Google’s Nexus Player is now available in the UK, going head to head with Apple and Amazon’s streaming devices.
The device, shaped like a hockey puck, is the first device running Android TV in the UK and follows the launch of Chromecast in the UK. The stick has enjoyed strong success thanks to its simple interface, which allows people to control streaming content from other devices instead of remotes, and its affordable £30 price tag.
Now, though, Google is taking a step up to take on the competition in the larger leagues. Nexus Player, unlike Chromecast, comes with its own remote and allows you to play advanced games on your HD TV, as well as watch TV shows and films through apps such as YouTube and Netflix.
You can also search for titles using Google’s voice search function, which will return results for TV shows, games and films through Google Play stores.
All that increased functionality requires more power than Chromecast’s tiny stick. Inside its circular case, the Nexus Player boasts a 1.8GHz quad-core Intel Atom processor, 1GB of RAM and 8GB of storage.
If that sounds like an Amazon Fire TV, that’s because the two have almost identical stats: Amazon’s set top box also houses a quad-core processor and 8GB of storage, although it has a bigger 2GB of RAM. Both devices also have a similar price point, with Nexus player costing £80 and an optional gamepad controller costing another £35. The UK release arrives days after Amazon launched Fire TV Stick, which is the online retailer’s budget equivalent to Chromecast.
Nexus Player, though, has a weapon up its sleeve: the box is Google Cast ready, so any entertainment apps that are compatible with Chromecast will also work with your set top box, allowing you to watch content from NOW TV, BBC iPlayer and BT Sport from Chromebooks, Android devices and iPhones and iPads.
The device is available to buy from today from the Google Store, Currys, PC World, Amazon, John Lewis, Argos and eBuyer.