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Truvison TX55101 4K UHD TV Review

2018 is the year when India is finally taking 4K seriously. The competition’s hot in this segment, and all major players, old and new, are putting interesting products on the table. It’s truly a great time to be a buyer in this segment.

That brings us to Truvison, a Europe-based consumer electronics company that’s relatively new in India, and has brought its new 4K TV range to the market. The model we are testing today – the TX55101, doesn’t have HDR support but does have an interesting list of features. How well does it actually perform?

This is what we found out.

Truvison TX55101 design and specifications

The Truvison TX55101 has a metallic front bezel that’s evenly sized on all four sides. When you first take this TV out of its box, you’ll have to carefully peel off a plastic protective layer covering the screen before you start using it. We understand that this is meant to protect the screen, but removing it is tricky, and you could end up leaving some hard-to-remove plastic strands tucked inside the bezel.

The metallic stands have a standard two-spoke design, and the same finish as the bezel, making them match perfectly. Overall the design is simple, yet elegant. It will look good in most living rooms.

Truvison also bundles a wall mount in the box in case that’s what you prefer. The TV has three HDMI ports; two on the back and one on the side.

There are two USB ports, both USB 2.0, which is a shame considering that you will need USB 3.0 if you want to play 4K videos smoothly from external drives – but more on that in a bit. The TV supports Wi-Fi connectivity, and there’s also an Ethernet port on the back. For audio output there’s a line-out port on the side and a coaxial port on the back of the TV; the latter for surround sound.

Finally, there are two sets of composite inputs on the back, and the RF Antenna input along with an SD card slot on the side. The Truvison TX55101 comes with two remotes – one is a standard IR remote that everyone’s familiar with, and the other is a Bluetooth remote with air mouse functionality and a keyboard on the back. The IR remote is quite straightforward and functional, with shortcuts for the Netflix, YouTube, and NexGTV apps, which come pre-installed on the TV.

The Bluetooth remote on the other hand is not the typical second remote with a minimalistic design that we’ve seen from other manufacturers. It has all the main controls of the IR remote, plus shortcut buttons for YouTube, Netflix, Hotstar, and the Google Play Store.

It even uses IR to send these button presses to the TV. On the back of the remote is a full QWERTY keypad for typing, and that’s what is communicated via Bluetooth – along with the air mouse functionality. The thing is, the remote requires a Bluetooth receiver which occupies one of the two USB ports on the TV.

After using it for a while, we’d say it is definitely better optimised for a point-and-click interface, which means sacrificing a USB port. The Bluetooth remote leaves the standalone IR remote redundant. To make matters worse, the IR receiver has a very narrow sensor field, which means you have to explicitly point the remote at the bottom right of the TV for it to register your input.

Truvison TX55101 features and software

The Truvison TX55101 runs a customised version of Android 4.4.4 (KitKat).

Selling a product with such an old version of Android is problematic to begin with, and to make things worse, it runs only the mobile versions of all Android apps. This means that Netflix, Hotstar, and Amazon Prime Video (available on the Play Store), run as they would on an Android smartphone, instead of using their TV-optimised interfaces. You have to keep switching to the air mouse to operate these apps, and it can end up being an exercise in frustration.

Also, it’s important to note that none of the apps recognise the panel’s 4K resolution, which means that all videos from them will play capped at full-HD. The TV lets you download additional apps from the Google Play Store, but there’s a caveat here as well. Not a lot of apps support Android KitKat anymore.

Some apps like YouTube won’t even update to their latest versions for this exact reason. The TV has a total of 8GB of storage, of which only around 4GB can actually be used. It’s not much so you ‘ll have to be picky about the number of apps you install.

Truvison TX55101 4K UHD TV Review Needless to say, the “smart” TV functionality is quite a letdown. You’d be better off using external players such as a PlayStation 4 Pro, an Apple TV, or any other 4K source to make the most of this TV.

As we have stated, this is a 4K TV without HDR support, which seems like quite a miss for a TV at this price point. It does have a peak brightness of a little over 300 nits, which is good enough for a clean standard dynamic range (SDR) image. The panel itself is a LED-edge-lit LCD, and the company claims a contrast ratio of 2,000,000:1.

Truvison TX55101 performance

Software issues aside, running 4K media on the panel gave us some pretty interesting results.

