MECOOL KD3 Android TV Stick Review for 2022 – Bonus Tips & Tricks

MECOOL KD3

This MECOOL KD3 Review was written by Troy from TROYPOINT after using the Android TV system on a regular basis for three days.

This streaming device was provided free of charge to TROYPOINT by MECOOL.  However, this review is unbiased and you will see that I point out both the good and bad regarding this Android TV Stick.  MECOOL did not have access to this post prior to publishing.

Below, you will find an in-depth review that will provide you with the information that you need prior to purchasing.

You will also find a setup video where I show you some valuable tips and tricks regarding the KD3.

MECOOL KD3 Android TV Stick

The MECOOL KD3 Android TV Stick comes with 2GB RAM and 8GB ROM (storage).

It’s important to point out that this device is running Android TV 11 and not stock Android like many of the generic boxes use.

Read about the differences between Android TV and Stock Android here

MECOOL KD3 with Remote


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The MECOOL KD3 is Netflix and Google certified.  This means that you will be able to play Netflix in HD and take full advantage of all Google features such as Google Assistant and Google Cast.

This Android TV Stick also works great with Amazon Prime Video.

We haven’t seen a fully certified streaming device like this from MECOOL since their popular KM2 Android TV Box.

The MECOOL KD3 is running Google TV OS on top of Android TV 11, includes a new low-power CPU, and comes with an Android TV remote control.

Yes, this device is running the full-blown Google TV OS which I’ve only seen on the Chromecast with Google TV.

There is no doubt that MECOOL is trying to compete against the popular Amazon Fire TV Stick with the new design of the KD3.

MECOOL KD3 Review

MECOOL KD3 Features at a Glance

  • Netflix and Google Certified, supports Netflix 4K streaming
  • Supports AV1
  • Energy saving S905Y4 CPU
  • Runs Google TV OS on top of Android TV 11
  • Can expand storage and add accessories via OTG cable
  • Google Assistant supports smart home technology and offers nice voice interaction
  • Chromecast built-in to easily allow casting photos, videos, and music from phone, tablet, laptop to TV
  • Supports HDR10, HDR10+, HLG HDR processing
  • Light and portable

Use coupon code TROYPOINT at checkout for 10% discount.

This new device will begin shipping at the end of this week.

MECOOL KD3 Official Website & Purchasing Options

Energy-Saving Amlogic S905Y4 Processor

One big difference from other MECOOL Android TV Boxes is the inclusion of the Amlogic S905Y4 Processor.

Yes, this is a budget CPU but its advanced power-saving feature is something to note.

This processor is known for its powerful output yet low-power consumption which will save in electricity costs.

MECOOL KD3 Low power CPU

AV1 Supported

The MECOOL KD3 supports AV1 Video (AOMedia Video 1) which also appears in their other products listed below.

MECOOL KD2

MECOOL KM6

MECOOL KM 7

MECOOL KT1

This is an open, royalty-free video coding format designed for video transmissions over the Internet.

Some online streaming applications now deliver their content in this format and this Android TV stick is capable of playing it.

In the future, we will see more streaming applications stream in AV1 as opposed to H 265, etc.  Soon, it will probably be the industry standard.

It’s good to look for this standard on any new streaming device that you purchase.

AV1 Media Codec

MECOOL KD3 Running Android TV 11

The Android TV operating system is meant for the television and it’s great to see MECOOL embrace this.

Android TV is notably found on the NVIDIA Shield, Chromecast with Google TV, Dynalink Android TV Box, and TiVo Stream 4K as well.

Most of the generic Android TV Boxes run Stock Android and the apps aren’t optimized for the TV screen.  Yes, we can side-load some of them onto those devices but Android TV Google Play Store provides access to all applications meant for the Television.

MECOOL KD3 with Android TV 11

The inclusion of Android TV into its boxes is what makes this device shine in my opinion.  You get many of the benefits of the NVIDIA Shield at a much lower price.

Google Assistant is built into Android TV so you will enjoy hands-free access to many features on this Android TV Box.

