Realme Smart TV Review

Realme Smart TV Review


Realme Smart TV Review


Realme entered the Indian market as a relative unknown in May 2018, then marketed as a sub-brand of its much-established parent Oppo. In two short years, the company separated its brand recognition from Oppo and established itself as a major player in the Indian smartphone market due to its good products and competitive pricing. The company is now looking elsewhere for growth, including the popular and rapidly expanding smart television segment.

After months of nonsense and rumors, the company's first smart televisions are finally here. Priced at Rs 12,999, the Realme Smart TV series takes on the entry-level smart television segment for flat-panel TVs in India with models in two of the most popular sizes - 32 inches and 43 inches. We received an Android TV-powered 43-inch Realme Smart TV for review; Read on to know everything to know about this brand new affordable smart TV.

Realme Smart TV Design and Specifications


Despite all the marketing hype and hype, Realme Smart TV is quite generic compared to other options in its price segment. This is not a bad thing, certainly; This LED television sticks to the basics and tries to provide as much as possible at a sensible price. While the more affordable 32-inch variant is priced at Rs. At 12,999, we had a 43-inch version to review, priced at Rs. 21,999.

In addition to the obvious difference in screen size, the more expensive version also has a higher resolution. While the 32-inch Realme Smart TV has an HD-ready (1366x768-pixel) screen, the 43-inch option has a full-HD (1920x1080-pixel) panel. All other specifications are the same in the two variants, so users looking at the 32-inch model should not worry about losing other key features and capabilities due to the lack of size.

The Realme Smart TV looks like any other TV in its price segment, with a thin border and slightly thick chin on three sides of the screen. At the bottom of the screen is a Realme logo in the center, with a small module just below the IR receiver and status light. The TV is neither too thin nor too thick and is a plain black plastic. There are two speaker sets near the corners that fire downwards for a total output of 24W. Each set has a full-class driver and a tweeter.

The Realme Smart TV included in the sales package stands for table-mount, and if you have a screwdriver at home, installation is fairly easy. The 43-inch variant weighs only 6.7 kg without a stand and was quite easy to assemble and install itself. The TV can be hung on a wall as it has standard VESA sockets. However, the wall bracket is an optional extra that you will have to purchase separately. Realme told Gadgets 360 that its service technicians can sell you and set it up at installation.

Despite being an entry-level smart television, Realme Smart TV is quite well equipped when it comes to ports and inputs. You get three HDMI ports (one on the left and two on the bottom), two USB ports (one facing up and one facing down), one LAN port, an antenna socket, a digital audio RCA ports, a 3.5mm AV connector, and a 3.5mm jack to connect wired headphones or speakers. Although it is not mentioned in the specifications, HDMI-ARC is supported on the HDMI 1 port.

The Realme Smart TV has a brightness rating of 400 nits and a standard refresh rate of 60Hz. Powering the television is a MediaTek MSD6683 processor, with 1GB of RAM and 8GB of internal memory for app and app data. The television also supports Wi-Fi for internet connectivity.

Interestingly, Realme Smart TV is a rare case of HDR-capable television with no 4K screen resolution. It claims to support HDR in HDR10 format; A rare item in this section. We have ascertained its actual usefulness later in our review, but this is an interesting specification to note.

Realme Smart TV Remote and Features


We are accustomed to seeing a lot of design innovation in these days of remotes, as manufacturers offer a minimalist controller that focuses on smart functionality. The Realme Smart TV is no different and is interesting remote viewing. It is compact and designed to feel down-heavy, with a Realme logo on the front and a distinctive yellow ring around the D-pad. To power this remote you will need two AAA batteries, which are included with the TV.

All important buttons are present, including volume, mute, direction control, Android TV navigation, Google Assistant, and source selection. There are also hotkeys for Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and YouTube, which we have now started watching on TV. Pairing the remote is easy enough. IR emitters are used to control power, and once coupled, all other functions can operate using Bluetooth, even without a straight line of sight.

While most functions on the remote worked fine, we found that the Settings button did nothing; We have heard a button-press sound suggesting that this was not the problem on the remote itself, but rather software that does not currently recognize its function. This meant that it was not possible to quickly access the Settings menu while playing content; We had to navigate to the Settings menu in the Android TV interface.

The remote also supports Google Assistant voice commands via its built-in microphone, which worked well for us. Additionally, it has built-in Chromecast functionality, which lets you cast videos from supported devices and applications, and works well for us. You can use Bluetooth to pair external audio devices such as headphones or speakers.

Realme Smart TV Software and Interface


Android TV seems to be a convenient option for many manufacturers who are looking for a software solution for their TVs, and this is not something we are complaining about. The platform supports all popular streaming services and many other applications and games, making it one of the best platforms for smart TVs today.

