Chinese electronics maker Realme recently expanded its smart TV portfolio in India with the launch of the Realme Smart TV SLED 4K, a 55-inch model with a new breed of display technology (SLED) for improved viewing experience. Said to be better than conventional LED TVs, the Realme Smart TV SLED 4K promises enhanced contrast ratio, deep blacks, and a wide colour gamut.
But is SLED a real breakthrough in display technology or just another marketing gimmick? Let’s find out:
The Realme Smart TV SLED 4K is a well-built television for its size – it neither has thick bezels around the screen nor does it protrude too much on the back. Its slim profile makes it convenient to mount on the wall. However, it is best for a table-top set-up as ports on the back are difficult to access in a wall-mount set-up. The TV comes with a premium-looking metal-made side legs for a table-top set-up. Unfortunately, the legs fit on extreme ends and require a wide table for setting up. A centre stand would have been a better choice for a table-top set-up.
Based on the Google Android TV platform, the Realme Smart TV SLED 4K is easy to set up. All it requires is a Google account, a smartphone and wireless internet connectivity. You can link the TV with your Google account through Google Assistant. Once linked, the TV syncs account data with TV for set-up. Using a smartphone minimises the set-up time, if you have a Google account, as the television syncs the information from your account. You will need to approve the request by entering a code that appears on your smartphone. The set-up process takes a few more steps if you decide to go ahead without using the smartphone. You can also set the TV up without Google account but that will restrict its smart capabilities.
Being an Android television, the television boots the Android TV 9 Pie. There is no custom skin here and you get stock Android launcher with most of the apps and their featured content visible on the home screen. There is a Play Store for TV to download apps, if you need to. It has a built-in Chromecast – a common feature in Android televisions to allow you to cast content from supported mobiles, tablets or PCs on to the television screen. As for the performance, navigating through the user interface is easy, without any lag or visible distraction. Opening apps take some time but not so much as to ruin the overall user experience. There is a quick-resume feature that puts the TV in the sleep mode without suspending the apps. Therefore, the TV wakes up instantly from sleep and resumes the UI from where you left.
In theory, the SLED panel is better than LED because its backlighting uses RGB array instead of just the blue array. Moreover, the RGB array is touted to reduce blue light emission, which, besides improving contrast, reduces eye fatigue too. Jargons aside, the SLED is an improvement over the conventional LED panels. It boasts better contrast and a wide colour spectrum for better viewing experience. Though an improvement over LED panels, it is still no match to quantum LED-based panels.
The SLED screen of the Realme Smart TV SLED 4K renders saturated colours with warm tones. Contrast is good and black appears darker than how it usually appears on conventional LED screens. Unfortunately, the colour reproduction is not natural and there is no way one can tune it for natural output. Not that the screen looks bad, but it might not impress everyone. Backlighting is another issue. Though the panel supports HDR10, the dim-lit panel does not seem best suited for high-dynamic-range content as it appears dark and dull.
The Realme Smart TV SLED 4K has a 24W quad-speaker set-up with Dolby Audio support. Though loud and crisp, the speakers seem underpowered to deliver an experience to match the on-screen content.
Priced at Rs 42,999, the Realme Smart TV SLED 4K is one of the better options in the LED smart TV segment. It has minimal design, vivid screen and an easy-to-use Android TV operating system. It does fall short in terms of audio performance, but not so much as to hamper the overall experience. Consider this smart television if you want a 55-inch smart 4K TV that delivers on most counts.