Nokia 43-inch Smart TV Review: Almost value for money

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Nokia has been a household name in the smartphone business for decades jumping from Symbian to Windows Phone and now running on Android. In 2019, the brand delved into the TV space with the launch of a 55-inch TV. In 2020, it expanded that portfolio with the launch of a 43-inch and 65-inch TV. The design, UI and overall appeal of the TV are the same across its screen sizes. The 43-inch Nokia TV costs Rs 31,999 as of writing this review. At the same price point, one can get a 43-inch FHD TV from brands like Sony while brands like Xiaomi, Kodak, Thomson and more offer users a 50-inch 4K HDR TV at about 30K. The price leaves the Nokia TV in a precarious position. 43-inch 4K HDR TV from budget brands are 5-7 thousand rupees cheaper while 55-inch inch 4K HDR TVs are a few thousand rupees more expensive than the 43-inch Nokia TV. The Nokia TV does bring with it features like speakers powered by JBL, an ADS panel and of course, the Nokia brand name. But is it worthy of the asking price, or should you consider the cheaper budget alternatives?

Nokia 43-inch 4K HDR TV Specs at a glance

Panel Size: 43-inch (also available in 55 and 65-inches)

Panel Type: ADS (Direct-lit LED)

Panel Resolution: 3840 x 2160 – 4K

Panel Refresh Rate: 60Hz

HDR 10 support: Yes

Dolby Vision Support: Yes

Weight (with stand): 9.4kgs

HDMI Ports: 3

USB Ports: 2

Bluetooth: Yes

Wi-Fi: Yes

Ethernet: Yes

Speakers: 24W of sound output (12 x 2)

Built-in storage: 16GB

Price: MRP: 31,999

Nokia 43-inch TV: Display and picture quality

Let’s kick things off with the picture quality. The Nokia 43-inch TV brings with it a 10-bit ADS panel with a peak brightness of 300-nits. In addition to supporting 4K, the TV also supports HDR 10 and Dolby Vision. The brightness of the 43-inch TV is about 100 nits less than the 55-inch Nokia TV, which is a bummer. To put things into perspective, the 43-inch Thomson TV has a peak brightness of 500 nits and while we are yet to review the Thomson TV, know that it is about Rs 5000 cheaper than the Nokia 43-inch TV.  While peak brightness isn’t everything, it is vital for HDR performance on a TV.

To judge the picture quality, we played our standard slew of content on the TV ranging from 4K, HDR, SDR and of-course, gaming. One thing to note is that in the settings of the TV, one can go and change the HDMI input from 2.0 to 1.4 restricting the signal to 1080p SDR. So if you think the HDR picture quality in some case is too dull for your liking, you can always switch it to SDR to get a slightly better viewing experience in some cases.  

Nokia 43-inch TV 4K and HDR performance

Netflix and Prime Video have a decent catalogue of HDR content, and that’s what we resorted to when testing the TV. Starting with Dolby Vision content on Netflix, the picture was slightly dimmer than I’d like, but it managed to retain detail where other TVs like the realme 43-inch TV (review) could not. The Dolby Vision content is certainly watchable and enjoyable on this TV, but in a brightly lit room, you will have some trouble with dark sequences. Since the TV does not have dimming zones, the brightness of the entire panel is lowered in darker sequences to try and maintain the black levels. However, watching the same content in SDR, it looks brighter and suited for a well-lit room. 

Dolby Vision content on the Nokia 43-inch TV

Above: Dolby Vision content on the Nokia TV

Below: Same content in SDR on The Nokia TV


SDR content on the Nokia 43-inch TV

The Dolby Vision performance of the TV is acceptable. We will have to wait and see the performance of competing TVs before calling it good or bad. The HDR 10 performance of the TV, on the other hand, is quite underwhelming. Watching a show like Jack Ryan in SDR and HDR on this TV has a more significant difference than we saw with Dolby Vision content. Some sequences in the show in HDR lose a lot of detail which is visible when you switch to SDR. A show like the Grand Tour on the other hand which is also in HDR did not face the same problem and was quite enjoyable. 

Your experience with HDR content on the TV is subject to the type of content you consume. Shows which have a bright, vibrant colour pallet will look good on this TV like Our Planet or even The Umbrella Acadamy. At the same time, HDR content with a lot more dark sequences like Jack Ryan, for example, are better consumed in SDR via an external source. 

Another thing to note is that when consuming content in Dolby Vision, you only have access to Dolby Vision Bright and Dolby Vision Dark preset. As a user, you cannot go into the picture settings and tweak these options when consuming content from the built-in apps. For HDR 10, you have the standard set of presets like Standard, Vivid, Sports, Movie, etc. 

Nokia 43-inch TV: FHD and SDR performance

We played a lot of FHD and SDR content on the Nokia 43-inch TV ranging from TV shows like Young Sheldon and Friends to movies like Mission Impossible, Mad Max Fury Road and more. The scenes in Young Sheldon look bright, and the facial features of the characters are visible with details. It looks like the TV is in the vivid present when consuming SDR content, but it was on ‘standard’ by default, making SDR content consumption a treat on this TV. 

