Realme 32-inch FHD Smart TV review: an affordable treat

Here is our review of the new affordable smart TV from Realme

Realme had entered India’s growing smart TV segment last year with affordable 32-inch and 43-inch devices priced starting Rs 12,999. Like the brand’s smartphones, the Realme Smart TV had a strong value for money proposition and competed against the likes of Xiaomi’s Mi TV 4A Pro. Realme has now announced a new updated version of the 32-inch model with increased resolution, improved speakers, and more. The TV has been priced at Rs 18,999, and here is a full review.

Design and ports

The general aesthetic of the Realme 32-inch FHD Smart TV remains unchanged from the previous generation and I very much prefer it that way. The inky black colour and minimalistic bezels surrounding the screen give a pleasant look to the TV. Its 32-inch size gives it a small footprint and allows it to be kept anywhere in the house. The stands provided inside the box have a very sturdy feel to them, and with a couple of screws, they can position the TV quite firmly on any flat surface. If you want to mount the TV on a wall, the standard VESA sockets present on the back can accomplish this task, though you will have to purchase the mounts separately. The TV is slightly on the thicker side but doesn’t add a lot of weight to the device, allowing me to carry it around my house with ease. Downward firing speakers, of which there are four, are present on either side of the screen. As far as ports go, the Realme Smart TV is equipped with 3 x HDMI ports with one supporting ARC. Then there are two USB 3.0 ports, an ethernet port, an AV connector, and a 3.5mm headphone jack. In terms of wireless connectivity, the TV supports only 2.4GHz Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 5.0. I would have preferred support for 5GHz Wi-Fi as well. 

Performance, software and remote

Powering the TV is a quad-core MediaTek SoC with Cortex A53 CPUs, 1GB RAM and 8GB of internal storage. I did initially face some lag during the setup process. However, after a while, the UI became smooth and responsive without any noticeable stuttering. The integrated Chromecast feature allows devices to effortlessly cast their screen on the 32-inch display. The TV runs Android TV 10, which allows for easy download of your favourite OTT apps and other stuff from the Play Store.

The remote provided with the TV has a slender and compact design with all the basic controls needed to operate the device, including dedicated buttons for Netflix, Amazon Prime and YouTube. Pairing it is easy enough at the beginning and the buttons are clicky and responsive. The TV can also be controlled via voice commands using the Google Assistant, for which there is a microphone on the remote itself. That said, I did find the Google Assistant struggling with instructions unless they were spoken slowly while the remote is kept very close to the mouth. Another odd thing is that the menu button does not do anything when pressed, which leads me to believe that the software has currently not mapped a functionality for it.

Picture and Sound Quality

The biggest change from last time around is that the Realme Smart TV now supports FHD resolution. Typically you can’t expect a lot from the standpoint of colour accuracy on budget TVs like this one but to the untrained eye, the Realme Smart TV churns out a pleasurable viewing experience. The company claims up to 16.7 million colours on display with an 85 percent coverage of NTSC ultra-wide gamut. The LED panel offers decent blacks and a healthy dynamic range. The contrast ratios were slightly off but for the price, you would hardly find better. The Chroma Boost feature (also found on Realme’s smartphones) works up an enjoyable level of saturation visually. Brightness levels were never an issue and you also have the ability to stream HDR10 content on OTT platforms which further amplifies the visuals. Whether it was the UEFA Euros 2020 or a live stream on Twitch, the Realme Smart TV always felt adequate for my needs. Dolby Atmos support on the 24W quad-speaker setup magnifies the audio department on the TV and in my opinion, punches way above its weight. The sound is crisp with balanced mids and thumping bass although the treble does get distorted at high volumes. 

Final Verdict

In my time with the Realme Smart TV, I had very little to complain about. It has a sound software experience, a healthy number of ports and very good speakers. For Rs 18,999, expectations can’t be too high but the Realme Smart TV 32-inch goes above and beyond to provide a good viewing experience, keeping the design minimalistic and clean. The lack of support for 5GHz Wi-FI that can offer better internet connectivity is my only qualm. There are few options that have begun to crop up for the sub-Rs 20,000 bracket for smart TVs, such as the OnePlus Y Series and the Samsung 32-inch TV. However, these don’t offer FHD resolution or HDR10 support, which makes the new Realme Smart TV 32-inch a very unique proposition.

Editor’s rating: 4 / 5

Pros:

  • Crisp FHD resolution on a budget
  • HDR10 capability
  • Good software
  • Decent speakers

Cons: 

  • Remote feels unresponsive at times
  • Lacks support for 5GHz Wi-Fi