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Saturday, December 04, 2021

TCL C825 55-inch review: Is mini-LED enough?

Here's what we think about the TCL C825 4K 120Hz Smart TV and whether you should get it.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5
Rs. 1,05,999
Written by Chetan Nayak | Mumbai |
Updated: November 22, 2021 3:10:29 pm
TCL C825, TCL C825 55 inch, TCL C825 review,Here's our full review of the TCL C825 5-inch Smart TV. (Image Source: The Indian Express/ Chetan Nayak)

TCL’s latest flagship TV comes in 65-inch and 55-inch variants and we used the latter for about two weeks to determine if the new mini-LED is worth all the hype and the money (which is actually significantly lesser than competitors). Here’s what we think.

TCL C825 review: What’s good?

Starting with the design, the TCL C825 is a brilliantly built TV that looks good even when it’s turned off. The thin chrome bezels on the sides and a textured soundbar design underneath the TV give it a personality of its own in a living room, and it doesn’t feel like a big black slate.

It even feels premium to the touch from all sides, with no creaky edges. I also liked the center-aligned stand that I personally am a fan of due to a couple of reasons, including the fact that it looks neater and lets you place the TV on tables smaller than itself. The rectangular stand also looks unique, unlike the boring old side legs.

TCL C825, TCL C825 55 inch, TCL C825 review, The thin chrome bezels on the sides and a textured soundbar design underneath the TV give it a personality of its own. (Image Source: The Indian Express/ Chetan Nayak)

The display quality is pretty good here and colour reproduction is at a level that you would expect from flagship TVs like this one. With 4K 120Hz support, you can watch pretty much any content on here at an enjoyable resolution. HDR10 support makes supported content a joy to watch.

The mini-LED panel does offer good contrast levels and while it isn’t exactly OLED-good, it does get close. You can see deeper blacks and there are settings to further customise the display output to your liking.

While the TV does support MEMC, I found video output looking unnatural at times due to the extra frames, so I wouldn’t rely on it completely.

TCL C825, TCL C825 55 inch, TCL C825 review, The mini-LED panel does offer good contrast levels and while it isn’t exactly OLED-good, it does get close. (Image Source: The Indian Express/ Chetan Nayak)

There are a lot of settings for picture quality and sound including dynamic toggles that will set themselves according to on-screen content. I have never been a fan of the settings and personally, like a more consistent experience while watching a movie or playing FIFA. That said, I did find manually toggling between sports, movie and low-power modes quite handy.

Coming to the remote, we have dedicated buttons for Netflix, Zee5, Prime Video and a TCL channel button. There is also a dedicated Google Assistant button that’s handy. However, a full set of numeric buttons and more prevent me from calling this a minimalist remote because it is far from it. I personally find a bigger remote with more dedicated buttons more practical, but I also know people who don’t share the same thought, so this may not be for everyone.

TCL C825, TCL C825 55 inch, TCL C825 review, The TCL C825 comes with a big remote control. (Image Source: The Indian Express/ Chetan Nayak)

The sound on the TCL C825 is great and while you do have a loud enough output for the entire house, you will still need a home-theater setup for that complete home-cinema experience, which is likely something you want with a large TV like this. That said, instrument separation is pretty decent and the bass also doesn’t crack too much at high volumes. The Onkyo soundbar is a capable soundbar in its own right.

TCL C825 review: What’s not good?

The software on the TV was one of our main issues with the TCL C825. We faced a number of issues including occasional lags with apps like Netflix, as well as what felt like a bug that prevented the TV from easily connecting to my WiFi network on startup. However, a solid update should fix these issues easily.

TCL C825, TCL C825 55 inch, TCL C825 review, The software on the TV was one of our main issues with the TCL C825. (Image Source: The Indian Express/ Chetan Nayak)

The TV also offers only two USB ports in what is otherwise a well designed i/O panel on the side, which may not be enough for some. The built-in webcam is a great implementation, but its low resolution and bad low light performance may leave you sticking to your laptop or phone for video calls.

Verdict: Should you buy the TCL C825?

The TCL C825 is a good flagship TV that doesn’t cost as much as other flagship TVs that offer the same feature-set. While it has its problems, they’re largely software-based and as we said before, should be fixed with a quick update. At Rs 1,05,999, the TCL C825 offers a good mix of features, display quality and sound and is a worthy consideration.

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