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Hands-on review: TCL QLED Android 55C815 TV

By Owen McCarthy
Thu 20 Aug 2020
FYI, this story is more than a year old

Since installing this 55-inch behemoth in our modest living room, I’ve come to appreciate just how hard Dr Ashley Bloomfield and Jacinda have been working.

You can see any flaws in their complexions, and I want to know what regime they’re using, because both have flawless faces. Looking into their eyes, however, you can see how hard they have been working. I can also add that Lysette on Newshub has gorgeous green eyes. The only reason I’m not commenting on her face is that she’s appropriately masked. I can even see the reflection of the studio lights in Tom’s baby blue eyes.

Yes, folks, be prepared to notice things you haven’t previously noticed.

Unpacking the TCL TV 

What an interesting exercise it has been, starting with the instruction book’s delightful vagueness on how to install the legs, which fit at either end of the base.  A zoom-in shot would have saved minutes of family conferences and saved me from unscrewing every screw along the bottom. Once we decoded the tiny diagram, I sheepishly replaced the screws, fitted the feet, and we were away.  

This TV is far too wide to fit on our TV cabinet so I placed it on the floor. Once we were up and running, all I had to do was grab my laptop, go to the website provided and enter the code. Our temporary Android telly was set up, and the most important subscription details were transferred across.  

Impressions

The label which I’m too scared to remove from this review telly tells me that I have a QLED TV with 4K HDR, which for me translates into crystal clear pictures and very vibrant colours. You can even see the wrinkles in the US flags at Joe and Kamala’s election rally. I’m impressed with Kamala’s use of alliteration in her speech, and the Republican’s rhyming riposte.  We are lucky that our politicians aren’t that cruel. Once you’ve all finished your ROFLs, let’s move on. 

You will need to be sure that 55 inches is what you really need. I personally think it’s just right, but you-know-who says that it is way too large for our entertainment space, even though she really, really likes the picture. I’m sure she’s right, and maybe a 65 or 75 incher would be better. 

The speaker system really comes into its own when the music starts. I really enjoyed the bass that had me pining for the sound-bar that I sadly packed up, and which is now blocking our front door as we wait for it to be collected. The TCL sound is round, smooth and mellifluous.

I’ve been revising my technical knowledge, as it’s been over a year since I even thought of terms like QLED, 4KHDR and Quantum Dot. However, I have discovered that the voice control technology has gone to a new level and is available just by opening one’s mouth and saying the two magic words. I can affirm that it’s driving my beloved crazy. Hitherto, she has monopolised the remote, and it explains why, despite the superior sound, picture and features, she’s sweetly asking me to reattach our wee 30-something TV from another decade. 

Android TV

TCL’s website says, “Android TV brings a world of content to your biggest screen. With the Google Assistant built in, you can quickly access entertainment, get answers, and control devices around your home. Find the latest blockbuster, check the score of the big game, or dim the lights.”  TCL’s website also isn’t joking when it says that all you do is use the remote or just say “OK Google.”  

QLED: Quantum Dot Technology

I had to do some research to refresh my memory, so off I went to Digital Trends, which remarkably picked up that the Q as in QLED and the O as in OLED look remarkably similar. However, the difference is in the Quantum Dots. These are tiny nanoparticles that enhance brightness and colour. When the nice people come next week and take the TCL back, our normal television is going to seem pale in comparison.  

Apparently, the OLED and QLED folks have had some argy bargy over which is better, but in the end it comes down to personal preference. The LED part is the same for both technologies, both using backlit LEDs. 

I haven’t mentioned the Google Play options, but I predict that gamers will be frothing at the thought of playing your favourite games on 55 inches of splendour. The optional remote, too, is a must-have as far as I’m concerned. 

I haven’t spent much time commenting on the sound, but the output had a rich bassy quality which I really enjoyed. I’d have loved to have had more time to play with the gaming side, but I did enjoy browsing the extra channels, which promise hours of enjoyment for those media-starved youngsters.  I saw there was even a YouTube for Kids option. By the end of my time, I was changing channels using just the voice command, without even reaching for the remote. 

The RRP for the 55” model is NZ $2599 or AU $1499, which compares very favourably with other brands of the same ilk. I’m of the mind that when we eventually choose to upgrade to something as cool as this, we will opt for the wall-mount, the fittings which are included with the television.

Suffering is part of the life of a reviewer, who falls in love with a new bit of technology, only to have to pack it up and send it back when the review is done. We do it because we care. Spare a thought for me as I wait for the tears to stop flowing before I swap back to our little 40”-er. 

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