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Levoit 600S air purifier review: floor-standing air purifier that efficiently extracts whiffs
4:00 pm | October 31, 2023

Author: admin | Category: Air Quality Computers Gadgets Home Small Appliances | Tags: | Comments: Off

Levoit 600S: two-minute review

Air purifiers are designed to remove dust, dander and dodgy odours, leaving you with a fresher smelling and healthier home. In the height of summer, or faced with an overly-heated home you soon start to notice the whiff of other people and pets. 

They differ from fans, which waft the air around at speed, creating a cooling effect, instead extracting impurities and particulates that cause smells and cause germs. An electrostatic or fabric filter captures these as they are blown towards them by the air purifier’s gentle fan mechanism and, as with the Levoit 600S model, are collected in a disposable bag at the bottom of the device. Once cleansed, the air is sent back out into the room, leading to a fresher atmosphere. 

The Levoit 600S promises to filter as much as 99.97% of PM2.5 particles (particulate matter less than 2.5 micrometre diameter). This covers the fine dust, pollen and pet hair as well as road traffic pollution and pollen. These can all irritate and, in the longer term, damage the lungs and impact respiratory function. Levels of less than 12μg/m3 should pose no health issues, and we were pleased to find that the existing levels in the first of the two properties in which we tested out the air purifier were already below this figure. 

When things get whiffy or lingering sprays have been applied, the Levoit 600S is capable of changing the air in a 147m sq room twice an hour. This is a lower rate of air change than the best air purifiers TechRadar reviewed recently but is plenty for all but larger rooms or the most persistent smells and pollutants. 

Although the 600S can be operated directly using the on/off button on the top, the VeSync app provides far more control, showing current PMS levels and the air quality steadily improving as its four-speed fan whips everything through its HEPA and carbon filters to remove airborne nasties. Both the LED on top of the unit and the app give real-time PMS readings and offer one-touch fan adjustments. The app adds scheduling and light-sensing options, making it ideal for use in a bedroom where the fan will automatically reduce in power so you can drop off to sleep. 

Levoit 600S: price and availability

  • How much does it cost? £299.99 (about $360, AU$574)
  • When is it available? Available now
  • Where can you get it? Available in the UK

The Levoit 600S is available from Amazon UK for £299 (about $360, AU$574). A £50 discount voucher is currently active, bringing the price down to £249). Although you won’t need a replacement filter immediately, if you like to be organised you can get ahead by adding this £69.99 consumable or a pet allergy version for £101 to your online shopping cart.

This model launched last year in the US, but Amazon notes the current unavailability of the Levoit 600S model (although both branded and third party replacement HEPA filters are for sale there), while Australia has only the filters for sale.

  • Value: 4 / 5

Levoit 600S: Specs

Levoit 600S in use in the author's home

(Image credit: Future / Rosie Hattersley)

Levoit 600S: Design

  • Large but lightweight unit
  • Useful status indicator lights
  • Whisper-quiet fan

The imposing but elegant Levoit 600S seems to take up more room than its stated 60cm height suggests. While its 300S stablemate sits happily and fairly unobtrusively on a kitchen countertop, the 600S model is a real presence. Placed alongside our microwave, it dwarfed it. If space is at a premium, you will probably want to store it out of sight and bring it out for specific use rather than keeping it on standby. We found this particularly true when we were in the more cramped environment of our terraced home. 

However, the curved design and off-white finish are stylish, and the materials sturdy.  And, while it weighs 6.2kg, it feels far lighter. The well-positioned recessed handles on either side of the upper section also make it easy to move around. 

Looks-wise, the Levoit 600S is smart with a sleek curved body and large fan blades covering the top. In the centre of the fan are the Levoit 600S’ controls and options to change the fan speed, set a timer, check on the filter and current air quality, and determine whether it is connected to Wi-Fi or using Bluetooth for the associated VeSync app. The lower half of the purifier features a fretwork effect, and contains the filter and the bag into which particles sucked in by the fan are deposited. 

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Levoit 600S in use in the author's home

(Image credit: Future / Rosie Hattersley)
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Levoit 600S in use in the author's home

(Image credit: Future / Rosie Hattersley)

Setup involves twisting apart the top and bottom halves of the air purifier’s body, extracting the filter that it comes with from inside, and removing its packaging before popping it back in place. There is a bright yellow sticker on the top of the unit that prompts you to do this before use. The two halves of the unit then click to lock together. It doesn’t matter which way round the top half faces, but the corners need to align with the corresponding corners on the bottom half, a simple enough process. 

Although the Levoit 600S is a freestanding unit with no external moving parts, it needs space to operate so it doesn’t overheat. It should, therefore, be placed around 40cm away from the nearest walls. The power cable is more than a metre long, which is ample to accommodate this requirement. 

