TCL 65C835 4K Mini LED TV review 2022
The TCL C835 from the C83 series combines the highest possible quality at an attractive price. The TV is focused on picture and sound quality and is very richly equipped. This makes it a formidable competitor in the Mini LED subcategory. TCL is developing Mini LED in a very promising way. Essentially, it’s a QLED TV that uses mini ice as a new backlighting source.
The number of full-mass backlight control zones has increased to 288 (versus 160 on the previous C825 model). In addition, the dynamic range of backlight brightness has also increased by 4 binary orders, i.e. up to 4096 steps. In our TCL 65C835 4K HDR TV review, we’ll take a closer look at the novelty’s functionality and assess how high the picture quality of this TV can go.
TCL has redesigned the C835 series in several important ways compared to the 2021. In any case, the TCL 65C835 TV remains not the slimmest. But where last year’s screen seemed quite thick, the new model has a thinner beveled edge frame. In fact, the TV is as thick as last year (2.5 cm), but seems a little thinner.
The second noticeable difference: the sound bar at the bottom is gone. The audio design is still Onkyo’s, but you can only see it on the back panel. Finally, the 65C835’s TV stand is a rather large center support plate. The matte titanium color gives the unit a neutral but stylish look. The finish of the TV is fine. Only the placement of the power cord could have been better, it is too close to the edge.
The C835’s excellent processing ensures that images from every source look crisp and detailed. Scaling based on deep intelligent learning restores detail based on what the processor recognizes in each image. The picture is relatively soft with factory settings, so the Sharpness setting can be set to five.
Noise reduction does a good job of removing random noise from the image, but compression noise, which is seen as squares, sometimes remains. This is an area where TCL needs to improve the processor’s performance. As of 2021, there is also an “Enhanced Gradation” setting that can eliminate color streaks in soft color transitions.
The C835 TV has a 100 Hz panel. However, the slightly blurred border around moving objects makes it difficult to see the smallest details as you move. Activating the Motion Sharpness setting will improve the smoothness of the picture, but the slightly blurred outlines will remain. Backlight strobing is a common solution for sharpening, but it operates at 50 Hz and causes some flicker in the image.
The TCL C835 uses Full Array Local Dimming mini LED backlighting and a VA panel. The panel has very good uniformity in both dark and bright images. Unlike IPS matrices, the C835 offers an ANSI contrast ratio of 6000:1. That’s even an exceptional result. But TCL didn’t just give the C835 a better panel.
The FALD backlighting is divided into more segments, with 24×12 (288) in 2022, and the TV can now control the backlighting in a range of 4096 steps. This is a big upgrade from the 160 zones and 256 steps. When local dimming is activated, you can achieve a contrast ratio of over 15000:1.
TV matrices are getting higher and higher brightness and color ranges for the clearest HDR content possible. The C835 improves the C825’s performance one step further. It reaches 1,300 nits in the 10% window (versus just under 1,000 nits on the C825) and 640 nits on the all-white screen (540 nits on the C825). Amazingly, it reaches almost 1600 nits in the 25% window.
The quantum dot color gamut is equally impressive. The C835 achieves 93% P3 and 70% REc.2020. This is in line with OLED performance, but backed up by much higher brightness. Thus, colors and light are the strong points of this TV, the images have tremendous intensity.
TCL C835 – Design.
The tonal display of HDR10 content is very important to get the best results. TCL takes metadata into account and shows bright details up to 4,000 nits. To do this, you have to leave “Dynamic Tone Display” activated. In doing so, the TV accurately highlights all the highlights, but the image loses a little in contrast.
HDR Film mode provides a reliable calibration. The color temperature is a bit cool and too bright, but otherwise it’s fine. In addition to HLG and HDR10, the TCL 835 also supports HDR10+ and Dolby Vision IQ.
Gaming, reflections and viewing angles
Despite improvements, VA displays still lose brightness at wide viewing angles. Colors, on the other hand, are well preserved, and the screen handles reflections well. For gamers, two HDMI 2.1 ports provide ALLM and VRR (HDMI VRR and AMD Freesync) in addition to 48Gbps bandwidth. Output latency is quite acceptable at 17.2ms (4K60) and 7.6ms (2K120), excellent numbers.
