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Detailed review of Weston 55 Inch Ultra HD 4K LED Smart TV
The 55-inch 4K HDR TV is available in the market today. With a budget of Rs 35,000 to Rs 40,000, you can find several TV brands that offer 4K and HDR capabilities. We have brands like Xiaomi, Shinco, Kodak, TCL, iFFALCON, Cloudwalker and are fighting for more of your attention in this space. Each TV comes with some distinctive features that can give you a jolt for your money. For example, the Shinko TV has a better panel for using content, but Xiaomi has better smart TV capabilities and more. Today we have a TV from Weston. The 55-inch variant is priced at Rs 59,990. This puts it in the middle range where you can get TVs from Sony, Samsung, Panasonic, LG and many more brands. The TV has features that we have seen on other TVs in the past. Does it deserve your attention?
Key specification at a glance
Panel size: 55-inch
Panel type: VA
Panel resolution: 3840 x 2160 – 4K
Panel refresh rate: 60Hz
HDR 10 support: Yes
Dolby Vision Support: No.
HDMI port: 3
USB port: 2
Speaker: 2 x 8W
CPU: Cortex A53 Quad Core 1.5GHz
GPU: Mali450 Penta Core 750MHz
Built-in storage: 8GB
OS: Android 7 (AOSP)
Price: Rs 59,990
Construction and design
The build and design of the TVs are all familiar with what we have seen in the price range of 35k to 40k. In fact, some design elements, such as the metallic feet we tested in the recent past, like the Shinco and Daiwa TVs. The only difference is the feet have a gunmetal gray finish. A very interesting feature about the TV is that it has two seating options for the legs underneath. One is the standard placement near the two ends and the other is slightly closer. So, if your entertainment system or tabletop where you want to place the TV is small, you may be able to fit it there because of the narrow foot placement option on the TV.
The bezels around the TVT panel have a gunmetal gray finish that gives it a premium look. This is a nice change from the black border that we have seen on many TVs. The back panel of the TV is of course black, generic and what we have seen in this price range.
When placed on a tablet, there is enough space under the TV to keep your gaming console comfortable, which is a problem for many of the TVs we’ve reviewed recently.
There is nothing to complain about making TV. The bezel and legs have a welcome change from Gonmetal Gray Finish Standard Black and the overall functional design of the TV is excellent.
Ports and connections
For connectivity, the Weston 55-inch 4K TV has three HDMI ports, one of which is ARC enabled. On the side, the TV has two USB ports, an SD card slot, a 3.5mm port, an HDMI 3 port and an optical port. On the back, you have an antenna port, 2 HDMI ports, 2 AV ports and an Ethernet port. The power cable user is not removable. To the right of the TV, you have physical control. The TV supports Wi-Fi but sadly, there is no Bluetooth.
Connectivity options are standard with what we’ve seen on much lower priced TVs than Weston TVs.
Display and image quality
The Weston 55-inch 4K TV has a 10-bit VA panel made by Samsung. Thanks to the 10-bit panel, the TV has 4K capability with HDR 10 support. We believe that the brightness of the panel is 350 knots (Weston could not confirm the brightness to us) but in our experiments, we have found that the TV is bright enough to use the content. There was a problem with the TV though. Backlighting and some sequences lacked consistency, making it visible if you know where you want to look. We’ll talk more about this in the performance breakup in the photo below. Below we will highlight TV performance using three types of content – 4K and HDR, 1080p and gaming content.
4K and HDR playback
Starting with 4K and HDR content, the Netflix show modified Carbon Season One episode 7 has a very intense slow-motion fight sequence. The sequence begins with a bunch of soldiers disguised and leads to a well-lit abandoned warehouse. Slow-motion action soon became a fast-paced sequence that caused massive bleeding. On TV, the performance of the sequence is clear and truly, quite enjoyable. In some dark sections, the panel is reflective but not more than what we have seen with competing TVs.
The Netflix film Polar, which is also in HDR, has a fight sequence towards the end where Mads Mickelsen escapes. The opponent has a bright red suit and most of the fight takes place in a dimly lit corridor with some light sources and lots of fast action. Here you will notice some uneven backlighting which we have mentioned. The average viewer may not be able to notice this, but if you watch this movie on a more expensive 4K HDR TV you will be able to tell the difference.
Moving on to the 1080p content, we played the opening sequence of Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring. It has a beautiful green environment and movies are streamed in FHD on Netflix. For some reason, the colors looked wrong on the display The leaf greens looked dull and the overall picture looked a little softer.
We’ve tried to change the photo mode, but the lack of detailed manual control for basic things like brightness, contrast, color, etc., left us with a few valuable options to tinker with. We could only change HDR, 4K and picture presets and after a lot of tinkering, we realized that the Vivid setting worked best for FHD and 4K HDR content. Other settings, such as standard, make black appear gray in a dark sequence.
Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation, in another Netflix HD movie, had an interesting take on the motorcycle chase sequence preset colors. The actors’ skin tones looked more precise in the dynamic preset, but the chase sequence looked more vivid on Vivid. Standard mode, in this case, tries to maintain the natural color of the skin without making the desert and the highway somewhat vibrant. This basically ensures that the colors do not pop too much.
When it comes to gaming, we’ve played Doom on 4K SDR and Gears of War 4 for 4K HDR evaluation. In Doom, for indoor sequences, the game’s visuals show details and the gray and silver interiors are mixed with the devil’s presence. The outdoor areas also look a bit extra saturated when switching to standard presets, and it was in the soft presets that Doom Wastelands looked playable. However, go inside the house, and you will need to change the standard preset to enjoy the game.
Gears of War, on the other hand, is the best game in the Vivid Preset. The game gives you the option to see what HDR and SDR look like on split screens and there are some sequences where SDR performance makes the image look brighter and brings more details somewhere with HDR. Since the game has some sequences set in the dark, this is one where you’ll also notice uneven LED backlighting.
This is where things get a little interesting. The Flipkart list page for the TV says that the TV has 20W audio output but the official website says that the TV has 2 x 12W speakers (24W output). So which one is correct? Okay, we got to Weston and they told us that “the TV has 2 x 12W speakers and the audio output is 2 x 8W. It’s a marketing gimmick.” So we know that the TV has an overall 16W output that we saw on the Mi TV 4 (read our review here). Not slim so the place is clearly not a problem.
The speakers are firing like we have seen on other TVs. If you watch news or TV shows like Young Sheldon where voices are more pronounced, they get the job done. But switch to movies like Show Carbon or Mission Impossible like Modified Carbon, then you will feel the need for at least one soundbar. When it comes to movies, a preset doesn’t work well. In the changed carbon, the conversation was a bit vague and the sequences, where there was a sad melody, were completely missed. Even the movies lacked weapons and explosive legs and thuds.
If you use this TV for regular TV and occasional movie watching then you should be fine. But for a immersive movie watching experience, you need to invest in a pair of speakers or a soundbar
UI and remote ccontrol
The Weston 55-inch 4K TV runs out of the box on Android 7, but it’s not an Android TV. Here’s the thing – just like the Android TV name, apps allow you to take advantage of the TV screen and form factor. AOSP, on the other hand, looks bad on a big screen because it only runs mobile apps. Sadly, Weston TV runs on AOSP and brings with it the same kind of problems we’ve seen in the past. Another thing to note is that the UI is the same as the one we saw on the Shinco 55-inch TV. Put two TVs side by side and hide the logo and you will be hard pressed to identify one from the other. Identical twins with UI are the best way to describe them.
Streaming apps like AOSP UI, Netflix and Prime Video on Weston TV are only capable of running their mobile version and not the correct Android TV version. This makes navigating the app’s UI more complicated and also reduces the quality of content playback. At least on Shinko TV’s remote control, you get a QWERTY keyboard on the remote control, but here, you don’t get it and you’re left with a frustrating navigation experience.
Overall, the UI is the weakest aspect of the TV. To get the most out of it, you should use a 4K capable streaming stick
The TV remote control has a very familiar form factor and design. It looks a lot like the Kodak 50-inch TV remote we’ve reviewed before and you can see our review here. It has a traditional rectangular design with some smart functions just above, number pad at the bottom, navigation and settings in the middle and playback control at the bottom. The buttons on the remote control are hovering and clicking and the power button flashes whenever you hit any of the buttons on the remote. It is functional, needs to be directed directly to the TV, has a traditional layout and has nothing to say about the remote except that it gets the job done. The remote control also has a “mouse” control and it’s a godsend for occasional UI navigation but unlike the Daiwa or Shinco TV we’ve reviewed, it doesn’t work as well as it should. To control it you need to use the direction buttons and it is a bummer.
The last row
The Shinco 55-inch 4K HDR TV with the same UI, front firing speaker and a good 4K HDR display is priced at Rs 36,990. Weston comes with the same feature and is priced at Rs 59,990. So I wonder why anyone would pay more than Rs 23,000 for a similar product. For about 35k, you can get TVs from TCL, iFFALCON, Xiaomi, Thomson and many more brands. So if the screen size is something you want, you can get the same kind of performance from many cheap TVs like the Shinko 55-inch 4K HDR TV that we reviewed earlier. You can use the extra cash to get a 4K streaming stick to enjoy a good smart TV experience like Fire TV Stick 4K and even a soundbar to enhance the audio from the TV. Below 60k you can get 50-inch 4K TVs from LG, Panasonic, Samsung and many more, which brings you better panels. In short, there are better prices for Money TVs to choose from at 60k price points.