In short: A new Android TV device called “Jetstream” has now shown up at Walmart priced at $69. In spite of the low price, the device seems to pack in a number of noteworthy features including 4K Ultra HD support, a Bluetooth and voice-enabled remote control with a dedicated Google Assistant button, and more.
Background: This is largely an unknown device although the listing makes it clear the device is manufactured by Ematic - a company that has already brought to market affordable devices such as its line of FunTab Android tablets. As a result it seems the company has now moved into the Android TV game. The company’s background alone helps to explain the low-cost of the product which based on the information provided in the listing should not be confused with Android boxes for the TV. As this seems to be a legit Android TV device which comes with the full and proper Android TV interface. Along with the initial spotting of the Walmart listing, this is a product that has also now been spotted as being advertised on Walmart store shelves, suggesting this might become a fully available product both online and in store. At present, however, the listing shows as "out of stock" which might mean it has yet to fully launch. As for some of the core specs, the Jetstream comes loaded with 8GB storage, is powered by an Amlogic quad-core ARM Cortex A53 CPU, with the Android TV version in use being Android 8.1 (Oreo).
Impact: Android TV at the ‘box’ level has become a scarce landscape due to a lack of new options arriving coupled with existing options having been phased out. Of the options that remain available, the NVIDIA SHIELD has become the go-to solution for many, while the Mi Box from Xiaomi remains more of an affordable option - in instances where it can still be found available. However the Mi Box has been plagued with issues over the last year or two including criticisms of being a poorly-supported device at the software level. Up until now, Walmart has remained the primary place to buy a Mi Box and the arrival of this new unit, and at the same price, could result in the Jetstream adopting the position of a direct replacement as the main and affordable gateway Android TV device.