Cello's new Android smart TVs get a lot for the price, but there's one big catch

(Image credit: Cello)

After a cheap smart TV in the UK? Cello may have you covered. The UK TV brand has now launched a brand new range of Android TVs in partnership with Google – packing in the Android TV OS, built-in Google Chromecast, and Google Assistant voice support for a brilliantly low price.

Starting at just £179 for a 24-inch size, and going up to a 50-inch size – with larger screen sizes coming later in the year – the new Cello range could be a smart buy for anyone after a budget buy or second screen.

These aren't 4K TVs, mind you. The smallest 24-inch and 32-inch sizes are stuck at 720p (HD Ready), while even the 40-inch and 50-inch models are stuck at 1080p (Full HD). 

We're told that 4K models are coming in early 2021, most likely for larger 55-inch, 65-inch and 70-inch models that are yet to get formal listings – but 50 inches really is quite a lot of screen to look at without 4K resolution.

You get what you pay for

One of the things you usually have to sacrifice at this price point is a good operating system – and while Android has had a reputation for a buggy interface in the past, it's since become a reliable platform to shift onto a TV, with the likes of Sony, Philips and Hisense all opting for the Android OS for some of their models.

It should be an improvement on the Netgem OS used by previous Cello smart TVs, which seemed especially to struggle with voice assistant (Alexa) integration in our tests.

(Image credit: Cello)

You're getting Freeview Play for UK catch-up apps, too – something new LG TVs have lapsed on this year – as well as Disney Plus support, which even high-end Panasonic TVs are still missing.

It's notable that these TVs are 'smart' at all, with some sets like the 32-inch Philips 5603 (also £179) not offering a smart platform at all. Others, like this 22-inch Bush TV (£139), do offer a smart TV platform, but without the fully-fledged OS and connectivity features you'll get here. 

There are naturally sacrifices being made at this price point, though, and you shouldn't expect world-winning picture quality here.

While the max Full HD resolution on the larger sizes may raise an eyebrow – in a time of largely 4K TVs – it does mean these sets are less likely to exert themselves past what they're capable of. There's no point plugging in a fancy 4K Blu-ray player or trying to get the most out of your PS4 Pro, but you shouldn't have to deal with the upscaling issues often prevalent on cheap 4K TVs.

You can find the Cello models at Amazon here – or check out other Cello TV deals below.

Henry St Leger

Henry is a freelance technology journalist, and former News & Features Editor for TechRadar, where he specialized in home entertainment gadgets such as TVs, projectors, soundbars, and smart speakers. Other bylines include Edge, T3, iMore, GamesRadar, NBC News, Healthline, and The Times.