Once switched on, the Levoit 600S can be used either manually using the controls on top, or via the VeSync app. Each of the on-device controls lights up when you touch them, with multiple presses used to increase or reduce the fan speed.

  • Design: 4.5 / 5

Levoit 600S in use in the author's home

(Image credit: Future / Rosie Hattersley)

Levoit 600S: Performance

  • Effective dust and dander removal
  • Quickly gets rid of aerosol particulates
  • Less effective on kitchen odours

I tested the Levoit 600S in both an open plan 1960s detached house and a 1930s terraced house, the latter home to two asthmatics and a cat who is less than impressed at the ongoing renovations. The contrasting challenges were larger rooms with carpets, lots of upholstered furniture, and the odours associated with the older generation versus the renovation dust and the pet dander of our London home, which has wooden floors and tiles throughout. 

Both have open plan kitchens where food is often oven-baked or prepared on a hob. I tested the changing air quality while sauteing a variety of vegetables as well as frying fish and meat, and noted whether having the window adjacent to the cooker made much difference to the rate at which the air purifier cleaned the air. 

To set up the Levoit 600S air purifier, I first installed the VeSync app (iOS and Android versions are available). Next, I switched on the device and pressed the on/off switch on top until the Wi-Fi icon flashed blue. It was then recognised by the app and the two paired over Bluetooth. Next, the app searched for my home Wi-Fi network and prompted me for a login and password. 

Although it accepted my previously registered email address, it doesn’t actually want you to provide the password for your VeSync app at this stage and is really after your Wi-Fi password. This tiny misunderstanding took moments to correct. Once connected, you will need to keep the VeSync app open as the firmware is updated. However, the 600S will start operating as soon as it’s connected to Wi-Fi, with its internal fan working at its level 4 maximum rotation speed. 

Once the app has updated the firmware, you will be able to adjust the duration and schedules. You will also be shown the current air quality status based on the level of PM2.5 particulates it detects. What is not quite as apparent is that this screen also gives you the option to change the fan speed. 

Levoit 600S in use in the author's home

(Image credit: Future / Rosie Hattersley)

Sitting across the room, I found the Levoit 600S giving off a gentle rhythmic hum that was noticeable but unlikely to upset all but the most sound-sensitive family member. It hums along gently, with an unobtrusive decibel rating of less than 40 on the slowest speed setting and no more than 64dB when it kicks into its top speed rating and then settles at around 52dB. The ambient background noise in the room prior to switching on the air purifier was 38dB, so it barely disturbs the tranquillity. 

Even my sound-sensitive mum was untroubled by its operation at the lower fan settings, but pleased with the improved room freshness after 30 minutes of use. Blasting Febreze at the fan itself for a sustained 10 seconds filled the room with choking levels of air freshener, but the purifier removed the lot in 12 minutes at setting 3 (of 4), while our comparison on opening the patio doors and other windows wide had no discernible effect after the same period. 

I also found the Levoit 600S effective in removing dust from the air after a weekend of DIY, taking less than 20 minutes to clear the hallway and landing of visible particles. Sharing a home with a cat, I also appreciated it filtering stray hairs and slight odours. 

However, it impressed me less when it came to removing cooking smells and signs of domesticity: the kitchen levels were modest before I began frying and sautéing, and the purifier was not much better than the overhead fan and an open window for this use. Given the 600S’ larger dimensions, we would no doubt choose its smaller sibling for this room in any case. 

  • Performance: 4 / 5

Levoit 600S: App

  • Provides full control over the 600S
  • Alexa and Google Assistant voice controls
  • Strong scheduling and light sensing features

The VeSync app is well-designed with attractive graphics in calming shades of blue and turquoise. It provides a visual guide when setting up the Levoit device and has a user manual that you can access from its side menu. 

You can control every aspect of the air purifier once installed, with options to adjust the fan speed, schedule days and times for it to operate, change air quality levels that will trigger it automatically switching on and on, and activate a light sensing feature that seems aimed at use in a bedroom. The rationale here is that the gentle hum of the fan helps promote sleep, especially once the air is duly freshened, so you can nod off without the interruptions from an asthmatic or cat-allergy wheeze. 

The VeSync app is free to install and also works with Alexa as well as Google Assistant. This gives access to voice control options should you want to prompt your air purifier to go about its business without having to reach for your smartphone. I tried each of these without issue, finding the option to turn the fan off using a voice command useful when the phone rang while the 600S was clearing the air in the kitchen after cooking and I wanted to settle in for a chat. 

Levoit 600S in use in the author's home

(Image credit: Future / Rosie Hattersley)

Should I buy the Levoit 600S?

Buy it if...

Don't buy it if...

