Last August 2011, via GMA News TV, I got the chance to review three flagship 3D Smart TVs by giant electronics manufacturers, Samsung, LG, and Sony. If you remember, I spent one whole day then with Tonipet, Issa, Coco and the rest of the Pop Talk team jumping from one venue in Metro Manila to another to compare all the key features of those top-of-the-line releases and find out which is the best product of the bunch. And despite our laudable efforts to pick a clear winner, we ended the shoot declaring a triple tie.
Following that televised review, Samsung gave me an opportunity to try out some of their newer 3D Smart TV releases at hotels and give my unbiased verdict on the devices. I still remember giving quite high marks and my thumbs up for two 3D TV's that let me play with for a night each. You can use our search bar to look for those TP posts.
In hindsight, I'd say that I've more or less seen what top electronics companies in the country currently have to offer in this category, enough to help me give a fair review should I encounter a similar gizmo in the future. Interestingly though, my experience which such high-end devices never really inspired me to get one for myself -- maybe because I spend more time in front my laptop than in front of the tube these days anyway or perhaps because I've always deemed the high price tag of most Smart3DTVs a tad too prohibitive. Likewise, I already have a decently sized LED TV in my room and was cool with waiting a year or two more to make a SmartTV upgrade. I guess the interest has always been there but I wasn't sure if I was already prepared to acquire one this soon.
But something big happened.
A little more than a month ago, the night after I visited the Ateneo for our 5-peat victory Bonfire, I was welcomed home by this ginormous package from our friends at Techpoint Enterprise.
"That's the biggest and heaviest box I received for you so far," my mom - who usually receives all gizmos for TP when I'm out - excitedly told me while I read what's written on the package. At first I thought it's just another review unit for my tech blog then I realized that it was already the Smart 3D TV for TechPinas that their marketing team talked to me about a week back. Yes, the unit was already for us to keep and I just couldn't wait to take it out of the box and play with it. It honestly felt like Techpoint just granted one of my silent wishes.
Techpoint Enterprise is the exclusive distributor of Devant products in the Philippines. Devant is a Singaporean brand that currently caters to electronics consumers in Asian countries and they chose the Philippines as the pilot country. Devant prides itself with its specialty products including LCD TVs, Speakers, Portable players with LED monitors, and lately, Smart 3D TVs developed in Singapore with unparalleled designs crafted to meet European standards.
TP Friends, meet the TV in our own living room here at home, the Devant 50iTV630, my 50-inch Smart 3D TV --
Measuring just 56 millimeters at its thickest point, Devant 50iTV630 flaunts a very sleek and subdued design that users who don't like too many frills and unnecessary embellishments on their gadgets would surely find very attractive. The device's massive 50-inch Full HD EDGE LED screen (with up to 178 degrees viewing angle) is wrapped by a svelte glossy back frame, which not only makes the crisp and vibrant display pop out even more but also adds to the overall elegant look of the TV. You can choose to mount it on the wall using the frame that comes with the package or use the glossy black stand to place the TV on a stylish rack. Either way, Devant 50iTV630 - replete with that thin metallic accent below the frame - promises to be a true star and head-turner in whatever room you put it in. I mean, the design simply highlights the sheer size of the gizmo, which - in itself - already has innate talk-value.
Looking at the back of the TV, you can tell that Devant really tried keep everything simple and organized so as not to intimidate or confuse the user. And as someone who likes all my stuff looking sleek, it's something that I can truly appreciate. The ports and terminals, including the 2 composite AV input, the 3 HDMI ports, L/R Audio for component, SPDIF, and the VGA input among others, are all neatly lined-up in one area so you won't have a hard time looking for them. This will also make it easier for you to crimp connected wires together so they're not all over the place and you can avoid those nasty tangles.
Devant 50iTV630 is a truly gorgeous device. It's great to look at but we'd do well to keep in mind that it's hardly all looks, no substance. I've played with a number of amazing TVs in this high-end category and I would have to say that in terms of features or what it can actually deliver, it's right up there with the best ones.
A true 3D TV, it doesn't just give you a great 3D-movie-on-Blue-ray-disk viewing experience but it's also capable of transforming your regular 2D movies and even free TV and cable channels to 3D!
All you have to do is to go to Settings while viewing a 2D clip then turn on 3D view and voila, you can already use the thin and light 3D glasses that come with the package to enjoy a more immersive and fun 3D clip that just jumps at you. Again, if you can see it on the Devant 50iTV630 screen, then you can turn it to 3D!
But it does a lot more than that, because lest we forget, it's also a Smart TV. This means that Devant 50iTV630 can connect to the internet either via Wired or WiFi connection and let you browse the web and even connect to popular social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter to make a status update and check out what all of your friends are doing. Heck, you can even connect to Youtube and watch more videos online! The TV has a dedicated browser plus its own Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, and Picasa applications, which you can access from anywhere on the screen - you just have to click the big smart button on your remote control. Honestly, using the on-screen keyboard can require a bit of practice and patience but I'm sure after a while, you'll get a hang out of. What I really like about the browser and all the other apps is that they load really fast and they are so simple to use. Really, the interface is pretty straight-forward and I'm sure even your kids (or nephews or nieces) will have no problems using these Smart features.
Value for Money
Design-wise and Features-wise, Devant 50iTV630 - I sincerely believe - can go head-to-head with some of the most expensive and full-featured Smart 3D TV's that are currently available in the Philippine market.
But size for size, one thing that truly makes this device a stand-out is its unbelievably low price tag. I mean, for just Php 94,950, which is more than half the SRPs of similar TVs by bigger companies, you can already own one! And you can even get it for less via Devant's special mall promos this coming Yuletide Season! I know that right now, it's not yet the top of mind brand when it comes to Smart 3D TVs but I really think you'll be doing yourself a great disservice if you'd just brush it off without looking at it first because if there's anything that I can promise you right now, it's that Devant makes good and reliable products. I know because I use 50iTV630 at home. I invite you to check it out when you visit an appliance store near you soon.