Budget Vs Premium TV Brands: Price, Features, and Durability

In this article, we examine why Sony, Samsung, and LG TVs are expensive. On the other hand, newly emerging brands like MI, Redmi, OnePlus, Realme, Acer, and TCL are providing similar features, and in some cases, even more features. This raises the question of how these new brands manage to offer competitive products at lower prices. Therefore, we delve into the factors that contribute to the high pricing of established brands and the affordability of many Chinese brands. Ultimately, we aim to determine whether opting for an affordable TV or smart TV from these newer brands is a worthwhile investment.

Back then, the TV market was limited, and there weren’t many TVs available. A few premium brands like LG, Sony, and Samsung, along with some other local brands, were present, so we didn’t hesitate to purchase them from offline stores. However, the market has changed rapidly since then.

Now, we have numerous major TV brands, including Samsung, LG, Sony, MI, Acer, OnePlus, Realme, IFFALCON, VU, Redmi, and TCL, among others. While many consider each of these to be the best TV, determining which truly is the best, especially within a specific price range, can be confusing. In this article, we will explore India’s top-selling brands, distinguishing between budget and premium-class brands.

What Defines a Premium TV? Identifying the Top Brands and Models

When purchasing TVs, the term ‘PREMIUM‘ is often applied to many models and their features. But what specific features or configurations categorize a TV as premium? Let’s break down the term ‘premium’.

What Defines a Premium TV?

A premium TV is defined by its enhanced build quality, efficient features, attractive aesthetics and design, and user-friendly software experience. Let’s delve into what makes a TV truly premium.

Build Quality: Brands like LG, Sony, and Samsung prioritize superior build quality for their TVs without cutting costs, which is why they are often more expensive. On the other hand, budget TVs tend to be more affordable, often featuring frames made of average plastic, average-quality remotes, and basic mounting stands as cost-saving measures.

Display Quality: TVs from brands like Sony and Samsung often feature interactive displays with long-lasting panels. LG, Samsung, and Sony TVs tend to have superior picture reproduction, even at the same resolution as budget TVs. In contrast, budget TVs might use lower-tier panels, resulting in average color accuracy and overall picture quality. When comparing premium TVs with their more affordably priced counterparts, the difference in display quality becomes evident, especially in applications like gaming, where faster refresh rates and anti-motion blur are essential.

Software Capabilities: While budget TVs may offer numerous features compared to some premium models, their functionality isn’t always reliable. True premium TVs provide features that not only work effectively but also offer a user-friendly experience with smooth operation free from lags. In contrast, budget TVs can experience lag and occasional hang-ups, issues commonly observed with more affordable models.

Brand Reputation: This is another crucial aspect. Brand reputation is built over a long period, earned when a brand consistently provides top-notch features, an excellent user experience, and reliable after-sales service. Brands like Sony, LG, and Samsung have earned a distinct reputation in India; people view them as dependable in the long run. On the other hand, budget TV brands have carved out a reputation for offering feature-rich and bezel-less designs.

Identifying the Top Brands and Models

In this article, we’ve discussed brands that excel in build, features, design, and user experience, as well as after-sales service. This assessment is unbiased; we have not received any sponsorship from brands to favorably portray them over others.

Top 3 Long-Term and Premium Investment TVs in India

LG: Ranking third among the top premium TV brands, LG boasts its proprietary OS, WebOS. While it doesn’t feature the Android or Google operating system, it still provides a commendable user experience. LG is known for its excellent build quality and sharp displays with vibrant colors. Although LG once lagged in offering bezel-less TVs, this gap has been bridged with its new-age, bezel-less 32-inch TV. While it’s priced higher than other 32-inch HD-ready TVs, it stands as a formidable competitor to budget TVs despite its premium cost.

Samsung: Samsung stands on second no. spot on the top three premium class TVs and this numbering and classification is totally based on our expert’s opinion.

Samsung also features its proprietary Tizen OS, delivering a satisfying user experience. Samsung is known for its QLED TVs which are literally so premium and count as one of the luxury TVs, especially in big sizes. The brand produces top-tier TVs that compete fiercely not only with budget brands but also with Sony and LG. As a major player in electronic appliances, including numerous home and kitchen devices, Samsung firmly occupies a significant market share in the TV sector. Samsung TVs are renowned for their excellent panels, vibrant displays, and seamless user experience enriched with features that enhance convenience. While, like LG, Samsung’s pricing is higher than budget TVs of the same resolution and size, we believe it stands shoulder to shoulder with LG as a premium TV brand.

Sony: Sony is renowned for its OLED TVs. In India, Sony is considered the pinnacle of luxury TV brands, known for producing TV sets that last for years. This longevity isn’t exclusive to its high-end models; even its 32-inch or 43-inch TVs have been known to last for decades without panel issues or other problems. Although Sony TVs are priced higher than many other brands, the impeccable display quality, smooth user experience, robust build, and elegant design make them attractive to many. Sony stands as a testament to long-term investment, and purchasing their TVs is truly worth the cost.

My Personal experience
Here’s a personal anecdote for perspective. One of my friends purchased a Sony TV when “smart TVs” first entered the market — back when simply offering Wi-Fi functionality qualified a TV as “smart”. That TV remains on their wall, functioning just as well as when they first bought it. No panel issues, no display problems, no color degradation — the Sony TV runs flawlessly. In contrast, I opted for a local brand, which was half the price of my friend’s Sony, and I’ve already had to replace it twice. Our experiences over the years highlight the difference between investing in a premium brand and opting for a budget or local one.