Also consider

How I tested the Levoit 600S

  • I used the Levoit Core 600S air purifier and the VueSync app for 10 days
  • Trialed it in two homes: one open plan; one a terraced house
  • Substances purified included pet odour, cooking smells and air freshener

I used the Levoit 600S air purifier in a number of different rooms, finding it particularly efficient at clearing the odours from a downstairs room that doubles as an elderly person’s bedroom. Being able to effectively cleanse this room of telltale odours associated with ageing, as well as Febreze and other masking sprays that disguise them was a good test since we had lots of visitors during the week in which the 600S was installed there. I react badly to perfumes and sprays due to asthma, so quickly clearing these smells was critical to me too. I continuously sprayed the aerosol contents at the purifier fan until the PM levels rose above 150 before switching on the unit to begin clearing the particulates.

With one family member being particularly sound-sensitive, being able to instantly dial down the fan setting such that she was undisturbed by the fan was vital. I also tested the unit while frying food and after making toast, as well as setting the Levoit 600S to automatically purify the landing of my own home during and after stripping paint from the stairs and sanding them down. I used a decibel meter app on my phone to measure how loud the fan was at various settings.

I compared the effects of simply allowing the air to clear naturally by opening windows either side of the room with the performance of the 600S, timing both to see how long it took for the PM level to drop below 12.

To test the air purification monitoring and speed, I sprayed heavy particulate aerosols (dry shampoo and deodorant) while the purifier was in Auto mode. This mode detects changes in the room and sets the fan speed accordingly.  

I lit a scented candle next to the purifier and also positioned it in the kitchen while frying and grilling different meat and vegetables. I measured the volume with a mobile phone decibel meter. 

Read more about how we test

First reviewed October 2023

Roku Plus Series review: a great budget 4K QLED TV
6:00 pm | June 10, 2023

Author: admin | Category: Computers Gadgets | Tags: , , , | Comments: Off

Roku Plus Series TV: Two-minute review

Most people know Roku for its streaming boxes and sticks – like the Roku Streaming Stick 4K – as well as the company’s smart interface, which can be found in TVs from brands like TCL, Hisense and others. Back in March of 2023, the company also started selling its own Roku-branded TVs, and as with its streamers, they are priced at a level that most people can afford.  

There are two lines of Roku TVs: the Plus Series and the Select Series. Both are inexpensive compared to other sets, but the Plus Series is more feature-packed and consequently priced a bit higher. I was sent a 65-inch Plus model to review, and as a longtime Roku user, I was very curious to see how this $649 set would stack up against other 4K TVs I’ve recently tested.

Along with the company’s own smart TV interface, Plus Series TVs feature AirPlay for wireless streaming from devices and work with Alexa and Google Assistant. You can also conduct hands-free voice searches using the remote control’s built-in mic by first saying “Hey Roku” or by pressing a button on the remote and speaking your search directly.

Plus Series TVs use a QLED display panel with a full-array local dimming backlight, and there’s support for Dolby Vision, HDR10+, and HLG high dynamic range. The 65-inch model I tested doesn’t offer nearly the same peak brightness as QLED TVs with a mini-LED backlight, but it has a local dimming feature that's effective enough to deliver images with strong contrast.

All new Roku TVs have a native 60Hz refresh rate. And while we normally recommend 120Hz 4K TVs for gaming, the Plus Series had an impressive 11.5 ms measured input lag when its Game mode was enabled.

The design of Plus Series sets are basic though, and they come with side-mounted support feet that can’t be height-adjusted. Inputs include 4 HDMI 2.0 ports (1 with eARC) along with an RF connection for an antenna and an optical digital audio output.

Audio on the Plus Series is also basic, with the TV sporting two bottom-mounted speakers. And while the sound is perfectly satisfactory given the TV’s price, the company offers several inexpensive options to enhance audio quality, including a 2-channel soundbar that connects wirelessly with the TV, and wireless surround sound and subwoofer speakers.

Between the company’s own The Roku Channel and a Live TV portal with an enormous amount of free streaming channels that can be browsed in a grid format with TV broadcasts pulled in by antenna, there’s plenty available to watch here, much of it free. Even so, the Roku smart TV interface provides almost every streaming service app you could possibly want, and it also supports personal photo streaming, with an option to add pictures directly from your phone.

Roku Plus Series TV review: price and release date

  • Release date:  March, 2023 
  • 55R6A5R: $499
  • 65R6A5R: $649
  • 75R6A5R: $999

The Plus Series models are the step-up offerings in the Roku TV lineup. They are available in 55-, 65-, and 75-screen sizes, and are only sold in the US at Best Buy stores and online.

Pricing for the Roku Plus Series TVs is in the same approximate range as budget models from Hisense, TCL, and Amazon Fire TVs, all of which also feature QLED screen tech, and in some instances a local dimming backlight similar to Roku Plus series models.

