Nexus Participant analysis

Whatever the success of the Chromecast streaming stick, which has been slowly revitalising a whole enterprise since its preliminary launch in 2013, Google doesn’t have an superior report inside the good TV enviornment. Its first Google TV appliances had been awkward and clunky, and the spherical Nexus Q, launched alongside the distinctive Nexus 7 tablet, in no way made it to market the least bit. 

Nexus Player review

The Nexus Participant (manufactured by Asus) has, a minimum of, overcome the latter hurdle, however it’s going to have a tricky time matching the Chromecast’s phenomenal success.


Nexus Participant analysis: what’s it and the way in which rather a lot does it worth?

The first concern the Nexus Participant goes to need to beat is the worth, which at £80 makes it nearly 3 occasions as expensive as a Chromecast.

And that further £50, ostensibly, doesn’t get you very rather a lot the least bit. Principally, the Nexus Participant is a Chromecast with bells on. If you need, it’s best to use it exactly like the elemental Chromecast, casting video content material materials and browser tabs out of your smartphone, TV or tablet apps to your TV show display. Nonetheless it might even be used as a standalone streamer, in a similar vein to the Amazon Fire TV and Roku 3. 

To that end, the puck-shaped Nexus Participant is a additional extremely efficient and succesful gadget than the same old Chromecast. It choices dual-band 802.11ac Wi-Fi reasonably than single-band 802.11n, so if the 2.4GHz spectrum is simply too congested, it’s possible you’ll change over to 5GHz for stutter-free streaming. 


It’s rather more extremely efficient, too, packing in a quad-core 1.8GHz Intel Atom processor, PowerVR Sequence 6 graphics, 1GB of RAM and 8GB of storage, and it’s this extra horsepower that enables it to behave as a standalone TV streamer. Included inside the subject is a Bluetooth distant administration, outfitted with a microphone that permits you to search with voice directions; it’s possible you’ll be a part of video video games controllers by means of Bluetooth as successfully. 

There isn’t rather a lot in the way in which wherein of bodily connectivity, though. On the rear of the gadget you’ll uncover a full-sized HDMI output, which outputs video at resolutions as a lot as 1,920 x 1,080 and 60Hz, a DC vitality socket and a micro-USB port, nevertheless no devoted digital or analogue audio output, nor an Ethernet socket. And there’s no official method in order so as to add peripherals or storage using the USB port, each – Google put it there as a way for builders to test and debug their apps. (It is doable, however it it’s faraway from straightforward.) 

Nexus Participant analysis: effectivity and usefulness

Setup isn’t pretty as seamless because it’s on the Chromecast. You’ll find yourself fiddling spherical with the distant administration to enter Wi-Fi passwords, and we would have liked to restart the gadget a few situations sooner than we had been able to see it as a Google Stable-compatible gadget from our cell items. 

With that achieved, nonetheless, using the Nexus Participant is actually niggle-free. The interface is responsive and simple to utilize, presenting a horizontally scrolling carousel of solutions on the first show display, shortcuts to the various Google Play firms, plus any apps or video video games you will have put in beneath. 


Trying is carried out by voice, each by deciding on the microphone icon on the excessive of the homescreen or by clicking a button on the distant and speaking into it, and it actually works brilliantly. 

Nearly every search we carried out was recognised exactly and instantly; it’s solely a shame that it doesn’t work inside every app. Although it’s possible you’ll voice-search the library of TED TV lectures, inside the Netflix app it is advisable enter textual content material laboriously, character after character, using an onscreen keyboard.

Nexus Participant analysis: content material materials and gaming

The success of any streamer is dictated by the on the market content material materials, and on this entrance the Nexus Participant disappoints. Solely apps and which had been customised and licensed for the Android TV platform current up inside the retailer, and the selection is skinny, significantly as regards to UK content material materials. 

On the time of writing, there was no iPlayer app, no ITV Participant, 4oD, Demand 5 nor one thing the least bit from Sky. In distinction with rivals (Roku springs immediately to ideas), it’s a weak offering. You probably can a minimum of arrange Netflix, and folks fascinated by streaming all through the native group can arrange Plex and VLC. 

For these fascinated by using the Google Stable facility to watch BBC iPlayer from the cell app, it’s worth declaring that the Nexus Participant is by the an identical draw back as a result of the Chromecast: because of mismatch of 60Hz HDMI output and 25fps BBC TV output, most programmes bear from an irritating judder, most evident in fast-moving and panning images.


The an identical shall be talked about for the current variety of video video games. Although the titles that are on the market are largely of superb top quality, and have been tailor-made successfully to work on the massive show display, the variety of titles isn’t considerably broad. 

Worse, lots of what’s present is targeted significantly at video video games controller owners and acquired’t run in case you don’t have one linked. With a view to revenue from this facet of the Nexus Participant, attributable to this truth, you’ll need to buy a controller. The official Asus-manufactured dual-analogue stick controller will set you once more a fairly steep £35, nevertheless restricted variety of titles on provide indicate that we’re not happy it’s worth shelling out for – not however, a minimum of. 

Nexus Participant analysis: verdict 

Given time, we’re sure that the variety of Android TV apps and video video games will improve, significantly given that platform has the backing of big TV producers akin to Sony, Sharp and Philips.


Till you’re decided to play Android video video games in your TV, nonetheless, we suggest you go for one factor else. You’ll save £50 and buy a Chromecast: it stays a brilliantly straightforward and low-cost method of streaming from certain apps to your TV. Or you possibly can spend a similar sum on a rival standalone streamer: the Amazon Fireside TV or Roku 3 every provide a far wider range of UK-specific content material materials, along with BBC iPlayer. 

Correct now the Nexus Participant merely doesn’t do enough to warrant a recommendation. The content material materials, considerably from a UK perspective, is weak and it’s expensive, too, significantly in case you add within the worth of the video video games controller.

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