Should you choose the slightly cheaper Minix Neo U9 H orthe full-featured Nvidia Shield? Both streamer devices run Android TV, but they are not identical. In essence, they excel in different fields and are great for different purposes. Below, we will discuss the comparison between Minix Neo U9 H vs Nvidia Shield to help you choose the best streamer.
In this article, we are going to discuss about:
– The design and appearance of each device
– The performance comparison between these two models
– The available connectivity features on each model
– Which model that has better apps and games
– The user interface of Minix Neo U9 H vs Nvidia Shield
– Which streamer device that is more recommended for you
Minix Neo U9 H does not look far different compared to its predecessors. It is a basic-looking black box with the brand name on the top of it and a stick antenna on the side. This isn’t something that will greatly enhance the appearance of your living room.Even so, the build quality of Minix Neo U9 H is not to be underestimated. See also: Nvidia Shield TV vs Roku Ultra.
This device is certainly much better than those cheap Android TV boxes. To begin with, the casing feels tough and sturdy. Then, it is obvious that cooling is a major priority during the design, as the device is armed with a large and powerful heatsink under the casing. Even so, you still need to consider giving it a dedicated fan or cooling system, as it can become really hot when playing heavy graphics for a long time.
Meanwhile, Nvidia Shield is one of the most attractive streaming devices in the market ever. While other manufacturers stick with simple black boxes, Nvidia Shield comes with a classy, elegant design. Well, it is essentially still a black box, but it has a V-shaped green line on the top – the trademark color of the company – and glossy surfaces. This is something that you will want to show off in your living room.
Furthermore, the latest generation of Nvidia Shield comes in a much smaller and slimmer chassis than the original. The build quality is very good. Still, the device may struggle with heat when playing heavy graphics for an extended time, so you should give it a good cooling system to maintain the performance and longevity.
Minix Neo U9 H runs on an octa-core Cortex A53 64-bit processor and Mali 820 MP3 graphics processing unit with 2GB RAM. It is generally smooth. It works seamlessly well with KODI. It can stream Ultra HD content with faultless playback. The only slight weakness is that it may have some buffer lag when the cache memory has run out, but you can tweak the advanced settings to solve the issue.
Minix Neo U9 H is compatible with HDR 10 content, and it has a ‘faux’ HDR mode. It can switch into the HDR mode automatically. However, you need to turn the Deep Color function on and off manually when switching between HDR and SDR, as leaving it on will over-saturate the colors when playing in the standard dynamic range.
Nvidia Shield is armed with the Nvidia Tegra X1 chipset, which is the same chipset used by Nintendo Switch, and 3GB RAM. It is really powerful. The company claims that Nvidia Shield is about four times faster than Fire TV. It is capable of streaming 4K HDR content stably at 60 fps. Of course, Nvidia Shield has been made for a full suite of entertainment, including gaming. It can play console-grade games very smoothly without any significant lag or stutter.
Minix Neo U9 H vs Nvidia Shield are armed with similar wireless connectivity options. They both have built-in 802.11ac 2×2 MIMO dual-band WIFI and Bluetooth 4.1 LE. So, they can work with modern routers for incredibly smooth and fast streaming. They can also interact wirelessly with your mobile devices for mirroring.
However, the available wired connections are a bit different. They each have one Gigabit Ethernet port for wired Internet access and some USB ports. But Minix Neo U9 H only supports USB 2.0, while Nvidia Shield already supports USB 3.0. So, Minix Neo U9 H won’t be as fast as Nvidia Shield when saving files to or reading content from external flash drives.
In addition to the HDMI 2.0 connector, Minix Neo U9 H also has one 3.5mm stereo jack and one optical audio output. These dedicated ports are handy when you want to send the signal directly to a headset or a speaker system. It also has one dedicated OTG port and Kensington lock.
On the other hand, Nvidia Shield only has one HDMI connector to connect to your TV. It does not have any dedicated video or audio output. However, this is not a big problem because you can just use the audio outputs on your TV when you want to use a headset or a speaker system. Nvidia Shield has various settings for such audio connections.
Apps and Games
Choosing between Minix Neo U9 H vs Nvidia Shield also depends on whether you are interested in gaming or not. If you don’t play games often, Minix Neo U9 H remains as a decent choice. If you are a dedicated gamer, Nvidia Shield is definitely worth your money.
On Minix Neo U9 H, you can download apps from Aptoide TV or Google Play. There are many options available, including Kodi, Amazon Video Prime, Terrarium, and Netflix. Unfortunately, while it generally works properly with most apps, it doesn’t work well with Netflix. It isn’t certified to play Netflix. Although you can get the Netflix app from the Aptoide TV app store or by manually installing the APK file, the Netflix app will not let you stream in 4K.
On the other hand, Nvidia Shield allows you to download apps and games from Nvidia Store and Google Play. It works well with most popular apps such as Amazon Video Prime, HBO, and Kodi. Note that it is certified to play Netflix, so you can play content from Netflix in 4K.
Perhaps the biggest attraction of Nvidia Shield is the GeForce Now software, which enables you to stream games in an impressive graphics quality equivalent to a PC running on an Nvidia GTX 1080 GPU. In addition, there is the Game Stream option which allows you to stream games from your own PC. And it comes with a dedicated gaming controller.
The user interface of Minix Neo U9 H is indeed functional, and it is actually simple and quick, but it doesn’t look very nice or refreshing. If we compare it to the competitors, it may feel a bit outdated already. There isn’t much customization. The tiles allow you to have quick access to relevant apps, but you can’t set a tile to immediately launch a particular app.
Nvidia Shield has come with a new, fresh, and customizable user interface. It looks more modern and sophisticated. On the top row, you have quick access to your favorite apps. The “Play Next” row provides recommendations for videos and games. There are customizable channels, too, which allow you to set favorite TV shows and films from the apps that you have installed. So, you can stream content quickly without having to click multiple times.
Minix Neo U9 H vs Nvidia Shield
In general, Nvidia Shield is more recommended. It is better in nearly all aspects. It has a better design, and it has USB 3.0 ports. It has great processing power that allows the device to stream 4K HDR content stably and play console-grade games smoothly. It offers a wide range of apps and games. The user interface is more customizable.