TCL is set to launch a series of QLED TVs in the US with Amazon's Fire TV built-in for the first time. The Chinese manufacturer said that it would start adopting Google TV in its models in 2021 and by 2022, TCL 4K Google TVs were finally on the way.
Building on the range of premium Google TV models that were announced earlier this year, the new Q6 series is available in 55-inch, 65-inch and 75-inch versions, and as you'd expect from TCL they're not expensive – the range starts at just $450.
For the longest time buying the best TCL TVs meant getting a Roku TV on board, and buying one of the best Roku streaming devices usually meant buying a TCL one. But that marriage has ended, and TCL is seeing other smart TV providers in the US.
TCL Q6 series has Alexa on board
The Fire TV-powered Q6 is a QLED TV with 4K resolution and a refresh rate of 60Hz. The set has TCL's Motion Rate 120, which delivers an effective motion rate of 120Hz. To be clear, the panel isn't delivering that rate, TCL TVs use a combination of signal processing and backlight scanning to persuade your eyes that's what you're seeing. There's 4K upscaling of lower resolution content and native decoding of HEVC and AV1 video too.
The new TCL TVs have support for Dolby Vision, HDR10/10+ and HLG, but as these are directly backlit LEDs don't expect the HDR quality to be up there with the best QLED TVs. You won't be getting the same control over the darker areas so some blooming is likely to be there and noticeable in darker rooms. The audio here is Dolby Atmos, but as ever with budget TVs we'd strongly suggest investing in one of the best soundbars.
Connectivity is decent provided you're not a serious gamer looking for ultimate performance – if you're then try looking at our best 120Hz 4K TV. The three HDMI ports are HDMI 2.0, but you do get ALLM as well as eARC. And in addition to the Fire TV system there's support for Apple's AirPlay 2, but not Google cast.
It's hard to quibble with this specification at this price, and even the most expensive model is pretty cheap by TV standards: the 75-incher comes in at $799.99, with the 65-inch some $200 cheaper at $599.99. That's a lot of TV for not a lot of money, and the Fire TV interface is both friendly and easy to use. It looks like TCL may have another winner on its hands.
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Writer, broadcaster, musician and kitchen gadget obsessive Carrie Marshall (Twitter) has been writing about tech since 1998, contributing sage advice and odd opinions to all kinds of magazines and websites as well as writing more than a dozen books. Her memoir, Carrie Kills A Man, is on sale now. She is the singer in Glaswegian rock band HAVR.