If you want to buy a new TV, you should definitely take a look at online shopping sites. Many brands, including top-sellers such as Samsung, Xiaomi and Vu, are available on major e-commerce portals. Furthermore, the economics of selling online means that you can often get a great deal on a feature-filled TV. Amazon and Flipkart both have wide ranges of brands and options available. Shipping and after-sales support are also usually quick and reliable for TVs bought online from authorised sellers.
Let's talk about Flipkart today. Apart from selling numerous TVs from various brands, it markets TVs under its own homegrown brand, MarQ by Flipkart. This brand encompasses a range of electronics and consumer appliances, and we have its latest TV for review today. The MarQ by Flipkart 43SAFHD Android TV is priced at Rs. 21,999, and promises a quality smart TV experience. Read on to find out all you need to know about it.
We usually see affordable TVs focus on size, specifications, and features, rather than aesthetics. It's therefore quite refreshing that MarQ has put some effort into the design of the 43SAFHD Android TV. The 43-inch screen has slim borders on the top and sides, with a slightly wider bottom that houses the TV's front-firing speakers.
The MarQ logo is at the centre, while the power indicator light is on the right. The 43SAFHD TV has a much better finish than most competing products in this price range that we've had a chance to check out.
If you intend to just place this TV on a table, the two included legs are good enough. They are angled inwards, reducing the amount of space needed on your TV stand. The back of the TV is as well designed and finished as the front.
The MarQ 43SAFHD TV is quite sleek as compared to other TVs of its size. The body is quite slim at the edges, but it is a far bit thicker nearer the bottom. The ports at the back sit almost flush with the body, which could be an issue if you intend to wall-mount the MarQ 43SAFHD TV. The right side of the TV has two USB ports and one HDMI port, which are a lot easier to access than the ones at the back.
The TV has three HDMI ports in total, two USB ports, one set of composite AV input sockets, an RJ45 port for Ethernet connectivity, an optical digital audio out port, an antenna socket, and a small socket marked as ‘service'.
Strangely, the TV doesn't have a 3.5mm socket or component audio output to connect external speakers or headphones. There is support for HDMI ARC on the HDMI 1 port and Bluetooth as well, which will let you connect compatible audio systems.
There's a single power button on the back, which can be used to select the source when the TV is switched on. For everything else, you will have to use the remote that comes with the TV; fortunately, the MarQ by Flipkart 43SAFHD TV has a pretty good remote. It's built well and has useful buttons for navigation, playback, and more.
The remote has an IR emitter that works when pointed at the TV, but you can also connect it using Bluetooth. Once paired with the TV, the remote works from anywhere within range, and this also lets you use Google Assistant on the TV.
The remote has a microphone that can be used to give voice commands to the TV. Google Assistant is fully functional on the TV and can answer all kinds of questions, but TV-specific functionality is limited to pulling up videos from YouTube, fetching movies on Google Play, or installing apps from the Play Store. There are also quick-access buttons for YouTube and Google Play on the remote.
The MarQ by Flipkart 43SAFHD TV has a 43-inch full-HD LED-LCD panel with a standard 60Hz refresh rate and 220 nits of peak brightness. The TV has a rated sound output of 20W, with Dolby and DTS tuning.
You also get 1.25GB of RAM, 8GB of internal storage, a quad-core processor, Wi-Fi 802.11ac connectivity, and built-in Chromecast functionality for screen casting and mirroring from your smartphone or PC. This TV does not support HDR playback.
The MarQ by Flipkart 43SAFHD is a smart TV, running official Android TV (Oreo). This means that there are official, full-fledged apps for Google services including YouTube and Google Play Movies, as well as music streaming through Google Play Music. These work well, and provide plenty of content to watch and listen to on the TV. Those are just the services that come preinstalled; you can also download plenty of other apps for the TV through the Google Play Store.
While a number of apps, including Hotstar, Zee5, and Facebook Watch are available to download, Netflix and Amazon Prime Video are notably missing; this is a major flaw on an otherwise decent smart TV interface. These apps cannot be found on the Play Store on the TV, and are listed as unsupported on the Flipkart listing for the TV.
Strangely, you can ask Google Assistant to show the listings for the two apps, but there is no option to install them. These apps are ordinarily available on Android TV, but seem to have been specifically disabled on the MarQ 43SAFHD. A request to Flipkart for comment on the issue resulted in no answer.
Even more strangely, using the built-in Chromecast to bypass this problem also leads to a dead end; the MarQ TV simply wouldn't show up when we tried to cast from Netflix on a OnePlus 6T, and showed a black screen with no picture when we tried to use Miracast to mirror the smartphone's screen while using the Netflix or Amazon Prime Video apps.
