With the advent of fast internet and people's busy lifestyle, many prefer to watch a lot of content on their phones. But there are many times when a larger screen makes more sense, a movie marathon with popcorn, a weekend of gaming with your buddies or simply binge watching some shows. These are scenarios where a TV makes watching more enjoyable and immersive.
So to help you find the best TV for your needs we got in touch with Audisee an AV company with four international certifications to help us test and pick the absolute best-in-class 32 inch TV.
We spent over two days to test four televisions to see their display performance, features and service.
Best 32 inch LED HD TV
Mi TV 4A
Xiaomi’s entry into the TV market consists of three products only as compared to the vast number of products of their competitors. Despite that, we found their 32 inch Tv to be the best in the market. The Mi TV 4A not only has a superb TV panel, but is also extremely smart with a whole bunch of features and an easy to use remote. What makes the TV even greater is despite the features you don't have to break the bank. Instead it's one of the cheapest smart TV around.
You can purchase it here Flipkart
You can purchase Mi TV IR blaster here
You can purchase Wall mount kit here
Best 32 inch LED Full HD TV
A look at the tech market shows us that once Xiaomi launches a product, most products feel inferior or expensive for what they deliver. But somehow the Vu tv manages to hold its own. Boasting a Full HD resolution in a 32-inch size gives it a much sharper picture. Also onboard are far superior speakers giving you crisp sound when you need it. However, it lags behind the Xiaomi's superior picture quality and it isn't a smart TV. Despite a premium of Rs.2000 over the feature loaded Mi TV.
This is a really long post! Use these links to jump around.
Why Trust us?
To find the best 32 inch TV we put in a whole day carefully testing, recording and calibrating the displays to find out the best performing one. To achieve this we collaborated with Audisee an AV company which has THX, HAA, and ISF certifications.
At Audisee we used industry standard equipment like a colorimeter, a media generator, and a spectrometer to measure the display parameters objectively. To give each TV a level playing field we first tested using the default settings and then calibrated the TV to find their best settings and then redid the test. But objective testing isn't everything, right? So we sat back and played a Bluray of ‘The Dark Knight’ to subjectively analyze how the displays perform. Watching the movie helped us assess the audio quality too.
How we Selected?
To sort out the best TV we started with a huge list comprising of all the established TV brands as well as the newly add TV’s in the market. Our initial list had hundreds of TV's that we quickly narrowed down by picking the ones that were most reviewed and highly rated.
With the shorter list of TV's, we set a few criteria to help us choose better.
- Max cost of Rs.15000 (+Rs.1000 for any extra features/ resolution)
- At least HD or FHD resolution
- Minimum 2x HDMI ports
- Display Resolution > Smart TV
We used display resolution as a shortlisting parameter as anything below HD will be a waste of money on a 32 inch screen for this price range. Using your TV with multi devices like a Computer or Gaming device is always a possibility and more HDMI ports will enable you to connect more devices. More ports also mean you can seamlessly switch between devices and you don't have to physically plug and unplug them. Our belief of choosing display resolution over smart features is because you can always add an Amazon fire stick or Chromecast to your TV to make it smart, but you can never increase a TV’s resolution.
Using these parameters on our list of shortlisted TV’s left us with the following four products.
- Mi TV 4A 32 inch
- Vu 32 inch Full HD TV
- Sanyo 32 inch Full HD TV
- Marq 32 inch HD TV
How we tested?
Televisions in a showroom are always configured to impress you over a short period of time. They have the brightness and contrast turned to 11 to make all the videos of flowers and animals looks very impressive to you. Bring home that TV with that settings and you’ll probably get a headache with those settings,
To test for real life performance we tested every parameter that mattered like color accuracy, color temperature, gamma etc.
Our tests were conducted at Audisee’s facility in Bengaluru. We had Audisee’s technical head Mr. Mohammed Vasif to help us test each panel. Each panel was put through rigorous tests to see which one emerges victorious.