Nokai 43-inch TV has a 4K display

Even Mad Max which has a warm tone to it looked good on the Standard preset. A movie like Mission Impossible has good colour reproduction in standard, but you get to see punchier colours in Vivid if that’s something you like. 

If consuming content on YouTube is what you like to do, then this TV won’t disappoint. From movie trailers to gaming videos and even some music videos, YouTube content is easily watchable without any trouble. FHD and SDR performance of the TV is pretty good and enjoyable. 

Nokia 43-inch TV: Gaming performance

For gaming, this time we used Assassins Creed Odyssey, Forza Horizon 4, Gears 5 and Batman: Arkham Knight (in honour of the upcoming Batman game). Change to ‘game mode’ on the TV and the backlight drops to about 80%. If you play in a bright room, I suggest you bump this up. In a dark room, it should be fine. Assassins Creed Odyssey has a colourful environment but suffers from a warm tint on some TVs. That isn’t the case here. The game’s environment looks lush and detailed with even the night sequences fun to play. Same for Forza Horizon. 

Nokia 43-inch TV can play games in HDR.

Arkham Knight is an SDR game and a little tweaking will go a long way for those of you looking to game on this TV. When playing an SDR game, changing the TVs settings from HDMI 2.0 to HDMI 1.4 helped. Not that the performance was bad when the TV was in HDMI 2.0 and playing SDR games. But there was a bit of noise in the game which you will only notice when you know where to look and this was removed by switching to HDMI 1.4.

You can control the HDMI 1.4 and 2.0 setting on the Nokia 43-inch TV.

Overall, those of you looking for a TV to play games on will be happy with the performance of the Nokia 43-inch TV. 

Nokia 43-inch TV: Audio performance

The TV packs 24W speakers designed by JBL. The sound from the TV is clear even at low volumes, and for a small bedroom, you don’t need to crank it above 30-35 to be able to hear the sound from the scenes. The audio is bright for the most part and considering these are TV speakers, one can even enjoy a movie or two from them. Just don’t expect to blast them at high volumes as that is when they start to lose detail. At about 40 percent volume, these speakers sound good, loud and clear. Unless you want a full immersive movie-watching experience, you should be able to make do with the speakers on this TV.

Nokia 43-inch TV has sound powered by JBL.

Nokia 43-inch TV: UI

Stock Android TV is the name of the game here, and that’s what you get. Once the initial setup is over, the UI is butter smooth. Voice controls work fine and if you have used an Android TV in the past, you will feel right at home. Apart from some UI changes like source selection and advanced picture settings, this is just like any other stock Android TV UI in the market and that is most definitely not a bad thing. 

Nokia 43-inch TV runs on the Android TV UI.

Nokia 43-inch TV: Remote control

The world of Smart TVs is divided into 2 when it comes to the remote control. We have the minimalistic remote control found on TVs from Xiaomi, Realme, TCL and more. Then we have TVs from Kodak, Sony, LG and more that brings with it a more detailed remote control which has the traditional number pad in addition to the new age smart controls. The Nokia TV remote control falls in the latter category. You may prefer one of the styles over the other, but for me, the ergonomics and button placement of remote control are more important than its style. 

Nokia 43-inch TV comes with a traditional remote control.

It has a slightly angular design which makes it look like it is tilting forward when kept on a table. But when you hold it in your hand, you realise that this design gives it an ergonomic fit in hand. 

The OTT hotkeys, Google Assistant, volume and playback controls are easily reachable with your thumb when holding the remote control. I only wish the mute button was here as well. Overall, the remote control is quite ergonomic and comfortable to use. 

Nokia 43-inch TV: Build and design

The Nokia TV shares the same design as its siblings and whether you like the design or not is based on what you keep below your TV. The stand has a unique design and will work well for those that will keep the TV on a small entertainment system. However, unlike the traditional 2 feet of the TV, you cannot keep things like a set-top-box or gaming console below the TV as the stand protrudes in front of the TV. This will also be a hindrance for those looking to keep a soundbar snug below the TV. 

Nokia 43-inch TV comes with a unique looking stand.

Coming to the connectivity options, the TV has one HDMI port and two USB ports on the side, and at the back, it has an AV in, ethernet port, two HDMI ports, optical port, a service port and good old antenna. Most TVs have their port placement on the left, but the port placement on the Nokia TV is to the right. 

Nokia 43-inch TV has 3 HDMI ports and 2 USB ports.

Bottom Line

The Nokia TV brings with decent Dolby Vision performance and the HDR 10 performance is a hit or miss based on the content. It has a unique design that ensures it sits well on a compact entertainment centre. Running on Android TV, you have access to the Play Store and all the streaming services built-in. The TVs speakers have good sound output. When connecting an external device, you can switch between HDR and SDR playback by controlling the HDMI 1.4 and HDMI 2.0 setting giving you good flexibility with an external device. But considering you can get similar performance from a TV 5-7K cheaper, you may want to consider your options before investing. 



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