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The latest version of Insignia’s Fire TV Edition sets, the Insignia NS-50F301NA24, is designed to be a good bargain and one of the most affordable 50-inch models with Amazon’s Fire TV smart platform built in. Priced well under $500 – and available for much less as we see holiday discounts – the NS-50F301NA24 is a refreshed update from last year’s version. It offers better picture quality than its competitors from Toshiba, but it doesn’t come close to the Samsung Q60C or the Hisense 58U6HF.
Beyond the affordable price, its best feature remains the quick and responsive implementation of Fire TV OS and all the impressive features that come with the revamped smart TV platform. At first, the picture from the LCD screen may be a little underwhelming, but with a few adjustments, it can produce a good picture for the price.
Insignia NS-50F301NA22 Specs
- Model: NS-50F301NA22
- Screen size: 50 inches
- Resolution: 4K Ultra HD (2160p resolution)
- HDR: HDR 10
- Refresh rate: 60Hz
- Ports: 3 HDMI (1 ARC), 1 USB
- Audio: 10 watts, 2.0 Channel
- Smart TV software: Fire TV
- Size: 10.4 x 44.4 x 27.8 inches
- Weight: 25.3 pounds
Design and Features
The simple design on the Insignia NS-50F301NA24 doesn’t struggle to compete with the best 4K TVs around – instead, it just looks like what it is: an inexpensive TV. It’s just a dark plastic case that still has thick half-inch bezels around the edge, while most top-tier TVs like the LG C2 are going bezeless. But that said, it’s not horrible looking, either.
The included plastic feet look a little cheap, and they aren’t as easy to put on as those that come with more expensive TVs from LG and Samsung. The Samsung Q60C, for example, comes with feet that snap in, but with the Insignia F30 Series, you have to use screws to secure the feet to the bottom of the TV, and small hands will help to get the screws inside the enclosure. Alternatively, you can get a 200 x 200 VESA wall mount if you don’t want to use the included stand.
Port options are standard, with the Insignia F30 Fire TV getting three HDMI ports, including one that supports an audio return channel (ARC) for seamless connection to a soundbar. That’s about the number of HDMI ports you’re getting on TVs at this price point. Other ports include a composite video connection, a coaxial RF antennae connection, and a USB port, but it skips a component video input.
All HDMI inputs are set on the left side, while the optical digital audio, RCA analog audio, antenna, and composite video inputs are on the back of the TV. None of these inputs are easy to access, but that will only be an issue if you have to change what’s connected to the TV frequently.
To use the smarts for this Fire TV, you can connect to the Internet through Wi-Fi or wired Ethernet.
The Insignia NS-50F301NA24 is an LED-backlit LCD 4K television. It supports high dynamic range (HDR) content with HDR10 and supports DTS Studio sound. It produces a sharp picture, overall, and is very close to a great viewing experience with great contrast out of the box.
The modest color and contrast performance is manifested when watching BBC’s Planet Earth II. The sprawling greens of plants look natural, but not as vibrant as they do on TVs with wider color ranges, including the TCL 55R635 (6-Series, 2021 model) and the flagship LG OLED55C1PUB, though you’ll spend a premium for the crisp picture. Fine details like fur and bark are visible when it’s well-lit, but they tend to become muddy in shadows.
Gamers will likely be disappointed by the All-New Insignia Fire TV’s performance. Not only is the screen 60Hz without a variable refresh rate (VRR), but the input lag is rather high, even in the Game picture mode.
In movie mode, the input lag is an unbearable 109.6 milliseconds. In Game mode, the lag drops to a much more reasonable 41ms, but that’s still over twice the lag of the 20ms threshold we consider ideal for the best gaming TV.
The Insignia F30 produces pretty impressive audio for a TV, regardless of price. It supports DTS Studio Sound which delivers a much wider sound than a typical TV with a 2-channel sound. It helps make the viewing experience more immersive, but still, a soundbar would be a worthy addition to your home theater setup.
As the name indicates, the Insignia Fire TV Edition uses the same smart interface as Amazon’s Fire TV media devices. As such, once you sign in with your Amazon account, you can access a wide array of apps and services, ranging from Amazon Prime Video(obviously), Apple TV, Disney+, Hulu, Netflix, Sling TV, Twitch, and YouTube. Also, you can mirror a compatible Windows PC or mobile device screen through WiDi/Miracast, but unlike current Android and Roku TVs, it’s neither Apple AirPlay nor Google Cast compatible.
You can as well use Amazon Alexa voice control by pressing and holding the voice assistant button on the remote and speaking into the microphone. Talking of the remote, the included remote takes its cues from Amazon’s Fire TV streamers, sharing a similarly narrow, rectangular black wand shape with a circular navigation pad near the top. The mentioned voice and power assistant buttons sit above the navigation pad, along with a pinhole microphone.
Insignia NS-50F301NA24 Review – Verdict
When shopping for an affordable TV, it’s certain that you’ll have to compromise on a few features or design – and, in some cases both. With the latest Insignia F30 Fire TV Edition, you don’t have to give up a full-featured smart OS or sharp picture, making it one of the better bargains for one of the best 4K TVs out there. Out of the box, you’ll have to deal with some color issues and blurring, but a few adjustments here and there will help that immensely.
Cheaper TVs are available, but most of them sacrifice a lot more than the F30 Series to reach that low price tag. With a little more money, the Hisense U8H offers better picture quality with its Quantum 4K ULED Mini-LEDs, 1500 nits brightness, Dolby Vision, and Google Smart TV with Alexa compatibility.
On the other hand, if you’re on a tight budget, the Insignia NS-50F301NA24 is the best you can buy, at least for now. Having Alexa inside the Insignia F30 Fire TV brings a lot of value, from voice control of TV functions to access to your smart home devices. And that makes the Insignia NS-50F301NA24 a whole worth it at this price point.
The Insignia NS-50F301NA24 is a solid smart TV, with good picture quality and sound. It’s affordable but boasts the best Amazon Fire TV experience than most budget TVs out there.
- Affordable 4K smart TV
- HDR support
- Alexa voice assistant built-in
- Out-of-box settings looked terrible
- Poor contrast