Google Assistant

Google Cast is supported so you can easily push the contents on your phone, tablet, or computer to the big screen.

Google Cast built in

Use coupon code TROYPOINT at checkout for 10% discount.

This new device will begin shipping at the end of this week.

MECOOL KD3 Official Website & Purchasing Options

Expand Internal Storage

As with most other MECOOL Android TV devices, you can expand internal storage on the KD3 as well.  This will allow you to install apps onto a USB flash drive.

To do this, you need an OTG cable so you can connect a USB drive to the stick.

You can purchase the OTG cable directly through MECOOL or Amazon.

OTG Cable through MECOOL

OTG Cable through Amazon

MECOOL even adds this as an option when choosing your configuration for the device during checkout.  You can add an OTG cable, USB drive or both.

There’s not doubt that MECOOL recognizes the need for additional storage and they make it easy to purchase everything that you need to do this.

MECOOL KD3 Checkout

Here are the steps that will allow you to expand internal storage on the MECOOL KD3.

1 Click Settings.

Click Settings

2 Hover over System.

Hover over System

3 Hover over About.

Hover over About

4 Click Android TV OS build 7 times.  Once you do that, you will see a message indicating that you are now a Developer.

Click Build 7 times

5 Click the back button and then click Developer Options.

Click Developer Options

6 Turn on Force allow apps on external.

Click Force allow apps on external to turn on

7 Connect OTG Cable and USB Drive to MECOOL KD3 and power back on.  In this tutorial I’m using a 256GB SandDisk 3.0 USB Drive.

MECOOL KD3 with OTG Cable and USB Drive

8 You should see the USB drive listed under Settings panel.  If not, unplug drive, and then plug back into OTG cable. Click the USB drive.  If still having problems try formatting your drive as FAT32 with this tutorial.

Click SanDisk USB Drive

9 Click Set up as device storage.

Click Set up as device storage

10 Click Format.

Click Format

11 Click Move later

Click Move later

From now forward, all applications that I install will be added to the USB drive.  I can also go into each application through settings and move apps to and from the USB drive if I would like.  Apps that come pre-loaded on the device won’t be eligible to be moved to external storage.

Move apps to USB

I suggest running apps that require more resources on internal storage such as my VPN and Kodi.

Can’t Forget USB Drive

One problem I’m seeing with the USB external setup is that some of my past drives are still showing on the storage screen.  Typically you can click these devices and then “Forget” them so they will disappear from the list.  If I click one of these items, it kicks back to the home screen.

This is what MECOOL KD3 looks like.  As you can see, there is no option to “Forget” the abandoned storage devices.

Can't get rid of SanDisk USB drive

This is what Chromecast with Google TV looks like.  You will see that there is an option to Forget this device storage.

MECOOL KD3 Forget Storage

Let’s hope MECOOL fixes this in a future update.

I suggest avoiding expanding external storage unless you have so many apps installed that it’s absolutely necessary.  It just seems that over time you will encounter problems associated with this type of setup.

Keep in mind, you can always connect external storage to store movies, TV shows, images, videos, etc. and you don’t need to expand internal storage to take advantage of that.  Just install a file manager such as X-Plore through Google Play and you will be good to go.

You can also use the OTG cable for other purposes such as connecting an Ethernet hub such as the one pictured below.

Ethernet Hub

Use coupon code TROYPOINT at checkout for 10% discount.

This new device will begin shipping at the end of this week.

MECOOL KD3 Official Website & Purchasing Options

Netflix & Amazon Prime Video

Most generic Android TV Boxes don’t support HD video in either Netflix or Amazon Prime Video.

Maybe we shouldn’t be referring to MECOOL as a generic Android TV Box manufacturer anymore?

Thankfully, Netflix and Amazon Prime Video works in full HD on the MECOOL KD3 and it comes pre-installed.

Can’t Uninstall Netflix or Amazon Prime Video

One strange thing I noticed is that both Netflix and Amazon Prime Video are baked into the MECOOL KD3, meaning you can’t uninstall these two applications.

