Why Bluetooth MK808B Device Beats Google Chromecast

THEAMERICANWRITER - Feb 22, 2014 | 16:48 CST

AUSTIN, Texas - There's a lot to say about this little bluetooth MK808b device. Basically, it's a tablet on a stick. Everything I do on my regular Samsung tablet, I can do with this. I can surf the Internet, I can download apps from Google Play Store, I can listen to music, I can watch videos (e.g. YouTube, Amazon, etc.), and so on. Any video site I've been to, I've been able to stream the video just fine. If there is something you want to know if it does before you purchase, feel free to ask me in your comments below and I'll say yay or nay. I might even create a video so you can see for yourself. Depends on what I have going on. But just ask and I'll see what I can do for you.

Here's the packaging it came in when I bought it.
Here's the packaging it came in when I bought it.

Able to Stream Videos on Multiple Sites

Keep in mind that if you're wanting to watch Amazon videos, you'll need to get a browser that can handle flash from the Google Play Store, and then use that to watch the videos over at Amazon's website. I went with Photon and it's a free app found in the Google Play Store. So don't think you can't watch Amazon videos with this device. You can. Just get the free browser app I mentioned (or try a different one if you'd like), go to Amazon's site using the free Photon browser app, and start watching movies. It works for me, especially since Amazon's Instant Video app is not going to work on this device. I tried it and it's not compatible. So that is the workaround I found (mentioned above). It's one of the things that was very important to me when I bought this device: the ability to watch any video on it at any site I frequent. So I'm happy with my purchase.

2015 UPDATE: Amazon finally released an app for android that will allow you to watch Amazon videos on your Android devices. I have tested and confirmed that the Instant Video App now works on this device. Amazon does make you jump through hoops though and does not make it a simple process to use their android version of their app, but it does work. I think Amazon just really prefers people buy their Kindle device so even though they created an android version of their app (to please some people), don't expect the set up to be as simple as downloading, installing, and logging to view your Amazon movies.

Able to Control Device with Tablet or USB Mouse

Also, I'm able to control this device with an external mouse that plugs into the device. The mouse is just a regular USB computer mouse. Nothing special. But I usually use my tablet to control the MK808B. How that's possible? The maker's of this device have an app that allows you to download it to your tablet (I've not tried it on my mobile phone, yet) and control your MK808B that way. Basically, it allows you to use your tablet as a remote if you don't want to use an external mouse. So you have options. It was built to be controlled using your mobile phone with the maker's app. So you should be good to go there, too. I'll confirm that soon.

Able to Download Games & Apps from Google Play Store

I've downloaded and played games onto it from the Google Play Store, and then some. I can even play Candy Crush on it. Other apps I've downloaded and used include (but not limited to) Skype, Diamond Dash (acts a little funny on my screen), Fail Hard, Angry Birds, Photon's Flash Browser and more. The device comes preloaded with apps like YouTube, Facebook, Talk, Twitter, Google Maps, the stock browser, and others. I've actually gone in and disabled some of them because I was not happy with the permissions on the apps. People should really pay attention to app permissions before downloading. You'd be surprised what information you'd be giving them permission to extract from your phone, tablet or mini-pc stick - and use that information as they see fit. But back to the MK808B Smart TV stick -- it includes basically the common apps that most tablets come with, and you have access to download many more onto your Bluetooth MK808B device from the Google Play Store. Again, I am very happy with my purchase.

4 stars for Bluetooth MK808B Smart TV Stick

Why this Bluetooth MK808B Beats the Chromecast

It sure as heck beats the limited Chromecast, which I bought before I became aware this device was already on the market and does way more than the Chromecast. Why it does is simple: it's an android tablet without the screen. Your TV is the screen. It comes with the HDMI cable to hook up to your TV so that you can do everything you want right there on your TV screen; essentially, turning your TV into a "smart TV" much like the Chromecast does, but it just does it way better. Why? Because Chromecast is not a tablet. Chromecast requires what they call "casting" before anything displays to your screen. For example, if you want to watch a video on YouTube, you first need to have a tablet or phone, then find a Chromecast-supported app from their tiny selection (does not allow you to download apps from Google Play Store -- odd isn't it? Especially, considering the Google Play Store is owned by Google), and then find a video on your tablet or phone with that app, and then find the Chromecast Cast icon and press it, then it will communicate that video from your tablet or phone's screen with the Chromecast device you plugged into your TV, and if all is good, it will display onto your TV.

