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Onn Pro 4K 05
Lanh Nguyen / Android Authority
Walmart onn 4K Pro

Is the Onn 4K Pro actually a better deal than the Chromecast with Google TV?

Is the new Onn 4K Pro really a better deal than Chromecast with Google TV? Yes, with some caveats.
By

Published onJune 1, 2024

Walmart onn 4K Pro

Walmart onn 4K Pro

The Onn 4K Pro is a very impressive Chromecast 4K competitor. The USB ports allow you to hook up gamepads, webcams, and other accessories. Meanwhile, hands-free voice commands make it easier than ever to control the UI. There are also useful additions, like a remote finder and a customizable shortcut button on the remote. The only catch is this is a Walmart store brand which means its long-term reliability and support might be a bit hit-and-miss, but out of the box, Onn’s new streamer is almost everything anyone could want from a value-tier Google/Android TV-powered media device.

What we like

Exceptional value
Hands-free voice control
Lost remote finder
Smooth performance
USB port adds a lot of extra functionality

What we don't like

Questionable long-term reliability
Build materials feel a bit cheap
Has to be kept visible
Walmart onn 4K Pro

Walmart onn 4K Pro

The Onn 4K Pro is a very impressive Chromecast 4K competitor. The USB ports allow you to hook up gamepads, webcams, and other accessories. Meanwhile, hands-free voice commands make it easier than ever to control the UI. There are also useful additions, like a remote finder and a customizable shortcut button on the remote. The only catch is this is a Walmart store brand which means its long-term reliability and support might be a bit hit-and-miss, but out of the box, Onn’s new streamer is almost everything anyone could want from a value-tier Google/Android TV-powered media device.

I’ve used virtually every major streaming platform over the years but ultimately I settled on Android TV as my platform of choice. While it isn’t perfect, it suits my needs well, and I love that I can switch between using the streamer with a remote or casting content from my Android phone. For the past few years, we’ve been a Chromecast with Google TV family. That changes with the arrival of the Onn 4K Pro.

The Onn 4K Pro packs a ton of features unavailable on the Chromecast with Google TV, and yet it retails for the same price. But is the Onn 4K Pro really a better deal than the Chromecast with Google TV? Based on my time with it so far, I think that for many, the answer will be yes. But before you run out and buy it, you need to fully understand what you’re getting into with a value brand product like this.

Update (6/2/24): Regrettably I had an error in the original piece claiming the Onn 4K Pro didn’t have Dolby or Atmos. This was actually an issue with my TV it turns out. I couldn’t get it to activate and assumed that it didn’t have support, as some earlier Onn models also lacked this functionality. The box did clearly mark this, sadly I apparently didn’t have the foresight to read the box. My apologies for any confusion this caused.

Should you trust a product from Onn?

There tends to be a bit of a stigma when it comes to buying store brands, at least for some consumers. The truth is that brand can matter. Not all store brands are created equally. Thankfully, Onn is one of the better choices out there. I’ve bought a fair share of Onn products over the years, including keyboards, cables, USB hubs, the original 4K Onn, power banks, car chargers — well you get the idea! Overall my experience has been a positive one, as evidenced by the fact I keep buying their products.

Just be aware that value brands cut corners to save money and that can lead to some very real downsides:

  • They just aren't built to last. Onn prioritizes mass production over quality control. These products may last the whole one or two-year period included in their limited warranties, but after that, it can vary depending on the product category or even luck. Their accessories tend to last as long as any major brand, but more complex devices like TVs can be hit or miss.
  • Consistency can be an issue. You can buy three of the same Onn products and walk away with a different experience. For example, I bought two Onn keyboards. The first broke in a few months of standard use. I replaced it with a second one, the same exact model, and it's still going years later. I also have a family member with an Onn TV who had to return it for another just three months after buying it. The replacement set was covered under warranty, though, and is now well over five years old.
  • They make value products, and this can show. Onn saves money where it can. That includes cheaper build materials, less cutting-edge designs, and so on. It's also possible you'll run into weird bugs and other issues with an Onn product you wouldn't have necessarily encountered with a more expensive rival brand.

What can the Pro 4K do that Chromecast can’t?

Onn Pro 4K 10
Lanh Nguyen / Android Authority

There’s a lot of overlap between these two products, but the Onn 4K Pro has a few tricks up its virtual sleeve you won’t find with Google’s streaming device.

First, the Onn 4K Pro supports optional hands-free voice control, which can be toggled on or off in the settings. This is an improvement over the Chromecast with Google TV, where you must press a button on the remote to activate Google Assistant. The voice control is especially useful for quickly pausing or unpausing media without searching for the remote first — essential in my loud and chaotic home where the remote often goes missing. Thankfully, the Onn 4K Pro can also locate the remote by just asking Google to find it, and I tested it out and found it worked throughout my 1,400-square-foot house. For me personally, one of the most disappointing things about the Chromecast with Google TV was the lack of a remote finder, so this is a major plus.

The Onn 4K Pro can locate the remote by just asking Google to find it.

While Google might add hands-free microphone support and a remote finder to future Chromecast models, it is less likely to ever include a USB 3.0 port, keeping its products simple and mainstream-friendly. Unlike the Chromecast, the Onn 4K Pro comes with true USB support, allowing more complex uses right out of the box. It excels at displaying local media from external drives and USB thumbsticks, seamlessly integrating with apps like VLC for playback.

Onn Pro 4K 11
Lanh Nguyen / Android Authority

I also tested a webcam, which functioned adequately, although the frame rates were not impressive in the few voice calls I tried. Some of this might be down to driver/hardware support, so your mileage may vary. Still, this webcam would be good enough to use as a DVR/security setup. Keyboards, mice, and USB controllers also worked well. I had no problem navigating streaming services like Netflix or the Google TV UI using a keyboard. I was even able to hook up a USB hub and get a mouse and keyboard working together.