I’m wondering if they are using some sort of loophole for certification of these two applications.  I personally don’t use either of these services very much and it would be nice to free up some valuable space on the internal storage of this device.

MECOOL KD3 works with Netflix and Amazon Prime Video

Side-loading Applications on the MECOOL KD3

I used the TROYPOINT App with the Rapid App Installer and installed all of the most popular APKs and my favorite IPTV service.

All of the side-loaded apps that I installed worked great with no problems whatsoever.

The Amlogic S905Y4 processor does an excellent job playing HD quality video, including 4K content.

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3rd Party Launchers Work

Yes, 3rd party launchers such as Wolf Launcher work great on the MECOOL KD3.

Wolf Launcher on MECOOL KD3

Many of you are looking for a Firestick replacement since Amazon shut down the ability to run custom launchers.

I’m happy to report that the KD3 works great with 3rd party launchers in conjunction with Launcher Manager.

MECOOL KD3 Remote Control

The quality of the remote control has become an extremely important aspect of these various streaming devices.

MECOOL KD3 Remote Control

The MECOOL KD3 comes with a remote control specifically dedicated to the Android TV operating system.

It also includes four shortcuts to popular applications such as YouTube, Netflix, Prime Video, and Disney+.

This remote allows you to control the volume and power on your television as well.  When going through the setup process, you will be presented with a wizard that will get the remote connected to your TV.

I like the remote and the fact that we can control our TV is a huge plus.

Use coupon code TROYPOINT at checkout for 10% discount.

This new device will begin shipping at the end of this week.

MECOOL KD3 Official Website & Purchasing Options

Gaming

I paired my NVIDIA Shield game controller with the MECOOL KD3 and tested some of the more popular games.

I didn’t experience any lag and the game performance was excellent on this Android TV Box.

MECOOL KM3 Gaming

The ability to expand internal storage (mentioned above) should appeal to gamers if they run out of space to hold all of their games.

One game can quickly reduce your storage by 1 GB or more.

MECOOL KD3 Download Speeds

I used Analiti Speed test app for the following tests.

I have 1 GB Fiber download speed plan through my Internet Service Provider.

During the WiFi tests, I am connected to the 5Ghz band on my Asus AC3100 Router.  This router resides in the same room as my MECOOL KD3  (approximately 20 feet away from wireless router).

I’m using IPVanish VPN as my VPN on Chicago Server 04 (chi-a04).

MECOOL KD3 Download Speeds

WiFi Download Speeds

VPN Off: Download = 381 Mbps & Upload = 96 Mbps

VPN On: Download = 85 Mbps & Upload = 68 Mbps

MECOOL KD3 Specs

  • CPU: 64-bit quad-core ARM® Cortex™ A35
  • GPU: ARM G31™ MP2
  • SDRAM: 2GB LPDDR4
  • Onboard Storage: 8GB EMMC
  • WiFi: 2.4G/5G 2T2R 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
  • Bluetooth: 5.0
  • Operating System: Google TV based on Android TV 11
  • Video Decoder: AV1 [email protected] up to [email protected], VP9 Profile-2 up to [email protected], H.265 HEVC [email protected] up to [email protected], AVS2-P2 Profile up to [email protected], H.264 AVC [email protected] up to [email protected]
  • Video Formats:
    • 4:3 and 16:9 aspect ratio
    • 480i, 480p, 576i, 576p, 720p, 1080i
    • 1080p 24, 1080p 30, 1080p 60
    • 4K X 2Kp 30, 4K X 2Kp 60
    • HEVC H.265
    • MPEG-4, [email protected], [email protected] profiles
    • AV1, VC-1/VP8/VP9, HDR10, HDR10+, HLG
  • Audio Formats:
    • 32KHz to 192KHz sample rates
    • MPEG Audio Layers 1, 2, &3, MPEG-4 Audio, AAC LC, AAC LC + SBR Level 2, AAC 5.1
    • HE AAC Level 2 & Level 4
    • Dolby Digital MS12, Atmos Passthrough
  • Interface: 1 X HDMI Out (19 PIN male HDMI 2.1) , 1 X Micro USB port for DC In, 1 X LED White indicator
  • Product Size: 92.5 X 29.5 X 14.5mm

Major Differences Between MECOOL KD3 & Chromecast with Google TV

As mentioned earlier in this review, the KD3 reminds me of the Chromecast with Google TV.  The main reason for this is because it is using the same Google TV operating system.

