Mitashi 4K Smart Curved LED TV review: A well designed smart TV

deccan chronicle  | Francis D'Sa

Technology, Gadgets

Mitashi’s TV is based on Android and features a very easy to operate interface.

The TV sports a 4K resolution with two HDMI inputs and an airmouse remote for smart features.

With upcoming internet broadband speeds increasing and with almost no cap on monthly FUPs, it is watching movies, and OTT channels online are soon becoming the norm in the country. Soon the days will be gone when set top boxes will vanish from below your television sets and the internet will be the only one medium for all your media consumption.

And now with increasing internet speeds online content is soon changing from the standard HD to full HD content, almost everywhere. Well, UHD or 4K content is already out there too, but the data bandwidth for common man is yet to lower down on costs, which when done, will soon see UHD content becoming the norm.

With 4K UHD content coming soon, it’s best to get ready with the right gear for consumption. Yes broadband will be at hand, but your media display device will still be that old-fashioned full HD panel resting on your wall.

 

UHD 4K TVs made their debut just a few years ago, but they were very expensive and the main element to drive that TV was content, which was almost unavailable. However, with the evolution of technology and the falling prices of LCD panels, televisions equipped with 4K resolution pixels are now available with down-to-earth prices. UHD 4K TVs used to cost north of Rs 1 lakh, but today, major brands are retailing their goods with mouth-watering prices just shy of around half-a-lakh.

There was a time when a 32-inch TV was the biggest you could find on a television set, but today you can name it and your TV can be made for that size. However, casual homes today can bear 43- to 55-inch panels with ease. The newer technology TVs are now slimmer and lighter — thanks to backlit and edge-lit panels, you can see almost no bulk behind them.   

Mitashi, an old player into the electronics and appliance market, has recently presented a smart curved LED for its consumers. The TV has a 4K UHD panel and sports smart features with an Android operating system running in the background. With built-in Wi-Fi and all the necessary ports needed for smart operations, we review the Mitashi Curved LED Smart TV MiCE050v34 4KS ahead. Before we move on, here are the basic specifications for your reference.

  • Model: MiCE050v34 4KS
  • Type: 4K Ultra HD Smart Curved LED TV
  • Display: LED, 48.5-inch, 4K, 3840 x 2160 pixels, Response Time:    6.5ms
  • Dynamic Contrast Ratio: 400000:1
  • Viewing angle: 178° (H) / 178° (V)
  • Operating system: Android v4.4
  • Processor: Cortex A7, dual core 1.2GHz
  • GPU: Mali 450
  • RAM/ROM: 1GB RAM / 8GB Storage
  • Pre-installed apps: Facebook, Email, Skype
  • Features: Screen Mirroring, Built in Wi-Fi
  • Remote: Wireless, air mouse + keyboard combo
  • Ports: 2 X HDMI, 2 x USB 2.0, 1 x VGA, 2 x AV-in, 1 x Co-Axial, 1 x AV-out, 1 x Micro SD card slot
  • Audio: 10W x 2 speakers built-in, 8Ω / 10W each
  • TV System: PAL/NTSC/SECAM (B/G, D/K, I, M/N)
  • Video Input support: PAL/NTSC
  • HDMI Input support: 480i, 480p, 720p, 1080i, 1080p, 2160p (4K)
  • VGA/PC Input support: Up to 1920 x 1080, 60Hz
  • Wi-Fi: 802.11b/g/n
  • Ethernet: RJ45 x 1
  • Weight: 12.2kg
  • Power consumption: Standby - < 0.5W, Max - 120W
  • Bundled: Air Mouse, Wall mount
  • Warranty: 3 years onsite
  • Installation: Free, all India

Design, Build:

The Mitashi 4K TV is a curved display with wide viewing angles, both horizontal and vertical. Curved TVs should not make a difference as it does make it easier to watch from all parts of the room convenient. However, curved TVs showcase the best content for those sitting right in front of the screen. The TV has a large panel, sized at approximately 50 inches, which is good enough for a decently-sized living room or a large bed room. The TV comes shipped with a bundled wall mount, and can also be placed on a table with the detachable stands. At 12.2kg, the TV isn’t as heavy and can be easily handled or moved by a single person.

The TV is built with a very strong and sturdy frame — it’s made of a combination of plastic and metal for a firm holding of the curved LCD panel within. The exterior is all-plastic with a matte finished rear panel in black and dual-tone silver and black front bezels. The stands are made of metal and are powder-coated. All you will see is just a Mitashi branding on the bottom. There are no glaring LEDs upfront as you would see in other televisions that distract the viewing with a strong power light hitting your eye.

A subtle dim red/green LED is seen on the right side bottom that informs the user about the standby/power on condition respectively. Control panel buttons are neatly placed on the rear panel on the right bottom, which is easy to reach and operate. The buttons are placed one below the other and are easy to follow and use.

The business end (rear panel) holds all the input and output ports you will ever need. However, we did find that some ports could be a problem for the user to comfortably use, especially the HDMI ports that are downward facing. However, the most used ports (USB and Micro SD card slot) are placed on the left side, which is good for those who would be using external media storages pretty often. Having at least one HDMI port on the left would have been helpful.