Top Three Budget TV Brands

In the Indian market, we have so many budget TV brands especially Chinese brands. Including Mi, Oneplus, Realme, Acer, TCL, IFFALCON, VU, and so on. Not only these but we have some mid-price range TVs such as Haier and Croma that are also good options for those who need the best combination of price and balanced features. Let’s consider Top three Budget Price TVs that are considered by most low-budget buyers.

MI/Redmi: Redmi ranks as one of the best-selling TV brands in India. Both MI and Redmi TVs fall under the Xiaomi brand umbrella, a Chinese company known for mobile devices and a range of other appliances. MI introduces TVs in every size category and even offers Fire OS and Android OS across different models, strategically positioning itself across the market. While Redmi or MI TVs span from budget to premium price points, the longevity of their high-end TVs remains a question.

MI/Redmi TVs come packed with features, from diverse connectivity options and gaming modes to picture quality enhancements, paired with ample RAM and storage for smooth operation. However, some users have reported panel issues, like lines appearing after a few years, leading to costly repairs. Further, compared to other premium brands, questions arise about their build quality. Nonetheless, MI’s designs are undeniably appealing. It’s noteworthy that MI was among the pioneers to introduce sleek, slim displays with near-zero bezels, setting design benchmarks in the industry.

OnePlus: OnePlus ranks as the second-best-selling and highly regarded TV brand in India. After establishing a strong presence in the mobile market, the brand successfully ventured into the vast Indian TV market. OnePlus TVs typically exude elegance and vibrancy. Like MI/Redmi, this Oneplus offer a range of display sizes from HD to QLED 4K resolution. While their designs are striking, they are often priced more affordably than the top three premium TV brands. Nonetheless, OnePlus remains a pivotal contender in the Indian market. Its Android TVs are feature-rich, and for those with OnePlus devices, the integration makes for a convenient and seamless user experience.

Realme: Whether it’s Realme, TCL, VU, or IFFALCON, these brands cater to the budget TV segment. These budget TVs come in a variety of sizes and features, and most offer bezel-less, elegant designs. However, they often compromise on build quality, display fidelity, and panel longevity. It’s uncertain whether these TVs can consistently last for five years or more, as these brands are relatively new and haven’t been tested over the long term in the same way established premium brands have. Nevertheless, they do offer commendable quality TVs, and their aggressive pricing is notable.

But the question is still remains, what difference between budget TV and Premium TVs? Let’s discuss this further!.

What’s the Difference Between Budget TVs and Premium TVs?

When in the market for a new television, buyers often face the decision between budget and premium models. Delving into the complications of each, the differences become apparent across various facets.

Starting with the build quality, budget TVs generally sport an elegant design, they look sleek and minimalistic but when it comes to the build quality, those made of simple plastic look average. Premium TVs, on the other hand, exude a more sophisticated appeal. They frequently incorporate high-end materials such as metal frames and even occasional touches of glass. This is a big part where budget TVs cutting their cost.

The disparity is more evident when evaluating display quality. Comparing TVs of the same size and resolution from both budget and premium categories, the color accuracy, brightness, and contrast in the budget TV might not be as impressive. Premium TVs incorporate superior display technologies like OLED, QLED, or high-grade LED panels, leading to enhanced color accuracy, brightness, and sharper contrasts. A budget TV with an OLED or QLED display won’t deliver the same picture quality as a premium-brand model.

Audio is another crucial component of the viewing experience. Both budget and premium TV brands offer commendable speaker output. While budget TVs also offer features like Dolby Audio and other sound enhancement capabilities, they often can’t match the exceptional sound quality that premium TVs deliver. The same speaker output and features might feel distinctively better in a premium brand TV.

A premium TV offers a superior user experience due to its integrated software. Although a budget TV might sometimes boast more features, they typically aren’t as effective as those in a premium TV. This is another vital factor where premium TVs have an edge. In the same vein, brand reputation plays a significant role in establishing trust in a brand. Budget TVs often hail from newer or less-established brands, casting doubt on their long-term performance. In contrast, premium TVs are typically the products of well-established brands known for their reliability. Moreover, they frequently come with extensive warranty terms, offering peace of mind to the purchaser.

That said, the price range of budget TVs is justifiable. They offer features and designs that meet, or sometimes even rival, premium standards but at a more affordable price point. This is laudable, especially given that these companies produce TVs in large quantities, enabling them to sell them at reduced prices. However, to achieve these attractive price points, compromises are often made, notably in build, sound, and display quality. Premium TVs, boasting advanced technologies and superior construction, command a higher price, and rightfully so.

In terms of customer support and after-sales service, there’s a noticeable difference between the two categories. The support for budget TVs has improved significantly; if a TV malfunctions within the warranty period, some brands even offer a replacement with a new unit. This has contributed significantly to their popularity in the Indian market. On the other hand, premium TV brands consistently provide robust customer support, ensuring their patrons have access to a vast service network and generous warranty terms.

In closing, it’s crucial to note that these general differences, though often accurate, come with exceptions. With rapid technological advancements, certain features and qualities that were once exclusively “premium” may become more mainstream. Therefore, it’s always wise to research specific models and brands thoroughly before making any purchasing decision.

Final Word

In conclusion, investing in low-budget TVs may not result in a lasting investment. Within 1 or 2 years, issues such as display panels and controls are likely to arise. While the main attraction of these TVs is their affordability, it’s important to consider the downsides. On the other hand, premium TV brands are built to endure for decades. Although they require a larger initial investment, their longevity justifies the cost. Therefore, when purchasing a TV, it’s advisable to align your choice with your budget.

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Surendra Verma
Surendra Verma

This is Surendra Verma, a writer who focuses on gadgets, consumer goods, and technology. I test and review consumer technology because I am very interested in it. worked for more than two years on YouTube. I enjoy making technology simple for everyone with my three years of experience.

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