Cloudwalker Cloud TV Review: Screen size is an attraction, but isn’t smart enough
With televisions, larger the screen size, the more immersive the viewing experience. And when someone is spending top money for a new TV, it is only natural to get attracted towards the larger screen size among the options. But does more really mean better? At the very top of Cloudwalker’s line-up of smart televisions sits the 65-inch 65SU-C curved Ultra HD LED TV. This is priced at Rs1,35,990, and comes in competition with Vu’s 65-inch TL65C1CUS (Rs1,35,000) and Samsung’s 55-inch 55KU6570-SF (Rs1,45,800) 4K TVs.
Design: A little bit of everything
The Cloudwalker Cloud Curved TV certainly has an imposing personality, not just because of its size. There are no corners cut on this premium television, with a metal panel that looks and feels the part. Admittedly, this doesn’t have the slimmest bezels around the display, but those extra millimeters don’t take away from the fact that the 65-inch curved Cloud TV becomes the highlight of the living room.
Display: Lacks fine controls
The 65-inch curved panel has the Ultra HD resolution (3,840 x 2,160), and is genuinely impressive when it comes to brightness, contrast, deep black levels and vibrant colours. Unlike a lot of big-screen televisions, this panel does not suffer from any shortage in terms of sharpness and the overall picture is quite crisp. Original Ultra HD content as well as Full HD visuals look crisp and well detailed. Sometimes we felt that the lower quality standard definition content looked a tad too soft, but that is more because of the noise reduction algorithms working in the background to remove any distortions in the transmission signal.
Viewing angles are good too, with no “colour shift” phenomenon spoiling the viewing experience if you sit at an angle to the curved screen. However, the glass layer over the display sometimes reflects ambient light, but it doesn’t really get in the way. Also, and this is frustratingly becoming rather common in a lot of new televisions, the picture settings aren’t very detailed as what you would perhaps expect on the Samsung 55KU6570-SF. This means that someone who is very finicky about tweaking some advanced settings such as noise reduction and black levels will be left disappointed.
Software: Discovery is fun, but feels from a bygone era
This is a smart TV that runs Android—albeit it is a very old version based on Android 4.4 (KitKat). This is a phone software modified to run on the TV, as many “smart TV boxes” have attempted to do before. This is not the Android TV software that Google has designed for smart TVs. The Cloud TV packs in streaming apps including Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Hotstar, and you can download more too. These are a part of the Content Discovery Engine (CDE), which understands your viewing preferences, and suggests content. This is fun to use, but the problem remains that the CDE runs on a very old Android version, and the implementation isn’t as refined as Sony’s Android TV and LG’s WebOS platforms—sometimes you will get overwhelmed with content, at times apps sometimes force-close for no reason and the interface could do with visual sprucing up too. Also, the primary act of watching television (such as a cable or direct-to-home connection) plays second fiddle to the CDE, and you need to manually switch the source every time you switch on the TV.
Verdict: Don’t just go for the screen size
Despite the rather impressive specs and panel quality, the Cloud TV stumbles because there just aren’t enough settings that would allow us to tweak the picture quality. For instance, we cannot alter the noise reduction behaviour, and neither can we change the display’s motion refresh rate to make fast moving visuals smoother. While the 65-inch curved Cloud TV is impressive in terms of the picture quality and the ability to discover new content, it has far too many rough edges which cannot be ignored at this price. You can perhaps make do with some foibles at a much lower price point, but it is hard to expect that any potential buyer would be so forgiving after spending so much money. At present, we would still recommend the Samsung Series 6 55KU6570-SF 4K UHD TV, simply because of the more detailed picture controls and a slicker smart TV usage experience.