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Cello Smart Android TV review

TechRadar logo TechRadar 21/11/2020 John Archer
a screen shot of a computer: Cello Smart Android TV © Provided by TechRadar Cello Smart Android TV

The Cello Smart Android TV (C2420G) is a small TV that won’t set your pulse racing at first glance. It’s really just a plastic, black, chunky rectangle at a fairly on par price for a 24-inch smart TV.

Its content-rich Android smart TV system bolstered by Freeview Play, though, is very handy for a second screen – one you keep for more casual use in a small bedroom or study, or as a low-cost and low-spec alternative to big-screen TVs, if impressive picture quality or a massive display isn’t overly important to you

Even better, the C2420G’s picture quality is unusually good by small TV standards. Contrast, colour, brightness and sharpness are all a cut above the norm. 

As with so many small LCD TVs, sound quality is pretty feeble. Also, while the Android operating system is rich in content, it’s not the most intuitive platform to use. It runs sluggishly on the C2420G, especially when trying to use Google Assistant voice control.

The good easily overwhelms the bad here, though, making the C2420G a great addition to any kitchen, study or bedroom.

Price and availability

At £179.99, the Cello C2420G isn’t especially cheap for a 24-inch LCD TV. The fact that it carries built-in Android TV, though, suddenly makes it look good value, offering as it does a comprehensive smart TV system well suited to today’s connected TV world.

Cello’s new Android TVs are currently available in 24, 32, 40, 43 and 50-inch sizes - though bigger options are expected later in the year. The models announced so far sell for £179.99, £199.99, £269.99, £289.99, and £329.99.

As a British brand, it’s perhaps not surprising that Cello TVs are currently only available in the UK.  

Design

  • Simple to build
  • Rather plasticky finish
  • Basic design

The Cello C2420G isn’t exactly a catwalk TV. Its bodywork, including its desktop feet, is almost completely made out of lightweight plastic. It’s chunky round the back by today’s standards too, and the black frame around the screen is pretty much style-free, aside from some gently rounded corners.

While it might not win any design awards, though, the Cello C2420G is pretty inoffensive to look at. In any case, it’s small enough to not become the focus of any room it appears in.

Smart TV (Android TV)

  • Latest Android TV support
  • Google Chromecast built in
  • Google Assistant voice commands

The most notable feature on the Cello C2420G is its smart TV system, packing in Android TV rather than a threadbare multimedia experience, as is often the case on TVs of this size.

Android TV has its faults, though. Its full screen home menu means you can’t keep watching TV while you browse for other content, for instance. It’s not as easy to customise as some systems, either, and isn’t as intelligent as some rivals at recommending other things to watch.

It also tends to pile strain onto TV processors – as the Cello C2420G proves. Menus can be sluggish to load and navigate, and while it’s great to find built-in voice control, the voice recognition system responds so slowly to you hitting the ‘listen’ button that it often only picks up the last word or two you speak. You learn to pause a moment between hitting the voice button and speaking, but it doesn’t feel as immediate and natural a way of communicating with a TV as it should. 

The C2420G also struggles to integrate picture and sound adjustment menus into the Android interface. They’re present, but are way more difficult to find than they should be.

On the upside, the Android OS is jam packed with apps and content, including such streaming big hitters as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Rakuten and YouTube. There’s a lot of less useful stuff packed in too, but Android largely manages to focus on the important things.


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Cello has included the Freeview Play app alongside Android, too, to circumvent Android’s blind spot when it comes to some of the UK’s terrestrial broadcaster catch up services. Note that at the time of writing, though, that there’s no Apple TV app.

Picture quality

  • Impressive amounts of detail and sharpness
  • Good contrast for a small TV
  • Limited viewing angles

As you’d expect of a small budget TV, there’s no 4K or HDR support here. The C2420G’s native resolution is an HD-ready 1,366x768 pixels, while brightness and contrast are claimed to be 180cd/m2 and 3000:1 respectively. 

These solid numbers translate into very respectable picture quality. To kick things off, there’s much less low-contrast greyness over dark scenes and dark picture elements than we expected to see. This provides pictures with a convincing baseline for colours and brightness to bounce off. 

Even more unusually for a small LCD TV, there’s hardly any evidence of clouding or corner ‘jetting’ from the screen’s LED backlighting. Dark scenes look consistently lit right across the image.

Motion suffers no smearing and only minimal blurring or softness, despite the set not carrying any motion processing. This feeds into an impressively sharp picture with HD sources - especially if you reduce the TVs’ digital and MPEG noise reduction options to Low from their default Medium settings.

Other picture fine tuning tools are few and far between. There’s decent compensation for this, though, in the shape of a long list of picture presets that gives you a fair degree of flexibility over how the picture looks with different types of content.

The Cello C2420G’s handy black level performance doesn’t come at the expense of shadow detail in dark scenes, meanwhile, leaving such content feeling as three dimensional and engaging as bright scenes.

Talking of brightness, the C2420G’s pictures are actually fairly punchy – at least by 24-inch SDR-only TV standards. That’s helped by an impressive amount of contrast on hand to prevent the image looking flat.

The brightness is both sufficient and well enough controlled, too, to contribute to the TV’s impressive sharpness. Sharpness is, after all, partly a function of local contrast, and the C24020G certainly does a much more compelling job of revealing the advantages of HD resolution than most affordable 24-inch TVs do. Skin detail, textures in background brickwork, the weave of clothing, dense forests – really anything that’s rich in texture in HD sources looks sharp and compelling on this Cello.

Very harsh edges, such as the rims around pairs of glasses, can look a touch forced using the many of the out-of-the-box picture presets, and gentle noise can appear over the occasional area of really dense texture. You can improve this, though, just by nudging the Sharpness setting down a notch or two.

As you’d hope with a TV as proficient with both contrast and brightness as the C2420G, colours look great. Tones tend to look natural, balanced and surprisingly nuanced, suggesting that they have been properly ‘tuned’ for video. Saturation levels are generally good, too.

Skin tones occasionally look a bit plasticky, but overall it’s clear that this isn’t some PC monitor masquerading as a TV. Its decently low 35.9ms of input lag in Game mode is pretty respectable for anyone wanting to double the set up as a gaming monitor, though.

Otherwise, the only other picture issue of note is some predictably limited viewing angles – with color and contrast taking a hit if you’re not sitting near-enough head-on.

Audio performance

  • 2 x 3W speaker system
  • Multiple themed sound modes
  • Very thin, shrill audio performance

The C2420G’s sound, sadly, is almost as grim as its pictures are good. There’s no bass at all, and the midrange too seems limited to the upper register. This inevitably leaves everything sounding shrill, tinny and thin. 

The actual volume isn’t much of an issue, and we’re grateful at least the speakers don’t distort. It’s also true, of course, that small LCD TVs seldom sound much good. But given that Cello seems to have fitted the screen with fairly large speaker enclosures for such a small screen, we definitely hoped for better sound than we got.

Should I buy the Cello 24-inch Smart Android TV?

Buy it if...

You want a small TV for a second room

Clearly the C2420G’s 24-inch screen isn’t intended for a main living room.

You want good picture quality

The C2420G’s HD-ready pictures are unusually impressive for the small-screen market. 

You want a comprehensive smart TV system

Android, in conjunction with Freeview Play, covers almost all the streaming service bases. 

Don't buy it if...

You value sound quality

This Cello TV’s 2 x 3W speaker power isn’t enough to deliver a well-rounded sound performance.

You’re easily put off by unhelpful menus

Android TV isn’t the most intuitive smart interface around.

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