Notebookcheck

Nvidia Shield Android TV Review

Klaus Hinum, Stefanie Voigt (translated by Bernie Pechlaner), 05/31/2016

Streaming box. Nvidia's Shield Android TV console is a comprehensive solution for movie streaming and gaming. We'll take a closer look at the powerful set-top box with the updated Android 6.0 OS and its mature content offering.

Shield Android TV

According to Nvidia themselves, their Shield TV is currently the best Android TV box on the market. Since the device supports 4K streaming, Android gaming, GeForce NOW game streaming from the server as well as game streaming from the home PC (with Nvidia GPU), the claim might not be unsubstantiated. We take a look at the current version with Android 6.0 and subject the small black box to some of our tests and benchmarks.

NVIDIA Shield Android TV
Processor
Nvidia Tegra X1 2.01 GHz
Memory
3072 MB 
, LPDDR4
Storage
16 GB iNAND Flash, 16 GB 
, 16 GB
Connections
1 USB 2.0, 2 USB 3.0 / 3.1 Gen1, 1 HDMI, 1 Infrared, Audio Connections: Headset on Controller, Card Reader: Micro-SD, Sensors: Infrared
Networking
10/100/1000 LAN Card (10/100/1000MBit), 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (a/b/g/n/ac), Bluetooth 4.1
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 25 x 210 x 130 ( = 0.98 x 8.27 x 5.12 in)
Operating System
Android 6.0 Marshmallow
Additional features
Android TV
Released
06/04/2015
Weight
654 g ( = 23.07 oz / 1.44 pounds) ( = 0 oz / 0 pounds)
Price
199 Euro
Note: The manufacturer may use components from different suppliers including display panels, drives or memory sticks with similar specifications.

 

Case

The small, stylish little box integrates well into a user's home TV environment. The chassis looks quite nice thanks to the polygon-like design elements, although the high-gloss surface areas scratch easily. The optional sturdy aluminum stand allows the console to be positioned upright - but the price of 35 Euro (~$40) for the stand with a "nano-suction base" seems quite excessive.

It takes a while to locate the capacitive power switch on the top (area with the Nvidia logo) at first; once the console is turned on, the switch is illuminated from the inside. The brightness is configurable, which is a nice touch.

210 mm / 8.27 inch 130 mm / 5.12 inch 25 mm / 0.984 inch 654 g1.442 lbs221 mm / 8.7 inch 126 mm / 4.96 inch 9.2 mm / 0.3622 inch 371 g0.818 lbs203.2 mm / 8 inch 134.8 mm / 5.31 inch 6.1 mm / 0.2402 inch 304 g0.67 lbs

Connectivity

The back of the console houses all cabled ports and connections. Interestingly enough, Nvidia decided on a proprietary power connector (similar to USB C and reversible as well). The HDMI port supports HDMI 2.0 and thus 4K video at 60 Hz. We should also mention the two USB 3.0 ports, which can not only charge the controller or the remote, but also allow for storage expansion via external hard drives or USB flash drives.

MicroSD, Micro-USB 2.0, 2x USB 3.0, Gigabit LAN, HDMI 2.0, power
MicroSD, Micro-USB 2.0, 2x USB 3.0, Gigabit LAN, HDMI 2.0, power

Software

Our review console came loaded with Android 6.0 Marshmallow. The OS is designed to be used for Android TV and therefore lacks some of the functionality we are used to from smartphones and tablets. The launcher, task manager (only rudimentary access with a USB keyboard is possible) and the Play Store are all pared down from their respective full version.   

A plus point is the support of Google Cast. We had no issues sending photos and videos from our Android smartphone to the console and our TV, respectively.

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Communication and GPS

The integrated 802.11ac WLAN module achieved lower-than-average transfer rates. Connected to our Linksys EA8500, Nvidia's Shield TV managed a connection speed of about 273 Mbit/s (distance of 1 m). The average at the time of writing is about 320 Mbit/s. The connection was very stable, however and we had no issues using GeForce NOW over Wifi one floor below the router.