You don't need a tablet or phone to operate or use the Bluetooth MK808B device. Why do you need a phone or tablet to use Chromecast? Because Chromecast itself does not have any features to choose from on its own screen. It's basically just waiting for you to send something to it from a Chromecast supported app on your phone or tablet. And you'll be limited to the small handful of apps (under 14 (most of which are garbage) at the time of this article) to use with Chromecast. That's right, folks, there are no games. You can cast with your browser if you connect it to your computer and download the Chromecast extension, but you have to have a compatible computer to do that. And I know you think you'd be able to use the browser on your mobile phone or tablet to cast to the Chromecast. Sorry again. I thought this, too. And the verdict is: you cannot use your phone or tablet's browser or even the Chrome browser app to cast to your Chromecast device, because the Chromecast extension for the Chrome Browser is not available for mobile devices. It's only available for desktop devices (as you can read on Google's own site about the Chromecast). All the ridiculous inconveniences Google Chromecast offers are simply just not worth it. The MK808B just makes sense.

In a Nutshell: MK808B vs Chromecast

  • MK808B - Unlimited access and ability to download several hundreds of apps, games and more from Google Play Store.

  • Chromecast - Extremely limited! No ability to download anything to this device; not even from Google's own app store. You can only use what Google makes available for you to use (the 14 nonsensical apps they now have at the time of this article -- a long way off the hundreds available in their Google Play Store).

  • MK808B - Turn off device using on-screen power off button. No need to get up to unplug it from the TV just to turn it off.

  • Chromecast - Must unplug it to turn it off.

  • MK808B - Control it with a USB mouse, tablet or phone. No casting of any kind is required. All apps, features and more are displayed on your TV before you even hook up your USB mouse to it. It's a tablet just without a screen until you connect it to your TV to be the screen. And it's smaller than a regular tablet since it does not have the screen. And yes it comes with 4GB of storage space.

  • Chromecast - You absolutely need to have a compatible phone or tablet to do anything with this device. Requires casting and if you don't have a phone or tablet, you'd need a compatible computer. Too much madness when compared to the simple and user-friendly MK808b device. Chromecast comes with no storage space obviously since you can't download anything to it.

  • MK808B - Hotel-friendly. Staying at a hotel that has a TV with a HDMI port? This will work and you can connect to the hotel's internet flawlessly -- just as you would on your regular tablet or phone.

  • Chromecast - Not hotel-friendly. I had to buy a traveler's router and bring my laptop to get this device to bypass the hotel's access page. Google states it does not work at hotels, but I was determined to find a workaround -- and I did. Cost me extra to buy the router, but I got it to bypass the hotel's access page by using my computer to set up a home network type of arrangement. This caused me to have to keep my laptop on, though during the time I was using the Chromecast. The moment I turned my computer off, the Chromecast stopped working. Hotel's need you to enter a password before you access the internet and the Chromecast since it's not a tablet or anything close to it, it cannot pull up the access page for you to enter the password. So I had to use my computer with the router, to be what the Chromecast cannot do. With the MK808B, this is NEVER a problem. I plugged in my MK808B device, went to the WIFI settings screen, connected to the hotel's WIFI, pulled up my browser on the device, and was prompted with the Hotel's access page to the internet. I typed in the necessary information given to me by the front desk, and I was online in no time. *snaps my fingers* Just like that! No way you'll get this kind of convenience with the Chromecast.

Product
Pros/Cons
Price
Bluetooth MK808B
User and hotel-friendly, unlimited access to Google Play Store, and more.
$44.90 (free shipping)
Google Chromecast
Not hotel-friendly, no access to Google Play Store -- just a waste of money!
$35 (free shipping)

Do you prefer the MK808B or Chromecast?

