Best Smart TV in India 2021

Best Smart TV in India 2021

In the TV market, large 4K screens, many boasting HDR compatibility, are now the order of the day. In my role as the UK’s leading expert on televisions, I’ve been scouring the trade shows, and wrestling with people in the shopping aisles on Black Friday, only to find the best affordable television for you personally, sir/madam. 

They’re all priced between Rs.50000 and Rs.10000, and there are some doozies. Still too pricey? We will be serving up a sub Rs.50000 tellies list in the near future.

 

BEST Smart TV in India 2021

The straight answer here is Panasonic’s TX-50EX700. This was a great telly when it launched at around INR 80000, and now you can get it notably cheaper, it is an absolute steal.

For pure screen-inch bang for buck, however, it’s hard to argue with the 55-inch Hisense H55N6800. Its mix of screen size, build quality, effective HDR and excellent smart EPG/streaming TV bits for its cost is highly persuasive.

That is why, in my opinion, now is the time to say goodbye to HD and embrace 4K.

Our chosen televisions include both HDR (high dynamic range – this year’s must-have TV tech for early adopters) and SDR models (standard dynamic range – ie: what all TVs, no matter how pricey, were like all the way back in 2021). 

 

PANASONIC TX-50EX700B Smart TV

SPECIFICATIONS

Screen size: 50-inches

Other sizes available: 40-inch, 65-inch

HDR: HDR10

HDMI: 3

USB: 3

Dimensions: 1115x647x40 mm

REASONS TO BUY

+Superb smart portal Inventive+High-quality design

REASONS TO AVOID

-You’ll want a soundbar-Only three HDMIs

TODAY’S BEST DEALS

Panasonic’s mid-range EX700 range is available in screen sizes between 40- and 65-inches. The 50-inch TX-50EX700B sits in the sweetspot, and is the most affordable 4K HDR offering in Panasonic’s current TV line-up.

Despite that, the spec is very, very impressive. The EX700 boasts effective image processing for smooth motion, and combines Bright Panel technology with wide colour gamut for an outstanding colour performance with punchy contrast. An HDR Brightness Enhancer give pictures real pop. 

Build quality and design are best in class. The set boasts a metal frame, and the curved stand can be either set to the full width of the TV, or used in a narrower gauge to fit a table top – what Panasonic calls ‘Switch Design’. The pedestal can also be reversed, depending on which style you prefer. 

Connections include three HDMIs (all HDCP 2.2 compliant), a trio of USBs and component/composite legacy AV inputs.

The smart platform, Panasonic’s My Home Screen 2.0, is one of the best out there. It’s minimal yet well equipped, offering Netflix, Amazon Video and YouTube in 4K. The set also has a Freeview Play tuner, with full catch-up larder.

A premium screen at a mid-range price point, in short. Get stuck in.

 

PHILIPS 55PUS6272 Smart TV

SPECIFICATIONS

Screen size: 55-inches

Other sizes available: 50-inch

HDR: HDR10

HDMI: 3

USB: 2

Dimensions: 1244x731x78 mm

REASONS TO BUY

+Three-sided Ambilight+Freeview Play

REASONS TO AVOID

-Relatively poor HDR performance-Only three HDMI inputs

TODAY’S BEST DEALS

Philips has significantly upped the ante with its 4K 6-Series models in 2017. The inclusion of Ambilight, its excellent image-complimenting, room-lighting technology, is a real point of difference from the competition.

With Ambilight you can wash your walls with colours, or have it pulsate to the beat of streamed music. If you have a Philips Hue lighting system, it can be fully integrated with that too.

This 55-incher is part of a new line from the brand, the 6272 range, which also incorporates a 50-inch model. The difference from its 6262 stablemates is that we get three-sided Ambilight, not two, and a sexier stand. Mmm.

The specification is top notch. This 55-incher has a Freeview Play tuner, which means all key catch-up TV players are onboard, as well as Netflix and YouView.

Connections include three HDMI inputs, all of which are HDCP 2.2 compliant for hooking up 4K capable gadgets, plus component AV and two USB ports.  

Picture quality is super sharp, with vibrant colour performance, but with a peak brightness of 350 cd/m², the set is more HDR-compatible than HDR capable. This means it’s not really bright enough to really show off spectral highlights, needed for that authentic HDR ping. But with 4K SDR material (as delivered by Sky Q), and HD, be it from a streaming service or Blu-ray, the set is a winner.

 

TOSHIBA 49U7763DB Smart TV

SPECIFICATIONS

Screen size: 49-inches

Other sizes available: 43-inch

HDR: None

HDMI: 4

USB: 3

Dimensions: 1099x 660×55 mm

REASONS TO BUY

+Stylish design+Decent audio

REASONS TO AVOID

-Tired looking smart portal-No HDR on this one

TODAY’S BEST DEALS

From a design point of view, this 49-inch Toshiba is definitely upper class. An ultra slim bezel is balanced by a heavy flat chrome stand. A forward facing micro-speaker array, hidden behind a cloth grille, is an admirable detail. This is one of the nicest looking sub Rs.1,00,000 4K models available.

Connections are more comprehensive than much of the competition as well, with four HDMI inputs, all HDCP 2.2 compatible, three USBs, composite and component inputs, VGA and even SCART – remember that?!

Sonically it’s a better-than-average performer, too, thanks to those crafty, forward-facing drivers.

The set offers Netflix and YouTube, both of which stream in 4K, even if the portal itself looks a bit tired. On the plus side, we get Freeview Play, so mainstream Catch-up TV services are all provided, albeit via a rather spartan guide that’s presented without a live TV window, or even live audio. The only screen dressing is a thumbnail image for any highlighted programme.

The Toshiba remote features dedicated buttons for Netflix, YouTube and Freeview Play; the latter takes you to channel catch-up players.

The set is 2160p, but not HDR compatible. Still, it looks subjectively bright and detailed with 4K SDR sources, and upscales regular Blu-ray a treat. Don’t shortlist this set if you want to play games though; input lag is way too high at over 50ms. The screen-dimming Energy Saving mode is a bit iffy, too.

If you’re after a smaller screen, you may be interested to learn that this one is also available as a 43-incher.

 

CELLO 55 PLATINUM P55ANSMT-4K Smart LED TV

SPECIFICATIONS

Screen size: 55-inches

Other sizes available: 50-inch

HDR: None

HDMI: 3

USB: 3

Dimensions: 974x571x79 mm

REASONS TO BUY

+Makes an excellent gaming TV with a few tweaks+Unusually good sound

REASONS TO AVOID

-Not so good for TV or movies-Smart portal is devoid of smarts-A big ol’, chunky thing

TODAY’S BEST DEALS

This big-boned Cello Platinum 4K TV is a curious proposition. The smart portal is Android based, but a throwback to Android Kitkat, so essentially unusable. There’s precious little in the way of image sophistication – you can’t alter sharpness or colour, manage contrast or tweak gamma – and it’s far from HDR compatible.

However, it puts all the 4K detail in the source onscreen and tempts with an extremely low input lag, making this a potentially huge 4K gaming display. Backlight uniformity is also above average. To fix the forced overscan, swap the HDMI Video mode to PC Mode. This tweak also gets input lag down to just 26ms. Given it’s not very bright, you’ll probably want to use it in a low-light room.

Connections include three HDMIs, all HDCP 2.2 compliant, plus a trio of USBs and composite AV. There’s also a micro SD card reader. The supplied Cello IR remote is a tad directional, and often takes several stabs to elicit a response. 

However, thanks to that multi-driver soundbar, audio quality is considerably better than rival flatscreens at this price point, with a soundstage that’s got presence and welly.

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