If you are a gamer (or a data miner), then you may have heard about NVIDIA due to their best in class graphics cards. However, apart from graphics cards, NVIDIA has also been making TV Boxes known for their quality.
So here in this NVIDIA Shield Android TV Review, we will explore why it is one of the best TV Boxes available in the market and whether or not it is worth your money.
This is not the first TV box that NVIDIA has released to the public. In 2017, they released the first generation of NVIDIA Shield, which was focused more on Android gaming and was equipped with the NVIDIA Tegra 4 processor.
The same processor is powering the Nintendo Switch. NVIDIA has set their focus on the Android TV side of things this time around, so we do not see a considerable bump in specifications apart from the newer Tegra X1+ processor.
With a futuristic design that can look at home in any media room and an unusually designed triangular remote control, NVIDIA is trying to give its consumers the most superior media player experience.
With Netflix decreasing its stream quality in many countries worldwide due to high demand, the NVIDIA Shield Android TV Pro offers to upscale up to 4K.
So let us get on with the review of the NVIDIA Shield Android TV Pro and find out whether or not NVIDIA has made their mark in this segment or not.
If you are short on time, I have condensed my own experience with the NVIDIA Shield in the conclusion of this article, so head on there for a TL;DR version of this article.
What Is The NVIDIA Shield?
There are many tiers of Televisions that are in the market. With Televisions being treated more like home appliances than actual gadgets, people do not tend to upgrade them regularly like mobile phones.
That is why many Televisions are still stuck with the inability to connect to the Internet as they were created in an era where that was not possible.
So, the Android TV boxes carved themself a share in the media centre market with their ability to turn a “Dumb” TV into a “Smart” TV. These Android Boxes can connect to the Internet to get your entertainment content from Netflix, Hulu, Youtube, and so many other places.
NVIDIA, however, was primarily known for its state of the art graphics cards for PC Gamers. Their consumers swear by their products as their flagship components beat all their competition by a considerable margin.
The Android TV box market entrance was very unusual for NVIDIA; however, the first generation NVIDIA Shield in 2017 blew every Android TV Box out of the water.
With the focus on Android gaming, NVIDIA put the best components that they could in their Android TV box, which resulted in an outstanding TV watching experience. The first generation Shield also had an included Bluetooth controller with it.
In the second generation Shield Pro refresh, where we see an upgrade in the Processor, NVIDIA has this time around shifted their focus onto the Android TV side of things.
The included controller is no longer included in the box; however, that is not an issue as any BlueTooth controller will work effortlessly with the Shield Pro.
There are a lot of features that the NVIDIA Shield Pro has boasted about during the release, like the ability to upscale content using AI, which works very well, as confirmed by my testing.
The Dolby certification for Atmos should also not be taken lightly as we see that with the proper equipment, the Shield Pro can deliver some fantastic and immersing movie watching experience. The NVIDIA Shield also supports 4K HDR, which is also a massive plus in my eyes.
So, with the brief introduction of the NVIDIA Shield Pro out of the way, let us get right into the unboxing of the Nvidia Shield Android TV Pro.
What You Will Get in NVIDIA Shield Box?
The NVIDIA Shield Android TV Pro comes in a green and white box with NVIDIA Branding all around it. The box feels bulky and has an excellent weight to it.
The right side of the box has all the usual features listed, such as Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos, 4K HDR and AI Upscaling. The left of the tells us about the specifications of the NVIDIA Shield Pro. The front and the back shows NVIDIA’s Branding and some other features of the Shield Pro.
Opening the box by sliding the Top off, we are greeted by the Nvidia Shield and its dedicated remote control. The first thing I took out of the box is the remote, which is usually shaped like a Triangle.
The remote has NVIDIA’s branding under it. It feels good in the hand and has all the buttons one may need in a remote. We also see a dedicated Netflix button on there, which is good, in my opinion. Due to the Triangular design, the remote can be stood straight on a table which is also a plus in my eyes.
Moving to the NVIDIA Shield Android TV Pro Unit itself, I was surprised to see that it is small. For context, my Steelseries mouse was a few centimetres bigger than the Nvidia Shield Pro unit in height.
The Unit itself has green accent lights on it, which gives the Nvidia Shield a premium look. On the backside of the Nvidia Shield Unit, we have the usual ports like HDMI, Ethernet and USB.
With the Unit out of the way, we take the first layer out of the box and discover a second layer where the power brick and the quick start guides are housed neatly. If you are not Tech Savvy, I recommend you go through the quick start guide once so that the setup process goes smoothly.
We do not have anything else under the box with the second layer glued to the bottom of the box. The lack of an HDMI cable was a slight disappointment; however, it is not a deal-breaker.
So, let us get into the critical specifications of the NVIDIA Shield Pro with that out of the way.
Key Feature Table
|Buyers Rating||4.5 out of 5|
|Dimensions||1.02 x 6.26 x 3.86 inches|
|Connectivity||WiFi, Ethernet. Bluetooth 5.0|
|Colours||Black and Green|
|Batteries||2 AAA Batteries included|
|Operating System||Android 9.0|
|CPU||NVIDIA Tegra X1+ Processor|
|CPU||256 bit Nvidia GPU|
|PSU||DC 5V 2A|
|USB Ports||2xUSB 3.0|
Unlike its predecessor, the second-generation NVIDIA Shield Pro Android TV set its focus on being an excellent Android TV Box first and a gaming machine later. With that philosophy, we get the Tegra X1+ processor paired with a 256 bit Nvidia Processor.
This is a great combination. On the Antutu benchmark, the Tegra X1+ scores 256000, which is very much powerful compared to most of the Android TV boxes that come in the same price category.
