Android TV boxes have come a long way in the past
There are now many solid android tv devices besides Amazon Firestick and Nvidia Shield that will offer you greater RAM, customization options and internal storage for your apps. 2 devices in particular over the past several months have caught my eye. These are the Ugoos AM6 Pro and the Magicsee N5 Plus, both running android 9 pie os. The AM6 Pro has a hexa core S922 processor with 4 GBs of RAM and 32 GBs of internal storage. The N5 has an S905X3 quadcore processor, 4 GBs of RAM, 64 GBs of internal storage and an SATA card slot for additional storage if desired. Both processors are lightning fast and the box designs allow for good ventilation and cooling. The Magicsee box has a very nice simple, yet useful home screen while the Ugoos has the standard android home screen, from which you can customize with your own selected launcher and installed apps. The N5 Plus sells for around $85 and the AM6 Pro sells for around $129. See further info off the internet for video reviews and where to buy if interested. I use both of these for my primary and secondary streaming devices and am VERY happy with their performance and ease of use.
as a firestick user (6 devices), do the tv boxes allow for loading apks and kodi similar to the firestick?
They do. Since they both have the open version of android, you can access a bunch of open source apps and app stores. Just make sure you are using your VPN so you are not blocked by your IP service.