The external devices that we used for testing – a PlayStation 4 Pro and an Apple TV 4K – recognised the display as 4K immediately. We first tried out 4K shows such as The Punisher, Stranger Things, and Black Mirror, all of which looked pretty good overall. There was no noticeable ghosting in bright scenes, and no light leaks in dark ones.

In fact, the picture was clearer in shows with film grain effect, such as The Punisher. This show does not look good on a lot of 4K panels – even ones with HDR. Here, the TV did a pretty good job of noise reduction (by default, no additional settings were required), resulting in a cleaner picture, with the film grain effect playing a more passive role.

The colours on the TV are also well calibrated, and we didn’t notice any particular colour overpowering the others. Black levels were well managed well, as far as edge-lit panels go. You don’t get the deepest of blacks, but as long as you’re not watching a very dark film in a dark room, you shouldn’t have much to complain about.

The black levels also help with contrast, which makes images pop well. Truvison TX55101 4K UHD TV Review In games, the TV fared just as well when it came to visual quality.

We did however notice very slight input lag in twitch-style action games such as Injustice 2, which can be because of the TV’s high response time of 8ms. It’s not that big of a deal for most games, but could be a bit of an issue if you’re planning on playing competitive online titles. Upscaling is not a strong point for the Truvison TX55101, and watching 1080p videos showed an instant difference in quality.

As you go lower in resolution, the image quality keeps getting worse. Moreover, we noticed that when we sat close to the TV – say only about 4-5 feet away – there was noticeable horizontal interlacing across the screen. This was evident in the Smart OS interface as well as all the media, apps, and games we ran on this TV.

Once we saw it, we couldn’t unsee it. If you have an eye for these things as we do, the interlacing could become a problem to the point that you would be looking for it even when it’s not so evident. Truvison TX55101 4K UHD TV Review

We were able to play full-HD videos from an external drive using the TV’s in-built media player, but we had trouble across the board when trying to play 4K files. The videos would either glitch out completely or just play at an unwatchably slow framerate. Even installing VLC player on the TV didn’t help.

In terms of audio, this TV was quite adequate if all you’re concerned about is loud, room-filling sound. The two 10W speakers do offer decent sound, but it isn’t exactly an aurally immersive experience. For more refined audio quality, you should put the TV’s digital audio output to good use, since Dolby Digital audio is supported.

Verdict
Despite not being HDR-capable, the panel on the Truvison TX55101 was initially quite impressive and promising.

4K performance across movies, TV shows and games was pretty good. However, the same can’t be said about the rest. The outdated OS, unimpressive upscaling, and the interlacing issue are three strikes against a TV that costs Rs.

68,990, which is really a shame. Sure, other options at this price level might not be perfect either, but their flaws aren’t deal-breakers. Price: Rs.

68,990 (MRP)

Pros

  • Contrast and colours are handled well
  • Room-filling audio
  • Feature-rich Bluetooth remote

Cons

  • Visible interlacing
  • Outdated OS
  • No 4K playback through USB
  • Unsatisfactory upscaling
  • Narrow IR sensor range

Ratings (out of 5)

  • Design: 3.0
  • Performance: 2.5
  • Value for money: 2.0
  • Overall: 2.5

Hands on: Samsung Galaxy A6 Plus review

In a market that’s slowly adapting to hardware-centric decision making for smartphone purchases, Samsung still believes that user experience isn’t directly propositional to on-paper specifications. Samsung says it spends around £50 billion to £60 billion on RnD globally every year. The fund is to learn user behaviour and customise their phones as per their need.

To prove their point, the company released the Galaxy A6 Plus alongside the A6 in India recently.

The phone is aimed at ‘millennials’, who are more into multimedia and social media. Meaning, a good display, camera, support for latest apps and features. I have the Galaxy A6 Plus, and it has been treating me well so far.

But if you question if I’ll shed Rs 25,990 for this phone, I’ll have to take a few more days to answer that. Still, looking at the fierce competition right now, I can safely say it’s priced slightly over the average mark.

Samsung Galaxy A6 Plus availability and price

The Samsung Galaxy A6 Plus has been priced at Rs 25,990. The Galaxy A6 and Galaxy A6 Plus will be available from 22 May exclusively from Amazon.

Offline, the phones will be avialable on all Samsung and its partner stores.

A sturdy metal design, with ease of usability.

