Tcl 646 rtings: TCL 6 Series/R646 2021 QLED Review (55R646, 65R646, 75R646)

TCL R646 Review: I ignored Reddit and old reviews and I love it

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11/23 Update: This TV (65″) is currently on sale for $599 at Best Buy.

Have you ever had a piece of technology that seemed amazing, but suddenly seems outdated and old after a few years? This is exactly what happened to me with the last TV that I bought in 2017. It seemed great at the time, but I recently realized I could barely see what was going on in some TV shows, especially the dark scenes! I decided I wanted a TCL 6 series, R646, one of their flagship TVs from 2021.

This review will not be the most technical; if you want that check out something like the RTings review or this one from The Verge. The issue with a lot of other reviews for this TV is that they took off points because of some OS glitchiness. Tons of people talk about this on Reddit threads, basically asking “Is it good now?” Now those issues are fixed, making this a TV that warrants being discussed in the same breath as some of LG’s OLED TVs, which is a remarkable achievement. 

TCL R65R646: Currently $799.99 at Amazon

11/23: $599.99 at Best Buy

Image credit: TCL


  • Contrast is amazing, deep blacks and the brightest brights
  • HDR adds even more to the effect where supported
  • Body: the brushed metal finish is quite nice
  • Advanced features such as HDMI 2.1, Variable refresh rate, and 120Hz (where supported, generally gaming only)
  • Google OS worked better than I expected
  • Lost of options for tweaking settings
  • TV legs: Built-in wire hiders in legs, and has a second narrow option allowing you to use a smaller TV stand. Note: The R655 stand is further improved with even better cable management


  • The remote is just ok
  • Weight: This thing is heavy. It weighs about 65lbs, which is heavy enough that I’m nervous to try and wall mount it. Definitely need a friend to help unbox it. 
  • No Airplay
  • Sometimes sold for the same price as the newer model

Here are some things I considered:

Why did I buy TCL?

TCL is a brand that I really like, and for a lot of the same reasons that I like Giant bikes. They used to be a component supplier for other TV manufacturers. As it usually goes, they probably got tired of making other companies rich and decided they could do it themselves. I feel like TCL was kind of like Hyundai or Kia in the old days; their cars were considered cheap and unproven but over time they’ve proven themselves to be valid alternatives to a Honda. They were never a dupe, but were definitely an other in the TV industry.

My first TCL was one I bought in 2017, a 55” 4 Series Roku TV, 55S401, on sale for $350. When I got it I was blown away! It seemed massive, had 4K, HDR, and low input lag. It was amazing for gaming on my PS4 Pro and I sang its praises to anyone that would listen. I always a decent TV would cost way more, but this was affordable for me. As I mentioned, this faded with time. The contrast wasn’t actually very good, as dark scenes suddenly were unwatchable (It seems that content studios increasingly are designing their cinematography so that premium TV’s can shine more). At the end of the day, it was a budget TV that I got a great deal on. Even the screen size suddenly felt inadequate, so it was time for an upgrade.

The 6 series is TCL’s most premium offering, and they put out new models each year. They also usually keep selling the older models next to the current models, which can be a bit confusing for buyers. In fact, the current 2022 6 series is actually the R655, the R646 is the 2021 model. To make things even more complicated, there are different OSs available! You can get either Roku or Google, each having their own pros and cons. 

Roku vs. Google? 

These are smart TV OSs that allow you to use apps such as Netflix, HBO Max, Youtube, and all the other ones. Roku is generally more simple and easy to use, whereas Google is more customizable, powerful, and perhaps less approachable. More controversially, Google is glitchier. In fact, when this TV launched the OS was so bad that retailers pulled it from shelves! It was too laggy, and apps were force closing. However, Google and TCL worked on this and seemed to have fixed most of the issues. But do you even need to use the TV OS? 

