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The best TCL TV gives you excellent performance at an affordable price range. With a wide range of different options and models, you should easily be able to find a TCL television with the right screen size and image quality for all of your entertainment needs. While TCL is still considered a budget brand, the company is quickly growing in popularity, making it one of the best TVs your money can buy today.
Plus, if you’re looking to replace your cable box, then you can’t go wrong with TCL’s inclusion of the Roku TV smart platform on most of their TVs. TCL Roku TV is user-friendly with access to a comprehensive app library, including the major streaming services.
Keep reading to learn more about the best TCL TVs and how you can find the right one to fit your budget.
Award: TOP PICK
WHY WE LIKE IT: This TV is a great pick for casual streaming since it offers a wide range of streaming options and can display 4K content.
The TCL 75-inch Class 4 Series TV is a classic base model TV that would be great for general use. The TV’s large screen offers a wide field of view, and its support for HDR content means that viewers will get to enjoy stunning and accurate visuals when streaming. The display’s Roku TV platform also offers a wide range of streaming channels, as users will have more than 500,000 titles to browse through and choose from. However, one major caveat is that it has a pretty low 60Hz refresh rate, which isn’t ideal for gaming.
The display’s 4K Ultra HD resolution means that users will be able to enjoy very accurate detail, and with Easy Voice Control, users will only need to speak out the title of the movie or TV show they’re looking for using the remote to initiate a search. The voice control feature also works with both Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, and thanks to decent reflection handling, users will also be able to watch the TV even in a brightly lit setting.
Award: HONORABLE MENTION
WHY WE LIKE IT: This TV is a perfect pick for any competitive gamer as it features a setting that automatically tunes it to allow for an optimum gaming experience.
The TCL 65R635 TV is a premium pick capable of rendering Ultra HD content thanks to Mini LED technology. This enhances the TV’s brightness, contrast, and overall uniformity. The display’s different Contrast Control Zones also optimize the TV’s bright and dark areas, resulting in life-like realism. The TV stays quite bright even in sunny conditions, but its narrow viewing angles may frustrate group viewing.
Nonetheless, its easy-to-use Roku interface provides a collection of more than 500,000 movie and TV titles to sift through, and with an impressive 120Hz refresh rate, it remains very attractive to gamers since it delivers a smooth gaming experience. It even features a THX Certified Game Mode, where the TV’s settings are optimized to provide the best gaming performance and give players a competitive edge against their competition.
Award: BEST FOR CASUAL VIEWING
WHY WE LIKE IT: The TV is a basic model that vows to keep owners entertained through its wide range of streaming channels, as well as the convenience offered by voice control.
The TCL 32S335 is an entry-level 2021 release that relies on LED technology to relay content in 720p resolution. The display comes with access to the Roku TV platform, where users will be able to browse through up to 500,000 different movie and TV titles for their entertainment. It also features Wi-Fi connectivity, so users won’t have to bother with wires to enjoy a fast Internet connection. Gamers might be put off by the lack of a 2.1 HDMI port for next-gen consoles and discouraged by its low 60Hz refresh rate.
Despite that, the TV is still pretty easy to use and offers the convenience of using voice to search through different content. Its support for voice control stretches through when integrated with smart home devices such as Amazon Alexa and Google Home, and with support for a dual-band Wi-Fi connection, users will be able to enjoy faster streaming speeds and higher quality content.
Award: BEST FOR MOVIE STREAMING
WHY WE LIKE IT: The TV’s excellent contrast and advanced color grading technology allows it to produce almost life-like images, making it perfect for an immersive movie-watching experience at home.
The TCL 75S535 is a 4K UHD display that uses Quantum Dot Technology to enhance color and improve brightness. Owners will also get to enjoy a cinema-like movie experience on this TV courtesy of its support for Dolby Vision HDR, and with access to the Roku Smart TV Platform, they’ll be able to pick what movies or TV shows to watch from a selection of up to 500,000 titles. Unfortunately, its 60Hz refresh rate may not be enough for what most gamers might be looking for, despite its handy Auto Game Mode.
The TV’s use of Contrast Control Zone technology means that users will get to enjoy improved contrast, and its support for voice control either through the Roku mobile app or through integrated smart home devices (Amazon Alexa or Google Home) makes it much more convenient to control and use. It’ll easily upscale sub 4K content to improve picture quality, and with excellent color, and comes with a super simple remote.
Award: BEST FOR MULTIPURPOSE USE
WHY WE LIKE IT: The TV’s remarkable contrast handling and impressive upscaling capabilities, gaming features, and 4K picture quality make it an ideal pick for multiple uses.
