Chinese electronics major Xiaomi created ripples in Indian Smart TV market with the launch of their ultra-affordable Mi TV 4A series last month. Yet another player to enter this segment is Thomson, owned by French-based Technicolor. India-based Vu is too offering Smart TVs at affordable prices. Xiaomi started the battle in the Indian television market with its Mi TV 4 high-end priced at Rs 39,999, but it disrupted the market with two new TVs under its Mi TV 4A lineup. And the French-based Thomson is entering the Indian market after a long gap. Vu is already claiming that Xiaomi is not a contender for them in the television market. All the three companies have some affordable TVs in the sub Rs 15,000 price range. Xiaomi has the 32-inch Mi TV 4A priced at Rs 13,999, while Thomson is offering a 32-inch model at Rs 13,499. Lastly, Vu has a 32-inch model (T32S66) at Rs 15,999 in the country.
Read on to know how these affordable TVs fair against each other.
All the three Smart TVs come with 32-inch LED display panel with HD resolution (1366 x 768 resolution) and 60Hz refresh rate. The devices also have a viewing angle of 178 degrees. The Thomson Smart TV and Vu Smart TV are rated for 450 nits of brightness, whereas Xiaomi hasn’t provided max brightness figure. Thomson also boasts to be packing a Samsung LED-backlit panel.
Processor & OS
The Xiaomi Mi TV 4A 32-inch packs a quad-core Amlogic 64-bit processor paired with 1GB of RAM and 8GB of storage. The Smart TV runs PatchWall UI, a heavily customised OS based on Android. Xiaomi claims Patchwall interface offers around 5 lakh hours of free with 80% of it being free.
Thomson 32-inch Smart LED TV is powered by a 64-bit Cortex-A53 processor coupled with a Mali T720MP2 GPU and 1GB of RAM. There is 8GB of inbuilt storage as well and the TV runs a customised version of Android 5.1.1 Lollipop. The Smart TV comes with its own app store and comes with some preloaded media streaming apps like Netflix and YouTube. The device also supports Miracast for mirroring content from your smartphone to your TV.
As for the Vu 32-inch Smart TV (T32S66), the company hasn’t revealed the make and model of the processor under the hood of the TV. The Vu TV runs Android-based operating system dubbed as PremiumSmart OS. There is an inbuilt app store for users to download to available applications and games. It comes preloaded with Netflix and YouTube and the remote control unit features a dedicated button for both these apps.
Coming to the connectivity options, the Mi TV 4A offers three HDMI ports, one AV input, two USB 2.0 ports, one 3.5mm audio out, and one Ethernet port. The Vu Smart TV comes with same options as Mi TV. The Thomson Smart LED TV features three HDMI ports, two USB 2.0 ports, one 3.5mm audio jack, and one ethernet port, but it misses out on AV input. In terms of wireless connectivity, all three devices offer Wi-Fi b/g/n.
Price and Availability
Xiaomi’s 32-inch Mi TV 4A was launched in India last month at a modest price of Rs 13,999, making it the most affordable smart HD TV in the country. Thomson 32-inch Smart LED TV bearing model name 32M3277 was just launched last week at Rs 13,499. Finally, the 32-inch Vu Smart LED TV is costliest of all coming with a price tag of Rs 15,999.
The Xiaomi Mi TV 4A, as well as the Thomson Smart TV, are sold through online flash sales making it harder for most people to grab these devices. While Mi TV 4A comes through Mi Store and Flipkart, the Thomson Smart TV is available at Flipkart only.
From the hardware perspective, all the TVs are almost similar with same display size, resolution and almost same connectivity options. However, the Thomson TV boasts of Samsung LED panel, but at this price point, it doesn’t offer any exceptional features. Still, the Xiaomi Mi TV 4A 32-inch variant seems ways ahead of the competition especially considering its PatchWall UI. But the sad part is you can't install Netflix or Amazon Prime on the Mi TV 4A, but they might be added very soon. Hotstar already made its way, so the same might apply for the other two as well.
Another thing worth noting is the availability. As usual, Xiaomi's products are extremely hard to purchase, and the same continues with the Mi TVs as well. If you can't wait for the flash sales, then your best bet would be the Vu Smart LED TV which is priced slightly on the higher side.