If you read any forums on this topic everyone will say the same thing: your TV’s built-in Roku/Android/Google smart TV software is garbage compared to a dedicated device. TV’s usually have a less powerful CPU powering them which can make the experience laggier and buggy. This is precisely why I use my PS5 for almost everything. It simply works better, and even makes the content look a bit better because of the extra processing power. If you’re not a gamer, an Apple TV or Roku device works great. Even if you’re not a gamer, I would say that it still might be worthwhile to use something like an old Xbox.

However, all being said, the Google OS has given me no problems. I haven’t pushed it too hard with tasks such as running multiple apps app the same time, and overall have had zero issues! One major downside is that the TCL Google TV’s don’t currently have Airplay. I imagined on my last TV I would use it a lot, but that didn’t turn out to be the case. But if you can imagine trying to show family some photos from your iPhone on your TV, or want to have friends play their music on your TV more easily, you might want to check out the Roku TV’s, or get a separate streaming box. You can even setup the TV as a dumb TV, fully turning off the OS! 

Another issue that is less applicable to most people, is that you can’t use Roku branded speakers with a non-Roku TV. This means I had to sell my Roku speakers from my last TV, and with the new TV I used regular speakers with a receiver, which actually sounds better anyway!

Why I bought last year’s model:

I generally believe that it isn’t worth buying the latest and greatest with TV’s. You can almost always get a MUCH better deal if you buy something that is a year or two outdated. These are the TV’s that are frequently on “sale” as they are just old inventory that companies want to get rid of. It can be confusing when researching these, especially if you aren’t checking the manufacturing sites to get a better idea of where a TV fits in their range. Also, it can be confusing on sites like Amazon where a TV may look new but the release date (which Amazon lists and you should always check) could be from years ago. 

Originally I wanted to get the 2020 Roku model, the R635. However, it actually cost more than the newer 2021 model which I bought. The R635 was still selling for $1,000, compared to the $800 I spent on the R646. Seemed like a no-brainer to get the newer model for less! 

Screen Type

The R646 has QLED, which is a variation of an LED LCD, adding a quantum dot film layer. I have no idea what that means but it makes the screen look a lot nicer than a regular old LED LCD. QLEDs tend to be brighter and cheaper than an OLED. OLEDs are a whole new tech, where instead of having a big backlight the screen lights up individual pixels. This is why dark scenes look so good on OLED; the individual pixels turn off. This makes the contrast look amazing, and OLEDs are considered to be the best-looking screens overall. QLEDs use local dimming, which basically divides the screen up into zones that can dim to improve contrast. Generally, newer TVs will add more zones to increase the effect. OLED look better generally, but with that said, I found the QLED to be a massive improvement over a regular LED TV. 

Shut up already, how is the TV?

To do a very nontechnical test, I put off watching Amazon’s new Lord of the Rings show: Rings of Power. With my speakers set up, I launched the Prime app from my PS5. Before I even got to the show, wow this TV was vibrant. The colors on this thing really pop, and I was already pumped. Another good sign; I paused the TV on a black screen and left for a minute. When I came back my girlfriend and I both thought the TV was off. It wasn’t, it is just that good at blacks. The show started, and one of the opening scenes is inside a dark icy cave. Even with lights on in the room, we could see perfectly what was happening. When the elves got ambushed by a cave troll (wow this just got nerdy), we both jumped a bit, as the speakers and video were both so good. I paused to change the audio a bit, so that the TV would level the sound a bit better. Immersion is good, but we didn’t want to feel like a giant troll was actually in the house. At one point during the show, I got goosebumps, sealing the deal. This thing looks amazing. 


Excuse the odd hue from my lightstrip. I appreciate the ethernet, HDMI 2.1, and headphone/Aux output. The aux output seems to be on less TVs nowadays, which is a shame.

I took some photos in different lighting conditions to show how it looks. All photos were taken with an iPhone 13 Pro.


