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Mecool KD3 Review - Google TV Dongel Yang Kurang Cool


 Many people want a smart television but the selling price which starts around RM2000 may still be beyond the means of most people. Technology should not be limited to people who have money so the easiest solution we give to those who want a smart TV but not advanced to spend big is to buy a dongel. Mecool KD3 is another Android TV dongel with Google TV can flash your dumb TV or monitor at home.



It tries to give competition to Chromecast and Realme dongles that also offer 4K support. Is it cool enough with the interesting features that might exist? This short review tries to answer this question as quickly as possible.


Specifications

Mecool KD3

Screen Size -

Resolution Up to 4K (60Hz)

Panel -

Specifications Amlogic S905Y4, 4X Cortex-A35, 2GB RAM, 8GB ROM eMMC

Android TV 11 Operating System with Google TV

HDR Yes / HDR10 / Dolby Vision

Maximum Description -

Audio Dolby Atmos

HDMI I/O, microUSB

DTTV -

Google Assistant Virtual Assistant

2.4/5GHz WiFi Internet

Bluetooth BT 5.0

Chromecast Yes

AirPlay 2 None

Size 92.5 x 29.5 x14.5 mm

Weight -

Selling Price ~ RM 260

Rekaan

The design of the KD3 is similar to the first generation Chromecast with a body made of plastic. The body is about 10cm long and has an HDMI head at the end. It was a bit long but we had no problem connecting it to the back of a smart television. Dongels are only difficult to install on smaller sized computer monitors and televisions.



If this happens Mecool provides a 12.6mm long HDMI to HDMI adapter allowing connections to be made more easily without thinking about space issues. On the side there is a micro USB power port. Unlike the Chromecast With Google TV, the KD3 can get power supply directly from the television’s USB-A port.



The design is not very pretty when compared to the Mi TV Stick or Chromecast with Google TV but this is not why the dongle is placed behind the TV all the time. Directly invisible even though the design is not modern.


This plastic dongel is also matched with a remote control which is also black plastic. The design is also not very attractive due to the relatively hard control buttons. Disappointing also because this remote control is the main input device for selecting content. With all the hard buttons, the comfort level isn’t as we’re used to with the Chromecast With Google TV at home.



The design and quality of the buttons may not be very satisfactory but this remote control comes with a variety of buttons that are not available on the official Google dongle. The round -shaped navigation buttons are matched with special buttons for changing user profiles and Google TV settings. It's easy to change profiles for those who share TV with others at home.


There are also four quick shortcuts for YouTube, Prime Video, Netflix and Disney+. More luxurious than just two (YouTube and Netflix) on Chromecast With Google TV. The only drawback is that the Disney+ button cannot be used because it is not programmed to open Disney+ Hotstar. There is no way to change this button natively. You can change the button configuration with a paid third -party application.



This remote requires two AAA batteries to function. We prefer if a replaceable alkaline cell battery is used as no issue the rechargeable battery will be damaged after several charging cycles.


Android TV 11

With Android TV 11 operating system with Google TV launcher, it is similar to Chromecast With Google TV and some Android TV smart television models on the market now. This interface is very easy to use and understand especially if you are already familiar with using Android devices before.



There are no issues with downloading apps because the Play Store offers a variety of apps you need. The limit only lies in the 8GB internal storage provided. There is nothing negative we can say about the Android TV 11 operating system with Google TV used.


Usage And Visual Quality

The installation process is easy because Mecool provides an HDMI adapter that extends the connection from the TV to the dongle in case there is not enough space behind the TV. The dongel will hang when using this adapter. This is not a real issue as it is the same as the Chromecast dongle.



How to activate the dongel for the first time is very easy to help with 5GHz WiFI support. The faster the Internet at home the easier the process of activating KD3 using your Google account. As we said above you don’t need a manual to understand the interface elements of Google TV. Top tray for various pre -installed applications, in the top corner there are profile settings to change the dongel parameters and the recommended content line depending on the installed application.


While in the early stages everything felt pretty smooth but as more and more apps were installed, we noticed the interface was starting to feel a bit slow. We install YouTube, Netflix, Disney+ Hotstar, Prime Video, Curiosity Stream, Tubi, HBO GO and Lionsgate Play. Each of these apps will display a thumbnail for suggested content on the front page each time the home button is pressed. The scrolling process starts to feel a little heavy and not smooth so it takes a few seconds for the front screen to be displayed after the home button is pressed on the remote control.



The Amlogic S905Y4 processor with four Cortex-A35 cores and a memory of just 2GB of RAM is clearly not capable of providing a satisfactory user experience. In comparison, Chromecast with Google TV is equipped with a processor with four Cortex-A55 cores with the same size of RAM. The difference in experience is very noticeable between these two Google TV dongles.


Even more frustrating is that we can see differences in Internet connections as well. At the same location and using the same WiFi network, Internet speeds on Chromecast with Google TV are faster according to the YouTube app statistics screen. As a result, if 4K content is streamed, the time taken for us to enjoy actual 4K content is slower.



The Mecool KD3 is advertised with Dolby Vision support but in tests done using two screens that support this HDR format we failed to enjoy it. As can be seen above, Netflix confirmed the Mecool KD3 supports 4K HDR with Dolby Atmos but without Dolby Vision. Even normal HDR10 mode cannot be displayed. Content looks less vibrant and flatter without HDR support. After so long using a TV with HDR support at home, the absence of this mode makes a very significant difference.


What caused this to happen we don’t know because a Mecool representative insisted to us it shouldn’t have happened. This issue does not occur on the Chromecast with Google TV dongles that we installed using the same TV and HDMI port in the our lab.


Audio Quality

There is support for Dolby Atmos on the spec and there is no issue to enjoy this output on smart televisions that support it. Audio quality is highly dependent on the speakers used on the connected dongle device.



In the box

Here is what is received with every purchase of a device in Malaysia.


1x Dongel Mecool KD3

1x Remote control

1x 12.6mm HDMI extension connector

1x MicroUSB power cable-USB-A 1m

1x Three -pin charger head

1x Manual

Conclusion

Mecool in name but unfortunately not cool enough for us to recommend its purchase to all readers. The not -so -pretty design is not an issue because the dongel is hidden behind the TV. We just can’t forgive the use of dongels that aren’t smooth enough. The Cortex-A35 processor with only four cores does not exceed our standards already using Chromecast With Google TV which is equipped with a more powerful processor.



If smoothness isn’t important to you though, it’s hard to recommend a dongle that isn’t compatible with all of the TVs and monitors we tested. The HDR mode available on Netflix for example cannot be displayed on the HDR10+ monitors and Dolby Vision TVs we have. HDR is a necessary feature now and dongel incompatibilities on major brand monitors are unforgivable.


Then with the selling price of Mecool KD3 around RM250 it is offered at a slightly cheaper price than Chromecast With Google TV (~ RM268) and more expensive than Mi TV Stick 4K (~ RM210) with better specifications. The two dongels we mentioned earlier are better options at this point.


Pro


Easy to install on the back of the TV.

Can take power from the TV's USB-A port.

Uses the latest Google TV operating system based on Android 11.

Quite a luxurious selection of applications.

Great storage.

Cons


4K HDR stream content is a little slow to display on the TV.

Dolby Vision output is problematic even though it should be supported.

Less powerful processors make there little time lag.

The remote control buttons are a little hard.

Prices are less competitive.

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