Great panel performance for the price, dismal smart features

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Shinco 55 inch 4K UHD Smart LED TV Detailed Review

If you’re looking for a 4K HDR TV on a tight budget of say Rs 35,000 and are looking for a large TV (in size), then you should consider the Shinco 55-inch S55QHDR10 4K HDR TV. The picture performance for the asking price is really good, especially since the panel you get is a Samsung VA 10-bit panel with HDR 10 support and 55in! The smart features are dismal, so you may want to spend an extra 6k and invest in the 4K Fire TV stick. Now that we’ve made your purchase decision easier, let’s dive into the review.

Key specs at a glance

Panel Size: 55-inch (also available in 49, 40, and 32-inch options)
Panel type: VA
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: Cortex A73 Dual Core 800MHz
GPU: Dual Core Mali450-540MHz
RAM: 1GB
Built-in storage: 8 GB
Operating System: Android 7 (AOSP)
Price: Rs 36,990

Build and design

We’ll start with the build of the Shinco 55-inch 4K TV, it’s not the thinnest, which is good. You can argue that the Mi TV smart TV 4 Pro is a really slim TV and while we agree, we say that the Shinco has direct backlighting, which results in better picture performance compared to the edge-lit Mi TV 4 Pro. We’ll talk more about that in the performance section. The TV has a plastic case with glossy edges that can become reflective in direct light. The bottom frame of the TV is thick and that’s because it has two 10W drivers on the front. Most TVs have down-firing drivers and depending on your entertainment system or the table you place the TV on, the sound quality will vary. Front-facing speakers are a bit clearer in my opinion. Given the price and size of the TV, three of the bezels are relatively narrow and the logo on the bottom bezel is small and unobtrusive to the viewing experience. You can choose to mount the TV on the wall or place it on a table top. We put the TV on a table top using the two legs that come in the box, which are also metal. The metal feet are extremely well built, hold the TV firmly in place and are quite slim. The space between the table and the bottom edge is just enough for your game console. Given the speaker on the bottom, you can comfortably place a soundbar without having to worry about it covering part of the screen.

Overall, the construction of the TV is sturdy, especially the tabletop stand that comes in the box. The design is minimalist. You also get the wall mounting brackets in the box. Considering the price of the TV, the build and design are good.

Ports and Connectivity

When it comes to connectivity, the Shinco 55-inch 4K TV has three HDMI ports with HDMI 3 ARC enabled. On the side, the TV has two USB ports, an SD card slot, 3.5mm port, the HDMI 3 port and an optical port. On the back you have the antenna port, 2 HDMI ports, 2 AV ports and the ethernet port. The power cable cannot be removed by the user. On the right side of the TV you have the physical controls. If you want to use the keyboard function on the remote, you have to use the included dongle which takes up one USB port, so keep that in mind. The TV supports WiFi, but unfortunately no Bluetooth.

Once again we are happy with the selection of ports on the TV. There are ARC and 3.5mm for your audio options. There are 3 HDMI ports which are enough for this price and 2 RCA inputs for your old PS2 or DVD player or set-top box.

Display and image quality

The Shinco 55 inch 4K TV has a 10-bit VA panel made by Samsung. Thanks to the 10-bit panel, the TV has 4K capabilities and HDR 10 support. The panel has a brightness of 350 nits, but in our testing we found that the TV is bright enough for content consumption. Below we will highlight the TV’s performance using three types of content: 4K HDR, 1080p and game content.

4K and HDR playback

For 4K HDR content, we played our standard set of clips from Netflix, including DareDevil, Star Trek and more. The manufacturers tell us that the brightness of the TV is 350 nits, which is a lot less than the requirement for HDR, but in line with what we’ve seen on other TVs in this price segment. The good news is that content is highly visible even in a lit room, with the drawback that sequences appear fainter in the dark than they should when viewing HDR content. You can turn off the HDR display via the TV’s settings to get SDR display and that can help with some content in poorly lit situations.

We played DareDevil and Star Trek Discovery from Netflix. In DareDevil Season 2, Episode 3, the stair fights, we get to keep the fuzzy and gritty feel with the visual fidelity. In some parts where the lighting is dim, the action sequence is clearly legible. There are some sequences that we wish were brighter, but it’s still readable.

1080p content

When it comes to Full HD content from sources like Netflix, Prime Videos, Hotstar and YouTube, the Shinco TV does it right. It produces clear images that are easy to view even in a lit room. Shows like Young Sheldon and Big Bang Theory with bright situations show good visibility on the panel.

