Televisions are available at all prices and in all ranges, and there’s something available for you no matter what your budget. In fact, even within the same budget, there is a lot to choose from; you could pick an established brand where you get a sense of reliability and often superior performance, or you could opt for a lesser known brand and get either a larger screen or more features. Finding the right balance is often the hardest choice for television buyers, and a product with the right combination of reasonable pricing, features and performance is a rare thing.
This is where Chinese electronics and content maverick LeEco comes in. Starting out as a content producer, LeEco has since involved itself in manufacturing smartphones, accessories for smartphones and televisions, all with the goal of promoting its original business of being a content provider. Whether it is the phones or TVs such as the Super3 range, its products feature top-end hardware for the price and come with a content package included.
Today, we’re reviewing the LeEco Super 4-X43 Smart 4K HDR TV. Part of the latest range of smart TVs by LeEco, the 43-inch TV has a 3840×2160-pixel HDR-capable screen, smart functionality and much more, at Rs 57,490. But despite the fantastic specifications and features, does the TV live up to expectations when it comes to performance? Find out in our review.
LeEco Super4-X43 Smart TV Design
While some brands (including LeEco itself with some of its previous models) pay a lot of attention to appearance and design, the LeEco Super4-X43 Pro Pro TV has a simple approach that doesn’t put too much attention on the way the TV looks. The front is straightforward and dominated by the screen, with plain, uniform black borders all around. The stands are the only aspect of the TV that have a bit of style, curving inwards and offering stability thanks to the wide stance. While the stands won’t matter if you choose to wall-mount the TV, the wide stance might be a problem if you’re keeping the TV on a small table or flat surface.
The panel area of the TV is fairly slim and well designed, while the bottom part gets a bit thicker where the hardware is. The front has a small LeEco logo, along with an indicator light that’s fortunately not too bothersome thanks to its dimness. The speakers are along the bottom and fire downwards, as is the case with most TVs these days. Additionally, one of the TV’s USB ports is located at the top, allowing you to plug in either a webcam or a USB drive easily for watching content. This is a good approach, as it makes it easier to reach the port, rather than fiddling around at the back of the TV.
There are, of course, additional ports at the back, including two HDMI ports, one more USB 3.0 port and LAN, along with sockets for AV in and audio out, optical and antenna. While more expensive TVs offer more ports and connectivity options, what the Super4-X43 Pro offers is pretty much standard and all you really need for most requirements.
The remote is a fairly simple unit, with few buttons on it. Controls are primarily focused on navigation and source selection, and a dedicated ‘Le’ button takes you straight into LeEco’s content package. Apart from the power button which uses infra-red, the rest of the keys on the remote send a signal to the TV using Bluetooth, so you don’t need to point the remote directly at the TV once you’ve switched it on, which is incredibly convenient.
LeEco Super4-X43 Pro Smart TV Specifications, Software and Content
The 43-inch LeEco Super4-X43 Pro Smart TV has a 43-inch 3840×2160 screen which is also capable of displaying high dynamic range (HDR) video content. When viewing content that has been specifically mastered for HDR-capable screens, the LeEco Super4 TV showcases better colors, improved interplay between light and dark areas resulting in better contrast, and brighter visuals. Apart from this, the TV is also a smart TV, allowing for it to be connected to the Internet via wired LAN or Wi-Fi.
Powering the system is an Mstar Smart TV quad-core chipset, along with 3GB of RAM and 16GB of internal storage. The TV runs on a version of the company’s EUI interface, based on Android. It has been heavily customized for the TV and lacks a lot of the functionality that you would typically see on a LeEco smartphone. For example, the native app store has apps that have been built for TVs, and there aren’t a lot of useful apps available to download. A few decent content apps can be found, such as Red Bull TV, IGN and others, but the lack of a working YouTube app and other streaming options such as Netflix makes the smart functionality of the TV rather limited.
Apps can be side-loaded onto the TV, but you’re likely to run into compatibility issues with this procedure, including the dreaded Google Play Services error. The TV has its own dedicated browser, and the app store also allows you to install Mozilla Firefox. Using a browser, it’s possible to view content from YouTube and Netflix through their websites, but this isn’t quite as intuitive and easy to use as native apps on the platform itself.
