These days, if you have $200 to spend at Best Buy, you would consider yourself lucky to come away with a decent soundbar or a laser printer.
But a 4K TV? Yes, this Memorial Day Weekend, make sure to take a gander at the 43-inch Insignia 4K Fire TV Edition. If you are familiar with Best Buy’s offerings, you probably know that its Insignia brand is a great option for budget-conscious consumers out there, as most of their TVs are in the $100 to $400 range.
Insignia is sort of like the Frankenstein of the TV world, as the brand often uses parts from past-year versions of LG, Toshiba and Samsung TVs—sometimes you don’t exactly know what you’re getting. But if the sometimes ridiculously high price points of OLED or QLED HDTVs frighten you, the 4K Fire TV Edition has proven to be a solid fallback option.
When compared to the much-vaunted OLED panels, the picture quality is obviously lacking and won’t necessarily blow you away. However, for most folks out there, it is more than passable for everyday TV watching and family movie nights.
Along with a robust 4K display, it boasts a 60-Hz refresh rate and limited HDR capability. But even when watching action-heavy Marvel films, the screen action is fairly smooth and the color gamut is on full display. If you’ve been keen on doing any research on TCL or Hisense HDTVs, know that the 4K Fire TV Edition matches up well with those two Chinese brands.
What really jumps out at you is the clever tie-up that Best Buy has forged with e-commerce giant Amazon. It seems as though Best Buy understands that Insignia, by itself, really won’t make waves in today’s cutthroat TV market, but now with Amazon and Alexa under its panels, it really has found its niche.
There is a mic built into the remote control, and with Alexa handling all communication between you and the TV, it’s like having an Echo or an Echo Dot without actually paying for one. And it is fully capable of giving you access to all of your favorite apps like Netflix, Hulu and Disney+, as well as obviously Amazon Prime Video. Similar to Roku TV, Amazon’s streaming content choices are seemingly endless.
For $200, know that Insignia 4K Fire TV Edition’s speakers are understandably lackluster, though they could possibly work in smaller bedrooms. Any audiophile would want to purchase a decent soundbar for a more cinema-like experience.
Ethen Kim Lieser is a Science and Tech Editor who has held posts at Google, The Korea Herald, Lincoln Journal Star, AsianWeek and Arirang TV. He currently resides in Minneapolis.