THE CHOSEN FEW: 4K TVs
For all the hype about new gadgets, the trusty TV has remained a steadfast and long-lasting friend in our tech stable yet manufacturers are constantly dreaming up ways of making us part with our hard-earned cash. While 3D can be filed alongside tech flops Betamax, Mini-Disc and recently Google Glass, the market has been reinvigorated with curved screens and 4K technology. Even better for consumers, they’re coming down in price. Fast.
1. Samsung UE55HU8500
Best for: Home cinema, footall
For a top-end home cinema experience the UE55HU8500 is hard to beat. One of Samsung’s new batch of curved TV screens that wraps around the viewer – apparently the optimum distance from the screen is 2.5m – the downside is hanging it off a wall. The picture quality is incredible with the 55in screen utilizing every pixel to blow your visual socks off. The built-in speakers also do a decent job, although a soundbar would enhance audio experience. As usual with Samsung they’ve thrown a raft of features at it. Of the quirkier ones is “football mode” which ramps up the noise of the crowd, while watching Messi and co.
Price: AED4,999 from Jacky’s Electronics
2. Panasonic TH50AS670
Best for: Internet connectivity
With a rich heritage in producing quality televisions, the Panasonic is another 4k Ultra HD TV packed with goodies. Connected to Netflix, iPlayer and Skype, this clever clogs TV will even show you the local weather when it’s on standby. The screen boasts deep, inky blacks and vibrant primary colours and there’s even a gamut of different picture presets to personalize your experience. Everything is controlled with the ingeniously named ‘Home Screen’, which allows you to fly round the TV’s features with the minimum of fuss. Downsides? Well splitting hairs, the speakers are a little undercooked.
Price: AED3,999 from the Panasonic Showroom, Deira
3. Sony KDL-65X9000B
Best for: Blockbuster films, MTV
A mahoosive 65-inch screen is housed in a svelte wedged frame, which along with prominent front-facing speakers make it a statement TV. Hell, it’s even got a Skype-camera built into the bezel! The picture is jaw-dropping with Netflix in 4K particularly immersive experience. Given the price, sound is understandably bombastic, with 65w shared between two discreet sub-woofers. Other clever tech includes screen mirroring to work alongside your smartphone and ‘photo share’ which allows you to show off your latest snaps with up to 10 friends. Not enough? How about ‘Social View’ which delivers tweets relating to the TV programme you’re watching along the bottom of your screen. You can’t fault Sony. They’ve given it the full monty when designing this product.
Price: AED16,999 from Sony outlets
4. LG 955UB830T
Best for: Value, versatility
One of the earliest sets to go 4K, LG’s 55in screen is a stylish ultra-thin addition to an increasingly respected LG range. Through its innovative Smart+ TV system, the multimedia options are endless with on-demand choices like Netflix and Amazon Instant at your fingertips. The sound is also none too shabby, happily filling out the biggest of living rooms. In fact the only area this TV is found wanting compared to its rivals is the inconsistent picture quality. Due to aggressive pricing you may choose to waive any concerns.
Price: AED3,900 from Jacky’s
5. Phillips 65PFS6659
Best for: Living room looks
With a whopping 65in screen, this muscular 4K unit handsomely undercuts the likes of Sony, Panasonic and Samsung but doesn’t compromise on build – marvel at the strip of metal that holds this behemoth in place – or features. The screen offers deep tonal quality and sound is helped by two woofers that give it more bass and treble than similarly priced rivals. The only downside is a fair-to-middling Smart TV interface with limited on-demand services. Still, this is a stunning performer that has oodles of wow factor.
Price: AED8,100 from Ashraf Electronics