The Gigabit LAN reached transfer rates 555 MBit/s, which is also lower than expected with the typical speeds normally in the neighborhood of 950 MBit/s.

Accessories and Warranty

The Shield Android TV comes with a controller, a USB cable, the HDMI cable, and the power adapter. Optional accessories included a WiFi Direct remote called "Shield Remote" and the rather expensive "Shield Stand".

Input Devices and Operation

Shield Controller, here with the older lettering (home button is a house instead of a circle)
Shield Controller, here with the older lettering (home button is a house instead of a circle)

The included controller is identical to the one Nvidia sold as an accessory for their Shield Tablet. Please check our reviews (Shield Tablet and Shield Tablet LTEfor details. The only difference is the labeling of the home button. The haptic characteristics haven't changed at all, so all things considered, this is a good, but not outstanding controller. The Wifi Direct connection between the controller and the console worked well and remained stable during the review period. Sound was also transferred to the controller without any issues.

Performance

The Nvidia Shield Android TV features high-end hardware components. The Tegra Y1 SoC is also used by Google for their Pixel C Tablet and houses the currently fasted ARM-based GPU on the market. The performance of the eight ARM CPU cores is also very decent, albeit not quite as class-leading as the GPU performance. Four Cortex A53 cores are designated battery-saver cores, while four Cortex A57 cores deliver the performance. For more information, please check our specialty page for the Tegra X1. The powerful SoC can access a generous compliment of 3 GB LPDDR4 RAM.

