Dec 20 AT 3:28 PM Taylor Wimberly 76 Comments

Hisense Pulse with Google TV now on sale for $99


If you are in the market for a cheap Google TV box, you now have two choices. The Hisense Pulse just went on sale for $99, joining the Vizio Co-Star that also retails for $99. Both boxes feature similar specs and functionality, so it’s not immediately clear which is the better buy.

Details are limited, but it appears the Hisense Pulse has a remote with a microphone that should eventually work with the new Google TV voice actions. The Vizio Co-Star remote does not have a microphone, but this functionality should be available on the official Google TV remote app for Android (if Google ever updates it).

I ordered the Vizio Co-Star a couple months ago, and I’m happy with my purchase so far. Vizio had some issues with shipping and I somehow got a used unit (with someone else’s Google account already signed in), but the device has performed as I expected. It’s great for watching movies from Amazon, Netflix, YouTube, or Google Play and the Chrome Browser with Flash Player is a nice addition.

Hisense has been around for awhile, but I have never purchased any of their products. Vizio has already delivered three software updates to my Co-Star, so hopefully Hisense will provide the same level of support for the Pulse.

Google TV recently got access to the new Google Play store, but the app support is mostly disappointing. There are a handful of useful apps (like Plex), but most developers have yet to really embrace the platform. Google has also kind of ignored the platform, choosing to focus on the failed Nexus Q, but I have a feeling these $99 devices will start to attract more users (and more apps).

If you are looking for a last minute gift for an Android lover, I think either of these $99 boxes would be a good choice. Both devices are available on Amazon Prime (free shipping) and they should arrive in time for Christmas if you order now.

Via: Hisense

Source: Amazon

Taylor is the founder of Android and Me. He resides in Dallas and carries the Samsung Galaxy S 4 and HTC One as his daily devices. Ask him a question on Twitter or Google+ and he is likely to respond. | Ethics statement

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  • jaxidian

    How are these low-end Google TV products for gaming?

    • Taylor Wimberly

      Not many games are available from Google Play. You are mostly limited to card and casino games. OnLive is also available, but I wouldn’t recommend that cloud gaming service to anyone.

      • jaxidian

        Can you sideload APKs to get games on there?

        • keithp

          My experience has been that nearly every sideloaded app fails because the Google TV doesn’t support portrait mode. The apps which run in portrait and landscape on a tablet, crash as soon as they are started on the TV.

          Maybe the developers will fix this soon or maybe Google will let an app start in portrait and then rotate it, but the pace of development seems slow compared to the way Android phones were early on.

          • Jorge Eslava

            As soon as they fix this issue I’ll get a Google TV device.

        • jonstle

          I have the vizio box and I have not found an app that thatworks when sideloaded. Granted I have only tried 5 or 6 apps.

      • JonJJon

        I used to love OnLive as it works brilliantly through the console I got free with a game I bought (rented) on the service, however I now haven’t played on the service since the horrific treatment of their employees and dodgy business ethic. I’m looking toward Gaikai and Sony to produce something special in the streaming market, I’ve picked up a ps3 for playing the massive back catalogue of games they have and of course “The Last of Us”.

        Still, back to Google TV talk, I really hope Google get behind Google TV or drop it and make some special Android version for TV as I would like them to push into the TV market more, either preloaded on TVs or as boxes like this at these budget prices :-)

        • JonJJon

          When I say Android version I meant more android like with better compatibility with apps that would work great of big screens and a remote, oh and the games catalogue of course.

        • Taylor Wimberly

          Gaikai on Android is amazing! Can’t wait till Sony finally pushes it out.

          • JonJJon

            Me too, just have to hope Sony don’t pull a “only for PlayStation certified devices” on us, but I somehow doubt they’d do that as they’d want as many customers to have access to it’s catalogue of games which they would get a nice little £$£$ from :) I gave gaikai a go on the demo in browser on my laptop and it seems to give more vivid colours and a slightly better response time than OnLive, promising stuff for mobile streaming gaming.

      • mr 1338

        i wish Google TV offered more content for non-UK European countries, as it is it is useless for me but i’d like to test it…

  • sunrise

    Oh nice I want one of these

  • LukeT32

    Looking for something for my bedroom. I really enjoy the keyboard on my Revue though….

    • Taylor Wimberly

      Yeah Logitech Revue had the nicest keyboard. I’m not really a fan of these new double-sided remotes with compact keypads.

  • zen

    google hasnt ignored the market – the q was the answer. they have since abandoned the q. if another tech company can do it right, a set top box delivering media/gaming(/pvr?) functionality for a cheap price will dominate. i think the ouya might be the first step in this, provided they deliver and its as good as it looks.

