In India, the demand for large screen affordable televisions has increased manifold. As a result, several TV manufacturers are flooding the market with their products. Last month, Thomson launched a new range of Android TVs on Flipkart. This included the affordable 55-inch Ultra HD (4K) Smart LED TV, priced at Rs 38,999.

Thomson TV‘s exclusive brand license is with SPPL in India. The company was established in 1990 and has its head office in Noida. At present, there are three manufacturing plants of SPPL in India located across Noida, Una and Jammu. The online exclusive Thomson (55 OATH 0999) Android TV is the company’s premium TV range on Flipkart. It is powered by Android TV operating system, and offers a remote with dedicated Google Assistant, Google Play and Netflix hot keys. I had the opportunity to experience this new Thomson Android TV and here’s my full review.

Design and Connectivity

The 55-inch Thomson Android TV is just about average considering its plastic frame design and build. While there’s nothing great about its looks, I had nothing specific to complain either. Having said that, the design part is subjective, and some might not like it completely, because of the new generation of televisions coming with thin bezels. I recently reviewed a MarQ TV from Flipkart, and it honestly looked much better.

In this TV, the bezels on the sides and the top are as thick as seen on most LED televisions. However, the bottom flaunts an extended broad soundbar-like grill mesh design, with 30W speakers in it. The main attraction of this TV is its 55-inch Ultra HD (4K) LED panel. On the connectivity front, there are three HDMI ports, two USB ports, one RJ-45 LAN port in total, out-of-which one essential HDMI port is easily accessible on the right while the other two are at the back. Two USB ports are on the right as well. In case you wish to connect to LAN for internet, then there’s an RJ45, miscellaneous AV out, AV in, headphone jack, Antenna.

Unfortunately, you’ll have a difficult time accessing these ports, if you decide to wall mount the TV. From the left side, you can only access one HDMI, one USB and LAN port, although that’s too is difficult to reach on wall mounted TV.

Picture and Sound

The Thomson 55-inch Ultra HD (4K) LED Smart Android TV panel offers 3840×2160 pixels resolution with standard 60Hz refresh rate, and supports HDR 10 content. In my review time, I found the picture quality to be pretty average, but thankfully the panel isn’t that reflective. I didn’t like the DTH standard channel playout on this TV, although the HD channels were fine. The streamed 4K content didn’t look pleasing too. Also, one thing you don’t get on this TV is that the colors can’t be adjusted, which is a big downer. You can’t tweak the color settings, but sharpness, contrast and the panel backlight settings are present.

Since it’s a smart TV, you can stream content from different apps directly. This Thomson TV also gets Netflix installed on it, and there is a dedicated Netflix button on the remote for quick access. The Amazon Prime Video however can’t be installed on the television.

Taking about the sound quality, the 30W speakers are backed by the Dolby Audio and DTS technologies. You also get extra audio settings to manage the sound according to your need. What I didn’t like is that despite having bigger powerful speakers, these do not offer clarity in sound. You would require a sound bar anyhow.

Android TV experience

Thomson is marketing this TV as official Android TV, which means you get the pure Android TV operating system based on Android 8.0 Oreo. It doesn’t start quickly, just like all other Android TVs. During my review, it always took about 35-40 seconds to start, which is a big pain on these Android televisions.

As I mentioned earlier in the picture review,  Netflix comes preinstalled, but there’s no Amazon Prime Video app, and it’s not even compatible with this TV. However, you can install apps like ZEE5, Hotstar, SonyLIV, Jio Cinema, Voot and more from Google Play store directly. Thomson has provided 16GB of internal storage and 2.5GB RAM. I really like how the OS is so fluid and responsive. It quickly opens and closes apps. I mostly used the TV on Wi-Fi, so there was no problem with the internet connecting time, and it mostly worked fine for streaming.

Should you buy?

A television essentially needs to get two things to work right – picture quality and sound. On this Thomson Android TV, both are below par. Although most 55-inch televisions in this price range lack in certain areas, the panel quality and sound output of this television falls short of the competition.

At Rs 38,999, the 55-inch 4K Smart Android TV from Thomson can be considered as a secondary television to consume online content mostly. You will need a good soundbar separately, because the supplied 30W speakers aren’t any good and lacks clarity. What you’d like in this TV is the Android TV OS experience and a cleaner UI. Also, you get Google Assistant voice search and Netflix support with dedicated keys on the remote. Thomson is offering one-year standard manufacturer warranty and the TV is available for purchase on Flipkart.