AnTuTu v6 - Total Score
NVIDIA Shield Android TV
Tegra X1 Maxwell GPU, X1, 16 GB iNAND Flash
134796 Points ∼49%
HTC 10
Adreno 530, 820 MSM8996, 32 GB eMMC Flash
131866 Points ∼48% -2%
Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge
Mali-T880 MP12, 8890 Octa, 32 GB UFS 2.0 Flash
128749 Points ∼47% -4%
Huawei P9
Mali-T880 MP4, Kirin 955, 32 GB eMMC Flash
95743 Points ∼35% -29%
Google Pixel C
Tegra X1 Maxwell GPU, X1, 64 GB eMMC Flash
90568 Points ∼33% -33%
Google Nexus 6P
Adreno 430, 810 MSM8994, 32 GB eMMC Flash
79502 Points ∼29% -41%
Geekbench 3
64 Bit Multi-Core Score
Huawei P9
Mali-T880 MP4, Kirin 955, 32 GB eMMC Flash
6522 Points ∼17% +44%
Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge
Mali-T880 MP12, 8890 Octa, 32 GB UFS 2.0 Flash
6480 (min: 6415) Points ∼17% +43%
HTC 10
Adreno 530, 820 MSM8996, 32 GB eMMC Flash
5117 Points ∼14% +13%
Google Nexus 6P
Adreno 430, 810 MSM8994, 32 GB eMMC Flash
4587 Points ∼12% +1%
NVIDIA Shield Android TV
Tegra X1 Maxwell GPU, X1, 16 GB iNAND Flash
4530 Points ∼12%
Google Pixel C
Tegra X1 Maxwell GPU, X1, 64 GB eMMC Flash
4216 Points ∼11% -7%
Google Nexus 9
GeForce ULP K1 (Tegra K1 Kepler GPU), K1 (Denver), 32 GB eMMC Flash
3154 Points ∼8% -30%
64 Bit Single-Core Score
HTC 10
Adreno 530, 820 MSM8996, 32 GB eMMC Flash
2376 Points ∼48% +53%
Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge
Mali-T880 MP12, 8890 Octa, 32 GB UFS 2.0 Flash
2170 (min: 2120) Points ∼44% +39%
Google Nexus 9
GeForce ULP K1 (Tegra K1 Kepler GPU), K1 (Denver), 32 GB eMMC Flash
1879 Points ∼38% +21%
Huawei P9
Mali-T880 MP4, Kirin 955, 32 GB eMMC Flash
1767 Points ∼36% +13%
NVIDIA Shield Android TV
Tegra X1 Maxwell GPU, X1, 16 GB iNAND Flash
1558 Points ∼32%
Google Pixel C
Tegra X1 Maxwell GPU, X1, 64 GB eMMC Flash
1411 Points ∼29% -9%
Google Nexus 6P
Adreno 430, 810 MSM8994, 32 GB eMMC Flash
1335 Points ∼27% -14%
3DMark
2560x1440 Sling Shot OpenGL ES 3.0 Physics
Huawei P9
Mali-T880 MP4, Kirin 955, 32 GB eMMC Flash
2510 Points ∼60% +18%
NVIDIA Shield Android TV
Tegra X1 Maxwell GPU, X1, 16 GB iNAND Flash
2123 Points ∼50%
Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge
Mali-T880 MP12, 8890 Octa, 32 GB UFS 2.0 Flash
2002 (min: 1539) Points ∼47% -6%
HTC 10
Adreno 530, 820 MSM8996, 32 GB eMMC Flash
1512 Points ∼36% -29%
Google Pixel C
Tegra X1 Maxwell GPU, X1, 64 GB eMMC Flash
1205 Points ∼29% -43%
Google Nexus 6P
Adreno 430, 810 MSM8994, 32 GB eMMC Flash
1142 Points ∼27% -46%
2560x1440 Sling Shot OpenGL ES 3.0 Graphics
NVIDIA Shield Android TV
Tegra X1 Maxwell GPU, X1, 16 GB iNAND Flash
7734 Points ∼78%
HTC 10
Adreno 530, 820 MSM8996, 32 GB eMMC Flash
4581 Points ∼46% -41%
Google Pixel C
Tegra X1 Maxwell GPU, X1, 64 GB eMMC Flash
4293 Points ∼43% -44%
Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge
Mali-T880 MP12, 8890 Octa, 32 GB UFS 2.0 Flash
3015 (min: 2895) Points ∼30% -61%
Google Nexus 6P
Adreno 430, 810 MSM8994, 32 GB eMMC Flash
2302 Points ∼23% -70%
Huawei P9
Mali-T880 MP4, Kirin 955, 32 GB eMMC Flash
1080 Points ∼11% -86%
2560x1440 Sling Shot OpenGL ES 3.0
NVIDIA Shield Android TV
Tegra X1 Maxwell GPU, X1, 16 GB iNAND Flash
4872 Points ∼68%
HTC 10
Adreno 530, 820 MSM8996, 32 GB eMMC Flash
3157 Points ∼44% -35%
Google Pixel C
Tegra X1 Maxwell GPU, X1, 64 GB eMMC Flash
2735 Points ∼38% -44%
Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge
Mali-T880 MP12, 8890 Octa, 32 GB UFS 2.0 Flash
2710 (min: 2421) Points ∼38% -44%
Google Nexus 6P
Adreno 430, 810 MSM8994, 32 GB eMMC Flash
1877 Points ∼26% -61%
Huawei P9
Mali-T880 MP4, Kirin 955, 32 GB eMMC Flash
1237 Points ∼17% -75%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Physics
NVIDIA Shield Android TV
Tegra X1 Maxwell GPU, X1, 16 GB iNAND Flash
24349 Points ∼28%
Google Pixel C
Tegra X1 Maxwell GPU, X1, 64 GB eMMC Flash
22527 Points ∼26% -7%
HTC 10
Adreno 530, 820 MSM8996, 32 GB eMMC Flash
20344 Points ∼24% -16%
Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge
Mali-T880 MP12, 8890 Octa, 32 GB UFS 2.0 Flash
19610 Points ∼23% -19%
Huawei P9
Mali-T880 MP4, Kirin 955, 32 GB eMMC Flash
15517 Points ∼18% -36%
Google Nexus 6P
Adreno 430, 810 MSM8994, 32 GB eMMC Flash
14983 Points ∼17% -38%
Google Nexus 9
GeForce ULP K1 (Tegra K1 Kepler GPU), K1 (Denver), 32 GB eMMC Flash
12420 Points ∼14% -49%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Graphics Score
NVIDIA Shield Android TV
Tegra X1 Maxwell GPU, X1, 16 GB iNAND Flash
57922 Points ∼11%
Google Pixel C
Tegra X1 Maxwell GPU, X1, 64 GB eMMC Flash
52816 Points ∼10% -9%
Google Nexus 9
GeForce ULP K1 (Tegra K1 Kepler GPU), K1 (Denver), 32 GB eMMC Flash
39070 Points ∼7% -33%
Google Nexus 6P
Adreno 430, 810 MSM8994, 32 GB eMMC Flash
34758 Points ∼7% -40%
Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge
Mali-T880 MP12, 8890 Octa, 32 GB UFS 2.0 Flash
33031 Points ∼6% -43%
HTC 10
Adreno 530, 820 MSM8996, 32 GB eMMC Flash
30061 Points ∼6% -48%
Huawei P9
Mali-T880 MP4, Kirin 955, 32 GB eMMC Flash
21577 Points ∼4% -63%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Score
NVIDIA Shield Android TV
Tegra X1 Maxwell GPU, X1, 16 GB iNAND Flash
44337 Points ∼19%
Google Pixel C
Tegra X1 Maxwell GPU, X1, 64 GB eMMC Flash
40665 Points ∼17% -8%
Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge
Mali-T880 MP12, 8890 Octa, 32 GB UFS 2.0 Flash
28671 Points ∼12% -35%
HTC 10
Adreno 530, 820 MSM8996, 32 GB eMMC Flash
27176 Points ∼12% -39%
Google Nexus 6P
Adreno 430, 810 MSM8994, 32 GB eMMC Flash
26876 Points ∼11% -39%
Google Nexus 9
GeForce ULP K1 (Tegra K1 Kepler GPU), K1 (Denver), 32 GB eMMC Flash
26455 Points ∼11% -40%
Huawei P9
Mali-T880 MP4, Kirin 955, 32 GB eMMC Flash
19854 Points ∼8% -55%
GFXBench (DX / GLBenchmark) 2.7
1920x1080 T-Rex HD Offscreen C24Z16
NVIDIA Shield Android TV
Tegra X1 Maxwell GPU, X1, 16 GB iNAND Flash
123 fps ∼1%
Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge
Mali-T880 MP12, 8890 Octa, 32 GB UFS 2.0 Flash
81 fps ∼1% -34%
HTC 10
Adreno 530, 820 MSM8996, 32 GB eMMC Flash
73 fps ∼1% -41%
Google Pixel C
Tegra X1 Maxwell GPU, X1, 64 GB eMMC Flash
69 fps ∼1% -44%
Google Nexus 9
GeForce ULP K1 (Tegra K1 Kepler GPU), K1 (Denver), 32 GB eMMC Flash
57.8 fps ∼0% -53%
Google Nexus 6P
Adreno 430, 810 MSM8994, 32 GB eMMC Flash
44 fps ∼0% -64%
Huawei P9
Mali-T880 MP4, Kirin 955, 32 GB eMMC Flash
40 fps ∼0% -67%
T-Rex HD Onscreen C24Z16
NVIDIA Shield Android TV
Tegra X1 Maxwell GPU, X1, 16 GB iNAND Flash
60 fps ∼2%
Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge
Mali-T880 MP12, 8890 Octa, 32 GB UFS 2.0 Flash
51 fps ∼2% -15%
Google Nexus 9