  • demon09

    I just got the Sony TV box and can’t say I’m that impressed yet. It is nice having the dedicated keyboard remote, but honestly the TV itself can’t do that much more than if I just connected my phone via HDMI to the TV. The lack of apps is likely the reason for this, I suppose.

  • Thomas Biard

    I like the idea, but I would have to try one out before I pulled the trigger on something from Hisense. I don’t have any experience with the brand, and I believe they are one of the more “generic” brands, so that gives me pause. However I do like the price point of this, and I like the idea of possible continued software support.
    If I read good enough reviews I’ll put it on my birthday list since Christmas is too close

    • hurracayne

      Good your spider sense kicked in. Hisense shouldn’t even price that thing even close to Vizio’s price if they want to sell it to suckers.

  • alexanderharri3

    I’ve never heard of Hisense before…..but maybe they can do GTV better than the budget-minded Vizio? Apps for Google TV are very limited….most everything is unsupported. Avia and Plex are some of the good ones. Apps won’t follow until they can actually sell/get installs from google tv.

    Big thing is support….or if it will get any from a no-name brand.

    • hurracayne

      Just go to AVS forums and search for all the threads about Hisense tv’s.

  • NamelessTed

    I like that more products are hitting the market. I had a Roku 2 for a while. The thing usually streams fine but it was way slower than I would have liked. I have been wanting to get the Co-Star for a couple of months now and I still want one.

    The biggest problem is that a lot of the current boxes are all proprietary and use different systems. Over the next year a majority of them will have to be Android/Google TV powered. Once that happens the software development is going to explode to the point where you are going to be able to do pretty much anything.

    The biggest selling points for the Co-Star for me are native .mkv support and the controller. the Hisense one looks way lower quality and it doesn’t have the dedicated gaming buttons even though there aren’t many games that I would play with it, I would love to have that option down the line.

  • uknowme

    Not really impressed but I’m happy we are starting to get options. I have a Revue and it is awesome but it’s not compatible with my Comcast box.

    • frmorrison

      The Revue works with a lot of Comcast boxes. Even if your model is not shown, just pick one that is similar (same manufacturer) to see what happens.

      • uknowme

        Tried that. All I get is audio. It was a pain struggling with it for a few hours and then finding out it was my box abs not the Revue.

  • nivekkev

    Maybe Androidandme can do a special “report” comparing the GTV boxes that are out now so we all will have some kind of run down on what to expect from which model all in one place. I mean if that is possible, don’t know how that works.

  • Karim Bensimon

    I’m waiting for a Minix NEO X5 so better and i will buy maybe Measy RC13 (Airmouse)
    I think they are the best actually!

  • fletchtb

    it’s always good to have a choice in the market, but I’d probably go with Vizio just on brand recognition alone if all else is equal.

  • EmeryLee

    After that Logitech Revue…. I don’t think I’ll be trusting any Google TV unit unless it comes out from Google. You know like a Nexus GTV unit.

    • Taylor Wimberly

      Rumors were floating around that ASUS and Google could be working on such a device called the “Qube.”

      • jonstle

        That would be great! Hopefully they can show the world what Google TV can really do.

      • JayB95

        Nexus Qube maybe? Idk lol but it sounds interesting.

    • frmorrison

      I agree, the only GTV I will get is the Nexus TV. I want product support and updates.

  • sandwich

    I’d be interested in a comparison of these types of devices from the viewpoint of those of us who live outside of the USA/Canada, who are blocked from using the usual gamut of streaming video/music services (no Netflix, Hulu, Google Play Videos, etc). Which devices are the most flexible, to better integrate with the various local services each nation inevitably has? How well do they handle manually built up libraries of content stored locally? That kind of thing.

  • Steve Heinrich

    Pretty cheap for a Google TV box. I would love to get one of these but can’t justify it until my Roku breaks.

  • hurracayne

    which is better between Hisense and Vizio??? really?

    Vizio!! Hisense makes crap that just breaks. They are the Generics generic!.

  • humidity

    It’s good to see Google TV products go for less than $100 to attract more buyers.

  • boone simpson

    I like my hisense tv, granted my first one had a crap panel (was refurbed).

    They are just now coming into the us market through walmart.

    I think The vizio will be the better device, as they are a name US customers are familiar with and have shown good end user support.

    The mic-in-remote is cool, but there has to be other worth while differences if they want customers to choose the hisense over the vizio.


    What is the advantage of something like this over that new “Android on a stick” single that plugs right into HDMI? I guess what dues Google TV do that Android cannot?

  • mario_1603

    I have a question, with this tv box, can I watch the Spanish League, Barclays Premier League, etc.. (soccer/football) ??