A Full HD TV should always display in Full HD and the same is true for HD TV’s but this is not the case always. Manufacturers often do not enable the highest resolution for the TV right out of the box, so you could end up watching at a lower resolution than the TV is capable of.
You have to manually change the settings to make use of the higher resolution. All TVs we tested came with the resolution set at a much lower level except the Mi TVs. While you can change the settings to get a higher resolution, much to our surprise we could not do the same on the Cloudwalker TV. So stay clear from this TV!
To check this we had a test image that we display and changed the TV settings according to see if the max resolution is being used or not.
The below image shows the test image on the TV panel before changing the settings. Now look at the rightmost pattern having black and white lines, now this rectangle should be smooth if the panel is a Full HD one.
Before changing the settings the panel was showing black and white lines, while after the putting the correct option the lines have a smooth texture which means that Full HD resolution is being used.
We conducted a series of tests to objectively analyze the gamma, color reproduction, brightness, color temperature and other parameters of the display using industry equipment.
The displays are not properly calibrated out of the box hence perform poorly, we calibrated them to utilize their true potential.
We used a colorimeter to measure different parameters using the standard factory settings. Next, we calibrated the display to its most optimum settings and re-ran the tests. The results before and after calibrations showed a huge variation and this goes to prove how much calibrating a display can help.
Numbers and charts on a paper don't tell the whole story hence, we have to actually watch something on the TV to see if it really is as good as the numbers say. We start subjective testing by plugging in a Blu-ray player with a Full-HD version of The Dark Knight playing. The movie makes great sense as there are some low light scenes, brightly lit room scenes, a lot of sweeping shots of skyscrapers and a lot of dialogue and background score.
While having a look at the movie we can even see the noise levels on the screen, the jittering (if any), the clarity of the vocals as well as the ability of the speakers to produce low-end (Bass).
Reading the TV display report
Above is the report of the Mi TV 43 inch which was the best performing TV in our test. Here is how you can read and interpret the graphs and curves to know if a panel is good or not.
- RGB Balance: All the three Red, Green and Blue should be close to each other around the horizontal 100 mark. If the lines are far from each other the display is not calibrated properly
- Delta-E 1976: The delta e values have to all be as low as possible or the gray bars have to be below the green line. Doing this will give you truer colors.
- Delta-E 1994: This value also should be as low as possible to get more accurate colors.
- Gamma Curve: The Yellow curve that we see is the standard (Having a value of 2.2), the gamma curve of the TV should be same as that which if you look at the image is almost as same as it which is very good.
- Color Temperature: Color temperature will show if the screen will display as warm tint or a cool tint. The value should be close to 6500K. Higher values will give a cooler tint, while values less than 6500K will give a warm tint to the display.
- Color Accuracy:
Look at the square having the color spectrum, in the spectrum is a triangle which shows the range of colors the TV can display. The shape of the triangle will change for HDR TV’s as they are capable of displaying more colors. Now the triangle has seven white square these are the accurate color point that the TV must display. The colored circles are what the TV displays so if a red circle is inside a square the TV displays red as red if it’s not it shows a slightly different color.
HD vs Full HD: What's the difference?
HD or Full HD are two of the most commonly used resolutions. Resolution is the number of pixels that are present on a display. An HD or High Definition resolution has 1280 pixels horizontally and 720 pixels vertically. While a Full HD resolution has 1920 pixels horizontally and 1080 pixels vertically. Based on the number of pixels, you can see that Full HD has a lot more pixels, this means on a same sized display a Full HD pixel is smaller than an HD pixel. The smaller pixels means more details and sharpness.
But what you must understand is that a higher resolution will not always mean better picture quality. As we see in our review, where the Mi TV 32 despite being a HD TV, has colors which are truer to the source than the Sanyo. This allows for a much better viewing experience on the whole.
So our tip to you would be always look for reviews to see how a display performs before making the purchase.
Best Pick in Detail
A superb television with a panel that is far superior to televisions that cost much more than it. Also, the built-in smart tv functionality and good speaker makes it great for most use cases of normal TV watching and web streaming.