The TCL 65S425 is a 4K Ultra HD TV that delivers excellent picture quality thanks to its Direct-lit LED technology. It comes with access to the content-rich Roku TV platform, so users can enjoy a wide array of streaming content to always stay entertained. The TV’s remote keeps navigation very easy, and with an impressive 120Hz refresh rate, casual gamers will enjoy a smooth gaming experience. However, one major issue is the lack of 2.1 HDMI ports for connecting next-gen consoles.
The TV’s outstanding contrast ratio means that blacks remain dark, adding a level of depth that improves the realism of content being displayed on screen. Its reflection handling is also pretty decent, but not to the extent that it’ll remain fully visible when placed under sunny conditions. It also comes with WiFi connectivity for decent streaming speeds and a wide range of input options for connectivity.
Award: BEST FOR DARK ROOM VIEWING
WHY WE LIKE IT: The TV’s exceptional contrast makes it ideal for viewing in a dark room, and with its impressive color handling, movies appear vivid and almost realistic.
The TCL 49S517 is an impressive 4K TV that comes with a VA panel that allows it to handle dark scenes very well, making it ideal for dark room viewing. Its use of Dolby Vision High Dynamic Range technology means that users will be able to enjoy a vivid image clarity when watching movies, and its on-board Roku TV platform offers access to more than 500,000 movie and TV titles for all-around entertainment. Its only downfall is the lack of a 2.1 HDMI port for modern gaming consoles.
However, casual gamers will appreciate its 120Hz refresh rate, as it will ensure that players get to enjoy a much smoother gaming experience. The TV also has a wide color gamut, which means better color reproduction and a more vivid experience when watching movies or TV. Its sound is also pretty decent, and with a wide range of inputs, owners will enjoy very flexible connectivity options.
TCL Technology first started in 1981 as an audio cassette manufacturer named TTK. The company later changed its name to TCL in 1985, which stands for Telephone Communication Limited. TCL is located in Huizhou, Guangdong Province, China.
The audio cassette company quickly moved into producing a wide variety of additional consumer electronics, including mobile phones, air conditions, washing machines, small appliances, refrigerators, and televisions. TCL also has a stake in the semiconductor industry, and it produces internal components for companies all across the world.
In 2010, TCL ranked 25th on the list of the world’s largest consumer electronics companies. Around this same time, the company decided to focus many of its efforts on increasing TV production. By 2019, TCL ranked 2nd on the list of the world’s largest television companies.
In North America, TCL’s television lineup focuses on affordability and comprehensive smart TV functionality. The company sits squarely in the budget category, especially when compared to popular premium competitors like the best Sony TV. TCL is the most prominent manufacturer of the Roku TV, but they are starting to produce options with the Android TV platform.
(Pro 1) QLED Options Are Competitive with Other Brands: Higher-end sets from TCL are offering QLED panels, which are supposed to be the big competitor for OLED alternatives. QLED TVs use Quantum Dot technology to create more accurate colors with brighter and richer tones. These are a huge improvement over standard LCD and LED panels, and we recommend purchasing a QLED TCL television if your budget allows for it.
QLED televisions also typically offer high dynamic range (HDR) performance with features like Dolby Vision, HDR10, and HLG compatibility. TVs with Dolby Vision give you a wider range of colors and deep blacks for better contrast in dark scenes.
Even better than the premium features included with TCL’s QLED options is the excellent price point. TCL offers QLED TVs at half the price of sets from leading competitors like Samsung.
(Con 1) Standard LED Options Struggle to Keep Up: If you’re opting for a non-QLED TV from TCL, then you won’t get the same level of quality as we described above. Standard LCD and LED televisions from TCL won’t offer the same level of color accuracy, contrast ratio, motion handling, and extra features as you’d find with standard options from competitors like LG, Sony, and Samsung. However, when compared to other budget brands like the best Toshiba TV or best Hisense TV, TCL easily holds its own.
(Pro 2) Roku TV Is Fast and User-Friendly: One of the best features of TCL TVs is the Roku TV platform. The vast majority of TCL products use Roku TV, although newer models are starting to use Android TV instead.
On a surface level, TCL Roku TV may not seem like the most polished or advanced smart platform. However, it offers a huge selection of apps, including popular streaming services, so you can watch your favorite content. The smart TV platform is also incredibly easy to use, which is a huge plus.
Not all TCL TVs support voice control, and those that do only support basic commands through the remote control. This is one of the biggest downfalls of Roku TV. All in all, though, this small downside is well worth the trade-off for a user-friendly interface and extensive app availability.