Roku Plus Series TV review: Specs

Roku Plus Series TV back input panel

Back panel inputs include two side-mounted HDMI 2.0 ports (one with eARC), two bottom-mounted HDMI 2.0 ports, an optical digital output, and an antenna connection. (Image credit: Future)

Roku Plus Series TV review: features

  • Roku smart TV interface and voice remote
  • Dolby Vision, HDR10+, and HLG high dynamic range 
  • Four HDMI inputs, one with enhanced audio return channel (eARC)

Roku Plus Series TVs feature the company’s popular smart TV interface, which is easy to navigate compared to other options. It provides an extensive amount of streaming apps to select from, and includes The Roku Channel and the Live TV portal for streaming free ad-supported TV shows and movies. Live TV also lets you integrate TV channels tuned by an indoor TV antenna.

Plus Series TVs support AirPlay for wireless streaming from iPhones and iPads, and they also work with Alexa and Google Assisant. They include voice remote pro features, a rechargeable battery and it has a built-in mic that allows for hands-free voice searches (the built-in mic can also be easily disabled using a switch located on the remote).

A QLED display panel with a native 60Hz refresh rate is used for the Plus series, and there’s a full-array local dimming backlight for enhanced contrast. High dynamic range support includes Dolby Vision, HDR10+ and HLG. A Game mode is also provided that reduces input lag when gaming with a connected console.

The set’s four HDMI inputs include one that supports HDMI eARC for a soundbar connection, and there’s an optical digital audio output and an RF input to connect an antenna. When viewing TV broadcasts, you can pause and rewind live TV for up to 90 minutes when a 16GB USB flash drive is plugged into the set’s USB port. Roku TVs also support a wireless audio connection to the company’s Roku Smart soundbar

Roku’s features package for its Plus Series is fairly basic overall compared to other TVs, but it includes a solid array of video performance basics such as a QLED display panel and full array local dimming backlight.

  • Features Score: 3.5/5  

Roku Plus Series TV showing Max app screen with Avatar 2

The new Max is one of the many streaming apps available in the Roku smart TV interface (Image credit: Future)

Roku Plus Series TV review: picture quality

  • Average brightness
  • Deep blacks with detailed shadows 
  • Some screen reflections

The 65-inch Roku Plus Series TV I tested delivered an average brightness level for a QLED TV, with peak brightness topping out at 556 nits (measured on a 10% white window test pattern) in its Standard HDR picture mode, and 533 nits in Dark HDR mode. To put those numbers into perspective, the TCL 6-series TV, a model with a mini-LED backlight, can hit 1,326 nits peak brightness, while the LG C3 OLED TV tops out at 830 nits.

A full-array local dimming backlight on the Plus Series enabled it to display deep blacks, though it didn’t hit the 0 IRE full black that OLED TVs and the best mini-LED models are capable of, with maximum contrast measuring 20,500:1. Even so, blacks looked strikingly deep in most movie clips I watched, and backlight 'blooming' artifacts were surprisingly minimal given the set’s low price. For most of my testing I kept the Micro Contrast setting at High, which delivered the best black depth and shadow detail.

The color balance in the Movie picture mode’s default Warm color temperature setting was slightly blue-ish, with most Delta E values measuring in the 3-4 range (we typically look for these to dip below 3). Measurements made with Portrait’s Calman display calibration software also showed coverage of DCI-P3 (the color space used for mastering 4K Blu-rays and digital cinema releases) to be 95.8%, and BT.2020 to be 81.3%. These are very good results, and closely match what was measured on the TCL 6-Series TV.

Roku’s Plus Series set had a fair amount of screen reflectivity, with reflections visible when viewing in a room with bright overhead lights. Picture contrast and color saturation also weren’t as solid when viewing from off-center seats, though that effect is common with LCD-based TVs like the Plus Series.

I watched several scenes from 4K Blu-ray discs that I typically use for testing on the Roku Plus Series, starting out with the Spears & Munsil Ultra HD Benchmark (the just-released new version). Viewing the 4,000 nits version of the montage sequence, some clipping artifacts were visible with the set’s Dynamic Tone Mapping setting active, though the issue disappeared when I watched a version graded at 1,000 nits – a more typical peak brightness for programs with HDR. Otherwise, images in the montage looked clean, crisp and had rich color, though the strongest highlights lacked some of the visual punch I’ve seen when watching the same material on brighter TVs.

Next up was No Time to Die, the James Bond film from 2021. Shadows looked deep and solid in the early scenes where Bond and Madeleine arrive in Italy, and in a later one where 007 walks across a craggy hill toward the resting place of Vesper Lynd with the camera panning along, the motion was smooth with almost no blurring artifacts.

