MINIX NEO U22-XJ Review – A Great Overall Performer!

Introduction
Hey guys, meet the flagship Android TV Box from MINIX. NEO U22-XJ is powered by Amlogic S922X-J CPU with Mali-G52 GPU. Loaded with Android 9.0 Pie. Comes with 4GB DDR4 memory and 32GB eMMC 5.1 storage. Support 4K HDR including HDR10, HDR10+ and Dolby Vision. Dolby Audio is supported as well. Alright, let’s have a closer look now…

Special Thanks
This review is possible thanks to below companies. Be sure to check them out too…

Package Content
MINIX NEO U22-XJ comes well-protected just like other MINIX products. Rest assures that it will arrive at your doorstep in perfect condition.

Once taken NEO U22-XJ out, there are accessories like 3A power adaptor with changeable plug (US, UK & EU), HDMI cable, USB-A to USB-C cable, removable antenna, IR remote control and user guide in multiple languages.

Build Quality & Design
Excellent build quality as expected thanks to sturdy plastic housing. Having the outlook almost like previous generation NEO U9-H – stylish as usual. There are infrared receiver and LED light indicator in front.

On the right, there are power button, 3 USB 3.0 ports, micro SD slot and USB-C port for OTG.

At the back, 3.5mm audio jack, HDMI 2.1 port, Optical SPDIF, RJ-45 Gigabit Ethernet and DC input are there.

Recovery button (tiny dot), antenna slot and Kensington lock on the left.

4 anti-skid pads at the bottom. That’s all. As usual, do refer all the photos for details.

Yup, this is the bundled IR remote control. A simple one that does its job.

Software
MINIX NEO U22-XJ is loaded with Android 9.0 Pie and support OTA firmware update. Using 004FW [20200612] now. As rest assures that MINIX will continue to improve the firmware and fix those existing bugs.

MINIX Metro Launcher is what you get by default. All the stuff are categorized in those big shortcuts. Example, Kodi shortcut for Kodi or any other streaming apps. And your preferred apps’ shortcuts at bottom. Yes, all of them are customize-able. There is another Android tablet alike launcher pre-installed too. As usual, you can always install your prefer one from Play Store directly.

Surprise, NEO U22-XJ is loaded with a root switch this round. You can turn on root access if you need it. It is off by default. Great for those who need to use applications that require root access.

By the way, 32GB eMMC internal storage is good enough for daily usage. If not enough, just install a large micro SD card will do. Adoptable Storage will do the trick to expand the storage. Tested with 512GB card here.

Benchmark
Amlogic S922X-J is powerful. Fast and responsive! Yes, much better than the previous one – S912H. Below synthetic benchmarks data will tell you the whole story…

Maximum speed for Gigabit Ethernet. Yes, it is getting 940 Mbits/sec max which my devices can support.

As for 5GHz AC, it manages to reach 446 Mbits/sec on iPerf3 test. For 2.4GHz, it can go up to 94 Mbits/sec. Excellent transfer rate no doubt thanks to 2T2R MIMO. Wide range coverage. Same apply to Bluetooth too.

Yes, NEO U22-XJ supports USB 3.0. Performance is not the best out there but does its job. As for micro SD slot, it is limited to USB 2.0 bandwidth. Can support up to 512GB based on my tests (more I believe). Internal storage read and write speed are better and faster too. Same apply to RAM performance.

3X performance increased when compared to S912H on AnTuTu Benchmark.

And here is the single-core and multi-core scores from Geekbench 5.2.0.

Lastly, Sling Shot performance on 3DMark Benchmark.

Performance Result
MINIX NEO U22-XJ is a great media hub. It can play almost every video formats that you throw at it with Kodi. Yes, 4K Ultra HD 10-bit 3840 x 2160 HEVC 60fps videos can be played smoothly indeed. Backwards compatible with older h.264 codec too. Able to play 4K Jellyfish 140Mbps video through wireless flawlessly too. However, current firmware is not perfect yet. It does not support auto frame rate switching. And certain formats not working correctly via HD audio pass-through. No worry, MINIX Team is aware and working on the fixes currently.

Microsoft Playready and Google Widevine Level 1 DRM are supported. It is good for those applications that required them. But do take note that it does not support Netflix HD as MINIX TV Box is not certified by Netflix.

Besides as a media hub, NEO U22-XJ performs well as an Android TV Box. 4GB of RAM is plenty and multi-tasking works great. Office works are a piece of cake for it. 3D games are performing very well too thanks to faster GPU. Fast and smooth are what you get. Yes, be sure to get yourself a gamepad and turn NEO U22-XJ into a game console with emulators.

You can also turn NEO U22-XJ into a network access storage with SAMBA feature. Of course, you won’t get 100% NAS performance but you don’t have to invest anything on it. Just add USB 3.0 hard drive will do. Yes, it can reach up to 60 MB/s for reading and 20 MB/s for writing. All your family members can share photos, music and videos there easily from now on.

MINIX NEO U22-XJ supports CoreELEC natively. Dual boot is supported. Just plug in micro SD with CoreELEC, it will boot into CoreELEC then. Remove SD card, it will boot back to Android OS. As simple as ABC. And great news. CoreELEC supports auto frame rate switching. And HD audio pass-through is working properly. A great feature no doubt.

Advantages

  • Great overall performer
  • 4K Ultra HD & H.265 codec support
  • CoreELEC support
  • Excellent wireless & Gigabit Ethernet
  • Play Ready & Google Widevine DRM support
  • Smooth multi-tasking
  • Lot of USB 3.0 ports
  • Excellent build quality

Limitations

  • IR remote with no mouse pointer
  • Firmware still can be improved

Conclusion
A great overall performer. Fast and responsive Android OS. Smooth 4K video playback, HD audio and DRM support. Don’t forget dual-boot on CoreELEC too. A nice media hub that you don’t want to miss. More information can be found at MINIX Website. Get your MINIX NEO U22-XJ at Amazon or Lazada.

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