Review: G-Box MX2 Android XBMC / Kodi Smart TV Player 26

G-Bpx mx2

G-Box Midnight Mx2 Android XBMC box

01/2021 Update (OUT OF DATE BOX and Details):

Note this Box and the Kodi services described below are no longer working properly , this is because a lot has changed in the 7 years  since the article was written.  Kodi as of right now is has a stable release  of 18.9 ,  this is no longer compatible with these older Android Boxes, as you need Android  5 or newer (this box came with Android 4) .. In adddition most of the plugins especially for dubious content no longer work as those services have gone offline..   In a nutshelll this box is no longer viable for Kodi.. You can still use it to play some Android apps or run older versions.

10/2014 Update (XBMC Gotham update  aka Kodi):

Back in April an upgrade to XBMC was announced announced. Gotham (beta) brings a bunch of new capabilities to the XBMC ecosystem, especially native hardware decoding for android devices like this G-Box , check out the article on Engadget XBMC to improve Android playback.

Then in August Matricom (the makers of the MX2 G-Box) announced they had new firmware 1.2 which includes  XBMC Gotham 13.2 on the G-Box MX2. If you have not definitely upgrade to this version 1.2 firmware it offers tons of fixes and updates plus all the enhancements that came with XBMC Goth. There have been other  updates since them , but this one is the most important.

Most recently the XMBC community has indicated it will change the name of the product, from XBMC to Kodi starting with version 14.0. Version 14.0 will be very similar to 13.2 Gotham and mostly represent a branding change for the software. Matricom has indicated that shortly after Kodi is officially released it will create a GBox 2 version.

I have a more recent in-depth review of newer Android TV Boxes here.



I recently picked up a G-Box Midnight MX2 Android 4.2 Jelly Bean Dual Core XBMC Streaming Mini HTPC TV Box Player (herein referred to as the MX2 for brevity). This is  small box about the size of a few packs of cigarettes. The purpose for getting this box is to turn any TV into an Internet connected a SMART TV , neither of my televisions as smartTV’s so this works well.

This box is running the Android O/S version 4.22, so basically any application that runs on this OS is available from the market and can be installed on this box. It has built in WIFI so you just plug it into your TV via HDMI (or analog cables) and then you can connect it to your home’s WIFI network and begin streaming content from popular services like YouTube, Netflix, Hulu, etc.

Arguably the main reason this box is popular is because it comes with XBMC installed. For those not familiar XBMC is an open-source video/music and home theater  software that offers a vast array of functionality especially through add-ons. It offers a polished big-screen U/I and can pull content from many sources.


Feature Specification
CPU Dual Core A9 CPU
Graphics Mali400 Dual Core 3D GPU
OS Android 4.22 (updated OTA regularly)
Firmware Matricom 1.2  XBMC Gotham 13.2
Video Out 1280 x 720p (*1080p decoded videos are scaled to 720p in XBMC.)
Internal Storage 8GB
Ports HDMI out ; Analog out ; 4x USB ports; 1x SD port ; 1x SPIDF
Radios WIFI B/G/N and Bluetooth 4.0
Remote Yes – basic remote included


IMG_20131016_075201Unpack plug the power into the Ac and plug a standard HDMI from the MX2 to your TV and turn it on. Use the supplied remote to follow a brief on-screen setup (such as connecting to your home network via WIFI or Ethernet cable), and then you’ll be greated with an option to choose a launcher (Regular android , a custom 3D launch ** stay away * , or straight into XBMC), I recommend choosing the initial launcher for the first time yo setup your Android accounts and such , and then making your XBMC your main console.

Android on your TV

This is box runs a fairly recent version of android, so if you have an Android phone, you’ll be immediately familiar with the Android apps and interface. The remote control (included), does less than a favorable job of navigating the Android programs, but there are soft remotes (check Android marketplace) that allow you to use your smartphone (one the same network) to control this device.

Additionally the Android marketplace is available, so you can sign up and begin downloading your favorite apps. It uses most of the same Apps as your phone or tablet, very few apps are customized for the TV.

You can also browse the web on your TV, using the standard Android Webkit browser included, plus you can sync all your bookmarks and other useful information if you have other android devices or accounts.

While your inteh android side,  check the OTA application to load the latest verison of the MX2 firmware along with any updates.

Netflix, YouTube, etc.

Out of the box the Android NEtflix and Yourtube apps are supplied and serve as your main points to accessing content from those sources. Its a little frustrating the first time you run it because of the Android 4.2 hints appear overlayed onto the screen and getting them to go took me a bit. Once that was completed, both apps worked prettym much identically to the Android phone cousins.

What’s so great about XBMC?

XBMC fanart background

XBMC fanart background

The main purpose as I mentioned above for purchase of this box is that XBMC is already installed and ready to go. XBMC originally started as an alternate firmware (ROM) for the old classic XBOX systems but has since been ported to just about every computing platform (PC, MAC, Android , Linux etc…) ,which partly the reason it’s getting its name changed to Kodi .

