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TCL TV model numbers explained 2021: What you need to know about TCL’s premium Mini LED and budget 4K LCD TVs


Having a hard time with TCL’s TV naming system? Don’t worry! In this article, we’ll help you find the perfect TCL TV

Manufacturers of 4K TVs fight to outdo each other every year, some to provide the ultimate in AV experience – at whatever cost – and others, like TCL, to produce affordable models that deliver big-screen thrills without breaking the bank.

One other thing that makes all TV manufacturers the same is the often-incomprehensible model designations they slap on their sets without any thought for the poor public left trying to decipher them.

To help you differentiate between TCLs many models, we will attempt to explain exactly how the company assigns its alpha-numerical names, demystifying them and allowing you to understand what each new model is. But first, a little about TCL and the 2021 UK range.

TCL TVs 2021: What you need to know

To many, the name TCL will be a new one, as the Chinese electronics company has yet to establish a solid foothold in the UK market. The initials stand for The Creative Life and, although you may still be drawing a blank, the state-owned company has been the third-biggest TV manufacturer in the market since 2015, selling TVs in colossal numbers both in China and the USA, but not that much in the UK.

Aiming at the ‘affordable’ end of the TV market, TCL nevertheless employs some serious AV entertainment technology to rival some of the bigger brands. 2021’s line-up consists of five new models, some using Mini LED tech, some packing Dolby Vision IQ, some harnessing Quantum Dot technology, some with Onkyo sound, and two running on the Roku operating system. There’s even an ultra-budget FHD model in the mix.

With TVs to suit a wide range of budgets, TCL is taking the UK market very seriously, rattling its sabre at well-established elites of the industry such as Samsung and LG.

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TCL TVs 2021: The new technology

Bringing Mini LED to the masses in 2021, TCL’s UK range-topping C825K features a backlight that, as the name suggests, is made up of miniature LEDs that are much smaller than usual, which allows thousands more to be crammed in. The result is a much brighter, more consistent light across the whole display, enhancing colour and vastly improving contrast thanks to 240 Contrast Control Zones.

Quantum Dot technology also features on the higher-end models, enhancing colour richness and realism, while varying HDR packages across the range help to shape the best picture possible.

On the OS side of things, this year sees TCL stick largely with Android OS in the UK, except in two models which will feature the Roku OS and be badged as ‘Roku TVs’, although rumour has it that TCL will update from Android to Google TV later in the year.

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TCL TVs 2021: Model names explained

This part is simpler than it first seems. When it comes to the jumble of numbers and letters TCL has applied to its 2021 TVs, we can actually break each code down in just a few steps. Let’s take the big gun of this year’s bunch, the 65C852K:

65 = screen size in inches, measured across the diagonal

C = Product line

825 = Series (the higher the number more premium the model)

K = Year, ‘K’ representing 2021

So, the 65C825K will be a 65-inch, C-line, 82-series from 2021.

Buy the TCL 65C825K now from AO

TCL TVs 2021: The new models

NOTE: Amazon's TCL TV listings use slightly different model numbers to those listed on TCL's website

Starting at the top and working down through the range, the TCL C825K is a work of near bezel-free beauty, available in 55in and 65in variants. At the time of writing, the 55in model is not available, but the 65in set costs £1,299. Being the big gun, it’s a 4K LCD with a Mini LED backlight, a Quantum Dot layer, 100Hz refresh rate, Dolby Atmos and a 2.1 channel Onkyo sound system. The full suite of High Dynamic Range formats is supported too: HDR10, HDR10+, HLG and Dolby Vision.

You can expect the picture on the C825K to be the brightest, most vivid and accurate of any TCL TV in 2021. It’s unclear quite how well-specced the C825K is for gaming, however. TCL says it has “Full” HDMI capabilities and will be capable of delivering the Variable Refresh Rate and Auto Low-Latency HDMI 2.1 next-gen gaming features. 4K at 120fps capabilities are mentioned on the official product page, yet the panel refresh rate is capped at 100Hz.

Stepping down from Mini LED but retaining the Quantum Dot tech, 100Hz Motion Clarity and Dolby Atmos, the C728K comes packing an Onkyo sound system and, akin to the C825K, a full suite of HDR formats, including HDR10+ and Dolby Vision. It’s available in 55in and 65in screen sizes and starts at £699 for the 55in model.

Down from there sits the QLED TCL C725K. Available in four screen sizes from 50in to 72in, it begins at £549 for the base model and goes up to £1,399 for the monster 75-incher. Here we find Quantum Dot tech, HDR10+ Dolby Vision, Dolby Atmos, Onkyo speakers and, in keeping with all three of these first models, Android OS with built-in Google Assistant for full voice control of your TV. It’s a tad weaker in terms of UHD upscaling, as we drop from the ‘UHD SR neural networks’ system on the top two models down to ‘UHD AI Super Resolution’.

Moving away from the Android OS and into the realms of Roku TV, the last two entries in TCL’s UK 2021 TV range, the RP620K (43in, 50in, 55in and 65in) and the RP520K (32in, 50in) are very much the budget options in the range. The RP620K begins at £300, while the 32in RP520K will set you back just £200. Both models run on a lower-end picture processor, the IPQ 2.0 engine, as opposed to the AiPQ Engine 2.0 found on the top three in the range.

While the RP620K is a 4K LCD set, the RP520K is only FHD/1080p. Both still support HDR in one way or another, though it’s unclear exactly which formats they actually possess; the RP620K definitely has Dolby Vision and HDR10, while the RP520K is probably HDR10 only. Being a non-4K model, the RP520K obviously won’t give you UHD upscaling like the RP620K. Since these are both Roku TVs, each work with the majority of voice assistants, including Alexa and Hey Google, making finding quality content a breeze.

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