  • Nathan D.

    How is Google Tv anyways, I never really got into it, nor really knew about it in the first place.

  • fingers26

    I havent tried but I will find out more looks interesting..!!!

  • rr2009

    more TV Box. Google should take TVs more seriously.

  • arminla

    I was waiting for this!!

  • ArticulateFool

    The more the merrier.

  • jonstle

    Glad there are more companies making Google tv boxes. I have a feeling good things are ahead for Google tv.

  • KingCrow02

    My only wish is for an coax out

  • Shazam

    It would be nice if you could try these before buying them.

  • sbala

    Good treat.
    But before buying read a good review.

  • donger

    Might look into google TVs next year.

  • Zigagee

    As an independent android app developer, I see Google tv versions of apps that aren’t video-service-based as cumbersome for the developer and the user. For most apps, it is far easier, quicker, and intuitive to pull out your phone or tablet to use an app than to fiddle with a tiny trackpad to move a cursor around to attempt to click things.

    That being said, ANY video service that has an android app should have a Google tv version. No, it’s not a huge market, but it would be worth the effort.

    Personally, I won’t buy a Google tv device until they’re rocking quad core processors, 64gb of internal storage (or allow external hdd via usb) have built-in tv tuners (so I can use it like a dvr), and come with a remote that has a large track pad with physical buttons and psp style joysticks on one side and a full qwerty keypad on the other, and has a gyroscope and accelerometer usable by apps. This would allow for some pretty cool games as well as plenty of options for controlling just about any app. Bult-in mics should be standard.

    They should also have built-in video chat cameras or come bundled with them, have out of the box network file discovery, streaming, and transfer, and have miracast support.

    • masterpfa

      Yep I’ll have one of those boxes too Zigagee

    • jonstle

      That sounds like the perfect Google TV box.

  • piyushb


  • Laurentiu V.

    US only :(
    No Europe love…

  • Adam Jones

    I for one, would love to own a Google TV box. I think it is the best thing for the future of TV and living room interaction. However, i think the world may not be ready for it. Generally public, AKA my wife, can’t grasp the concept of internet usage at the same time as watching a show. “it will just get in the way and you’ll miss the show/movie”. IDK, maybe someday, but Google might have just been 1 jump too far ahead on this one which may explain why it hasn’t “taken off”.

  • DRoyal

    Does XBMC work on these things?

  • jefflarkin

    Given that I’ve never heard of hisense, I think I’d go with a Vizio for the same price. Did they manage to get this in Walmart? That could mean a boost for this product.

  • kelltrash14

    This sounds interesting. Wonder how it compares side by side to the costar.

  • stringdidj

    The $99 Google Nexus TV Box is what I am waiting for, quad core and a great games console too!

  • smeghead68

    Can you put XBMC on this? That would be nice.

  • Mikes_phone_and_tab

    I want to like this but, with the Ouya coming out soon, it will be perfect for playing games and watching content that are optimized for the device, along with Native Android games and apps.

  • jonstle

    So true. I have the same policy.

  • jonstle

    In regards to getting android on a TV easily has anyone tried things like this?

    It runs android 4 instead of the Google TV variant. You lose the Google TV features I would guess but get access to android apps.

  • Froojr

    Google TV… I’m gonna have to check on buying myself a holiday gift for the living room.

  • Eric Wilborn

    Still loving my Logitech Revue.. but I don’t get a lot of use out of it.

  • FranzVz

    Still waiting for Miracast support :-( Not really interested in a Google TV unless it’s an all-in-one Nexus TV.

  • Luke Haviland

    This looks awesome.
    as a 20s something male
    I’ll probably never pay for cable service.
    with everything i use the internet is all i need and advancements keep coming
    making it easier to go legit

  • Ilyse Rose

    I really love the idea of Google tv but with console gaming systems I just don’t see a need for one right now. Though for that price I think I can be swayed.

  • luis maldonado

    I hope google makes a google tv with google hardware! That would be perfect!

  • ndub21

    I applaud these manufacturers for putting out Google TV devices but COME ON GOOGLE! Put some life into the platform! They basically just left if for dead. Apple will provably make some major moves on the TV and Google needs to beat them there with a quality product.

  • ddoshy

    Anyone using this or another Google TV box outside of the US, say in India? Does it work or do country restrictions kick in here as well?

    Toying between something like this or an Android stick from

  • Ezy03

    sweet thanks for the news!

  • stussy

    awsome product just need more apps and for xbmc to work
    maybe a ice cream sandwich update wouldnt be bad

  • Clay

    can the Hisense Pulse play back MKV, and MP4 files from a WD My Cloud NAS which is DLNA?