[REVIEW] Minix NEO X7Acknowledgments
store for send me a sample of Minix NEO X7
to test it and write this review.NOTE
Due the limit of this forums about characters by message, i cannot post the entirely review in one single message.
This is only a summary of the original article that i posted in my blog
.Special note for this review
This is my first review wrote directly in english. Because english is not my native language (mine is spanish), surely i will do many mistakes on writing this. I will appreciate any correction on the article if you found anything important to be corrected, but i think most of the information on this article is technical based, and i prefer to be so "graphical" while i can, then most of the info (when i consider needed) will be followed by some picture that help to understand some of the points that i want to comment.
Because english is not my natural speaking language, most probably this review will be a little bit "decaffeinated" or "unjuiced" that a normal review where i comment freely any aspect of the device i´m reviewing. I will do my best to generate a useful article for people that wants to read something about this.
For Spanish readers, i hope will have a little bit of time to generate a proper version of this article. For now, please try to read this directly in english, or use the translate tool on this blog for generating a google-translated version.Package contents
(Unboxing y full description of the package contents)
When the package is opened, we found the following elements thats, i understand, are part of any standard shippment for this product.
- Wall Charger (5V) with EURO connector standard
- HDMI cable
- Remote Control of the device (IR)
- Minix NEO X7 Device
- MicroUSB cable (for connecting device to PC)
- MicroUSB OTG cable
- Dual-Band Wifi Antenna (2.4 GHz and 5 GHz)
- Setup Guide
For people that don´t know about these programs, i can tell (in short words) that a benchmark is a program or normalized test that runs on a device. These tests give points (usually, averaging many results) the performance of a device, in the way that the final total point may be useful to compare, in a simple and direct way, the general performance between many devices.
There are so many benchmarks on Google Play Store, but in my test usually i use the most populars.
For the running of these benchmarks, the initial conditions of the device are:
- CPU Frequency: 1.608 GHz
- CPU Governor: Performance
- Screen Resolution: 1280x720
(Versión 4.0.1) (Google play version
One of the most common benchmark for android.
- RAM : 1488.6 / 1874.2 MB
- RAM (Operation): 2053
- RAM Speed: 1085
- CPU integer: 2626
- CPU float-point: 1830
- 2D graphics: [1280x672] 1597
- 3D graphics: [1280x672] 2451
- IO: 3580.2 / 4031.7 MB
- Database I/O: 1334
- Storage I/O: 650
- CPU frequency: 1608 MHz (x4)
- Multitask: 3828
- Dalvik: 1445
- Total: 18899
Android games are specific for touch screens, and may use another device sensors such tilt sensor, and most of them show on screen controls to interact with the game, but only few of them have native joystick/gamepad support.
For now, there are some alternatives that we can use to bring these kind of support (joysticks/gamepads and other devices) on these games, bringing another way of playing using physical controls. Most of these alternatives are based on emulating the events and mechanisms that the device originally support for interact with the games. Most of these events are touch screen based, then this kind of apps will "emulate" these touches, linking physical controls (buttons, sticks) to screen locations.
From the current alternatives and for doing my testings (giving support for a virtual touch interface, giving special attention on devices such Android Sticks/Android TV/Set Top Boxes that don´t have a real touch interface, but not limited only for these kind of devices), I'm using the Tincore Keymapper
for providing gamepad support for games that have touch screen interface. I test devices using many gamepads/joysticks i have, searching for suitables controllers that can be used with the device, including keyboard and mouse too for interact with games.
In the videos that i capture, i try to show what happen on the screen enabling the Android visual feedback (Settings>Developer options>Show touches). With this enabled, people who see my videos can se where is the virtual touch control is working on the screen, when i´m using any kind of devices that can interact with the device (gamepad, keyboard, mouse, touch screen, etc). This feedback appears on the screen as white circles that blink (when pressing buttons), moving (for swipes), moving in many directions (for sticks/dpad), etc. This interaction correspond to a emulated finger touches on the screen surface. I consider so important this kind of information (visual feedback) to be captured on video, and for this reason most of my videos includes these white "circles" or "dots" on the screen.Bard's Tale
One of my favourites games on the playstore. Graphics for this game are intense HD, and is a good game to feel how the device works, most important, the data storage works, because the game load dynamically all the contents, while user plays on it, then if you have a slow card reader, then the game will show with slowdowns.
The game runs ok, clear and smooth.Gangstar Rio
A GTA style game that run smooth on the device. To play, i used Sixaxis controller and Tincore Keymapper to map sixaxis on screen (in fact, i don´t like sixaxis touch editor)Shadowgun (normal version)
A classic FPS game on android, and part of many reviews of devices. This game have direct support for gamepads, and you can play smooth on the device. You will forgive you´re on an android device, and you will inmerse on a desktop gaming console!Real Racing 3
A game well knowed by their graphics. The game looks and feel superb, but there is a little issue with the audio that make a constant echo or double sound.
