This was an exciting delivery. Our first Mini LED TV in the EFTM Man-cave. We’ve had Mini LED announcements from pretty much every TV company, we’ve seen Mini LED TVs on display at launch events, but having one in the office is a real test. This week, the TCL C825 Mini LED at 55 inches.
When pricing was announced earlier this month the C825 was listed as $2,499 for the 55 inch version we’re using here in the office. Now for an important comparison, there are plenty of OLED models at or just below that price if you look at Harvey Norman for example. And that is the biggest challenge for this new wave of Mini LED models.
I say that because I feel like without overtly saying it, all the TV brands are looking at Mini LED as being their chance to offer an “OLED like” experience with rich blacks and great contrast, but offer a higher level of brightness than OLED is normally capable of.
Out of the box, I have to say, this TV did not disappoint.
Rich colours, excellent black levels and sound to blow your mind.
The unit is quite thick, which is going to work against it in many OLED comparisons of course, but I’ve really moved on from the TV thickness debate, outside of the well designed wall mounting systems of some higher end models which really do make the TVs sit flush.
For the TCL C825, you’ve got an elegant base an stand in the centre of the TV, and a very nice brushed metal look frame so that from all angles it’s a good looking TV for sure.
Powered on the picture didn’t pop out at me, but it was neutral, and that’s what I wanted. I kept it on the default colour settings, rather than trying to find it’s upper or lower limits – because most owners would be doing that very same thing.
Looking for content like movies which would letterbox content, I got a real sense of strong edges between the brightest content and the black areas of screen. Likewise on menus or credits, the kind of screens I look at to show any blooming or glowing around white hard lines into black.
I’m not going to say it was as impressive as an OLED, but heck, it’s a great picture that leaps above what a standard LED offers in every way.
If TCL market this TV for it’s Mini LED picture quality alone, they’ll be missing a trick. The real headline here is sound.
The Onkyo Audio system features front facing speakers for a great quality and volume, but also on the back is a built-in subwoofer.
Checking out my go to for sound – Drive to Survive on Netflix, and this was almost a virtual surround experience. Sounds felt properly centered on the TV, while the Subwoofer really added depth.
The TCL C825 offered quite possibly the best quality on-TV sound I’ve heard – really outstanding stuff.
Add to that, it’s running Android TV and “should” get Google TV as an upgrade (in the second half of 2021 – as a software update), the processor is snappy and apps load really well and fast.
You’ve got Variable Refresh Rate, Dolby Vision and HDR10+ there’s not much you’re missing here.
My first decent look at Mini LED leaves me impressed, and I can see why this is the direction TVs will take going foward. OLED is difficult and expensive to manufacture – so if Mini LED can bring a better picture to more TVs then we’re on a winner.
For now, the TCL C825 is a great option for your brand new TV. Available soon, it comes in 55, 65, 75 and 85 inch sizes.