Reminds me a bit of the Roku remote but longer. The volume buttons are on the side. No input button is annoying, but generally I turn on the PS5 and that turns on the TV to the correct input automatically

Old TCL 4 series vs TCL 65R646

Returnal on PS5 on 55″ TCL S401: I had to increase the in-game brightness for it to look playable originally. Not bad, but it couldn’t do shadows very well. The tone is definitely more cool than warmReturnal on PS5 on the new TV: I could dial the brightness down, getting a much better picture

Night viewing w/ light strip backlight

Rings of Power: HDR scenes looks greatRings of PowerAndor: Here you can see how dark the screen gets with a black backgroundAndor: These big budget shows really look good on here

Daytime: three windows and an overhead light on, no backlight

Red Dead Redemption 2: There are some filters on, but this PS4 game looks great Horizon Forbidden West: Here you can see the curtains/window fairly well in the reflection. Somehow it looks worse in photos than in real life, but it is still much easier to see in daylight than my old TV. Same issue here, but when playing I didn’t find it too distractingHorizon Forbidden West: The dark scenes with the glowing machinery look great, but still can see some reflections.Final Fantasy 7 Remake: Can see curtain and overhead light but the rest of the scene looks great

How does this compare to other TV’s such as OLEDs? 

I had my heart set initially on an LG OLED TV. OLEDs are considered to be the best TV’s around, with the deepest blacks and best contrast around. What finally changed my mind were two factors, burn-in and cost. 

Burn-in is when an image on the screen get’s “burnt in” and is always semi-visible afterward. This happens with stagnant images on screen, think a gaming HUD or perhaps the chyron or logo on a news channel. There are best practices that can be employed to avoid this, but it isn’t something I wanted to worry about.

Cost: The 65” LG C1, which is last year’s flagship OLED TV, is usually on sale for about $1500-1700. It can cost more or less than that of course, sales depending. This is double the cost that I paid. Mine was on sale for $800, 200 off of MSRP. I think that the commentary about the Google OS scared people off, leaving more inventory on my model. The other OLEDs I like are Sony’s, but they cost even more. The Sonys use the same panels as LG but have better processing for upscaling lower resolution content. 

In the end, even $800 is a lot of money for a TV and I couldn’t justify spending more money than that. After scouring forums and countless videos comparing the TVs, this Youtube video comparison from MinimalisTech sold me. It compared the R646 to the even newer LG OLED C2. In the end, he said the performance was very similar, which is kind of shocking. Check it out. 

Other companies have good offerings as well, but generally comparing the performance, I couldn’t find anything with the same performance as the TCL at similar prices. Some TV’s with similar specs almost cost as much as an OLED TV! If you’re going to spend that kind of money, then get the real deal.  

You shouldn’t buy if:

You love Roku: TCL has gone back to offering Roku on its 2022 6 series entry, the R655. You could also get the 2020 R635, but it doesn’t have HDMI 2.1, has fewer local dimming zones, and doesn’t get as bright. 

Need Airplay: Not available on Google OS

If it isn’t on sale: If this TV is selling for $1000(65”), stay away! That’s the MSRP of the new model, the R655. Retailers frequently sell old models at prices that don’t make sense. I recently saw the R635 for $1000, which is ridiculous.

You want a bigger sale: Now that the R655 is out, I wouldn’t be surprised if the R635 and R646 are on sale this black Friday or cyber Monday.

You need the absolute best: OLED is the best, but get ready to pay for it.

It’s too expensive: There’s nothing wrong with holding onto an older TV and saving your money! TCL also has the 4 series (the TV I replaced), and the 5 series which are much cheaper but less premium. These TVs would be fine for casual viewing. 


I spent a lot of money on this TV, but I could have easily spent a lot more. To soften the blow, I sold my old TV and speakers for $300, which made the impact much less! Now I have a TV that wows, is future-proof for at least a few years, and supports all of the PS5’s advanced features such as variable refresh rate and 120hz content. If you’re in the market for a TV, definitely check this one out. 

TCL QM8 Mini-LED TV hands-on impressions: I’m shook

Doug Murray/Digital Trends

I don’t think you’re ready for the TCL QM8 TV. I sure wasn’t. And we need to talk about it.