Dune also looked very good on the Roku TV, with the set’s processor managing to deliver a detailed and noise-free picture even in difficult scenes like one where Paul walks through a dark and misty environment with Lady Jessica following an interrogation by the Reverend Mother. I’ve seen other, much more expensive TVs trip up on this sequence, which made the Roku’s handling of it all the more impressive.

With Spider-Man Across the Spider-Verse now out in theaters, it seemed appropriate to give 2018’s Spider-Man Into the Spider-Verse a spin on the Roku Plus TV. This film has an incredible range of color, and images are enlivened with finely detailed textures throughout that give it a printed comic book look. The Roku conveyed all of it in a convincing manner, with images looking impressively dynamic for such an affordable TV.

  • Picture quality score: 4/5

Roku Plus Series TV main smart interface

Inputs can be accessed from the main Roku TV interface  (Image credit: Future)

Roku Plus Series TV review: sound quality

  • Two downfiring speakers
  • Average TV sound quality 
  • Can make a wireless soundbar connection

Roku Plus Series use two down-firing speakers and the sound quality is average – you can easily hear dialogue and there’s a good overall balance, but otherwise dynamic movie soundtracks tend to flatten out during loud scenes.

Roku sells a two-channel Roku TV wireless soundbar ($150), which is designed specifically for its TVs and can be connected wirelessly (surround speakers and a subwoofer can also be added for a wireless 4.1-channel setup). Roku sent me its wireless soundbar to try out, and setting it up was incredibly easy. Configuration and control of the soundbar is carried out using the voice remote pro, with sound presets selectable via the TV’s menus.

Of the various presets, the Standard mode proved to be the best for most viewing, and with it selected dialogue gained weight and body while soundtrack elements like music and effects came across with greater clarity and dynamic presence. Given the TV’s low price, this is definitely a situation where you should consider a soundbar, and while there are plenty of great choices on our best soundbars list, the Roku TV wireless soundbar is a perfect match for this TV.

  • Sound quality score: 3.5/5

Roku Plus Series TV support feet on TV stand

The 2-channel Roku TV wireless soundbar (shown) provides an easy and inexpensive audio upgrade (Image credit: Future)

Roku Plus Series TV review: design

  • Basic design
  • Side-mounted, non-adjustable support feet 
  • Roku voice pro remote with built-in mic

The design of Plus Series TVs is fairly basic, with a thin bezel surrounding the screen’s edges and a thicker bezel at the bottom with a protruding compartment with an IR receiver and multipurpose control button under the Roku logo. Side-mounted feet provide sturdy support, though both their height and horizontal spread can’t be adjusted.

Two of the TV’s HDMI ports are located on an input panel accessible from the side, while the other two are on the panel’s bottom along with the antenna, USB, and Ethernet ports. There’s also a composite-video and RCA-type analog stereo audio input here that lets you connect legacy sources such as a VCR or vintage game console. The bottom HDMI ports were somewhat difficult to access, and could potentially be a challenge when using a stiff cable to connect sources.

The built-in battery of Roku’s compact voice pro remote control can be recharged by connecting it to the TV’s USB port. It has a built-in mic that can either be always on or disabled using a switch located on the remote’s side. The benefit to having the mic always on is that you can do hands-free voice searches by saying “Hey Roku” followed by a request. You can also momentarily activate the mic for searches by pressing the mic button at the remote’s center. Four quick buttons let you instantly access the Apple TV Plus, Disney Plus, Netflix and Max streaming services, and there are two numbered “shortcut” buttons that can be configured for a range of uses.

  • Design score: 3.5/5

Roku Plus Series TV Live TV program guide shown onscreen

The Live TV "Favorites" program grid with streaming and broadcast TV channels listed (Image credit: Future)

Roku Plus Series TV review: smart TV & menus

  • Roku TV interface
  • Works with Alexa and Google Assistant
  • Picture adjustments hard to access

Roku’s well-known and well-regarded smart TV interface is one I’m familiar with having spent many years as a Roku owner before making the leap to an Apple TV 4K. It’s a great interface for browsing apps, mainly because everything is right up front and accessible, and it’s easy to add or delete apps.

The Roku Live TV portal is a good way to supplement any streaming services you subscribe to. It offers an abundance of free channels organized in a time-based grid, and you can add broadcast TV channels tuned by an antenna to expand your free TV menu. With so many channels to choose from, it’s a good idea to edit the grid down to a more manageable size – something that the Favorites feature easily lets you do.

The Roku Photo Streams app has received recent enhancements that let you upload images directly from a phone to for viewing on the TV. You can also now edit streams and set screensavers, and the app now supports up to 1,000 images. When it comes to displaying personal photo libraries, the Roku Plus series is no Apple TV 4K, which provides tight integration with that company’s Photos app. Even so, most viewers will find Photo Streams to be sufficient for their needs.

