Everything is smart these days. The phone in your pocket, cars on the street, maybe your watch. Not to be outdone however, is the humble television. With decades of existence already behind it, TVs have gotten with the program and gotten features that let them keep up with the times. Until fairly recently, the dream of a smart TV in every home has been hamstrung by cost. But it’s 2019, and things are very different now. Up-and-coming brand Coocaa has hit the local market with smart TVs that will neither break the bank, nor break down a week after purchase. Does it stand up to the close scrutiny of the Gadgets Lab, or fall flatter than its 40-inch panel?
Design – 3.5/5
The Coocaa TV in its 40-inch variant comes in standard black, and is much thinner than one might expect from a device in its price bracket. As gorgeous on its provided legs as it is hanging on a wall, it’s a testament to how far display technology has come. Thin bezels make for more immersive viewing, and gives you a TV that’s about as nice to look at when it’s off, as when it’s on.
The remote is smartly laid out. As the main way to interact with your TV, I was pleased to find that they took some time to make this key piece in a sane, logical manner. There are a few additional buttons for the smart features, but it shouldn’t be difficult to figure out, even for your parents.
Hardware – 4/5
The Coocaa 40S3N has a full HD panel, plenty for the screen size, smart functions through its own operating system, with pre-installed apps such as Netflix and YouTube, and the requisite WiFi connectivity to power all your streaming services. It also has a LAN port for a more solid wired connection if you wish, 2 USB ports for viewing files on local storage, and 3 HDMI input ports for A/V devices. Should you want to go old-school, you have a single coax jack, and even a headphone jack, if you need it. It’s a modest package, but one that will do the job with no complaints whatsoever.
User Experience – 4.5/5
Once put together, we just plugged it in, and fired it up. Once it was done booting, we got to connecting it to the office network. The interface is simple. A dedicated Netflix key keeps you from having to hunt down and launch the app from within nested menus, so you can get your binge on, though other functions, such as image and connectivity settings can easily be found with a few button presses. The TV runs its own operating system, so if you’re looking for third-party apps, you might be a little disappointed, but all the basic functions you need for a smart, connected TV are present.
HD content streamed from the service of your choice is beautifully clear and devoid of artifacts once the show has buffered sufficiently. As can be expected from this kind of display, the blacks aren’t the deepest, but that’s really only noticeable in the darkest of scenes, and only if you really try to look very hard.
Audio quality is likewise impressive. There’s plenty of volume from the internal speakers, and while it doesn’t offer the broadest soundstage, it does get bonus points for clarity. Many less-expensive smart TVs suffer from too much bass that drowns everything else out, and makes dialogue incomprehensible. The Coocaa delivers speech clearly, without having to tweak the equalizer. Should you want to listen to music on the device, or watch your own videos, USB support is offered. Just plug it in, head to the file browser, and hit play on the video you want. We aren’t going to go into all the compatible file types here, but unless you’re running some odd codec (you probably aren’t), you should be fine. You can even cast from your phone in a few taps, should the need arise.
Value – 4.5/5
One of the greatest features the Coocaa delivers, however, is price. At less than PHP 13,000, you can have a smart TV delivered right to your home. Seriously. With Lazada as an official partner, nothing is stopping you from picking up your phone, placing an order, and streaming videos to a large 40-inch panel in a few days. While this TV, and Coocaa as a brand does give a lot of great features, I do have to say that the greatest of all those is value. You’re going to be hard-pressed to find solid performance from any other smart TV in this price range. They’re a proven brand in other markets within the region, and now that they’re here, they’re poised to make waves on Philippine soil as well. Color me impressed. If after-sales support has you concerned, don’t be. They have over 150 service centers across the country, a call center, and a staggering 2-year warranty on their TVs.
- Display: Full HD LCD
- Screen size: 40”
- Screen-to-body ratio: 97 percent
- Smart features: Phone cast, Netflix, YouTube, USB input
- Connectivity: Wifi, USB, HDMI, Co-ax
- Superb value
- Actual, real smart TV functions
- Great picture and audio quality, particularly at the price
- We’ll get back to you
A capable TV at an affordable price. It’s exactly what you’re looking for.
Also published in GADGETS MAGAZINE June 2019 Issue
Reviewed by Ren Alcantara