This powerful processor and GPU will let you enjoy all the movies and TV shows, along with letting you play any Android game you want on the NVIDIA Shield Pro.
I played the most intensive Android games on it like PUBG Mobile, Call of Duty Mobile and Asphalt for my testing. I am happy to report that the NVIDIA Shield Pro lives up to Nvidia’s legacy of being a gaming-focused brand.
We also have 3GB of Ram and 16 GB of storage. My ideal configuration would have been at least 4GB of Ram with at least 64 GB of storage; however, due to the performance of the Chipsets, I have nothing to complain about.
We also have two high-speed USB 3.0 ports on the NVIDIA Shield Pro, which lets you connect any storage media to it and watch content directly.
The Nvidia Shield also supports 4K HDR with Dolby Vision, giving you an immersive experience while watching your favourite movies and TV shows. The Dolby Atmos puts you right inside the action with its surround sound technology.
The Shield Pro also shows you your content better than its competition with its ability to upscale the picture up to 4K using AI, which gives you a better visual fidelity.
The NVIDIA Shield supports Bluetooth on the connectivity front, which allows you to connect your speakers or your game controller to the device.
We also have an Ethernet Port on the back for connecting to the Internet. If you prefer to go wireless, then the Shield Pro also can connect to WiFi.
Now that we have gotten over the technical specifications of the Nvidia Shield, let us move right into the User Interface. So using the HDMI Cable, we connect the NVIDIA Shield with my Television and plugging in the power brick; we turn on the device for the first time.
The initial start-up menu greets us to sign in to our google account because the Shield is powered by Android 9.0. We are also given the option to sign in to our NVIDIA account, which you should have if you use GeForce Experience. After signing in to all the accounts, we are greeted by the User Interface.
The User Interface looks very slick and Modern. We have several rows dedicated to different things. The first row is the Apps where we find our usual culprits like Youtube, Netflix, Settings, Chromecast, etc.
Under the first row of apps, we have three rows specifically dedicated to Youtube, like the Trending tab, Subscriptions, etc. These tabs bothered me, so I removed the unwanted tabs by clicking the remote left.
We also have a few rows dedicated to Netflix where shows are recommended to us using the data of our previously watched shows. On the right side, we have the settings where we can configure our picture quality, sign out from our accounts, and much more.
There is also the option of remapping the buttons of your remote to whatever else you want. You can also configure any devices you want to connect to your Shield Pro in the settings.
Coming to the Hardware of the NVIDIA Shield Pro, the device feels very premium, yet its small size can make it discrete enough to blend in your media centre. The green accented LED light on the device makes it feel like a premium device from NVIDIA.
The Ports on the backside of the device are more than enough for all your needs, and they are fast enough as they have the latest technology in them.
The backlit remote of the NVIDIA Shield Pro is my favourite thing apart from the design itself. We have all the buttons we would need, and the dedicated Netflix button is nice to have; however, it can be a pain sometimes as it is too easy to press by accident.
However, this can be solved by remapping the button. The unusual design of the remote itself is also a good thing here as its triangular shape makes it very easy to hold.
The internal hardware of the NVIDIA Shield Pro also makes it a powerhouse, having the ability to run everything you throw at it. There was no lag or stutters during my entire time using the NVIDIA Shield Pro.
I played all of my content in 4K, and I never had any problems during my entire time using the Device.
On the connectivity front, we have all the usual things like WiFI, Bluetooth and Ethernet, which allows you to connect to the internet or connect your devices to the NVIDIA Shield. All in all, the NVIDIA Shield has the best hardware of all the TV Boxes in the market.
- The device supports 4K HDR.
- The Tegra X1 processor makes it a powerhouse of a machine.
- Very easy to set up and start watching content.
- Beautiful Unibody design.
- AI upscaling of content.
- Support for Plex Media Server.
- Best remote ever in an Android TV Box.
- GeForce Now lets you play your favourite AAA games.
- HDMI Cable not included with the box.
- Ram should have been at least 4GB.
- Stand for the Shield Pro is sold separately.
Well, now, with that out of the way, does the NVIDIA Shield offer the best bang for the buck or is it just another overpriced Android TV Box. Well, the answer is Yes!
The NVIDIA Shield Pro justifies its price with its powerhouse of a processor and excellent User Interface. The Included remote is miles better than all the included remotes of the competition.
So, if you are in the market looking for an Android TV Box, then your money will be well spent with the NVIDIA Shield other than going with any other Android TV box on the market.
Well, that is it for our review of the NVIDIA Shield Pro. As promised earlier, here are my thoughts condensed in conclusion.
This NVIDIA Shield Pro is a highly competitively priced Android TV Box that focuses entirely on your media centre experience.
With its ability to upscale content and support for 4K HDR, you will have a very visually pleasing picture. With the support of Dolby Atmos and Vision, the immersion factor of watching your content will rise significantly.
The Internal Chipset of the processor developed by NVIDIA themselves is a powerhouse of a chip that blows all the competition out of the water.
You are not going to need any more performance than the Shield Pro provides. The User Interface is intuitive and easy to use. The Setup process is straightforward.
With its 2 USB 3.0 ports, you will be able to connect your storage media to the NVIDIA Shield and watch your content directly from there.
The connectivity options are also great as you will connect to the Internet using Ethernet or WiFi. The added Bluetooth functionality allows you to connect any devices you want to the NVIDIA Shield directly.
The NVIDIA Shield Pro justifies its price as well and is a bang for the buck option giving you a lot more than you paid for, so if you are looking for one of the best Android TV Boxes available in the market, then The NVIDIA Shield Pro is the best Android TV Box for you.