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Realme 43-inch Smart TV Review: Mediocre 1080p Display Spoils TV-Viewing Experience
Xiaomi was the king of the hill in the affordable smart TV segment in India but things were destined to change in the year 2020. Realme and OnePlus' entry into the budget smart TV market have spiced up the competition giving more choices to consumers in the budget and mid-range price segment. We have been testing the Xiaomi Mi TVs since the day the company has entered into the market and it is time we take a look at the Realme and OnePlus budget smart TVs.
- Decent Sound Delivery
- No Compromise In Connectivity
- Google Services And Wide App Support
- Mediocre Full HD Panel
- Average Build Quality
- Software Needs Refinements
- Lacks Wall-Mount
Realme has launched two budget smart TVs in India. The 32-inch smart TV is priced at Rs. 12,999 and the Realme 43-inch Smart TV variant is available at Rs. 21,999. We are currently testing the bigger variant. The sub-25K smart TV boasts a full-HD (1920 x 1080-pixel) panel with a brightness rating of 400 nits. It runs on Android 9 and comes equipped with a 24W sound setup. Should you buy the Realme 43-inch Smart TV if you have a budget of Rs. 25,000? Let's find out.
Design- Nothing Extraordinary, Lacks An Appeal
The Realme 43-inch Smart TV has a very ordinary design and looks like any other budget smart TV. It is only the Realme logo at the bottom of the panel that differentiates it from the lot. The front is occupied by a 43-inch 1080p panel with slim bezels (8.7mm) on three sides. The bottom chin is rather thick like it is with most of the budget smart TVs; however, the all-black borders and panel manages to give the Realme TV a seamless look and feel.
No Wall-Mount Stand Included
The Realme 43-inch TV weighs 6.7kgs and is noticeably thicker. The TV's build quality reminds us of the budget price-point once again but we have seen affordable TVs with the slightly better build quality at somewhat similar prices. You can keep the TV on a table with the help of tabletop stand that comes bundled in the box. The TV also has VESA sockets at the back panel to let you wall-mount the unit. You have to purchase the stand separately as the brand is not offering it in the package.
Overall, the Realme smart TV brings nothing extraordinary to the table and lacks an appeal. The company could have done better in the design department. It is worth mentioning that the newly launched 43-inch smart TV from OnePlus looks more captivating and seems to have a slightly premium finish than the Realme 43-inch smart TV. We will discuss the build quality of the OnePlus smart TV in its TV's standalone review.
Display: 43-inch Full HD Panel Lacks A Punch Despite HDR Support
The Realme TV features a 43-inch full HD (1920 x 1080p) VA-type LED-LCD panel with a peak brightness of 400 nits and a standard refresh rate of 60Hz. It is interesting to see that the non-4K panel is touted to offer support for HDR playback in supported apps. There's no official word on the screen-to-body-ratio but seeing the thicker bezels, we can say that it should be less than 85%. Besdies, Realme also hasn't shared any official information on the color gamut range of the panel used.
Moving on, the 43-inch panel has adequate brightness to ensure a decent content playback delivery in a room filled with low-light. The contrast levels also seemed decent for dim-light scenarios and viewing angles were just fine. However, things take a U-turn if you are watching content in a room filled with light, especially in the day time.
The colors look dull and the brightness levels also seemed lacking. The poor viewing angles badly affect the viewing experience and you can only enjoy the content if you are sitting in the line of sight of the TV.
1080P Panel Lacks Color Accuracy And Produces Dull Picture Quality
Moreover, the panel lacks color accuracy and no amount of effort in picture settings can improve the picture quality. Even the Realme's Chroma Boost Picture engine technology couldn't improve the overall picture delivery. The 43-inch 1080p panel simply fails to impress in brightness, colors, contrast and clarity. I tried to play some HDR content in Netflix and Amazon Prime Videos to evaluate the panel's HDR performance. It seems that the panel itself isn't capable of playing high-quality content.
The TV's software reads and analyzes the content format and does some wizardry to slightly improve the picture delivery. Still, the overall viewing experience is largely unimpressive. Overall, the market offers budget TVs with much better picture quality than the Realme's 43-inch smart TV in the sub-25K price-point.
Connectivity And Sound Delivery
As far as sound quality is concerned, the Realme TV works well for a medium-sized room and produces slightly better sound than other 43-inch TVs in the market. The 43-inch smart TV offers support for Dolby Audio and is powered by a 24W speaker setup which includes bottom-firing drivers and silk dome tweeters on either side of the panel. The four-speaker setup produces decent soundstage for the TV's asking price. It generates loud and clear sound making the movie-watching experience enjoyable but don't expect cinematic sound quality and booming bass while watching sports events and action Hollywood flicks.
Hardware And Software Performance
The Realme smart TV is powered by a 64-bit quad-core MediaTek MSD6683 chipset and has 1GB RAM and 8GB internal memory. Like most of the budget and mid-range smart TVs, the Realme TV also runs on Android 9.0 and offers support for popular streaming applications- Netflix, Amazon Prime Videos, Spotify and many more. The familiar UI is easy to navigate, thanks to the smartly-designed remote controller which offers useful buttons and some hotkeys for the most popular streaming applications. The remote controller also has a ‘Settings' button but its functionality seems to be disabled for some reason.
The smart TV comes with Google Play support and lets you install a range of supported applications which work without any issues. I did not notice any stability issues with streaming apps and other widely used applications like Plex, VLC and Spotify; however, I did experience some minor hiccups with UI navigations and apps loading times. The Realme TV felt slightly underpowered. The app's response time seemed somewhat slower than the competitors. If it's just a software issue, Realme can address it with OTA updates.
The Realme TV comes with built-in Chromecast that worked without any performance issues. You can use the feature to cast multimedia content from smartphones and tablets on the big screen. The voice assistant also seemed to be working just fine on the Realme TV. The dedicated Google Assistant button on the remote control invokes voice assistant without any misses.
Realme gets only a handful of things right with its first set of TVs. The mediocre display spoils the brand's efforts as well as the overall TV viewing experience. The 43-inch smart TV scores good on connectivity and sound quality but fail to impress as a whole package because the panel itself is pretty average.
We recommend you to consider other options in the sub-25K market. The Mi TV 4A Pro and the newly launched OnePlus 43-inch Smart TV are better overall alternatives. Moreover, you can also consider the VU 4K UHD TV that offers a much better 4K panel and similar 24W speakers at Rs. 25,999.