Cello C55SF4K QLED 4K HDR TV Review
The British company, Cello, decided to push their focus into the television market back in 2005 and now, they have released their first QLED TV! That TV in question is the aptly named C55SF4K, or in simpler terms, 55″ QLED 4K HDR. We were fortunate enough to get sent one to try out, so I made some space and started to unbox.
Let’s talk about spec:
– 55″ / UHD 3840 x 2160 10bit
– Contrast ratio : 1200:1
– Brightness : 200 cd/m2
– Panel: Samsung LSC550FN11 (8ms)
– VESA mount 400 x 200
– Android 7 OS with AMLogic 962 A53 quad-core CPU @ 1.5GHz / 2gb DDR4 / 8gb flash
– DVB-T2 tuner
Being a 55″ TV, the box itself is rather large and awkward to move around single-handed, but it’s a breeze for two. The TV comes in one of those boxes, the ones that you unclip at the bottom and lift the top off. There is ample polystyrene protecting the TV, so rest assured, it would arrive safe and sound if you purchased one. Inside the box is the TV, stand (needs constructing), power lead, remote and brief instructions.
The TV does offer VESA mounting @ 400×200 size but this mount is at the lower end of the TV. So if your existing TV’s mount position was central, you may need to adjust the bracket so it sits nicely on your wall. If you don’t like mounting, then a curved stand can be built and attached to the back of the screen. Note, the stand does not swivel or tilt.
The overall build quality of the TV is very good. It has a thin silver frame and stand, with an even thinner silver bezel but that’s a smart design feature. The bezel is, in fact, black and silver, but the black blends in so well with the screen, you don’t notice until it’s turned on. The panel itself is incredibly thin, millimetre thin, to 60% of it, and then the rest is built out to hold the TV components, stand and mounting options. Being so thin, extra care is needed when setting up.
At the back of the TV, to the left-hand side, are the inputs. Inputs include 4No HDMI 2.0 ports, 2No. USB 2.0 ports, aerial input, Ethernet port and audio outputs such as RCA, mini AV, headphone and optical. There is also a microSD slot, for playback of files. The power lead also plugs in at the left-hand side. The TV does have built-in WiFi @ 2.4GHz, so no need for a hard-wired connection, unless you want 4K…
This is a smart TV, running Android 7 OS, so you can gain access to all your favourite apps, and more, via the Play Store. App’s include Netflix, Prime, YouTube, BBC and so on. It also includes a DVB-T2 tuner, so you can pick up all your Freeview channels, including the HD ones. This model of TV also includes Cello Play, which is a bit like Freeview Play, and it allows you to search the EPG, both forwards and backwards in time (catch up). It also allows you to record programmes but it’s worth noting that there is only one tuner, so you cant record one channel and watch another, nor can you record programmes that have already been broadcast. That being said, you can record a live broadcast AND still use the smart features i.e. Netflix.
The first time you set up the TV, it will initialise the Android OS, ask for a Google account, check for updates, connect you to the internet and eventually tune your channels in. It was all very quick and easy to do. Likewise, when you first get to the smart home screen, you will see a number of suggested apps to download, the most popular ones you could say, such as Netflix & Prime. Click on them, hit download and then log in as necessary. You can do this with as many apps as you like, but be aware of the limited 8gb storage. There are a number of options and settings, accessible via the main menu. They include the usual audio and visual settings, allowing you to select a preset screen mode, such a normal, vivid etc, or you can manually adjust to suit.
As for visual performance, the TV displays a beautifully crisp & vibrant 4K HDR image. I swapped between the preset image options and tweaked them to suit and the results were as I wanted. When watching movies, the ‘blacks’ can sometimes lack and be pixelated, but this one holds its own and produces decent blacks. I would say though, there is no auto dimming on the tv, like some more expensive brands, so in a dark room, the brightness can be overpowering in some instances. Moving down to lower resolutions, 1080p also looked great, very crisp again but going lower, you notice that 55″ is just too big, especially for anything lower than 720p, in my opinion. Content I tested included live TV, Netflix (upto 4K), YouTube (upto 4K) and also direct movie files from my NAS drive. I did also plug my PS4 in, but it is the original model, not the Pro, so couldn’t fully appreciate the 4K’ness but the 8ms response time is enough for gaming.
Moving onto sound performance, it’s a known fact that these slim TV’s don’t always provide the best audio, which is why some of the newer TV’s, like the new Sony Master Series, actually build a large stand to house their speakers, to provide a quality experience. The Cello does ok for audio, it’s clear and can get quite loud, ideal for watching general TV programmes on the sofa, not so much for movie night.
There are a lot of things going for this TV, including its aesthetic appeal, image quality, it’s ability to fast forward & rewind live TV, plus the integrated IMDB features which I loved, but there are a couple of minor things to mention…
The WiFi on the TV isn’t strong enough to stream the heavier 4K content. I was able to stream 4K via YouTube and sometimes Netflix (depending who else was on the net), but wouldn’t stream any 60gb 4K mkv files from my Synology NAS (90mb speed, decent router, tv 7m away from router). However, there is an ethernet port for a hard-wired connection, so I highly recommend this IF you plan of streaming large 4K files. It’s also worth noting that the TV cannot natively decode Dolby Digital or DTS.
I also had a love, hate relationship with the remote and the Android OS. There is a mouse option with the remote, which you need to use on most of the third-party apps. Hit the mouse button, point the remote, move around the screen and click to select. It works, but I found at times that my remote was actually pointing at the floor, but the cursor was actually central the screen. I’ve also never really been a fan of Android OS on TV’s, but that’s more of a personal thing.
The Cello C55SF4K currently retails at £799, which is hundreds of pounds cheaper than the bigger brands, sometimes even half the price. Based on the price, the excellent image quality, it’s premium look and the variety of ports included, it’s worth the money, but it isn’t perfect.
For more info, visit the official Cello website.