(Con 2) Limited on Advanced Technologies for Gamers: In spite of TCL’s premium smart features, the brand continues to fall behind the competition when it comes to premium gaming-friendly features, even in high-end models. While LG offers a TV with a variable refresh rate and low input lag game mode, TCL has seemingly ignored the same functionality. Many TCL models also only offer a 60Hz refresh rate, which isn’t good enough for competitive gaming.
Fortunately, many TCL TVs are still great budget gaming TVs because of their overall fast response rate and low input lag configurations. If you’re looking for a cheap gaming TV and you’re okay with skipping out on the premium gaming features, then a TCL TV is still an excellent choice.
(Pro 3) Reliable Overall Performance at Reasonable Price Ranges: When it comes to the overall performance and reliability of standard TCL televisions, there’s not a lot to complain about in terms of the basic features. These sets offer excellent picture quality with good accurate image processing that makes everything pop. While you may not get the precisely refined image and sound quality you see on higher-end TVs from competitors, you can’t beat the performance you get on TCL products at such a reasonable price.
Surprisingly enough, TCL televisions also offer a good helping of premium features like Dolby Vision, Dolby Atmos compatibility, and full-array local dimming on some models. Plus, most TCL TVs offer a wide color gamut with bright colors and deep blacks. You’ll also be able to choose from a wide range of sizes.
(Con 3) Lower Brightness than Comparable Brands: One area where TCL TVs struggle the most is in picture brightness. Even when using HDR functions, TCL budget models offer lower brightness than most other competitors. This can cause problems when trying to watch a movie or play video games in bright rooms. In general, it’s best to install your TCL TV in a dark room for the optimal viewing experience.
In a world of 4K Ultra HD resolution and impressive picture quality performance, you may wonder how people keep up with the added cost of purchasing a new television. If you’re in the market for a new TV and want the best image quality you can get without spending an arm and a leg, you can’t go wrong with a TCL TV.
Whether you’re looking to upgrade your 1080p television or simply want to catch up to the latest in picture quality with a 4K TV, then going the TCL route is never a bad idea. You may not get the brightest picture around with the most advanced gaming features, but you’ll still get a television that can easily handle most applications.
Even despite being labeled a budget brand, TCL TVs can still last you a long time, as long as you treat them right. According to experts at Visual LED, you should expect your LCD TV from TCL to last anywhere from 30,000 to 60,000 hours. If you purchase an LED option, you should expect anywhere from 60,000 to 100,000 hours out of your TV.
Fortunately, TCL seems to have fairly good quality control procedures in place. Most people get a well-functioning TV without any problems, unlike other budget brands such as Hisense. While you may not get the most high-end features on your TCL TV, you’ll still be getting a product that is built well.
As with most consumer electronics, TCL televisions typically carry a one-year limited warranty. This warranty covers any manufacturer defect that may occur in the time period of one year, starting on the day of purchase. TCL will either repair the TV or replace it with the same model or similar model if yours doesn’t exist anymore.
One interesting thing to note about TCL TVs is that you will get a 24-month warranty if you purchase the TV at an offline retailer. The same restrictions apply to the 24-month warranty.
Yes, even though most TCL TVs use the Roku TV smart platform, you can still use Google Chromecast or Apple TV streaming devices. Instead of accessing the smart platform through the TV’s built-in Roku interface, you’ll connect to the Chromecast or Apple TV using an HDMI cable. Then, you can access the device via the input controls on your TV.
While the vast majority of TCL products use the Roku TV smart platform, some of the newer models are starting to use Android TV instead. TCL Roku TV is widely considered one of the easiest smart TV platforms to use, which is why it’s so popular. However, Android TV is starting to gain more popularity. Both options are excellent choices. TCL Roku TV is best for anyone who wants a simple user interface, while Android TV is better for anyone who likes more customization and niche-specific apps like Twitch for gamers.
Both TCL and Hisense televisions are excellent choices for anyone looking to find good picture quality at a budget TV price. Both companies offer solid picture quality and plenty of smart TV functionality. Hisense televisions tend to be brighter than TCL alternatives, but other than this small point, they are very similar in terms of performance.
In general, Samsung offers better TVs than TCL. This is because TCL focuses on offering budget options with more barebones functionality when compared to Samsung. TCL has started to offer higher-end models with QLED panels and 8K resolution to compete with more popular companies like Samsung, but the company still has a ways to go before it wins in terms of sheer image quality and premium functionality.