TCL is rapidly taking over the mid-range television space. It’s a spot it’s been vying for over the last five years, and with everything from budget HDR sets to 8K QLEDs to offer, it’s really beginning to hold its own.
TCL has held a steady 10% market share of the global LCD TV market for the past couple of years, as one of the largest TV manufacturers alongside Samsung and LG. So it's more likely than ever that you'll come across a TCL TV in your hunt for the perfect home television, even if they're relatively new to UK stores.
To conquer that space, TCL has a number of TV series – and we mean literally, as TCL somewhat confusingly names its TVs after numbers.
- UPDATE: Amazon Prime Day is coming up fast (July 15 and 16) and that means you're bound to find a number of good TV deals - including some on TCL TVs. That said, we recommend holding out for Amazon Prime Day before making a purchase, and doing your research before buying the cheapest screen available. If you see a good deal on the TCL 32S305, TCL 49S405 or TCL 55S405 you should probably keep looking - as those models are from 2017.
Last year saw the launch of new additions to the TCL 6-Series and 5-Series, while this year, TCL is treating us to two new 8K TVs, including the 2019 TCL Roku TV and the flagship 75-inch TV model from its new 8-Series. You'll also see some carryovers from last year - the 3-Series and 4-Series - that are now cheaper than ever.
It can be hard deciphering which models are capable of which features, but that’s why we’re here. We’ve got our hands on a number of the new smart TVs, and can help you narrow down TCL’s ever-expanding line-up to find the TV that’s right for you.
But before we get into specific models, let’s talk about what TCL is changing in its brand-new 2019 TVs.
TCL 2019 TV technology
So what makes a TCL TV... well, a TCL TV?
In recent years, one of the defining traits of TCL TV's is their use of Roku TV, which appears in most of the mid-range models in North America. By leveraging Roku's strengths, TCL TVs have an incredible library of subscription-based streaming services like Hulu, Netflix, and Amazon Prime Video.
In 2019, TCL is expanding into 8K, with the upcoming launch of the new 2019 TCL Roku TV (or TCL X10 QLED outside the US), plus the new 8-Series range. The company has also joined other display industry leaders to form the 8K Association, which will work to “define 8K display performance standards and support the outreach and promotion of 8K to consumers and to industry partners, like streaming services”.
Both of the new 8K TVs feature TCL’s new Quantum Dot display technology, which supports a wide color gamut display, approaching 100% of the DCI-P3 color space coverage. This, alongside TCL’s mini LED technology, should make for more vibrant colors, heightened contrast, and better viewing angles.
This year also saw the launch of TCL's new AI smart platform, TCL AI-IN, and it’s working to integrate its smart AI-powered products with partners like Android TV, Roku (in North America only), and Amazon Alexa.
TCL continues to work on a number of more unusual form factors, like massive curved screens and concrete subwoofers, though most don't make their to market – especially Western ones.
TCL X10 QLED (new for 2019)
TCL X10 QLED (available in 75 inches): At CES 2019, we discovered that the 8K 2019 TCL Roku TV (or TCL X10 QLED outside the US) boasts QLED and mini LED technology for improved picture quality. Specifically, these smaller LEDs offers more local dimming, with 300% more contrast control zones compared to its last-generation sets.
This creates deeper blacks, more vibrant colors and, most importantly, better viewing angles. Support for 8K, Dolby Vision, and Quantum Dot display technology should make for an impressive picture, particularly in the flagship 75-inch model.
It also has an integrated Onkyo soundbar, which supports Dolby Atmos, and is 14.5mm at its thinnest point. TCL says the 2019 TCL Roku TV will be available in the second half of this year, with prices to be announced.
Model numbers: TBC
TCL 8-Series (new for 2019)
TCL 8-Series (available in 75 inches and larger): The forthcoming TCL 8-Series 8K Roku TV takes a lot of what we liked about the TCL 6-Series 4K Roku TV and quadruples the pixel count while slimming down the thickness. At the starting size of 75 inches, it's a sight to behold.
Like the 2019 TCL Roku TV, the new 8-Series has QLED and mini LED technology for a clear, precise, and vibrant display. The TCL 8K TV also supports a wide color gamut display, approaching 100% of the DCI-P3 color space coverage, Dolby Vision, and more of the ultra-contrast control zones tech we've seen on TCL's higher-end 6-Series televisions.
The 75-inch flagship model can skillfully convert today’s 4K and full HD resolution content and delivers a new sense of depth and clarity, says the company. It'll also be future-proofed for when native 8K content does get here thanks to HDMI 2.1 support.
Like the 2019 TCL Roku TV, it has a built in Onkyo soundbar with Dolby Atmos support. TCL says the 8-Series will be available in 2019, with pricing to be confirmed.
TCL 6-Series (2019)
TCL 6-Series (available in 55, 65, and 75 inches): 2018’s TCL 6-Series has been updated to include a new 75-inch model for 2019. Models in the 6-Series boast three types of HDR support, Roku TV, and copious amounts of LED control zones.
The TCL 6-Series is available now, at a special pre-order introductory price of $649 for the 55” (55R617), $999 for the 65” (65R617) screen size, and $1800 for the 75” (75R617).
Model numbers: 55R617, 65R617, and new for 2019, the 75R617
TCL 5-Series (carryover from 2018)
TCL 5-Series (available in 43, 49, 55, and 65 inches): 2018 saw the launch of the TCL 5-Series, a little brother to the 6-Series that packs many of the same features. You can expect HDR Pro Gamma and support for the three main types of HDR, plus Wide Color with NBP Photon technology and Roku TV built-in. As far as motion is concerned, the 5-Series has 240 Natural Motion technology … which probably equates to a native refresh rate of 120Hz.
The TCL 5-Series is a available now at $429.99 for the 43” (43S517), $449.99 for the 49” (49S517), $499.99 for the 55” (55S517), and $899.99 for the 65” (65S517).
Model numbers: 43S517, 49S517, 55S517, 65S517
TCL 4-Series (carryover from 2018)
TCL 4-Series (available in 43, 49, 55, 65 and 75 inches): If you're not the kind of person who spends a lot of time looking at model numbers, most of the TCL TVs you've likely seen throughout your life have been the 4-Series. It's one of the TV maker's most popular models because it expertly blends performance with price and is known to drop precipitously during Black Friday or Cyber Monday sales.
The 5-Series and 6-Series offer a number of improvements like improved black levels, higher brightess and more dimming zones, the basic 4-Series still offers 4K HDR at an affordable price (note: only HDR10 is supported on the 4-Series, however). Each model in the series still uses Roku TV for its smart platform and comes with a smart remote. If you want a value screen, these are your best bet.
The TCL 4-Series is a available now at $279.99 for the 43” (43S425), $339.99 for the 49” (49S425), $379.99 for the 55” (55S425), and $599.99 for the 65” (65S425).
Model numbers: 43S425, 49S425, 55S425, 65S425
(Editor's note: You might still see some 2017 models floating around online - the TCL 49S405 and TCL 55S405. We'd recommend buying the latest model when possible.)
Everything you need to know about the new TV launches of 2019: