Insignia TV Review (NS-24F201NA23 / NS-32F201NA23 / NS-39F201NA23)

$169.99 $229.99 SEE AT AMAZON

7.2 Total Score
GOOD

The Insignia Fire TV (NS-32F201NA23) is a budget 720p TV that delivers an enjoyable viewing experience thanks to Fire TV OS, but a few picture problems hold it from being an Editor’s Choice for budget TVs.

PROS
  • Alexa voice compatible
  • Good build quality
  • Responsive Fire TV OS
CONS
  • Lackluster color production
  • Inconsistent black levels

The latest version of Insignia TV remains a good bargain and is one of the most affordable models with Amazon’s Fire TV built-in. Costing just under $100 for the 24-inch model, it doesn’t go beyond $200 for the 39-inches model (the biggest in this lineup), either – and is available for less as we see holiday discounts.

The Insignia F20 series (2022) generally delivers decent overall picture quality, but with a few discrepancies that are expected when you shop at this price range. On the other hand, the TVs’ build quality and Fire TV experience are quite robust. If you prefer Fire TV over Roku TV or Android TV, the few flaws in picture quality may not be dealbreakers after all.

But if you want the best picture quality in this price range, you can get better picture quality alongside one of our favorite smart platforms in the TCL 3-Series instead.

About the Insignia F20 Fire TV (2022)

Insignia has been releasing or reiterating its F20 Series for the last several years, and often these TVs can be found on sale at any given time. This often makes shopping a little confusing.

While you can save some money buying the models from previous years, you should be doing that purposefully. Luckily, there’s an easy way to know which model you’re buying by using the model’s name. The last two numbers of the SKU, o model name, designate the year after the year the TV was manufactured. So, for instance, if you see “NS-24F201NA23,” it means that it’s a 24-inch F20 series model manufactured in 2022.

Insignia TV Review

For this review, we are looking at the 32-inch, 70p F20.  Here’s the full range of sizes for the 2022 F20 series:

Outside of screen size, however, the essential 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

The Insignia Tv is affordable, but it doesn’t come with some useful features you’ll find on higher-end TVs. The standout feature is the Fire TV platform, which is just a built-in version of Amazon’s Fire TV streaming device.

Insignia TV Review: Connectivity

The Insignia F20 consists of budget TVs, so it gets equally basic connectivity options, clearly labeled in two separate coves on the rear of the TV. They include:

  • 3 x HDMI 2.0 inputs (1 HDMI ARC)
  • USB port
  • RF (coaxial) input
  • LAN (ethernet) input
  • Headphone/analog audio jack
  • Digital optical audio out
  • Composite (AV) input

Still, considering the TV’s price, that’s some decent connectivity, especially the standard HDMI ARC connection. That’s great news if you already own or planning to invest in a soundbar. It’s worth noting that you aren’t getting HDMI 2.1 inputs, which may be important for gamers with the latest game consoles, and the TV doesn’t have any features these ports would support such as VRR or high-bandwidth frame rates, so it’s not necessary.

Insignia TV Review ports

What we like

Sturdy, clean design

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.

Included is a Fire TV remote that is customized for TVs, which 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.

Sale
TCL 32-inch 3-Series 720p Roku Smart TV - 32S335, 2021 Model
  • Dimensions with Stand (W x H x D): 28.8" x 18.9" x 7.1" ; Without Stand (W x H x D): 28.8"...
  • Smart functionality delivers all your favorite content with over 500,000 movies and TV...
  • HD, Resolution: High definition (720p) resolution for excellent detail, color and...

Decent contrast and a solid picture of the money

This Insignia TV could look a lot worse for what you’re paying. However, as LED/LCD TVs go, the NS-32F201NA23 is pretty standard, delivering enough brightness for the average room, acceptable black levels, and decent enough color. The content looks good, especially when you’re primarily streaming from Netflix or Disney+.

For the F20 series, Insignia uses a VA-style LCD panel with a full-array LED backlight, but it doesn’t have local dimming., which is available in high-end models like the Hisense U7G which has 72 local dimming zones.

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-32F201NA23 are among the best choices you can find right now.

Insignia TV Review screen

Fire TV and Alexa work great

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 the app 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.

What we don’t like

Middling color production

The Insignia NS-32F201NA23 isn’t the most colorful TV you can buy. The similarly priced TCL 3-Series measures 96% color volume, meaning it produces almost 100% of the “standard” color space (usually called sRGB in monitors and Rec.709 in TVs). On the other hand, the Insignia F20 only measures closer to 85% sRGB color volume.

The shift in color production is not easily visible during viewing, especially on elements like colored parrots and big blue skies, but is evident on content that’s semi-colorful like stretches of desert landscape or brown-green fields of grass.

Is it a deal-breaker? For most folks who need a basic TV, probably not, but it’s worth being aware of. You can get better color production from the TCL 3-Series.

Also, the F20 Series is a bit brighter than some competitors, but its emphasis on blue within the overall RGB balance makes for inconsistent black levels depending on the scene’s brightness.

Insignia TV Remote

Lackluster gaming performance

Finally, with the lower resolution of 720p, 60Hz native refresh rate, and HDMI 2.0 inputs, the Insignia TV is not anywhere close to being the best for current-gen gaming, which requires higher brightness, better color, and 4K resolution to emphasize why newer game consoles are so pricy.

For anyone using an original Xbox One or PS4, or any other older gaming console, you won’t have any issues here. However, if gaming on a newer system or likely wants to move up a few levels, check out the LG C2 OLED TV or the Sony A80J, but you’ll spend more for the gaming prowess they pack.

Should you buy the Insignia TV?

If you love Fire TV, YES. When you’re looking for a super-affordable TV, you often have to compromise a feature or two. With the 32-inch NS-32F201NA23 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 Insignia NS-32F201NA23 won’t let you down – getting the full Alexa baked right into reality 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.

Last update on 2022-12-06 at 07:21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

OUR PICK

All-New Insignia 32-inch Class F20 Series Smart HD 720p Fire TV (NS-32F201NA23, 2022 Model)

$179.99  in stock
4 new from $179.99
Amazon.com
as of December 6, 2022 7:30 am
Insignia TV Review (NS-24F201NA23 / NS-32F201NA23 / NS-39F201NA23)
Insignia TV Review (NS-24F201NA23 / NS-32F201NA23 / NS-39F201NA23)
$169.99 $229.99
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