Design

Samsung Galaxy A6 Plus specs

Dimensions: 160.2 x 75.7 x 7.9 mm
OS: Android 8
Screen size: 6.0 inches
Resolution: 1080 x 2220 pixels
CPU: Snapdragon 450
RAM: 4GB
Storage: 64GB
Battery: 3,500mAh
Rear camera: 16MP + 5MP
Front camera: 24MP The biggest change introduced on the Galaxy A-series this time is the elongated ‘Infinity display’ with 18.5:9 aspect ratio. It covers the front.

That means removal of home button, extra bezels from the top and bottom, and a narrow but tall display. It is similar to what is already seen on the more powerful Galaxy A8 Plus. Surprisingly, Samsung has used metal in place of glass.

Glass undoubtedly adds more class to the design, but metal has its own advantages. It’s more durable and doesn’t catch fingerprints like glass. The back is flush, the quality of finish is premium and it also has rounded sides and corners.

I call it a football field design, as Samsung has found a new pattern to fit the antennae bands. Both the bands form a D-like shape at each end. Plus, there’s Samsung’s standard soda can tab-style camera module with two lenses and fingerprint sensor.

There’s nothing on the top of the phone, while the left looks too busy residing the volume keys and two separate slots for SIM cards and micro SD card. Power and lock key is on the right, with a smartly placed loudspeaker grill that doesn’t muffle while holding the phone in landscape.

Micro USB port is dated Don’t look at the bottom of the phone, it may upset you.

It’s difficult to understand why there’s a microUSB port on a Rs 25,990 phone. Small elements like these make a major difference. Expecting a USB Type-C port on a phone of this price is fair, and Samsung must do something about it.

Always on display feature scores extra points.

Display

The trend is about 18:9 aspect ratio, and being among the first ones to adapt the change, Samsung has done it in the Galaxy A6 Plus as well.

But in this case, it’s 18.5:9 similar to other Galaxy smartphones. The display has a full HD+ resolution and it’s undoubtedly the highlight of the phone. It’s bright, immersive and crisp.

Samsung’s AMOLED panels have always impressed and this one makes sure it has the best screen in its league too.

Samsung’s proprietary UI works well with Android 8.0

Performance and software

Although the phone sports an entry-level Snapdragon 450 chipset, we didn’t find the Galaxy A6 Plus struggling for power until now. To be honest, we haven’t put a lot of stress on the phone either. The chipset is found on Xiaomi Redmi 5, which starts at Rs 8,999 and it does well for a phone for that price.

But for Rs 25k? We need some more time to give a word on that. The Galaxy A6 Plus runs the Android Oreo 8.0 with company’s custom UI on top.

We must say Samsung has hugely improvised their software in terms of looks, transitions and optimisations. It looks lot cleaner and easy to use. There are a couple of India-centric features that Samsung has baked in this time.

First and the most interesting one is the ‘Chat over video’ that allows users to reply to text on WhatsApp and messages app without interrupting the video. A Facebook Messenger like circular pop-up appears, which can be moved or dragged around the screen. It offers a see-through chat drop down and keyboard, which doesn’t block the video in the background.

As of now, there are a few selected apps supported with this feature, but Samsung will be adding more in the future. Further, it has advanced memory management that automatically trashes duplicate images, moves media from messenger apps to microSD, zip unused files to save space, and deletes unused APKs. So, software-wise, it’s quite packed with skills.

Bixby has also made it to the A-series phone, but it’s more or less a dummy as of now.

Soda can tab style camera module for the dual lenses.

Camera

There’s a dual camera setup having a 16MP primary and 5MP secondary sensor. On the front, there’s a whopping 24MP sensor. The quick shots I clicked looked quite convincing in day light.

Especially, the front camera shots are actually praiseworthy. The pictures looked well-defined with ample of details and punchy colours. One sure thing about the phone I can confirm right now, is that selfie-lovers are likely to find it interesting.

Note- The in-depth test of the Galaxy A6 Plus camera will be done in full review. The camera app is very straightforward. It has some really useful features like expanding and shrinking viewfinder, stickers, live focus/selfie focus for bokeh, Bixby vision and a lot more.

Early verdict

The Samsung Galaxy A6 Plus is very well-built and aims to suffice users looking for a dependable multimedia phone.

The front camera managed to impress us in minutes and so did the display. Buying this phone is more like a bargain where there’s quality vs quantity. But is the quality is worth the extra buck to make up for the quantity?

We’ll find out in the full review.

References

  1. ^ Galaxy S9 Plus (www.techradar.com)

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