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Too Many Good Things to List

There are so many things that make the MK808B device so many times better than the Chromecast. I cannot list them all. But I think you get the gist of it though in order to make a well informed decision on what to and what not to buy. Why it's so simple when compared to the Chromecast? Because the MK808B is basically a tablet and therefore you have a wide array of things you can do that the Chromecast just cannot and seeing how slow Google is with the development probably will never do. Perhaps, Chromecast was just made for Google to make a quick buck, but to never really do anything with it. After all, why build a device that does not work with your own Google Play Store?! I just think this was just a way for them to make a quick buck when it first came out. It was a neat idea to a lot of people and I got tricked into thinking it would be further developed and opened to the Google Play Store, but nope. So I had to find something else that would give me awesome features, and the freedom I needed along with it being easy to use when I travel, too. And when I found the MK808B device, received it in the mail and tested it, I couldn't be any more happy. Chromecast quickly became a thing of the past.

One MK808B Problem I Encountered but Remedied

One bad thing I noticed after using it for a couple weeks or so, is that it hung on the Android screen. And resetting it would not work, and I tried other troubleshooting methods, which did not work. So eventually, I found some information on how to root and update the firmware and after I did that, it instantly worked again. So if you get a MK808B device, and at any time it won't let you get passed the Android's logo screen, then don't fret and think you need to return the device. It's not broken. Try resetting it and if push comes to shove update the firmware and you'll be good to go. I know this, because this is what I did and it's been working flawlessly ever since.

Price for the MK808B is Well Worth It

The Chromecast is nothing close to the abilities and features of the MK808B device. With the MK808B Smart TV Stick you get a whole lot more and for under $45 (free shipping, too). Chromecast is like $35 bucks, extremely limited, and virtually a waste of money. You will without a doubt be extremely disappointed with the Chromecast, especially after seeing what all you can do with the MK808B for about ten bucks more.

The Exact Amazon Listing I Bought It Brand New

Androset Bluetooth MK808B Dual Core Android 4.1 TV BOX Rockchip RK3066 Cortex-A9 Mini PC Smart TV Stick
Androset Bluetooth MK808B Dual Core Android 4.1 TV BOX Rockchip RK3066 Cortex-A9 Mini PC Smart TV Stick

Yes, I just had to give you the direct link to the exact product I bought. It would make no sense to write such a lengthy and in-depth review and not tell you the exact sales page I went to buy the product. So I've added it here. I don't know about any other seller listings, but this is the exact one I bought by the seller 'Generic' (Sold by GeekBuying and Fulfilled by Amazon) and the exact one I have and speak of here. If the listing has changed, please note it's not something I have control over. The URL is still the same, though, which doesn't seem to change no matter if the listing itself has. So the seller is the same even if the original lister changed their seller name (which can be done at anytime possibly due to re-branding). If the URL ever changes, it's because Amazon or the seller took down the original listing I purchased from, and the above link will stop working altogether. As of now, it is still working. And if you buy from somewhere else and it ends up being slightly different or just different, then I don't know what to tell you. If you want to ensure you are getting the exact one that I'm talking about in my article, then I've provided a direct link here that goes to the exact listing I bought it from on Amazon's website.

 
Here are close-ups of the 5 ports available on this little device: HDMI port, DC port, USB port, TF slot, and OTG port.
Here are close-ups of the 5 ports available on this little device: HDMI port, DC port, USB port, TF slot, and OTG port.

Bluetooth MK808B Also Includes a USB to DC Converter

Additionally, the MK808B comes with the USB to DC converter. So if don't have a USB on your TV, then you can plug it into the wall outlet for power. I usually use the USB on the TV, though. Frees up my outlet for other things that actually need it as a power source.

MK808B's USB Slot Work with USB Webcam?

Being that this has a USB slot on it, and it does work with an external USB mouse, it may work with other external devices. I have not tested to see if this works with a USB webcam. I have my other devices for that. But if you'd like me to find out, then I can test it if you'd like. I may just test it soon, just to see if it does work. If I do, then I'll provide an update to this page with the information.

I have my MK808B device plugged into the TV. This picture is not that great due to the lighting, but I'll try to update with a better quality photo soon. But you can see the Google Play Store app and a "few" of the ones I added.
I have my MK808B device plugged into the TV. This picture is not that great due to the lighting, but I'll try to update with a better quality photo soon. But you can see the Google Play Store app and a "few" of the ones I added. | Source

Have A Question?

As mentioned in the beginning, if there is something you want to know if it does before you purchase, feel free to ask me and I'll say yay or nay. I'm no expert, though. I'm just a satisfied customer who is enjoying my device. It's doing exactly what I bought it for and more. I can say that I definitely got my money's worth.

What Did I Do With My Chromecast?

