Is Google Chromecast 2015 Worth It?

In 2013, Google introduced its Chromecast- a media-streaming device that plugs into the HDMI port of a TV unit. Just last year, it launched its newest Chromecast in the form of the Chromecast 2 or Chromecast 2015.

In this time of innovation when anything and everything could be done through the power of the Internet and wireless connection, is it best to have your very own Chromecast 2015? Let’s find out with this review.

Design

From its predecessor’s flash drive-look, it now presents a simple design using a puck-like appearance with a circumference roughly the size of can of soda. Its exact size is 2.04 x 2.04 x 0.53 inches, which can fit in the palm of your hand.

When plugged in, the device is hanging through the 3 to 4 cm cable that connects the HDMI socket to the device itself. If your HDMI port is located at the side of your TV unit and you’re into being organized and neat, then there’s a big chance that the hanging Chromecast 2015 would be an eye sore although this does not entirely affect the performance. On the other hand, the 3 to 4 cm cable could also allow flexibility, especially if the HDMI ports are positioned at the back of the TV unit with the power adapter placed in its side, too.

As mentioned above, the AC power adapter uses the microUSB input, which allows you to power Chromecast 2015 off your TV’s USB ports (if it has them).

For its price, the overall build of the Chromecast 2015 is said to be excellent. The main device is made of plastic while its HDMI connector and 3 to 4 cm USB and microUSB cable are rubberised, which are all well put together that aids in ease of use.

Chromecast 2015 comes in three distinct colors: black, coral, and lemonade, and this offer the options most users crave for these days.

Overall, while the device’s design appears to be well thought of, the varying ideas about its new puck-like appearance with to its 3 to 4 cm cable puts the current Chromecast at 4/5 for this aspect.

Essentials

 To fully use the Chromecast 2015, an Internet source, preferably via Wi-Fi router is needed. If you were using a good router, then you’d appreciate the device’s 802.11ac networks including the 5GHz frequency band (also on 802.11n). With these, a better range and connection speeds could be observed, which should translate into faster buffering and smoother playback. Others have suggested that to have the optimum connectivity, try using a wired Ethernet adapter that has the same microUSB port as the power input if using a router nearby.

Unfortunately, the device only has 256 MB of memory, which in this day and age is almost the same as nothing. Thus, only a couple of apps could be saved.

The networks used appear compelling, but the limited memory can’t be set aside. Thus, for the essentials, Chromecast 2015 gets 3/5.

Performance

Similar to its predecessor, using Chromecast 2015 is simple. Plug this into your TV’s HDMI port, connect to your home’s Wi-Fi network, and this should act as a portal for the content on your handheld devices to be seen or mirrored onto your TV. So, if you’re watching news in your mobile phone, this could be shown in the TV unit, too. This process is called “casting.”

By using the Chromecast 2015, handheld devices resources aren’t dominated by streaming tasks and battery life doesn’t take much of a hit.

Notably, the new Chromecast provides a better performance than its predecessor. For instance, videos are loading faster, and crashing is less, especially when using apps, such as Netflix and YouTube. Moreover, songs switch are done with less dead air while using music channels, such as Spotify.

All of these run off a simplified version of Google’s Chrome OS.

Given that it’s still simple to use and how it is now faster, Chromecast 2015 deserves 5/5 this time.

Special Features

Chromecast 2015’s catalog of special features is next to nothing, but it has introduced a longer list of Google Cast–ready apps. These are the apps compatible with the device that can be installed in your handheld devices, which when used could be mirrored in the Chromecast 2015 (contents wise). Among the most notable Google Cast–ready apps are Allcast, Vudu and Crackle, Showtime and Showtime Anytime, Hulu, HBO Go and HBO Go Now, Watch ESPN, and Sling TV among others.

When talking about the price, Chromecast 2015 is way cheaper than its competitors. Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick, Roku 3 and Roku Streaming Stick are sold at $99 while the new Apple TV is priced at $149.

The Verdict

In general, while Chromecast 2015 has minor issues with its new design, it is overall good. Yet, it still falls under the “basic” catergory for media-streaming devices, especially in terms of performance and features. But this is justifiably fine considering that it is sold only for $39. If you’re buying for the first time, you might want to try this, as this would be a good gateway to media-streaming devices. However, if your expectations is on the higher level when it comes to performance and features, then Chromecast 2015 may appear lacking for you. So is Chromecast 2015 worth it for you? Let me know in the comments section!

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