Saturday, April 2, 2016

SmartStick 2 with Kids Zone

Man...I really wanted to give this a better review. 2.5 stars is what I actually think, but I Amazon won't let me put that so I rounded to 3 stars. I'm coming from a Roku 3 in my son's room and I picked this up for him because I saw it comes with YouTube Kids and my Roku doesn't have that. This was easy to set up and is Android based, so if you're familiar with the Android OS then this should be pretty straight forward for you. The remote is rather spartan in nature, but it provides adequate features for what it is used for.

The system itself is easy to navigate and since it has the Google Play Store, it allows you go get quite a large amount of applications to run on it. The controller can be used similarly to a Wii which I thought was a pretty neat feature. The reason why I have to give this device a sub-par rating is because of the software itself. As you'll see in my video, each time I load a video stream the size of the picture reduces to about 1/4 of the television screen. No matter what I do and no matter what app I load, it always does this. That is a huge problem to me on a device that is priced in the same range as a Roku 3 or an Apple TV. That's a big problem. I have to go to the menu and revert the image to the original size ever...single...time. Not cool. Along with that, the directional buttons are entirely useless in the YT Kids app. I have to use the Wii sort of setting and then I can actually make some things happen. Again, not ideal.

Overall...this product performs much more poorly than I had anticipated. I really had high hopes for this. Conceptually, it's great, it really is. Unfortunately, it doesn't follow through and seems to be too buggy for the $100 price tag. Should this have been priced under $50 then MAYBE I could have over looked a few issues, but I think this device was released far too early with not enough testing at the factory. Although I received this product in exchange for an honest review, all opinions expressed are my own and reflect my personal experience with this product. Feel free to ask me questions about this review and I'll respond within 24 hours. I hope my opinions help to enhance your purchasing experience!

Rated: 2.5/5
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