Typically enthusiasts wanting XBMC for a HTPC (home theater PC)  would install it on a rooted Apple TV because of its small footprint and no noise nature. But one had to deal with the technical details of rooting certain versions of Apple TV’s and getting XBMC to work on it ,because XBMC is already pre-installed on this device, is setup and ready to go out of the box..

XBMC some music/podcast channels

XBMC some music/podcast channels

XBMC is a pretty multi feature video stream/player application allowing you to stream UPnP (DLNA) files from other servers, stream music from the network, view pictures, and if you had a TV tuner stick (USB ones are available) watch and record Live OTA television.

One reason for its (XBMC) popularity is that is allows all type of Add-ons (think of them as XBMC apps) to be installed. These add-ons both for Video,Audio and misc. programs (like TV guides, games etc) add extra functionality to your xBMC setup. There’s no official store, but the Get Addons… option allows you to install a large number of pre-installed add-on content sources. Using massive repo libraries like superrepoorg. you can get most of the Addons in one shot..

Its no surprise a lot of the add-ons are for underground (illicit ) sources of content, such as 1channel, (live sports), icefilms, adult channels etc, basically anything people may be interested is there. In addition to these there’s a who array of more mainstream sources such as PBS, TED Talks, Discovery , VEVO (music videos), ESPN video, plus many many more.. You can save yourself a bit of trouble and just download 1,300 addons from . Go there to get instructions on how to get these add-ons for your box.

Once the sources (Add-Ons) are installed and up and running you can simply use the XBMC menu system to navigate amongst them and begin playing.


  1. Small and quiet: Its a 5″x5″x2″ in size and no noise (no fans) so its very convenient to plut next to your TV set.
  2. XMBC pre-installed: As mentioned above this software gives this box its powerhouse kick with its many add ons and features
  3. Wifi and Ports: This little box has plenty of USB ports that allow you to connect all sorts of stuff to it , such as HDMI, analog, USB Tuner cards, joysticks, keyboards ,USB sticks..etc.


While the unit arrived new, and it was just a matter of taking it out of the box and plugging it in,I did have a few initial issues.

  • Version 1.16 of the G-Box MX2 firmware didn’t display video correctly (sound only no video for add-ons), this was a common problem listed in the forums, solution here was to download the update and manually (not using the built in OTA updater) update it, something as important as getting video to appear is disappointing, even though a quick fix was available, any non-technical person would have run into trouble.
  • XBMC on Android is at best a work in progress, by this i mean the stability of the software on ARM chip-sets, is still not 100% in the stability department. You will sometime get frustrated by lock ups or other times it will just reboot XBMC. It happens about 10-15% of the time, XBMC on android is still a fairly recent development , unlike the existing PC platforms, so there’s still some growing pains… non-PC platforms (including Apple TV have this issue)
  • More MX2 specific apps: There are still many points when you are dropped into the Android settings or programs when you want to make MX2 specific changes. The changes from the more polished XBMC interface to raw Android can be jarring, a more unified launcher and interface would help.
  • Less official content, unlike an Xbox or PS4 there’s no official marketplace, as mentioned above, many of the Add-on sources are from underground sources, which means that they may be here today gone tomorrow..
  • Remote Control: offers basic functions, but not all the keys correspond correctly to the on-screen menus and sometimes appears unresponsive.

    Overall impression

    If you have a HDTV and its not a SmartTV( not internet ready) , definitely go out and get this box, it will open a whole new world to you in terms of content and Internet functionality for your big screen. If you already have a big screen TV still consider this box as it may offer enough compelling features to keep you interested. Be prepared to deal with some growing pains in the stability department, but for the price ( < $90 on amazon) its worth the cost and patience.

26 thoughts on “Review: G-Box MX2 Android XBMC / Kodi Smart TV Player

  1. Reply Alberto Blanco Oct 16,2013 4:52 pm

    Nice review tony, you should make communicate with your indoor cycle trainer so it shows the watts your putting out while training for your next ironman race.

  2. Reply Catherine Gemmell Oct 16,2013 8:59 pm

    Another great review – thanks Tony. I found XBMC also has stability issues running under Windows…

  3. Reply China Electronics Mar 22,2014 1:55 pm

    I think these add-ons both for Video,Audio and misc. programs (like TV guides, games etc) add extra functionality to your xBMC setup. There’s no official store, but the Get Addons.

  4. Reply me Apr 22,2014 1:45 am

    Don’t get the gmouse flymote it will not turn the power off the function buttons do not work and when you type a key sometimes it will do it about 20 times extremely disappointed

  5. Reply Me May 22,2014 1:16 am

    My screen went small what do I press to get it big again

  6. Reply Me May 22,2014 1:17 am

    Screen went small how to fix

  7. Reply DDD May 23,2014 1:25 am

    I have sound with all the add-ons, but no video. Please help this layman.

