Chinese company Strong presents the Leap-S1. This is a surprisingly versatile 4K streamer, based – as is so often the case with these types of devices – on Android; version 10 in this case.
Let’s start with the price of the Strong Leap-S1, which is only £69.99. For that you’ll get a device running Android TV 10, based on a quad-core Cortex A53 processor (SoC). Added to that is dual band wifi 5, which should guarantee uninterrupted streaming experiences under most conditions. In case you prefer to use Ethernet, then that’s not a problem either. Given the fact that we are talking about an Android set-top box, you can install all known apps for this OS. Including those of famous streaming services as Netflix, Amazon Prime, YouTube and many others. However, you should keep an eye on the relatively limited storage space of the Leap-S1, which is only 8GB. And part of that is already eaten by Android itself and – no doubt – various homegrown apps. It is further interesting to note that HDR10+ as well as Dolby Digital Plus and Chromecast are supported. Via an included Bluetooth remote control, you control everything from the comfort of your couch.
Chinese set-top boxes like this unfortunately have some drawbacks too. The main problem is that you have to wait and see whether updates appear for the device of your choice. And if they do, for how long in the future. Often it stays with a short period of security updates to the installed Android version, then it’s over. This means that with some regularity a replacement device must be purchased to meet the latest security requirements. Also, the Chinese manufacturers regularly tinker with the Android that comes with the device and you always have to wait and see what kind of user data is collected and transferred in the background. Think also of network traffic at home. The most sensible thing to do is to connect a device like this to a guest network – if your router offers this option – so as to avoid a potentially less reliable spy on the (home) network. If you take all this into account, devices like this one from Strong are a very nice and cheap entry into the world of streamers.