I’ve looked at a lot of very expensive TVs, and some super cheap ones too, and what I know for a fact is they are all different – they all have their strong points and their weak points, price can be either of those, as can the features of the actual unit itself.
Today’s challenge was to take the best of the Kogan bunch and see how it performs. The Kogan “Smarter” range of TVs are not just affordable Kogan TVs with internet connectivity, they are running the Android TV operating system so they really do offer a whole lot more.
The “Kogan 65″ XU9010 4K LED SmarterTV” as it’s listed online sells for $1,099 ($1,299 is apparently the “standard” price for this one).
That’s a few hundred more than something from Aldi, and bang on run out prices for last year’s lower range TVs from the bigger brands. For a couple of hundred more you can get some mid range stuff from last year from the big brands – so – this needs to be good.
And it is. Right out of the box I was impressed with the real metal feel of the legs as I put them on – not some cheap plastic, they are solid stuff. Simple, but important.
Android TV means you’re getting a full Android installation experience. You can use an Android Smartphone to make this all much faster, but it’s not required.
The remote is nice – a very different look in brown, but actually it comes across as quite premium.
There’s a YouTube button, and a Google Play Store button, as well as Google Assistant.
Look, I tried to get Google Assistant working, but for the life of me couldn’t tell if I was meant to push the button, hold the button or what – at one point it made it go searching for Bluetooth, and in the end, I just didn’t bother because I’m yet to see a good use for this on a TV in daily use.
Stan came pre-installed, the login process is a joy with Stan using activation codes, I had to download Netflix, but this time the login wasn’t a frustration of remembering my password, because that’s stored in Google’s Smart Lock function so hey presto – I’m on!
I watched the new Attenborough Documentary – and was BLOWN AWAY. The colours looked great, the detail was crisp – in no way did I feel like I was missing out.
Over to Stan I watched an Episode of Billions – looked great. Crisp. Though I did feel like the TV was searching for clarity – like an autofocus re adjustment at times, and likewise I felt I was seeing a colour on the faces of the actors – over enhanced perhaps, but I was searching for imperfections.
Click Source and I was into the Playstation – no need for my Chromecast to hog a HDMI – this TV has Chromecast built-in. Playstation looked EPIC. That bright blue screen showed consistent colour, and in-game was great.
It was here I noticed the MENU button brought up a video and audio settings option.
Strangely, this menu cannot be summoned while in an “app” so I couldn’t adjust the picture settings while watching Netflix or Stan – weird and a touch frustrating.
The sound was great, I did try it with a Kogan Soundbar but that just frustrated me. The audio would drop out on the soundbar randomly, so I reverted just to the TV and wasn’t unhappy at all (more on this in another review).
I have no complaints about the quality of this screen – I felt the colours were consistent across the screen with no bight areas or dull – my only question would be the true processing power of the picture engine to really give you the most from the content on this screen (but would argue most people wouldn’t notice).
No issues with Android TV and cannot see how most people wouldn’t be stoked to have such a big TV with so many features for just $1,099.
The biggest benefit here is not needing a set top box or a Chromecast – all your streaming apps are ready to go, and Chromecast is built-in. That, plus it’s a bloody good looking screen is a big plus for me.
Trev is a Technology Commentator, Dad, Speaker and Rev Head.
He produces and hosts two popular podcasts, EFTM and Two Blokes Talking Tech. He also appears on over 50 radio stations across Australia weekly, and is the resident Tech Expert on Channel 9’s Today Show each day and appears regularly on A Current Affair.
Father of three, he is often found down in his Man Cave.