For those wondering what I did with my Chromecast, I gave it away to someone for free. It was useless to me at that point. I showed that person and another person about the MK808B device and they want one of these instead. So if you want a device that does just about anything a tablet does where you are not limited to like you are with the Chromecast, then get this device.

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Post Your Questions or Comments 9 comments

TheAmericanWriter profile image

TheAmericanWriter 2 years ago from USA Author

Not sure how I managed to not see some of these comments asking questions. Responding now:

@Bobbi: It is possible to connect it to a computer to access any files within its storage. My Mk808b device has 4.31 GB of storage space. So you can transfer files to it and from it by using the OTG to USB connector it comes with. Alternatively, it comes with a TF slot. In regards to the visual (and not just accessing the storage side of things), the MK808B gives visual through use of the HDMI cable it comes with that connects to the HDMI port on a TV. My laptop does not have a HDMI port. So I'm not in a position to say if it works with a computer's HDMI port to see the front-end (as seen in the screenshot in the article that I took of my TV screen when the MK808b is plugged into a TV's HDMI port). I know there are computers that have HDMI ports. And have heard others say it works when connecting it to a deskop's monitor with HDMI port. So if you have one, I would try it and see what happens. Sorry I can't personally test that for you, though.

@Nirmal: The app is called RKRemoteControlApp. Check your email.

@Daikiraikimi: I have no idea. I'm not really familiar with mirroring and its purpose. However, I just did a quick Google search and I do see the MK808B comes with a WIFI Display feature and found a video just now how to mirror your phone's screen to the TV using that feature on the MK808b. If it had not been for your question, I would not have even known that. It has a lot of features. I just have not gone through them all obviously. Nice to have discovered that as a result of your question, though. So thank you for asking. What else is this device capable of doing that I've not bothered to look into?! As far as your question, I would need to do more research to find out if it can do more than just a mirror a phone's screen (e.g. a laptop to a TV). I'll look more into it after I play around with this newly discovered feature. ;)


Bobbi 2 years ago

The only internet access i have is my phone. Can i hook this up to my sons laptop instead of the tv?


nirmal 2 years ago

please tell me the app by which you control mk808b , I have it myself.

please send it on nirmalwankhede3@gmail.com.

Thanks.


daikiraikimi 2 years ago

Can the MK808B mirror a laptop to a TV?


Jack Vand profile image

Jack Vand 2 years ago

You can stream local content to a Chromecast. With the new patch, I think stuff like AllCast and PlayOn are working again. If not, there is no reason they shouldn't.


Jessica from TX 2 years ago

I think some viewers might be missing the point of the article. It is clear what the Chromecast is. The article is not saying the Chromecast is a tablet. It's saying just the opposite. It's saying that why get a Chromecast when you can just get a tablet on a stick and get more for your money. That's what I am seeing this article is talking about, that a couple of commentors seem to not be understanding. Why get a streaming device when you can get a device that does the same as a streaming device but more and for about the same amount of money? That's what the article is saying folks.


Jack Vand profile image

Jack Vand 2 years ago

It's not a "Tablet on a Stick". It's a Chromecast. Yep. Completely missing the point. Why didn't you just return the Chromecast? Even Best Buy if offering a refund if you don't like it in two weeks.

One major advantage is that a Chromecast can stream flash from a desktop PC (i.e. Hulu) and the Android dongle doesn't work at all.

http://retrovision.tv

retrovision.tv


Nathan's Missing the Point! (FROM MIKE) 2 years ago

I'm an angry Chromecast customer. Nathan, have you been to Google's site and ad about its own device? The purpose of the Chromecast is simple, "stream online video, music to your TV using your smartphone, tablet, or laptop". That's it. You can't even stream local content with this crap! The Chromecast was released almost one year ago, and to this very day has only 15 $@!# apps available to use it with! Even Google knows its defeating its own purpose. I might as well just hook my tablet up to my TV and get better unlimited access to apps I actually use for movies and music. Chromecast is a waste of money! What's the point of making a streaming device with only 15 apps that nobody uses? So, Nathan, it looks like YOU are missing the point of the Chromecast. With several thousands of apps that exist, Google chose to tell everyone you can only use 15 with our device. Talk about a slap in the face! WASTE OF MONEY!!!!!!!!


Nathan 2 years ago

Completely missing the point of the chromecast.

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