The first "Android sticks" began popping up some time ago and in the recent months we have seen a myriad of new models in the marketplace. They come in all sizes, shapes and with different features. The small USB dongle-like sticks can add Android functionality to any TV.
Android sticks overflowing the market
Android is an open system and not limited to smartphones and tablets. Recently, smaller companies have started incorporating Android into small USB dongle-like devices that can connect directly to a TV through HDMI.
When connected you receive access to Android apps and services such as Netflix, Plex Media Server, a web browser, and DLNA streaming to mention just a few. And if you can live with apps designed for 3-5” smartphones blown up onto the big 40-60” living room screen, you can add a range of features to your old TV.
Favi’s SmartStick is one example of an Android stick that adds “smart” features to any TV
Android sticks exist in hundreds of variants in China and recently they have made it to Europa and USA. Favi’s SmartStick is one of the most talked-about with Android 4.1. This particular model can be connected to a TV with HDMI. However, it can only draw power from the TV if the TV supports MHL. Few do. If not, it needs an additional cable to one of the USB ports.
Initial feedback is mixes and there are significant differences between Android sticks. Some run video at 1080p but many cannot due to week processors. In addition, some report that the WiFi connections are unstable.