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Nowadays, nearly every TV is a smart TV – one that connects to the internet. But with the Toshiba 50C350LU, you’re getting those smart features at a very low price. It’s especially a great choice if you’re looking for a midsize TV for a bedroom – and are a fan of Amazon Fire smart TVs. This 50-inch TV (also available in 43-inches; 43C350LU) does all the things you want a smart TV to do: Fire TV, and all integrated features, is fast and responsive; it’s simple to set up and use; and, most importantly, it’s very affordable.
As with all budget TVs in this range, the Toshiba C350 doesn’t come with the latest tech in TVs, such as HDMI 2.1 or Dolby Atmos support, but it does Dolby Vision HDR and HDR10 – though not very well. Its LCD picture quality isn’t as good as the TCL 55Q650G or Samsung Q80C TVs that come in almost the same size. But if you’re into the Amazon Fire TV ecosystem and just need a TV for enjoying some shows without breaking the bank, the Toshiba C350 Fire TV is money well spent.
About the Toshiba C350 Fire TV (2023 model)
The 2023 model of the Toshiba C350 is available in two sizes – 43 inches (Toshiba 43C350LU) and 50 inches (50C350LU). Our review model is the 50-inch model. Due to the nature of the C350’s display hardware, we don’t expect there to be significant differences in performance between sizes.
Here are the specs on the Toshiba C350:
- Screen size: 50 inches
- Resolution: 4K
- HDR: Dolby Vision, HDR10
- Refresh rate: 60Hz
- Ports: 4 HDMI (1 ARC), 2 USB
- Audio: 2 Channel
- Smart TV software: Fire TV OS
- Size: 9.7 x 44 x 28 inches
- Other Features: Amazon Alexa
The Toshiba 50C350LU goes for the typical black-on-black plastic styling, which is different from the silver plastic at the bottom and silver plastic feet on the Toshiba C350 (2022 model). Even with the black design, it still looks stylish, and it doesn’t attract attention to the set itself – whether the familiar design is a pro or a con is up to personal preference.
It’s fairly deeper than other TVs in this size range, thanks to the large port box located in the middle of the back of the TV. The black feet use the typical boomerang style. If you decide to mount the TV instead, it supports VESA 200 x 300, and it will work with any of the best TV mounts available in the market.
The Toshiba C350 has thin bezels around the display that are barely noticeable and fade away while watching content. However, this bezel area is where the flaws in Toshiba’s design manifest themselves. Oddly, the screen surface protrudes from the frame, and the bottom bezel isn’t relatively as seamless.
The included remote is very similar to the ones included with Fire TV media streamers. A slim, black rectangular wand with a reasonably rounded top and bottom edges and a prominent circular navigation pad near the top. Power and navigation buttons and a pinhole microphone are placed above the navigation pad. Menu and playback controls; volume and channel rockers; and dedicated service buttons for Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, Hulu, and Netflix all sit at the lower part of the remote.
The Toshiba C350 produces a good enough picture – it’s not going to rival the best 4K TVs out there, but in most situations, it does well enough that you can enjoy what’s displayed on the screen without getting annoyed by quality issues. This TV is surprisingly bright enough to watch during the day and it produces good color.
Visual, especially 4K content on the C350, is crisp and well-detailed, though it also does an excellent job with non-4K content. The picture can also deliver some great color. We expected that color to come into play with 4K HDR content, but there’s little inconsistency there. Some content will appear vivid and rich in color, but some streamed content tends to fall short in color saturation.
For instance, watching Succession on HBO Max, you’ll enjoy the richly colorful picture. That pairing with the sharp details makes for an excellent viewing experience. The fine details of characters’ hair and textures on clothing and other materials look perfect.
Two factors help the display hold up well in everyday viewing conditions: the brightness and the anti-reflective finish of the display. Even when watched on a sunny day in a room with many windows, it’s possible to watch darker content. The display can get bright enough to power through, and the display avoids reflections well enough that you don’t end up looking at a reflection of your living room any time there’s a darker scene on the screen.
Toshiba’s solid work on visuals isn’t replicated in the audio, but the speakers on the TV won’t leave you in the lurch when it comes to volume – at least, they can pump out more than enough to fill a medium-sized room even at lower volume levels. The speakers should hold up just fine if you’re looking at hearing a dialog in a sitcom.
But when it comes to more complex audio mixes, with soundtracks and sound effects, the audio output tends to suffer, by a lack of oomph from the bass.
Fire TV offers a few sound modes to help you make the sound more to your liking: Standard, Music, Movie, Clear Voice, Enhanced Bass, and Custom. You can also adjust the bass, treble, and balance. Under the Advanced menu, you can adjust dialog levels, TruVolume, which adjusts highs and low sounds, and Virtual: X. These are the available tweaks to the sound, though they don’t make too much of a difference when using the speakers included with the TV.
Fire TV OS & Alexa
For you to get the most out of Fire TV features, you’ll need to sign in with your Amazon account, which is very typical of Fire TV streamers, which are built around using your account for transactions like purchasing apps and renting media. However, on the Insignia Fire TV Edition, you don’t need an Amazon account to use the TV. There is an optional Basic mode that lets you use the TV as a TV, without access to most streaming features in the interface, but providing access to the TV’s varied inputs.
Still, most of us would want to use our Amazon account to access the full features of the Insignia Fire TV Edition, bearing in mind how robust it is as a smart TV platform. For instance, it lets you access most streaming services, including Amazon Video and Music, Hulu, Netflix, Sling TV, Spotify, and Twitch. Curiously, Google Play Movies & TV as well as Google Play Music are absent, and YouTube loads only via the Firefox or Silk web browsers.
Not surprising at all, while the Fire TV OS is ideally based on Android, rarely do you see Amazon and Google get along much on content. The Fire TV includes access to the Alexa voice assistant, which you can easily use on the Insignia Fire TV Edition by pressing the microphone button on the remote and speaking into it. Sure, it may not be as hands-free as the Echo or Echo Spot, but it’s still functional out of the box with the press of a button.
Toshiba 50C350LU Review: Verdict
Fire TV fans have a few TVs to choose from in this size and price range, and the Toshiba 50C350LU Fire TV should be among the top choices. It runs the latest version of Fire TV well and has good overall color. While it doesn’t handle HDR content very well, few TVs at this size and price do. With its decent color accuracy, low lag time, and responsive Fire TV, it sets itself apart from the crowd of low-budget Fire TVs.
Still, if you’re not so much into Fire TV, the TCL 55Q650G Google TV has a better overall experience, at almost a similar price. For a premium picture -and a premium price – the Samsung QN50Q80C offers the best picture and enhanced features including Quantum HDR, Gaming Hub support, and superior brightness but costs twice as much.
But if all you need is a Fire TV for your bedroom or small living room, the Toshiba 50C350LU Fire TV is the one to get.
The Toshiba 50C350LU is all about value. This budget-friendly Fire TV has a bright enough picture with plenty of clarity to enjoy most content, though its audio is underwhelming and it could handle HDR better.
- Great price
- Decent brightness
- Features Dolby Vision
- Sub-par audio
- Strong competition
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