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Onn Google TV 4K Streaming Box — First Impressions

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Onn Google TV 4K Streaming Box

I’ve been using Walmart’s Onn Google TV 4K Streaming Box for a few days now. The full review is coming (currently aiming to publish this time next week), but as stores are starting to get stock, here are a few thoughts on my experience (so far).

For those just hearing about this device for the first time, the big selling point with the Onn Google TV 4K Streaming Box (that’s the official name) is the price. At just $20, it is a very cheap way to start streaming, or add a streaming player to another room.

Even though it is currently unclear when exactly the new streaming player will be available to buy online, it is now being sold in stores. We ventured down to our local Walmart store earlier in the week and picked one up.

Don’t love the design

The design of the Onn Google TV 4K Streaming Box is probably my biggest issue with the device. Not that it is a big issue in general, it is just the main thing that I dislike about the player so far.

It is tiny, which is good, but it just seems to be stuck between being a streaming dongle and a traditional streaming player. I would argue the Onn Google TV 4K Streaming Box is neither and this makes it hard to really know where to put it.

Onn Google TV 4K Streaming Box connected
Image: Streaming Better

Walmart includes a little adhesive patch which you can stick to the back and then affix to a wall or the TV. Most dongle devices are not that big or don’t drift so far away from the HDMI port that they would need to be stuck to another surface, but that’s the point – in spite of being a device that essentially hangs down from the HDMI port, this is not a dongle device.

How much of an issue this will be for you will depend on your setup, the size of the TV, placement, and so on. For me, the design is an issue, albeit far from being a deal-breaker.

Google TV for the win

The Onn Google TV 4K Streaming Box runs on Google TV and this should remove many of the reservations some might have about buying an electronics product from a lesser-known name.

After all, the whole point of Google TV is to offer a consistent experience across devices and brands. While some will still benefit from faster processors and more memory, almost all Google TV devices will offer a decent baseline experience, and that is the case with the Onn Google TV 4K Streaming Box.

Onn Google TV home screen
Onn Google TV home screen

That’s not to say that it is perfect. I have noticed a couple of bugs. One annoying one is when you push the button once and the remote races through the options as if you are holding the button down (or the button is stuck). While this is not something that happens often, it has happened on more than one occasion already.

Worth the money

While the full review is still a week or so away, this already seems like a winner and a device worth buying. The Chromecast with Google TV is probably the closest device in terms of design and features and the 4K version costs at least twice as much. Google does sell a HD version of the Chromecast which is only $10 more. However, you are then losing out on 4K.

For $20, it is hard to argue with the value on offer here.

John Finn

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