Emtec GEM Box 2021 Detailed Review- Streaming & Gaming Console.
Emtec GEM Box: Video games are a fun and exciting way to spend time with your friends and family, but deciding on which console or system to use is a big choice that many are often faced with.
For those who don’t want to be subjected to the high upfront costs of an Xbox, Playstation, or WiiU, there are other, more economically catered consoles like the new Emtec Gem Box.
What’s all about?
Many companies have tried to create an Android-based gaming console, but most of the devices have turned out to be a flop.
The OUYA is obviously the first one that comes to mind, but even after being bought my gaming peripheral company Razer, it’s failed to pick up traction. But, manufacturers still think consumers want them.
Enter the GEM Box, created by a company called EMTEC based out of France.
With a quick and easy setup, an Xbox-style controller, and an intuitive interface, EMTEC believes they might just be able to corner this area of the market. Will the GEM Box be able to do it? Follow along with our review below.
Design-wise, EMTEC certainly didn’t nail it but didn’t do a bad job either. What’s nice about the GEM Box is just how compact and low profile it is.
It makes portability a breeze and helps maintain that quick plug-and-play style EMTEC was going for with this console.
EMTEC’s GEM Box features an ARM Mali-450MP6 1.5GHz quad-core processor, 1GB of RAM, and 16GB of internal storage with additional storage allowed the courtesy of a microSD card slot.
It goes without saying the hardware inside the GEM Box is dated. It isn’t going to be able to play any of the more demanding Android games, as you might expect it to.
Instead, they’re choppy, slow and stutter quite a bit. The GEM Box only costs $99, but even for that much money, you’d expect to get hardware that can play Android’s more demanding modern games. Unfortunately, that’s not the case.
Honestly, there’s no excuse for the crummy hardware. It’s 2016, and even some of the better mid-range to higher-end processors are fairly cheap.
Since EMTEC didn’t go with a better performance package, you’re constantly going to be looking at poor performance and stability across the board, particularly in graphic-intensive games.
One of the things the GEM Box lacks is a touch screen. With that in mind, EMTEC includes an Xbox-style gamepad with the Android game console.
It comes pre-paired to the GEM Box and actually functions very well. It’s paired over Bluetooth, so you could potentially use the controller for other Android devices in the home, too.
The gamepad is responsive and there’s a little-to-no delay between the controller and the GEM Box.
It’s worth noting that the gamepad does have a rechargeable battery in it, so there’s a micro-USB port on it to charge it up when it gets low.
The GEM Box’s software is where things get really interesting. EMTEC has built its own “intuitive” interface for its game console instead of using the standard Android TV setup.
If you play games over on the PC at all, the biggest thing you’ll notice when loading it up is that it’s identical to that of Steam’s Big Picture interface.
Multimedia options are limited to the GEM Box. It features Google Play for apps, movies, and music, but standard streaming apps like Hulu and Netflix simply can’t be installed from the Google Play store.
You’re left with Google’s first-party options and a local media player app, so you can at least put your own video files on a microSD card and play them on the device.
On the bright side, the GEM Box comes with an APK installer pre-installed, so you can sideload any Android app you want with a MicroSD card (though whether it will actually work on the device will remain in question until you run it).
- Gamefly streaming is smooth with a fast, wired Internet connection.
- Dated hardware and Android software.
- Choppy graphics and painfully long load times for native Android games.
- Gamepad integration and software navigation is uneven.
- Poor streaming media app selection and implementation.
Designed to streamline and simplify your entertainment and gaming experience, the Emtec Gem Box boasts a wealth of high-end features that make it a great choice for virtually any household.
Even if you’re just a casual gamer who doesn’t spend a whole lot of time on the TV, it’ll surely bring some clear advantages to the way you access and enjoy your favorite content.
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