To play this i used Sixaxis Controller and Tincore Keymapper, and change the game settings to handle it with a control layout that will be useful to be handled via Tincore.After Burner Climax
A game a little bit different of any other i usually test on my reviews. The game run and feel ok on the device.Modern Combat 3: Fallen Nation
This saga give a serious FPS alternative to Android games. This is the third part of this saga, but bring the same experience on gaming like the last of them. A totally immersive FPS game that runs smooth and nice on the device.
I´m using Sixaxis (with sixaxis controller app), and Tincore to map controls on screen. In the game i configure to use two virtual sticks to map directly to analogs on the controller. The game can be played in very handly way with this config.N.o.v.a. 3
Another common gaming for testing devices. In this case, the game run with some issues (performance), and there is no sound (or only glitches). Most probably, using another firmware i will be able to run flawesly this game.Sine Mora
A beautiful shooter game, that run and look superb on this device. I use tincore to do simple mapping to the game interface, and this is so responsive and feel so smooth.Need for Speed Most Wanted
A game that is near from what you can get from desktop gaming consoles. A serious title that run smooth and flawlessly on the device, and can be controlled fully via Tincore keymapping, and setting some options in game such control layout.Emulation (Playing emulated games)
In the same way that Android games are an important way of testing the performance of a device, emulation is another factor to get in concern, and most important, for systems that are quite hard to be emulated, because with these emulators/roms we can see differences between devices. (most of times, the pure power of a CPU/GPU can run better a game in a device, and get poor performance in another device)
In Android, we get many emulator alternatives (emulated systems) that we can recreate on the device that we are testing. We can use emulators of old computers, videogame consoles, and is possible to run some x86 system (MS DOS, windows 9x but so limited), and we can run most modern systems such Nintendo64, Playstation one (PSX), both of these emulators are consider the top of the current frontier of emulation, but this is not limited to these systems. There are new emulators that most probably will become the new top/frontier, with emulation of PSP that many games currently are playables with near of 100% of speed, or Nintendo DS, that currently is able to run many titles.at full speed (or near to)
This way, we can say that the emulators are important than Android games en terms of entertainment, and for this reason are a big and important part of any testing planning of any device.
In the current state of the Android emulation, this is the most interesting and surprising emulator on the market. This app is able to emulate many commercial games, with full speed (or near to) and in a short time this emulator become as one of the most popular apps of this kind on Google Playstore.
This emulator run flawesly in most of devices with average specs (dual core and up)Fifa 09
The game run smooth and with any problem. emulation is "perfect". for this demo, i´m using a X-Arcade connected to the device, and mapped/configure directly on the emulator.GRID
A 3D game running on the NDS emulator, and run fine. all games that don´t request a pointer, run flawlessly and are good alternatives to play as normal desktop console.
For pointers, i recommend to use normal mouse devices to emulate touches, because will bring more near experience to the original device.PPSSPP (Playstation Portable PSP)
The only PSP emulator for Android. This app can run many games in a playable way, and get so many updates to improve their emulation and new features.Tekken 6
Most possible i can adjust some parameters on the emulator to run better, but without touchin nothing, you can see how this game work on the device directly.Lego Indiana Jones 2
This game run smooth and with few minor glitches. Fully playable and run smoothly and a recommended game to try this emulator.Mame4Droid Reloaded (Arcades)
Personally, i think this is the best arcade emulator on the Store. I prefer this (for arcade) instead of another alternatives than Retroarch or similar, because many titles run smoothly than another emulators.Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3
A game that is known hard to be emulated smoothly. Last time i tested using Retroarch and their specific options for Mortal Kombat games, but this time i test using Mame4Droid Reloaded, and the game run well. I think Retroarch emulation is fine than this, but this is only a test running the game.Mortal Kombat 4
Following the Mortal Kombat sage, this game is another hard to be emulated. The game run... well, is not playable, but the test i think is interesting about what the emulator and the device can emulate.Retroarch Playstation (PSX)
This app really is a suite of emulators integrated in the same interface. Using a common interface, many options are easy to configure, because many of these configs are common between all of the emulators, things such Screen Config, Button Mapping, etc.
This last time this app get important updates that include new cores, and most important, improve performance and features. This solution is an All in One app, that try to get most of the current emulator cores on Android running in the same app.PSX - Metal Gear Solid
Classic videogame that is useful to use as test, because many people know it and know how it must run.
In my opinion, the emulation is fine. I'm using a X-Arcade on this demo (i forgot to change the controller for testing this with a sixaxis)PSX - Strider 2
An action game that run without problems.PSX - War Gods
Who remember this game? I played this on arcade for many time (but now, i´m a complete noob trying to play this)
The game have some audio issues, but is iplayable in general words.PSX - Tekken 3
This is one of the most common testings that users do in PSX emulation. The game run well, with good speed and no problems in general.MORE INFO
If you want to read the full article, please go to the link i posted in the beginning of this message.