  • Video
  • First impressions
  • Brightness
  • Picture quality
  • The price is righteous

Many of us were expecting good things from the TCL QM8. Based on some of the DMs, emails, and comments I’ve received, there’s a lot of interest in this TV. And I think that’s because what came out of CES looked really encouraging. But TCL is also changing its model numbers convention and kind of restructuring its TV lineup a bit, which might have had us wondering if the QM8 would be all that and a bag of chips, or possibly just another iteration on what used to be known as the 6-Series.

I’m going to talk about the new model numbers and TCL’s 2023 strategy, including what I think is some huge news about its NFL partnership, in future articles where I’ll also be getting into the Q7 and Q6. But for now, I really want to focus on the QM8 because this TV really surprised the hell out of me.

I can’t say I was shocked because I expect TCL to keep me on my toes, but I didn’t know the QM8 was going to be this good.


First impressions

This is not a full review. I will be giving this TV a full review once it arrives here and I’ve been able to spend more than six hours with it. But at a recent TCL event in New York, I was able to gather quite a bit of intel on this TV, which I’m about to share with you. Before I do that, just a few reminders about this TV:

The QM8 is the only TV in TCL’s lineup that has mini-LED backlighting — that’s the ‘M’ in QM8. The sizes go from 65 inches all the way up to 98 inches, and it’s in that 98-inch model that the TV has a whopping 2,300 local dimming zones. The smaller the model, the fewer the zones that are needed, but the zone count is commensurate with the size of the panel. And I can vouch for the fact that the 85- and 98-inch models I saw had identical backlight behavior. The QM8 has a central pedestal stand for up to the 85-inch model, but the 98-incher has feet for stability. All sizes have a subwoofer built into the back to go along with down-firing speakers. The TV has two HDMI 2.1 inputs and can do either 4K at 144Hz or 1440p at 240Hz using some game accelerator trickery.

The QM8 runs Google TV and supports pretty much all the things. TCL’s 2023 TVs do not, however, support ATSC 3.0.

Now, let’s get into performance.


The headline here is that the QM8 did indeed hit 2,200 nits using a standard 10% white window (it also managed the same with smaller windows). As with most TVs, the brightness diminished the bigger the white window got. However, the 85-inch model I tested — which apparently just made it to New York City the day before and had not been vetted at all — managed to put out just shy of 1,000 nits from a full-field white window. One thousand nits full-screen! Now, there are some caveats involved, but I’m getting to that. I’m not done being shocked yet.

The TV is capable of being incredibly bright.

While the TV registered those peak luminance measurements using standard testing procedures of putting a white window up on the screen and measuring its output in SDR and HDR, there’s another test I run where the Calman software I use does a rapid fire of increasing window sizes from small to large and measures the output from each one. The TCL QM8 peaked at almost 3,200 nits in this test, and at 100%, it settled at 941 nits.

So … what does this mean? In short, it means the TV is capable of being incredibly bright. Like, flagship-8K-mini-LED-TV-from-competing-brands-such-as-Samsung bright. Don’t bother asking if it is a good bright-room TV – you can watch this outside in full sun, though I would not recommend that as it isn’t weatherproof.

Doug Murray/Digital Trends

But why, you may ask, did the TV peak at 2,200 nits in one test and 3,200 nits in another test? How is it outperforming TCL’s own promised performance? If those questions sound familiar, that’s because you’re a loyal reader — thank you — who has seen me make the same observations about Hisense’s TVs.

Now, when I asked Hisense why its TVs consistently outperformed its own claims, the representatives gave me a line about liking to underpromise and overdeliver. Not a bad business practice to exceed your customers’ expectations, right? But, I suspect there’s more to it than that. This is just a theory, but I believe that variances in manufacturing — variances in the performance of various parts in the TV — mean that not all units of a particular model perform the same. So, it’s possible that one QM8 could be just a touch brighter than another. The same as, say, a Hisense U8K or U7K. They set a baseline that they can guarantee and then, if and when it outperforms that performance baseline, well, lucky for you.