Sadly, one USB port is blocked as it will be using the air mouse (wireless remote) continuously, leaving just a single USB port for users to plug in their drives. Also, each USB port can only supply a maximum of 5V/500mA, which could make it a little difficult for users who plan to use HDMI dongles that need additional power. The micro SD card slot is also a bit deep, making it difficult for users to eject the inserted micro SD card. Overall, the build is great and the ergonomics for the I/O ports are not as bad as seen on other televisions, so we can’t complain much here.

Remote control:

The Mitashi TV comes with two remote controllers. While one is an IR-based controller, the other is a wireless/IR combo. The IR remote is like any standard TV remote. It runs off two AAA cells and features rubber buttons with every button you would need for controls. The remote is large enough for a single-handed use and all the buttons are conveniently placed around. Markings on the buttons are in white and are very easy to read.

 

While the IR remote is meant for the basic use of the TV (switching the source, changing channels on analog TV mode, volume, source, etc), you also have options to use some basic functions in the smart TV mode. These include enabling or disabling the mouse pointer on the Smart TV mode, firing up the instant browser, and quickly switching between the Smart TV mode and alike.

As for the wireless remote, it is a standard air mouse that runs on a rechargeable battery. It is very simple and highly ergonomic, especially when using it in the Smart TV mode. This remote is a combo of a mouse and keyboard, which helps a lot when using the TV for smart features, especially when web surfing and alike where both mouse and keyboard (text) inputs are required. The remote has two sides, with a conventional full keyboard (rubber buttons) on the bottom and a basic control panel (rubber buttons) on the top. It also features an IR transmitter for simply powering on/off the TV, so you won’t need to use two remotes all the time. This remote also has basic functions for volume, mute, menu and directions that work for both Smart TV and Analog TV modes.

As mentioned, the remote is rechargeable and uses a standard micro USB port with any smartphone charger or USB port available. Being rechargeable is required here is because conventional batteries won’t last you long enough as you would be using this remote as a mouse and keyboard pretty often.   

Performance:

The Mitashi TV has a 4K panel that can top a resolution of 3840 x 2160 pixels. It runs on an Android operating system and has a basic dual-core processor with 1GB of RAM. The Mail GPU can take care of graphics and full HD videos with ease, but the hardware is not capable of 4K content.

In Android mode, you will not be able to enjoy the 4K possibilities as the processor and codecs are not able to produce the output. So in order to gain full 4K possibilities, you would require using the HDMI inputs using an external 4K player/dongle for its full 4K potential. We tried using several players. However, with a limited amount of 4K content available today, and the price for streaming or owning 4K content is not as cheap, there are pretty rare possibilities of users switching to 4K content after buying a 4K TV.

Yes, there are several DTH operators who are streaming 4K content with a 4K-ready STB, but the 4K channels are limited. All TV channels in India today are still operating at 1080i (maximum) and we are still far away from 4K content becoming a norm here.

However, if you want to enjoy 4K content online, you can stick in some 4K-ready dongles to do so. For example, using a 4K HDMI dongle (like the Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K) can give you 4K Netflix content. In short, the Smart TV is not for 4K content, but you will have to use an external hardware to drive 4K content to the TV.

As for the smart TV features, the Mitashi gets a full thumbs up from our end. The user interface is very simple and straight-forward and is pretty clean enough for any new user to follow and use. The UI colour theme is very pleasing to the eye and the menus are very simple to browse through. The menus system is very straightforward and almost no confusing – you cannot get anything wrong here. The menu system is kept bare minimum with screens such as source, apps, app management and media, apart from the settings, which is also very minimal.

Pre-installed apps such as Netflix, YouTube, Skype and a browser will let you instantly use the TV initially. Google Play Store is also present which will allow you to install the apps you require with great ease — no sideloading of apps necessary. Additionally, you can also sideload apps from the file manager if you wish — simply dump APK files on a pen drive, hook it to the USB port and run the app manager, and you will see the list of apps that will be available for installation. All-in-all, the interface is a cakewalk for anyone who is using the TV. Mitashi has really managed to keep this Smart TV as simple as required, and yet equipped with everything that is required to make it easy for even a child to use.

As for the picture quality, we found this at par with most expensive models out there. The contrast and brightness levels can be adjusted to suit the room lighting conditions or to a user’s preference. Colours are vibrant and it is a pleasure to watch full HD to 4K movies on it. However, do note that watching 4K content using the USB storage (via the onboard Android operating system) will not work as expected.

The hardware does not seem capable of handling full 4K encoding. Also, the codecs don’t work well for 4K content. Playing up to full HD via the Android TV OS works well, without any issues. For 4K content, you will need an external media player that can support resolutions of up to 3840 x 2160 pixels. We did expect newer smart TVs to support 4K content out of the box given that this should be the norm. A better hardware and supported codecs are what the company needs to work on.

Verdict:

The Mitashi curved smart TV (MiCE050v34 4KS) is presently available in the market for an MRP of Rs 57,999, while online stores are selling it at an offer price of Rs 49,999. The TV offers a good value for money considering the curved panel and an elegant look. However, the downside of the TV is the inability of native 4K playback via the operating system. If you are looking for a new 4K UHD television for your home, the Mitashi MiCE050v34 4KS is what we could recommend for your list.

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