Television market in India have continued to grow in the past couple of years, thanks to the affordable smart TV options from various Chinese manufacturers. As per the data, consumers have spent a little more than the estimated, and we are likely to see the trend going upwards for another one or two more years. As a result, we are now seeing more conventional TV manufacturers making their way into the online exclusive segment. And to tap the same market, Toshiba (which once had a strong hold in the TV market share in India) has re-entered the country after its acquisition. Now known as the Hisense-owned company, Toshiba has kick started its second innings by launching seven new televisions in India. Also Read - Samsung Galaxy F42 India launch tomorrow: What's confirmed, what could be the price?
These new UHD and smart televisions from Toshiba were launched in September in three series: U79 as the premium UHD series, U50 as the UHD series and L50 as the smart series. All of these have been competitively priced for online market space to take on the current favorites from Xiaomi, OnePlus, Vu and more. Also Read - Forget iPhone 13, grab iPhone 12 at an effective price of Rs 44,999 during Flipkart Big Billion Days sale
Out of the seven new SKUs, we got our hands on the 50-inch 4K smart TV from the U50 series. This particular model 50U5050 offers 4K panel with support for Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos. The company has priced it pretty well at Rs 32,990, but is it worth your money? Find out in my full review. Also Read - Amazon prepones Great Indian Festival sale date to take on Flipkart’s Big Billion Days sale
Design, Display panel and Picture quality
Starting with the design and the display panel, I found this Toshiba Ultimate 4K LED TV (50U50) to be quite modern and premium just like most other TVs in its segment. The well flushed 50-inch 4K display panel looks good with minimum possible bezels on three sides. The bottom edge gets a slightly thicker plastic bezel with Toshiba branding on the left corner and small LED light in the bottom-center. Toshiba provides an elegant metal stand for you to table-top the television as well as a wall mount to hang it up.
Talking about the 50-inch display panel, Toshiba claims that the 4K VA panel offers 1000 times more colors, 40 times brighter whites and 10 times darker blacks than a normal SDR TV. In addition, it supports all kind of High Dynamic Range (HDR) formats including HDR10 and HLG. All of it, is backed by an Ultra Dimming technology and Dolby Vision to deliver deeper blacks.
During my review time, I found a lot of it to be correct. The 4K panel is quite good and it does well for online content streaming, even in HD or 1080p. The picture experience on DTH is also good on this TV, especially for HD channels. In case, you are more inclined towards Chinese affordable televisions, then let me tell you, this Toshiba TV panel is better-tuned for your daily television viewing experience than those competition televisions in my opinion. Overall, I couldn’t complain much about the design or the picture quality during my review time, and I am sure you’ll like it too.
Remote control and Sound quality
This Toshiba (50U5050) 4K TV ships with a standard remote control, which is a good thing in my opinion, because it allows easy navigation for elderly people as well as kids at home. There is Netflix onboard, and you will also be able to access it with just one click from the Netflix hotkey on the remote. It also gets additional keys for YouTube, Google Play and Alexa-powered voice search. You can also connect to an additional storage with the help of two USB-A ports at the back, and there is a dedicated ‘Media’ key for you to access content from it.
Coming to the sound, this Toshiba Ultimate 4K LED TV (50U5050) packs a 30W down-firing speakers with Dolby Atmos technology. You also get extra audio settings to manage the sound according to your need. Coming to the quality of it, the sound output is just about fine on this TV and not great. What I didn’t like is that despite having bigger powerful speakers, these do not offer clarity in sound (specifically mids). The loud output distorts on high volume and you won’t feel the base at all.
Software and Connectivity
The only drawback of this television would be its software. This Toshiba LED TV comes equipped with VIDAA operating system. Unlike most other smart TVs with Android TV operating system, this one doesn’t get access/ support for all OTT apps. It is limited to apps like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, YouTube and Daliymotion among few other random apps. You’ll miss apps like SonyLiv, Disney+ Hotstar, Jio Cinema, Voot etc. That said, the app switching experience was pleasantly smooth. There was hardly any lag in apps start time.
The best part about this television is its instant start time. Unlike all other Android TVs, this one doesn’t take a minute to start. It starts in less than 10 seconds, and with default HDMI source input (like DTH box).
In terms of connectivity, the television has three HDMI ports, two USB-A ports, one antenna port, one RJ45 port (for LAN), and two audio out ports. All the HDMI ports are HDMI 2.0 and support 4K resolution inputs with HDCP 2.2 support. You get Screen Mirroring which lets you connect your phone, tablet or even laptop very conveniently. Another standard feature of Bluetooth audio out is also present. It lets you connect wireless headphones, sound bar or a home theatre with the TV.
Honestly, the ports placement is pretty off on this TV. You’ll be able to access these ports in the table-top configuration (if you are using the stand), but if you plan to mount it on the wall, then it becomes difficult because all the ports are located right at the center of the back.
Verdict: should you buy?
In my opinion, this new Toshiba 50-inch smart TV keeps the basics right of a television, which is very important. You get a decent panel with 4K support. What this TV lacks is, a good software. The custom VIDAA OS doesn’t offer support for many apps like an Android TV. In case, your priority of a smart TV is beyond basic apps like YouTube, Netflix and Amazon Prime, then you will have to completely ignore this television (unless you can workaround with an additional Android TV stick or a FireTV stick).
At its asking price of Rs 32,990, this Toshiba TV competes in an overcrowded segment flooded with options from brands like Xiaomi, Vu, Nokia, Motorola, Thomson and TCL. The only advantage I see is that the Toshiba is a known brand, and their expertise in television has built a trust among consumers in India. If you leave out the limited apps support, then there are a lot of things which go in favor of this television. In case you are okay spending a little extra, then I would recommend Nokia’s 55-inch 4K TV in this segment. Also, you get various options from Xiaomi, Motorola and Vu at a similar price bracket.