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Realme entered the Indian market in May 2018 as a relative unknown, then marketed as a sub-brand of its much more established parent Oppo. In two short years, the company has separated its brand identity from Oppo and established itself as a key player in the Indian smartphone market thanks to good products and competitive pricing. The company is now looking elsewhere for growth, including the popular and rapidly expanding smart television segment.
After months of chatter and rumours, the company’s first smart televisions are finally here. Priced at Rs 12,999 onwards, the Realme Smart TV series takes on the entry level smart television segment with models at two of the most popular sizes for flat-panel TVs in India – 32 inches and 43 inches. We received the Android TV-powered 43-inch Realme Smart TV for review; read on to find out everything there is to know about this brand new affordable smart TV.
Despite all the marketing hype and publicity, the Realme Smart TV is fairly ordinary when compared to other options in its price segment. That isn’t a bad thing, of course; this LED television sticks to the basics and tries to offer as much as it can at a sensible price. While the more affordable 32-inch variant costs Rs. 12,999, we had the 43-inch variant for review, which is priced at Rs. 21,999.
Apart from the obvious difference in screen size, the more expensive variant also has a higher resolution. While the 32-inch Realme Smart TV has an HD-ready (1366×768-pixel) screen, the 43-inch option has a full-HD (1920×1080-pixel) panel. The rest of the specifications are identical across the two variants, so users looking at the 32-inch model due to size constraints don’t have to worry about losing out on other key features and capabilities.
The Realme Smart TV looks like pretty much any other TV in its price segment, with slim borders on three sides of the screen and a slightly thicker chin. At the centre below the screen is a Realme logo, with a small module just below that for the IR receiver and a status light. The TV is neither very slim nor too thick, and has a plain black plastic back. There are two speaker sets near the corners that fire downwards, for a rated total output of 24W. Each set consists of one full-range driver and a tweeter.
Included in the sales package are stands to table-mount the Realme Smart TV, and installation is easy enough if you have a screwdriver at home. The 43-inch variant weighs just 6.7kg without the stands, and was easy enough to assemble and install ourselves. The TV can be hung on a wall as it has standard VESA sockets. However the wall bracket is an optional extra that you’ll have to purchase separately. Realme told Gadgets 360 that its service technicians can sell you one and set it up at the time of installation.
Despite being an entry-level smart television, the Realme Smart TV is fairly well equipped when it comes to ports and inputs. You get three HDMI ports (one facing to the left and two facing down), two USB ports (one facing left and one facing down), a LAN port, an antenna socket, a digital audio out RCA port, a single 3.5mm AV connector, and a 3.5mm jack to connect wired headphones or speakers. Although it isn’t mentioned in the specifications, HDMI-ARC is supported on the HDMI 1 port.
The Realme Smart TV has a brightness rating of 400 nits and a standard refresh rate of 60Hz. Powering the television is a MediaTek MSD6683 processor, with 1GB of RAM and 8GB of internal storage for apps and app data. The television does of course support Wi-Fi for Internet connectivity as well.
Interestingly, the Realme Smart TV is a rare case of an HDR-capable television that doesn’t have a 4K screen resolution. It claims to support HDR up to the HDR10 format; a rarity in this segment. We’ve explored the actual usefulness of this later in our review, but it’s an interesting specification to note.
We’re used to seeing a lot of design innovation in remotes these days, as manufacturers look to offer minimalist controllers that are focused on smart functionality. The Realme Smart TV is no different, and the remote is an interesting one to look at. It’s compact and designed to feel bottom-heavy, with the Realme logo in front and a distinctive yellow ring around the D-pad. You’ll need two AAA batteries to power this remote, which are included with the TV.
All the important buttons are present, including volume, mute, direction controls, Android TV navigation, Google Assistant, and source selection. There are also hotkeys for Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and YouTube, which we’ve now started to appreciate having on televisions. Pairing the remote is easy enough. The IR emitter is used to control power, and once paired, all other functions can work using Bluetooth even without a direct line of sight.
While most functions on the remote worked fine, we found that the Settings button didn’t do anything; we did hear a button-press sound suggesting that this wasn’t a problem on the remote itself, but rather the software which currently doesn’t seem to recognise its function. This meant that it wasn’t possible to quickly access the Settings menu while content was playing; we had to navigate to the Settings menu in the Android TV interface.
The remote also supports Google Assistant voice commands through its built-in microphone, which worked well for us. Additionally, it has built-in Chromecast functionality, which lets you cast video from supported devices and apps, and this worked properly for us. You can use Bluetooth to pair external audio devices such as headphones or speakers.