With Sony’s farewell to the Brazilian market, TCL remained as the only major manufacturer to bet on Android TV in the country. And Semp, a national brand that works together with the Chinese giant, brought the Google platform to a lower price range. The SK8300 has 4K resolution, voice commands, built-in Chromecast and many applications, but is priced at or less than the competition’s basic TVs.
Will the image of the Semp SK8300 convince? And Android TV, runs well on a TV that does not cost the eyes of the guy? I’ve watched dozens of hours of content on the 50-inch SK8300 in the past few weeks and count my impressions in the next few minutes.
Semp SK8300 review with Android TV on video
THE 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 SK8300 was provided by Semp TCL on loan. The product will be returned to the company after testing.
Design, connections and remote control
The SK8300’s design is very simple, showing that Semp preferred to save on finishing to reduce costs. The glossy black frame is pretty in the first moments, but tends to leave visible fingerprints and scratches after a period of use. At the bottom, the Semp brand is highlighted in a silver plastic band, without any invention.
The power cable runs from the left side, but the connections are concentrated on the right. The port selection is excellent for a basic model: there are three HDMI (one with audio feedback), two USB, a TV antenna input, an optical audio output and even a 3.5 headphone jack mm, an increasingly rare item on new televisions. I just missed channels or some simple organization system to avoid cables hanging behind the TV.
It is possible to use the Ethernet port to connect to the network, but the tests were performed on the 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi, always with good stability and speed. Unfortunately, the 5 GHz frequency is not supported, but that is not a problem if you just want to watch 4K content by streaming on the most popular services.
The SK8300 remote control is slim and compact, having the same shape as the accessory that comes with some TCL TVs with Android TV, such as the P8M. In addition to the integrated microphone for Google Assistant voice commands and dedicated buttons for Netflix and Globoplay, it has a Bluetooth connection, allowing you to control the TV even if the infrared sensor is not in the field of view.
The image quality of the SK8300 pleased me a lot. Of course, we are talking about an entry-level TV, with no specific feature to improve contrast, such as a full dimming location, or even a brightness to highlight scenes with HDR. But, within the price range, Semp delivered an even higher quality than I expected.
Black has good depth for a VA panel, but is not very uniform, with inconsistencies in the backlight at the edges, which are lighter than the center of the screen. This does not bother real content, but it exposes the technology limitation when you open an application with many black screens or are browsing the Android TV menus.
The brightness, when adjusted to the maximum possible, can handle most environments and proved to be even a little better than the Samsung TU8000, which suffered a little more in very bright places. In practice, the contrast is great for a TV in this segment, being superior to many LG models with IPS technology. The volume of colors was also good, with no noticeable color banding even in my synthetic tests.
The viewing angle, a point that I usually criticize on TCL TVs, is within the expectations for the SK8300 category: it is somewhat limited, but not as much as some older models of the brand. If you install the TV in a larger living room, where not everyone sits exactly facing the screen, you may notice a significant loss of saturation.
Because it does not have HDMI 2.1 or a 120 Hz refresh rate, it is not possible to take advantage of the full potential of the new PlayStation 5 or Xbox Series X. In my tests, in 4K at 60 Hz, in the manually activated game mode, the input lag was less than 15 milliseconds, an excellent result that maintains TCL’s good reputation in this regard.
As for sound, the SK8300 is equipped with two 8-watt speakers that play nothing but the basics. Although Semp highlights Dolby’s technology, which “amplifies the intensity of bass and treble sounds, providing a cleaner stereo sound”, the lower frequencies are barely present and do not allow a minimum immersion in action films or beat songs. In the settings, there is an option called “Bass enhancement”, which only highlights the mid-bass and congests the sound.
Semp, incidentally, was concerned with adding various sound effects: in addition to the aforementioned bass enhancement, it is possible to adjust the audio definition, increase the clarity of the voices and connect a surround virtualizer. I liked the proposal because, in practice, it is a more intuitive equalizer that can be used by anyone. However, the software does not help so much if the hardware is limited: surround, for example, makes the sound very thin and does not make it immersive.
Even a basic soundbar can be an excellent upgrade in sound quality over the integrated sound of the Semp television.
Smart TV software and functions
Android TV is certainly a highlight of Semp SK8300. Those who like the Google platform and have a short pocket did not find many options in 4K Smart TVs in Brazil. Sony, in addition to being a car brand by nature, did not use the system on the simplest models. The other known option was the TCL P8M, which disappointed me because of the strong inconsistencies in the backlight and the unstable Wi-Fi in my tests.
The SK8300 is a more affordable TV and is Semp’s first 4K with Android TV. It has just over 11 GB available for Google Play apps, which offers plenty of options. In addition to YouTube, Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Globoplay and Google Play Movies, which are pre-installed, you can find Vivo Play, Telecine Play, HBO Go, Looke, Spotify, Deezer, Fox, Tidal and even some games.
As an Android TV, the SK8300 has an integrated Chromecast, Google Assistant and numerous customization options. The system could be more fluid: sometimes, Google’s personal assistant takes too long to respond, or an application chokes on opening. These are problems that I often encounter on the Google platform, which have been mitigated over time, but not fully solved.
The SK8300 is a good 4K TV option for those who don’t want to spend a lot of money. The 50-inch version was launched for R $ 2,699, but it could be found for less than R $ 1,900 in retail promotions while I was producing this review, which is an attractive value for the features that TV offers.
Although not as big and works as a “secondary brand” of TCL in Brazil, Semp manages to compete on an equal footing with other entry-level models of rivals, such as the Samsung TU8000, being even superior in some aspects, as in the brightness of the screen and the flexibility of Android TV.
It is curious how Semp SK8300 pleased me more than TCL P8M, another Android TV in the house that has slightly higher prices. For me, Semp’s cost reduction efforts were in the right places. The sound quality is not surprising, but it is within the category, and the all-plastic design is very simple, with generous edges and no sophisticated finish. However, the image, considering the expectations of a basic model, is convincing.
Those looking for a 4K TV with a good range of streaming services, Chromecast and decent image quality can be satisfied with the SK8300.
4K TV Semp SK8300
- Good availability of apps on Google Play
- Integrated Chromecast and a lot of software features
- Low latency for those who play on TV
- Great image quality for a basic model
- Android TV still needs optimization to get faster
- Backlight could be more consistent to display uniform black
- Too economical design, without cable organizer
- Model: Semp 50SK8300
- Panel size: 50 inches (127 cm)
- Resolution: 3840 × 2160 pixels
- Refresh rate: 60 Hz
- Panel type: VA LCD
- Supported imaging technologies: HDR
- Speaker power: 2x 8 watts
- Supported audio technologies: Dolby Audio
- Operating system: Android TV 9.0
- Video inputs: 3 HDMI, 1 RF
- Audio outputs: 1 optical digital audio output, 1 analog audio output
- Other connections: 2 USB 2.0, Wi-Fi, Ethernet, Bluetooth
- Dimensions (width x height x depth): 112.7x66x7.7 cm (without the base) and 112.7 × 71.2 × 23.9 cm (with the base)
- Weight: 10.3 kg (with base)