TCL 55C725 review: Affordable, well-equipped and well-calibrated 55-inch Ultra HD TV

The TCL 55C725 has a 55-inch (about 140cm) VA panel at 50Hz with Ultra HD resolution of 3840 x 2160 pixels. This affordable model uses the Direct Led backlight system: the brightness is the same across the entire panel. It stands out for its integration of HDMI 2.1 connectivity with support for ALLM (Low Latency Auto Mode), eARC (Enhanced Audio Feedback) and above all VRR (Variable Refresh Rate) which is very useful for gamers but limited to 60Hz which is as a result, using the 50/60Hz panel as well as the hands-free microphone to control the Google Assistant without having to touch the remote is a rare feature at this price.

TCL 55C725 sells for around 600 euros. It is also available in 43 (108 cm), 50 (126 cm), 65″ (165 cm) and 75″ (190 cm) versions under the reference numbers 43C725, 50C725, 65C725 and 75C725 at respective prices of around 450 euros. 490, 800 and 1050 euros. TCL C725 is identical to TCL C721 (50C721, 55C721, 65C721, 75C721) and TCL C272 (50C722, 55C722, 65C722, 75C722). Links change depending on the distribution channel. Be careful though, the TCL C727, C728 and C729 – we tested the TCL 55C728 – differ in that they have a 100/120Hz VA panel.

All brightness and colorimetry measurements mentioned in this article were performed using a SpectraCal C6-HDR sensor and CalMAN Ultimate software.

LCD panel sub-pixels VA 50/60 Hz.

The TCL 55C725 uses a VA (Vertical Alignment) type LCD panel. This technology produces very good native contrast at the expense of viewing angles that are less open than IPS or Oled LCD TVs. We measured a 68% loss in brightness at 45°; this is a far cry from the 20% recorded on an Oled TV and is typical of TVs equipped with a VA panel where the brightness drop is about 70% at 45°.



In Cinema mode, the TCL TV is very well calibrated. We measured an average delta E of 2.7, which is below the recommended ceiling of 3, which allows us to consider colors as accurate as possible with those sent in by the source. The color temperature curve is perfectly stable across the spectrum, but the average measured at 7490K is a bit far from the 6500K video standard, resulting in a somewhat cold rendering. Luckily, the beautiful gamma curve (2.43 on average) ensures that the gray levels are reproduced correctly. The native contrast ratio is 4500:1, which provides sufficiently deep blacks even in the dark.

Scaling HD and Full HD content on this Ultra panel is well done. This is no longer a criterion for choosing your TV, since all models now perform fairly smooth upscaling without any artifacts – in Film or Cinema mode. Thus, the image is obtained naturally, without exaggerating the contrast or level of detail. On the other hand, the compensation mechanism on this 50/60Hz panel is completely inefficient and does not improve the clarity of moving objects.

The TCL 55C725 is compatible with all HDR formats, whether classic HDR10 and HLG or HDR10+ and Dolby Vision dynamic metadata formats.



In Filmmaker mode, with a maximum HDR signal of 10,000 cd/m², the display’s tone mapping perfectly follows the reference EOTF curve at up to 50% brightness. In addition, the signal is gradually smoothed out to the maximum capabilities of the TV; especially healthy behavior, allowing you to distinguish all the nuances even in very bright areas of the image.

We measured a peak brightness of just 337 cd/m²; a very average figure, which does not really allow you to display an HDR image worthy of the name. By comparison, Oled TVs show a peak brightness of around 700 cd/m², and even a little more for those equipped with a newer panel (like the LG G1 or Sony A90J), and much more for the Panasonic TX-55JZ1500 with its Oled Professional Edition panel. As for LCD TVs, you should look to the TCL 65C825 with its Mini-Led system that reaches 932 cd/m², the Samsung QE65QN95A with its Mini-Led system that reaches a maximum brightness of 1570 cd/m², or the Sony 65XH9505, whose system Fully LED still reaches 1070 cd/m².

With an average delta E of just 3, colors can be considered accurate and the TV offers good color space coverage as it is capable of reproducing 69% of Rec.2020 nuances and 86% of DCI nuances. -P3, a standard mainly used for Ultra HD series and movies. However, HDR image dynamics remain limited due to this limited brightness peak. It’s a shame, because the rest is very well calibrated.

The persistence time, measured at 16ms, is very far from the best LCDs on the market like the Samsung QE65Q80A, Sony KD-65XH9096 or even its 100Hz cousin TCL 55C728 which is 11ms. Only Oled TVs, which necessarily have an afterglow time of zero, perform better. In terms of display latency, the TCL 55C725 satisfies with a latency of 12.1ms to the source, which is less than one frame latency at 60Hz, and its effect on the screen is zero.

