Without any doubt, a Kodi box hooked up to a large TV is the best way to experience Kodi in 2018. The best Kodi boxes are not designed solely for the platform. Instead, they are repurposed to run Kodi. While many people have unsavory connotations for these popular Kodi streaming devices, itâs important to realize that Kodi is a perfectly legal piece of software, designed to build an ultimate streaming platform by lending a hand to cord cutters.
Buying the perfect Kodi box might be confusing, but not with TechNadu watching over you. Letâs get on with our guide on the best Kodi boxes that will not retire in 2018.Â
Disclaimer:Â We will be talking about third-party hardware that can be used to run Kodi â which is based on the open-source code on its own. TechNadu doesnât claim any responsibility for how our readers decide to use the following hardware products. Please note that we donât condone sharing pirated content or copyright infringement. TechNadu is not affiliated with the hardware mentioned in this article in no way. Make sure to carefully read the above-said disclaimer and ensure the proper use of the software.
What is a Kodi Streaming Device?
Kodi streaming device is a small plastic box, which usually runs Googleâs Android operating system and approximately has a size of an Apple TV. Itâs generally re-skinned to give its own personal touch, which defines how adaptable and customizable Kodi streaming devices are. Kodi devices also allow you to stream from local storage and supports watching TV over the internet.
Today, you can find many versions of these devices in multiple guises, out of which most are proudly labeled as XMBC or Kodi devices. However, they cover a strange legal territory. While its functionality to stream content through various channels is legal, ways to acquiring that content is a gray area. Feel free to learn more about how to use Kodi legally.
Best Kodi Boxes for 2018
Browsing media streamers on your own can be a tedious job. With so many options, different features, and specs, you can find yourself quickly overwhelmed. Don’t worry, TechNadu is here to help. Here are our top recommendations for the best Kodi Boxes for 2018.
Amazon Fire TV Stick
|Pros||One of the most popular options; Affordable; Powered by Fire OS.|
|Cons||Supports up to HD resolutions.|
|Web Link||Amazon Fire TV Stick|
Amazon Fire TV Stick is a pocket-sized hardware, at the same time, a heavy-weight champion of all the Kodi streaming devices in 2018. With $50 price tag, theÂ Amazon Fire TV Stick tops this list and also has topped numerous lists in the past. Undoubtedly, this hardware is the most popular streaming device in the Kodi community.
In 2017, with its new upgrade, the latest Fire TV Stick is even better and more functional compared to the other devices in the same price range. We canât neglect the fact that all its amazing features come under such a dirt-cheap price tag.
Here’s an interesting fact – 2017 version of this media streamer is 30% faster than the older one, according to its official website. This new version also includes built-in Alexa support, which can be used to interact with Fire OS. However, if youâre buying this product, needless to say, accessing Kodi is one out of its so many features.
Itâs also a bit more expensive than the last generation. However, you need to know that itâs a bit challenging to install Kodi on the Fire Stick, as Kodi isnât featured in the Amazon App Store. One needs to separately sideload it and then install it. If you face any problem during its installation – you can refer to our quick guide to install Kodi on Android â covering phones, tablets, and TVs.
Amazon Fire TV
|Pros||Incredibly capable; Up to 4K (60fps) video output; Numerous media streaming options.|
|Cons||You’ll need to sideload Kodi.|
|Web Link||Amazon Fire TV|
Here is the elder brother of Amazon Firestick, which could take you for a 4K ride at an affordable price. For users who love to watch 4K content on Kodi, the Amazon Fire TV is the best Kodi box to buy right now.
TheÂ Amazon Fire TV, undoubtedly,Â is a prime choice for Kodi users. Itâs an excellent proof of a product which gives more than what you pay for. Commercially designed for Amazon Prime TV and Netflix, this media player supports services in 4K with HDR. With that said, its capability to play Ultra HD content is worth the mention, which also means that the Amazon Fire TV will smoothly stream Kodi and its 4K sources.
Like its smaller brother, Amazon Fire TV Stick, Fire TV also doesnât feature Kodi in its App Store. One must sideload Kodi to install it. Itâs not an overly complicated process, but you can use our quick guide, mentioned in the last point. Here too, youâll get the extra perks of Alexa and Voice command supporting remote. Although it doesnât support Kodi, it helps to navigate the other features on the Fire TV. Â At Technadu, we tested Amazon Fire TV using 4K and 1080p videos, with both performing smoothly.
