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Cello Platinum 55-inch 4K TV Review: The best cheap 4K telly?

The Good

  • Affordable 4K
  • Android support
  • Solid connectivity

The Bad

  • Cheap feeling remote
  • No HDR
  • Light bleeding issues
3.5

We’ve tested British telly manufacturer Cello’s latest 4K Ultra HD TV, the mighty 55-inch Platinum, complete with Android TV smarts and a built-in soundbar for powerful audio.

With the likes of Sky, Amazon Prime Video and Netflix finally offering plenty of 4K content to enjoy at home, now is a great time to jump on-board the Ultra HD bandwagon. That’s especially true now that affordable 4K panels are hitting UK stores; no longer do you need to sell your kids to enjoy those super-crisp visuals.

British manufacturer Cello is one of the names we’ve had our eye on in 2017. This brand offers Ultra HD LED TVs for under a thousand pounds, with prices often hitting around the £500 mark. One of the company’s latest releases is the 55-inch Platinum 4K UHD Android Smart Freeview T2 HD LED TV, which boasts full Android TV functionality as well as a soundbar built into the base.

So does the Platinum offer good value for money, or should skint telly lovers look elsewhere? Here’s our full review.

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Cello Platinum 55-inch 4K TV Review: Design

As far as budget TVs go, Cello’s Platinum range offers a neat and simple design that’s easy on the eye.

The panel stretches almost edge-to-edge, with a slender silver surround to frame it. Besides the tiny Cello logo on the bottom edge, there’s no design work or frills of note. This is definitely a case of practicality over style, which is fine by us at this asking price.

Of course, you also get that sizeable soundbar down below, which adds a few inches onto the overall height. Again, the straightforward mesh design doesn’t exactly scream excitement, but certainly fulfils its purpose.

At this price point you can’t expect a wallpaper-thin design, and so the Cello Platinum does stick out a bit around the rear. Nothing too extreme, thankfully; at its deepest point, the TV is around 9cm thick. Factor in the dual stands and the depth increases considerably, to just under 30cm.

If you wish, you can always mount the Cello on a wall, using a 400mmx400mm bracket (sold separately). We used the stand and found the setup to be perfectly sturdy, while assembly is very simple; all you’ll need is a crosshead screwdriver and your TV should be good to go in just a couple of minutes. Just make sure you’ve got plenty of space available on your entertainment centre.

What works?

That straightforward design means the Platinum 4K TV will fit into pretty much any kind of decor.

What doesn’t?

It’s quite a chunky set, as you’d expect for this price.

Cello Platinum 55-inch 4K TV Review: Connectivity

Around the back of the Cello you’ll find a decent selection of ports, to connect your games consoles, streaming boxes and other bits.

Three downwards-facing HDMI ports are on offer, sat side-by-side on the rear of the set. We’d have preferred one or two more, as we have quite a few devices on the go – although three ports should suit most families, as that gives you space for a Sky box, games console and 4K streamer, for instance.

Other connections include YpbPr component ports, with two CVBS composite connections also on offer. Alongside those you’ll find three USB 2.0 ports, which can be used to hook up digital recorders or external drives. There are no Type-C ports on offer, however.

As for networking, you have an Ethernet option as well as WiFi connectivity.

What works?

All of the ports you’d expect are on offer, so you can connect a range of drives and devices.

What doesn’t?

We’d have liked some more HDMI connections, although perhaps that’s a little greedy.

Cello Platinum 55-inch 4K TV Review: Features

Boot up the Cello Platinum for the first time and you’ll be prompted to sign in with your Google account, or else sign up for a new one. This is required to access the Android-powered smart features, including a full array of apps.

Using Android TV means the Cello supports a massive range of apps, including plenty of streaming services. Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, BBC iPlayer, Spotify, Deezer and so on are all accounted for. You can even get stuck into some basic games, if you like.

You interact with the smart features using the bundled remote control, which is quite a chunky affair and also feels rather cheap. Some of the buttons stick when you push them in, and we occasionally had to repeat presses when they didn’t register. Navigating around the menus can also be a serious chore, as the collaboration of remote and interface simply isn’t intuitive.

To attempt to counter this, Cello has included an ‘Air Mouse’ feature. This allows you to aim the remote at the telly and wave it around to move an on-screen cursor. In theory the Air Mouse should work well and make selections much easier, especially when typing on the virtual keyboard. However, it’s frustratingly unresponsive, to the point where we gave up on it entirely. Nice idea, flawed execution.

What works?

Full Android TV functionality means you’ll be able to stream from a wide range of online services.

What doesn’t?

That remote control feels a bit cheap and interacting with the smart TV interface is often frustrating.

Cello Platinum 55-inch 4K TV Review: Picture and sound quality

The fact that you can enjoy Ultra HD visuals at this sort of price point is definitely commendable. That 4K resolution means that supported content from the likes of Amazon Prime Video and Netflix looks incredibly sharp; every frame is rammed full of intricate details.

However, as far as we can tell, you can’t stream 4K content directly via the TV itself, using the Android TV features. Exploring video streaming apps downloaded onto the TV, we couldn’t find any way of playing Ultra HD movies or shows. Instead we had to hook up external streaming devices such as the Shield TV and then access 4K content from services such as Netflix this way.

Sadly there’s no support for High Dynamic Range video, so you won’t enjoy that wide colour gamut and highly realistic contrast levels found on many other 4K TVs. Of course, this isn’t a surprise given the low cost of the Platinum, and you’ll struggle to find an HDR panel for a similar price.

While contrast and colour vibrancy certainly aren’t the Platinum’s strong points, they’re pretty much what we’d expect from a budget telly. Brightness levels are perfectly respectable, although we did occasionally notice some light bleeding around the edges of the screen when everything went black. We also struggled to see when sun glare shone in directly through the window.

That massive soundbar pumps out quite a powerful sound, proving well up to the challenge of waking your neighbours. You won’t get the same impressive bass and clarity as you do from a dedicated external soundbar, for a truly cinematic experience, yet we were happy with the performance for watching movies and shows or enjoying some music.

What works?

4K resolution visuals on a budget is certainly a good thing, while the built-in soundbar packs a punch.

What doesn’t?

No HDR support, so you’ll need to bump up your budget if you want true realism.

Cello Platinum 55-inch 4K TV Review: Verdict

If you’re on a tight budget, this Cello offering is a decent way to enjoy 4K visuals in your home. It’s a spacious TV with a decent selection of ports and can be wall mounted if so desired, while the built-in soundbar provides quite powerful audio. Of course, you have to expect some limitations at this price point, and the likes of contrast levels and colour range are improved upon by HDR ready sets, for a bit of extra cash. It’s also quite a bulky set, although the design isn’t bad for a budget panel, while the remote control is seriously budget.

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