The smart television segment has seen some interesting movements in the first half of 2018, with Chinese and home-grown companies slugging it out for a larger pie of the India market by packing in their products as many features as possible without burning a hole in buyers' pocket. The TV industry has come a long way from Oval shaped idiot-box to flat screens to the ultra-modern super-thin LEDs, many of them with no bezels at all. As technology progressed, the common man's payout for buying these increased leaps and bounds.
Having a giant-screen TV in the drawing room is a matter of prestige for many. While everyone wants to own one, not everyone can afford these devices.
Noida-based Videotex International has recently launched the Daiwa series of TVs that claim to address this. The company says it provides a feature-packed entertainment solution at a much affordable price. Priced at Rs 36,999, the TV seems a bargain for consumers. Let’s have a look at how the 55-inch LED fares in terms of viewing experience and quality.
Design and display
The TV looks modern with minimal bezels. The panel is built on a slim frame that also houses a 20W speaker. But the plastic finish looks cheap, even as it comes in handy if you are on-the-move.
The back and the right side of the TV house all the input ports and connectors. The list of ports is pretty standard -- 3 HDMI ports, 2 USB 2.0 ports, VGA port, Rj45 port for internet connectivity, etc. The simple and clutter-free design is something I liked the most, but this might not appeal to many.
At this price point, the picture quality is great and there is no doubt about that. The clarity and colours that are produced on screen give you a brilliant viewing experience. The 'HRDP' technology termed by Daiwa works well in providing clear and high contrast images. I did not feel that any colour was too dominant compared to others and the colour balance was on a par with higher range products. The viewing angles are not bad, either; I noticed minimal contrast degradation when viewing from extreme angles.
A 55-inch TV is likely to be placed in your drawing room, so properly balanced sound output is necessary for a good audio experience. The speakers on this TV are loud but feel inadequate sometimes. The bass output is low and the speakers struggle a bit in high audio frequencies. If you want to have a true experience of a giant screen like this, I would suggest that you invest in a dedicated 5.1 channel home theatre.
Picture quality, running apps
While there is no question about the picture quality, things get tricky when it comes to the operation level of this TV. The CPU is based on Cortex A7 1.3GHz dual-core processor and is coupled with a Mali-400MP2 GPU and 1GB DDR3 RAM. The OS that you get is Android KitKat 4.4.4. While you can browse through various menus with ease, the hardware lags frequently and is annoying at times. The interface is simple but navigating through it becomes tiring at times because of the occasional lag.
Also, the memory falls short in case you want to install some streaming apps instead of the pre-installed ones. The regular updates eat up all the storage slowly and providing ample space is something the TV manufacturer should work on, in case of smart TVs. The viewing experience gets marred by lags while switching from one app to another. The TV also has a built-in WiFi and some smart features like screen capture and screen mirroring which seem to work just fine.
The remote control feels sturdy and has a host of keys needed for day-to-day usage. The device, termed as the 'Daiwa Web Flirt R
emote', has dedicated buttons for YouTube, Netflix and Hotstar. It also has a qwerty keypad on the flip side. A mouse button has also been provided, which on pressing brings up a pointer hand on the screen that follows the motion of the remote. Using the remote as a mouse pointer is more convenient in browsing through the TV but typing on-screen with the pointer will probably be the most boring thing that you will do all day, so the qwerty keypad is best suited for the job. While you cannot play any games on the TV, you can cast your smartphone or tablet screen on the TV and enjoy viewing those game graphics on a big screen.
Verdict: The Daiwa 55-inch UHD TV is an affordable option for those looking to buy a smart TV and it does not compromise on the picture quality. The looks are also appealing but the occasional lag is a factor that spoils the viewing experience. If you can overlook that and want a screen only for high-quality content viewing, you can go for it without burning a hole in your pocket.