Unlike the Chromecast, the Onn 4K Pro comes with true USB support, allowing more complex uses right out of the box.

The Onn 4K Pro boasts more robust hardware than the Chromecast with Google TV, featuring an Amlogic S905X4 SoC and providing 3GB of RAM and 32GB of storage. Meanwhile, the Chromecast with Google TV family has just 8GB of storage. The HD variant has an Amlogic S905X2 and 1.5GB of RAM, while the 4K model upgrades slightly to an Amlogic S905X3 with 2GB of RAM.

This extra capacity and RAM make a significant difference in performance, with smoother transitions and less lag when navigating the UI, loading apps, and more. You also don’t have to aggressively manage your apps and services for those that either have a ton of streaming services or like to add apps and games from the Play Store or third-party sources.

Onn Pro 4K 02
Lanh Nguyen / Android Authority

I didn’t dive deep into gaming, but in the future, I definitely want to test it out to see how well it handles things like sideloaded emulators and other advanced use cases to see how it handles. I did load up several games through Google Play and found that they worked as well, or often better, than they did on my Chromecast. I also appreciated that my physical Xbox remote worked great with the free USB slot for games with support.

Finally, the Onn 4K Pro remote includes a new ‘Magic’ button, currently exclusive to Onn, which can be customized to control various inputs or act as a shortcut to any installed app. This feature is a useful addition that enhances the user experience. It’s also pretty much guaranteed this feature will arrive on the next-gen Chromecast and other Google TV devices later this year.

The first time you hit the button it will give you the choice between letting it control your inputs for a TV or Soundbar. Conversely, you can select any app installed on the device to turn the button into a physical shortcut. You can change the option at any time by pressing and holding the Star button. I really love this addition and hope someday we can get official or even third-party remotes with multiple Magic buttons.

Is there anything the Chromecast with Google TV does better?

Onn Pro 4K 06
Lanh Nguyen / Android Authority

The Onn 4K Pro offers many improvements over the Chromecast with Google TV, but are there any unique benefits to the Chromecast? On paper, no. Build quality does remain an advantage, however.

The Onn 4K Pro remote is functional, featuring multiple shortcuts, a Star button, and built-in remote finding functionality. However, the plastic feels cheap, and the buttons have a stiffer clicking sensation compared to the Chromecast remote. My remote lacks backlighting, though some models do have it, and Walmart indicates that eventually, all units will include backlighting. I do like the bigger size of the Onn remote, though. Additionally, the Chromecast remote might feel nice in the hand, but it’s a lot more slippery on the downside.

The Onn hardware looks and feels a bit cheaper, lacking the polish and refinement of the Chromecast. The simple mesh-covered box isn’t unattractive but does remind me of generic smart devices from five-plus years ago. This matters more with the Onn as well, as the hands-free functionality requires the device to be out in the open so the microphone can pick up your voice.

As mentioned at the start of this article, it’s important to remember Onn is a value brand, and its products typically aren’t built with longevity or reliability in mind. While I haven’t encountered any issues myself, during my final drafting phase, I checked online for any prevalent problems that maybe I hadn’t noticed. For the most part, there were none, but I did find some complaints about voice commands not always registering and occasional issues with audio volume randomly decreasing. These kind of problems are obviously just as possible from brands like Google, but value brand products tend to definitely show more flaws as they age.

It’s important to remember Onn is a value brand, and the Chromecast still has some quality control advantages.

The good news is that Onn has been proactive in updating its hardware to fix bugs in earlier models, so you can likely expect similar support for the 4K Pro. Just remember that this will only fix software problems, though. The use of cheaper components means some problems will eventually occur due simply to wear and tear.

Onn 4K Pro review: Should you buy Walmart’s Google TV box over the Chromecast?

Onn Pro 4K 12
Lanh Nguyen / Android Authority

For most users, I would recommend the Onn 4K Pro over the currently available options. However, there are some exceptions.

I would suggest buying the Onn 4K Pro if you want a device with extensive functionality and the ability to tinker, all while spending about the same as you would on a more basic streaming stick like the Chromecast with Google TV HD ($23 at Amazon) or 4K ($35.55 at Amazon).

If price is not a concern and you’re looking for a powerful tinkering and gaming device that also meets your streaming needs, the aging NVIDIA Shield ($199 at Amazon) can perform many of the same functions but with better gaming support and even more power under the hood despite its age. Just be aware it lacks the hands-free microphone system.

Are you buying Walmart's onn 4K Pro Google TV streaming device?

1660 votes

If you’re disappointed that the Chromecast with Google TV lacks many of these advanced features but don’t want to pay more or are unsure about the Onn brand, it might be worth waiting.

It’s quite possible that the rumored next-gen Chromecast with Google TV will be released soon. Rumors suggest it will likely be priced similarly to its predecessor and could incorporate most of the new features found on the Onn 4K Pro, except for the USB 3.0 port. The Chromecast with Google TV 2024 would then be a better choice for those who don’t need the USB port and prefer the polish, refinement, and support expected from a larger brand.

Walmart onn 4K ProWalmart onn 4K Pro
AA Editor's Choice
Walmart onn 4K Pro
Exceptional value • Lost remote finder • USB port adds a lot of extra functionality
MSRP: $49.88
The best affordable Google TV streaming box not made by Google.
The Onn 4K Pro packs a ton of features unavailable on the Chromecast with Google TV, including a lost remote finder, improved performance, and a USB port, and yet it retails for the same price!
See price at Walmart
Walmart onn 4K Pro Android TV streaming device

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