The TCL P715 is the new option of the Chinese manufacturer for those looking for an Android TV while spending less. With launch prices starting at R $ 2,799, the new TV with 4K resolution reaches the Brazilian market in sizes from 50 to 75 inches, elegant design with thin borders and voice commands in Google Assistant without using your hands.
Android TV ensures integrated Chromecast, a wide range of apps on Google Play and integration with connected home devices. But is the image quality good? I tested the 50-inch TCL P715 and count my impressions in this review.
Video TCL P715 review
O Tecnoblog is a technology-independent journalistic vehicle that helps people make their next purchase decision since 2005. Our product reviews are opinionated and have no advertising intent. For this reason, we always transparently highlight the positive and negative points of each product.
No company, manufacturer or store has paid the Tecnoblog to produce this content. Our reviews are not reviewed or approved by external agents. The P715 was provided by TCL on loan. The product will be returned to the company after testing.
Design, connections and remote control
TCL’s design deserves to be praised for a long time. In the entry-level TV segment, where a premium finish or any other invention is not expected, the company tends to be more careful than its competitors: P6US had very thin edges for the category at the time, P8M seemed more expensive than rivals even though it is not and the P715 continues this legacy.
In P715, the manufacturer bets on a design with minimalist and lateral edges with a metallic aspect. The lower part, under the TCL brand, has a small power LED on a fabric-covered strip, which gives an unusual sophisticated touch in this price range and resembles some smart speakers. These details may not decide a purchase, but they certainly make a better first impression than on the Samsung TU8000 and LG UN8000.
The connections are concentrated on the right side and bring together three HDMI, two USB, a TV antenna input, a composite video, an Ethernet port, an optical audio output and a 3.5 mm audio output, an item increasingly rare in new TVs, which makes life easier for those who want to watch a movie with headphones. All tests were carried out on Wi-Fi, which is stable, but only supports 2.4 GHz frequencies, with the main competitors already accessing 5 GHz networks.
The remote control is slim, compact and has few buttons. The model is the same that comes with other TCL TVs, with shortcuts to quickly access Netflix and Globoplay, directional keys to navigate the Android TV interface and a dedicated Google Assistant button, which probably won’t be used as much for reasons that comment ahead.
The image quality of the P715 really pleased me, not because it was incredible, but because it did practically everything right in the entry segment. The previous models from TCL always disappointed me in some specific point that damaged the whole image, like the brightness even weaker than that of competitors in the same price range or a very noticeable inconsistency in the backlight. This time, almost everything is under control.
The P715 has a satisfactory brightness to handle most living rooms, being slightly lower than in the 50-inch LG UN8000, but sufficient to guarantee a good experience even in slightly lighter environments thanks to the convincing contrast level.
As expected, the TV has no local full-array dimming, but the depth and uniformity of the black is very good for a basic model. The P715 has a function called micro dimming, which tries to simulate the experience of a TV with zone-controlled backlight, but the tests were performed with the feature completely disabled because it tended to bring out too many shadows and leave the gradients flat or over-saturated .
The volume of colors is just satisfactory. In synthetic tests, the results were poor, with a remarkable color banding in gradients in shades of gray and green, even adjusting a setting called “Light gradation”. But the problem is not so noticeable in real content, so most people shouldn’t be bothered.
Only the viewing angle remains a relevant negative point in the brand. VA-type panels are no longer very good in this respect, but TCL’s can be a little worse than Samsung’s equivalents, for example, which should be considered if you have a larger living room, where neither everyone sits exactly in front of the TV.
For those who play, TCL remains an interesting option. In my 4K tests at 60 Hz in game mode, the latency was below 15 milliseconds, an excellent result. The TV does not support 120 Hz or has HDMI 2.1 ports, so it may not be very good for making the most of the new generation of consoles – but these features are only found on much more expensive models, so this is not a negative point of P715.
