3.5mm audio jack besides the HDMI port.
The MediaQ M310 is expected to hit the market within a few months and is expected to sell for around $80 or less. This is a very competitive price point considering the quad core CPU and the Huawei branding.
It is very encouraging to see more major brands entering into the Android mini PC market. The current products from the lesser brands have been very interesting. New features are being added on with every new release. However, in the rush to get the latest product out, quality seems to have suffered somewhat. Some fixes available of course but the user may be required to perform somewhat complicated firmware updates.
With the major players entering the field, we hope to have products that work as they should right out of the box. We also hope for better product support and customized user interfaces that are designed for non touch screen devices.
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