Towards the end of 2020, I already had to deal with a 55-inch KIVI TV that was relevant at that time. He left a pleasant impression, but did not hook anything special, just another model based on Android TV. For the 2021 line, KIVI rethought the design and worked on unique features. First of all, we created our own content aggregator KIVI Media. Secondly, we developed the remote control together with the Korean Remote Solution, and the Japanese JVC was charged with setting the sound. Will this change the perception of the new model STONE 55U740LB?
- Display: 55″ HVA, 16:9 aspect ratio, 3840×2160, 60Hz, HDR.
- Sound: 2x12W tuned by JVC.
- Operating system: Android TV 9.0 with KIVI Media services.
- Interfaces: 3 × HDMI, AV tulips, 3 × USB, Ethernet, digital audio output, antenna input.
- Wireless interfaces: Bluetooth 5.0, dual-band Wi-Fi.
- Wall mounting: VESA 200×200 mm.
- Power consumption: 100W.
- Case materials: metal and plastic.
- Dimensions (without stand): 1229 × 64 × 710 mm.
- Dimensions (with stand): 1229 × 260 × 772 mm.
- Weight (with stand): 12.9 kilograms.
Appearance and display
The design of our hero corresponds to modern KIVI TVs – this is a huge 55-inch screen with a thin frame on wide-spaced legs. The case is made of practical matte plastic, which does not leave fingerprints and scratches. He perfectly copes with his main task – does not catch the eye while watching TV.
If you look closely at the details, the legs will please with unusual pointed transitions, but in fact they will turn out to be metal. On the table, the TV is more than confident.
The legs are spaced 110 cm, a narrow pedestal is not suitable here. Fortunately, the KIVI TV can be hung on the wall, thanks to the standardized VESA 200 × 200 mount.
The feature of KIVI TVs in 2021 is white, which is rarely found in models with a large diagonal. I just have a 43-inch KIVI 43U790LW – the white color looks very advantageous in the interior. And the new 55-inch TV received the KIVI 55U790LW index.
In a TV, the screen plays a primary role, in this case a 55-inch HVA with 4K resolution and HDR support. To improve the quality of regular content, there is 4K Upscaling. The matrix is a variant of the VA and features rich colors with a good contrast of 7000:1 – an excellent choice for watching movies and TV shows. The only feature is a decrease in contrast at angles, although the visibility itself is maximum. Brightness reaches 500 cd/m² and, together with a semi-matte finish, provides excellent visibility.
The brightness and uniformity of black do not raise questions by the standards of VA matrices. There is a bluish glow, but almost imperceptibly. However, our hero still loses to QLED and the reference OLED.
The thickness of the frame is worthy of unconditional praise, only 2.6 mm on top and on the sides. There is no additional plastic frame here, only a neat fastening of the matrix.
A pair of 12 W speakers is located at the bottom end and is directed downwards. I liked the sound with excellent speech intelligibility, relevant for television. Even in the most dynamic film with a lot of effects, dialogues are heard first of all – you don’t have to turn up the volume much. There are no ambitions for listening to music, there is not enough volume and low frequencies. A separate soundbar will help with this.
KIVI shell and features
At first glance, KIVI 55U740LB runs on pure Android TV 9.0: YouTube, Chromecast support, a full set of online movie theaters from Google Play, and the ability to install any other third-party applications. The hardware part does not impress with its power – 4 Cortex-A55 cores and 1.5 GB of RAM – however, it can easily cope with its tasks, the interface is responsive.
In fact, Android is complemented by its own KIVI Media aggregator, which was presented along with the 2021 line. This is a full-fledged alternative to the standard shell with shortcuts to all applications, TV channels, a selection of free movies, games and other media content. While there is integration with only two cinemas, Okko and MEGOGO, KIVI should also work on displaying related information and personalization. PatchWall from Xiaomi can be an excellent guide.
The KIVI shell contains a couple of unique features. Firstly, fitness workouts with a selection of videos from popular trainers and special online group classes that can be done at home.
The second nice bonus is integration with Boosteroid cloud gaming service. It covers the European part of Russia and also works via 5 GHz Wi-Fi. There are no servers in Asia yet, so performance beyond the Ural Mountains is not guaranteed. You can play all games from distribution services after adding your accounts. Buyers of KIVI TVs can play one hour of the game for free, then the subscription will cost about 10 euros per month. For convenience, it is better to connect a separate controller. Any Bluetooth gamepad, for example, from Xbox, will do.
In summary, KIVI Media has a lot of cool features, and in the future, with the development of the shell, it can become the ultimate media unit. At the moment, KIVI Media cannot be set as the default launcher: pressing the Home button will return the TV to the standard Android TV menu anyway. You have to launch the application from the list of programs or with a separate button on the remote control. There is a support service for KIVI clients. The bot and hotline work in Russia, Ukraine, Belarus and Kazakhstan.
One of the innovations was the remote, developed in conjunction with Remote Solution. It connects via Bluetooth, supports voice input and a gyroscopic pointer. The development combines the convenience of classics and modern miniature consoles. On the one hand, it is rounded and large enough to fit comfortably in the hand. On the other hand, the minimum required set of buttons has a pleasant kinematics with a quietly clicking mechanism. The absence of classic buttons failed at the most unexpected moment: to sort and delete unnecessary channels, you need color teletext buttons, which are not here. The new remote control only allows you to hide unnecessary channels, which I used.
Support for an air pointer has become a kind of killer feature. By pressing the corresponding button, a cursor appears on the screen, controlled by a wave of the hand. The pointer helps you browse and type when it’s not convenient to use voice input.
The TV connects to the Internet via dual-band Wi-Fi or wired Ethernet. The set of other interfaces is complete. One of the four HDMIs supports SEC and ARC, and three USBs are suitable for external drives, and good acoustics can be connected digitally. We didn’t forget about the CI slot, and for analog video sources there is a complete adapter for tulips. Some of the connectors look down, the other – to the side. Thus, the interfaces are not blocked after hanging the TV on the wall. The niches are large enough to fit even large HDMI cable plugs.
Review after two weeks of use
Has the perception of KIVI changed since the release of the 2021 line? Undoubtedly! New design, smart features and a convenient remote control stand out STONE 55U740LB from a bunch of similar models based on Android TV. There is a lot of work ahead on KIVI Media, the shell is still damp and integrated with an insufficient number of services. There are no flaws in the TV itself. I will only note the inability to edit the list of TV channels and the decrease in color saturation at the corners. Whether this is critical, everyone will decide for themselves. In my case, neither one nor the other disturbed the comfort.
- attractive design with thin bezels;
- metal thin legs;
- the ability to choose a white case;
- bright and contrast matrix;
- full Android TV on board;
- creating your own shell;
- ergonomic remote control with a minimum of buttons;
- complete set of interfaces;
- 3 years warranty from the manufacturer.
- at the corners, the saturation of colors decreases;
- The regular remote does not allow you to edit the list of TV channels.
May not like:
- KIVI Media is not a full-fledged alternative to the standard menu.