TCL P815: Inexpensive Android TV in the test

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D.he name TCL means nothing to you? The Chinese group is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of televisions and has its own screen factories. In Germany, TCL has only been building up the business for a few years, but with increasing success. The recipe for this: the latest technology at low prices. The new TCL P815 has to show in the test whether the quality is also right. The television is available in two screen sizes: the smaller of these has a screen diagonal of 140 centimeters (55 inches, which is then called the 55P815), while the larger 65P815 was tested with 164 centimeters and 65 inches.

The best TVs: 65 inches (165 cm)

Chic design and good equipment

Externally, the TCL P815 looks great, not just because of its size. The slim metal base, ultra-slim frame and, above all, the screen, which is flush with the front, make it easy to suspect twice the price. The LCD screen comes up with today’s standard Ultra HD resolution of 3,840×2,160 pixels. The inexpensive television is too tightly calculated for technical extravagance, but the equipment is hardly missing. The television is equipped for the usual trio of reception routes: cable, satellite and antenna, and on the back there are also three HDMI connections for external players such as Blu-ray players or game consoles. And there is even an analog AV input for old picture suppliers. There is also a headphone output; alternatively, Bluetooth headphones can be connected.

All the important connections are on the back of the TCL P815; the mechanical switch for the Google microphone can be seen at the bottom of the picture.  © COMPUTER BILD

All the important connections are on the back of the TCL P815; the mechanical switch for the Google microphone can be seen at the bottom of the picture.

TCL P815 in the test: image quality and setting tip

In terms of image quality, too, TCL leaves nothing to be desired: the television impressed in the test with its high-contrast image, and the color matching was successful. You don’t often see such natural skin tones in this price range. The 50 Hertz screen shows fast movements a bit more blur, but the contours remain clear and do not fray. The menu offers extensive setting options for the picture. But users can safely ignore them, the only important thing is actually choosing the optimal picture mode: In standard mode, the TCL shows slightly oversaturated and emphatically bright colors. The result is much more natural in the cinema image mode, so no further corrections are necessary. The image format is optimally set at the factory, without disturbing enlargement (overscan off).

HDR and Dolby Vision for crisp contrast

The sound is not the strongest side of the TCL, but can be heard. You shouldn’t expect bass, but the language immunity is quite good. The TV sounds a bit cool and harsh as the volume increases, but the menu also offers plenty of customization options. In the test, the change from the preset sound mode to cinema resulted in somewhat warmer sounds, and the definition menu item at the lowest level also reduced the sharpness of the sound ?? you can live with that.

The slim remote control of the TCL P815 is easy to hold.  © COMPUTER BILD

The slim remote control of the TCL P815 lies comfortably in the hand, but the lettering on the gray buttons is difficult to see.

With Android and Google Assistant

Test result TCL P815

The TCL P815 did a really good job in the test: The image quality shows the routine of the large manufacturer with its own screen production, the equipment is largely complete, the operation worked smoothly. The latter, however, only applies after a bit of getting used to or if the users are fairly familiar with smart TVs and Android. Because the instructions and the help in the menu are very sparse. The chic design deserves extra praise: with a narrow frame and flush front, the TCL looks significantly more expensive. The 65-inch version TCL 65P815 that was tested costs less than 650 euros even at launch.


* The cheapest price may now be higher.

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