Realme has gone with Android TV, and is running on the latest version of its television operating system - version 9 pie. If you are looking for a simple smart TV experience without the need for additional devices such as streaming devices, Realme Smart TV is fully functional out-of-the-box. It is also suitable for first-time buyers wanting to explore streaming services.

There are no limitations on the platform in terms of the apps you can install, and there are no additional launchers on top of Android TV on Realme Smart TVs. You get direct stock experience with access to all popular apps and services. YouTube, Netflix, and Amazon Prime Video are notable apps that come preinstalled, and you can access the Google Play Store for Android TV to download and use other apps on Realme Smart TV. Fortunately, the television is quick to wake up, thanks to a standby mode that does not fully reboot every time it is turned on.

As noted in the previous section, there were some software issues on the TV such as the inability to access the Settings menu using the remote. We also noticed some unusual behavior related to HDR handling. Amazon Prime Video was not able to play HDR content, and when Netflix detected HDR support, its impact was not significant. After close inspection and a brief chat with Realme, we understand that the TV does not actually display HDR content, but can decode the HLG and HDR 10 formats, which at the software level is more important than the picture quality. Make some impact. Essentially, HDR data seems to help in some small way, but the screen may not present all that data.

Realme Smart TV Display


With its first Smart TV series, Realme has managed sensibly in the budget segment with the potential for sales with its volume. The 32-inch and 43-inch models are one of the most popular flat-panel TVs in India, and Realme hopes to get buyers on the smart bandwagon at a cheaper price in the same way as Xiaomi's Mi TV range Have done with As an inexpensive television series, the performance is largely in line with what we've typically seen at this price, with some fluctuations.

Although not specified anywhere, the Realme Smart TV has a VA-type LED-LCD panel. We found the TV to be very bright, and the contrast was good; This was useful in the darkroom, which was our typical use case. Watching at wide angles was nothing short of ideal, with colors reducing their integrity and brightness as we moved towards the edges of the TV. However, almost straight from that, we appreciated the brightness and contrast levels.

Said that, while this is a commendable first effort from Realme and a satisfying experience for the price, there is plenty of room for improvement. Picture quality was less than ideal compared to similar options like MarQ 43SAFHD and Vu Ultra Android Smart TV. With full-HD content, the television offered a sharp and detailed picture to the extent of its capabilities, but at times the color tones felt a bit inaccurate.

While watching content on Netflix, the preinstalled app was able to recognize Realme Smart TV as HDR-enabled. The overall picture quality was sometimes slightly increased when watching HDR shows like The Victor and Our Planet on TV. We felt that decoding the additional data had little effect on the improvement in picture quality, but you should not expect a full HDR experience.

With non-HDR material, there were some shortcomings in color accuracy. Amazon Prime Video was unable to play HDR video as previously mentioned. The standard dynamic range material looked a bit sluggish in comparison.

The display on Realme Smart TV is a mixed bag, with HD and SD video. Some of our sample clips from YouTube with better quality content and USB drives looked quite good, but the SD streams did not appear to have caused much turmoil as well as on other televisions in this price segment. We saw some issues with motion handling, rough edges, and some artifacts in some older video clips while streaming news on the NDTV app for Android TV.

Sound is generally not something that is found right on a budget TV, but Realme Smart TV does. With 24W sound output via a four-speaker system, with support for Dolby audio, we quite liked how the TV sounded. It is loud, and we have not experienced too many inappropriate spikes in volume which suggests that TV is playing its part in keeping the level of content the same. The four-speaker setups made for clean, detailed sound - were crisp and clean, especially for higher dedicated tweeters.

Decision


For its first attempt, Realme gets it very right. The Realme Smart TV is up to the mark with technically sound hardware and software, and HDR support (even though it is a very basic implementation) that is not commonly seen at this price or resolution. The sound quality is also impressive. However, as would be expected when any brand would work in a new segment, Realme Smart TV lacked it.

We liked how bright the TV was, and the contrast and black levels were good. Picture quality is only on par with what the competition delivers when viewing top-quality content. With anything less than this - whether SDR full-HD or standard definition video - Reality TV did not get things right. We also encountered some minor software issues, including the inability to access the settings while watching anything. It is also worth remembering that you do not get a wall-mount kit in the sales package, so it will be an additional cost.

If you are a Realme fan or want a full stock Android TV experience on a tight budget then it might be worth watching this TV. HDR support at this price level and resolution is unique, even if it works with Netflix for now. Of course, it is worth considering options like Vee Ultra Ultra TV and Mi TV 4A Pro. If you are shopping in this price range, both come from brands that are more established in the smart TV segment in India.

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