The Indian TV industry has evolved exponentially in the last few decades. From flat panel display technologies to curved ones, the market now offers wide-screen LED and OLED panels that can easily turn your living room into a private theatre.
However, the biggest change in the TV market is the recent introduction of Smart TVs. These big-screen LEDs/OLED TVs has the ability to connect to internet to offer content on demand that were never experienced in India before. While one can also buy a TV stick, for example Google Chromecast or Amazon Fire TV Stick, a full-fledged smart TV with an intelligent user interface is a different game altogether. This is the reason Indian Smart TV Market is expected to reach a whopping Rs. 54,000 crores by the end of 2017.
While on one side we have globally acclaimed brands like Sony, Samsung and LG pushing innovation even further with their OLED panels, the domestic TV makers in India are also catching up fast. One such brand is Intex, which is widely known for its budget smartphones but also enjoys a good share in consumer electronic products including Bluetooth speakers, Home theatre systems, Power banks, etc.
The Indian tech major is also putting efforts to make Smart TVs an affordable product for Indian consumers so that they can experience the new entertainment technologies right in their living room.
Intex recently expanded its TV line-up with the launch of company's second 4K UHD TV for the Indian market. Priced at Rs. 52,990, the Smart TV has a 43-inch UHD panel sporting a resolution of 3840x2160 pixels. The smart TV operates on Android 5.1 Lollipop and also comes equipped with Intex App store to let you download and install apps on big screen.
I am using this product from last week and here's my opinion of company's 43-inch UHD Smart TV.
Design and Specification
While performance is must, design is equally important when you are spending a big amount on a product that will occupy a good space in your living room. That being said, Intex has done a good job as far as overall look and feel of its latest UHD TV is concerned. The TV has a straightforward design with minimal bezels around the stunning 4K panel. The bezels are black and seamlessly blend with the panel to give wider screen view.
The frame width is not something to drool upon and you cannot flaunt it as the slimmest TV in town. However, it's not ugly and will not spoil your living room's appearance in any which way. The TV has dimensions of 965.3 x 561.8 x 206.4 mm with stand.
Rear Mounted Connectivity Ports
The UHD TV stand has a silver finish and is easy to assemble. Its half circumference design looks much appealing than what TCL offers with its share of UHD TVs. The connectivity ports are provided on the rear left side of the unit and the power port is placed on the rear right side. Like most of the TVs, the rear side has been given a matte finish. Overall, Intex has managed to give its UHD TV an appealing overall outlook.
Coming onto the basics, the 4K LED TV has a 3840x2160 pixels resolution UHD Panel to support fast-frame rates, contrast, and colour dynamics. The Android powered Smart TV is backed by a 1.1GHz Quad-core ARM Cortx Processor and has 2.5GB RAM and 8GB inbuilt memory. The TV supports Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Miracast and has a variety of other ports. And it requires a power supply of 100-240 V.
How smart is Intex’s Smart UHD TV?
The smart TV comes with in-built Intex App store that offers a variety of apps that can be installed on this Smart TV. The app store is not heavily populated and it has close to 200 apps in total. But the apps that you would want most on your big screen Smart TV, for instance popular apps like YouTube, Facebook, Netflix, Twitter are made available by Intex.
Here I would like to mention that I was unable to take use of my Amazon Prime subscription to stream content on the Intex's UHD TV. Every time I tried to play a movie or a series, the feature just didn't work. It always took me back to the particular movie's main screen. I was only left with download option and sadly you only have 8GB internal memory which is not very useful if you are movie buff and wants to store content on your TV.
Smart Air Controller to navigate effortlessly
Coming onto UI, the TV has a minimal and easy to use interface but there are some issues with it. While you can effortlessly navigate through the UI with the help of Air Mouse Control remote, the TV is not very good in handling the multitasking. This is due to the fact that you cannot go back to the same point in most of the apps if you press the home button or wants to tweak some audio-video settings.
For instance, you are required to type the song or video name all over again in YouTube and look for the video file again in VLC player to start watching again. This is quite frustrating as it hampers the overall viewing experience. Thankfully, it's not the case with Google Chrome and the TV offers you the same screen from where you left off.
User Interface is minimal but needs some tweaking
Having said that, Intex's UI and software could use some improvement to offer a seamless big screen multimedia viewing experience to consumers. The number of apps needs to be increased and the overall software approach needs some refinement.
4K UHD Panel delivers crisp visuals
The video playback experience on the UHD panel will leave you spellbound. The videos look sharp, vivid an colors pop out really well. I did not notice any light leaks from the panel's edges and contrast levels were also good. You can sit and enjoy movies and your favorite series with clarity and good visual appeal.
The UHD panel also comes with 'Eye Safe T-Matrix' technology that adjusts the brightness, contrast and sharpness automatically to make sure your eyes don't get affected by continues viewing.
The same feature is also said to remove time lag and stabilize the picture to enable smooth viewing. While I can vouch for the Eye Care feature, I have doubts for the time lag and stabilization feature. The file formats I played through Miracast seemed out of sync on this UHD panel, which worked just fine on my phone and PC.
Even some videos played through USB showed issues in audio-video synchronization as the dialogues and action seemed out of place. In contrast, the content played online via apps and web browser worked absolutely fine.
Average Audio Performance
While Intex says that the TV comes equipped with Digital Noise Reduction that optimizes the noise to offer a crystal clear sound output, I am not quite impressed with the sound abilities of this Smart TV. The audio can go loud; however it's not very clear and appealing.
The 10W+10W speakers have the ability to generate ample audio but it's not very useful as the audio output feels muffled while watching movies. The vocals do not sound clear even after shuffling from audio mode to another. Thanks to the in-built Bluetooth for wireless audio connect, which came handy to stream audio through Bluetooth supported products like home threaten, speakers, etc.
Smart TVs need to have ample connectivity options and Intex has tried to offer almost everything in the package. The TV has multiple connectivity options like 2 USB ports, 4 HDMI ports and 1 VGA port. One of the USB ports is USB 3.0. The TV includes Miracast feature which uses Wi-Fi for wireless connections with devices like smartphones, laptops and tablets for displaying content.
While I am not fully content with the performance of Intex's latest UHD TV, I can also say that the product has potential and can please price conscious consumers.
It looks good and delivers a great multimedia viewing experience; however there are some very important areas where the Smart TV needs improvement. The audio performance is not up to the mark and the TV's software, which is very crucial for a Smart TV could use some refinement. The smart Air controller works well and the TV also scores high on connectivity.
Overall, Intex should focus on its TV's app ecosystem, UI and audio as the brand can tap a wider market in Indian smart TV segment which is growing significantly. The company's smart TVs can be a good alternative for consumers who are looking for budget alternatives in 4K UHD Smart TV segment.