Android on a stick solutions for HDTVs has gotten a little bit cheaper. Today, FAVI revealed its new SmartStick for $49. It comes with Android 4.1 preinstalled, 4GB of internal flash storage and can work with any HDTV. An 8GB model can also be purchased for $79. The product will ship on October 30.
What sets the SmartStick apart from Roku’s Streaming Stick is the way it’s powered. The Roku Streaming Stick requires a MHL-compatible HDMI port to power the device, but the SmartStick is powered by USB. It also provides access to Google Play and the internet through a built in web browser. This, in theory, can turn any TV into a smart TV.
Now here’s where we run into some skepticism. The promotional video for the Smart Stick doesn’t make it clear how the device actually performs. The video is comprised of sped up clips and jump cuts. It’s also not clear how we’ll be able to control the SmartStick without FAVI’s $39 remote. There may be an Android app that allows you to use your smartphone or tablet, but that’s not made clear.
$49 may be cheap enough to warrant a gamble, but I wouldn’t get my hopes up too high.