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To start with its an all in one design with an 8cm lead hard wired to the side of the unit to avoid the possible connection problems associated with poor TV design that puts the HDMI ports very close together. When not in use this lead will not dangle as there is a magnetised back that pulls the HDMI lead to the main 5cm circular disc that is the new Chromecast it is less than 1cm thick.
Also in the box is a mini USB to USB lead and a 13amp connector to provide power this fits opposite the hard wired HDMI lead on the Chromecast.
The fold round lid of the box has the only instructions, Plug into Power and TV. Switch TV input. Set it up and a link to www.chromecast.com.setup
When the first Chromecast launched there was a latent period of close to a year before it appeared in the UK. This time the launch is simultaneous.
The shape is different and the Wi-Fi is better partly due to the 8cm HDMI lead that not only makes insertion easier but acts as an aerial.
If your TV has a USB port giving 1amp then you should be able to plug the micro USB to USB cable into that rather than having to find another power socket and that is probably why the lead and plug for it are not hard wired.
If your TV ‘standby’ mode holds enough power to keep the Chromecast alive then it powers up instantly if not or you pull the plug when not in use it will take around 20 seconds to boot up.
Casting or as google now call it ‘cast’ is widely available and if not you can cast from the Chrome browser to you TV something that was a lot more hit and miss around a year or so ago. In fact the whole software front end is more resilient and if you have the first Chromecast gathering dust in a drawer plug it in as I am told the new software is being retro installed.
So if you addicted to YouTube, Now TV, Google Play and much more they all link without problem. I know in my tests of the first Chromecast YouTube was about the only thing that linked correctly.
If things work as designed then your SmartPhone will be little more than a remote control if however you have video in a non-standard format it will have to do a conversion and this will affect the SmartPhones battery time between charges, if not the battery drain on your SmartPhone is minimal.
As far as my tests show there is no 4K support and other soon to be announced products from competitors are rumoured to support 4K. Mine was traditional Black but Lemonade and Coral – red and yellow - colours are also available.
However as the Chromecast 2 – to tell it apart from the first offering – is still £30 and the better Wi-Fi alone makes this worth having.