So, the question is whether you should buy a MECOOL KD3 or Chromecast with Google TV?

There are a lot of similarities but here are the major differences that I see.

Android 11

The new MECOOL KD3 comes equipped with Android TV 11 whereas the Chromecast with Google TV currently still uses Android TV 10.

You would think that this is a big deal but it really isn’t.  I don’t see any glaring difference between Android TV 10 / 11 on these devices.

I personally never get too hung up on the version of Android that these streaming devices run on.

No Winner – All Square

Peripherals

It’s easier connecting peripheral devices such as USB storage, Ethernet hubs, etc. to the MECOOL KD3.

The KD3 uses a Micro-USB connection for power therefore we can use an inexpensive OTG cable to connect accessories.

The Chromecast with Google TV uses a USB-C connection for power so we must use a specific USB-C hub as not all of them work with the device.  This is also more expensive than purchasing a $5 OTG cable.

Winner = MECOOL KD3

Download/Upload Speed

Both the MECOOL KD3 and Chromecast with Google TV have comparable download/upload speeds.

No Winner – All Square

Future Updates

There is no doubt that you will see more frequent updates from Google for the Chromecast with Google TV.  Unfortunately, we haven’t see many updates from MECOOL for their existing devices.

Winner = Chromecast with Google TV

AV1 Support

The MECOOL KD3 does support the new AV1 codec and the Chromecast with Google TV does not.

Winner = MECOOL KD3

Price

MECOOL KD3 = $56.70 with “TROYPOINT” coupon code.

Chromecast with Google TV = $49.99

Winner = Chromecast with Google TV

If I had to choose between the MECOOL KD3 and Chromecast with Google TV, it’s extremely close, but I would personally choose the Chromecast.  We’re going to get more updates with the Chromecast with Google TV and I don’t see the bugs on that device that I currently do with the MECOOL KD3.

But, if you’re someone who needs a better way to connect peripherals such as USB drives, Ethernet hubs, etc. I would lean toward the MECOOL KD3 due to OTG cable support.

If MECOOL would have added additional internal storage, this would be a no-brainer and I would choose the KD3.  More on this in my conclusion at the bottom of this review.

Important Note:  Google is expected to release a new Chromecast with Google TV model in 2022.  Recent rumors indicate more internal storage and support for the AV1 codec.  So, if you’re thinking about buying one of these you may want to hold off and see what the next few months bring.  Hopefully, we don’t need to wait until the holidays to see this new streaming device!

What’s In The Box

  • 1 x KD3 TV Dongle
  • 1 x Power Adapter with micro USB cable
  • 1 x HDMI extender
  • 1 x IR+BT Voice Remote Control
  • 1 x User Manual

What I Like

  • Android TV 11 Operating System
  • Plays 4K video smoothly
  • Supports Netflix at full resolution
  • Supports Amazon Prime Video at full resolution
  • Can connect peripherals via OTG Cable
  • Expandable storage
  • New Power-saving CPU
  • Fast download speeds with VPN on & off
  • Small form factor, perfect for hiding behind TVs or taking on the road

What I Dislike

  • No support for WiFi 6
  • No USB Port
  • Small 8GB onboard storage
  • Can’t forget past external storage devices (bug)
  • Can’t uninstall Netflix or Amazon Prime Video
  • Shipping usually takes approximately 2 weeks to United States from MECOOL
  • Limited support
  • MECOOL doesn’t usually issue future updates

Final Thoughts on the MECOOL KD3 Android TV Box

I like the MECOOL KD3 and you will see that I have given it a strong rating below.

