The last official Android TV box was the Mi Box released in 2016. It is actually the Mi Box 3 but with Android TV installed on it. Google itself hasn’t released a new Android TV device after the Nexus Player but it seems it is working on a dongle in collaboration with Xiaomi.
Images of a Google-branded dongle along with a remote that looks like the one bundled with Xiaomi TVs and boxes have been seen at the FCC. The dongle is shaped like a location pin with a short HDMI cable attached to it at one end, a micro USB port and reset button on the side, and a Google G logo on top.
From the design and size, it is obvious the dongle will remain at the back of the TV.
Another photo shows the remote which looks just like the Mi Box Bluetooth voice remote but with a few additions. Opposite the power button is a new options button. The microphone and what appears to be a LED sit between the buttons.
The remote keeps the directional and select buttons but they are now marked. The return key is still there but the home key is now on the left with the old Android home icon. Instead of the microphone key, the third button now has the Google Assistant icon and sits in the middle. The volume rocker remains in its former position.
The TV dongle is powered by an Amlogic S905X – a quad-core processor with support for 4K @ 60fps (VP9 decoding), HDR10, and Dolby Vision. It also has a built-in DAC. There is 2GB of RAM and 8GB of eMMC storage. Power input is via a 5V/2A adapter.
The FCC document reveals that the device which is referred to as “4K ATV Stick” is manufactured by Shenzhen SEI Robotics Co. Apart from the Google logo and the Google Assistant, there is no mention of Google and Xiaomi having anything to do with the hardware on the manual.
The product does look genuine and may launch as a cheaper option to get Android TV into the home. It has the same RAM and storage as the Mi Box but with a smaller footprint. However, there is no way to add more storage either via a microSD card slot or a USB port. The device may be announced at Google I/O next month.