Realme 4K Smart Google TV Stick Review: Taste Of Google TV On A Budget
The Realme 4K Smart TV stick ships with the most required accessories. The package offers an HDMI extender, a remote controller, a micro-USB cable, a USB adapter, and a pair of AAA batteries to power up the remote controller.
Google TV User Interface
The Google TV UI is very refreshing and intuitive. It feels modern and is fairly equipped with utilities and features that make good use of a smart TV UI. The minimally designed home screen UI has large thumbnails and a few menus to keep the UI navigation simple and uncluttered. You get Home, Apps, Library, Search bar, and quick access to your Google Account.
'Your Apps' section shows the installed apps on the home screen. You can download more apps from the Google Play store via the dedicated 'App' menu placed on the top. The Library section serves as your personalized space. It stores your purchased movies and shows and also shows the content in your watchlist for easy access.
If your smartphone and the TV stick have the same Google account, you can add movies/shows on the watchlist on your handset and they'll show up on the big screen. It's very convenient for day-to-day use. The 'Settings' menu takes you to the important settings of the TV stick such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Display, Audio, etc. The neatly designed settings menu reminds me of Android phones and tablets. You can enable the Ambient mode, Energy saver, check storage and perform other important functions.
Long Way To Go As A CDE
The dynamic home screen carousel shows new content from the signed OTT platforms; however, it isn't very dynamic and needs improvements. The content recommendation also needs some rework as I didn't find much content to consume on the big screen. In comparison, Amazon and Xiaomi's content discovery engines (CDE) are much evolved, both in terms of content recommendation and apps/services integration.
Realme Google TV Stick Performance
The TV stick is fairly loaded and ensures smooth UI and viewing performance. Apps load up in a jiffy and high-resolution content plays without any streaming issues, thanks to good hardware (quad-core ARM Cortex chip + 2GB of RAM & 8GB storage) and well-optimized software. I noticed a lesser number of glitches and lags with Realme's Google TV Stick on the TVs tested with their original UI and hardware.
Lacks Dolby Vision Support
You can choose to enable 'Always HDR' for better streaming quality. You can also choose the resolution depending upon the panel your TV has for a smooth streaming experience. Sadly, the TV stick lacks Dolby Vision that can be a deal-breaker if your TV supports Dolby Vision streaming on supported platforms. The latest Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K would serve you better in that case.
Besides the regular content streaming, other functions such as casting, light games, etc. worked with no performance issues. The remote controller is HDMI-CEC enabled and lets you control the TV; however, you would still need the main remote to switch on the TV. I could easily connect my TWS earbuds, wireless speakers, and other Bluetooth-enabled products, thanks to Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity.
Overall, the performance is smooth and good for the asking price if you need a TV stick for a 1080p or a 4K TV without Dolby Vision support.
For Rs. 3,999, the Realme 4K Smart Google TV Stick is a good overall product for giving new life to your old TVs especially if the TVs have 1080p and 4K panels. If your TV supports Dolby Vision, the latest Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K would be a better option as you would get to see better HDR content streaming with wider color reproduction.
As far as Google TV is concerned, the clean and intuitive UI is refreshing, fun, and convenient to use. All it needs is a better CDE for the Indian streaming habits to match the competition.