Blaupunkt, which is popular in car audio segment, has also developed its portfolio in the consumer lifestyle business. The electronic equipment manufacturer from Germany recently forayed into the television market in India with competitive pricing. The company has brought it range of smart televisions to Flipkart in September with a vision to take on the segment being slowly captured by the likes of Xiaomi, Thomson, TCL and Kodak.
The Hildesheim-headquartered firm is planning to invest close to Rs 365 million initially and Rs 22 billion over the next three to five years. It will be manufacturing the LED TV lineup in India at Trigur’s factory in Sonepat, Haryana. These TVs will be sold in neighboring countries such as Bangladesh, Nepal, and Sri Lanka as well.
The big-screen television which we have reviewed sports 4K LED panel with Android-based smart features along with a built-in 60W soundbar. The Blaupunkt 55-inch 4K Ultra-HD Smart TV can be purchased anytime on Flipkart for Rs 47,999, with no flash sale model to hinder availability. We got hold of this premium big-screen television for review, and here’s what we think of it.
I always feel that the design part is subjective, and in the case of a television, it is even dependent on how it will fit in with the decor and furniture in your viewing room. In my case, I just found the Blaupunkt 55-inch 4K Ultra-HD Smart TV design to be average and functional, but not the best in its class.
In terms of what I didn’t like in this Blaupunkt TV is that the silver plastic borders and edges doesn’t look well-finished. When it comes to the sound bar, although I find it to be a nice addition to any TV personally, it looked a bit odd on this Blaupunkt television. It would have made more sense for the maker to use a deeper shade of black for the entire body as it would blend in to the soundbar seamlessly and the overall device would have looked more appealing.
If you compare the looks of this Blaupunkt TV to the offerings by other competitors in same price range, by this one does not even get close, especially to Xiaomi’s Mi LED TV 4 55-inch. Having said that, the TV frame feels thick and solid. It comes with two solid metal leg stands, but you do have the option to use the included wall-mount and place the TV on a wall.
Picture and Sound
The Blaupunkt 55-inch 4K Ultra-HD Smart TV boasts of built-in 60W soundbar apart from the Ultra-HD 4K 3840 x 2160 resolution LED display panel.
During my review, I was thoroughly impressed with the sound output this Blaupunkt TV produces. The built-in 60W soundbar can easily fill up your room and you’ll enjoy music on it. In terms of picture experience, I found it just about acceptable. Of course, I did not expect it to reproduce finer quality output like an OLED TV, but even for an LED TV, I found the experience to be below par.
I didn’t find the colors to be accurate or appealing, but it is pretty much identical to the results from any 55-inch smart TV priced under Rs 50,000. Just to give you an idea, the blacks and contrast are average on this Blaupunkt TV. Also, the reflective TV panel only adds a hindrance to the side viewing experience, and users not directly in front of the TV will find their experience affected.
While I was not impressed with the default settings, a few tweaks in the picture settings did somewhat improve the picture output. Blaupunkt has added a backlight adjust option along with various other standard settings for color temperature, aspect ratio adjust and digital noise reduction (DNR) on the TV.
The display offers only 60Hz standard refresh rate and it is quite low for a TV of this screen size, particularly if you intend to use the TV for modern console gaming or smooth 4K content. It’s not that other competitors in this price segment are offering better refresh rates, but it is an area that affordable TV makers should improve upon.
Smart Features and ‘Made in India’ Android UI
It is common for a Smart TV to have some RAM and storage to support apps and the custom user interface. The Blaupunkt 55-inch 4K Ultra-HD Smart TV comes with an ARM Cortex-A53 quad-core 1.5GHz processor with 1GB RAM and 8GB storage. This also has a ‘Made in India’ Android overlay from Sensara Technologies called SensyTV UI.
Blaupunkt ships in a Sensy STB Controller with the LED TV. This smart little device with two infrared sensors enables you to control the TV and a DTH set-top box from one single remote. The device gets a standard remote and a Sensy smart Air mouse remote, which we liked the most in the entire package. You would need to pair your TV and set-top box with the Sensy STB Controller to enjoy the experience. It comes with three HDMI ports – two at bottom and one at side – along with one RJ45 port for Ethernet connectivity, two Type-A USB ports, one 3.5mm headphone socket and two AV sockets.
Coming to the Sensy TV UI, it comes with a lot of pre-installed apps for video content. You also get the Google Play store, so you can install other compatible apps on this TV. During my review, I didn’t find the UI experience to be any good, and it was mostly annoying to navigate through the whole interface. The YouTube app has been sideloaded onto the Sensy TV UI, and you cannot install or update the Google version of YouTube from the Play Store. The app doesn’t cast from your phone, which is a bummer.
The good part is that you get Netflix and Amazon Prime, which work fine. Having said that you can always do away with the smart interface altogether by using a Google Chromecast or Amazon Fire TV Stick with the HDMI port.
The TV takes a lot of time to connect to Wi-Fi on boot, which can be bothersome. Another disappointing smart feature in this device is phone Miracast, which has issues in phone discovery as well as smooth casting.
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Verdict: should you buy?
The low-budget big TV trend is a big deal in the Indian market right now, and hence we are seeing many electronics companies pushing out products for this segment. I personally feel that low pricing tends to reflect compromises in various aspects of a television, and this Blaupunkt 55-inch 4K Ultra-HD Smart TV doesn’t differ from those products. That said, the issues are purely on a higher level, and the Blaupunkt gets the basic in place for the most part. Furthermore, the poor quality of the smart TV experience can easily be replaced by a smart dongle.
Although the visual experience is average, you do get a decent sound experience with the 60W built-in soundbar. I would personally ignore this device because of its sluggish Android interface, slow start time and poor connectivity issue. But what I have liked about the TV is its audio output. For me, it is an important quality in a TV bedsides picture quality.
Having said that, the TV display is almost at par with other televisions in this price segment, and stands out only when it comes to sound. Otherwise there are better options now in the market but then they would not provide the kind of sound experience that this Blaupunkt can offer without any additional speaker attachments.
– Soundbar-style audio
– Single sleek universal remote for DTH and TV operation
– Easy navigation with air mouse pointer
– Big 55-inch screen
– Sensy UI
– Voice search
– Long start-up time
– Sluggish Smart TV features
– Design and finish