Doug Murray/Digital Trends

But, there’s another piece to this. Why did my readings vary from test to test? Well, that goes to how the processor in the TV perceives what it is displaying. As we’ve seen in the past, sometimes performance on testing patterns isn’t indicative of real-world performance. In cases where the testing pattern performance outpaces real-life content performance, that’s not good. But when real content performance is better than the test patterns? That’s frustrating for me, but excellent for you. I suspect that the rapid-fire test went by quickly enough that the processor in the TV acted as it will with real content and that real HDR highlights could punch up into the 3,000-nit territory on some units. That speaks to the TV’s flagship-level brightness performance, and I was just not expecting that.

Picture quality

Of course, high brightness is only part of the picture (pardon the played-out pun), so we also need to know how the backlight dimming controls are. How’s the blooming and/or halo mitigation? I have awesome news: What I saw was fan-freaking-tastic. Excellent black levels, truly top-notch dimming, inky blacks where they needed to be inky. I was gobsmacked at how good the dimming on this TV was. It was light-years ahead of the TCL R646 I regularly use in daily life. Enough so to make me jealous.

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Doug Murray/Digital Trends
Doug Murray/Digital Trends
Doug Murray/Digital Trends
Doug Murray/Digital Trends
Doug Murray/Digital Trends
Doug Murray/Digital Trends

I wasn’t able to delve into finer details like how well it maintained shadow detail or whether it crushed blacks to an unacceptable level — that’s something I’ll dive into when I have more time with the TV for the full review. But I was delighted with what I was able to watch in the time I had.

As for other elements like color accuracy and color volume, I’ll say that the QM8 definitely needed some groysscale calibration to look its best and most accurate. Not a ton, but it was needed for accuracy. And it did about 96% of the P3 color space and about 75% of the BT 2020 color space — right up there with some of the best TVs you could buy from the past couple of years. From what I was able to watch, motion looked good. Banding was minimal; the processing looks pretty solid.

I was kind of sold on the TV already. But then TCL hit me with the pricing. And that’s when I knew that this TV was going to be huge this year.

The price is righteous

The 65-inch model is going to have an MSRP of $1,700. That may seem like a lot for a TCL, but not when you consider this TV is competing against the likes of the Samsung QN90C and even QN95C in terms of performance. It’s going to come in at least $800 less than the competition. Also, there’s only a $500 difference between the 75- and 85-inch models, which means I think folks are going to want to go big with the QM8. Of course, the 98-inch model is just a beast and so I would expect a lofty price. But you might be surprised to learn that the 98-inch QM8 is going to come in right at around $10,000. Again, that’s a lot of money, but keep in mind the 2021 Samsung QN90A 98-inch TV came in at $15,000, and that ridiculous 98-inch QN100B we saw at CEDIA last year is a $40,000 TV.

Without a doubt, TCL is bringing some massive value this year. That’s always been its bag. But now we’ve got the QM8, which offers true flagship performance that competes with the best 4K TVs out there, and comes in at a very attractive price. Unless it does something very bad that I didn’t catch at this event, the QM8 is going to be the must-have TV this year. I just hope TCL is making enough of them.

Here’s a rundown of TCL’s 2023 TV lineup, with pricing for every model and size.

Editors’ Recommendations
  • TCL’s 2023 mini-LED 4K TVs are shockingly affordable

  • Is 8K TV dying? It’s not looking good at CES 2023

  • Best 8K TV deals for January 2023: QLED, Mini-LED, and beyond from $1,300 up

  • Hisense debuts the UX, its brightest mini-LED TV at CES 2023

  • The best TCL TV deals


High data rates in 5G¹ networks combined with comprehensive privacy protection in

provide fast, smooth and safe operation of the device.

Stay connected for as long as possible with a 4500² mAh battery. Store the maximum number of photos with 256³ GB of built-in memory.

Unite your TCL devices into a single ecosystem using Multi-Screen4 and Wireless Screen technologies.


The 4500² mAh battery will power your smartphone all day long.