But, I wish these manufacturers would produce something that is better than what we currently have on the market.  As mentioned earlier, the KD3 is extremely similar to the Chromecast with Google TV.

The biggest complaint about devices such as this is the amount of internal storage.  It would be great to see a streaming stick get at least 32 GB of internal storage and 4 GB of RAM.  Do something better than what’s currently on the market.

It seems that these technology companies simply try to keep up with their competitors rather than beating them.

Do I like this better than the Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K Max?  Yes I do.  Now that Amazon is pushing  out updates to block 3rd party launchers, I’m starting to give up on them.  What will they take away from us in the next Firestick update?

The MECOOL KD3 is a nice streaming device, especially for those who want to expand its capabilities with accessories through an OTG cable.

Use coupon code TROYPOINT at checkout for 10% discount.

This new device will begin shipping at the end of this week.

MECOOL KD3 Official Website & Purchasing Options

I rate the MECOOL KD3 Android TV Box 4.4 stars out of 5

Our Score

MECOOL KD3 Setup Video with Tips and Tricks

This page includes affiliate links where TROYPOINT may receive a commission at no extra cost to you. Many times, you will receive a discount due to the special arrangements made for our visitors. I will never promote something that I personally don't use or recommend. Purchasing through my links directly supports TROYPOINT which keeps the content and tools coming. Thank you!


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8 thoughts on “MECOOL KD3 Android TV Stick Review for 2022 – Bonus Tips & Tricks”

  1. My own personal quick record of this compared directly with the chromecast with google tv:-
    1-KD3 if actually much snappier,and, way more responsive,than the chromecast – don’t ask me why.
    2-I had an issue specifically with HDR on my tv. Chromecast enabled HDR by default, however KD3, enabled only SDR, and, had a greyed out box for HDR, telling me my tv didn’t support this.
    3-KD3 gets very HOT whilst using. I was actually shocked at how got it was after only 30-40 mins of setting up.
    4-I’m unsure of the SAR ratings for either product, but I noticed when using Chromecast, i started getting a headache, after an hour of use.
    5-KD3 remote is way easier to use, as opposed to the Chromecast.

    If KD3 had a decent way of dissipating the heat, and, didn’t disable HDR – which I works on my TV, then I would recommend it, as it seems much quicker, and, way more responsive. However, because of the picture quality SDR, and, heat issues – unless you have a fan nearby – I would suggest sticking with the Chromecast for now.

  2. I use a Shield on my livingroom TV but needed a new device for my bedroom to replace my aging Mecool running Android 7. I think that Mecool is the best of the Chinese boxes. Mine was purchased in, I think, 2016. It was replaced by the Shield and moved to the bedroom. It is still working flawlessly but it’s age was concerning me. The Google TV is too expensive for Canadians if you need additional storage. The cheapest compatible USB C hub was around $70. I opted for a Fire stick. Since a new Google TV is coming out, I will wait to see the specs. Otherwise, I will probably buy this Mecool stick and gift the Firestick to someone in need. The old Mecool is going to be recycled into a retro gaming machine. It won’t need constant internet access.

  3. Website doesn’t work if you use a VPN? I hate doofy websites that block VPNs….esp when the product is very related to that very idea, LOL!

  4. It really ticked me that Amazon stop allowing use of 3rd party launchers. However, I am not quite ready to replace all the Firesticks quite yet until more someone comes out with a device with more storage. Then AMF firestick.

  5. Hmmm, Nice review, but when I tried to buy one, I found that if I had IPVanish running on my PC’s or Laptops, I could not get to the Mecool website, but if I turned off IPVanish I could get there. I can get to this site (Troypoint.com) and others while running IPVanish without any issues. I then tried NordVPN and I COULD get there without any issues. I tried this on 3 different PC’s and had the same results, so if you want to buy the device, well, you know what you have to do to get to the site. I suspect IPVanish must have a DNS Problem at the moment.

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