Until Google officially launched the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro, the Chromecast w/Google TV was arguably the best piece of hardware to come out of Mountain View over the past couple of years. (The Nest Audio is up there but the Chromecast is the most versatile and practical #madebygoogle device in recent years.) We use the Chromecast w/Google TV every day in our home and I only have two real complaints about Google’s tiny streamer.
First and foremost, the Chromecast w/Google TV has a scant 8GB of memory. 4GB of which are used up by the OS and pre-installed software. That leaves very little room for the ever-growing number of streaming apps that are hitting the market. My other dislike of the Chromecast is a small nit but it’s annoying enough for me to mention it – the remote. The tiny, pill-shaped clicker is slippery and my larger-than-average hands frequently project it to the floor because it’s like trying to squeeze a tomato seed. Anyway, that’s just me.
Since the debut of Google’s latest Chromecast, Android TV devices have enjoyed a software update that gave Android TV a look and feel that is on par with Google TV. For that reason, the Onn Android TV from Walmart has become our favorite streaming stick for a couple of reasons. First, it offers a nearly-identical experience as the Chromecast w/Google TV but it has a slightly larger and easier to handle remote control. You get the same minimal amount of storage but the Onn Android TV can be had for the ridiculously low price of only $19.88 which makes it the dongle to buy if you find yourself in the market.
All that said, a new streaming device has just surfaced from, of all places, T-Mobile and this 4K dongle is the first on the market outside of Google’s Chromecast that is actually powered by Google TV. As announced by SEI Robotics via Twitter, the new TVision HUB from T-Mobile features the newer Amlogic S905Y4 and comes out of the box with Android 11. This is fairly ironic as Google’s Chromecast is still rocking Android TV OS 10.
The aforementioned Amlogic S905Y4 is a newer SoC than the one found in the Google TV Chromecast which should hopefully result in smoother performance when navigating the interface. It is unclear how much storage the device has but the landing page shows a decently sized remote with dedicated buttons for the Assistant, Netflix, YouTube, and even power and input buttons specifically for your television. Additionally, T-Mobile’s new streaming comes bearing an in-built Ethernet port which means you never have to worry about dropping your Wi-Fi signal.
While this new streamer is branding “TVision,” it’s worth noting that T-Mobile discontinued the company’s live streaming TV service of the same name back in April of this year. I guess the name was catchy enough to stick and it means less work for the marketing department. Now for the best thing about this new device from T-Mobile – the price. T-Mobile will be selling the new TVision HUB online and in select stores for only $49.99. Yes, that’s exactly what the Chromecast w/Google TV costs although you can score one on sale at the moment for $39.99. Users that sign up for T-Mobiles home internet service can pick up the TVision HUB at no charge which is a sweet bonus that will get you up and streaming in no time flat. I may not NEED another streaming device in my home but I love everything about T-Mobile’s take on Google TV and I will be picking one up as soon as they become available. You can find the listing for the new TVision HUB on the T-Mobile website below.