Things got pretty intense in the Indian television market when an unheard TV brand launched the cheapest smart TV in India. Samy Informatics, which claims to be selling TVs in India for over two years, unveiled their latest television that has raised eyebrows and some valid questions. The company is offering a 32-inch smart Android TV at just Rs 4,999, which sounds unbelievable until you've gotten all the facts.
As it turns out Samy's offering is pretty legit but the cheapest smart TV comes with some strings attached. While the company takes pride in complying with Make in India initiative to keep the price of the TV so low and also create 200 jobs, there are other factors contributing towards revenue generation for the TV maker.
Before we get to that, here's a look at the product itself. Samy SM32-K5500 HD LED TV features a 32-inch HD display with 16:9 aspect ratio, two 10W speakers, SRS Dolby Digital, a 5 Band Equalizer and runs Android OS to support all smart apps on TV. The affordable smart TV comes with 512MB of RAM, 4GB storage, two HDMI and two USB ports, an AV output and a video input port. There are pre-loaded apps like Facebook and YouTube, but users can get more from Google Play Store.
Samy Android TV comes with up to 3 years warranty and 1 year of onsite servicing for free. Considering the low price of the TV, there will be demand and the company says it will be selling the TV on a first-come-first-serve basis until limited stocks run out.
Now let's address the elephant in the room. How is Samy managing to keep the pricing of its TV as low as Rs 4,999?
First of all, Rs 4,999 for Samy 32-inch smart TV isn't all you have to pay. The launch price doesn't include GST or shipping charges, which will eventually hike the final price to almost Rs 8,000. Still, not such a bad deal, is it?
Even if you're convinced with the Samy TV for its final price, it won't be easy to get it. There are no offline sales of the TV, which means you'll have to order it online and wait for the delivery to see the real deal (things like picture quality, sound quality, among other features). On the good side, buyers are not required to pay for the TV online seeing the only payment method available is cash on delivery.
Interested buyers can't head over to the company's website and place the order, but will have to download an app from the Play Store, register on the app with name, phone number and email address before booking the TV. What came as a surprise to us is the fact that registering for the Samy TV requires you to share your Aadhaar numbers, India Today reported. We checked for app permissions and it seemed to be asking for a lot more than required, for instance, permission to access photos, media, files, storage, camera and also prevent the device from sleeping (now why would you need that?).
Now, the company says it wants to make sure its buyers are customers and not to dealers of TV parts, but sharing Aadhaar number is going a bit too far, especially when the government has made Aadhaar linking to various services voluntary.
But that's not it. Samy, which said Make in India and Start-up India initiatives helped the company maintain low pricing, has another revenue model in mind. Buyers of Samy 32-inch Android TV will be served with ads, right out of the box, and they are not your usual TV commercials. Well, the company says it is a way to make up for losses. No one thought of that.
Finally, Samy responded to India Today's query if this TV is a scam like the notorious Freedom 251 con saying it's not. Wouldn't have expected another reply. It's suspicious enough that it's almost impossible to find Samy Informatics' official website or its presence on social media channels, but one can easily find the app on Play Store. And to add more spice to that suspicion, the app isn't available on Apple App Store.
All said we'd advise our readers to practice caution while trying to buy the Samy 32-inch smart TV for Rs 4,999 or more – at least until we can review the product or find no proof of mischievous acts.