Ameya DalviAug 06, 2020 13:11:42 IST
A lot of people these days seek our opinion regarding personal technology products they can buy, but from non-Chinese brands. While the options are quite limited when it comes to smartphones, that’s not the case with the smart TV category. The obvious brands that come to mind are Samsung, LG, and Sony, but if you are looking for a large screen TV on a modest budget, those three won’t be of much assistance. But worry not, there are still a lot of good brands that aren’t based within the borders of our north-eastern neighbour that you can consider. Here are the best 55-inch Smart TVs with Ultra HD (4K) panels from non-Chinese manufacturers that you can buy under Rs 40,000 in India currently.
Best 55-inch Smart TVs from Non-Chinese brands under Rs 40,000
Note: Some of the models listed below may not be in stock at certain pin codes from time to time when trying to buy them online. In that case, you may want to try checking with your local electronics stores for their availability. The prices mentioned in this article are their online prices at the time of writing.
Vu 55PM Premium 4K/ 55UT Ultra 4K (Price: Rs 33,999)
The Vu 55PM and 55UT models from their Premium 4K and Ultra 4K series are pretty much the same TVs. The only difference being, the former is available on Flipkart and the latter on Amazon India. They are certified Android TVs that run Android Pie 9.0 for TV and have Chromecast built-in. You get a fairly bright 55-inch VA panel with a rated brightness of 400 nits that supports HDR 10 and Dolby Vision. The TV is powered by a quad-core chip with four A55 cores and Mali-470 MP GPU. It comes bundled with 2 GB RAM and 16 GB of internal storage. All this leads to a stutter-free viewing experience with very good colours and contrast.
The 30 Watts sound output here is quite impressive too for a flat panel display. In the connectivity department, you get three HDMI ports — one of which supports ARC, two USB 2.0 ports, optical audio, headphone out, LAN port and AV inputs. You also have Bluetooth 5.0 to connect wireless speakers or headphones with the TV. A special mention for the wireless remote here that supports voice commands and has hotkeys for Netflix, Prime Video, Hotstar, YouTube, Google Play Store, along with navigation keys, input key, volume control, mute button, settings and a D-pad. Basically, all the necessary keys that you need without creating a clutter. You can read our full review of the Vu PM55 here.
Kodak 55CA0909 (Price: Rs 30,999)
An American brand better known for its photography products has fast gained popularity for its budget TVs in India. The company launched its first certified Android TVs earlier this year, and the 55CA0909 is the 55-inch variant from that series. It is easily the best Kodak TV we have come across to date, with excellent picture quality in this segment and much-improved sound too. Staying true to the current design trends, this model is almost bezel-less on three sides and looks a lot more premium than what its selling price would suggest.
It has a bright IPS panel with support for 10-bit colour and a rated brightness of 550 nits. The colour reproduction and contrast are among the best we have seen in this budget range, and 4K content looks really vibrant on this screen. You get support for HDR standards like HDR10, HLG, and Dolby Vision, but you will have to deal with the occasional stutter till the company releases a software update to fix it. A pair of bottom-firing speakers rated at 30 Watts RMS do a good job of delivering Dolby certified audio.
The hardware specs are modest with a quad-core processor with ARM Cortex A53 cores clocked at 1 GHz each and Mali-450 MP GPU. You get 1.75 GB RAM (1.5 GB detectable) and 8 GB internal storage. Connectivity options include three HDMI ports — one of which supports ARC, two USB ports (one 2.0, one 3.0), Optical audio out, A/V input, and a LAN port. One notable absentee here is a connector for analog audio out — no headphone jack or A/V out, but the TV does support Bluetooth 5.1 to connect your wireless speakers or headphones. And of course, there is Chromecast too. You may read the review of its 50-inch variant here.
Thomson 55 OATHPRO 0101 (Price: Rs 32,999)
Just like Kodak, the French brand, Thomson has been plying its trade in India for their past few years through Super Plastronics Pvt. Ltd. Their latest offering — 55 OATHPRO 0101 brings several enhancements over its predecessor, especially in terms of picture quality. Its features and specifications are almost identical to the Kodak model listed above, and so is the performance. The design is slightly different and you can choose one depending on your taste, availability and brand preference.
Sanyo Kaizen XT-55A082U (Price: Rs 34,999)
This 55-inch variant from Sanyo (the renowned Japanese brand now owned by Panasonic) too is a certified Android TV that runs Android Pie 9 for TV, and comes with a voice-enabled Bluetooth remote and Chromecast built-in. It has 3x HDMI ports, 2x USB ports and supports all major streaming services. This TV is powered by a Mediatek quad-core SoC and has 1.75 GB RAM and 8 GB internal storage. Sound output is rated at 20 Watts RMS and supports DTS True Surround.
What goes in favour of the Sanyo Kaizen XT-55A082U, other than its Japanese legacy, is the presence of a 4K IPS panel with support for over a billion colours and impressive design with extremely slim side bezels. You also get Bluetooth 5.0 and Chromecast built in along with other standard input/output options.
Philips 55PUT6103S/94 (Price: Rs 35,990)
This 55-inch model from the Dutch consumer electronics giant is the only non-Android TV in the list. It runs on Philips’ in-house Saphi OS which is easy to use but not as feature-rich as official Android for TV. You also miss out on apps for some popular OTT platforms like Disney+ Hotstar, Sony LIV etc., and you will need to plug in something like an Amazon Fire TV stick to access those platforms, unless you are ok with mirroring them from your phone. On the bright side, the UI is smooth and pretty much lag-free, and the TV takes just 5 to 7 seconds to boot, which is quite remarkable given that the fastest Android TV takes in excess of half a minute to start.
Connectivity options are good with 2x USB ports, 3x HDMI ports — one of which supports ARC, optical audio output, coaxial A/V inputs, a headphone out and a LAN port. The audio output is rated at 20 Watts RMS but sounds way better than a lot of TVs that flaunt that figure. Since this isn’t an official Android TV, it does not have Chromecast but lets you mirror content from your phone or tablet using Miracast. In terms of picture and sound quality, the Philips 50PUT6103S/94 is noticeably better than most of the competition in this segment and provides ample adjustments to tweak the picture and audio further. You may read the review of its 50-inch variant here.
That’s it for now. If you are on a tighter budget or looking for smaller screens due to space constraints, we will soon provide you with options for that too. Stay tuned.
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