TCL Mini LED TVs are arriving in the UK this year, and it looks like they'll be priced pretty competitively compared to the OLED TVs on the market.
The C825 QLED TV will be starting at £1,099 (or 1,799 euros) for a 55-inch size, TCL tells us, and going up to £1,499 (1,399 euros) for a 65-inch model.
That puts it squarely in the current price range of the BX OLED, LG's cheapest OLED screen from last year – and notably lower than the launch price for LG's 2021 entry-level OLED, the LG A1, which will cost £1,399 at an equivalent 55-inch size.
The LG A1 will be available as a 48-inch OLED for just £1,099, but you won't be getting quite the same amount of screen real estate for the same amount of money.
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- What is Mini LED?
The main draw of the TCL C825 – a successor to the C81 QLED (opens in new tab) that launched last year – is its use of Mini LED backlighting. It's a feature commonly seen on TCL's US range, as in the Mini LED upgrades to the high-end 8 Series and more mid-range 6-Series, but it's the first time we're seeing it come to the company's UK range.
Mini LED can vastly improve contrast and brightness control in television displays, thanks to the tens of thousands of tiny LEDs packed in behind the panel. It's no surprise that LG is making use of the tech in its new QNED range, nor Samsung in its Neo QLED range, even if TCL was the first TV maker to truly commercialise the technology.
It's not necessarily an OLED-beater, though will certainly offer some similar picture advantages to elevate existing LCD screens.
The OLED price war
While OLED is still the TV panel tech of the moment, it's no secret that prices have been dropping very slowly, and what we've seen of 2021 price tags across the likes of LG suggests that not much is changing in the next 12 months.
The market may be ripe for disruption from Mini LED, then, especially with some savvy pricing that places it just underneath the pricing floor of OLED. Speaking with TechRadar, TCL's Europe Product Development Director Marek Maciejewski says that "everything is driven by the market, and that decides what makes sense and what doesn't make sense [from a price perspective]."
Despite TCL's plans to move into OLED TV production by 2023, it seems like Mini LED is still the focus for now. Maciejewski tells us that its Mini LED range is its "performance product".
"That's why Mini LED is important to us, for the brightness, color volume and also for local dimming, which is why we can deliver this huge dynamic range on the screen. This technology will be with us for for the next few years," he adds, confidently.
Mini LED is coming, then, but whether it's here to stay beyond the next year or so will depend on whether people go out and buy it. Will you?
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