A group of developers from the FreakTab community have decided that developing custom ROMs for existing Android phones, tablets and TV boxes isn’t enough. So they’ve decided to launch their own hardware.

The team plans to begin selling the Freakbox soon for $149. It’s a set-top-box with a Rockchip RK3188 quad-core processor, 32GB of storage, and a custom version of Android that’s supported by the FreakTab team.

Update: The Freakbox is up for pre-order and it’s received a price drop. You can order one for €77, or about $103 US.

freakbox_01

While there are other Android boxes on the market with better specs and lower prices, it’s the software that’s going to make the FreakTab stand out. The developers have a reputation for providing new features for existing devices through custom ROMs. Since the Freakbox will run FreakTab software out of the box you won’t need to install custom firmware yourself.

If you’ve spent any time in the FreakTab forums you’ll probably recognize some of the usernames of developers involved in the project, including project coordinator Neomode, kernel developer D33, art developer Tattman65, and a development team that includes Bob White, also known as Finless.

The box has a 1.6 GHz ARM Cortex-A9 quad-core processor, ARM Mali-400 MP4 graphics, 2GB og RAM, an SD card slot, 802.11n dual-band Wifi, Bluetooth 4.0, 10/100 Ethernet, 3 USB 2.0 host ports and a micro USB OTG port, HDMI, S/PDIF, and a headset jack. It has an IR port for a wireless remote control.

via CNX Software



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27 replies on “Freakbox is an Android box from the devs at FreakTab”

  1. Good idea, wrong processor. I feel they should have gone for a more modern processor even if they had to raise the price of the box.

    1. Exactly! My first reaction exactly. C’mon guys. That processor is SO last year. No thanks. Now a 3288 or 805 or K1. FOR SURE.

  2. What a waste of time. Why bother making a device that is 0% better than existing devices, but more expensive. A Minix Neo X7 runs for about $110-120, and has all the same inputs/outputs.

    1. I would be interested in something like this if it was being built to concentrate on Linux development.

      1. Hello there,

        You have Questions about the Box I will answer them.

        Why no RK3288?
        The RK3288 is not ready to release it.
        This will take some Time.

        The Freakbox Project is separated from Freaktab to not Commercial Freaktab.
        We will be open as much we can. Also we must take attention of Copys of this Box.

        We will give 2 Years Support for the Box with Firmware Updates.

        Also we are not ignoring Linux on the Freakbox but it is Work in progress.
        When we have a Working Linux then we can Announce it not before.

        Overall the Project Started on 11.06.2014 I think we have done a good Teamwork to get there that fast.

    1. Personally, I applaud Freaktab’s contribution to the stick & box market. Its about time hardware is released that has forethought wrapped around it, and the big draw for this one isnt what’s on the pcb, it’s the support behind it.
      Too many manufacturers have flooded an emerging market with crap that looks fantastic on paper but falls short of expectations because FW and device development stopped on the factory floor, regardless of functionality. Add the hardware variations between models of countless clones and you have an immense quantity of junk designed to be sold, and no more (example: “MK809III” pcb).
      Freaktab is an oasis of open thought and has been pivotal to the survival of this infantile corner of technology. The devs involved in Freakbox may use nicks, but this is the norm in a forum community and they dont hide behind their psuedos. They are very real people with a passion that extends beyond financial gain and notoriety. They are on the frontlines sorting out the monumental mess Chinese stick n box factories are now aware they dont have to deal with.
      The truth is most tv stick and box manufacturers rely on external companies to build firmware, and they’re formidably terrible at it. Enough so that the ongoing efforts of Freaktab contributors such as D33, FinlessBob, Neomode, Sam321 and others are now being utilized by those same 3rd party fw crunchers to save their own arses. Couple lazy fw dev with a penchant for cloning anything they can get their hands on and it becomes obvious why the cats behind Freakbox may stray away from an entirely open platform. Neomode’s crew aren’t looking to corner the market and make a killing. They’ve created a device that functions as promised, has actual support and ultimately represents where the industry needs to be, lest it implode.