GeForce ULP K1 (Tegra K1 Kepler GPU), K1 (Denver), 32 GB eMMC Flash
43.4 fps ∼1% -28%
Huawei P9
Mali-T880 MP4, Kirin 955, 32 GB eMMC Flash
43 fps ∼1% -28%
HTC 10
Adreno 530, 820 MSM8996, 32 GB eMMC Flash
43 fps ∼1% -28%
Google Pixel C
Tegra X1 Maxwell GPU, X1, 64 GB eMMC Flash
39 fps ∼1% -35%
Google Nexus 6P
Adreno 430, 810 MSM8994, 32 GB eMMC Flash
33 fps ∼1% -45%
GFXBench 3.0
off screen Manhattan Offscreen OGL
NVIDIA Shield Android TV
Tegra X1 Maxwell GPU, X1, 16 GB iNAND Flash
64 fps ∼1%
Google Pixel C
Tegra X1 Maxwell GPU, X1, 64 GB eMMC Flash
40 fps ∼1% -37%
HTC 10
Adreno 530, 820 MSM8996, 32 GB eMMC Flash
39 fps ∼1% -39%
Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge
Mali-T880 MP12, 8890 Octa, 32 GB UFS 2.0 Flash
38 fps ∼1% -41%
Google Nexus 9
GeForce ULP K1 (Tegra K1 Kepler GPU), K1 (Denver), 32 GB eMMC Flash
31 fps ∼0% -52%
Google Nexus 6P
Adreno 430, 810 MSM8994, 32 GB eMMC Flash
25 fps ∼0% -61%
Huawei P9
Mali-T880 MP4, Kirin 955, 32 GB eMMC Flash
18 fps ∼0% -72%
on screen Manhattan Onscreen OGL
NVIDIA Shield Android TV
Tegra X1 Maxwell GPU, X1, 16 GB iNAND Flash
55 fps ∼1%
Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge
Mali-T880 MP12, 8890 Octa, 32 GB UFS 2.0 Flash
27 fps ∼1% -51%
HTC 10
Adreno 530, 820 MSM8996, 32 GB eMMC Flash
24 fps ∼1% -56%
Google Nexus 9
GeForce ULP K1 (Tegra K1 Kepler GPU), K1 (Denver), 32 GB eMMC Flash
22.5 fps ∼1% -59%
Google Pixel C
Tegra X1 Maxwell GPU, X1, 64 GB eMMC Flash
22 fps ∼1% -60%
Huawei P9
Mali-T880 MP4, Kirin 955, 32 GB eMMC Flash
19 fps ∼1% -65%
Google Nexus 6P
Adreno 430, 810 MSM8994, 32 GB eMMC Flash
17 fps ∼0% -69%
GFXBench 3.1
off screen Manhattan ES 3.1 Offscreen
NVIDIA Shield Android TV
Tegra X1 Maxwell GPU, X1, 16 GB iNAND Flash
46 fps ∼1%
Google Pixel C
Tegra X1 Maxwell GPU, X1, 64 GB eMMC Flash
31 fps ∼1% -33%
Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge
Mali-T880 MP12, 8890 Octa, 32 GB UFS 2.0 Flash
28 fps ∼1% -39%
HTC 10
Adreno 530, 820 MSM8996, 32 GB eMMC Flash
24 fps ∼1% -48%
Google Nexus 6P
Adreno 430, 810 MSM8994, 32 GB eMMC Flash
16 fps ∼0% -65%
Huawei P9
Mali-T880 MP4, Kirin 955, 32 GB eMMC Flash
10 fps ∼0% -78%
on screen Manhattan ES 3.1 Onscreen
NVIDIA Shield Android TV
Tegra X1 Maxwell GPU, X1, 16 GB iNAND Flash
45 fps ∼1%
Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge
Mali-T880 MP12, 8890 Octa, 32 GB UFS 2.0 Flash
15 fps ∼0% -67%
HTC 10
Adreno 530, 820 MSM8996, 32 GB eMMC Flash
14 fps ∼0% -69%
Google Pixel C
Tegra X1 Maxwell GPU, X1, 64 GB eMMC Flash
13 fps ∼0% -71%
Huawei P9
Mali-T880 MP4, Kirin 955, 32 GB eMMC Flash
11 fps ∼0% -76%
Google Nexus 6P
Adreno 430, 810 MSM8994, 32 GB eMMC Flash
9.5 fps ∼0% -79%
PCMark for Android - Work performance score
NVIDIA Shield Android TV
Tegra X1 Maxwell GPU, X1, 16 GB iNAND Flash
8125 Points ∼60%
Huawei P9
Mali-T880 MP4, Kirin 955, 32 GB eMMC Flash
7058 Points ∼52% -13%
Google Pixel C
Tegra X1 Maxwell GPU, X1, 64 GB eMMC Flash
6858 Points ∼51% -16%
Google Nexus 9
GeForce ULP K1 (Tegra K1 Kepler GPU), K1 (Denver), 32 GB eMMC Flash
5841 Points ∼43% -28%
HTC 10
Adreno 530, 820 MSM8996, 32 GB eMMC Flash
5809 Points ∼43% -29%
NVIDIA Shield Tablet LTE P1761
GeForce ULP K1 (Tegra K1 Kepler GPU), K1, 32 GB eMMC Flash
5567 (min: 5372, max: 5781) Points ∼41% -31%
Google Nexus 6P
Adreno 430, 810 MSM8994, 32 GB eMMC Flash
