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> T9 S912 - 2GB/16B Android TV Box, Similar spec to T95Zplus

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TSmuncheno
post May 1 2018, 12:10 PM, updated 4y ago

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Here my review for T9 S912 - 2gb / 16gb.
Which I bought from Lazada via DOBEST seller at link below.

Lazada, T9 S912
» Click to show Spoiler - click again to hide... «


The specification for the box as:

Hardware:
CPU: Armlogic S912
RAM: 2Gb DDR3 -> Hynix H5TC4G53AFA
ROM: emmc 16gb -> SanDisk SDIN9WD4-16G
WIFI/BT: 2.4Ghz / 5.8ghz -> AP6330 (a bit harder to get driver/firmware for this chip)
LAN: Gigabyte -> RTL211F

PCB: S912_PCb_REFV1.1 2016-09-19

Firmware when received:
System: Android 6.0.1
Build: q201-userdebug 6.0.1 MHC19J 20170220 test-keys

My story about T9 S912:
For intro, currently I own a H96pro+ (3gb/32gb running SCV7A rom), Minix Neo U1, M8S (2gb/8gb S812 - china oem box), Q7s (2gb/8gb -Rockchip 3188 chip).
The reason for me is to replace the Q7s box that I have with T9 S912.

I have order the box from Dobest, Lazada at RM158 which I supprise to see S912-2gb/16gb box at this pricing.
Normally cheap S912-1gb/8gb or S905 box are in this range.

Without thinking much, I jumped to it and the box was received the box within 1.5 weeks, which consider fast delivery as this coming from China.
The seller was using LEX express from Lazada.

My first impression when I see the launcher, I believe the firmware is modified from H96pro (2gb/16gb) that come with KDMC (kodi).
The firmware out of the box is Android 6.0.1 with default MBOX launcher, the same launcher found in H96pro or H96pro+.
In general are responsive and usable.

Attached Image

Everything seem working in order, except this is pre-rooted firmware.
It also come with few bloated apps like FB, Twitter, ShXwBox and etc.

From here, maybe you are expecting screenshot of benchmark testing from Antutu or such.
I will or already skip the benchmark testing at this point of writting, you''ll see the performance after upgrade.
To me this not so important, it feel consistent with my the other box (H96pro+).

For me, I would like to run Astro-GO (AOTG).
Due the problem of rooted firmware I was hoping to get firmware like my H96pro+ from Freaktab.

After did alot of reading, I realised the box is having the same hardware for most S912 2gb ram boxes.
What is left for the consideration for customs ROM here was purely based on wifi chipset that may differ from each others.
Of course you also need to know 2Gb firmware is for 2Gb box and 3Gb firmware is 3gb box, wrong firmware will resultant in bricked box.
When come to DDR3 or DDR4 ram, to me that is not always sure, but best to flash same firmware that mean for DDR3 or DDR4 ram.

Based on my finding, T95Z plus 2GB box having the closed specification. Not the T95Z plus pro with 3Gb ram.
My understand S912 boxes from China which have similar spec are:-
1) H96pro (earlier release, newer with WIFI Q9377 chip)
2) Rikomagic mk22
3) T95zplus or T95K pro (must be 2Gb RAM & wifi Ap6330, 3 differents wifi chipset available)

Specificly, I was looking for android 7.X (Nougat) rom with not rooted or can be unrooted to install magisk.

The flashing methodology:
After flashing with couple roms (including Beeling GT1/S92 custom roms), I'm facing with issue of getting TWRP on the box with all android 7.x.
I didn't face this problem when work with H96pro+ due readily customs rom made by Superceleron (Freaktab).

After more experimentations, I came across Poison ROM and different approach to get TWRP recovery.
Here is link if interested:-
XDA- [S912 DEVICES][ROM] Poison ROM [V2.0][2GB/3GB] by Ricky Divjakovski
XDA- [PORT RECOVERY][AML DEVICES] Amlogic Flash Tool and recovery porter [V2.2] by Ricky Divjakovski

In short, below is what I did to get AOTG running on T9 S912.

1) Flashed T95Zplus Ver1013 firmware
2) Get the stock-recovery for android 7.1.1 from 2nd Xda link above and ported TWRP recovery got 7.1.1 into my box so I could get TWRP running.
Without this is impossible to boot TWRP and I need TWRP to run remove SU (root) using Update-unSU.zip scripts (link at above-(1)).
3) Instead of straight in unrooted, I wanted to have a slimmer ROM, thus using TWRP, I format/wiped the SYSTEM & DATA and flash POISON ROM zip on top.
For info, Poison ROM is customize with tweak in launcher (for visual), Init.d and build.pro for optimization.
4) Unrooted now with flashing Update-unSU.zip.
5) After unrooted, I have to flash magisk 16.0 with TWRP. This is for me to hide root else A..-GO will able to open but not able to play video.

