LeEco Super 4 X55 4K Ultra HD HDR TV Review
LeEco, the company which now in fact also happens to own Vizio and all of its highly rated 4K HDR and SDR TV lines has pricked up the ears of numerous tech watchers with some of its first releases of the company’s own 4K TV lines under the LeEco brand itself to the U.S market. The latest such 4K TVs are LeEco’s new Super 4 X-Series televisions, which promise deep rich color display, full HDR10 support for high dynamc range and the rich blacks and peak brightness levels necessary for making high dynamic range work with the 4K resolution of these TVs.
For the sake of seeing just how well LeEco can compete with the big name brands and their generally great or even fantastic 2016 4K high dynamic range TVs, we got our hands on one of the new Super 4 televisions, specifically, the X55, which offers a 55 inch 4K UHD display and a wealth of other internal specs, some of which are rather unique to this particular line of televisions. We should also note that the basic specs and display performance of all three main X Series TVs are essentially identical, at least according to their manufacturer. Thus, while LeEco is also offering the X43 and X65 models in addition to our X55, what we discover about this TV should theoretically apply to both of the other models, whose main differences among each other are their display sizes and the quantity of internal content storage space each offers (more on this further down).
Now, let’s get down to business and see what exactly the new Super 4 X55 4K HDR TV has to offer and what makes it tick as a home entertainment system.
Let’s start with the X55’s utilitarian but delightfully sturdy build. We certainly liked it. The TV isn’t nearly as elegantly pretty as some of Samsung’s 4K HDR TVs but it does have its own more minimalist and rough-cut cool factor that makes it work in pretty much any living room decorative setting. That aside, the X55 is one sturdy piece of technology, with a supporting stand that keeps it firmly upright without wobbling and a burnished metal back-side that feels tough and looks rather stylish. Its bezel isn’t exactly minimal as some 4K TV bezels are but it’s thin enough for most tastes and in any case this is a minor detail that can be overlooked thanks to the silvery-white and handsome looking coloring of the flat, square body of this particular TV. The rest of the X55’s body is also mostly made of metal and while it’s not as slim as some we’ve seen, the TV as a whole weighs remarkably little considering the material it’s made out of. Bottom line for the X55’s design, it’s on the utilitarian side but very much to our liking.
Moving along, LeEco gave the X55 and its two cousins some sincerely great display specs that compete favorably with what we’ve seen in many other mid-range and premium 4K TVs from the major brands. The X55 doesn’t deliver the truly deep blacks and stunningly luminous peak brightness of Samsung’s SUHD TVs for 2016 or even Sony’s 2016 models but it competes fairly with mid-range 4K TVs like the Samsung KU7000, the Sony X800D and X850D and quite frankly it manages to deliver superior black performance to any of LG’s 2016 LCD TVs due to its VA panel build. The colors displayed on this model are not only very vibrant, they look very rich and realistic while the blacks are indeed very dark, deep and on par with what we’ve come to expect for the HDR10 television models of 2016. If you can get your hands on a 4K HDR Blu-ray disc to see how native HDR content looks on this HDR TV, the visual quality of the video from a movie like “Deadpool” or “The Martian” is nothing less than superb, with some great rendering of the HDR mastering put into these and other high dynamic range content sources. On the other hand, we do think that premium Samsung, Sony and even Vizio LCD 4K HDR TV models do deliver generally superior HDR content quality.
Almost as important, the X55 offers a great SDR content viewing experience. This applies to native 4K SDR video sources and to non-4K content that the TV’s 1.7 GHz Multi-Core CPU upscales with some very fine quality. Full HD video looks particularly good on the X55’s screen but 720p and even 480p content sources which have been formatted well manage to look remarkably good on the 4K ultra HD resolution screen. Furthermore, like many 2016 4K HDR TVs, the X55 offers a sort of limited HDR upscaling aside from its regular resolution upscaling capacity. In other words, its internal processing engine does its best to give even non-HDR content sources a touch of the display benefit created by the TV’s HDR10 capacity. This of course doesn’t create a visual effect that’s anywhere near as fine and rich as real native HDR video sources being viewed on this television but we at least did note a definite improvement in color and detail of blacks/bright spots on well formatted HD content and definitely for SDR movies in native 4K resolution.
