Tom's Guide Verdict
The addition of smart TV features and a real remote, plus improvements in picture quality, make the SunBriteTV Veranda 3 the perfect TV to grace any shaded outdoor area.
Strong picture, sound quality for an outdoor TV
Good for gaming
Expensive compared to indoor 4K TVs
Not designed for stand use
Why you can trust Tom's Guide
Screen sizes: 55 (tested), 65, 75 inches
HDR: Dolby Vision
Refresh rate: 120 Hz
Ports: 4 HDMI, 1 USB
Smart TV software: Android TV
Size: 56.5 x 37 x 9 inches
Weight: 47 pounds
Smart functionality isn’t something that’s absent from most of the best TVs, but SunBriteTV’s Veranda line of outdoor sets hasn’t had it — until now.
The new SunBriteTV Veranda 3 didn’t need to do much to build on the line’s concrete foundation, as the previous model already had impressive-for-the-category 4K HDR picture and sound quality to accompany its sturdy construction aimed at outdoor use (in the shade). But in addition to adding smart features by way of Android TV, it also gained an even better display and good, caveat-free remote control as part of the bargain.
These improvements do not come cheap. Veranda 3 models start just shy of $2,900, which is hundreds of dollars more than the other Verandas. Is it worth it? If you want one of the best outdoor TVs you can buy… then, yeah, it is. It’s worth celebrating — and maybe even laying down the cash — when a good thing gets even better. Provided you have a place to put it, of course.
Find out what makes it worthy of your attention in our full SunBriteTV Veranda 3 Outdoor TV review.
SunBriteTV Veranda 3 Outdoor TV review: Pricing and availability
The SunBriteTV Veranda 3 is available in three sizes, which have similar designs and internals. For this reason, we expect performance to be comparable among all three versions.
They are all pricey, as you’d expect, though the Veranda 3 line remains the least expensive of the four models SunBriteTV currently offers.
- 55-inch SB-V3-55-4KHDR-BL: $2,898.95
- 65-inch SB-V3-65-4KHDR-BL: $3,648.95
- 75-inch SB-V3-65-4KHDR-BL: $4,998.95
Both the 55- and 65-inch models are available now, but the 75-inch TV will not be available until June.
At least as of this writing, last-generation Veranda sets are also still for sale on SunBriteTV’s website. This is the only way to get a smaller (and less expensive) 43-inch set; but if you have the additional money, the newer series is a worthwhile upgrade.
SunBriteTV Veranda 3 Outdoor TV review: Design
Like its predecessor, the SunBrite SB-V-55, the SunBriteTV Veranda 3 Outdoor TV is designed to be used outdoors, but in full-shade environments such as patios, porches, and sunrooms. Because of this, it looks a bit more like a conventional TV than the SunBriteTV Pro 2 series, which was ready for watching in the full sun and primed for any weather conditions thanks to the sheet of tempered glass over the screen. On the Veranda 3, the screen is exposed, but that doesn’t mean the rest of the TV isn’t seriously sealed up.
Rated IP55, for extensive (if not total) protection against dust, solid objects, and water, and safe to use at temperatures ranging from -24 to 104 degrees Fahrenheit, it has a cabinet of thick, black aluminum, with the front and back panels bolted together and its ports safely sealed behind a rear door that opens by way of three thumb screws.
Weighing 47 pounds for the 55-inch model, it’s about as heavy as it is heavy-duty, and one person of relatively average strength and height (ahem) should be able to lift and move it around without too much trouble.
Also of note: The bezels are mammoth, nearly an inch along the sides and top and just short of 1.5 inches on the bottom (where the power light and the IR sensor are located), but only a small inconvenience for the peace of mind you get with everything else.
In terms of setting up the Veranda 3, you’re limited to two options: wall or ceiling. SunBriteTV sells a number of different mounts and articulating arms for connecting to the 400 x 400mm VESA holes on the back, ranging in price from $158.95 to $558.95, depending on size. Just don’t count on using this TV the way you might an indoor model; unlike with its earlier sets, SunBriteTV does not sell stands for this model, and the TV’s instructions coolly state that use of one is not recommended.
