Google Nexus Player review: a strong, but flawed, introduction to Android TV

Google has been trying to get into the living room for a long time, but it hasn’t always worked out. The Google TV platform it launched four years ago never really took off and the curiously shaped Nexus Q was so beleaguered by its limited functions and high price that it didn’t stand a chance. Last year, however, Google finally managed to get a taste of success with the Chromecast, an inexpensive video-streaming dongle that was so simple it eschewed the need for a remote control or dedicated UI. Almost too simple, some would say — you still need another device lying around to cast content to it and the lack of a UI means it’s not quite as user-friendly as a Roku or an Apple TV.






  • Voice search is simple and intuitive
  • Simple card-based interface
  • Google Cast gives it Chromecast-like features


  • Limited storage
  • Search results are limited to Google-related content sources
  • Buggy software
  • Chintzy remote
  • No Ethernet port
SUMMARY The Nexus Player is a great, if imperfect, introductory showcase for Android TV. It doesn’t have an Ethernet port and suffers from a few bugs, but Android TV’s simple interface, intelligent voice search and Google Cast abilities more than make up for it.

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