Conclusion:
Long story and to make it short, I'm now having unrooted (magisk) T95zplus based rom with Poison 2.0 on my T9 S912.

The rom details as follows:-
-ROM version version 1013. (version 1015 for T95Kpro with 7.1.2 available, but I have tested before found way for TWRP recovery)
-Android 7.1.1 (unrooted SU and flashed with Magisk)
-Flashed Poison 2.0 ROM on top (this is generic S912 customs modification rom)
-Now running Astro Go.

For those who lazy to read, here is my conclusion.
Cheapest android box I found at that time, if you are happily spending with flashing then you may consider this box or T95Zplus or T95ZK pro for you.

I still recommended a high end box like Minix Neo U1 for peace of mind but costly.
Alternative also S912 with 3gb ram and LM8830/Q9377 wifi chipset where you got more options on customs ROM.
Through my reading here, S912 3gb ddr3/ddr4 with Q9377 wifi - have the most customs ROM out there with little bit higher cost/ROM storage than this.
But for my case I'm looking for 2nd tv box for room, it suit my need - cheapest with good performance.

Launcher screeenshot (Sunvell launcher with modification from Poison Rom)
» Click to show Spoiler - click again to hide... «


Some of quick benchmarking
» Click to show Spoiler - click again to hide... «


Lastly some note about wifi performance and CPU temperature.
It run few degreeC cooler than my H96pro+ tv box, which is normal at around 63-64 degC, but if you fill it upsidedown it wil give you around 55-58degC.
As for wifi don't expect it to be good as the wifi is pcb type and 5.8Ghz is suck.
» Click to show Spoiler - click again to hide... «


This post has been edited by muncheno: May 1 2018, 05:22 PM
hahaboy
post May 15 2018, 06:00 PM

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hi, how to boot to recovery. now i'm 7.1.2 so i just need flash recovery only ?

TSmuncheno
post May 15 2018, 07:11 PM

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Joined: Jun 2006
From: Ipoh
Try the tool here.
https://forum.xda-developers.com/android-st...h-tool-t3745640
TSmuncheno
post Jul 12 2018, 08:37 AM

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From: Ipoh
QUOTE(hahaboy @ May 15 2018, 06:00 PM)
hi, how to boot to recovery. now i'm 7.1.2 so i just need flash recovery only ?
*
Additional details for you.

General guide here, you need to have custom recovery before could use magisk.

1) Get TWRP custom recovery for your box, which you have option to run from your box or bootup via sdcard.

To boot up from your box:
Depends on your box come rooted or not the detail steps could varies here.

If your box NOT rooted, try to read more about this first before experiment it:
XDA recovery cmd via ADB and other customization
There is a sub writeup about flashing recovery. This will work provide you have the right recovery.img ready for your box.

Note:
Almost each box willng have their own specific TWRP custom recovery for each OS version and chipset. While some could box can share becoz the partition and Nand memory chip are the same or the twrp created for general.

The Xda recovery method via and adb actually have been developed into opensource freeware by the same developer, under the link below, look for Armlogic Flash tool (I recommended this approach in most cases)
Opensource Armlogic customisation toolS
The flasher tool, will able get the current recovery from your box and modify into twrp recovery and put back into the box.
It worked for most boxes but some boxes known to fail due limited space in partition and required to modify partition.
I believe meecool should not be a problem, i only read Vims khadas have issue with this method.

If you have rooted, try follow here
XDA armlogic recovery flasher app
In order to work, you need get TWRP img (recovery.img) ready for your box.

To boot recovery SDcard
If you already got the correct twrp recovery.img file for your box. Note in and android 7.x some box doesnot work with this.
You could try rename it as recovery.img
And put in the root directory of the SD memory card.
Power off your box.
Use a pin to press and hold on to reset button while powering up your box. (You need to know where is reset button, so box hide it inside).
You need to hold until you see the TWRP boot page showup, this may take 15-30 or 45 sec depend on the box you have.
If it doesnot work, it either bootup normal ignore your action or hang at boot up logo. In anycase reboot your box will do and try again. You may did it wrong timing.

2) To flash magisk is relatively peanut, once your have TWRP.
Google magisk and read on xda itself.
Typically if your box not rooted, just flash the magisk.zip file and reboot. Then install magisk manager apk file.

If box rooted, then you can try look unsu.zip to unroot or in supersu apk there option to unroot. It depends on your luck here, after unroot try magisk step above.
Note: on some box unroot may coz ur box to soft brick, make sure have backup.

Then principal idea of magisk as i could understand, it actual backup your boot img somewhere and create a duplicate of it with rooting modification. Then the manager app takeover to report to your app it is rooted or not depends or your setting.

Additional note, magisk only work with android 5.0 and above.

Just my 2 cents.



 

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