Realme, a smartphone maker that emerged from OPPO’s shadow, has achieved a lot in the last two years. In fact, riding on aggressively priced and well-specced products, it even managed to break into the top ten global smartphone brands in a very short time span. In the next chapter, this born-in-India Chinese company is rapidly expanding into consumer technology and smart home products.
After a few hiccups (pandemic induced), the Realme TVs went official in June and we have been testing the Realme TV 43-inch for the last month. Curious to find out more about the first-ever Realme Smart TV? Hop on as we take you through our experience in this detailed Realme TV 43-inch review:
Realme TV 43-inch review: Build and Design
With its first-ever SmartTV, Realme hasn’t tried to pull off any fancy stunt and has kept things simple – and that’s good. Remember how the unconventional stand (that made the entire TV wobble on high volume) and the distinctive remote on the first OnePlus TV backfired?
Anyways, The Realme 43-inch Smart TV is a reasonably slim tv with narrow bezels. The TV measures 8 cm from sides and weighs about 6.7kgs (excluding stand). The build is certainly not premium but the plastic used doesn’t feel flimsy either.
The bezels on three sides are extremely narrow and there’s a recessed lip housing official branding, IR receiver, and a power button and indicator. There is a narrow gap between the display panel and bottom bezel where lint and dirt accumulated over time.
A standard tabletop stand comes bundled with the TV, while the wall mount is sold separately. You may buy one from the TV installation team or buy a standard mount from any local store.
The back panel has air vents at the bottom to disperse heat generated by TV’s internal. There are bottom-firing speakers on either side along with a tweeter for crisp vocals. The TV is rated to deliver 24W audio output.
Overall Realme has managed to build a robust Smart TV considering the price. We don’t have any major design-related complaints. Our only gripe is that many ports are downward facing and should be difficult to access when the TV is wall mounted (more on this in a bit).
Realme TV 43-inch Review: Connectivity & I/O
Realme TV includes a decent set of input and output ports. On this, 43-inch Smart TV you get:
- 3x HDMI ports out
- HDMI ARC support on HDMI 1 port
- CEC is supported on HDMI 1 and HDMI 3 only
- two USB 2.0 ports
- a SPDIF port for digital audio out
- one Antenna port
- one LAN port
- a headphone jack
Realme fixed an HDMI port, headphone jack, Digital Audio port, and the two USB ports on the left side, while all other reaming ports including two HDMI ports are stacked at the bottom and face downwards. Accessing all these ports takes extra effort on a wall-mounted TV. Surprisingly, the TV comes with a fixed power cord.
As for connectivity, the 43-inch Realme TV includes a 2.4GHz Wi-Fi support and Bluetooth 5.0. A dual-band Wi-Fi would have been ideal. Anyhow, our first love will always be LAN port which thankfully Realme includes on this TV.
It also comes with built-in Chromecast and Miracast as well as wireless display support for Windows. We didn’t face any issues with the built-in Chromecast.
Realme TV 43 Review: Remote Control
One again Realme has made a sensible decision by not trying to anything fancy. Realme Smart TV remote follows airfoil design keeping it compact and ergonomic. The arched back with a bottom-heavy design ensures a firm grip. There are dedicated hotkeys to access Netflix, Youtube, Prime Videos, and Google Assistant.
The remote can communicate with the TV via IR or Bluetooth. The latency is far less with Bluetooth. If you connect with Bluetooth, you can also find out battery levels. The Realme TV remote uses two AAA batteries. To check battery levels, you have to navigate to Accessories settings.
Realme TV 43-inch Review: Hardware and Software
The TV is competently specced when compared to other available options in the same budget. It is driven by a quad-core MediaTek MSD6683 chipset featuring four ARM Cortex A53 cores and Mali-470 MP3 GPU onboard. It comes with a 1GB of RAM and 8GB of internal storage. Following the industry trend, Realme has also dished out its Android TV-based UI here. The TV runs on Android Pie and comes with most of the popular OTT apps pre-installed.
Realme has tried to keep things simple by keeping the interface close to stock. There’s Google Playstore TV edition on board so that one can download apps on the TV. There’s Google Assistant onboard too but it’s not as agile and takes a couple of seconds to kick in. The TV has some software-based enhancements like DNR for smoothing of visual noise, adaptive luma control, etc.
Realme has managed to optimize software and hardware well enough. The interface runs smoothly but is not particularly snappy. The occasional stutters creep up when limited memory runs out. This only happens when you try to push it by switching between apps quickly.
Realme TV 43-inch Review: Display
Now, let’s discuss out the single biggest thing on this TV – display. It’s a 43-inch LED-backlit VA LCD panel that delivers full HD resolution pictures. The panel is bright and manages to deliver better contrast levels than IPS panels offered by the competition in the same segment.
Surprisingly, the panel is not very reflective. Realme claims 400nits of brightness which plays an important part in cutting down screen glares.
Realme TV delivers the most pleasing view experience when you aline your self from the center of the screen at least 3 feet away. Having said that, the TV has 178º wide viewing angles which we don’t see very often on VA panel. But Yes, there is slight colour shifts as you move towards extreme angles.
The TV has an edge-lit panel without any local dimming support. Like most TVs in this budget, this one too doesn’t have much too boast about when it comes to grey uniformity.
That said, the Realme TV screen offers a satisfactory viewing experience, especially if you factor in its pricing. The picture quilty of Realme 43-inch TV is comparable to (or perhaps even better than) offerings from VU, Xiaomi, MarQ, and Nokia by Flipkart, etc. During this review, we tested content through DTH feed, pre-installed apps, and Fire TV Stick 4K (review).
The full-HD content on Realme TV looked crisp and well detailed. As for picture tuning, Realme has tried to implement its learning from its work on Smartphone displays. The TV has something called the Realme Chroma Boost engine to enhance colors.
From Ozark on Netflix to Breath Season 2 on Amazon Prime, we have been consuming content on this TV for a month now. Netflix app and Youtube were able to decode HDR content for playback even though the TV doesn’t have HDR certification resulting in a slightly better dynamic range (but do not expect a proper HDR experience).
Amazon Prime Video app doesn’t go beyond HD. The colours and overall dynamic range were off and I hope Realme And Amazon teams will be able to fix this soon.
Another area where Realme needs improvement is upscaling. HD to FHD upscaling is good enough, but SD content isn’t upscaled properly even when compared against affordable TVs in the same segment.
Realme TV 43 Review: Audio
Sound has been one of the biggest pain points in TVs over the years more so in the budget segment. Well, Realme does get it right. It has deployed a four-speaker system including two full-range speakers and two tweeters for crisp vocals. It delivers a combined output of 24W which is loud both and crisp. It also has Dolby Audio support but expecting a Dolby Atmos experience from TV will be too much to ask.
The audio is much better than what we have experienced on other affordable Xiaomi and VU TVs.
Realme TV 43 Review Verdict
Realme’s very first attempt hits the right chords. Yes, Realme has cut some corners and that is understandable and acceptable for the budget price. Basics like display, audio quality, connectivity, and app support are handled better than what we usually get with TVs in this price segment.
There are some glitches that we hope Realme will iron out via OTA updates or in future versions. But at the price of Rs. 21,999, we can certainly recommend the Realme TV 43-inch as an option.
- Decent Display quality
- Great set of I/O and connectivity options
- Full HD content playback
- Audio performance better than peers
- No 5GHz Wifi support
- SD to HD upscaling
- Minor bugs in software