The way Xiaomi and OnePlus have revolutionised the smartphone space with feature-rich affordable phones, VU has been doing the same in the flat panel TV space for many years. The company has been offering latest feature-rich flat panel TVs for less than half the price of what the leading competition offers.
The latest feather in VU's hat is the 4K official Android TV, which is available in three sizes - 43inch, 49inch and 55inch. The panel of this 43inch Android TV looks pretty decent with sleek plastic panels running around the sides, making it look just like any other LED TV in the market. There is a soundbar at the bottom and in all, three HDMI ports and two USB ports. This TV is accompanied with two remotes - a regular TV remote with number-pad and a dedicated button for Netflix app and the secondary Bluetooth remote with minimal controls and voice search button. While the bigger remote worked out of the box, I had to pair the Bluetooth remote from the settings. When paired using the regular Bluetooth pairing method, the remote would disconnect after some time. I had to follow the instruction manual to pair the Bluetooth remote, post which it worked smoothly. On the Xiaomi Mi TV 4 55inch, the Bluetooth remote is the first thing you pair when you turn on the TV for the first time. Just like Xiaomi, VU could have done with just one remote, instead of adding two, as I was able to launch the Netflix app using voice search as well.
There are a plenty of smart TVs in the market but the highlight of this TV is the operating system and UI. While some of them have their own custom UI, many players simply load the older version of the Android operating system (designed for phones and tablets) and sell them as smart TVs. However, VU has worked with Google to offer a user interface designed especially for TVs. The layout is pretty neat with recommendations, apps, followed by settings icon at the bottom. I was able to watch content on some of the popular apps such as Netflix, Sony Liv, Hotstar, Alt Balaji, Voot, to name a few. More apps can be downloaded from the Play Store but the list is limited and the Amazon Prime Video app is missing from that list. I was also able to search for content by typing in the search bar or using the voice search. But there was a lag of close to three seconds before the TV was ready to hear and process my request. The voice search worked well. A simple command to play the 'winning shot of cricket world cup 2011' fetched the same. This TV also comes with built-in Chromecast feature that allows compatible apps on iOS and Android phones to push content on the TV.
All things aside, a lot depends on the picture quality and sound. This 4k TV doesn't disappoint at this price. The image clarity on this 4k TV is sharp with good colour reproduction and deep blacks. For sound output, the TV comes with a built-in soundbar having two 10-watt speakers, which is loud in comparison to the other smart TVs but in no way great. While the vocals were clear, it lacks bass.
The price tag of Rs 38,500 isn't too much for this 43inch 4K TV but by spending a little extra, you can get Xiaomi's 55inch smart TV (priced at Rs 44,990) minus voice search and Play Store.