- Technically brilliant display
- Good audio considering the size & price
- Smooth smart TV experience
- The most value-for-money TV in the market
- Difficult to buy during flash sales, Mi Home stores too few
- Installation niggles due to slow service
- Box pack doesn't include wall mounting kit (Costs Rs.300-400)
- IR blaster kit doesn't work with local cable networks
- Youtube, Netflix, and Amazon Prime Video apps are not available
Build & Features: Well built with a lot of useful features
Unlike the flagship Mi TV 4 which boast of an ultra slim and stylish design, the Mi TV 32 inch is far more generic in design. There is plastic pretty much everywhere from the body to the stand but when we assembled it, we found it to be pretty well built.
The TV relies solely on the remote and/ or the Mi Remote controller app as it lacks any buttons on the TV itself. The remote is very small and easy to use, however it lacks number pads and doesn't have any shortcut options to quickly open your favorite apps. This will slow down your ability to switch between TV shows.
You can also download the app and use your phone as a remote. The app works with every smartphone either through the IR Blaster or Wi-Fi. We loved the app as it lets you control basically every function using any smartphone
We loved how the TV integrates you dth/cable channels into a single interface doing this lets you use just one remote (The Mi remote) instead of two remotes like a normal tv remote. To enable this functionality however you need to buy the IR remote adapter which costs around Rs.299, being a new device it's not fully compatible with all networks. When we tried with our local cable network the IR adapter did not function at all.
The TV also has a vast number of connectivity options ranging from 3x HDMI ports, 2x USB ports, RCA and audio jack as well as an ethernet port. It has Wi-Fi for wireless connectivity including support for wireless mobile screen mirroring which we tested and it worked perfectly.
The Mi TV’s UI was extremely smooth and we did not face any lags in everyday browsing and swiping, however, the app switching menu is a little slow and jittery. You get some apps installed that let you control your TV’s status, run a memory cleanup program and a couple of extra things. The Patchwall UI takes content from different apps like Sony LIV, Hotstar etc. and displays it onto a large endless panel. This makes it easier as you don't have to enter an app to check the content.
Sadly the lack of an app store and support for streaming services like Amazon Prime and Netflix means we are going to take some points off this TV. Being an Android-based TV you can install apps but some did not work as they are not designed for the screen although we managed to install a 3rd party “Aptoide” app store that has many apps optimized for the TV screen. But this is something that should come from the company and letting the consumer rely on third-party services is not always advisable.
Display & Audio: Superb visuals backed by good audio quality
Coming to the most important parameter, the display and boy oh boy are we happy with the Mi Tv’s performance here. It's not only good it's great especially when you note that it was one of the cheapest TV’s in our test.
Out of the box, the Mi TV has a great aspect ratio and true resolution of HD (It actually looks better than HD), but when we used the standard picture mode and performed our set of objective tests the results weren't great. The RGB Color Balance was off, the color accuracy was way off, Color Temperature was wrong and Delta e (Grayscale) was poor, although the gamma curve was pretty decent.
Now poor results aside, we sat down to configure the settings to get a more optimum image. What we particularly liked was the level of control you have over the picture settings including settings for each Red, Green and Blue color tuning. This level of control we did not find on any other TV that we tested. Kudos to Xiaomi here!
After calibrating we set the TV to the following settings. If you have a Mi TV 4A and want to get the most accurate colors and viewing experience then you too can set your TV to the following settings.
- Aspect Ratio: Original Ratio
- Sharpness: 50
- Hue: 50
- Color Range: Part
- Red Gain:1081
- Blue Gain:1024
- Green Gain:898
With these settings in place, we got a huge improvement in display quality, as can be seen below. The errors in the Delta e (1976) were below the green line, which is excellent. The RGB balance was much better compared to the previous settings. The RGB color accuracy saw a tremendous improvement with white color being on the dot now. The color temperature also reached closer to the 6500K standard mark. So what all this means is you get a display that displays colors accurately, that has a standard color temperature and you see things the way they were intended to.