SDR Colorimetry - Game Mode

SDR Colorimetry – Game Mode

If the TV offers a Game picture mode, it also offers to reduce display latency regardless of the picture mode selected; enough to limit latency while maintaining flawless image quality and accurate colors.

This TV has two inputs compatible with HDMI 2.1, VRR (Variable Refresh Rate, which eliminates image tearing – tearing – and morons – stuttering), ALLM (automatic low latency mode that automatically switches to game mode), and eARC (enhanced audio feedback).

TCL 55C725 and its very classic design.

TCL 55C725 and its very classic design.

Unsurprisingly, the TCL 55C725 has a very classic, no-frills design. The imitation aluminum plate base gives the whole product a premium look. The TV is well built. There is no backlash, the finish is good. Two legs are placed here inside the TV at a distance of 58 cm. They can also be placed at the ends. Then you need to count on a difference of 120 cm.

screen edges.

The screen edges are quite thin for a 55-inch model, and above all, the build quality is solid.

TV front and profile.

TV front and profile.

The use of the Direct Led lighting system resulted in a rather thick profile (8.1 cm). Working on a TV cabinet is always associated with the depth of the foot, which here is 30 cm; quite a high figure for a 55-inch model. In comparison, the foot of an Oled TV such as the LG 55B1 is content with 25 cm.

The back of the TV.

The back of the TV.

The back is classic. Connectors are on the left, and the power supply is on the right. The TV can be wall-mounted using a standard VESA 300 x 300mm wall mount.

Connection.

The connection consists of three HDMI 2.1 inputs (ALLM, VRR, eARC on HDMI 1), two USB ports, an optical digital audio output, an Ethernet port, a PCMCIA (Common Interface CI+) port, a composite input, a headphone output, and TNT/cable and satellite connectors. antennas. This TV has a DVB-T/T2/C/S/S2 tuner, as well as Wi-Fi and Bluetooth for connecting a wireless speaker or headset. Please note that if the connection is shown as HDMI 2.1 compliant, it does not support 4K 120Hz, which would be useless with a 50/60Hz panel anyway.

Android TV interface 11.

Android TV interface 11.

The TCL 55C725 integrates Android TV 11 with an interface that directly displays the contents of the most used applications (Netflix, YouTube, Molotov TV, myCanal, RMC Sport, etc.). The Android TV system is one of the most complete on the market and, above all, offers the most applications. In addition, the built-in Chromecast allows you to receive and display a video stream sent from a smartphone, tablet or computer. The quad-core Mediatek MT9615 processor in the TCL 55C728 has been replaced by a less powerful Realtek RTD2851 processor, resulting in sluggish navigation and stuttering in the interface.

As always on Android TVs, the first boot is quite long (about 36 seconds). Shutdown is instantaneous and recovery is less than 5 seconds; Wonderful time.

Built-in microphones let you use Google Assistant without touching the remote.

Built-in microphones let you use Google Assistant without touching the remote.

This model has built-in microphones directly at the base of the slab, allowing you to use the Google Assistant hands-free: an important and very rare feature at this price level.

The TCL 55C725 comes with two remote controls, which is also a rarity at this price point.

The TCL 55C725 comes with two remote controls, which is also a rarity at this price point.

TCL 55C725 comes with two remote controls. The largest has all the usual keys, including a numeric keypad for direct access to certain channels, but ignores the microphone. The smallest has a microphone to perform voice searches via Google Assistant without using the hands-free function. Lightweight and comfortable to hold.

Strengths

  • Image quality in SDR.

  • native contrast.

  • Compatible with HDMI 2.1 (VRR, ALLM).

  • The speakerphone is built into the TV.

  • Comes with two remote controls, one with microphone.

  • Features of AndroidTV.

Vulnerable points

  • The plate is not very reactive.

  • Inefficient motion compensation engine.

  • Peak brightness is too limited to take advantage of HDR.

  • viewing angles.

  • Without anti-reflective filter.

How does assessment work?

The TCL 55C725 is a good, well-calibrated Ultra HD TV, but it can’t take advantage of HDR content due to the brightness peak being too low. We can also blame it on poor reflection management or the slowness of its processor running Android TV. It still retains some of the benefits such as very deep blacks, VRR and ALLM compatibility, two remote controls and a hands-free microphone. However, in the same price range, the Hisense 55U7QF seems more suitable for enjoying the bare minimum of HDR content, while the older brother of the TCL 55C725, the TCL 55C728 with a 100/120Hz panel, is more suited to gamers.

Additional Notes

  • Image quality

  • HDR

  • video games

  • turbidity

  • reflection

  • Ergonomics

  • Audio

  • Consumption

  • maintainability

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