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Measy U2C with Bluetooth, webcam and microphone
The Measy U2C is a new dual core Rockchip RK3066 based Android stick that looks very similar and has similar features as the recently released MK812 Android Mini PC. Both the Measy U2C and the MK812 have built in Bluetooth, a 2 megapixel camera and microphone.
Measy Electronics Co., Ltd. is a Chinese manufacturer of mainly high definition media players. Previously they produced mainly Realtek based media players.
Recently they have enjoyed some success with their line of wireless mini keyboards. The Measy RC13 air mouse with built in speakers and microphone is a very popular choice for many Android Mini PC users.
The first two, the U1A and the U2A are both pretty standard Android stick products with very little to distinguish them from competing products.
However the Measy U2C has gained quite a bit of interest with its built in webcam and microphone that is paired together with the RK3066 chipset that has proven to have quite good performance
Unboxing and first impressions of the Measy U2C
Inside the box is the U2C unit, a user manual, a micro USB cable and a short HDMI extension cable. There is no power adapter included. This means that if you cannot draw enough power from one of the USB ports on the TV, you will need to get your own power adapter.
The Measy U2C itself is enclosed in a white plastic housing. I have to admit that looks wise, the plastic looks cheap and cannot compare to either the matte plastic look of the Uhost 2 or the sleek Aluminum housing on the iMito MX1 and the MK812.
There are plenty of ventilation holes on both the top and bottom of the housing. The camera is located on the top. The words “Cam + Mic” are printed under the camera and next to the camera there are some perforated holes that seems to indicate where the microphone is located but in actual fact, the microphone is located on the side of the U2C.
The U2C uses a male HDMI connector and it is the first stick form Android Mini PC to also include a analog AV output located right next to the HDMI connector. No AV cable was included with the package and I did not have a compatible cable to test out the AV output. On the opposite end of the HDMI connector is a USB port plus a micro USB port for power input.
At the side is a power button, a micro SD/TF card slot, a micro USB OTG port, reset hole and the real location of the microphone.
Comparison with the MK812 Android Mini PC
It is inevitable that the Measy U2C will draw comparisons with the MK812 as both devices have similar looks and features plus they are both released at about the same time.
Besides the inclusion of Bluetooth, 2 MP webcam and microphone, both these devices have many other similarities. Both are RK3066 based devices, come with 8 GB of Nand Flash storage and the location of the camera, microphone, power button, micro SD/TF slot, USB port and the micro USB OTG port are the same.
The first and biggest difference is that the MK812 has a connector for an external WiFi antenna next to the USB port while the U2C has an extra micro USB port instead. Second, the MK812 came with 2 GB RAM while the U2C only has 1 GB. Third, the U2C is housed in a plastic housing while the MK812 has an Aluminum housing.
It is also interesting to note that there is an older version of the MK812 that came without the external WiFi antenna support that had an extra micro USB port where the antenna connector is located as well. I won’t be surprised if both the U2C and the older version of the MK812 are actually the same devices but with different branding and packaging.
Setting up and performance of the U2C
Setting up the Measy U2C is generally hassle free like all Android Mini PCs. All you have to do is to find a free HDMI port on your TV and plug the device in. However, since the U2C has a webcam, the U2C cannot be hidden behind the TV like other Android sticks. Unfortunately, the HDMI extension cable that was provided was not long enough to position the webcam properly. In the end I had to use a much longer HDMI cable so that I could place the U2C itself at the base of the TV. I also had to create a makeshift anchor to hold it in place using a paper weight I had lying around.
There is optional docking station for the Measy U2C that basically functions as a holder for the U2C so that you can easily position the camera. The dock also adds 3 additional USB ports, a SD card slot and a rocker power switch. However, the dock is not available for sale yet at the moment.
Being an RK3066 device, boot up is relatively fast at under 30 seconds. WiFi connection is good and I did not experience any drops of slow speeds.
You are given the choice of using the standard Android 4.1 launcher or a simple launcher named as LauncherNew. The alternative launcher is just a very simple row of 5 shortcuts to the default video player, music, photo gallery, apps and setting page. There is an additional row of 5 URL shortcuts that you can customized at the bottom. Personally, I just stuck to the default Android launcher. Being an Android device, if you are not happy with either option, you can just download your own preference from the Google Play Store.
The Google Play Store is included and it has access to the full store for both free and paid apps.
Video playback and streaming
I tried my usual set of test videos on the Measy U2C’s default video player and it managed to play everything without any problems except for one MP43 codec encoded file. However, most other RK3066 based default players had the same problem playing this particular file. It is actually a problem with the player itself as the file plays just fine using MX Player.
Video streaming on both YouTube and Netflix worked just fine but the bottom menu bar cannot be hidden so for certain videos, you will see vertical black bars on both the right and left edges. You can use an app like Hidebar to hide the menu while watching videos in full screen mode.
Skype and Google Voice Search
With the build in camera and microphone, Skype is supported out of the box. All you have to do is start up Skype, sign in and you are good to go. The video quality isn’t fantastic and I believe the resolution is only VGA but this is due to the Android camera driver.
The voice quality is surprisingly good as the built in microphone can easily pick up my voice from a distance about 6 feet away. I tested out with the Skype call testing service as well as made a few test calls. My voice sounded clear when played back using the testing service and during test calls, the other party had no problems understanding me.
I tested out the microphone for voice recognition but I didn’t fare well with it. Voice Search could only recognize my speech properly about half the time. At first I thought that the mic was picking up too much ambient sounds so I retried it later at night when it was quieter but it didn’t make much difference. Perhaps it is my fault but then I do get much better results when using voice search on my phone.
- Comes with built in camera and microphone and is Skype ready out of the box.
- Built in Bluetooth and comes with 8GB storage.
- No WiFi connectivity issues. Connection is good.
- Good value for money compared to buying Android mini PC and webcam separately.
- Full Google Play Store comes pre-installed.
- White plastic housing looks cheap.
- Included HDMI extension cable is too short.
- No USB power adapter included.
- Bottom menu bar is not hidden on YouTube and Netflix.
- Problems with voice search using the built in mic.
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