Both the selection and arrangement of ports on the Veranda 3 have greatly advanced from the previous model we looked at. Whereas the HDMI ports on that Veranda were on the bottom, where they were slightly more challenging to access, now most of them angle out the side; none are on the bottom at all and only the LAN and soundbar connectors are situated elsewhere (the top). You don’t need to link the TV to your router via a networking cable, as the Veranda 3 also has built-in Wi-Fi, but it’s nice to have the option so it works with any internet setup.
Of those side-facing HDMI ports, two are rated for 4K at 60 Hz and two (including HDMI 3, the eARC port) for 4K at 120 Hz. The Reset button, service USB port, audio line out, A/V jack, and coaxial cable connector flank the HDMI ports on the right; a second USB port (with charging) and the digital audio (S/PDIF) port are on the right. You’ll also find the rear IR receiver and a serial port in the same general location.
SunBriteTV Veranda 3 Outdoor TV review: Test results
Outdoor TVs have typically been premised on the notion that if you want to watch the set outside, you’ll have to sacrifice some picture quality. That remains true with the SunBriteTV Veranda 3, but it does boast a couple of key upticks in that department.
As measured with our X-Rite i1 Pro spectrophotometer and Portrait Displays’ Calman software, the Veranda 3 proved markedly brighter than the previous Veranda: 528 nits versus 346 when tested in its brightest mode. This is on par with (and in some cases better than) what you see from some indoor LED sets, though SunBriteTV’s Signature and Pro 2 Series sets, designed for use in partial and full sun, get brighter still. (We measured 695 nits maximum brightness on the Signature 2.)
Thanks to its use of quantum dot technology, the Veranda 3 delivers better color reproduction, too, displaying as much as 99.82% of the sRGB gamut, compared with the Evervue Cosmos’ 99.86% and the previous Veranda’s 98.61% — again, in line with expectations of good TVs, not merely good outdoor TVs.
For color accuracy we give each set a Delta-E rating by measuring the difference between the color at the source and the color displayed. Lower values are better, and the Veranda 3’s took a slight dip here, with its best score of 4.28 not quite comparing with the 2.67 of its predecessor. (The Evervue, with a Delta-E of 13.1, is not a competitor with either here.)
SunBriteTV Veranda 3 Outdoor TV review: Video, audio and gaming performance
Our test results were mirrored in the variety of content we watched on the Veranda 3. Director Matt Reeves played intricate games with the relationship between light and shadow in The Batman, and although the Veranda 3 handled individual scenes of either well enough, combining more elements from both resulted in a disjointed, uncertain look that didn’t effectively underscore the movie’s tense drama. The new Dune was likewise something of a mixed bag, with the sun-bleached tans of Arrakis coming through with all their earth-tone oppressiveness intact but dimmer indoor scenes looking distant and mushy.
More conventional movies and series, on the other hand, satisfied more readily. Even as three Peter Parkers competed with and collaborated with each other in Spider-Man: No Way Home, its alternating comic-book action sequences and more intimate, character-driven scenes were allowed to shine on their own, the consistent shot compositions and lighting to the movie’s benefit.
Disney’s Encanto radiated the proper whimsical warmth of its Techncolorful Colombian setting; watching that outside, on our list, would rank number one (we don’t talk about two, no). The new Disney Plus fantasy competition series The Quest is bonkers, but its flat design and shooting also made it look as mainstream-pleasing as that culture-clash property is likely to get.
We viewed all of the above in native 4K, by the way. The Veranda 3 was able to upscale a 1080p version of Mission: Impossible — Fallout acceptably enough, but there was a detectable softness in the detail and a slight gauziness visible throughout. You’re better off sticking with higher-resolution content if you have it, then, but sit far enough away and you’re unlikely to notice it too much.
Watching the Veranda 3 is best done from straight on, however. Slight color shifting is visible in the best of situations, but moving just a little off-center here results in significant color distortion. A full-screen violet test pattern looked practically pink before it even got to the corner, and other colors similarly lost their fidelity; skin tones in every movie we sampled grayed out, too. To the greatest extent possible, you may also want to stay on the same level as the screen, as the same effects manifested themselves when looking even slightly up at it.