And the 18W Qualcomm® Quick Charge™ 3.0 Charger allows you to charge your battery from 0% to 50% in just 35 minutes⁵.

wireless charging

Travel light with 15W wireless charging that instantly starts recharging your smartphone when you place it on the wireless charging stand⁶.

Too much memory

Keep all the best moments on one device with built-in memory TCL 20 Pro 5G is 256² GB, expandable up to 1 TB, enough to store 24,200 photos⁷.

Improved Feedback

TCL 20 Pro 5G is equipped with a linear vibration motor that provides improved feedback for more than 20 different scenarios,

including vibration feedback in games and when you click on interface elements, notifications, calls and alarms.

IR remote

TCL 20 Pro 5G can be used as an IR remote.

Control your TV and many home devices with the built-in IR sensor.

Seamless TV connection

Thanks to the smart connection of TCL 20 Pro 5G to TVs using NFC and a QR code⁸, you can share photos and videos on the big screen effortlessly.

TCL Ecosystem

The TCL 20 Pro 5G supports Multi-Screen⁴, a full-featured projection of a smartphone screen onto a tablet screen. You can use one large screen – for two devices, without being distracted by a smartphone when working on a tablet. The tablet screen will have all the functions of the smartphone and notifications from it.

Copy files between smartphone and tablet with simple drag and drop (works in Gallery and Files).

Use the shared clipboard – conveniently copy text and files between your smartphone and tablet.

Choose whether the sound from the smartphone is played on the smartphone itself or on the tablet.

5G communication

The Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 750G 5G chipset allows you to connect to 5G¹ networks for a more reliable connection with faster data transfer rates and faster response times.

Enjoy responsiveness and smooth performance in the most demanding multitasking applications with a powerful processor.

Global communication

Travel anywhere in the world and be sure you have a reliable 5G connection to keep you always connected¹.

Maximum performance. And no overheating

Enjoy maximum performance, no matter the task at hand, without overheating your device thanks to liquid cooling technology.

energy saving

With smart power saving technology, the smartphone automatically switches between 4G and 5G networks depending on the intensity of data transfer to maintain a stable connection and save battery life.

TCL 6 Series (65R646) with Google TV Review

The TCL 6 Series has long been a great way to get a great TV viewing experience at a reasonable price. It’s also quite modern with new TV tech, and the latest models use Samsung’s much-loved QLED technology for brighter, more vibrant colors. However, until recently, the TV was only available from Roku. Now Roku is great, but some prefer Google’s software. Fortunately, this is not possible with Google TV, as it is with the TCL 6-Series.

The TV offers everything you already love about TCL 6 Series TVs, but with the new Google TV operating system. This means you get deep integration with Google services on top of excellent image quality for less than $1,000.

Is the 6th series with Google TV as good as the Roku model? And does it outperform competitors like Hisense and Vizio? To find out, we looked at model 65R646.

TCL 6 Series (65R646)

Rating: Stars 4.5

The updated TCL 6 series brings superior picture quality, user-friendly software and premium design to a TV in this price range.

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  • excellent image quality
  • dark black level
  • solid experience with
  • software

  • premium design
  • relatively inexpensive

The TCL 6-Series is designed very differently from other TVs in this price range and is a bit more premium. It has a nice matte metal edge all around and a completely bezel-less display, except for the bezel at the bottom, which is made from the same material. The back of the TV is made of plastic, but that’s not a big deal as you can’t really see anything from the back.

But although there are flaws in the design. The completely bezel-less look means the TV is slightly thicker than the competition. Although I didn’t care. It’s also quite heavy for a TV of this size.

Image Source: Christian de Looper for BGR

TCL is committed to helping you make your TV cleaner and cleaner. Feet, for example, allow cables to be routed through them, avoiding cables hanging on the back of the TV. I really appreciate these touches – things that can often only be found in more expensive options.

You’ll find all of the TV’s ports on the back, and there’s a good selection of them. You’ll find four HDMI ports on the side, one of which supports eARC. The two ports also support HDMI 2.1 so you can take advantage of the higher refresh rates offered by the new gaming console.