Picture adjustments are carried out by pressing the remote’s asterisk button, which calls up the onscreen setup menus. You can adjust picture settings separately for regular and HDR sources, and those custom settings can also be applied across all of the TV’s inputs. Getting to basic adjustments like Brightness, Contrast and Color can take a lot of button presses, which is something that I found annoying during my time testing the TV's performance.

  • Smart TV & menus score: 4.5/5

Roku Plus Series TV remote control held in hand

The Roku TV remote has a USB rechargeable battery and quick buttons to access select apps (Image credit: Future)

Roku Plus Series TV review: gaming

  • No cloud gaming apps
  • Low 11.5 ms input lag
  • Auto Game Mode

With a native 60Hz refresh rate, the Roku Plus isn’t designed to be a powerhouse gaming TV. There’s also no gaming portal with subscription cloud-based services like you’ll find on Samsung and LG sets, and there’s no support for Bluetooth game controllers.

What Roku Plus TVs do offer gamers is a Game mode that reduces input lag to 11.5ms – an impressive level for a budget TV and one that will satisfy all but competitive gamers. Game mode is automatically enabled when a console input is detected, saving you the trouble of having to turn it on in the TV’s settings menu.

  • Gaming score: 3/5

Roku Plus Series TV showing image from Spider-Man: Into the Spider-verse onscreen

The Roku TV Plus isn't the brightest TV, but it has a very good combination of features and performance for the money (Image credit: Future)

Roku Plus Series TV review: value

  • Very good picture quality for price
  • Roku interface adds to value
  • Loads of free (but ad-supported) streaming channels

At just $649, the 65-inch Plus Series TV I tested is a great value. It’s not able to hit the high peak brightness levels some of its budget TV competition manages, particularly models with a mini-LED backlight, and that limitation lessens some of its impact when viewing movies with HDR. But overall, image quality here is very good for the price.

Also adding to the value of Plus Series TVs is the company’s built-in streaming interface, which is clean and easy to navigate and offers pretty much any app you’d want along with a Live TV portal to stream a multitude of free ad-supported channels. You’ll have a tough time not finding something to watch on Roku’s TV, and if you do, you can always use its hands-free voice remote to recommend something.

  • Value score: 5/5 

Roku Plus Series TV shown at side angle

(Image credit: Future)

Should I buy the Roku Plus Series TV?

Buy it if...

Don't buy it if…

Also consider...

TCL 6-Series mini-LED
TCL’s 6-Series TVs are a fairly substantial price jump over the Roku Plus Series, but you’re getting a big brightness boost for the money. The 6-Series is also a better option for gaming with next-gen gaming features like 4K 120Hz and VRR.

How I tested the Roku Plus Series TV

Roku Plus Series TV showing Ferris Wheel onscreen

(Image credit: Future)
  • I spent about 15 hours in total measuring and evaluating
  • Measurements were made using Calman color calibration software
  • A full calibration was made before proceeding with subjective tests

When I test TVs, my first step is to spend a few days using it for casual viewing for break-in and to assess the out-of-box picture presets. The next step is to select the most accurate-looking preset (typically labeled Filmmaker or Movie) and measure the white balance (grayscale), gamma, and color point accuracy using Portrait Displays’ Calman color calibration software. The resulting measurements provide Delta-E values (the margin of error between the test pattern source and what’s shown on-screen) for each category, and they allow for an assessment of the TV’s overall accuracy.

Along with those tests, I make measurements of peak light output (recorded in nits) for both standard high-definition and 4K high dynamic range using 10% and 100% white window patterns. Coverage of DCI-P3 and BT.2020 color space is also measured, with the results providing a sense of how faithfully the TV can render the extended color range in ultra high-definition sources.

For the Roku Plus Series TV, I used the CalMan ISF workflow, along with the advanced picture menu settings in the Roku control app, to calibrate the image for best accuracy with SDR and HDR sources. Once done, I watched a range of reference scenes on 4K Blu-ray discs that I’ve gathered after years of TV and projector testing to assess the TV’s performance, as well as new Dolby Vision-encoded material streamed from sources like Netflix and Max.

  • First reviewed: June 6, 2023
Nanoleaf Essentials A19 E27 smart bulb review: affordable smart lighting
9:34 am | September 24, 2021

Author: admin | Category: Computers Gadgets | Tags: , | Comments: Off

Nanoleaf might be better known for its beautiful light panels and lines, but the brand went back to basics in 2020 by offering a smart bulb – a great option for anyone testing the smart home waters for the first time.

The Nanoleaf Essentials A19 (or A60 in some regions) smart bulb, however, isn’t your typical smart bulb. Not only does it step away from the usual smooth dome diffuser, it also supports an incredible 16 million colors, with a white color temperature range of 2,700-6,500 Kelvin. It surpasses some of its competitors by being able to hit 1,100 lumens, making it one of the brightest available today.