Audio on the Veranda 3 tracks with the picture quality: You probably wouldn’t love it inside, but outdoors it more than suffices. Don’t expect piercing, clarion trebles or ribcage-rattling bass response from the downward-firing speakers; the selection of tracks we listened to, covering everything from coloratura soprano singing to the thumping techno of The Knife’s “Silent Shout” never fully delighted or offended. And you certainly don’t have to worry about blowing out the walls of your patio. Even at its highest volume level, the Veranda 3 is, at best, pleasantly loud rather than painful, but the louder the set gets, the less distinct its sound. (Google Assistant sounded noticeably scratchy with maxed-out volume, for example.) Chances are, you’re more likely to be watching movies, and there were no issues with the balance in any of our test titles.
One area in which the Veranda 3 shockingly excels is gaming. Using our Leo Bodnar lag tester, we measured the lag time of the previous Veranda at a far-too-slow 73 milliseconds, but this set measured 19.1ms, comfortably below our 20ms threshold for a decent gaming experience. Plugging in our Xbox Series X confirmed that the Veranda 3 supports all that console’s technologies, including 4K at 120 Hz and HDR10 and Dolby Vision HDR. A session with Assassin’s Creed Valhalla at 60 Hz was a trifle choppy in moments of more frenetic action, but was thoroughly playable and enjoyable nonetheless. (We don’t endorse setting up this TV outside just to play video games on it, but hey, for the first time the option is there.)
SunBriteTV Veranda 3 Outdoor TV review: Smart TV features
For its inaugural foray into the world of smart TVs, SunBriteTV equipped the Veranda 3 with the trusty choice of Android TV. Though this is the older version of the operating system now known as Google TV, and that newer incarnation is both smoother to use and more feature-rich, Android TV still satisfies with its abundant functionality, ease of use, and some of the clearest and cleanest menus you’ll find in the TV market.
Navigation is slick when using the new remote (see below), and the menus moved and changed zippily; or you can perform searches and other tasks by holding the Google Assistant button on the remote (after pairing it via Bluetooth) and speaking into it. Signing in to your Google Account allows you to sync recommendations across all your Google apps and devices, but you don’t have to do this if you don’t want to.
A number of apps come preinstalled, including Netflix, YouTube, and Prime Video, but not HBO Max or, especially oddly, Disney Plus (which has a dedicated remote button). You can install more from the wide selection on the Google Play Store, if you want, or you can stream video from your phone or tablet.
SunBriteTV Veranda 3 Outdoor TV review: Remote
SunBriteTV has given its remote a complete — and excellent — rethink. No longer is there a thick plastic top sheet that makes the buttons equally impervious to the elements, physical distinction, and pressing.
This one is far more traditional and successful: all black, and with a drastic reduction in the number of buttons, which are rendered in the island style, making this just as user-friendly as almost any indoor TV’s remote. One suspects this revamp was to better integrate Android TV voice functionality (there’s a button for that smack in the top center), but whatever the reason, it’s welcome.
As a result, with the exception of its battery compartment (which requires a miniature screwdriver to open and close), there’s not much to say about this new remote that hasn’t been said about most others out there, though it’s worth pointing out the dedicated app buttons at the bottom are for Netflix, Prime Video, YouTube, Disney Plus, Tubi, and Peacock.
SunBriteTV Veranda 3 Outdoor TV review: Verdict
The SunBriteTV Veranda 3 is aimed at a relatively narrow slice of the market: people who want an outdoor TV (and, by extension, live somewhere they can install the required mounting equipment), but don’t want it to be too outdoor. If that’s you, there’s not a lot bad to say about it. The addition of Android TV was all that was needed to make a fine set a good one for today, but amping up the picture quality and dumping the ancient, soul-stealing remote are almost as noteworthy.
If your ideal TV location is more sun-drenched, either of SunBriteTV’s higher-end lines will suit you better, or if you live in genuinely rough climes, the Evervue Cosmos is more beastlike (with the disappointing picture and sound to match). For all other scenarios, the Veranda 3 is the winner. Sure, its pricing puts it in the bottom chunk of the luxury tier given its size. But why complain about this outdoor TV that gives indoor TVs a real run for their (and your) money?
Matthew Murray is the head of testing for Future, coordinating and conducting product testing at Tom’s Guide and other Future publications. He has previously covered technology and performance arts for multiple publications, edited numerous books, and worked as a theatre critic for more than 16 years.