Speaking of modes, whether it’s for 4K HDR content or for Full HD content, you may want to stick with the Dynamic or Vivid preset as these two will give you the best results. There is also a ‘soft’ and ‘eco’ mode available, but they reduce the backlighting too much to have an enjoyable experience. One drawback is that there are very few picture settings that you can tinker with manually in case you want to set the picture yourself.

Gaming

When it comes to gaming, we played Doom in 4K SDR. For indoor scenes, the game’s visuals look detailed and the gray and silver tech interior mixed with the demonic presence is compelling. The outdoors look a bit oversaturated and switching from Dynamic to the default preset helped with this.

For 4K HDR gaming, we switched to Gears of War 4. One good thing about Gears 4 is that the game has a built-in HDR slider and a split screen mode to show you what content looks like when HDR is on or off. . Gears of War 4 looks detailed and immersive in HDR and there was no noticeable input lag. Another game with the HDR slider is Battlefield 1. The opening segment of Battlefield 1 has a rough, war-torn environment, and from the bangs of bullets to the muzzle flash in the game looks detailed and immersive.

In general, gaming on the TV is fun. Considering the price and size of the TV on offer, the gaming performance is impressive.

audio

The Shinco 55-inch TV has 2 front-firing speakers and it is possible that due to the front-firing nature of the speakers, they sound brighter than what we’ve seen in this price range. There is a clear channel shift when objects on the screen move from left to right or vice versa. This can be clearly seen in motorcycle chases or when a plane flies over the screen and during gaming when a firefight ensues.

However, when it comes to the output, there is much to be desired. Watch the Cyberpunk 2077 E3 2018 trailer on YouTube and you’ll find that it sounds loud and room-filling at less than 60 percent volume. However, there is a distinct lack of bass. Even attaching a budget soundbar like the Mi Soundbar improves the audio output. Audio from soap operas and TV shows like Young Sheldon or Big Bang Theory is loud and clear and quite enjoyable. This is because such shows rely more on dialogue than a background score, making them clear and easily audible through the TV’s speakers. There are modes like ‘Standard’ and ‘Theatre’, and they work for watching the occasional movie, but if you want an immersive experience you’ll need to invest in a pair of external speakers like a soundbar. That said, the TV’s audio experience is better than what we’ve seen from TVs in this price range.

user interface

The Shinco 55-inch 4K TV runs Android 7 right out of the box, but this isn’t Android TV, which is a shame when you consider how much we love the TV’s picture performance. It’s AOSP. We’ve reviewed a few AOSP TVs with their own custom launcher in the past and the UI experience was acceptable with a frustrating streaming service experience. Apps like Netflix and Prime Videos can only run their mobile versions and not the correct Android TV version. This makes navigating the app’s user interface more cumbersome and also reduces the quality of content playback. The only app that worked perfectly with the typing experience and keyboard navigation was YouTube.

Overall, the user interface is the weakest aspect of the TV’s otherwise strong picture performance. To get the most out of it, you need to use it with a 4K compatible streaming stick.

Remote control

Place the Daiwa TV remote control and the Shinco TV remote control side by side and if the logos were removed, you would not be able to distinguish one from the other. That’s because the manufacturer of the TV is the same company. Like the Daiwa TV we tested, the Shinco remote control has functions on both sides. On the one hand, you have a traditional remote with features like power, numeric keypad, source, settings along with shortcuts for YouTube and Netflix. The other side of the remote is a full QWERTY keyboard. This is extremely useful when logging into services like Netflix or Prime Videos (the native apps on the TV’s operating system). As mentioned above, those services are the mobile version because the TV runs on AOSP, so the login process can get quite cumbersome. The remote’s QWERTY layout is a little wider than I’d like, but that’s the compromise of a 2-in-1 setup. The buttons are rubbery and require you to press them with some force, which is a good thing. This way you don’t accidentally press the wrong button when you use the other side of the remote control.

Speaking of the other side, the traditional controls are easy to use with one hand and the buttons are just as rubbery and clicky as the other (QWERTY) side.

Overall, the remote is functional and adds features like a mouse pointer and QWERTY keyboard that really help navigate the user interface.

Bottom Line

As we mentioned at the outset, the TV has great picture performance for the price. Everyday content looks rich, gaming is fun, and having a 4K compatible streaming device will help you get the most out of the TV. The front-facing speakers add to the TV’s audio experience. On the other hand, the TV’s user interface is frustrating and not worth delving into. It makes sense to invest in a streaming stick like the Fire TV. If you are on a budget of around Rs 35,000 and looking for a big screen TV then you should consider the Shinco 55 inch TV. It is certainly value for money and gives the Xiaomi TV a run for its money in terms of picture quality. For smart capabilities, however, it lacks behind what Xiaomi offers.

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