We then played a Bluray of the ‘Dark Knight’ to really look at how the screen performs with some content. The output was really fantastic with crisp colors, sufficient brightness in ambient light and dark conditions. Viewing the content from an angle also did not affect the image too much, but the content is best-viewed upfront. Also, the panel brightness is even although there is a hint of bleeding at the bottom edges.
Talking about the audio quality, it is actually quite good. Now we have to understand that TV audio has never been any good this is because of the tiny speakers as well as the direction of their firing. But the Mi TV 4A speakers perform very well, they were not the loudest but they were very clear and manage to produce pretty good bass.
Installation & Service: Difficult to buy, with average service
Like their phones, power banks, earphones and just about everything that Xiaomi makes, their TV’s are incredibly hard to buy. Buying them online is next to impossible with the flash sales, but you do have a chance to buy them at the Mi Home stores. However, there are not that many Mi Home stores in India, except a select few cities. So despite an excellent product, you may face issues when it comes to buying it.
The issues don't stop there, service is another big issue. To deliver the TV to you from a Mi Home store you are charged Rs.300, yeah we know that's a lot! And once you make the payment you cannot track the delivery status. It can take a day or three as in our case to get the TV delivered (despite the distance being only 10kms). Calling the customer care doesn't help as they themselves have no clue, also you cannot call the Mi Home stores as they never pick up.
But once the TV is delivered, you personally have to contact Mi and book an appointment request which can again take 2 days (As with our 43 inch TV) or a really long time as with our 32 inch TV. In fact, a Mi Service technician never came to install our Mi 32-inch TV instead we got a Flipkart Jeeves service person to do it for us. Now why did we do that? Because the Mi TV who was scheduled to arrive merely cancelled and informed the company that the installation is done. After contacting Mi again they agreed to contact within 24 hours while that did not happen we simply got it installed by the Jeeves service person.
Be prepared with two AAA cells as Mi does not provide battery cells for the remote, Yeah this was the first time we encountered something like this.
Also be ready to shell out Rs.300 for the wall mount kit, again something that is shipped for free with every other TV.
Coming to repairs and parts, the TV has two main parts the display panel and the PCB/ motherboard. Almost 80% of the cost of the TV is the Display Panel while the remaining is what the PCB costs. So the replacement panel for the Mi TV can cost around Rs.10000-11000. The Service of Mi TV is handled by Jeeves as well as Servmobi (A company that looks after service of Mi TV). The product being new there are no complaints or issues regarding any parts.
Where Mi can improve
- Sales, delivery, and service
- Full HD on the Mi TV 32 inch will make it even better
- A better catalog of apps and games for the Patchwall Software
- A dedicated Play store to download apps
The 32 inch Mi TV is definitely the most value for money product in the market boasting of a technically correct display, good audio quality, and useful smart tv features. At a price of Rs.13999 if you can find the Mi TV it's the best option in the market.
Read Also : Best 43 inch LED TV under Rs 25,000 in India 2018
Best 32 inch Full HD TV
One of the few 32 inch TV’s with a Full HD resolution and superb audio quality.
- Crisp display courtesy of the Full HD panel
- Loud and clear audio
- Good build with metal accents
- Easily available online
- Wall mount stand included in the box
- No smart features
- Display panel is inferior to the Xiaomi TV
- Shares components and software with other TV’s like Marq
Build & Features: Good TV built quality, thin on features
Now the Vu TV looks pretty much like just about every other TV in the market, it is basically a black color rectangle with a stand. However, it feels more solid with solid metal stand pieces that lend it a quality appeal.
Vu has for a long time advertised itself as Vu California and they talk a lot of their R&D and design and so on. It's only when you pick the remote of the Vu tv and a Marq (by Flipkart) TV you realize they are actually the same, mostly Chinese OEM products. The similarities continue with the software which has the exact same UI. This doesn't give you a great feeling especially when you have felt the quality of the Xiaomi product in their hardware and software.