Moving along, the X55 and all of its LeEco cousins come with the Android TV smart platform, this is very similar to that found in Sony’s 4K ultra HD TVs and it creates a level of familiarity in this TV that should be comforting to previous or current owners of other devices with Android TV platforms. In any case, Android TV as a platform is definitely a system we like. While Samsung’s Tizen smart OS is better and neither of these is quite as good as LG’s WebOS 3.0, Android TV has plenty of app access to offer, it’s generally very easy to use and we like its level of user friendliness. One minor defect of Android TV is the fact that its many apps are spread across quite a few different interfaces. One the one hand you’re getting access to plenty of apps but on the other hand, this can make the smart OS a bit confusing at times until you get used to it and see that it generally meets all needs quite nicely.
Finally, how can we complain about the price of the X55. LeEco is just cracking its way into the U.S market under its own brand name, even though the company is already extremely well known in China, where it comes from. Thus, perhaps because of this, the brand is pricing these new 4K HDR TVs at a level that’s distinctly affordable for the level of quality we’re seeing at this point. While Some 4K TVs can fail a bit more quickly over time, at least right off the bat, the X55 is great piece of TV technology and it competes well with its mid-range name brand counterparts. With this in mind, the X55’s price tag of just $899 is downright superb. The company is also (at least at the time of this writing in November, 2016 right around the TV’s introduction to the U.S market) offering a $200 instant rebate on the regular purchase price to customers who sign up for the LeRewards program of the company, making the X55 model cost only $699. This is simply a superb price for an HDR TV like this one.
4.5 - 2 Reviews
For the price it’s selling for, the X55 doesn’t come with any particular deal-breaker defects that we could find. It’s connectivity specs are great, its display visuals are solid in our view and this model offers some very good black levels that we could definitely respect. However, a couple of things are worth mentioning.
For starters, The motion control specs of the X55 aren’t the best we’ve ever seen. This TV offers what LeEco calls “Fluid Motion 120” motion interpolation technology, which creates a simulated 120Hz refresh rate over a native refresh of 60Hz. With this, while the X55 does offer decent motion blur handling, its motion interpolation isn’t particularly great, especially for fast-paced sports content and action sequences in native 4K video sources. Along with this, the judder control of the X55 leaves a bit to be desired. Some judder is notable in 24p Blu-ray movies and other video formats that have been created at 24p.
In addition to this, while the X55 delivers some great black support, it doesn’t quite manage the best levels of local dimming. And to our knowledge, the model doesn’t offer full-array LED backlighting like its giant cousin the Umax85 from the same brand, which comes with a reported 400+ local dimming zones. In other words, local dimming in this TV is decidedly weak and this causes the black levels to be a bit weaker than they could be. Another effect of the X55’s backlighting system design is that it simply fails to match the sort of peak brightness we’ve seen in Sony’s and Vizio’s mid-range 4K HDR TVs. While these other models can easily surpass the 500 cd/m2 mark, we couldn’t catch this same level of peek brightness in the X55, which managed less than 500 even in a 10% display window. In comparison to the stunning 1000 cd/m2 peak brightness capacities of Samsung’s SUHD TVs for 2016 and even Sony’s 2016 X900 and X930D TVs, the X55 falls far short on the power of its display brightness, though again, remember that this is a much more affordable 4K TV.
Finally, while the X55 and its cousins the X43 and X65 all offer fully modern connectivity specs with HDMI 2.0, HDCP2.2 and HEVC support for 4K video compression, they lack a fourth high speed HDMI port. This is the same thing as what we’ve seen in Samsung’s mid-range KU-Series 4K TVs and it’s an irritating little departure from 4K TV standards which generally involved four HDMI ports.