4716 Points ∼35% -42%
Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge
Mali-T880 MP12, 8890 Octa, 32 GB UFS 2.0 Flash
4660 Points ∼34% -43%
BaseMark OS II
Web
Huawei P9
Mali-T880 MP4, Kirin 955, 32 GB eMMC Flash
1029 Points ∼51% +5%
Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge
Mali-T880 MP12, 8890 Octa, 32 GB UFS 2.0 Flash
994 Points ∼49% +2%
NVIDIA Shield Android TV
Tegra X1 Maxwell GPU, X1, 16 GB iNAND Flash
979 Points ∼48%
HTC 10
Adreno 530, 820 MSM8996, 32 GB eMMC Flash
928 Points ∼46% -5%
Google Pixel C
Tegra X1 Maxwell GPU, X1, 64 GB eMMC Flash
884 Points ∼43% -10%
Google Nexus 6P
Adreno 430, 810 MSM8994, 32 GB eMMC Flash
791 Points ∼39% -19%
Google Nexus 9
GeForce ULP K1 (Tegra K1 Kepler GPU), K1 (Denver), 32 GB eMMC Flash
516 Points ∼25% -47%
Graphics
Google Nexus 9
GeForce ULP K1 (Tegra K1 Kepler GPU), K1 (Denver), 32 GB eMMC Flash
8602 Points ∼30% +19%
NVIDIA Shield Android TV
Tegra X1 Maxwell GPU, X1, 16 GB iNAND Flash
7249 Points ∼25%
Google Pixel C
Tegra X1 Maxwell GPU, X1, 64 GB eMMC Flash
6355 Points ∼22% -12%
HTC 10
Adreno 530, 820 MSM8996, 32 GB eMMC Flash
5009 Points ∼17% -31%
Google Nexus 6P
Adreno 430, 810 MSM8994, 32 GB eMMC Flash
2424 Points ∼8% -67%
Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge
Mali-T880 MP12, 8890 Octa, 32 GB UFS 2.0 Flash
2203 Points ∼8% -70%
Huawei P9
Mali-T880 MP4, Kirin 955, 32 GB eMMC Flash
1583 Points ∼5% -78%
Memory
Huawei P9
Mali-T880 MP4, Kirin 955, 32 GB eMMC Flash
2627 Points ∼42% +63%
Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge
Mali-T880 MP12, 8890 Octa, 32 GB UFS 2.0 Flash
2072 Points ∼33% +28%
HTC 10
Adreno 530, 820 MSM8996, 32 GB eMMC Flash
1772 Points ∼28% +10%
NVIDIA Shield Android TV
Tegra X1 Maxwell GPU, X1, 16 GB iNAND Flash
1616 Points ∼26%
Google Nexus 9
GeForce ULP K1 (Tegra K1 Kepler GPU), K1 (Denver), 32 GB eMMC Flash
1509 Points ∼24% -7%
Google Nexus 6P
Adreno 430, 810 MSM8994, 32 GB eMMC Flash
1136 Points ∼18% -30%
Google Pixel C
Tegra X1 Maxwell GPU, X1, 64 GB eMMC Flash
868 Points ∼14% -46%
System
Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge
Mali-T880 MP12, 8890 Octa, 32 GB UFS 2.0 Flash
4080 Points ∼25% +24%
Huawei P9
Mali-T880 MP4, Kirin 955, 32 GB eMMC Flash
3930 Points ∼24% +20%
NVIDIA Shield Android TV
Tegra X1 Maxwell GPU, X1, 16 GB iNAND Flash
3281 Points ∼20%
HTC 10
Adreno 530, 820 MSM8996, 32 GB eMMC Flash
2806 Points ∼17% -14%
Google Pixel C
Tegra X1 Maxwell GPU, X1, 64 GB eMMC Flash
2724 Points ∼17% -17%
Google Nexus 6P
Adreno 430, 810 MSM8994, 32 GB eMMC Flash
1798 Points ∼11% -45%
Google Nexus 9
GeForce ULP K1 (Tegra K1 Kepler GPU), K1 (Denver), 32 GB eMMC Flash
1729 Points ∼10% -47%
Overall
NVIDIA Shield Android TV
Tegra X1 Maxwell GPU, X1, 16 GB iNAND Flash
2477 Points ∼29%
HTC 10
Adreno 530, 820 MSM8996, 32 GB eMMC Flash
2193 Points ∼26% -11%
Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge
Mali-T880 MP12, 8890 Octa, 32 GB UFS 2.0 Flash
2074 Points ∼25% -16%
Huawei P9
Mali-T880 MP4, Kirin 955, 32 GB eMMC Flash
2025 Points ∼24% -18%
Google Pixel C
Tegra X1 Maxwell GPU, X1, 64 GB eMMC Flash
1909 Points ∼23% -23%
Google Nexus 9
GeForce ULP K1 (Tegra K1 Kepler GPU), K1 (Denver), 32 GB eMMC Flash
1845 Points ∼22% -26%
Google Nexus 6P
Adreno 430, 810 MSM8994, 32 GB eMMC Flash
1405 Points ∼17% -43%