With its price and strong functions, Amazon Fire TV is the strongest contender on your list of the best Kodi boxes. Most of the people from Kodi community considers this option only for streaming, forgetting that Amazon Fire TV also has a microSD card slot. This means that you can store your local media collection and play with without connecting to the Web.
|Pros||Nicely designed hardware; Features the Play Store; Can be used for video gaming.|
|Cons||No SD card slot.|
|Web Link||Nvidia Shield|
Last year, theÂ Nvidia Shield was featured on the Technaduâs list of Best Kodi Boxes of 2017 and apparently topped it.
With Amazonâs latest upgrade to its Fire streaming devices, Nvidia Shield might look a bit faded. However, this device is capable enough to stream all types of 4K content from all the premium services like Amazon Prime Video and Netflix. Not to forget its super strong ‘Geforce Now’ that can smoothly run an array of video games.
Running Android 6.0, the Nvidia Shield has an easy procedure to configure Kodi. The Google Play store features the latest Kodi app that you can voice search via its remote, and install Kodi on the device without ever typing anything on the screen.
Its strong processor hates waiting time. From installing Kodi to recovering from standby, it takes about a minute, which is super impressive. This deviceâs performance is exceptional and streams 4K and 1080p content with ease. It features a built-in 802.11ac Wi-Fi and an Ethernet port for weaker WiFi connections.
Nvidia Shield is super portable and a performing beast for streaming online content and playing video games.
WeTek Play 2
|Pros||Incredibly capable; Runs all the popular streaming apps; Support for HD TV channels.|
|Cons||Not every Android app runs equally well.|
|Web Link||WeTek Play 2|
For about $145, WeTek Core is the most powerful 4K device. The secret behind its power is its Quad-core (Amlogic S905H) GPU, which supports 4K streaming. It also features Mali MP-450 Penta core with 2 GB DDR III RAM and 8 GB of flash memory.
Unlike its predecessor, this one features an eMMC Modular Tuner to access a wide number of HD TV Channels.Â However, the greatest news of all is that it hasÂ pre-installed Kodi, so you can just plug it and start your streamers.
The most talked about feature of the WeTek Play 2 is its recording, which goes by the name âPlay. Pause. Rewind.â This feature helps you to recover moments you might have missed or would want to watch once again. It gives you the pleasure to go back in time – like a time machine.
Here comes the best part, you can connect this device to your Bluetooth compatible speakers to enjoy your music and all the streaming content it comes with. Also, you can enhance your experience with external peripherals, such as hard drives and keyboards.
It’s strong and beautiful and deserves a place in our Best Kodi Boxes for 2018 list.
Emtech GEM Box
|Pros||Supports the Play Store and its own app store; Can stream PC games;|
|Cons||Fiddly app interface.|
|Web Link||Emtech GEM Box|
Manufactured by Emtech and priced at $70,Â GEM Box is a fantastic streaming device with sprinkles of gaming to devour on your big TV screen.
GEM Box comes with a cheap price tag and compact structure compared to the other Kodi streamers on this list. It comes with its own app store, Aptoide, which is an alternative to Google Play, a tailor-made port to support Kodi and all its latest builds.
At Technadu, when we tested the GEM Box, the only downside we found was its fiddly app interface. By that we mean, not all Android apps run smoothly on this device, especially with its GEM Box controller, which also acts as its gaming hardware. This glitch in the manufacture can easily be rectified with an optional remote that its website offers for $40. At the time of this writing, when we checked Amazon for its reviews, it mostly had a negative vibe and was stuffed with reviews calling it an âunderperformer.â While we found it performing and promising, we too had a few hiccups deciding if the device was a weak gaming machine or strong streaming hardware.
Featuring on the fifth spot on your best Kodi Boxes list of 2018, this device gives an outstanding streaming experience on the go.Â All in all, itâs a great buy.
|Pros||Highly rates; Powered by Chrome OS; Can be used as a desktop computer as well.|
|Cons||Could benefit from a more powerful CPU.|
|Web Link||Asus Chromebox M004U|
Itâs astonishing to notice that Asus Chromebox struggles with its market placement and pricing, for what it has on offer. It is a great device, no doubt. When you check its Amazon rating, youâd find it rated at 4.4 out of 5, with over one thousand verified purchase reviews. This concludes that this device is one of the most underappreciated hardware in the Kodi community, even after its consistent positive mentions in the Kodi forums and Kodi wiki.
The device runs on the Chrome OS and has a very simple procedure to install Kodi. It features a 1.4 GHz Intel Celeron processor with 2GB of RAM and 16GB hard drive. It has 4 USB ports to connect external hard drives and peripherals. Supported by Bluetooth 4.0, it features WI-fFI and Ethernet connectivity and also has an SD card slot.