We were finally able to get the two popular streaming services to work by using a Web browser on a laptop, which was connected to the TV using an HDMI cable. This defeats the purpose of a smart TV and seems like too much effort for something that should have been simple.
The Android TV interface is easy enough to use, provided you stick to Google's own apps or some of the better ones that you can download off the Play Store. The settings and menus are easy to navigate as well, and give you plenty of control over various aspects of the TV, including picture and sound.
We did find the interface to be sluggish, but this improved after a software update which was pushed during our review. The TV does take a long time to boot up, and by default boots into the Android TV home screen rather than the last-used source. However, you can enable Fast Boot through the settings, which allowed us to resume where we left off quickly when putting the TV into standby.
We finally get to the most important aspect of our review of the MarQ by Flipkart 43SAFHD Android TV — performance. While this TV does have some shortcomings in the software and specifications as mentioned above, it largely gets picture and sound quality right. We watched a variety of content on the 43SAFHD TV that was streamed using online services or played off a hard drive, in resolutions ranging from standard definition to full-HD.
We started off with an episode of The Purge on Amazon Prime Video, streamed using an Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K connected to the 43SAFHD TV. The show, which largely takes place over the course of a single night, looked sharp on the TV, streaming at full-HD resolution. The picture was clean for the most part with smooth motion, although we did notice a bit of noise in some scenes.
Watching The Tick on Amazon Prime Video or Santa Clarita Diet on Netflix was enjoyable, since these shows rely less on darkness and more on brightly lit settings. Not much was visible in the darkest of scenes — the particularly dark third episode of the latest season of Game of Thrones was on many occasions quite difficult to watch on the TV.
The animated (and very colourful) Spiderman: Into The Spiderverse streamed on Google Play Movies was much more viewable and enjoyable save for some colour dullness that occasionally took away from the viewing experience. Similarly, most videos on YouTube looked good as well.
The dull colours of the TV can be somewhat compensated for by tweaking its brightness and colour settings, and we were able to make the best of the sharpness of the TV when watching full-HD content. While colours weren't completely accurate, they were much more believable than on the similarly priced Thomson 40-inch 4K Smart TV, which we recently reviewed.
Naturally, performance on the TV is best with full-HD content. Apart from the dullness in the colours and slight issues with noise, picture quality was as good as we could expect for the price and size of the 43SAFHD. We had a pleasant viewing experience across sources that included streaming through external devices and Android TV apps, as well as downloaded content.
Moving on to HD (720p) and standard definition content, the MarQ by Flipkart 43SAFHD TV was decent enough with upscaling content to fit the full-HD resolution screen. Whether watching the news or even old episodes of Sarabhai Vs. Sarabhai on Hotstar, we found that the TV did a good job with all kinds of standard definition content. Picture quality at HD resolution was nearly as good as full-HD content in terms of colours and motion, with only the reduced sharpness really showing the difference.
The MarQ by Flipkart 43SAFHD has a total sound output of 20W, along with Dolby and DTS tuning for its front-firing speakers. Sound quality is impressive; the TV was loud, voices were clean and distinct, and action sequences benefited from the strong low-end. The specialised tuning also ensured a decent surround sound experience, and the positioning of the speakers made for a good soundstage. Even at low volume levels, voices were audible and distinct.
If your viewing is limited to standard definition, HD, and full-HD content, the MarQ by Flipkart 43SAFHD Android TV is a capable option. Apart from the dull colours that it produces, picture quality is decent, and it's backed up by decent sound as well. The lack of 4K might be a problem in the long run, but the price and value-for-money proposition may make this TV worthwhile.
The interface is sluggish, and does not support Netflix or Amazon Prime Video, but the TV makes up for this to an extent with excellent performance in YouTube and Google Play Movies, as well as built-in casting which works well with most supported apps.
In conclusion, the MarQ by Flipkart 43SAFHD TV is a decent full-HD option for a small or mid-sized room. If you absolutely want 4K, you'll either have to opt for a budget model such as the Thomson 40-inch 4K TV, or pay close to Rs. 10,000 more for something from brands such as Vu or TCL. If you can make do without 4K and are looking for an affordable smart TV, you'll find the 43SAFHD to be worth its price.
Price: Rs. 21,999
Ratings (out of 5)
Which is the best budget TV to buy in India right now? We discussed this on Orbital, our weekly technology podcast, which you can subscribe to via Apple Podcasts or RSS, download the episode, or just hit the play button below.