Wireless streaming devices are gaining popularity among techies. They are portable, very useful and a fun gadget to have at gatherings. As of 2018, Anycast M2 Plus and Google Chromecast 2 are still very relevant and most sought after wireless streaming devices.
If you are interested in getting one for yourself, check out our Anycast vs Chromecast review. We will discuss the features of each device and see which one comes out on top.
Why Should I Get a Wireless Streaming Device?
If you looked up this article, you probably already know. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the concept, let’s start with a simple introduction. Wireless streaming devices let you share the contents of your smartphone on your TV screen.
If you are used to the comforts of a big screen, a streaming device can make your life easier. And they are a WAY cheaper alternative to purchasing a smart TV.
Watching the game or a full feature movie in your smartphone can get physically uncomfortable. It doesn’t have to be that way, if your pal Anycast or Chromecast is there.From parties to meetings, these wireless devices can prove to be very handy.
Anycast vs Chromecast – An in-depth Comparison
Google Chromecast 2 – An Overview
The Google Chromecast functions very much like a flash drive. First you have to power it up using the adapter or USB cable.
Then you can plug the HDMI cable into your TV or laptop and have your multimedia content displayed on the big screen in HD.
It does need a Wi-Fi connection at all times though. You can open apps on your smartphone.
Every app that is compatible with Chromecast will automatically show a cast icon. Tap that and the content will mirror on your TV screen.
It seems pretty simple and convenient. It works with all Google apps and many others like Netflix, Hulu, games, office suites and whatnot.
Apart from the Android platform, Chromecast also works with ios and Windows. But more on that later.
Unboxing Google Chromecast 2
The 2nd generation of Google Chromecast looks a lot more interesting than its predecessor. The hardware components are pretty much the same. There is a reset button, a power port, and an HDMI cable.
What is new, however, is the spunky round chassis of the device. The surface is glossy and you can choose from three colors to match it to your personality.
We particularly like the flexible HDMI port that attaches to the dongle with a magnet. This design is helpful if you’re trying to plug it into a rather tight spot.
Inside the box, you will find,
- The round Chromecast dongle
- A power cable and adapter
Google Chromecast 2: Features
Better Wi-Fi Connectivity and Streaming
Google Chromecast 2 equips three adaptive antennas, as opposed to the one in the original Chromecast. These additional antennas are put there to ensure faultless streaming. Under ideal Wi-Fi conditions, you can expect optimal performance.
It also supports dual band Wi-Fi networks at 802.11ac speed. That being said, it can connect to almost all high quality Wi-Fi routers with ease.
However, before you buy a Chromecast, check if your phone is compatible with this Wi-Fi configuration. Higher end phones will seamlessly go with it. But sometimes in case of midrange and lower end smartphones, it might not work well.
In our opinion, Google’s Fast Play was a stroke of brilliance in making the 2nd gen Chromecast.
Suppose you are streaming a show on Netflix. Fast Play will start buffering the next episode while keeping the current episode unaffected. That way when you are done with it, you can start streaming the next one without waiting for it to load!
Updated Chromecast App
The new Chromecast app is more user-friendly and suggestive than the old one. You can browse or search for content using this app.
Moreover, the dedicated Chromecast app also suggests compatible apps that can accommodate the contents of your phone.
While you games are mirrored on the TV screen, you can use your smartphone as the controller. Pretty cool, right?
Make no mistakes; it is not ideal for playing high graphics games. You should not expect Xbox like performance from a $35 device.
But it sure is awesome for playing regular smartphone games in multiplayer.
AnyCast Easy Sharing M2 Plus – Overview
Anycast M2 Plus is a similar wireless streaming device.
Like the Chromecast 2, it supports all the major platforms like Android, iOS and Windows.
It comes in a mundane old school chassis. The dongle itself does not house its antenna. The antenna is placed externally in a Wi-Fi card. A power cable and an adapter come in the box.
Other than its boring design and very attractive price tag, there’s hardly any obvious dissimilarity between the two devices.
The differences are subtle yet crucial when it comes to making an informed decision.
Without further ado, let’s begin our Chromecast vs Anycast comparative analysis.
Chromecast and Anycast M2 Plus – How they are Different
Starting with the basics, let’s take a look at their specifications.
- Processor: Anycast M2 Plus uses a slightly advanced processor(1.2GHz Cortex-A9). But Chromecast is not that far behind.
- RAM: Chromecast 2 has the upper hand in RAM. It incorporates 512 megabytes of RAM, whereas Anycast only has half of that.
In our opinion, Chromecast 2 has a bit of an upper hand in configurations department. 1.2GHz dual ARM Cortex-A7 coupled with 512 megabytes of RAM should make for a device a little more powerful.
Anycast’s configuration is almost as capable. The fact that its makers made it happen with a much cheaper price tag than the Chromecast is really impressive.
Both of these devices do not come with a remote controller. Instead, your smartphone works as one and you can use it to give commands.
This is not much an inconvenience for Chromecast users. You can still multitask on your smartphone while Chromecast is streaming.
That is not the case with Anycast. While the device is still streaming, you cannot run other apps on your phone. If you get a call during that time, it will also show up on the TV screen.
When your smartphone goes to sleep, Chromecast keeps on streaming. But with Anycast, a sleeping smartphone will mean the TV screen goes blank. This is one of the major issues users face with Anycast.
If you are streaming a movie, your smartphone will have to stay active the whole time. This will cause the battery to drain real fast.
Google Chromecast 2nd gen comes with a dedicated updated app. Even though Anycast doesn’t, it still has no problem with cooperating with a variety of apps.
The Chromecast dedicated app is mainly useful for browsing for content and other apps. If you know what you want or don’t mind searching manually, Anycast will work just fine for you.
Anycastuses a network band of 2.4GHz, like most smartphones. If your Wi-Fi is shared by many devices, Anycast streaming may experience a lag.
Chromecast supports dual band Wi-Fi networks. If your Wi-Fi is shared by multiple smartphones, it will pick up on the 5GHz network. It will still be able to stream smoothly.
Anycast OR Chromecast – Should I buy Anycast M2 Plus?
The short answer is, yes. Anycast M2 Plus is still a very capable streaming device. It provides the same essential features that the Chromecast does at just $17.
You will sure miss out on some of the premium perks of Chromecast, like the FastPlay and Multitasking. The important question to ask is if you really need them.
If you’ll be basically using it for presentations, home videos or simple multimedia mirroring, Anycast won’t disappoint. In the meantime, it will save you some bucks. However, it would sure help if your phone has ample battery capacity.
Chromecast OR Anycast – Should I buy Google Chromecast 2?
There’s no denying that Chromecast 2 is the superior device out of the two. But to enjoy its sweet fruits, you’ll have to pay double the price of Anycast.
If you have heavy streaming needs, Chromecast is a far better option. For streaming shows and movies, you need a device that streams fast and has good Wi-Fi connectivity. These contents have a lengthy run time. With Chromecast, you can multitask on your phone while watching your favorite Netflix thriller.
To Wrap it up
The clear winner of HelloPortable’s Anycast vs Chromecast comparison is the 2nd gen Chromecast. But in the end, it all boils down to what you need.
If you want to go the extra mile for enjoying a seamless streaming experience, it’s Chromecast all the way. If your priority is something affordable and practical for light use over a long period of time, Anycast can be just as good!