The matrix can support refresh rates up to 144Hz, but this is only possible with a PC connection, because gaming consoles produce a maximum of 120 frames per second. TCL has also provided a gaming dashboard where you can quickly view the frame rate information and adjust certain settings.
Under the hood, the TCL C835 series still uses a quad-core ARM Cortex-A73 processor with 3GB of RAM and a Mali-G52 MP GPU, which are powerful enough for a smooth user experience. The C835 runs Android 11 and now also features the Google TV interface.
This shell provides plenty of content recommendations. The settings menu can easily be found in the Google TV menu. The settings are well-structured, with logical groups and smooth navigation. They often take up a relatively large portion of the screen. TCL comes with this unit with two remote controls.
One is the regular TCL remote. It has remained the same for several years and is long and narrow with nice rubber keys. The Google TV remote is new and clearly aimed at the streaming viewer. It works via Bluetooth, so you don’t have to point it at the TV. The three buttons at the bottom are for the most commonly used streaming services: YouTube, Netflix and Prime Video.
The other three lead to the media player, the TCL channel, and TCL Guard. The TCL channel is a separate streaming service with trailers and (very) old movies. TCL-Guard is a kind of TV cleanup service. It checks apps, deletes unused files, and so on. This remote is very handy, if only because it’s much easier than the classic TCL remote, and also because it offers faster access to all functions.
TCL C835 – Switching
The TCL C835 is equipped with a TV tuner for digital television (DVB-T2/C/S2) and a CI+ slot. Recording is not possible, TCL offers this function only if the model is equipped with a dual tuner. In addition to Chromecast, TCL has also equipped the C835 with Apple Airplay 2. There is a multi-viewing option that combines TV content and smartphone on the screen, but so far it only works with TCL smartphones.
The sound solution is very similar to last year, although you can no longer see the sound bar under the TV. Onkyo put in a system of two 2 x 15-watt downward pointing speakers with an additional 30-watt woofer in the back. This is certainly generous in terms of power, and you’re sure to hear it.
When the volume control is half out, we are surrounded by Tie-Fighters and X-Wings laser beams. The sound has a very good surround sound effect, especially if you choose Dolby Atmos tracks. For listening to music, it is better to turn this option off so that the sound does not become too harsh. The C835 provides good sound quality with plenty of volume. For a sub-topper, this is an excellent result.
All of the C835’s connections are on the side. They are two HDMI 2.0 ports and two HDMI 2.1 ports. The latter have a bandwidth of 48Gbps. They support 4K@120, ALLM, VRR and eARC. The connection list also includes one USB port, a composite video and stereo audio input, two antenna connections, an optical digital output and a headphone output. Rounding out the list are Ethernet, WiFi and Bluetooth (for mouse/keyboard or wireless headphones).
TCL 65C835 – specifications
|What||Ultra HD LCD TV (MiniLED FALD, 24×12 zones, Quantum Dot)|
|Format||65 in (165 cm), flat|
|Connections||4x HDMI (2x V2.0, 2x v2.1, eARC/ARC, ALLM, VRR, 4K120), 1x composite video, 1x stereo cinch, 1x optical digital out, 1x USB, 1x headphones, 2x antenna, Bluetooth (A2DP, HID)|
|Extras||Dolby Vision IQ, HDR10+, HDR10, HLG, WiFi (802.11b/g/n/ac/ax) built-in, Android TV (11 R), USB/DLNA media player, Airplay 2, DVB-T2/C/S2, CI+ -key lock|
|Dimensions||1,447 x 867 x 320mm (incl. foot)|
|Weight||26.3 kg (incl. feet)|
|Consumption||SDR 136 (G) / HDR 300 watts (G)|
|Recommended retail price||1,499 euros|
At the moment (June 2022), the recommended price of TCL 65C835 TV is 1,500 euros. You will be able to buy TCL 55C835 TV for 1400 euros. The price of the TCL 75C835 TV has not yet been announced. Models will go on sale in late summer 2022.
Summary of the C835 review
To conclude the review of the TCL C835 – a few summarizing words. If you are looking for a bright and colorful 65″ TV with a lot of features, the TCL 65C835 meets all these requirements. It’s hard to point out the cons, especially in terms of picture and sound. This TV provides more than enough quality for its price.