A major selling point of LeEco’s TV range is its inbuilt content package. While previous models featured the LeVidi content package in India, the current TV simply has a ‘coming soon’ banner on the LeVidi tab. However, switching to the Live tab gives you a live stream of various regular television channels, powered by YuppTV. A lot of key channels are available to stream at standard definition, along with a single HD channel that shows music videos free of ads. This is particularly useful to users who want to do away with the DTH connection; you get limited access to ordinary television channels streamed directly over the Internet, absolutely free with the TV.
LeEco Super4-X43 Pro Smart TV Performance
I tested the LeEco Super4-X43 Pro Smart TV with a variety of content at different resolutions, as well as HDR and streamed content on the TV itself. While a lot of the clips I used are demo clips provided by various TV manufacturers and are naturally made to look superb, I also watched some 4K and HDR content streamed over Netflix to get an idea of how everyday accessible content would look. Shows included Narcos and Daredevil, as well as movies and clips in full-HD, 720p and standard definition.
Starting with 4K and HDR content, the LeEco TV produced a picture that, while not perfect, was still pretty good when you consider the price of the TV. Although falling into the budget category, picture performance at the highest resolution never feels sub-par. This is thanks to supreme detail levels, letting you see as deep as the pixels will allow. While colors at 4K can occasionally be a bit excessive, there is visible disturbance and flicker in high bit-rate content, there are occasionally minor processing issues with 4K content, and overall performance doesn’t quite match up to what a similarly specified Samsung or Sony TV will produce, this is still a quality of picture that is more than satisfactory given the price of the TV.
HDR content is fairly impressive for a sub-Rs 70,000 TV as well. Apart from a reduction in flicker, HDR also does a significant amount to improve the quality of the color reproduction, providing more natural and realistic colors. Once again, performance is not quite what we can expect to see on a top-end TV from one of the big brands, but it’s definitely noteworthy that LeEco have managed to produce an HDR TV at such a low price, and one that does an acceptable job with the format. While darker scenes do appear a bit dull for my liking, details remain sharp and clean, and differences between dark zones and light zones within the same frame are pronounced and clearly visible. Skin tones are visibly better, and motion quality is fantastic too. Tweaking the settings will let you set up the TV to just how you like it, and you’re assured a pleasing picture experience with the LeEco Super4-X43 Pro TV.
With full-HD and 720p content, what is notable is that the quality of the motion remains. Images flow smoothly, and while a lot of viewers prefer a bit of judder in the picture, the LeEco TV shows that it’s capable of a strong, flowing picture, although heavy action sequences with a lot of movement and activity show the TVs processing issues once again. Upscaling is also fantastic at this level, and much of the details are maintained. While there are minor contrast issues, and some flicker and disturbance in dark areas remains visible, it’s not much of a concern when you consider the overall quality of the upscaling. Indeed a reason for the great upscaling is partly due to the small screen size and pixel size, but if you intend to watch a lot of high-definition and 4K content, there aren’t many TVs that perform quite as well in this price range.
As is the case with all of the 4K TVs I’ve tested, standard definition content is not up to the mark when it comes to picture quality and definition. This is of course due to the mammoth task of upscaling low-resolution content to fit on all of the pixels of a 4K TV, and as a result, the TV is not the ideal option if you intend to do most of your watching with standard definition content. Motion remains good, but much more flicker and disturbance in the picture is visible at the lowest resolutions.
Sound quality on the TV is just about acceptable, capable of reaching volumes that are good enough for an ordinary living room. While the sound should suffice if you’re unwilling to spend more, it is recommended that you get a decent aftermarket soundbar to bring sound up to the quality of the picture and improve your viewing experience.
Despite primarily being a content producer and distributor, LeEco has done a commendable job of manufacturing good hardware at competitive prices, and the Super4-X43 Pro Smart TV is no exception to this. It’s a genuinely capable TV that offers a combination of good picture, great features, streaming content and HDR capability, all at a sensible price of Rs 57,490. Although LeEco doesn’t command quite the same respect which brands such as Samsung, Sony and LG do, the Super4-X43 Pro gets the one thing right that really matters — picture.
Although it is by no means stellar or groundbreaking when it comes to performance, it’s certainly a value offering that questions whether it’s worth paying significantly more for improvements and features that are incremental at best. At Rs 57,490, the LeEco Super4-X43 Pro Smart TV offers you 4K resolution, smart connectivity, unique internet-based content and HDR compatibility, and I would definitely recommend that you consider this if you’re looking for a new 43-inch smart TV, particularly for its HDR capability. You can buy the LeEco Super4-X43 Pro Smart 4K HDR TV here.