Latest Google ‘Sabrina’ Android TV dongle leak details programmable button, specs


Ahead of its eventual launch, we’ve learned a few core details about Google’s upcoming first-party Android TV dongle, “Sabrina.” Today, a firmware dump from the device reveal some main specs from Google’s Android TV dongle, as well as revealing a handy shortcut button on the remote.

Looking at the specs, Google’s Android TV dongle is pretty run-of-the-mill. The device appears to be using an Amlogic S905X2 chipset. That chip is also used in many Android TV devices such as Verizon’s Steam TV set-top box and the still-unannounced Xiaomi Mi TV Stick. That’s not going to be a powerhouse, but it’s plenty to run Google’s platform. That chip, too, supports 4K/60 output with HDR, Dolby Vision, and more. It pretty much covers all of the bases. It also comes with an ARM Mali-G31 MP2 GPU.

In their teardown of the information, XDA found a snippet that hints this device might be packing just 2GB of RAM — another standard for Android TV devices. We think there’s a chance this is referring to the S905X2 chip being a version 2, but we’re not sure either way.

One of the biggest bits of news here is that the mysterious “star” button on the remote for Google’s Android TV dongle will apparently have a shortcut button. There’s mention of a “GlobalKeyReciever” which is listed alongside mentions of Netflix and YouTube. It’s unclear how much control users would have over said button, but it certainly seems like it won’t be locked to a single service.

The “star” button pictured is probably this “GlobalKeyReciever”

On top of that, the leaked firmware also reveals a new feature coming to Android TV. This mode, “Auto Low Latency Mode,” is a part of the HDMI 2.1 specification which “Sabrina” supports. This spec allows the connected device to send video to your TV without any post-processing data. This is used primarily for games and for the sake of reducing input lag when playing on your TV.

With “Sabrina’s” support of this mode, Google can tell supported TVs to activate this mode automatically when it needs to. Presumably, this is designed solely with Google Stadia which, as of its latest update, is now playable on Android TV. Notably, Google’s Chromecast Ultra already does this.

We first reported Google’s work on a new first-party Android TV dongle earlier this year, and it’s expected to arrive sometime later this year.

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