Should I Buy Smart TV? Should I Buy 4K TV? Most Likely No

Should I Buy Smart TV? Should I Buy 4K TV? Most Likely No

We were recently in the market for a new TV. Our old TV is a 42” LG Smart TV, so it should be obvious that we get a bigger, also smart, 4K TV—or so it seems. Should I buy smart TV? Should I buy 4K TV? Let’s find out.

Should I Buy Bigger TV?

Bigger is definitely better 😍, the limits are your budget and the room size. CNET, Tom’s Guide, and many others have come up with a guide, but the best way to decide is to go to a showroom and stare the screen yourself 😵 for a few good minutes.

Do note that the price increase is not linear. A 42” TV is only slightly cheaper than a 49”, but a 55” is significantly more expensive.

To answer your question, “Should I Buy Bigger TV?” — YES!

Should I Buy 4K TV?

We do prefer the latest and the greatest, but 4K TVs are way more expensive. After some research, we decided to go for a Full HD LED TV instead, because:

  • 4K means more pixels (3,840x2,160). At our viewing distance (8ft/2.5m), we can’t see the individual pixels in our old TV which is Full HD (1,920x1,080). Why pay extra if we can’t see the difference?
  • We have don’t have 4K contents. There’s not much 4K on YouTube, our Netflix is not 4K, and Iflix doesn’t even support Full HD yet 🙁.

You don’t need a 4K TV, but if you want it, that’s because:

Watching TV close-up.

Watching TV close-up.

Why 4K TV then? The same reason why phone resolution keeps getting higher—to have sharper image (and for people to upgrade). The problem is, most people don’t stare their TV at the same distance as their phone.

To answer your question, “Should I Buy 4K TV?” — Most likely NO!

Should I Buy Smart TV?

We definitely want smartness, but not integrated with the TV. These days, we have Google Chromecast, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, and many other stick/set-top boxes that can make our TV smart. Why separate?

  • Choice. Some of us already have subscriptions with Amazon, some others are Apple fans. With a smart TV, your choice is limited. You can install apps to extend its functionality, but the problem is…
  • Upgradability. Smart TVs do receive software updates, but after a while you’re stuck (just like Android phones). After 1-2 years, you will end up getting one of those set-top boxes.

With our LG Smart TV, we mostly use the “smart” feature for YouTube. Even that the experience is not great—it’s not fun typing using a remote control, and the features are limited. Also, since we’re subscribed to cable network, we almost never use the built-in “smart” feature.

You might be wondering, “Why smart TV in the first place?” Manufacturers need more reasons to stand out, preferably in such a way that people can’t compare their TVs apples-to-apples with other manufacturers’. The only reason you want a smart TV is if you don’t want to buy a stick, and you’re not subscribed to a cable.

So, to answer your question, “Should I Buy Smart TV?” — Most likely NO!

The TV We Ended Up Buying

Toshiba 49L3750VM

We're unsure what those features mean, but the TV is good enough.

We ended up buying a Toshiba 49L3750VM, a 49” Full HD LED TV. It hits the sweet spot of price/size, has audio output (most TVs do, but to our surprise, some don’t) for external speakers, and supports MHL. MHL is a standard to connect phones to TV, although we don’t think we’ll use it often since we use Google Chromecast.

If Google Chromecast is not available in your country, read our post about buying from overseas to Malaysia for tips.

Have a model in mind but not ready to buy now? Pass the link to Sarah Shopper so she can track the price!