When I had my first Minix Neo X7 I was happy with it. Then I discovered that there is another type of Minix Neo X7 and that mine was merely the mini version. Which one is better and why? I will try to make things clear in this article.

Let’s start with the similarity: They are both quad core, 1.6GHz processor, 2GB RAM, Android 4.2.2, WiFi 802.11, Bluetooth 4.0, RJ45, HDMI, micro USB/OTG, SD card slot, antenna (on all the big boxes and on some of the mini boxes) and IR remote control.
Minix Neo X7 vs. Minix Neo X7 mini
What’s the difference? The big box (in size) has 16GB ROM, while the mini box has only 8GB; the big box has 3 USB ports while the mini has only 2; the big box has an on/off button, while the mini doesn’t have one (which is an advantage – since the device turns itself on after power failure) – but that’s not an issue, since you can jumper the big box to auto power on; the price of the big box is around 130 USD while the price of the mini is around 95 USD.

So, basically, except the double ROM size and the 30 – 35 % difference in the price, is there any other difference?
Actually, there is. There are differences in the firmware versions which you can obtain!

The big box has more firmware versions.

In both boxes, some of the firmware versions, which you can flash, have the following problem: when you put 2 MP4 videos in the same screen, in one video you see the 2 videos blended together, while in the other video you get a black rectangle instead. This is not a big issue as some of the firmware images do not possess this problem.

The main problem I have found is that with the mini box, if you use the only available firmware image that has support for screen rotation (portrait mode), then while in portrait mode, it doesn’t rotate the video. That’s a problem only if you intend to flash and use the mini box for portrait orientation mode. Otherwise, it’s not a big deal.

So, my final conclusion is this: if you need to display in portrait mode, definitely buy the big box (and flash it).

If you don’t need that (and don’t need a huge amount of ROM), then the mini box will be just fine (and cheaper).