Many brands including TCL, Samsung and LG have started launching Mini LED TVs in India. TCL announced its C825 Mini-LED TV earlier this year and it is available in India in 55 and 65-inch screen formats. We have 65-inch variants for reviewing and short story short, this TV has great picture performance with very good sound output. But in the case of some UI swallows it falls short. The TV is feature-rich with two HDMI 2.1 ports (four HDMI ports overall) and comes with a built-in Onkyo 2.1 system. Let’s dive deeper into the performance of this TV.
TCL C828: Specification at a glance
Panel size: 65-inch (also available in 55-inch)
Panel type: VA LED
Panel resolution: 3840 x 2160 – 4K
Panel refresh rate: 120Hz
HDR 10 support: Yes
Dolby Vision Support: Yes
HDR10 + support: Yes
Weight (including stand): About 32 kg
HDMI port: 4
USB port: 2
Speaker: 60W (15Wx2 + 30W subwoofer)
Built-in storage: 32GB
Price: Rs. 1,49,990
TCL C825: Display and image quality
Let’s start with the performance of the mini LED TV panel. This is the first mini LED TV we have tested. We have the 65-inch variant and the TV has a 4K resolution with support for all popular HDR formats, including Dolby Vision, HDR 10, HDR 10+ and HLG. We also first tested the TV that came with the support of Dolby Vision IQ.
Above: The maximum brightness of TCL C825 exceeds 1000 nits.
Below: Grayscale tracking shows TV has a great bias
Closing everything with our Calman analysis, this TV is the brightest we tested, surpassing the 1000 nits mark in 5 to 10 percent of windows and gives us a durable brightness of 500 nits which is extremely impressive. However, when it comes to color, the TV has a cool bias, even in movie presets a warm color temperature is chosen. However, the real-world performance of TVs tells a different story.
Above: ColorChecker Analysis, Movie preset, rec 709 color space
Below: ColorChecker Analysis, Movie preset, rec 2020 color space
TCL C825: 4K and HDR performance
“Holy Smokes, this TV can be brilliant!” The first thing that comes to mind when you start using HDR content. Bright highlights can be really bright while maintaining all the details in dark areas. We’ve seen some of our standard content on Netflix in Dolby Vision, Hour Planet, Modified Carbon, and more. We’ve seen The Dark Knight and Ready Player on Dolby Vision using the Apple TV app. Along with Dolby Vision Bright and Dolby Vision Dark this was the first time we had a Dolby Vision IQ setting. Dolby Vision IQ basically controls the backlighting of the TV to give you a more comfortable viewing experience based on the lighting in the room. While this was good and effective for a pitch-dark room, I recommend keeping some biased lighting in the room and keeping the settings bright in Dolby Vision because bright highlights can really get a bump on this TV. The details of the dark sequences are also very well maintained.
Even for the HDR 10 content in the prime video, in a show like Jack Ryan where there is a somewhat dark environment that we use to test the performance of the TV, the details were well defined and visible. Needless to say, this TV can offer the best of the best when it comes to using HDR content. Although the colors are not as accurate as we saw in the X90J (review), they do the job very well.
TCL C825: FHD and SDR performance
The SDR content on this TV also looks fantastic. From our regular shows like Friends, Young Sheldon to movies like Mission Impossible and Spider-Man Homecoming, everything looks lively with a little bit of cool bias. On a show like Young Sheldon, you have a very good color, but the skin tones are still good on TVs like the Sony X90J for perspective. Spider-Man’s suit is clearly visible with red and blue black web design. Needless to say, even for watching TV every day, the TV does an excellent job.
Image presets like Standard, Dynamic, Movie, etc. change settings based on the content used, and if you don’t want to play with photo presets, you can just toggle to intelligent image settings and the TV will do it. Change the settings to match the content. It worked well 8 out of 10 times, so safe to say, you can keep this toggle on.
TCL C825: Gaming Performance
Hallelujah! The TCL C825 supports 120Hz (natively) 4K with RGB HDR. It has four HDMI ports, two of which support HDMI 2.1, including eARC. The TV supports VRRO, but we don’t have the Xbox Series X (review) to test it. However we have a PS5 (review) and have played many games on the console on this TV. If you are looking for bright, punchy colors and a good gaming experience, then TCL C825 can definitely be a consideration. In a game like Spiderman Miles Morales (review), when swaying towards the sun, you will notice that the red web lines of Spider-Man’s black costume may lose detail on some TVs but here, they are very clearly visible. Even the details and colors of his suit for the bright spark of Spidey’s venomous energy, all clearly visible.
