Price: Rs 99,999
Specs: 65-inch QLED TV, 3840 x 2160p resolution, 178 degree viewing angle, 60Hz refresh rate, Android TV 9, ARM Cortex A53, 2.5GB RAM, 16GB storage, 3 HDMI, 2 USB ports, WiFi 2.4+ 5Ghz, Play Store apps, Google assistant.
Gone are the days when consumers had very limited options to choose from while buying a big panel TV. Today, with brands like VU, Xiaomi, Kodak to name a few, consumers are spoilt for choice. Joining this bandwagon is the iconic PC company Compaq, which recently launched its 65-inch 4k QLED TV in India. But can it survive the competition from the likes of Samsung and TCL?
Boasting a metal body, this 65-inch TV has a bezel-less panel that looks good. However, there is a 2cm black border on the top and sides, which appears TV wide including the Android UI, OTT apps like Hotstar as well as system settings.
While it's a sleek panel, there is a huge metal bump at the rear which houses the innards as well as connectivity ports.
The panel is good for watching movies and shows in both full HD and 4k resolution. I watched some of the shows and movies across genres including cartoons, comedy, and action, on apps including Hotstar and Prime Video, and the TV did not disappoint. Everything was vibrant and clear, however, blacks could be deeper.
Good but not revolutionary
The panel quality isn't bad, but it isn't revolutionary either. Although not a sports fan, I watched many Tokyo Olympics 2020 events live on this TV. While streaming the Indian men's hockey match, for a moment I thought someone threw the hockey stick, only to realise later that it was the ball. This wasn't a refresh rate issue (although 60Hz is less) but there was a lag in the feed.
Also, the Sony Liv Olympics coverage didn't seem to be impressive either as there was a lag in loading content and even the feed resolution wasn't very good. But when I streamed the match report on Hotstar, I could see a significant positive shift in terms of colour reproduction, clarity, and motion. But the feed isn't to be blamed fully.
While the company claims it supports a 5GHz band for WiFi, the TV was not able to identify any of my 5GHz bands. It was connected to 2.4GHz band and took time to download apps or play content. It supports casting and I was able to stream Sony Liv and other apps right from my smartphone onto the TV. There definitely was a huge jump in terms of clarity.
Settings button on remote
One small thing that makes a difference in experience is quick access to settings to tweak display and sound. To help with this, Compaq has added a dedicated settings button on the remote with which I was able to adjust picture brightness, colour and hue. When controlling the volume, I was able to quickly switch between the preset sound modes (news, movies, sports, etc.), which otherwise is a little hassle in some of the other smart TVs.
The Compaq HEX 65-inch QLED TV is a good proposition given the price but is not flawless. The Android TV user interface wasn't smooth and had lagged compared to some of the panels like the OnePlus TV.
Even the remote's range seemed to be limited - I had to point it towards the bottom of the screen for it to work smoothly. Otherwise, I just kept on pushing the buttons and waited for the TV to respond. The remote also had a weird design - it is slightly raised from the middle. This made it rather uncomfortable to grip and reaching the dedicated buttons for Netflix, YouTube, and Voice Assistant was a little cumbersome. This TV runs on Android version 9 with the Android security patch level released on November 5, 2020. Also, when played content from pen drive, the videos were stretched. The TV didn't upscale the aspect ratio automatically as the setting has been turned off by default.
If you have a fixed budget and do not want the spend a penny more, go for the Compaq Hex 65-inch QLED TV. But if you can stretch your budget, consider the Samsung Frame, retailing for Rs 1,29,990, which is undoubtedly the best TV in the business.
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