The TCL C715 brings with it a QLED display, support for 4K, HDR 10, and Dolby Vision. It can reproduce Dolby Vision content and SDR content very well. However, with HDR 10 content, it exhibits a warm tone on the skin during closeup scenes. It runs on Android TV giving you access to the Play Store and a good apps library. The UI though fluid, for the most part, can get buggy once in a while. The TV has 4 far-field mics for hands-free controls, but this experience isn’t fluid all the time. Overall the picture performance of the TV is good albeit a few scenarios and can be great if tweaked the right way.
TCL is one of the world’s largest brands in the TV space, offering a diverse portfolio of products. The company recently launched a range of 4K TVs, including 4K QLED TVs. The flagship 8K QLED TV launched is the X915, their premium 4K QLEDs which is the C815 and then there is the entry-level 2020 QLED – the C715. Today we have with us the entry-level TCL C715 4K QLED TV.
TCL C715 QLED ANDROID TV: specs at a glance
Panel Size: 65-inch (available in 50 and 55-inch as well)
Panel Type: VA LED
HDR 10 support: Yes
Dolby Vision Support: Yes
Weight (with stand): 19.kgs
Panel Resolution: 3840 x 2160 – 4K
Panel Refresh Rate: 60Hz
HDMI Ports: 3
USB Ports: 2
Built-in storage: 16GB
Display and picture quality
Let’s dive into the thing that matters the most first – display and picture quality. The TCL C715 4K QLED TV has a VA panel with support for 4K resolution and HDR 10, HDR 10+ along with Dolby Vision. For Dolby Vision content it has two settings – Dolby Vision Bright and Dolby Vision Dark. We will run through all of this in the sections below but let’s get a few burning points out of the way. The TV has a QLED panel. The TCL C715 has a VA panel which means it can produce good black levels but will compromise on the viewing angles. Let’s dive in and see how the TCL C715 performs in our suite of content tests.
TCL C715 QLED ANDROID TV: 4K and HDR performance
There is an abundance of 4K and HDR content available via services like Netflix and Prime Videos for you to take advantage of HDR content on the TV. While Netflix has a large portfolio of Dolby Vision content, a lot of the content on Prime Videos is in HDR 10 or HDR 10+. YouTube also has a portfolio of content in HDR 10 giving us streamable content on all available HDR standards.
TCL C715 QLED ANDROID TV: Audio performance
Unlike the TCL C815, the C715 does not bring with it sound from Onkyo. It has standard 30W downward-firing speakers and for watching regular TV, they get the job done. All the content we consumed above was played using the internal speakers of the TV and for the most part, they sounded good. The vocals in movies and TV shows are clear and there is some thump to them to enjoy movies. Where they fall flat is with games like Doom and movies like the John Wick series where there is a lot of bass-heavy gunfire mixed with rock music and the occasional dialogue. This is where the audio falters. But it is surprisingly good if you watch TV shows, documentaries or any content that has more emphasis on voice than the background score.
One more thing to note is that even though the audio settings in the TV show Dolby Atmos as a setting, don’t expect the sound to come from on top or behind you.
TCL C715 QLED ANDROID TV: UI
The TCL QLED TV runs on the Android TV platform and it is the second TV I have seen that you can control using your voice without the use of the remote control. More on that later. The UI that you get with the TV is vanilla Android TV and there is little here to talk about that you don’t already know. It has rows of apps you can customize, gives you access to the Play Store to download more apps and TCL says it will support the TV for the next 3 versions of Android TV. Android TV has been notorious for being slow on TVs and over the past few years, that reputation has dwindled as the OS has become smoother and more responsive. For the most part, the Android experience on the TCL C715 was fluid with the occasional app crash or hiccup, which is fine. It isn’t as smooth as the Android TV experience on some more expensive Sony TVs but the “more expensive” comparison isn’t a justified one.
The far-field mics on the TV are a different story altogether. To begin with, there are 4 mics on the TV and you have to physically enable them using a toggle hidden behind the TV. Once enabled, you can go into the settings to enable or disable the hands-free voice recognition of the TV. While it does work, its overall performance is a hit or miss – quite inconsistent. I can say things like “Ok Google, Play Stranger things on Netflix” and it will comply. At other times, the voice prompt on the TV just hangs and I have to wait up to 15 seconds for it to reset on its own. Or resort to the remote control. As a function, at this stage, it is a hit or miss.
The picture settings on the TV are easy to find, simple to use and in case you change something by accident, you can always restore it to the default settings easily.
TCL C715 QLED ANDROID TV: Remote Control
The TCL TV comes with a very minimalistic remote control with a curved back, giving it a good grip. It has a dedicated button to launch Netflix only and I would like a programmable second hotkey for Prime Videos or Hotstar or any other service I watch. The buttons are well laid out, self-explanatory, and easy to use. The TV has a good grip and fits well in the hands too. No complaints here.
TCL C715 QLED ANDROID TV: Build & Design
Finally, let’s talk about the build and design of the TV. The TV isn’t the slimmest one out there and that’s ok, considering it is a QLED TV and comes with a whopping 1296 dimming zones. Despite this, it is hardly thicker than most flagship LED TVs and that’s saying something. All the ports are neatly laid out on one side and there are no ports facing the back of the TV which makes navigating the ports easy when mounting the TV on a wall. For connectivity, the TV has 3 HDMI ports (HDMI 1 is ARC enabled), 2 USB ports, ethernet port, good old antenna, optical out AV in and headphones out. The connectivity options are plentiful and the TV also supports Bluetooth and both 2.4GHz and 5GHz Wi-Fi
Coming to the bezels, the TV has really slim bezels that do not interfere with the viewing experience. There is a small LED strip at the bottom of the TV and you can choose to light this up when you use voice commands. But on its own, it is not intrusive and does not hamper the viewing experience.
For those that want to put this 65-inch TV on a tabletop, there is good news for you. There are two positions for the feet of the TV. One is a wider position and the other a narrower one. The narrower position is the one we used. This helps you put a larger size TV on a smaller tabletop in case you do not have a very wider entertainment center and need to place the TV on a tabletop.
There are few 65-inch TVs that come in this price range, so if size and QLED backlighting is something you are looking for, then this is a good option. However, this TV is also available in 55-inches and that’s where the competition is heating up.