      The SOC implemented on Freakbox is certainly not going to be the “-t” variant of the RK3188 chip. The RK3188 was chosen based on it’s performance, and that the SDKs are familiar to the devs. New SOC hardware may have higher clocks or additional technology, but the turn around period for full dev will leave the device partially crippled until after consumers have the hardware. This isnt beneficial to end users or the market as a whole, and they want to avoid it. Given the nature of the stick & box game, even semi reputable names such as MiniX have issues and fixes are generally to be found on Freaktab.

      I’m done ranting now. Vive la Freakbox, Vive la Freaktab.

  3. Initially ignoring Linux was unfortunately its greatest omission. Now the price will be its greatest negative.

    1. For sure. I am in the need for a new device to run Linux on. I have an older RK3066 dongle that I bricked. What would you recommend as a sub-$100 dongle to run Linux. It seems alot of the RK3188 devices can be tricky to get setup with full feature support. What is the most Linux friendly dongle around right now?

        1. I’m aware it can be done. My concern is that there is an increasing number of RK3188 devices that people are reporting it can’t be done. Also there is a big inconsistency with manufacturers and what model of Wifi chip they use. Some are Linux-friendly, some arent.

          It would be nice to know what devices are Linux friendly.

  4. Anythong wiht a Rockchip should be avoided, I generally have had nothing but trouble with them, ESPECIALLY if you want to VPN

    1. Well, anything ARM should be avoided for people who want to install non-OEM stuff but not knowledgeable enough to modify the Linux kernel and compile it.

      I fall under this category so I have a very small list of ARM SoCs if I go with an ARM board for a hobby project.

  5. A big disappointment and expensive for the old specs even if it will be sort of supported. Hopefully without a garish flashing boot image.
    In 2 years 3188 devices will be dead.

  6. probably will support this version so they will continue to make other models. 3188 is likely powerful enough for most of our needs as long as they have full access to the hardware. ymmv?

  7. Do they provide their real names? I tend not to skip products where the company/developers don’t provide real names, addresses and contact information.

    1. Yes, because I’m sure that Google, Microsoft, Apple etc.. etc.. will be more than happy to provide you with a massive list of all the real names of their developers. Would you like their home phone numbers and addresses also?

      1. They do provide real names, addresses and phone numbers. Not specific developers but enough to be easily confirm the company is legitimate. Going by Tattman65, D33, etc. just makes it worse had they not provided any nickname.

        1. Weird, I just phoned Apple and asked them for a list of developers working on the latest version of IOS and also their phone numbers and home addresses and, surprisingly, they refused to give me any information.

          Please tell which company you work for so that I can call them and ask them for your personal information because according to you, companies do that now nowadays.

        2. Did you not read the comment?
          “Not specific developers but enough to be easily confirm the company is legitimate.”

        3. Except that’s what this is– it’s a device brewed up by users of a custom firmware community. The people familiar with Freaktab will know these names. I don’t imagine they’re trying to get this on the shelves of Wal-mart at the moment but more so looking to have more freedom with the hardware/list of specs to target.

  8. Question is, will they adhere to open source principles or mimic every other tv stick/box hustler by incuding proprietary code and modules in their system firmware? Freaktab forums have been built on the model of collaboration and openness, will the new commercialized Freaktab adhere to those founding principles or abandon it’s original intentions?

  9. Will this be an actual 3188, or 3188T? Specs say 1.6, but so do most of the 3188T on Amazon…

  10. Freaktab have an update, the price is actually much lower. 76.99 EURO + shipping, ship from EU. If you choose ship from Hong Kong, it is around 72 EURO Free ship.
    The idea of Freakbox is for freaktab developers to work together for the best firmware.

    The reason freaktab choose RK3188 is simple, because freaktab is not a profit based community, the project only funded by usellisell.com. So the project has limited cash flow and we have to save cost. Hopefully , Freakbox get enough supports from fans and release RK3288 device soon.

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