TCL 55C805: Attractive TV with excellent gaming support

55C805 Review
55C805 Review

The TCL 55C805 is in many ways a typical example of why this brand has become such a threat to more established companies in the TV industry. To begin with, there is a clear discrepancy between the considerable size of the 55-inch screen and the relatively inexpensive price.

This already tempting situation becomes truly explosive when it turns out that the 55C805 deserves praise for more than just its low price. What else attracts attention about this TV? Is it worth buying C805 TVs from TCL? In this review of the TCL 55C805 4K Mini-LED QLED HDR we will try to answer these and other questions.

TCL C805 review


Of course, the first thing you’ll notice about the TCL 55C805 is its stunning design. The build quality isn’t as impressive as the looks. There’s a lot of plastic in the body, which makes this TV surprisingly light. The glossy black frame that holds the screen is fairly standard for a relatively affordable TV on the market in terms of width and finish.


The back looks quite massive. The table stand supporting the screen is installed in the center. This means that the user will not need wide furniture to accommodate this TV. The remote control gives the product a premium look.

It has a crisp, shiny silver metallic finish, a far cry from the lightweight plastic design of most TCL TVs. For wall mounting you will need a VESA type bracket 400 x 300 mm (for a 55″ diagonal), which will have to be purchased separately.

TCL 55C805 design


The TCL C805’s 4K screen doesn’t just support high dynamic range video. It supports all four major HDR video standards: HDR10, HLG, HDR10+ and Dolby Vision. This means the TV can handle the best version of literally any HDR content. Even current flagship TVs from LG, Samsung or Sony do not support all four HDR formats.


The 55C805 TV panel has a VA matrix . This means it should offer better contrast than its IPS alternative. What’s most surprising, however, is the way the screen is lit using a combination of mini-LEDs and local dimming that’s usually only found on high-end TVs.

Moreover, the number of dimming zones supported by the screen is a whopping 384. This is more than many mid-range and even premium 55″ LCD TVs provide. This can actually be very helpful in ensuring sufficient contrast, intensity, hazing and backlight wash issues.

The C805’s panel has a native refresh rate of 120Hz and uses quantum dots to render colors rather than dimmer, less accurate RGB filters. This color system is claimed to cover up to 96% of the DCI-P3 color spectrum. It’s important to note at this point that despite the panel’s own characteristics, they are also controlled by some pretty serious processing.

In the case of the TCL 55C805 QLED Mini LED TV , this processing is carried out thanks to the proprietary AiPQ 3.0 engine, equipped with artificial intelligence. Previous experience using this processor on the TCL C845 showed that this is more of a useful result than just a publicity stunt. Input lag when playing 1080p/60Hz video is reduced to 13.4ms in the TV’s Game mode.


This number is almost halved when using 120 Hz sources. Gamers can even bring up the Game Bar 2.0 menu screen for quick access to on-screen information, the TV’s game channel, and one or two handy gaming accessories. The C805 is equipped with an intelligent Google TV system, which has a rich number of applications and streaming services presented in the on-screen menu system.

Sound quality

The 2.0-channel speaker system of the TCL C805 TV was developed jointly with the famous audio brand Onkyo. As a result, it manages to make the most of its fairly high rated power of 30 W. Particularly pleasing and a little surprising is the ability of the speakers to transmit TV sound far beyond the screen.

This makes the viewing experience seem even bigger than before. At the same time, the large soundstage does not seem forced or disjointed. Cohesion is helped by the fact that the dialogue and screen effects remain fairly tightly tied to the scene, as they should be. At the same time, the sound world behind the screen is properly limited to voice acting, ambient sounds and voice-over effects.

Despite the fact that when listening to movie mixes in Dolby Atmos format , there are very weak height effects. On the other hand, there is a slight sense of sound effects levels on the left and right flanks of the soundstage where the score resides. Moreover, certain or ambient effects appear to be delivered at different levels in height.


Vocal tracks tend to hold up well against even the loudest background noise. The only problem with the sound is that the mix isn’t as bass-heavy as I’d like. Additionally, the sound sometimes lacks some refinement. On the other hand, the mids are quite open and sound very good.

TCL 55C805 review

Image quality

Moving on to the C805’s image quality, the first thing I’d like to point out is how bright it is. The display produces light levels for both HDR peak highlights and full-screen HDR highlights on par with the best mid-range LCD TVs and even some small premium LCD TVs.

Full-screen brightness is also much higher than what modern OLED TVs can provide. Everything is not reminiscent of how the TCL C845 TV rewrites the rulebook for the relationship between brightness and price. What’s even more pleasing to the eye, however, is how the C805 is able to deliver such brightness along with amazingly deep and rich blacks.


Thanks to the mini-LED lighting and especially the local dimming system, dark scenes reveal just a hint of overall greyness. There’s also little interference in dark scenes from common LCD TV shortcomings such as backlight dimming or local dimming caused by blurring around bright objects.

TCL manages to suppress glow without resorting to dimming prominent bright objects, as some competing Full Local Dimming ( FALD ) TVs do. Combining deep, clean blacks with an equally unexpected brightness results in extremely satisfying contrast that ensures the TV is truly capable of HDR.

The level of light control required to achieve this range of contrast extends to even the smallest details of dark scenes. It’s worth noting here that the brightness, contrast, and overall HDR effects far exceed anything you’d expect from any of today’s projectors.

The 55C805 also has excellent color rendering results. Its Quantum Dot color system easily maintains richness and vibrant color even in the brightest parts of the brightest images. Plus, the edge areas don’t start to look blurry. The Dynamic Mode preset actually pushes colors beyond anything believable or comfortable.

Therefore, it is not recommended to adhere to this regimen. However, it’s worth turning on this mode for at least a few minutes to see just how bright the TCL TV can be. As expected, the TCL C805’s image isn’t completely perfect. Comparing the performance of the new Samsung QN95D reveals some inaccuracies in the TCL image.

For example, while the colors are bright and generally quite believable in tone, they lack some tonal finesse. This is especially noticeable in skin tones. It’s also worth noting that the picture isn’t as sharp as the best premium TVs, partly due to lack of color accuracy. There’s a little more motion blur than on high-end TVs.

Image upscaling below 4K is not at the same level as premium TVs. All of the above shortcomings are much less common in games. Games feel smooth and immersive thanks to variable refresh rate support, as well as a fast 13.4ms input lag. That said, it can’t be stressed enough how all-round good and stable the C805’s images remain.

TCL 55C805 interfaces


The C805 also impresses with its connectivity options. Four HDMI ports are considered a good number for such an affordable TV. However, two of these HDMIs support a full range of the latest gaming features. That is, 4K/120Hz, VRR (including in AMD FreeSync Premium Pro format) and ALLM. In fact, the screen is capable of processing PC signals at 144Hz.

The device also has USB 3.0 ports, Ethernet RJ45, optical audio output, composite inputs for connecting analog equipment, linear output for connecting headphones, antenna inputs and a CI+ 1.4 slot for connecting premium channels. In addition, there are also wireless connections. These are Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 5.0.


While it’s not a flagship TV, it’s affordable and more refined than expected. It’s simply impossible to argue with its cinematic scale. Even though the TCL 55C805 costs less than some 55-inch TVs, it manages to combine a very attractive design with excellent gaming support and truly cinematic and immersive picture and sound quality. In other words, it’s a dream come true for home theater enthusiasts who aren’t lucky enough to have a limitless budget.