If you are someone who has the privilege of free time, chances are you’ve been indulging in some TV series or movie marathon every once in a while. Whether it’s binge-watching or consuming content mindfully, the device that facilitates the experience is key. And, the latest Chromecast with Google TV counts on its user experience capabilities - and its very first physical remote - to improve the experience for you. 

Hardware details

In the box, one gets the Chromecast, a remote, two batteries, a USB-C cable, and an adapter for powering the Google Chromecast. Once connected to Wi-Fi, it took me about two-three minutes to set up a Google account and download the basic Netflix, Amazon, and other OTT apps on the device, besides setting up the Google TV interface itself.

The buttons of the remote have a bit of a “hard rubber” feel. However, the user experience with the interface was smooth. There are shortcut buttons for Netflix and Amazon along with a Home button, a Google Voice Assistant button, and volume keys on the right-hand side of the remote, all of which are fairly responsive. 

Binge watching

Screen Casting is where Google Chromecast excels and might be the very reason it’s a trendsetter. I could easily cast my favourite cop thriller, NCIS, at 1080p resolution, onto my 24-inch monitor - my primary viewing device during the course of the review. The picture quality on a 1080P display is top notch - not surprising exactly as the device supports 4k resolution.  Overall, all the content I watched looked crisp, and streamed without a stutter even with 5-6 hours of playtime.  

While casting media onto my TV, I could easily access the shared controls for playback on my smartphone through the YouTube and Amazon Prime Video apps. 

For someone like me, working with laptop as a primary device, having a larger screen did help when proofreading or editing videos. While wirelessly casting a tab from Google Chrome, the window scaled up to the full resolution and could render the document being typed out almost in real-time with barely a millisecond delay between the laptop and the screencast.  

Pressing the Google voice assistant button promptly brought up voice search and with a quick suggestion, the mic embedded in the remote was able to accurately pick up on the YouTube search within 3 seconds. 

Verdict

I can probably count the options of portable streaming devices in the Indian market on one hand, including Realme 4K Smart Google TV Stick and the Mi Box 4K. And among those, the new Chromecast is an attractive option - with more-than-satisfactory 4K streaming, Dolby Atmos support, and the easy-to-use Google TV interface - although it does come with a slightly higher price tag attached, compared to its competitors. 

Price - ₹6,999

Pros - Smooth streaming, intuitive Google TV interface

Cons - Need to dig deep to access certain connectivity options

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