Another budget AOSP smart TV

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We have seen the launch of a number of TVs in India in the budget segment with Android TV and not with AOSP. With the upgrade from AOSP to Android TV in the budget segment, the UI and UX have been greatly improved. However, there are still some TVs that run on AOSP and try to give users a different user experience. Today we have with us a Smart LED Screen from Cloudwalker. Uniquely, the TV comes with a keyboard and mouse in the box, runs on AOPS and has a custom home screen. Is it enough to make a difference?

Key specs at a glance

Panel Size: 55″ (also available in 43 and 65″ options)
Panel type: IPS
Panel Resolution: 3840 x 2160 – 4K
Panel Refresh Rate: 60Hz
HDR 10 support: Yes
Dolby Vision support: No
HDMI ports: 3
USB ports: 2
Bluetooth: No
Wi-Fi: Yes
Ethernet: Yes
Speakers: 2 x 10W
CPU: Dual-Core A73 ARM Cortex Processor
GPU: Quad-Core Mali 450 Graphics Processor
RAM: 1GB
Built-in storage: 8 GB
Operating System: Android 7 (AOSP)
Price: Rs 29,999

Build and design

The build of the TV is in line with what we expect from a 30k TV. It has an all-plastic shell, plastic feet that are thin, and bezels that surround the screen. The bottom frame is thicker than what we’ve seen on other TVs in this budget. It’s also thicker than the other three bezels of the TV and at times it can look slightly disproportionate. It’s something you’ll get used to over time. When kept on a tabletop, there’s just under 5 inches of space under the TV, which should be enough for a slim soundbar and your set-top box. The legs on which the TV stands are sturdy. There is no wobble and if you decide to place the TV on a tabletop, know that it stands firmly. Overall, the build is in line with other TVs in the same price range.

Ports and Connectivity

When it comes to connectivity, the Cloudwalker Smart LED Display has 3 HDMI ports and 2 USB ports on the side, including: BOW support on HDMI 3. At the back you have a LAN port, optical audio port, two component-in ports and a headphone port.

Remote control, keyboard and mouse

Before we get into the performance, let’s talk about the accessories that we get in the box. In addition to the remote control, you also get a wireless keyboard and mouse. Let’s start with the remote. The remote control is standard, which you can expect from a budget TV. It’s a rectangular remote with rubbery buttons. You have the playback buttons at the top, then the settings buttons, the navigation buttons, channel and volume buttons and then the numeric keypad. I wish the play buttons were at the bottom and the numeric keypad at the top as it is not ergonomic to use the navigation buttons and then press the settings or play buttons with the current layout. With the numeric keypad on the top and the rest of the controls on the bottom, the remote becomes more ergonomic to hold and use. It works on 2 AAA batteries. In general, the remote, while functional, is not ergonomic.

Moving on to the keyboard and mouse, they are compact and run on two AAA batteries each. They connect to the TV via a USB dongle, so be aware that one of the TV’s two USB ports will be consumed by this. The keyboard and mouse are made of plastic, are light and feel very cheap. The keyboard has a slight slope that makes it convenient to type on, but the mouse is barebones basic. They also don’t have a physical on/off switch, which is a shame. For basic navigation and typing, it gets the job done. I recommended using a mouse pad with the mouse because on a wooden table the movement was not easy to spot. Another thing to note is that if you leave the keyboard and suddenly start using it, it will take a few seconds to re-establish the connection and start responding. The typing experience from the keyboard is acceptable and the key spacing is good. It only took a few minutes to get used to typing on this.

Considering the price of the TV, it’s a little hard to complain about the mouse and keyboard. It’s an extra feature for those looking for it. The remote control has all the functions, but the placement is not ergonomic.

Display panel and image quality

The screen on the CloudWalker 55-inch 4K TV is a 4K panel with support for HDR 10. Despite being HDR enabled, many budget TVs produce images that are darker than we’d like, making it a better experience to watch. view the content in SDR . That is partly the same sentiment here. We will explain more in the coming sections.

