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Kodak 43UHDX Smart TV review: is it worth the affordable price tag?

With Xiaomi paving the way for affordable smart TVs in India, there has been an influx of new brands in the market. Today, we even have smartphone makers like OnePlus, Motorola and Nokia entering the domain with their smart TV offerings. One of the early entrants after India’s TV boom was the American-brand, Kodak, which partnered with Noida-based Super Plastronics to launch its series of smart TVs in the country. Not only are its offerings loaded with features, but they are also affordable, making them a go-to choice for many. I received the Kodak 43UHDX Smart TV from the brand and here’s what you need to know about the television.

Design and ports

To begin with, the Kodak 43UHDX features a design similar to the pricier Kodak 50 4K UHD model, apart from the display size. As for the build quality, the television is constructed in its entirety from plastic and as such is very lightweight. However, the flimsy construction of the TV also makes it very wobbly if placed on the provided legs.

Coming to the ports and connectivity, the Kodak 43UHDX features LAN, Miracast, three HDMI ports, two USB ports, an SD card slot, coaxial TV antenna slot, an Ethernet port, two AV ports, and an S/PDIF port. Kodak is known for offering a microSD card slot on its TVs, unfortunately, that’s missing from the 43UHDX. For wireless connectivity, there’s Wi-Fi but no Bluetooth. I had a hard time getting the unit I have with me to connect to Wi-Fi, having tried with three separate networks.

The physical TV control buttons are placed on the back panel towards the right side. Due to the placement of physical buttons, it’s hard to reach them if you mount the TV on the wall. Additionally, the remote provided with the TV, in the absence of Bluetooth, is infrared-based. This means that you will have to point the remote directly at the TV to control it. It doesn’t help the cause that the remote is very slow and tests your patience while you are typing out long passwords for OTT platforms and Wi-Fi.

Display and audio

Display-wise, the Kodak 43UHDX ships with a 43-inch Samsung panel with a resolution of 3,840 x 2,160 pixels. Kodak has equipped the TV with an Auto Depth Enhancer technology to improve the visual experience. The panel itself has impressive colours and offers deep blacks as expected. On the flip side, while watching videos on YouTube I realised that the TV cannot handle 4K streaming as switching to 4K would result in the video freezing in a few seconds. The 4K videos that you download and play through the USB drive are exemplary though. While streaming, sticking to 1080p videos gives a much better result. There are no options to tweak the display setting apart from toggles for DLC, DBC and HDR. As for the audio, the TV outputs sub-par sound, which is barely sufficient to fill a small room.

Software

Coming to the software, the Kodak 43UDHX boots Android 7.0 with a custom interface garnished on top. While the UI is on par with other TV makers in terms of ease-of-use and design elements, it feels half baked in its current form. During my stint with the television, I ran across several instances of app crashes and hangs while navigating between apps. It doesn’t help the cause that the TV ships with a dual-core 1.4GHz processor paired with just 1GB RAM. On the bright side, the TV comes loaded with Netflix, YouTube and Hotstar. User can also download and install other apps like Amazon Prime Video, Facebook, Twitter, Skype and more through the custom app store.

Bottomline

To sum it up, the price tag of the display is the main factor working in the favour of the Kodak 43UHDX. You get offline 4K playback, a commendable display, and support for most OTT platforms for just Rs 23,999. However, the lacklustre sound quality, sluggish UI and missing Bluetooth connectivity might be a dealbreaker for many.

Pricebaba’s rating: 6 / 10

What works:

  • Vibrant Display
  • HDR support
  • Pre-installed apps for Netflix, Hotstar and Youtube
  • App store lets you download additional apps

What doesn’t:

  • 4K streaming doesn’t work
  • No Bluetooth
  • Remote is sluggish
  • Software needs work
  • Sub-par audio

Photos by Raj Rout

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