Often seen as the little brother to the TCL 6-Series, the 5-Series still boasts a minimalist and elegant design and packs enough punch for those who love games and action movies.
Available in four sizes – 43, 49, 55 and 65 inches – the 5-Series LED TVs really stand out from the competition in terms in budget and value. To give you some sense, the 55-inch model can be had right now for a measly $350.
Not bad, considering that you’ll get a 4K TV with solid picture quality, wide color gamut, low input lag and great response and processing time. The contrast ratio and black levels and uniformity have also been highly praised. And don’t forget about the support for Dolby Vision, considered one of the top HDR formats around. In short, it’s just an awesome product for both everyday daytime and nighttime TV watching.
Best of all, if you’re one of the millions who love Roku, you’re definitely in luck as all of TCL’s smart TVs come with it. Because of its incredibly intuitive interface, it really is a breeze in quickly finding what you want to pick for family movie night. Toggling between apps and devices is also a snap, as you don’t have to physically deal with all of the buttons and switches of separate devices.
The streaming offerings in Roku are seemingly endless, and if a new one hits the market, you can bet that Roku will know that and you’ll quickly have access to it. And if you've got an Amazon Alexa or a Google Home smart speaker, you have the option to pair it to the TV for hands-free voice control, which is really handy in that it will enable you to adjust the volume and settings, search for content and open and close apps.
For those of you looking for that premium look, perhaps the 6-Series would be better because of its high-end brushed metal body and stand. The body of the 5-Series lacks that extra spice, but again, it definitely isn’t an eyesore.
As for the picture quality, keep in mind that the Series-5 only has constant control zones, whereas the 6-Series has 96 zones for the 55-inch model and 120 zones for the 65-inch model. This tech, in addition to local dimming, enables the TV to have different brightness and darkness zones, which could lead to the higher-quality picture.
There is no doubt that the Series-6 comes with better overall picture quality, but the Series-5 isn’t that far behind. If you need to save that couple hundred bucks, you really can’t complain with what you’re getting, even though it’s considered the cheaper model.
Ethen Kim Lieser is a Tech Editor who has held posts at Google, The Korea Herald, Lincoln Journal Star, AsianWeek and Arirang TV.