The sound quality of the P715 is basic, not impressing like some models focused on audio from TCL, such as the C6, but without disappointing as in the P6US, from 2018. The two speakers have enough sound pressure to handle environments not too big ones. Distortions in the sound and high-pitched highs start to appear with the volume above 50, but you should not go above level 30 under normal conditions.
Of course, the built-in speakers do not scratch the lower frequencies. The bass does not have much space in the presentation, showing some noise, but no impact, which is within the average for an incoming TV, without a dedicated speaker for these frequencies. The immersion in action films is not so good and even an affordable soundbar can be a considerable upgrade.
Smart TV software and features
The P715 comes with Android TV in its version 9.0. The home screen is similar to the most recent TCL TVs and boxes with the Google platform, showing good integration with media services: you can see suggestions of what to watch on Netflix or YouTube before opening the app, which makes it easier consumption of content in those moments when you don’t know what you want to watch.
The TV has an integrated Chromecast, making it easy to play content from an Android or iPhone. The Google Assistant is also always available to understand the “Ok Google” command, eliminating the need to use the remote control when you want to talk to the personal assistant, which is a great plus for the P715. It sounds simple, but hands-free is a feature that manufacturers like Samsung and LG have only included on more expensive TVs.
YouTube, Netflix and Amazon Prime Video are pre-installed on the TV. On Google Play, you can find names like Disney +, Pluto TV, Telecine, HBO Go, DirecTV Go, Spotify, Deezer and Tidal. A notable absence is the Apple TV +, which even works on TVs with Sony’s Android TV, but was not available for TCL models at the time of publication of this review.
Unfortunately, despite having many applications and several customization options, Android TV owes a lot of fluidity to the P715, especially in comparison with Samsung’s Tizen. Animations are very frequent, and sometimes an app stops responding for a few seconds, so you need to have a little dose of patience to deal with the TV.
The P715 is a great refinement compared to the old basic models from TCL. The company continues to work hard on the design, offering a finish above the category average, but it also paid attention to the image quality, which is not bad in relation to the consolidated manufacturers in Brazil. Within the segment, the P715 appeals to contrast and good black uniformity.
The model also caters to those looking for an Android TV without paying such a high price. With the departure of Sony from the country, the P715 may dispute a space that is a little vague here, along with Panasonic, which also seems to have agreed with this important movement in the sector. The Google system has its defects and it is certainly not my favorite, but it is a fact that the good offer of applications, the Google Assistant and the integrated Chromecast have their fans.
TCL’s entry-level TV was launched for R $ 2,799 in a 50-inch size, but can be found for R $ 2,100 or even less in retail promotions at the time of publication of this review, making it more accessible than the older models. famous, like the Samsung TU8000, which is its closest competitor and has similar image quality. Under these conditions, I would certainly save a few bucks and bet on the P715.
4K TV TCL P715
- Wide range of applications
- Good black uniformity
- Convincing contrast for an incoming TV
- Respectful design and sophisticated finish
- Google Assistant without using your hands
- Android TV could be faster
- Wi-Fi only works at 2.4 GHz
- Model: TCL 50P715
- Panel size: 49.5 inches (126 cm)
- Resolution: 3840 × 2160 pixels
- Refresh rate: 60 Hz
- Panel type: LCD (VA)
- Supported imaging technologies: HDR (HDR10)
- Speaker power: 2x 10 watts
- Supported audio technologies: Dolby Digital Plus
- Operating system: Android TV 9.0
- Power consumption: 71 watts (average), 0.2 watt (standby)
- Video inputs: 3 HDMI 2.0, 1 RF, 1 component video
- Audio outputs: 1 optical digital audio output, 1 analog audio output
- Other connections: 2 USB 2.0, Wi-Fi 802.11n (2.4 GHz), Bluetooth 5.0, Ethernet
- Dimensions (width x height x depth): 111 × 65.5 × 7.9 cm (without the base) and 111x70x32 cm (with the base)
- Weight: 9.8 kg (without base), 10 kg (with base)