Amazon was having a 30% discount on the Nexus Player two weeks ago. I contemplated for a few days because I am not sure if I need it but in the end I still decided to get it because I am a sucker for new gadgets.
I got it on Amazon for US$67.68 (S$93) back on 29th June 2015. Since it does not ship to Singapore directly, I shipped it to my favourite freight forwarder, HopShopGo, and got them to ship to me once they received the parcel. I paid US$19.64 (S$27) for the shipping from HopSHopGo to Singapore via DHL Express.
Nexus Player runs on Android TV and is essentially Google’s version of Apple TV.
In fact, I prefer Android TV than Apple TV because the UI is much more user friendly.
Similar to Google Chromecast, it is wi-fi only (I know Google came out with an Ethernet adapter, but that is another story). It connects to your television via HDMI like most media players in the market now.
It supports Google Cast which means you can cast media to it like how Chromecast works. In fact, because it uses 802.11ac 2×2 (MIMO), it is able to support 5GHz wi-fi networks unlike Chromecast which only supports 2.4GHz wi-fi networks.
The included remote control supports voice search which is pretty awesome and convenient way to search for stuff. Since the remote control connects to your Nexus Player via Bluetooth, you do not need to point the remote control directly at the Nexus Player for it to work, unlike TV remote control.
Using the remote control to navigate around the Android TV UI is very fast and responsive. The remote is comfortable to hold because it has a volume unlike the remote of Apple TV which is flat.
There is Google Play store on Android TV but the apps selection are extremely limited. I only installed two apps which are Plex and ES File Explorer File Manager. The later is used for sideloading apps (apk) into Android TV.
For sideloading apps, I managed to use the browser feature of the ES File Explorer File Manager to navigate to APKMirror (there is no Google Chrome for Android TV officially). Once I am on that website, I can download and install the Netflix for Android TV.
One of the disadvantages of Android TV is the lack of support for multiple users. You can’t switch between two accounts easily. I have to sign out of my account first and sign in to the next account. A good use case for me is because my wife, Li Xiang, watches YouTube a lot and it would be good if she can switch to her account easily, be it in the YouTube app on Android TV itself or just the Android TV.
I wish the Nexus Player comes with a built-in LAN port. The lack of a LAN port on the Nexus Player means you might experience lagginess or long buffering times when streaming full HD video from Plex.
Nevertheless, the Nexus Player is an awesome media player to have and is a good upgrade for Chromecast users.