    • Reply Tony B. May 25,2014 3:51 am

      This is an easy fix, you need to manually perform an upgrade here’s the general steps:
      1- Go to G-Box official site and download the latest firmware for your model. be sure its for your model (cpu chipset) …
      2- Place the firmware on an SD card and insert it into your device..
      3- Go via to the sytem upgrade option (not the OTA one) , the regular choose the system from the SD card option.
      4- Update your system.

      When you reboot check that video works right away, you may have to re-install all your plugins again but it will work.

  8. Reply Mary Jul 26,2014 8:47 am

    New Xbmc box. Remote will not go to Membership box for Netflix. I have already signed up through laptop but it keeps asking me to sign up again? I use the arrows and they work between email and password boxes but will not go to top of the screen. What am I missing?

  9. Reply michael Jul 27,2014 3:40 pm

    The GBox. Can it be use overseas? I’m try to watch live US channels.. but I was wondering if I can use an I.P address for another country like (Panama)

    • Reply Tony B. Oct 18,2014 3:52 am

      Yes, as long as you have decent high speed internet you can use the GX2 overseas. But as far as IP restriction go, it depends on what add-ons you are using, for example if you want to watch MLB.TV you may be restricted by IP region, many of the add-ons however do not have any such restriction.

  10. Reply Andrew Zwicker Aug 12,2014 8:03 am

    Thanks for sharing this information with us!!!The Android TV box is a smart box that allows consumers to surf internet on their television sets

  11. Reply Lucy Jan 24,2015 8:59 am

    Great Article, please help btw – what do the small arrows above the tabs in the internet browser indicate and how do you get rid of them?

  12. Reply Andrew A Apr 27,2015 4:56 pm

    I have an jellybean mx box I can no longer connect to wireless for some reason I put the password in for the wireless but will not connect. It works ok on wired What can I do?

    • Reply Tony B. Apr 28,2015 3:19 pm

      I would recommend these steps.
      – first is Jellybean approved from the manufacturer of the box? You can only install firmware supported by the MFG of the box, even thhough its android , each box has different hardware.
      – double check that your wifi connection /passowrd is still the same try to connect from another device to confirm
      – Go into Network Settings and choose Forget for the wifi settings and re-set it up
      – confirm that the wifi radio hardware works, you should see more than one network (assuming there is more than one)
      – More serious steps would be update and re-install android on the MX box, Google Firmware update Matricom, download the latest edition put it on an SD card and follow directions on Matricom site.

  13. Reply Marc Oct 26,2015 4:02 pm

    My remote doesn’t work properly when trying to navigate through the box. Some functions on the remote are actually controlling the my tv(westinghouse) and not the Android box. When I hit the menu button on the remote, it brings up a keypad, when I hit certain numbers on the remote, it controls the volume on the tv.

    Also the box seems to be locked, as if looking for a code / password to enter on a keypad.

  14. Reply Harry Jan 3,2016 2:01 am

    A very helpful review, thank you!
    I am in New Zealand, would the MX2 work here and provide me with the UK Freeview channels with the need for proxy IP addresses through my router?
    Kind regards

    • Reply Tony B. Jan 10,2016 11:25 am

      The MX2 is a bit dated now I would recommend Minix Adnroid TV boxes.. as for Free TV channels it depends on what channels your trying to receive, most commercial (legal) channels are typically restricted to certain regions due to IP and regional contracts, but that landscape is changing quickly. short answer look into something like the MINIX NEO X8-H

  15. Reply Sam Ng Oct 16,2016 10:15 am

    I understand Midnight GBox is considered outdated, which makes a lot of links and sources non-compatible, but if I still have to use it before acquiring a new box, which Kodi platform would run best for this old box? I am still using Frodo.

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  17. Reply Buy Droid Box Aug 9,2018 8:49 am

    An Android TV boxe uses the Android TV operating system. Because of this, you should be able to install the Kodi on the box in the case of minutes. The only thing you need to do is locate the box in the Google Play store.

    When you buy this box, you can take full advantage of all the things provided by Kodi. Even if you want to install skins, you will not experience any recession. Your box will be able to play all kinds of streaming files without any problems.

  18. Reply Jesse Dec 4,2020 2:09 pm

    As of 2020 this box is useless as far as fresh out of the box xbmc no repository works the whole thing is trash maby if you could update firmware but I doubt the hassle is worth it

    • Reply Tony B. Dec 9,2020 9:51 pm

      Correct, this article is very out of date.

    • Reply Tony B. Jan 25,2021 11:09 pm

      Yes, this is 7 years old, there’s nothing to update, most of the information is no longer relevant. The hardware is also very dated.. Short of using it for some low -end android apps or turning some dumb LCD TV into a slightly smarter TV .. not much else you can do..

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