In a game like Dart 5 (review), pouring on the race track and highlighting the sun is also an experience worth having. It really feels like driving a desert track with the bright sun shining on you.
Even the Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart (review) deserves an experience with the beautiful atmosphere like cartoons and the bright face of a gun. Needless to say, those of you looking for a gaming TV can definitely consider the TCL C825.
TCL C825: Audio performance
The TCL C825 comes with 60W sound output for the 65-inch variant – two 15W drivers and a 30W subwoofer. The subwoofer is behind the TV while the 15W drivers are hiding behind this gray fabric component with front framing. The sound from the TV can be really loud and detailed and unless you are fine for a good base during high octave blasts in the movie, you don’t need a soundbar with this TV.
It has a very good channel separation during the race sequence at the 12 minute mark on Ready Player One. From the roar of King Kong to the car grants and crashes, the base of this sequence is all good and clearly audible. The same goes for shows with dialogues, whether it’s documentaries or even movies with mixed audio.
One good thing about TV is its intelligent audio settings. Turn it on and it changes the settings based on the content and it works quite well. Although you can go to the TV settings and change the preset manually which works for you. For me, it was mostly a movie or a standard. The TV also supports Dolby Atmos, but don’t expect the sound to come from above or behind you when using the TV speakers.
TCL C825: UI
This is where TV suffers and shows inconsistencies. It runs on Android TV 11 and comes with a stock UI with simple bells and whistles like remote mic, Chromecast built-in, Google Play Store gives you access to streaming services etc. This is the same Android TV experience that we did. Seen on many TVs in the past. The TV does not run on the Google TV UI, but an update is expected in the new UI.
While the TV UI works well, for the most part, there was a time when Netflix froze, Google refused to help and the UI lagged behind. I was forced to re-launch this TV on multiple occasions until I finally released the content from my Fire TV Cube. I hope TCL fixes the bugs in the UI with an update as it is the only Achilles heel on an otherwise good TV.
TCL C825: Remote control
The remote control that comes with the TCL C825 is a simple candy bar remote control offer for form. It has dedicated OTT hotkeys to services like Netflix, Prime Video and Zee5 and comes with traditional channel settings, navigation, source selection, Google Assistant and more. While the remote is ergonomic and overall good, I hope the mute button stays close to the volume rocker and has dedicated playback controls to add more convenience.
TCL C825: Build and design
The first thing that comes to mind when you look at the TCL C825 is the well-built and premium thing. It’s not the thinnest TV out there considering the features packed under the hood. There is a prominent logo on the back where the subwoofer is placed Borders have this silver finish that gives the TV a premium feel.
The gray fabric finish hides the front-firing speaker drivers and it adds an elegant look to the TV. You also have an LED indicator here and it is as fine as the one found in the Sony X90J which is very good.
The stand in place of the TV is strong and it is a single central stand. So if you have a small table where you put this TV, you’ll be able to accommodate a 65-inch like me.
All connectivity options face outwards and are easily accessible We have two USB ports, four HDMI ports, Ethernet, AV In, 3.5mm aux, optical and antenna ports.
The last row
A fantastic TV for TCL C825 content use. It can provide a very bright HDR experience while maintaining good details in dark areas. It also has very good color reproduction for SDR content. Although the colors are not as accurate as in the Sony X90J, they work well for real-world content use. Most people will be very satisfied with the color reproduced by TCL C825. The TV has very good sound output. It comes with two HDMI 2.1 ports at 120Hz, 4K support for VRR and ALLM, making it a great TV for those interested in playing games on PS5 or Xbox Series X. Unfortunately, only two of the four HDMI ports support HDMI 2.1, one of which is eARC enabled. The only place the TV crashes is with UI incompatibilities and bugs. But if you invest in a device like the Fire TV Cube or the Apple TV, you can expect an immersive experience while using the content on this TV. At the time of writing, the 65-inch TCL C825 is priced at Rs 1,49,990, which is about Rs 40,000 less than the Sony 65-inch X90J. This is about Rs 1 lakh less than the LG 65-inch C1 OLED TV. And considering the price of the TCL C825, it’s definitely a value proposition in terms of picture and sound performance.