Back in early August, TCL held an event where they introduced the latest QLED TVs of its 2020 lineup, the Series 5 and Series 6, which had first been announced at CES back in January, with the 6-Series featuring mini-LED, a first for TCL. The Quantum Dot TVs, all of which feature the Roku TV interface, Dolby Vision HDR (High Dynamic Range) and HDR Pro Pack, went on sale at the time of the announcement.
The first reviews of the new series arrived in late August and were mostly positive, with critics praising the TVs’ high performance and low prices.
More recent reviews, most of them of the 6-Series, have continued to be positive.
Wired reviewed the 6-Series this week, and described it as “the best television for almost everyone.” The magazine gave the series a rating of 9 out of 10, while stating that “Mini-LED backlighting provides insane contrast. Beautiful overall high-res 4K picture. Built-in Roku interface. Chromecast built in. Clever built-in cable management.” The review’s “tired” section referenced that the TV “cannot display 4K pixel resolution at 120 Hz, so it cannot take full advantage of the upcoming PS5 and Xbox Series X. Video settings are tough to find, at first.”
“Someday, there will be a reason to spend more than $1,000 on a TV. For now, save your money and buy the new TCL 6-Series. For the third year in a row, the $650, 55-inch model is our favorite TV—where beautiful picture quality and a usable Roku interface meet a reasonable price,” Wired said.
CNET also reviewed the 6-Series, earlier this month, and proclaimed the 6-Series “the new mid-priced TV to beat.” It praised the image quality, “superior brightness for the price,” the game mode performance and Roku TV, while listing such drawbacks as the lack of HBO Max or Apple AirPlay, as well as “some issues with low-light dimming.”
“Those mini-LEDs maximize brightness, leading to better images in bright rooms and with HDR," the CNET review continued. "Local dimming, meanwhile, manages to keep black levels dark and overall contrast superb -- although it's not perfect. And gamers will appreciate the new THX Certified game mode, which serves up fast response time with minimal lag and excellent image quality.”
And RTINGS, in their review published September 4, gave the 6-Series a mixed-usage score of 7.9. It didn’t crack the top 25 among the site’s overall rankings, and it’s the 12th-best TV among 2020 models.
“The TCL 6 Series 2020 is a very good QLED TV overall that's a nice improvement over its predecessor, the TCL 6 Series/R625 2019," that review said. “It has an outstanding contrast ratio thanks to its VA panel, but that means it has narrow viewing angles. There's a full-array local dimming feature, but sadly, it results in noticeable blooming around bright objects.”
The 6-Series comes in 55-, 65- and 75-inch sizes, while the 5-Series ranges from 50 to 75 inches. The company also introduced the cheaper 3-Series and 4-Series, with the 8K 8-Series coming later on.
Stephen Silver, a technology writer for The National Interest, is a journalist, essayist and film critic, who is also a contributor to Philly Voice, Philadelphia Weekly, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Living Life Fearless, Backstage magazine, Broad Street Review and Splice Today. The co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenSilver.