Nokia 43-Inch Smart TV Review: Almost worth the money
Nokia has jumped from Symbian to Windows Phone for decades and is now a household name in the smartphone business running on Android. In 2019, the brand entered the TV space by launching a 55-inch TV. In 2020, it expanded that portfolio with the launch of a 43-inch and 65-inch TV. The design, UI and overall size of the TV is the same throughout the screen size. As of this writing, the 43-inch Nokia TV is priced at Rs 31,999. At the same price, one can get a 43-inch FHD TV from a brand like Sony while Xiaomi, Kodak, Thomson and many more brands offer users a 50-inch 4K HDR TV for around 30K. The price has left Nokia TV in a precarious position. The budget brand 43-inch 4K HDR TV is 5-7 thousand rupees cheaper and the 55-inch 4K HDR TV is a few thousand rupees more expensive than the 43-inch Nokia TV. Nokia TV comes with JBL powered speakers, an ADS panel and, of course, Nokia brand name features. But is it worth asking, or should you consider cheap budget options?
Features Nokia 43-inch 4K HDR TV at a glance
Panel size: 43-inch (also available in 55 and 65-inch)
Panel type: ADS (LED direct light)
Panel resolution: 3840 x 2160 – 4K
Panel refresh rate: 60Hz
HDR 10 support: Yes
Dolby Vision Support: Yes
Weight (including stand): 9.4 kg
HDMI port: 3
USB port: 2
Speaker: 24W Sound Output (12 x 2)
Built-in storage: 16GB
Price: MRP: 31,999
Nokia 43-inch TV: Display and image quality
Let’s start with the image quality. The Nokia 43-inch TV comes with a 10-bit ADS panel with a maximum brightness of 300-nits. In addition to supporting 4K, the TV supports HDR 10 and Dolby Vision. The brightness of the 43-inch TV is about 100 nits less than that of the 55-inch Nokia TV, which is an inconvenience. To put it bluntly, the 43-inch Thomson TV has a maximum brightness of 500 nits, and while we haven’t been able to review the Thomson TV yet, know that it’s about 000 5000 less than the Nokia 43-inch TV. Although maximum brightness is not everything, it is important for HDR performance on a TV.
To judge the image quality, we played some of our standard content from 4K, HDR, SDR and of course gaming to TV. One thing to note is that in the TV settings, one can go and change the HDMI input from 2.0 to 1.4 and limit the signal to 1080p SDR. So if in any case HDR image quality is too dull for your choice, you can always switch it to SDR to get a better viewing experience in some cases.
Nokia 43-inch TV 4K and HDR performance
Netflix and Prime Video have a decent catalog of HDR content, and that’s what we used when testing TVs. Starting with the Dolby Vision content on Netflix, the picture was a bit duller than my favorite, but it was able to maintain the detail where other TVs like Realme 43-inch TV (Review) could not. The Dolby Vision content is certainly worth watching and enjoying on this TV, but in a brightly lit room, you will have some problems with the dark sequence. Since the TV does not have dimming zones, the brightness of the entire panel is diminished in dark order to try to maintain the black layers. However, looking at the same content in the SDR, it looks bright and suitable for a well-lit room.
Above: Dolby Vision content on Nokia TV
Below: Same content on SDR on Nokia TV
TV’s Dolby Vision performance is acceptable. We have to wait and see the performance of competing TV before saying good or bad. On the other hand, the HDR 10 performance of the TV is quite low. Watching a show like Jack Ryan on SDR and HDR on this TV has more significant differences than our Dolby Vision content. Some sequences in the show on HDR lose a lot of detail that is visible when you switch to SDR. On the other hand a show like the Grand Tour which did not face the same problem in HDR and was quite enjoyable.
Your experience with HDR content on TV depends on the type of content you use. Bright, vibrant color palette shows will look great on this TV, like our Planet or even Umbrella Academy. At the same time, HDR content with much darker sequences like Jack Ryan, for example, is best used in SDR through an external source.
Another thing to note is that when using content in Dolby Vision, you will only have access to Dolby Vision Bright and Dolby Vision Dark Preset. As a user, you can’t go to the photo settings and tweak these options when using content from the built-in app. For HDR 10, you have a standard set of presets like Standard, Vivid, Sports, Movie etc.
Nokia 43-inch TV: FHD and SDR performance
We’ve played lots of FHD and SDR content on Nokia 43-inch TVs, from TV shows like Young Sheldon and Friends to Mission Impossible, Mad Max Fury Road and much more. Young Sheldon’s scenes look bright and the characters’ facial features are visible with details. It looks like the TV is alive when using SDR content, but it was by default ‘standard’, making the use of SDR content on this TV a treat.
Even the Mad Max which has a warm tone looked good at standard presets. Good color reproduction is good in a movie like Mission Impossible, but if you have something of your choice, you will see the color of Panchia in Vivid.
If you want to use content on YouTube, this TV will not disappoint. From movie trailers to gaming videos and even some music videos, YouTube content can be easily viewed without any hassle. The FHD and SDR performance of the TV is quite good and enjoyable.
Nokia 43-inch TV: Gaming Performance
For gaming, this time we used Assassins Creed Odyssey, Forza Horizon 4, Gears 5 and Batman: Arkham Knight (in honor of the upcoming Batman game). Switch to ‘Game Mode’ on the TV and the backlight drops to about 80%. If you play in a bright room, I suggest you scratch it. In a dark room, it should be fine. Assassins Creed Odyssey has a colorful atmosphere but some TVs are suffering from warmth. That is not the case here. The play environment is pleasing and looks detailed, even night sequences are fun to play. The same goes for Forza Horizon.
Arkham Night is an SDR game and a little tweaking will go a long way for those of you who want to watch the game on this TV. When playing an SDR game, it helps to change the settings of TVs from HDMI 2.0 to HDMI 1.4. Not that the TV was on HDMI 2.0 and the performance was bad when playing SDR games. But there was some noise in the game which you will notice only when you know where to look and it has been removed by switching to HDMI 1.4.
Overall, those of you looking for a TV to play games will be happy with the performance of the Nokia 43-inch TV.
Nokia 43-inch TV: Audio performance
TV Pack 24W Speaker designed by JBL. The sound from the TV is also clear at low volume, and for a small bedroom, you don’t need to crank it above 30-35 to be able to hear the sound from the scenes. The audio is bright for the most part and considering these TV speakers, one can enjoy one or two movies from them. Don’t just expect them to explode at high volume when they start to lose detail. At about 40 percent volume, these speakers sound good, loud and clear. If you do not want to experience a completely immersive movie, you will be able to work with speakers on this TV.
Nokia 43-inch TV: UI
Stock Android TV Here is the name of the game and that’s what you get. When the initial setup is finished, the UI butter is smooth. Voice control works fine, and if you’ve used an Android TV in the past, you’ll feel at home. Aside from some UI changes like source selection and advanced image settings, it’s like any other stock Android TV UI on the market and it’s certainly not a bad thing.
Nokia 43-inch TV: Remote control
In the case of remote control, the world of smart TV is divided into 2 parts. We have minimal remote controls on TVs like Xiaomi, Realme, TCL and many more. Then we have TVs from Kodak, Sony, LG and many more that come with more detailed remote controls that include traditional number pads in addition to the new age smart controls. Nokia TV remote control falls into the next section. You may choose one of the other styles, but for me, the ergonomics of the remote control and the style of button placement are more important.
It has a slightly angular design that makes it look like it is tilted forward when placed on a table. But when you hold it in your hand, you realize that this design gives it an ergonomic fit in the hand.
Holding the remote control makes OTT Hotkey, Google Assistant, Volume and Playback control easily accessible with your thumb. I just wish the mute button was here too. Overall, the remote control is quite ergonomic and comfortable to use.
Nokia 43-inch TV: Build and design
Nokia TV shares the same design as its siblings and whether you like the design based on what you put under your TV. The stand has a unique design and it will work well for those who keep the TV in a small entertainment system. However, unlike the traditional 2 feet of TV, you can’t place things like set-top-boxes or gaming consoles under the TV because the stand in front of the TV extends. This will be a hindrance for those who want to have a soundbar under the TV.
Speaking of connectivity options, the TV has an HDMI port and two USB ports on the side and an AV in, Ethernet port, two HDMI ports, an optical port, a service port and a good old antenna on the back. Most TV port placements are on the left, but Nokia TVs have port placements on the right.
The last row
Nokia TV brings decent Dolby Vision performance and the HDR 10 performance is a hit or miss based on the content. It has a unique design that ensures that it sits well in a compact recreation center. Running on Android TV, you have access to the Play Store and all built-in streaming services. TV speakers have good sound output. When connecting an external device, you can switch between HDR and SDR playback by controlling HDMI 1.4 and HDMI 2.0 settings, which gives you better flexibility with an external device. But considering you can get similar performance from a TV 5-7K cheaper, you may want to consider your options before investing.