Gogamegeek recently sent me the SANPAO TJ800 to test and review. This very cute Android gaming device is designed to look like a small CRT TV. I reviewed a similar device a while ago, but this one feels more premium in its build and design.
Equipped with Android 7.1.2, it certainly isn’t going to win any awards when it comes to what it’s compatible with in the Android App store. And I think that something like this is going to be aimed more at collectors rather than gamers.
Looking at the specifications, the TJ800 comes with Android 7.1.2 installed, has a 3.5” 640×480 IPS screen, and CPU-wise, it has an Amlogic s905w 2.0GHz with a Mali 450MP GPU, 2GB Ram, 2x USB Type A, microSD card slot to allow the storage to be expanded up to 128GB, HDMI port and built-in Wi-Fi.
It also comes with the usual basic manual, a remote control (as after-all, this is really an Android box) and an AC adapter (DC 9V-12V/2A), for which Gogamegeek also sent me a UK convertor adaptor.
Once you switch it on, you are greeted to the usual Android box type screen, and then it loads to the Android page. The one I received came with a number of apps pre-installed, including Chrome, Netflix, Google Play Store, Kodi and a games section.
Now, this when the issues began to start with the TJ800. Once connected to Wi-FI, I attempted to see if there was an update as there was an option for ‘OTA Update‘; however, this didn’t appear to work.
I also attempted to go into the game app, and each time I was sent to the boot menu of the device. And to get out of that, I had to Switch the TJ800 off altogether and then turn it back on. It’s advertised as having a gaming app included as it does not come with any SD card with emulators or ROMs on it.
I had to go through my own Play Store account and download a couple of emulators that I already owned. There is a MODRO app included too, but this kept crashing every time I opened it. Some devices from other sellers come with the Happy Chick app, which offers ROMs and emulators in once place, but the one I received didn’t appear to have it.
One app that did work well once I was done setting it up was Kodi. And once it was set up, I was able to play some movies, which I have to say looked really good on the screen. Whilst a little on the small side, it totally suits the device because after all, it’s a small TV.
There is also an HDMI port so you can connect a gaming device, such as a gaming handheld, and play it through the TV. You can change the colour saturation and have it in black and white if you wished.
One thing the TJ800 is missing is a rechargeable battery. It needs to be connected to power in order for it to work, which is a shame and removes the portability of it. The sound quality is mono but sounds okay, just don’t turn it too loud.
My biggest issue was with the size of the screen when attempting to read anything, especially within the Android settings. Even with my glasses on, I really struggled to read anything. So, you certainly won’t be playing any games or watching movies with subtitles.
However, the screen quality is really good and is probably the main feature of the TJ800 (other than the design) that most people will be happy with. Straight out of the box, it was colourful and sharp.
I’m not too sure who the TJ800 would appeal to, if I’m honest. Most gamers want to be able to play retro games straight out of the box. And most movie watchers would probably prefer to watch something on a much larger screen,
Retro gaming is adequate once you set it up, but if you don’t already have emulators ready to install or an SD card with a bunch of games in it, then you are left with quite a cute gimmick that will look cool sat on your desk.