realme Smart TV Long Term Review - Still capable for entertainment machine after 1 year

The realme Smart TV arrived in the Philippines last March 2021, a year after its launch let's see if it's still can be your daily home TV.
The realme TV

To recap, it is a smart TV that comes in two sizes of either 32-inch HD+ or 43-inch FHD resolution, powered by a MediaTek processor, and has 24W Quad Stereo speakers.

The unit that we're going to take a look at is the 42-inch variant which is priced at PHP 18,990 (Currently listed at PHP 15,490 at Lazada).

realme Smart TV Long Term Review - Still capable for entertainment machine after 1 year

To those who missed it, the device comes with a large box. But, getting it out of the box won't require you to use much force with its weight of 6.7kg without the stand.

You will also see the two bases that can be attached below the TV, 4x screws, 1x AV adapter cable, the manual, quick start guide, warranty card, 2x AAA battery, and remote control.
The accessories
The accessories

Setting it up will not require much effort either, just insert the screws provided on each stand then when it's done just plug the power cable on the outlet, and you are good to go.

Build Quality/Design

The realme Smart TV looks neat and minimalist with its modern slim design. 

The material used for the body is mostly plastic a reason why it is not that heavy. The whole device itself still feels solid and won't break anytime soon, and even after a year, we think it is holding out well.

The left, right, and top bezels are also thin at 8.7mm while the chin bezel is just right for that nice viewing experience. 
The front view
The front view

Just like the body, the base is also using plastic material, while it may feel less sturdy compared to other TVs using metal ones, it still does its job and in our experience, we never encountered shaking throughout our entire use with it.
The back view
The back view

At the back, you will see that the brand provided a slot for a VESA mount in case users prefer the device to be placed on the wall. 
Supports VESA mount
Supports VESA mount

Keep in mind that the brand recommends 200 x 200 mm size to fit in. We eventually attached the TV to our wall as not only it is a space saver but we also find it nicer to look at in our living room.

Meanwhile, the Quad Stereo Speakers are located at the lower portion of the back, and the several multimedia ports that you can find under and side portion.
The side ports
The side ports

All ports consist of 3x HMDI(ARC), 2x USB, 1x AV, 1x LAN, and 1x Digital Audio Out.
The ports under
The ports under

As for the remote control, its design comes in a familiar shape that you see around from different brands. It is slim and just the right size for your hand. You will see buttons for power, mute, Android navigation, a circular button for up, down, left, right and enter key at the center of it. 
The remote control
The remote control

There are also Netflix, YouTube, and Prime Video keys as well as volume controls. In the middle of the volume key, you will also notice the google assistant buttons meant for voice commands.

Multimedia Experience

Big Full HD display!
Big Full HD display!

Its display boasts a 43-inch IPS panel with a resolution of Full HD 1920 x 1080. It also has 16.7 million colors and supports realme's Chroma Boost engine, HDR10 compatible with the popular streaming platforms, and a 178-degree wide viewing angle so that you can see everything even from a distance.

Wide 1080p experience!

The Full HD resolution has been a norm for quite some time, for average users like us it's just enough to give our eyes a treat when watching our favorite videos. We have no complaints about its picture quality, in fact, it looks clear and colorful and we were able to enjoy watching it every time we use the TV.

The nitpick here is that even if the default brightness is already low, it is still bright which causes strain on our eyes, fortunately, it can still be toned down further to achieve our preferred brightness.

We also appreciate the panel used here did not degrade, to our eyes it still looks brand new and has no signs of deterioration even after a year of use. That's how good the quality is unlike some other brands that get black spots after some time.

Other similarly priced TVs are in 4K resolution already though.

For audio, we mentioned that it is using 24W Quad speakers. The first thing we noticed here is the loud audio it produces, even at 35 percent volume, it is enough to fill our whole 1st floor. Turning it up further will be too loud to hear outside and your neighbors may find it disturbing. We also notice that it will suffer distortion as the volume gets higher so it's best to leave it at optimal settings.

As for the sound quality, while most stock speakers aren't really that good in general, realme TV still delivered a decent sounding experience, we also notice that it has a warm sound signature, the details are clear and has good separation. The bass however is deep and even boomier when playing movies due to the Dolby audio support to give the users a more immersive listening experience.

Performance

Powering the realme Smart TV is a MediaTek SoC with ARM Cortex A53 quad-core CPU and Mali-470 MP3 GPU. It is coupled with 1GB RAM and an 8GB internal space. However, only 4GB is usable as the other half is used for the OS.
The TV when streaming
The TV when streaming

Our experience on it for the first few months was fine, we find it smooth while navigating the interface, and opening apps were pretty responsive.

