Toshiba 65UK3163DB


Toshiba UK31 Reacher Amazon

A decent 4K smart TV from Toshiba, but the UK31’s design is starting to look dated, and its performance seems to have stood still in relation to other brands

Pros

  • Affordable for a 65-inch
  • Dolby Vision support
  • Colourful picture
  • Built-in Alexa

Cons

  • Middling black levels
  • Average contrast and limited brightness
  • Rivals offer more built-in streaming options
  • Weak audio

Availability

  • UKRRP: £499
  • USAunavailable
  • Europeunavailable
  • Canadaunavailable
  • Australiaunavailable

Key Features


  • AlexaAmazon’s Alexa digital assistant is built-in to the TV

  • HDRSupports Dolby Vision HDR for improved picture quality with Netflix and other compatible apps

  • Freeview PlaySupports UK catch-up apps such as BBC iPlayer, ITV Hub and All 4

Introduction

The UK31 is one of several affordable 4K TVs from Toshiba’s 2021/22 range, the model tested here is its 65-inch guise.

After a rocky start when it relaunched in the UK under the custodianship of Turkish brand Vestel, Toshiba has hit upon a consistent run of form, the last few sets have been met with four-star reviews from this very site.

But competition never stops. Roku-branded Hisense and TCL TVs have brought plenty of value to the budget TV area. Having become a leading contender in the affordable TV market, what can Toshiba do, with its 65UK3163DB, to fire back?

Design

  • Plastic construction
  • Low profile not conducive for soundbar placement

Déjà vu is the feeling I get from the UK31. Despite not reviewing a model from Toshiba that looks like this, I can’t shake the vibe I’ve seen this TV before.

Toshiba UK31 front standImage Credit (Trusted Reviews)

The construction of the chassis is noticeably plastic, and just as noticeable is the chunky bezel that stripes the screen. But I’m less inclined to hold either charge against the Toshiba with any severity – its looks are function over style and most people in the price bracket aren’t likely to be concerned with the latter. While a depth of 74mm is not OLED or Mini-LED levels of slimness, it’s not massively chunky either.

Toshiba UK31 rear panelImage Credit (Trusted Reviews)

If wall-mounting is not a consideration (or feasible) there’s the stand to deal, which while easy to screw in, is surprisingly heavy and brings the TV’s profile down low. It has the effect of making soundbar placement rather troublesome as there’s little clearance between the TV and the surface it’s on, allowing the IR receiver to be obscured. There have been many times where I’ve had to angle the remote down to function, and that gets irritating after a while.

The stand also sticks out in a style reminiscent of Hisense’s A7G, though not as awkward to deal with. There’s little else to talk about the appearance of the Toshiba other than to say it is feeling rather dated.

Interface

  • Missing some of the bigger streaming apps
  • Freeview Play integration

Toshiba offers a range of TVs with different interfaces – the UK31 uses Toshiba’s homegrown UI. Compared to an Android or Roku TV, the Toshiba UK31 doesn’t have the same reach where streaming apps are concerned.

Toshiba UK31 app rowImage Credit (Trusted Reviews)

The UI is serviceable, neatly laid out into rows of features and supporting a decent number of apps including those that fall under the umbrella of Freeview Play such as BBC iPlayer and All 4; with BritBox, TikTok, Twitch, YouTube and Deezer onboard too. You won’t get many more popular apps as the likes of Disney+ and Apple TV+ don’t have Linux compatible apps. For BT Sport, NOW and more of that ilk, you’ll need a streaming device.

Toshiba UK31 remoteImage Credit (Trusted Reviews)

The remote is the same large one Toshiba has packaged with its TVs for some time now. Buttons are well-laid out with Netflix, Prime Video and Freeview Play buttons stationed at the bottom. But there still seems to be a bug with the Home button. Press it in a video app and it brings up the audio-visual settings instead of the rows of settings and apps. Years ago, I was told it wasn’t meant to do that, but it’s still here doing exactly that. Unless, that is, it’s doing precisely what it’s meant to.

Features

  • HDMI 2.0 connectivity
  • Built-in Alexa assistance
  • Nippy game mode

While the Toshiba UK31 doesn’t have a flotilla of apps, it is not without smarts. Alexa is built-in – although annoyingly, a notification pops up asking if you want to activate it every time the TV is powered on and can’t be turned off unless you log in to Alexa. Toshiba’s reasoning being that you’ve bought an Alexa compatible TV… because you wanted Alexa. I’m not necessarily sure that will be the case for everyone that eyes this set.

There is synchronisation with Google’s digital assistant through the ‘Ok Google’ ecosystem that connects a compatible product to the TV. With Alexa built-in you simply say her name and the TV’s microphones stand to attention.

Toshiba has also recently introduced an Ambient Screen Mode called ‘Alexa Home Screen’ for its Alexa Built-In models. This acts as a customisable screensaver feature when the TV is in standby mode, displaying information such as the time, weather and calendar events.

There’s Miracast support for beaming the screen on your mobile device to the TV in lieu of Chromecast. There’s no Bluetooth streaming either.

Toshiba UK31 connectionsImage Credit (Trusted Reviews)

In terms of physical connections there are three HDMI, all of them 2.0 specification, but Auto Low Latency Mode (which automatically puts the TV into its lowest latency for gaming) is supported, as is eARC for sending lossless audio like Dolby Atmos to a compatible soundbar; but Variable Refresh Rate which syncs the frame rate of the TV with a PC or gaming console for a smoother performance isn’t.

Toshiba UK31 Gran Turismo 7Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

A last word on the gaming latency, which is an improvement over other Toshiba TVs I’ve tested. Previously there was no difference when the game mode was switched on, but the UK31 offers a swift 10.3ms – fast enough for blink and you’ll miss it controller response. The picture quality could use more tuning as colours in Gran Turismo 7 are too vividly represented.

Picture quality

  • Not the strongest contrast
  • Average black levels
  • Limited brightness
  • Good SDR performance

The Toshiba UK31 comes with the full-set of Toshiba’s Tru Picture Engine features that cover motion (Tru Flow), upscaling (Tru Resolution) and contrast (Tru Micro Dimming).

Dolby Vision is supported to adapt Dolby Vision content for improved black levels and colours. Also included is the industry standard HDR10 (which all TVs must support) and HLG, primarily used for broadcasts and online streaming such as BBC iPlayer and Sky.

Picture perf

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