The TV is fairly easy to set up, although you will need two people to set it up, especially if you have a 65″ model like ours. You just screw in the legs, plug in your TV, and you’re done. There are two leg positions, which is good.

Image Source: Christian de Looper for BGR

The remote looks good and is pretty basic. You will use it to control most of the Google TV software and TCL is basically up to you to use this software. Basically, you will need to press the Settings button, scroll down to Inputs, then select a new input to move to another input. Many modern devices will work with HDMI CEC, allowing the TV to turn on automatically. But it should still be easy to switch manually.

TCL 6 Series Software

The main difference between this TV and other 6 Series TVs is that it comes with the Google TV operating system. You can still get a TV with Roku, but you’ll have to sacrifice an HDMI 2.1 port for an HDMI 2.0 port.

Google TV is pretty easy to set up, and if you’ve done it directly through the Google Home app before using your Google smart home device. The app can also sign into your Google account and transfer content, making the setup process a bit easier.

I generally like Google TV, but then again, I already like its predecessor, Android TV. Google TV is made up of rows of content it thinks you might like, followed by a row of apps, and then a few more rows of content. Given the fact that we have so many streaming services these days, I like the content-driven approach. It can be difficult to know which material is where. The recommendation system seems to work pretty well – it usually recommends content that I find interesting.

Image Source: Christian de Looper for BGR

You will also get other benefits through Google TV. For example, the operating system offers support for Google Assistant, Google Cast, and Google Home. If you are an Android user and connected to the Google ecosystem, a TV with Google TV is the best option. Google TV also supports Alexa, but you won’t find support for the Apple ecosystem outside of the Apple TV+ app.

Overall, the TCL 6 Series was reasonably responsive. There were times when it slowed down a bit and took a few seconds to respond to input. But it works much better than Android TV from five years ago. Please note that software bugs were noted in several reviews at launch. However, I haven’t run into any software issues, so it looks like TCL has fixed a lot of them.

Tcl 6 Series Display

The best of the TCL 6 Series has nothing to do with software—it has nothing to do with image quality. The latest models use QLED technology for bright and vivid images, and mini-LED backlighting for deep black levels. Result? TV looks great in any conditions.

One of the best things about this TV for me as a nerd is that the display panel was pretty uniform and there was a bit of a nasty screen effect. Of course, your mileage may vary, but given the fact that other reviews highlight the panel’s uniformity, it looks like TCL has done a good job of keeping the panel quality consistent.

Image Source: Christian de Looper for BGR

The TV is very bright in both SDR and HDR content. The TV supports Dolby Vision and HDR10+, and by all appearances, content in these formats looks better than in others. But the TV still showed a great picture with the old content, and the content was streamed at 1,080p. Not only is the TV bright when you need it, it’s also capable of delivering superb deep black levels thanks to the mini LED backlight.

The TV supports 120Hz and VRR (Variable Refresh Rate), but does not support G-Sync or FreeSync like some other TVs in this price range. If you don’t plan on using the TV for PC gaming, it doesn’t matter – and I found it to be great for console gaming.

TCL 6 Series Audio

One area this TV doesn’t excel in is audio. Built-in speakers are better, and you’ll want to use a TV with an external soundbar or a pair of speakers. There is some bass here, but not much, and there is not much detail in the high frequencies. This is to be expected from a TV in this price range, but still, I expect mid-range TVs to get better speakers in the next few years.


TCL 6-Series, along with Google TV, is TCL’s home run. It’s not perfect – it’s a bit rough, and the speakers leave a lot to be desired. But it excels where it really counts – with great image quality, a decent amount of modern ports, and decent software. To be honest, this TV is the best you can buy for less than $1,000 and competes with even more expensive TVs.


The biggest competition is Hisense U8G and Hisense U7G, both of which offer excellent image quality and many great features. Both are equipped with Hisense’s ULED technology and Android TV, which is very similar to Google TV.