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Walmart’s new onn Full HD Streaming Device is a $15 stick that plugs into an HDMI port of your TV, allowing you to stream video from Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, Disney+ and most other popular streaming services.
The device is the cheapest gadget to run Google TV software, and it may be one of the cheapest media streamers from any major company to date. But it’s also only $5 cheaper than Walmart’s other dirt cheap media streamer… and odds are that most people who are looking to spend $15 on a media streaming device would be better of spending a little more for the $20 model.
Both devices are Walmart exclusive gadgets sold under the company’s onn brand. But the $20 model supports 4K video and has 2GB of RAM, while the $15 version is tops out at 1080p video and has just 1.5 GB of memory.
That might not seem like a big deal if you don’t have a 4K TV or don’t pay for 4K content, but devices that can support 4K video tend to be a little more powerful than those that cannot, which often leads to speedier performance.
Walmart hasn’t said anything about the processor inside its new $15 media streaming stick, but rumor has it that it could be the same Amlogic S805X2 chip used in Google’s Chromecast with Google TV HD.
The 4K model, meanwhile, is powered by an Amlogic S905Y4 processor. While both chips feature quad-core ARM Cortex-A35 processors and Mali-G31 MP2 graphics, the S805X2 is meant for cheaper devices that top out at 1080p video. And we also know that the $15 stick features 25% less RAM than the 4K model.
That said, these are both cheap devices that may lack some state-of-the-art features. They both support Dolby Audio, for instance, but there’s
no mention of Dolby Vision or HDR. They both support WiFi 5 and Bluetooth 5.0, but not the newer WiFi 6 or 7 standards. And they both have micro USB ports for power rather than USB Type-C.
Both devices come with a simple remote control, but they’re also both Chromecast-compatible, which means you can use your phone, tablet, or PC to select media and control playback.
Update: AFTVNews notes that the new stick does support HDR10 (and maybe HDR10+) and also adds support for AV1 video decoding, which would be an upgrade over the previous-gen. But in terms of processing power, the new $15 media streamer is only around 8 to 10% faster than the previous-gen model, which launched in 2021 for $25.