Now, here comes its mega feature — 7.1 Dolby Digital, which can fill up a room of any size, even a hall.Â We are sure of the potential of this device and hopeful for its future. We are positive this device will improve its ranking on our next Best Kodi Boxes list.
Seguro Trongle X4
|Pros||Budget-friendly; Powered by Android; Play 4K videos; Easy to use.|
|Cons||Somewhat complicated navigation.|
|Web Link||Segure Trongle X4|
If your love arises with 4K tag and also asks for a budgeted price, then Android-powered Seguro Trongle X4 is the option that can lure you with its 4K power and affordable price.
To get a better deal on Best Kodi Boxes, users often wonder about paying less and cutting on a major feature on a device, but Seguro Trongle X4 is different. Itâs refreshingly good, and of course, comes with avoidable annoyance. The device is well designed under 110mm*17mm dimensions, making it super portable. Itâs one of the most compact cases weâve tested at Technadu. The Seguro Trongle X4’s HDMI 2.0b output supports both the HDR10 and HLG HDR processing, along with ultra HD and 4K resolutions.
Coming to its strengths; it has a built-in Wi-Fi and features an Ethernet connection at the back. It runs a highly customizable Android 6.0 and gives access to the Google Play Store, which makes the Kodi installation pretty straightforward.
Since Androidâs play store is designed for touch interface, its navigation through a remote control is a bit of a turn-off, but nothing one canât tolerate with a Mouse button on its remote. The mouse button lets you easily navigate the screen and reduces the hassle of selections. Pinning Kodi to the front screen makes its launch easier and helps in avoiding its unending 25s long boot time, as there’s no fast-standby mode.
|Pros||Incredibly powerful device; Access to the Play Store; Helpful customer support.|
|Cons||Higher priced that other product on this list.|
|Web Link||Element Ti4|
If one is reviewing best Kodi boxes for 2018, itâs impossible to ignore Element Ti4 for its solid specs and a good customer support. For nearly $200 price tag, this Kodi TV box has fairly positive ratings on Amazon. It scores 4 stars out of 5 with more than 600 verified purchase reviews.
The device offers its full spread to load the latest Kodi and runs it smoothly, even with high-end content. While we tested it, it astonished us with its stability. All its flaunt is backed by a strong hardware which features 2GB of DDR 3 RAM with 16GB of flash memory. It runs on a 2 GHz Quad Core processor and comes with a sturdy remote control.
Even despite its high price, itâs surprising to see so many positive mentions of the device and its increasing popularity in the Kodi community If you try to run through its reviews on various platforms, youâll notice people mostly praising its built and flawless functions. While some say it runs fast, saves tons of time in loading and has a helpful customer support, others lightly crib about its no warranty policy, but thatâs only because Kodi installations breach the terms and conditions of an Android device, hence the gating.
As long as you are fine with its price tag, itâs a worthful buy.
Raspberry Pi 3
|Pros||Can be a fun DIY project; Very affordable; Ability to create your own Kodi entertainment system.|
|Cons||Not the most powerful Kodi box on the market.|
|Web Link||Raspberry Pi 3|
Popularly called – mini all-rounder computer, Raspberry Pi 3 is a compact hardware with lucrative capabilities to build a Kodi media center. The device runs smoothly with its NOOBS support and comes with a couple of pre-built options: OSMC and LibreELEC that could handle 1080p videos, easily. Dry specs alone are not the reasons why this device is featured on the list of Best Kodi Boxes. Let’s find some more.
Before installing Kodi on Raspberry device, the device runs through its pre-built wizard and takes around 20 seconds to turn on. Although it has many skin options, we recommend using the default setting, as the higher tune-ups lead to a fidgety interface and animations. Weâve found that a better SD card results in a better boot time and noticeably increases its responsiveness, so buy a good class SD card.
It features industry standard built-in 802.11n Wi-Fi and a wired Ethernet connection. However, it has some odd deal breakers. For example, it doesnât come with a case or a remote, which youâd obviously need to pay extra to receive. Even though controls can be reassigned with Kodi using an HDMI CEC-compatible TV’s remote, nothing makes up for the lack of a remote, not even a smartphone app.
Picking a streaming companion from the best Kodi boxes list is not an easy process, as different users have different priorities. Some need good gaming experience, while other satisfyingly hang around 4K content. Our list of the best Kodi Boxes for 2018 caters to all kinds of priorities and inclinations and makes the process of selecting a bit easier.
Still confused? Use our comment section to let us know of any difficulty that you face in picking your next streaming device for 2018. Also, share this list of best Kodi boxes of 2018 with your friends and anyone who could benefit from it. Thanks!