When it comes to buying a secondary TV, where do you start? While we all would love to carefully read TV reviews and buying guides, budget TVs like the Insignia NS-32F201NA22 will definitely pop-up, part of Insignia’s F20 Series of F20 Series Fire TVs. This 32-inch TV costs less than a typical monthly electric bill, but you might want to pause a little before you add it to your cart.
The Insignia F20 Series has been around for a while, delivering new units each year, some with decent overall picture quality, but as ever with bargain electronics, there are some discrepancies that we’ve never seen from the competition. On the one hand, the TV’s overall color reproduction is middling, and it tends to overemphasize blue hues that create imbalances during low-light and highlight scenes.
- Rock-bottom price
- Integrated Alexa
- Good build quality
Lackluster color production
On the other hand, the NS-32F201NA22’s build quality and built-in Fire TV experience is quite welcoming, especially at this price point. Amazon’s Fire TV platform has a thing over something like Roku TV, and that might easily drive you off these concessions in picture quality.
And in part, Fire TV offers scores of streaming apps and the benefit of built-in voice control courtesy of Amazon’s Alexa makes for a fantastic secondary TV for your bedroom or kitchen. Still, its HD-only 720p picture is look dull alongside not only pricey 4K sets but also comparable HD sets, such as TCL 32S335 Roku TV.
About the Insignia NS-32F201NA22 Fire TV
For several years now, Insignia has been reiterating different forms of the F20 Series, and we’ve has a chance to sample and review them – often more than one, you can find one or a few units of the series on sale at any given time.
While you get to save some money buying models from a few years ago, the sheer number of models in the same series can be confusing. Let’ break it down how to identify which model you’re getting. It’s pretty simple: the last numbers of the SKU or model name, denote the year after the year the TV was manufactured.
So, for instance, in our review unit, the Insignia NS-32F201NA22, you can easily tell, it is a 32-inch F20 series model manufactured in 2021. In the same series for 2021, there are different models, all available in a range of sizes.
Outside of resolution and screen size, however, the core specs are the same:
- Resolutions: 720p 1,366 x 768 pixels
- LED backlight type: Direct Lit
- LCD panel type: VA
- HDR support: No
- Dolby Atmos support: Yes, via HDMI ARC over DD+ (no native decoding)
- eARC support: No
- Native refresh rate: 60Hz
- Color depth: 8-bit
- Variable Refresh Rate (VRR) support: No
- Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM) support: No
- Other features: Alexa Voice Remote included
For the affordable price, the Insignia NS-32F201NA22 fails to include some fancy features you’d find on higher-end TV. The only standout feature is the Fire TV smart platform, which is basically a built-in version of Amazon’s Fire TV streaming device.
Design and Features
Not a lot has gone into Insignia Fire TV’s design. It’s just a simple, inexpensive TV. It sports a dark plastic case that doesn’t breathe any air of prestige or luxury like pricier TVs do. And unlike many newer (and more expensive) TVs, it maintains a fairly thick half-inch bezel around the edge. But for a budget TV, it isn’t an eyesore, either. The screen stands on a pair of V-shaped feet that face inward holding it up very stably.
Some input ports are recessed at back-left including, three HDMI inputs, a USB port, and an optical audio output facing the left edge. There is also an Ethernet port, antenna/cable connector, and an RCA composite video input facing downward, in the same location. On the lower right corner of the back of the TV, there is a power/input combo and other buttons for physical controls.
Included is a Fire TV remote that is customized for TVs, that is a bit larger and more complex than the common voice remote included with Amazon Fire TV media streamers. The design remains the same, though, a slim black plastic wand with a prominent glossy black circular navigation pad. Just above the pad, there are three menu buttons and another three playback buttons sit below the pad, with the power and microphone buttons sitting on the top of the remote near a pinhole mic.
Image Quality and Performance
For an entry-level, budget HDTV, the Insignia NS-32F201NA22 performs well, but it doesn’t break any records, and we’ve seen better image quality at this price range. The 32-inch model we’re reviewing doesn’t support high dynamic range (HDR), which is only available in the 4K Series (43”, 50” and 55”) of the same model.
With that, it does not offer a particularly wide color gamut, and doesn’t exceed broadcast standards with reds appearing undersaturated. As for the colors, they are balanced and not tinted, though and fairly vivid for a 720p panel with a 60Hz refresh rate.
For what you’re paying, image quality and colour reproduction on this Insignia could look a lot worse. However, going by the standards of LED/LCDs, its performance is good, providing enough brightness for an average room, respectable blacks, and decent enough colour production.
In simpler terms, contents loos good on the NS-32F201NA22, especially content that you’re primarily streaming from, let’s say, Netflix or Disney+. The F20 uses a VA style LCD panel with a full-array LED backlight, but it doesn’t have local dimming, available in high-end models such as the Toshiba M550 Fire TV we reviewed recently.
Even with the limited color range on the Insignia Fire TV Edition, BBC’s Life Story looks vivid and very detailed. You can easily pick fine details like fur and leaves at very sharp detail, with colors looking natural and balanced. Only that they aren’t as nearly vivid as they are on the TCL 6-Series Roku Smart TV.
The only caveat is, that TCL’s Series 6 only has two models: 55-inch and 65-inch. Thus, if you’re looking for a small home TV that doesn’t cost a fortune, the 32-inch TCL 32S334 and the 32-inch Insignia NS-32F201NA22 are among the best choices you can find right now.
- 720p resolution: View your favorite movies, shows and games in high definition.
- Alexa voice control: The Alexa Voice Remote lets you easily control your entertainment,...
- Fire TV experience built-in - Watch over 1 Million streaming movies and TV episodes with...
Fire TV OS & Alexa
For you to get the most of Fire TV features, you’ll need to sign in with your Amazon account, which is very typical of Fire TV streamers, that are built around using your account for transactions like purchasing app and renting media. However, on the Insignia Fire TV Edition, you don’t absolutely 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 on 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 handsfree as the Echo or Echo Spot, but it’s still functional out of the box with the press of a button.
Should you buy it?
Only if you really love Amazon Fire TV.
When you’re looking for a super-affordable TV, you often have to compromise a feature or two. With the 32-inch NS-32F201NA22 Fire TV, Insignia did a lot right. The build is surprisingly solid for the money, and it does look a lot nicer than I expected. And while am not a fan of Amazon’s Alexa ecosystem, I just love the clean, unpixellated look and voice-command-ready feature of the Fire TV software built into this TV.
If this is your size/price, meaning you don’t fancy anything bigger that costs even a cent more, then you should also consider your viewing environment and overall priorities before you buy. Once again. If you’re more inclined towards the Fire TV experience and Alexa compatibility, the F20 series won’t let you down – getting the full Alexa baked right into the really is super cool, especially in this price range.
However, if you’re more interested in getting the best picture quality you can for the money, and especially if you’ll be watching in dim, movie night style environments, you should seriously consider the TCL 32S335 (3-Series) instead. It gets Roku TV built-in; its image quality is better and it delivers more color saturation. It remains our Editor’s Choice for budget 32-inch TVs.
The Insignia NS-32F201NA22 is an inexpensive Fire TV with Alexa baked right into the remote, and deliver a fairly enjoyable viewing experience and a sleek and sturdy design. We just wish color reproduction were better.
Last update on 2023-03-31 at 06:31 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API