Gaming

The Tegra X1 of course has absolutely no issues handling Android games. Thanks to the most powerful GPU in the Android-realm, all of the games available for download in the Play Store run smoothly.

Game Streaming

As we mentioned earlier, Nvidia's streaming technology works very well. GeForce NOW does requires a fast Internet connection, however. During our test, games which can handle a little input lag - for example, Lego games - worked as they should

Video Playback

The Shield Android TV box really is in its element when playing movies and videos. In conjunction with Kodi, the device can even handle H.265/HVEC Video at a 4K resolution. We did run into issues with a 10-bit 4K 60 Hz H.265 test clip, however. The culprit could be Kodi media player. 10-bit support has been announced already, so the hardware should be able to handle it. 

Video streaming via Youtube and Netflix worked flawlessly as well. Both sources support 4K playback already.

Nvidia's home entertainment console seems to be well-suited for video fans. The only real point of criticism mentioned in some forums is the lack of an automatic switching mechanism for 24 fps material should it be encountered. As of now, the user needs to venture into the Android settings to make the change.

Emissions

Temperature

The temperatures of the small console remain uncritical at all times. During idle, the chassis is always cool to the touch and even under continuous load, the recorded temperatures remain very low.

System Noise

The integrated fan is inaudible more than a few cm away from the console and thus never really comes into play. At a distance of 15 cm (~6 inches), the noise level was only 0.1 dB above ambient. Our microphone was only able to record the fan characteristics within a couple of cm from the chassis. Without load, the fan didn't spin at all - or so slowly, that it was essentially noiseless.