On the whole, we really do like the LeEco X55 4K HDR TV. It offers perfectly decent display specs, some great and familiar Android smart TV performance and at least at this point, the TV seems to function smoothly, though it’s still too new to be a verified long-term performer. In any case, for its nicely low retail price of $899 for a 55 inch display, the X55 is certainly affordable enough to be forgiven a few little defects.
• Screen size: 55 diagonal inches (Super 4 X55), 65 diagonal inches (Super 4 X65), 43 diagonal inches, (Super 4 X43)
• Smart TV: Android TV with Apps and Full Web Browser
• HEVC (H.265) Included: Yes
• VP9 Included. Yes
• HD to UHD upscaling: Yes
• HDCP 2.2 Compliance: Yes
• Refresh Rate: 60Hz native refresh rate
• Screen Lighting: edge-lit LED backlighting with
• Resolution: 3,840 x 2,160 pixels UHD
• Wireless Connectivity: Yes, includes both built-in WiFi and Ethernet port
• • Connectivity: 3 HDMI (all three of them 2.0a) ports, 3 USB ports, 1 Ethernet port, 1 Component, 1 composite, 1 Audio Out, 1 Digital Audio Out, Dual-Band 802.11b/g/n/ac WiFi
• Sound: Harmon Kardon 10 watt speakers with Dolby Audio and DTS sound
• Contrast Ratio: 4314 : 1
• Black Level maximum: 0.024 cd/m2
• 3D Technology: N/A
• TV dimensions (55 inch model): 56.89"x8.07"x34.8" inches
• TV weight (55 inch model): 44.5 lbs w/ Stand
• Processor: Cortex A72x2 + A53x2 1.7 GHz
• TV also comes with 32GB Flash Storage for offline holding of favorite content and apps even
32GB Flash Storage :
One of the definitively unique features of the new Super 4 TVs from LeEco is their inclusion of an internal flash storage for a decent load of content and apps which can be accessed offline or online depending on content type. This is a feature that many 4K TVs today completely lack and its inclusion in the X55 and its cousin 4K TVs means offline storage and watching of certain types of downloaded content in way that’s convenient and easy to access.
The X55’s and entire Super 4 Series TVs’ HDR specs are fully HDR10 compatible, meaning that they can read and display the high dynamic range formatting of HDR10-mastered movies like those of 4K UHD Blu-ray discs, certain streaming media feeds and other future HDR content sources (Dolby Vision HDR automatically comes with HDR10 compatibility as well). This means a much more fine-tuned scale of dynamic range from bright to dark in onscreen content, deeper, richer blacks, brighter peak bright tones and superior wide color gamut and 10-bit color display of 4K movies, documentaries and streaming programming. Basically, HDR makes onscreen content look far more realistic and the X55 offers a hefty dose of support for displaying this type of content.
Quad-Core CPU & Multi-Core GPU and 3GB DDR3 RAM:
The quad-core CPU, multi-core GPU and further addition of a 3GB DDR3 RAM in the X55 4K HDR TV ensure a mostly smooth quality of performance when it comes to upscaling of content, handling of HDR formatting in video and, importantly as well, handling of the TV’s Android TV smart interface. Now, as a general rule Android TV isn’t quite as smooth and quick to operate as LG’s WebOS 3.0 or even the Tizen smart OS in Samsung 4K TVs, but in the X55 it works with some very decent smoothness thanks to the above combination of internal data processing specs. We also mentioned above that the X55 handles non-4K content upscaling wonderfully. This is something that can largely be attributed to the TV’s robust CPU/GPU engine combo.
4.5 - 2 Reviews
The visuals of the X55 are downright great for being found in such an affordable 4K TV. It’s clear here that LeEco is taking the U.S introduction of this new TV series very seriously and wants to make a competitive impression in a market loaded with many high quality but also very nicely priced alternatives like Sony’S X750D nd X800D HDR TVs, Vizio’s P-Series models and Samsung’s reasonably priced KU-Series models with HDR color and HDR10 support. As a result, the X55 delivers the goods very competently in how it displays all sorts of content and performs particularly well as an HDR 4K TV of the more affordable kind.
