Polaroid P55D600 55-inch UHD review

A favoured brand by TV bargain hunters, Polaroid has stepped up a level with its first cut-price UHD offerings, led by the Series 6 55-inch P55D600 reviewed here. If you need more screenage, you can also buy a 65inch version, the P65D600, for around £1,000. See also: 4K and UHD explained.

Polaroid P55D600 55-inch UHD review: Where to buy

You can only buy the P55D60) and P65D600 from Asda as the Polaroid brand - in the UK - is owned by Asda. The TVs aren't available to buy online, and it's worth calling your local store to check stock before making a trip.

See also: Best smart TV deals

Polaroid P55D600 55-inch UHD review: Design and features

Certainly this big panel looks the part: it’s network connected, offers 2160p resolution and is 3D ready. A pack of eight cheap polarising 3D glasses are included in the box.

It’s a nice enough looker too. The bezel is thin, with a chrome wrap around the edge of the screen. The TV stands on two shiny plastic feet. Inside there’s a single Freeview HD tuner, although you can record from it to a USB HDD.

There are four HDMI inputs, but only one HDMI is 4K HDCP 2.2 compliant. This will restrict your options as 4K content services begin. There’s also component AV input, a minijack for Scart with supplied adaptor, a trio of USBs, a digital optical audio for use with soundbars and a VGA PC input. In addition to Ethernet LAN, the set offers dual-band integrated Wi-Fi.

Polaroid P55D600 review

App support is rather limited. The set has a Netflix client, but as the TV lacks an HEVC decoder, there’s no option for 4K streaming. Catch-up is limited to the BBC iPlayer. You can also view YouTube, BBC News and Sport, Dailymotion, Viewster or download an assortment of general purpose diversions (Flickr, TuneIn radio, iConcerts, Accuweather, Twitter and Facebook). There’s also a Media Player for DLNA network and USB sources. File support for video is wide, stretching from MKV to AVI. The audio player handles MP3, WMA, AAC, PCM and WAV but not FLAC.

While this Polaroid may not impress with its catch-up provision, image quality is actually rather good. The P55D600 doesn’t offer have high refresh rates or image interpolation tech, but that’s not an issue if you only want a big, cinematic pictures. It looks good with HD sources from TV and Blu-ray.

With high contrast and vibrant colour reproduction, this is an easy image to like. This isn’t a difficult set to set up either, although there are caveats. The TV ships with exaggerated edge-enhancement. Sharpness should be set to zero. Anything higher introduces unwanted ringing artefacts.

Polaroid P55D600 55-inch UHD review: performance

To evaluate 4K performance we hooked up an Amazon Fire TV streamer. Marvel’s Daredevil in UHD looks rich and gritty, but not overmuch different to when seen in HD. The set’s edge lighting is a little scruffy, causing pools of light in the corners. As a consequence Hells Kitchen looks a little dull and cloudy in the shadows. Switch the Backlight control from Auto to Low to prevent the set from inadvertently switching itself off during low light scenes.

3D is more trouble than it’s worth. Dimensional imaging is very directional, often resulting in the top half of the panel out of focus while the bottom is in, or vice versa.

Audio is unimpressive. The downward firing speakers lack volume and sound monophonic.

Polaroid P55D600: Specs

  • 55inch LCD 3D TV
  • 3840 x 2160 pixels
  • Freeview HD tuner
  • 2 x 12.5W audio system
  • Inputs: 4 x HDMI (one supports HDCP 2.2), SCART/component (YPbPr), CI slot
  • phono in. Outputs: digital optical audio output, 3.5 mm headphone jack
  • Ethernet, Wi­-Fi, Wi-Fi direct
  • 3 x USB
  • 1234 x 711 x 55 mm (whd, w/o stand)
  • 19.6kg
  • 55inch LCD 3D TV
  • 3840 x 2160 pixels
  • Freeview HD tuner
  • 2 x 12.5W audio system
  • Inputs: 4 x HDMI (one supports HDCP 2.2), SCART/component (YPbPr), CI slot
  • phono in. Outputs: digital optical audio output, 3.5 mm headphone jack
  • Ethernet, Wi­-Fi, Wi-Fi direct
  • 3 x USB
  • 1234 x 711 x 55 mm (whd, w/o stand)
  • 19.6kg

OUR VERDICT

Overall, this Polaroid does what it says on the box. While you wouldn’t rely on the P55D600 for your catch-up needs, media playback is fine and image quality is entirely acceptable. Nothing fancy, just solid, pixel-packed images that please far more than you might imagine given the low price.