From 15 cm away, the fan noise is close enough to the ambient noise level (brown and blue curve); only at 1 cm the fan characteristics become measurable (green and black).
From 15 cm away, the fan noise is close enough to the ambient noise level (brown and blue curve); only at 1 cm the fan characteristics become measurable (green and black).
Max. Load
 31 °C
88 F
35 °C
95 F
34 °C
93 F
 
 30 °C
86 F
33 °C
91 F
30 °C
86 F
 
 26 °C
79 F
27 °C
81 F
27 °C
81 F
 
Maximum: 35 °C = 95 F
Average: 30.3 °C = 87 F
28 °C
82 F
28 °C
82 F
27 °C
81 F
27 °C
81 F
26 °C
79 F
26 °C
79 F
26 °C
79 F
25 °C
77 F
24 °C
75 F
Maximum: 28 °C = 82 F
Average: 26.3 °C = 79 F
Power Supply (max.)  29 °C = 84 F | Room Temperature 21.8 °C = 71 F | Fluke 62 Mini
(+) The average temperature for the upper side under maximal load is 30.3 °C / 87 F, compared to the average of 27.8 °C / 82 F for the devices in the class Desktop.
(+) The maximum temperature on the upper side is 35 °C / 95 F, compared to the average of 33.4 °C / 92 F, ranging from 25.2 to 47 °C for the class Desktop.
(+) The bottom heats up to a maximum of 28 °C / 82 F, compared to the average of 33.7 °C / 93 F
(+) In idle usage, the average temperature for the upper side is 26.2 °C / 79 F, compared to the device average of 27.8 °C / 82 F.

Speakers

The console doesn't feature a dedicated audio-out port, so only the HDMI port can transfer digital sound signals to a TV or a receiver. The controller as well as the remote come with a 3.5 mm audio jack, which transmitted clear audio without parasitic noise when we tested the output with an AKG GHS 1 headset.

Power Consumption

Thanks to the tablet SoC, the console's power consumption is well controlled. We measured a peak draw of 17 watts; the average under load is about 10 watts. Navigating the start menu requires 4 to 5 watts. The power consumption is negligible when the Nvidia Shield is turned off, but the device requires 2.8 watts during standby (up to 3.3 watts if the fan is still spinning), which is far from praiseworthy. The power adapter can supply up to 40 watts and is thus sized appropriately for the task at hand.

Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0.15 / 2.8 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 3.6 / 4.4 / 4.6 Watt
Load midlight 10 / 14.5 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Metrahit Energy

Pros

+ 4K 60 Hz support via HDMI 2.0
+ fast SoC
+ silent fan
+ headphone jack on the ontroller
+ expandable via USB ad SD card
+ GeForce Now and game streaming
+ Solid video capabilities

Cons

- comparatively expensive
- no dedicated audio-out on the console (just via HDMI)
- Android TV restrictions (task manager only with keyboard, limited app selection, sideloading)

Verdict

Is the Shield TV the best Android TV box available at this time? We didn't really find anything to dispute this claim. In addition to the superb performance of the Tegra-X1-SoC  and the very decent video support, the streaming features are a definite value-add. What remains as a negative is a significantly higher price compared to the competition - for example the Amazon Fire TV 4K, which sells for 99 Euro (in the US the price is $99). The Shield Android TV hardly has any weaknesses according to our tests, however. The WLAN connection could be faster, the controller a little higher-end (which in turn would likely raise the price) - and there are a few Android TV limitations which are frankly a little annoying. Positive aspects on the other hand are the high SoC performance, the comprehensive video support, and the low emissions. Since the release, the content offering has increased significantly, but GeForce NOW could certainly use a few more bockbuster titles. The Play Store for Android TV could also use additional content. Games like Stikbold! (dodge ball) or apps like YouTV (online video recorder) really show the console's and the platform's potential.

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Nvidia Shield Android TV Review
Klaus Hinum, 2016-05-31 (Update: 2016-05-31)
Bernhard Pechlaner
Bernhard Pechlaner - Review Editor
Ended up in the IT sector in the 90s more or less accidentally and have remained in the industry (as a sysadmin) ever since. Always been interested in laptops - first purchase was - if memory serves correctly - a Toshiba Satellite T2115CS with DX4-75 processor, 4 MB of RAM and 350 MB hard disk drive (and Windows 3.1). To this day, laptops appeal to me - much to the chagrin of my wife, who doesn’t seem understand why we need 5-10 of them at any given time ;-).