Review: PRISM+ Q55 4K Android TV (IPS panel)

Singapore-based company PRISM+ has just launched their Q series 4K Android TVs in October 2020 and I was fortunate enough to test one. So big thanks to PRISM+ for sponsoring the TV.

By the way, if I sound overly enthusiastic, it's because the last TV I used was a 720P TV back in 2000 when I was playing Final Fantasy VIII. Yup, it was that long ago.

In this review, I'll just present to you my finding and you can decide whether or not this monitor is worth your money.

Video review

Video review covers the same content as my text review.


At the time of this review, PRISM+ currently sells three Q series Android TVs, namely Q55, Q65 and Q75 and are priced at S$699, $999 and $1599 respectively. Three years onsite warranty is provided. Oh, you can use promo code parkablogs25 to get $25 off (valid until 30 Nov 2020).

By the way, PRISM+ also sells E series TVs which are the so called Smart TVs that run Linux.

Main selling point of Q series? They run Android TV.


These are things included in the box:

  • Remote and 2x AAA batteries
  • Two feet for the TV
  • 4 screws for the feet (no screwdriver)
  • Digital TV antenna
  • One 3-to-1 (probably audio cable (3.5mm) – not labeled)


Those are the speaker grills/holes for the downward firing speakers which are said to support Dolby Audio & DTS TruSurround.


There are four holes behind the TV for wall mounting.

The TV purchase will come with free shipping and assembly. PRISM+ does provide wall mounting services, fixed or swivel, for extra charges.


Self assembly is straightforward and involves screwing the two feet onto the base of the TV.


Ports on the back are (from left to right): LAN, Digital Audio, 3x HDMI, 2x USB type A, Antenna, AV In.


Buttons and controls on the remote are self explanatory. There are dedicated buttons for the pre-installed video apps, and the controls for the videos (on if you watch through the apps).

The remote looks good and nice to hold. I like the textured surface on the front.


There are microphone/s on the remote for the Google Assistant which you can use to launch apps, search stuff.


When you first start/power the TV, you'll have to run through the basic Android setup.


Being able to use Android is the main reason why one would want to use this TV. Basically, you get to install apps and games from the Google Play Store. E.g. You can install TV show apps and watch TV shows from any country, language. There's a limited to how many apps you can install though since onboard storage is just 12GB.

The default video apps installed are NetFlix, Amazon Prime Video, LiveTV and Youtube.

Not sure what's the processor/chip or RAM used but the overall navigation, loading of apps, performance are smooth and snappy.


Bluetooth 5 is supported. You can connect a keyboard, mouse or gaming controller, or even a Bluetooth earphone.


If you're going to do lots of typing and searching, using a Bluetooth keyboard is going to be more convenient compared to using the remote to click letters.


Not all Android apps and games will be available through the Google Play Store because not all those apps and games are optimised to run on TV either due to the aspect ratio, resolution, or specifications.


If you want to watch NetFlix, obviously you will need a subscription.


The pre-installed NetFlix app was able to stream 4K video. However, not all the 4K titles have the "Ultra HD 4K" label for some reason even though when I watched the shows, they look like 4K quality. E.g. Stranger Things did not have the 4K label but the video quality looks great and is definitely not the pixelated 1440 or 1080P.


But I do have Amazon Prime Video, but unfortunately it's showing only the Singapore catalog which is quite limited.


Watching movies on such a huge TV is very satisfying obviously. 55-inch is considered quite large, to me. If you have the budget, watching on a 65-inch will feel more cinematic if that's the proper way to describe it. But the 65-inch cost S$300 more than the 55-inch. And the 75-inch cost $600 more than the 65-inch.


Colours on this TV look great out of the box. The colours looks vibrant and contrast looks good.


The TV uses IPS panel so that's why the colours are good. Viewing angles are also good so there's minimal colour shift when watching shows from the side.


I've coloured calibrated the TV using my Spyder5Pro and measured support of 100% sRGB, 78% AdobeRGB, 79% P3 and 73% NTSC. So it's basically a sRGB display and has decent colour accuracy. Note that this calibration is only for use with my computer. The readings will be different for the Android system where I can certainly see the colours are more vibrant.