Its looks and brightness aren’t the only features that make the Nanoleaf Essentials A19 smart light bulb stand apart from the crowd. This smart bulb is the first of its kind to come with both Thread and Bluetooth connectivity. That means the Essentials light bulb can be used alongside any other Thread-enabled smart device without a hub and, if you aren't using one of those, the bulbs will work via Bluetooth, giving them a wider and more future-proof appeal.

[UPDATE (April 2023): Nanoleaf has a new Essentials bulb now available in most major markets. This new model is Matter enabled, the latest standard in smart home connectivity. While the new bulb isn't very different from the model reviewed here, Matter connectivity means it should become easier to set up a smart home without having to worry about getting caught up within a specific platform or ecosystem. So whether you use Apple devices, Google or even Amazon's Alexa as a smart hub, all Matter-compatible gadgets can be controlled using any iOS or Android handset. At the time of writing this update, Nanoleaf is just one of two companies to have released Matter-compatible smart devices.]

Nanoleaf Essentials smart bulb

(Image credit: TechRadar)

Price and availability

  • Cheaper than Philips Hue
  • Announced November 2020
  • Available to buy from Apple and directly from Nanoleaf

Nanoleaf announced its Essentials range in 2020, going up for pre-order on the company’s online storefront in November and available to purchase immediately from Apple. As of March 2021, the Essentials range – which currently includes the light bulb and a lightstrip – is available to buy directly from Nanoleaf and several other major retailers around the world, Apple included.

The Essential light bulb costs just $19.99 / £17.99 / AU$39.99 each. That's cheaper than the basic Philips Hue White Ambiance bulb that only offers – you guessed it – different hues of white/yellow light for $25.99 / £29.99 / AU$84.95.

Considering that the Nanoleaf bulb supports several colors and light hues, its direct competition is the Philips Hue White and Color Ambiance that costs a lot more at $64.99 / £49.99 / AU$99.95 per light globe, so there's a lot more value for money here.

And if you opt to upgrade to the new Matter-enabled Essentials bulb (see update above), you won't be paying too much more either. The new Essentials bulb cost $19.99 / £19.99 / AU$39.99 and that means future-proofing your smart home setup doesn't have to cost a pretty penny.

Nanoleaf Essentials smart bulb

(Image credit: TechRadar)


  • Unique rhombicosidodecahedron shape
  • Looks great even when switch off
  • Available in E27 and B22 fittings

The Nanoleaf Essentials smart light bulb looks more like a golf ball than a light fixture – very much in keeping with Nanoleaf’s design ethic. Its geometric dome is a rhombicosidodecahedron, a shape made up of a combination of triangular and pentagonal faces with several edges.

This interesting shape also makes it look quite good when not in use, and perfect for those industrial-looking lamps that keep the bulbs exposed.

Other than that, the Essentials smart bulb looks like any other standard bulb, measuring 6cm x 11cm (2.4in x 4.4in). Like its Philips Hue counterparts, it’s available in both Bayonet and Edison screw caps that fit most standard fixtures.

Nanoleaf Essentials smart bulb

(Image credit: TechRadar)

Setup and app

  • Easy setup
  • Works with HomeKit and Google Assistant
  • Not the best app design

The Essentials light bulb is remarkably simple to set up. Just get it out of its box, screw it into a lamp, scan the QR code on the device or from the card in the box and you’re done. The bulb automatically decides what the best connection method is without you having to think about it too much. 

If it recognizes an Apple HomePod mini, it quickly latches on and you’re set up immediately, with no additional steps to go through. However, you don’t need a HomePod mini to use the Essentials bulb. HomeKit will add the bulb to your collection of smart devices if you’re an iPhone user, while the Google Home app takes care of it for Android users, and both work via Bluetooth.

Nanoleaf Essentials smart bulb

Screw the bulb into a holder, scan the code and you're ready to go (Image credit: TechRadar)

If you’ve already set up a Nanoleaf Essentials accessory and then get a HomePod mini, it automatically shifts its communication to the Apple smart speaker (or any other Thread-enabled device) without you needing to reconnect. At present, the HomePod mini and the latest Apple TV 4K are the only Thread device commercially available to buy – other smart speakers have Thread radios installed, like the Google Nest Hub Max or Amazon’s Eero, but they haven’t been ‘switched on’.

When connected via Thread, the Nanoleaf bulb works real quick, responding to commands instantly. On a Bluetooth connection, however, there is some lag which, during our testing, wasn’t too significant – it took no more than a couple of seconds to pick up a command, provided you’re in the same room or within range.

Both Siri and Google Assistant can be used to control the Nanoleaf Essentials via voice commands but, at the time of writing, there was no Alexa support which might be a deal breaker for some.