Coming to smart features of the Vu TV, uh, well it doesn't have any, so let's move onto the next paragraph.
That leaves us with the connectivity options well you have the usual 2x HDMI ports, a VGA port, 2x USB ports and that's about it no wifi or Bluetooth here sadly.
Display & Audio: Good visuals backed by great audio quality
The Vu TV brings Full HD resolution in the 32-inch size which is a little strange but a very good addition indeed. This allows the viewer to enjoy higher resolution content but is the panel capable enough to compete against the Xiaomi? Let us find out.
Out of the box, the Vu TV does not fare so well the full resolution is not used and you have to switch the aspect ratio setting to “Just scan” to use the full HD resolution. As usual with the out of the box settings, the display performed terribly. Look at the image below, most of the parameters are way off, the color temperature is skewed towards a bluish tint, color accuracy is off, and delta e is all wrong. But in Vu’s defense, most TV panels come out of the box in the same way.
The level of control the user has on the display settings is far more limited than that of the Mi TV. This doesn't let you finetune the settings so the amount of calibration we could do was limited.
The best settings we found for the Vu TV were:
- Set picture to “Mild”
- Color temperature to “Warm”
With the correct settings in place, the display performed much better. The color temperature was closer to the standard value, RGB color balance was better, the Delta e values has come by a huge margin, however, gamma value was still pretty bad. But one observation we made is the display is a little too bright so you will have to decrease the brightness to reduce staining of your eyes. The brightness is around 445 nits which is equivalent to most mobile displays at peak brightness. A brightness of around 170 nits more than enough in ambient light conditions.
Subjective viewing on the Vu TV gave us good sharpness in the image with minimal noise as compared to the Marq tv, the viewing experience is enhanced by the superb audio. The audio is sharp as well as loud, in fact, it was one of the best in our tests. The Audisee team actually loved the audio very much as it was very loud as well as pretty clear.
But when you compare the Mi Tv 32 inch panel to the Vu, the Mi TV feels superior with more accurate colors and the near-perfect gamma levels on it giving better and truer images.
Installation & Service
Not only is the Vu tv available easily to buy on Flipkart or Amazon, their installation is also very good.
If you buy from Flipkart, the installation service is very good as Flipkart themselves will open an installation request for you once the product is delivered and within a day or two, the installation will be done. We loved the hassle free service of the brand and the part availability is also good as Flipkart themselves take care of it.
The service for Vu TV is handled by Flipkarts Jeevas which has a good coverage in India. The price of the spares are similar with the display panel taking around 80% of the costs.
Where Vu can improve
- Improvement in the display
- Smart features
If your requirement is of a Full HD tv with great audio then look no further than the Vu TV as it has the resolution you need along with a good display, great audio and comes at a decent price of Rs.16000. However the lack of smart feature means some customers will move away from it, however, you can always plug in a smart dongle like Chromecast or Amazon fire stick or any other Android dongle and access the internet and the world of apps.
TV’s that didn't make it
Marq by Flipkart
Flipkart's first foray into the TV market is low on price and is equally low on features, display quality, audio and smart features. The display panel accuracy is not as good as the Mi TV, with it exhibiting a lot of noise along with jittering in fast-moving scenes. The audio is decent but has a humming sound to it. Also, the pricing is close to the Mi TV so it just makes sense to buy the Mi TV over the Marq.
Sanyo 32 inch FHD TV
Sanyo has been in the market for a long time and was recently taken over by Japanese electronics giant Panasonic. The FHD 32 inch TV they make however isn't worthy of being remembered for long as it's poor panel which exhibits poor colors and whites, the audio is just about okay and nothing great and there is the usual lack of smart features despite being priced higher than the Mi TV. However, the service of Sanyo was the best we have seen. You have to register for the service with Sanyo, however, they arrive within 1-2 days and the service personnel was extremely knowledgeable about their products along with their competitor's products also. Sanyo also gives you a call during the installation to check if the installation is done perfectly along with a call in a few days after the installation to check the same.