I had to use Blu Tack to stick the colour calibrator onto the display for it to measure the colours properly since this TV can't be tilted for the calibrator to lay completely flat.

Maximum brightness is advertised as 280 nits, I measured 228 nits which is good enough for me. For computer monitors, I don't use brightness more than 200 nits because it's not good for the eyes. For this TV, you can't adjust the brightness but that's not an issue because people don't usually sit that close to TVs. You'll still get bright colours and visuals during daytime.

The TV is said to support HDR10 with Dolby Vision but that brightness is actually not high enough to show off true HDR effects, more specifically being able to see details in the extreme dark and bright areas due to the lack of expanded dynamic range from the extra brightness.


It can still be difficult to see details in shadow areas because of the lack of dynamic range. However, this is very typical IPS performance so I'm not that surprised.


And since this TV uses an IPS panel, there will be IPS glow. The photo above has been brightened to show the IPS glow and the backlight.


Blacklight bleed is smooth and not distracting. This photo above has been edited to show what my eyes see in real life.

IPS is not going to give you the deep blacks and extra dynamic range or contrast compared to OLED displays. But remember you're not paying OLED display prices.


IPS glow is more noticeable when the room is totally dark and when you're viewing the TV from an angle.


This photo is interesting because the IPS glow is obvious, but in real life the black bars are actually much darker.


With three HDMI ports, you can connect the TV to your computer, Playstation or any device that can output HDMI.


There's no mention on the spec sheet whether there is support for HDCP or which version of HDCP is supported on this TV.

When I tried to play the movies I bought on Apple iTunes, I was greeted by that dialogue box telling me the TV is not HDCP-compliant. However, I was still able to play my movies anyway.

Having said that, do note that if you may or may not be able to stream shows from certain video streaming websites. Amazon Prime Video works fine through the web browser but I can't test NetFlix. Anyway, there's the official NetFlix app on this TV.


You can cast/stream video from your tablet or phone to the TV. Just make sure they are on the same Wifi network. The streaming is quite smooth.


I don't game so the photo above is actually gameplay footage I found on Youtube. If you do game, you're going to find the experience to be very immersive. The 4K makes the visuals look so sharp and detailed. Refresh rate is 60Hz.

Not sure if you noticed but I did not review watching TV programs from TV stations. I've not watched shows from TV stations from more than 20 years. Anyway, if you watch TV shows, you can scan for the channels and save them.

Conclusion

Design of the TV looks clean and simple. I like the minimal bezel design which makes the TV look sleek. Build quality seems good but I obviously can't speak of the durability since I've only limited time with this TV but just note that PRISM+ do provide 3 years on-site warranty for this TV.

Main selling point here is the Android TV system and the build in video apps, NetFlix, Amazon Prime, Youtube. There are many TV show streaming apps out there that lets you have access to basically unlimited content to watch. Performance of the TV seems smooth so the experience is pleasant.

Visual quality of the TV is good. Colours look good out of the box. Contrast is good. IPS panel does have good colour accuracy and viewing angles. You'll get even better contrast when watching shows in dim lighting or in the dark. 4K resolution just makes everything look sharp and detailed, but that's provided you have access to 4K content. But even 1080P content is scaled up nicely.

Downside to the TV is well, since this is an IPS panel, there is IPS glow so blacks will not be totally black. LCD IPS is just not going to achieve the same level of contrast and dynamic range of OLED display. People buy LCD because it's cheaper than OLED which is at least, at time of this review, $300 more.

Despite the limitation of IPS vs OLED, I still enjoyed watching movies on this TV tremendously because of the size of the TV and 4K, and I really appreciate the versatility of Android system here.

Pros and cons at a glance
+ Clean simple design
+ Minimal bezels
+ Vibrant colours, 100% sRGB support
+ 4K resolution makes everything look sharp and detailed
+ Remote easy to use
+ Android system is versatile
+ Smooth system performance
+ 3x HDMI ports
+ Can be wall mounted
+ 3 years onsite warranty
- Built in speakers are downward firing
- IPS glow typical of IPS monitors

Availability

You can find the PRISM+ Q55, Q65 and Q75 from PRISM+ website and on their Lazada page.

Use promo code parkablogs25 for a $25 discount (valid until 30 Nov 2020).

If you get this TV, do share with me and others your experience in the comments section.

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