Much like the C835 we reviewed, the C735 display boasts a 4K resolution with HDR10+ and a 144Hz variable refresh rate. The main difference however is that this model features the more budget friendly panel with Direct LED backlighting as opposed to Mini LED.
Now this does mean it’s not quite as bright as the C835 but don’t overlook the C735 as it’s a fantastic display for its price. Let’s take a look why:
First of all, this TV runs the same CPU and Video Processor as its big brother. It has the same number of ports, features the same Google TV interface and it even supports all the same video and audio formats such as HDR10+, Dolby Vision, Dolby Atmos and DTS-HD.
It also takes advantage of one of our favourite TCL features which we covered on the C835, the Game Bar with Game Master mode.
The display uses a Direct-Lit Quantum Dot VA panel with global dimming and a contrast ratio of 7000 to 1. The Direct LED backlighting is somewhat uniform and even without local dimming it performs well in both light and dark scenes.
Peak brightness on this panel comes in at 330 nits which is somewhat low when it comes to watching HDR content, but the excellent tone mapping makes up for this.
On offer are 6 preset picture modes: Vivid, Low Power, Smart HDR, Sports, Movie and Game. There are advanced picture settings but the default calibrations from TCL have always been accurate out of the box and it’s the same with the C735.
When gaming we took advantage of TCL’s Game Master mode. Switching Picture mode to Game and enabling HGiG, Auto Low Latency mode and Variable Refresh Rate. For those unaware, Game Master mode is a one-touch solution allowing you to get the best out of your console by automatically turning off all unnecessary features that use the display’s processor.
This allows for a much faster gameplay response. Together with Variable Refresh Rate plus HGiG which ensures games are displayed as the creator intended on HDR screens, you will get THE BEST possible experience while playing games.
On the PS5 we dropped into multiplayer on the latest “Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2” to see how it performed as it’s a mostly bright and very fast moving game. Then on the Xbox Series X we loaded up “A Plague Tale: Requiem” to see how the display handled detail in its dark but breathtaking environment.
As with the C835, HGiG brought out a fantastic level of detail with accurate colours and life-like skin tones. Black levels were acceptable for this QLED screen, not as deep as a Mini-LED or OLED however in a room with ambient lighting the display performed exceptionally well. Gameplay was also super smooth and ghosting really wasn’t an issue.
With ALLM enabled, response times are adequate with input lag for a 4K/60Hz signal coming in at 13.2ms and 120Hz being 7.7ms.
For movies we switched to the Movie picture mode, something TCL has configured well for this display. It tends to produce the most accurate colours for movies along with offering blacker blacks and whiter whites. It does this by reducing the amount of light through the backlight so black levels remain optimal. For this reason movies are best watched in a dark room otherwise details in dark scenes can be less visible.
Motion smoothing and upscaling also performed well on the C735 and there was very little to no judder when watching movies. Upscaling kept the image well detailed although we did notice it gave a slight soft-focus look.
What really wow’d us though was how the C735 handled Dolby Vision content. Once a supported movie starts playing the display will automatically set the picture mode to Dolby Vision IQ. This dynamically adjusts HDR content based on ambient light conditions in your room, and as you can see, the result is stunning.
When it comes to audio, the Onkyo 2-speaker setup does the job nicely. It doesn’t offer as much bass as the C835 which has a built-in subwoofer however for TV & Movies it presented well. For gaming though we found ourselves reverting to a headset as we needed that immersive surround sound for better hearing the environment around us.
So our final thoughts. The C735 from TCL delivers a fantastic level of performance at an excellent price point. It offers plenty of connectivity and features for gamers while delivering solid image quality with decent input lag.
It may not be as bright as the Mini-LED model but the excellent tone mapping and accurate colours make up for this.
It’s available now from Australian retailers and you can find more details on TCL’s website.
Lover of all things gaming, film and technology from 80’s to now. My background in Marketing & Operations Management has provided me with a strong work ethic and ability to think outside the box.