Google's Nexus Player streaming box has launched in the UK costing £79, where it will go head-to-head with Amazon's Fire TV, Apple TV and of course the company's own Chromecast streaming dongle.
Nexus Player Specs
- Intel Atom processor
- 1GB RAM
- 8GB storage
- Android 5.0 (Lollipop)
- HDMI, Micro USB
- 235g, 20mm
- Remote with Voice Search
- Price as reviewed: £80
Built by Asus, the Nexus Player is a hockey puck-shaped device that connects to your TV and smartphone, and allows you stream content from Google's own Play Store, YouTube, Netflix and a range of other apps and services.
The set-top box also allows users to "cast" content from smartphones, tablets and laptops in the same way the Chromecast does but the big selling points of the Nexus Player are its gaming capabilities and voice search that allows you to find content by speaking into the remote.
To make the most of the games on offer, Asus is selling a Bluetooth controller for £35 that looks and feels a lot like an Xbox 360 controller.
The Nexus Player is the first device available in the UK to run Google's Android TV interface, which replaces the failed Google TV platform. Android TV is based on Android 5.0 (Lollipop) and, like the mobile operating system, has a clean and easy-to-navigate interface.
Google is entering an increasingly crowded market with Amazon going in the opposite direction by launching a smaller version of its Fire TV, with the Fire TV Stick launching in the UK in April and costing £35.
Apple recently dropped the price of its Apple TV to just £59 and is said to be preparing to launch a refreshed model at its Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) in June.
However, the biggest challenge to the Nexus Player is likely to come from Google's own £30 dongle, the Chromecast, which has proved hugely popular since it launched over 18 months ago.
The Nexus Player is available now from the company's new online Google Store as well as from high-street retailers Currys, PC World, Amazon, Argos and John Lewis.