Nanoleaf Essentials smart bulb

(Image credit: TechRadar)

The Nanoleaf app, while great for the light panels, is not as user-friendly for the Essentials range. At launch, you couldn't even download the several user-defined Scenes available in the Nanoleaf library. That, however, is not possible and it's a lot of fun to watch the lights previewed on the bulb before downloading a particular Scene.

If you're feeling adventurous and creative, you can create your own Scenes, although editing after you’ve saved a Scene can take a few annoying tries. A color palette in the app makes it easy to choose your preferred shade or to set white light at different hues. You can even set a specific RGB value if you know precisely what you want – a feature that isn’t common for smart lights.

The app will also let you adjust brightness, change Scenes and set a circadian rhythm for the lights. The last feature automatically adjusts the light’s color temperature through the day to calm or energize the mind by switching to warm tones for the morning and evening, and cooler white for the afternoon.

Nanoleaf Essentials smart bulb

(Image credit: TechRadar)

However, annoyingly, you can set schedules for any of the Essentials products in the Nanoleaf app. You'll have to use Apple HomeKit or Google Home to do that, as long you have a smart home hub set up on a device. There is a dedicated section for scheduling in the app, so we’re hoping this functionality will be added as part of a future update.

Another annoyance about the app is its complete sync with HomeKit. This pushes every single default Scene in the Nanoleaf app to the Home app every time you open it, even if you’ve previously removed it from HomeKit.

Features and functionality

  • Supports 16 million colors
  • Screen mirroring
  • Quite bright for a smart bulb

The Nanoleaf Essentials smart bulb is rated for a maximum of 1,100 lumens, making it one of the brightest smart lights on the market, with an average brightness of over 800 lumens. We’ve tested a few smart bulbs in the past and compared to them, including some older Philips Hue lights, it’s a lot brighter. The only other bulb that trumps Essentials bulb in brightness is the newest white-only Philips Hue light that’s rated for 1,600 lumens.

However, brightness dips significantly when you change the light from white to color, but this is not unique to Nanoleaf – every color smart bulb we’ve tested behaves the same way.

Nanoleaf Essentials smart bulb

(Image credit: TechRadar)

While you can use Nanoleaf’s own Circadian Lighting feature in the app, the Essentials bulb currently does not support the HomeKit Adaptive Lighting option – this changes color temperature of white light automatically throughout the day to match daylight in your location. However, Nanoleaf’s Circadian Lighting feature gets deactivated every time you use HomeKit to control the accessory and you will need to switch it on again in the Nanoleaf app.

The Essentials bulb also has the best dimming ability of any smart bulb we’ve tested. While most others dim down only to a certain point, the Nanoleaf goes all the way down to zero.

At launch, Nanoleaf said the bulb would have the ability to mirror colors of Mac and Windows displays, but the feature was rolled out only months after the device has been on the market. It's here, however, and you will need to download the Nanoleaf desktop app to make it work, and keep it running as long as you want the bulb to mirror your monitor. So the only way to make the bulb mirror your TV is to cast a streaming service onto your telly. There are different mirroring 'moods' to choose from as well, which is rather nice.

Nanoleaf Essentials smart bulb

(Image credit: TechRadar)


It’s easy to recommend a smart lighting system that won’t burn a hole in your pocket, or eat through your energy bill, especially when they look as good as the Nanoleaf Essentials smart bulb and work as well. Admittedly Nanoleaf has some work to do on its app to make it a little more intuitive, but you can ignore the app for the most part and use Apple's HomeKit or Google Home instead.

Moreover, with Thread support built in, this is a future-proof smart bulb that can easily be used with any other Thread-enabled device without the need for a hub, thus streamlining your smart home setup. Bluetooth connectivity might not be as quick as Thread, but that’s not the fault of the bulb but of the wireless protocol itself.

It’s also feature-packed, with circadian rhythm available on the app, and plenty of custom Scenes that you can set up yourself if you don’t like any of the default ones. There's even screen mirroring on board. 

While it needs Thread connectivity to unlock its full potential, it's still worth it on a Bluetooth connection as well.

Nanoleaf Essentials smart bulb

(Image credit: TechRadar)

Should I buy the Nanoleaf Essentials A19 smart bulb?

If you’re after an affordable HomeKit-enabled smart lighting system, then yes. And even more resounding yes if you already own an Apple HomePod mini or Apple TV 4K (the 2021 edition specifically), or plan to get either one. Its white light is brighter than most other smart bulbs on the market and its colors are beautiful and vivid, like the Nanoleaf Shapes light panels. It already has some great features, with more to come, making them well worth it.

However, there’s no Alexa support available at the time of writing, although Nanoleaf has promised to roll that out soon. So if you use an Alexa speaker to control your smart home, you may need to look elsewhere.

[First reviewed March 2021]