What makes a TV purchasable?
A television is a vital purchase for customers because it requires the collective decision of the entire family to purchase one. In India, televisions unite the entire family because most of the households still cannot afford more than one television set, this makes the decision of buying a television more painstakingly complex. But how does one really decide which television to buy ? The budget sure is one of the most important data points used to make the purchase decision, but what else? Everyone wants to buy the biggest screen that fits their budget, but is it true that bigger the display the better? What about refresh rates, response times, contrast ratio, native dimming, pixel density ? The reality is that the television makers try to stuff too much data on potential buyers to confuse them into buying the product. Why does that happen? Because the human brain has been trained all its life to interpret more as better. I am not saying that the relation is absolutely false, all i am trying to convey is there is a reality beyond the numbers and that reality is what should actually matter in making the vital purchase decision.
Why are we talking about televisions?
LeEco, in an event in New Delhi unveiled three televisions for the Indian market. These TVs mark the beginning of a diversification goal for LeEco in India. LeEco has sold more than a million phones already in this gadget hungry market and now wants to reintroduce smart televisions in India. The three models that LeEco revealed are the Super 3 X55, X65 and the Max 65, the price range of these televisions starts with Rs 59,790 minus the discounts that will be thrown at customers in the early sale that starts on 10th Aug. All the three sets belong to the coveted category of 4K television, which means they are capable of achieving a resolution of 3840 x 2160. Though to the uninitiated customer the starting price of the range may seem on the higher side, but trust me, it is not. These are the most price effective 4K television sets available in the market currently.
But if the price is in favour of the customer, is the product worthy of the customers money? I was lucky to get an early viewing experience of X55 in the comfort of my home, so let’s find out if there is a reality beyond numbers which makes this TV purchasable.
The X-55 boasts of a 4K resolution display capable of achieving a resolution of 3840 x 2160, that makes it create 4 times the pixels than a normal HD display. The X55 like many other televisions in the market makes use of RGB palette to reproduce images on the screen, now this may seem totally irrelevant to you but it makes a world of difference in how the colours are created on the display, though there are other combinations of colour that can be used but most of the makers play safe by choosing the RGB ( Red , Green , Blue ) . Now, all that is the ‘numbers’ that doesn’t make much sense to the customer , what makes sense is the vividness of the display, the darkness of the black, the originality of the colour.
A good display is one which reproduces the input source as closely as possible and the X55 does that extremely well. Scenic shots look as real as possible and so do shots of people, buildings and cars. The display has a response rate of 5 ms, which makes shots of fast moving objects look more crisp; this really improves the experience of watching a football match on the television. The X55 also has a viewing angle of 178°, which makes the viewing experience consistent from almost all corners of the room. The blacks are not as dark as it should be but the true black can not be achieved as well on a LED display as it can be on a OLED.
The X-55 is one of the most elegantly designed televisions you will find in the market. Why does it look so beautiful? That is because of the –
1) The ultra thin bezel – top/left/right 13.0mm, bottom 18.6mm.
2)Thickness: min 10.9mm, max 49mm.
3) The most creative stand : the Yoga stand, as they call it .
The frame of the TV is made out of high quality metal and is bordered by Aluminium. Another great aspect of the design is the abundance of input/outputs ports. For e.g. the X55 has multiple I/O with 3 ports for HDMI 2.0, 2 ports for USB(USB3.0+USB2.0), 1 for Optical Audio output, 1 for SD card, 1 for VGA and AV input. The remote of the TV is minimalistic in design and has Infrared, 2.4G wireless capabilities, Air-mouse, a gyroscope, a G-Sensor and a microphone for taking voice commands.
The X55 with its decorous design doesn’t not only act as a television set but also improves the aesthetic value of the room it inhabits.
The UI on the X55 is based on the android 5.0 and though it looks well designed there are certain aspects that made me raise my eyebrows. There was no access to google play store, the Netflix app was unavailable and YouTube was not able to stream 4K. Now, why that is an issue because the only sources of 4K content are Youtube and Netflix and Youtube app for some reason did not have the option of running 4K videos and Netflix was not available in the app store, though it can be installed by sideloading the apk.
Apart from that the UI is pretty neatly designed; the layout is divided in three parts
1) Live TV
Live TV streams content for all the channels that are available on the DTH, App layout is where most of the custom apps are available and Input source is for HDMI, VGA sources.
The X-55 comes preloaded with 2.1 channels stereo with 6 speakers with a sound output of 40 watts ( speaker + woofer ). The sound system also comes with with DOLBY and DTS certification. For a room of size 40 ft by 40 ft , the sound output is more than enough to get you off the chair. Apart from the intensity of sound the clarity of vocals is something that will surprise you in the X55. For a majority of houses this set will not need to be accompanied with a speaker system.
The X55 comes preloaded with a 2 year premium subscription, which after two years will cost Rs 4500 a year. This subscription gives you access to 150+ live channels and 4000+ HD movies. The movies collection, which is provided by ‘EROS Now’ is updated frequently with latest titles. Customer who have a good internet connection and sumptuous bandwidth can really relish on this subscription, others might want to upgrade their internet connection because this subscription is drool worthy and economical too because if you totally rely on the subscription you can easily get rid of the DTH connection; no more hung connections during monsoons.
To Buy or Not to Buy ?
The X55 is definitely a great buy because of its brilliant display, aesthetic design and the premium subscription that comes with the purchase. The 55 inch smart TV will be a great addition to your house if you finally want to upgrade to a smart television.
1) The panel has good colour reproduction.
2) Online content ( Movies) is great if you have a decent broadband connection.
3) Design of the TV adds value to the room it inhabits.
4) Under Rs 60K, it is the best TV to buy.
1)Low Refresh Rate ( 60 Hz) .
2) Yupp TV channel quality and content is not satisfying.
3) LeTv store for apps is limited and Google Play Store is not available.
Watch the 3 minute short review of the LeEco Super3 X55 below.
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You can follow the author on twitter here : Harsh Dev