4K and HDR content

Since the TV runs on AOSP, none of the built-in apps we tried supported 4K and HDR content. So we resorted to our trusted Xbox One X† Know that in order to get 4K HDR output from the TV, you have to go into the TV’s settings and manually turn on the 4K and HDR switch. One tip is that when you change the settings, the console needs to be restarted. It makes a difference with the image output. You can also go into the console’s settings and see where it outputs, so the settings you chose and the output on the TV are the same. This is very useful when watching 1080p SDR content from streaming services. We saw shows like Our Planet, Grand Tour, Modified Carbon and more from our test catalog and the output was a little darker than we’d like with the HDR enabled. Only Our Planet had decent color saturation in Episode 1, but that’s also because it’s in a well-lit scenario. Reboot the console and keep the settings on SDR and the effect is good in the Vivid Picture preset. Needless to say, you need to tweak the settings in SDR for a better viewing experience. When you watch HDR content, you lose brightness while keeping the colors as they should be. Turning off HDR made the colors look washed out. Consume content by holding out the 4K HDMI configuration along with HDR for the best experience. Overall, despite HDR boasting, only limited content on the TV looked good in this environment.

1080P content

The image quality here again depends on your source. When you play movies like Mission: Impossible or shows like Young Sheldon, you’ll find that the picture is clear and the colors look good. Keep the preset on Vivid to get the best experience. The TV also gives you control over brightness, contrast and more, which is good. So if you know what settings you are looking for, you can manually tune the TV in the user profile. We played the same 1080p movie trailers from TV’s YouTube app and Xbox console and there was a slight noticeable difference in quality, but nothing quite as noticeable as on the Kodak TV we had rated earlier.

Gaming

The TV has no Game mode, so don’t expect the settings to change and decrease the input lag. CloudWaker even told us that the TV is not aimed at gamers. However, we thought we would give gaming a chance after all. A new HDR game that is a benchmark on the One X is Assassin’s Creed Odyssey† This game runs like a rocket on the right HDR TV. Unfortunately, the same dull image is visible when playing with HDR on. Turn it off and you’ll get slightly faded colors, but change the preset to vibrant and it’s acceptable. Input lag is noticeable in some cases, so don’t expect multiplayer games online on this TV. A game like Forza Horizon where we played during the daytime in the winter looked acceptable in the default and Vivid presets with HDR enabled. If gaming is the priority, go for a monitor at the same price. However, casual gaming is still possible on this TV.

audio

The TV is pretty loud even at 45 percent volume and that’s a good thing. It won’t crackle until you crank it up a lot, close to 80 percent or higher, but you don’t have to turn the volume up that high. It will fill the average living room with loud noise. Watching news and soap operas on this TV should be fine. Film and music, however, miss the expected thump. With movies, the dialogue is audible, but when mashed with a background score, it sounds a bit muffled. If you want to enjoy an immersive movie experience, you should invest in speakers or a soundbar to enjoy movies. Fortunately, the audio connectivity options available on the TV are good, including ARC, optical and 3.5mm.

Built-in services and user interface

Since the TV comes with a keyboard and mouse, you should know that you can access social networking websites and type documents on the TV. It will work for some basic work, but don’t expect it to be your primary device, especially if you have a computer or even a smartphone within reach. The UI was slow and on multiple occasions apps crashed and I had to restart the TV. There is a Windows-like desktop home page that you can fill with apps. Other than some social networking and typing, I don’t see this TV being used to do PPTs or multitasking like you would on a PC.

For the rest of the UI, the content is well divided into rows highlighting content from different streaming services. This UI layout is good because it exposes you to content first and then to the app. There is a row at the bottom that gives you access to the installed apps and Aptoid Store to download more apps. The user interface was responsive and worked well. Even streaming services like Hotstar and others worked just fine. If Netflix and Prime Videos aren’t your primary source of streaming, you can be really happy with this TV’s user interface and streaming capabilities. The UI isn’t the smoothest out there, but for what it’s intended to do, it gets the job done.

Bottom Line

In the 30K price range, there are many 55-inch TVs to choose from from brands like Kodak, Shinco, iFFALCON and more. If you go for 50-inch instead of 55, you’ll even have some TVs on the Android TV platform. Moving up a notch, close to the 35k price point, we have 55″ TVs from manufacturers such as Xiaomi, TCL and more that give you voice control from the remote and Netflix, Prime Videos, Android TV and better picture quality out of the box. But, as we said, that’s a 5k bounty. If you’re on a budget of 30k, I recommend looking at other offers before making a purchase decision.

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