This model delivers a very decent contrast ratio of 4314 : 1, at least as far as we measured it in our test unit and this testing included a measurement of 0.023 cd/m2 for black level, which is quite good for an HDR TV, and well within accepted HDR10 standards. Additionally, the X55 manages a decent though not stunningly impressive peak brightness level of 435 cd/m2 within a 10% viewing window and a 2% viewing window. This however doesn’t quite match the sort of brilliance we’ve seen in Samsung and Sony’s top-shelf 4K TVs, all of which reach peek brightness levels that exceed 900 cd/m2. It also falls oddly short of the peak brightness that LG’s traditionally dimmer-than-LCD OLED TVs are now capable of at 550 or even more cd/m2 but by the standards of 2016 mid-range 4K TVs like Samsung’s KU-Series models and most of Vizio’s 2016 HDR 4K televisions, the peak brightness of the X55 is perfectly competitive. We should also note here that the X55 offers some very good gamma performance, for finer detailing within shadowy areas of onscreen content. This applies especially for HDR video sources and the average gamma of the X55 sits at a decent level of 2.21.
Additionally, the X55 delivers excellent black uniformity, with virtually no discernable clouding or brighter spots along its whole display. These black level specs are a crucial aspect of this model’s overall display performance and we’re generally happy with them considering this model’s price.
Moving on to the color performance of the X55, it’s very good, Colors look vibrant, realistic and deliver a fairly high degree of accuracy, with an average color delta E of 2.79 before some calibration and a Delta E of 0.75 after calibrating the TV’s color and display settings a bit. As an HDR 4K TV, the X55 also supports both Wide color gamut and simulated 10-bit color performance for smoother color gradations between shades or RGB. Both of these specs are crucial for HDR content display and in the X55 the wide color gamut coverage of the DCI-P3 content spectrum sits at 91.2%.
The connectivity specs of the LeEco X55 and all of the other Super 4 TVs are pretty much standardized to fit what’s considered ideal for all modern 4K HDR TVs. This means that they include HDMI 2.0 connectivity (but only with 3 ports instead of 2) USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 ports (two of the former and one of the latter) and support for both HDCP 2.2 and HEVC, as well as for HDR10 via the HDMI ports. This 4K TV also supports console gaming via its HDMI ports, though we weren’t able to test its level of input lag at the time of this writing, and it also serves as a decent 4K PC monitor, with support for different types of input standard such as 1080p @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4 and 4k @ 60Hz.
The following are the connectivity ports found on the back of the X55 Super 4 model:
• 3 X HDMI ports (all of the HDMI 2.0a type)
• 2 X USB 3.0 ports
• 1 x USB 2.0 port
• Digital Optical Audio Out x 1
• Analog Audio Out 3.5mm x 1
• VGA port x 1
• Tuner (Cable/Ant) x 1
• Ethernet x 1
• IR In x 1
The LeEco X55 4K HDR TV is selling for a very decent price of $899, which we consider to be highly affordable for an HDR TV with a 55 inch display and this model’s other core specs. LeEco is also offering a $200 rebate to new buyers who sign up for the company’s LeRewards program, meaning that the X55 can actually be bought for just $699. This offer applies as of this writing in November of 2016.
4.5 - 2 Reviews
• Lacks 3D support
• Poor quality local dimming
• Motion control specs could be better
• Only 3 HDM ports
• Only 2 USB 3.0 ports
• Excellent black performance
• Very good color accuracy and vibrancy
• HDR10 support
• Good sturdy build
• Great price
• Lacks 3D support
• Poor quality local dimming
• Motion control specs could be better
• Only 3 HDM ports
• Only 2 USB 3.0 ports