After a couple more months we noticed that the TV started to slow down, and scrolling on the UI becomes unpleasantly laggy. It takes around 10-15 minutes or even more than that before it starts speeding up. And because of that pressing apps, volume, using voice commands, and connecting to WiFi takes a while before it responds.

After a couple more months we noticed that the TV started to slow down...

Even after receiving the update, the performance remains the same. Fortunately, our mom who uses the TV most of the time has a lot of patience to deal with its turtle-like speed. 

On its 12th month mark, we decided to give it another try by resetting it over again. As of this writing, we are glad that it is doing okay. It still has slowdowns but the waiting time before it gains momentum is reduced from 40 seconds to 1 minute. Although it's still long compared to other TVs and there's still a possibility that it will get laggy after some weeks or months.

As for the remote control, it pairs quickly via pressing the Google Assistant button. The dedicated media keys for Netflix, YouTube, and Amazon Prime are also quite useful giving you a shortcut to the popular app you want to use.

The remote's microphone works fine as well using the Google Assistant, it catches most of the words we tried on it as long as you say the words by syllables properly and do not speak too fast. 

Surprisingly, its 2x AAA stock battery has a long life. We've been using it for a year now and is still kicking. 

We also liked that you can even open or close the device by saying the voice commands "open or turn off the TV"

The realme Smart TV can also game by downloading on the Google Play Store and connecting a controller. Although we recommend using 3rd party Xbox gamepads, using Dual Shock 4 or 5 won't work as it requires Android 10 and up. 

The game we tried here is Asphalt 8, hardware-wise it's not that demanding, the game runs at playable frame rates on most maps. Although for maps with a lot of curved roads, where you need to drift frequently that's the time we experience frame drops. That's understandable since the GPU of the device is not meant for gaming.

As for WiFi connectivity, while it only supports 2.4GHz we didn't encounter drops. Loading Full HD videos was fast and won't let you experience long waiting times. But it can be better if it supports 5GHz frequency. Unfortunately, the TV doesn't have that.

On the Bluetooth side, our gamepad and the remote control connection were also stable during our entire use.

For OS, the TV is running Android 9 Pie which means you can access the vast library of apps from the Google Play Store.
The Google Assistant
The Google Assistant

Since this is an Android-powered machine, you can also cast streaming apps from your phone to the TV. On your handset, just press the cast icon and then select the Android TV. Do note both devices should be connected to the same network to detect.

Throughout the entire casting, we liked that it is not delayed. What you see on the phone is totally in sync with the big screen. The only time we experience connection drops is when we receive calls but the good thing is they can be reconnected in just a few seconds.

Pros - Modern slim design, not that heavy, big 43-inch display, decent picture and audio quality, stable connection, smart voice command features.
Cons - It can get annoyingly slow over time, factory resetting it will give a hit or miss on improved performance.

realme Smart TV Specs

Display: 32-inch LED screen w/ HD 1366 x 768 resolution at 49 ppi, 43-inch LED screen w/  HDR10, FHD 1920 x 1080 resolution at 52 ppi
CPU: 1.1GHz MediaTek Cortex-A53 quad-core processor
GPU: Mali-470 MP3
RAM: 1GB
ROM: 8GB
OS: Certified Android TV
Connectivity: WiFi 2.4GHz, Bluetooth 5.0, 3x HDMI(ARC), 2x USB, 1x AV, 1x LAN, and 1x Digital Audio Out
Others: 24W Quad Stereo Speakers, Smart Remote, Google Assistant, Chromecast Built-in, Stand (in-box), Wall-mount support
Dimensions: 730 x 469 x 88 mm (32"), 967.5 x 560 x 87 mm (43")
Weight: 3.6 kg (32"), 6.7 kg (43")
Price: PHP 11,990 (32"), PHP 18,990 (43")

Verdict

The realme TV is priced at 18,990. For us, it still provides the elements you need for entertainment like the big screen, good colors, decent audio, and Android features.

We also like to point out the quality of the panel as it did not get any screen deterioration over time, unlike other brands.

But it may require some patience when it comes to waiting for it to speed up. In our case, the 40 seconds to 1 min waiting time is still tolerable. Although there's a possibility we may encounter slowdowns again over time. Again, other similarly priced devices are in 4K resolution already as well.

If you're okay with that then it is still worth keeping. If some find that a hassle, you may just go for an upgrade.

Build/Design - 4.25
Multimedia Experience - 4.25
Performance - 3.25
Average - 3.91/5
realme Smart TV Long Term Review - Still capable for entertainment machine after 1 year realme Smart TV Long Term Review - Still capable for entertainment machine after 1 year Reviewed by Telenor Editorial on May 22, 2022 Rating: 5

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