The Indian smart TVs market has been quite a bit of growth in the past 5 years or so, and, with that, there’s also been new entrants in it. From the likes of established names such as Samsung and Sony, to new but growing names such as Xiaomi/Redmi, the space has seen a lot of movement. NU is the latest entrant here; being Arzooo’s consumer durable brand, the company has launched under three different consumer durables categories, with TVs being one of them. Let’s try and see if their new 55- inch webOS TV, priced at Rs. 31,990, is worth it or now.
Design: The TV weighs a little over 11kg and follows a familiar design in terms of plastic body with thin borders around the 16:9 aspect ratio display. There’s NU branding at the bottom-front, with a physical switch facing the bottom at the centre. On the back, there’s somewhat flimsy plastic cover that houses all your ports -3 HDMI ports including one eARC, one bottom-facing USB port and one side-facing USB port, ethernet LAN port. 3.5mm audio jack and VGA, AV out. You get the standard dual table mounts plus wall mounts in the box along with the Magic Remote (and two AAA). Talking about the remote control, this is the same Magic Remote that you get with an LG TV. Measuring longer than most remote controls you see these days, it has two app shortcut buttons, a scrolling wheel that also doubles up as the select button, plus there’s Home, back, input source, power and number keys. It doesn’t feel cheap at all and isn’t too heavy despite its longer size.
Display and performance: The TV has a 55-inch 3840x2160 LED display (VA panel) that supports standard 60Hz refresh rates, supporting HDR, HDR10+ as well as HLG for videos. The TV features two speakers (20watt in total output) and supports Dolby Atmos. You get around 5GB of internal storage space to install third party apps or games from the app store. The webOS app store has pretty much all of the popular OTT apps while some are pre-installed on the TV.
The TV’s display quality seems to be on par with most of the budget LEDs we have seen in this price range with a slightly better contrast and viewing angles in daily usage. The panel support peak brightness of 350 nits, which isn’t very high and it kind of shows when viewing HDR (both HDR10 and HLG) videos on the TV. Though the TV has vivid colours and sharpness for watching high resolution videos, for HDR content, it doesn’t quite have the firepower to show you the dynamic range of the picture. For watching a show like Planet Earth II, the TV does a good enough job of handling darker scenes while showing its full range during daylight shots and drone shots from above.
The webOS Hub OS is not common in the Indian smart TV market, and only a handful of brands other than LG currently sell webOS TVs. Even if you haven’t used webOS before, the interface on the TV isn’t something that requires you getting used to it. Most things seem to be in place, requiring the usual steps and navigations. Your apps sit in tile style and you can change their order, or uninstall them from the same screen. You can set different picture and sound settings for different input devices or choose to select one set of settings for all of them at once, conveniently.
The TV’s OS is fairly responsive in most of the places provided, including in streaming apps such as Apple TV, SonyLiv, Amazon Prime, Disney+ Hotstar, though it can struggle a bit in handling Plex if your server library is media heavy, where TV remote control, which is generally quite responsive to navigate around the options most of the time, can be a bit laggy. The OS handled high resolution movies and TV series videos without any stuttering and same for 1080p 50FPS live sports streams. The one bug I found was unable use the keyboard in the LG ThinQ app that one can install on their smartphone to control the TV. In pretty much no app I could use the keyboard to search for something, and either had to use a voice search or navigate on the on screen keyboard of the TV itself.
Coming to its audio quality, the TV’s cinematic mode seems to be best suited for watching TV shows or movies giving much clearer output for dialogues and background commentary. The 20watt speakers are actually loud if you’re using it in a not-so-large room setup, though a separate set of speakers would surely do a much better job if you’re going to use the TV in a large room for watching sports or movies.
Verdict: All in all, the NU 55-inch smart TV seems like a well-rounded TV that somewhat stands out from the crowd with its webOS instead of Android TV or Google TV that a huge majority of TV brands go with these days. The TV has a good panel for most use cases (outside HDR) and a decent set of speakers, while the performance doesn’t let it down either. It would be interesting to see how this new brand competed with the likes of Xiaomi and HiSense in this price segment.