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The Best TCL TV

Last updated on October 14, 2019

We looked at the top 9 TCL TVs and dug through the reviews from 88 of the most popular review sites including Top Reviews, Lifewire, Stevie Wonder, Best Reviews Guide, Consumer Reports, Best Products and more. The result is a ranking of the best TCL TVs.

Best TCL TV

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Our Picks For The Top TCL TVs

Show Contents
Our Take
  Best for Gaming

TCL

55" 4K HDR Dolby Vision Roku Smart LED TV

Overall Take

Excellent Gaming TVWith minimal lag time, this budget-friendly TCL 55" 4K HDR Dolby Vision Roku Smart LED TV is ideal for gamers.

  Best for Small Spaces

TCL

43-In 4K Ultra HD Smart Roku LED TV

Overall Take

Built-In RokuAlthough this TCL 43-In 4K Ultra HD Smart Roku LED TV is on the smaller size, it still has streaming capabilities, as well as multiple HDMI ports.

  Best Bang for Your Buck

TCL

40-In 1080p Smart LED Roku TV

Overall Take

Big SavingsYou'll get a lot of extras with this low-cost TCL 40-In 1080p Smart LED Roku TV, which has a built-in Roku and a Blu-Ray player.

  Also Great

TCL

55-In 4K Ultra HD Roku Smart LED TV

Overall Take

Highest Picture QualityThis TCL 55-In 4K Ultra HD Roku Smart TV easily competes with higher-priced models and even features a voice remote for added convenience.

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16

Products Considered

We identified the majority of the tcl tvs available to purchase.
9

Products Analyzed

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88

Expert Reviews Included

In addition to our expert reviews, we also incorporate feedback and analysis of some of the most respected sources.

36,684

User Opinions Analyzed

We also incorporate user reviews from the leading retailers including Amazon, Best Buy, Walmart, Target.

The Best Overall

TCL 55″ 4K HDR Dolby Vision Roku Smart LED TV

Our Expert Score
8.4
15 expert reviews
User Summarized Score
8.0
762 user reviews
Our Take

The TCL 55" 4K HDR Dolby Vision Roku Smart LED TV offers an impressive picture for an affordable price. You'll get one of the best HDR pictures in its class and a low input lag that makes it perfect for gaming. Contrast Control Zones also optimizes every section of the screen to keep the brightest brights and darkest darks as true to life as possible.


The Best Bang For Your Buck

TCL 40-In 1080p Smart LED Roku TV

Expert Summarized Score
8.2
4 expert reviews
User Summarized Score
8.7
976 user reviews
Our Take

One of the most affordable TVs you'll find, the TCL 40-In 1080p Smart LED Roku TV retails for less than $200. You'll get built-in Roku and three HDMI ports to make it easy to connect your gaming consoles and Blu-Ray players. It has full HD resolution, which isn't the 4K UHD many consumers covet, but it's perfect for a guest bedroom or a kitchen.

Our Findings

TCL 55″ 4K HDR Dolby Vision Roku Smart LED TV

Best for Gaming

TCL 55R617 55-Inch 4K Ultra HD Roku Smart LED TV (2018 Model) (Electronics)


List Price: $799.99 USD
New From: $529.00 USD In Stock
Used from: $529.00 USD In Stock

What We Liked: The TCL 55″ 4K HDR Dolby Vision Roku Smart LED TV offers an impressive picture for an affordable price. You’ll get one of the best HDR pictures in its class and a low input lag that makes it perfect for gaming. Contrast Control Zones also optimizes every section of the screen to keep the brightest brights and darkest darks as true to life as possible.

TCL 40-In 1080p Smart LED Roku TV

Best Bang for Your Buck

TCL 40S325 40 Inch 1080p Smart LED Roku TV (2019) (Electronics)


List Price: $299.99 USD
New From: $199.99 USD In Stock
Used from: $199.99 USD In Stock

What We Liked: One of the most affordable TVs you’ll find, the TCL 40-In 1080p Smart LED Roku TV retails for less than $200. You’ll get built-in Roku and three HDMI ports to make it easy to connect your gaming consoles and Blu-Ray players. It has full HD resolution, which isn’t the 4K UHD many consumers covet, but it’s perfect for a guest bedroom or a kitchen.

TCL 43-In 4K Ultra HD Smart Roku LED TV

Best for Small Spaces

TCL 43S425 43 Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart Roku LED TV (2018) (Electronics)


List Price: $329.99 USD
New From: $229.99 USD In Stock
Used from: $229.95 USD In Stock

What We Liked: The TCL 43-In 4K Ultra HD Smart Roku LED TV is a smaller-sized TV that brings 4K Ultra HD resolution for an affordable price. It comes with three HDMI ports to make it easy to connect your devices, as well as built-in Roku for easy streaming. This is the perfect TV for a smaller room in your house or even your own bedroom.

TCL 55-In 4K Ultra HD Roku Smart LED TV

Also Great

TCL 55S517 55-Inch 4K Ultra HD Roku Smart LED TV (2018 Model) (Electronics)


List Price: $699.99
New From: $499.99 USD In Stock
Used from: $499.99 USD In Stock

What We Liked: The impressive picture on the TCL 55-In 4K Ultra HD Roku Smart LED TV puts it up against some of the top 55-inch TVs in the industry, and for a much lower price. A low input lag makes it perfect for gaming. The TCL 55-In 4K Ultra HD Roku Smart LED TV also comes with a voice remote that makes it easy to search for the shows you want to watch.

Our Expert Consultant

Patrick Ward 
Editor-in-chief of High Speed Experts

Patrick Ward is the editor-in-chief of High Speed Experts, a broadband connectivity-, search engine- and IT-industry education blog that empowers consumers by open-sourcing information about tech services. He earned his bachelor’s degree in commerce with an emphasis on communications at the University of Sydney. His expertise spans the digital, emerging tech and telecommunications fields.

Our TCL TV Buying Guide

TCL has quickly established itself as a serious contender in electronics. Usually priced at a value, these TVs can stand side-by-side with much pricier models.

“Want pristine picture quality but don’t want to spend big? A TCL TV is the long-awaited option you need,” Patrick Ward, editor in chief of IT industry education blog High Speed Experts, says. “TCL is one of the newer manufacturers on the block, which means their low prices are an aggressive sales strategy to gain market share. This means you can score a sweet deal now — but they won’t be this cheap forever.”

Aside from affordability, one of the best things about TCL is the built-in Roku, which makes it easy to stream shows from all of the most popular apps. You’ll get more than 500,000 shows through apps like Netflix and Hulu, included as part of your TV’s main menu. That means you won’t have to power up your DVD player or go to a special area of your cable box to stream. It all flows seamlessly.

Another plus? TCL TVs have great sound.

“Many TVs have poor inbuilt sound that often results in the need to purchase additional equipment to generate the best possible sound quality,” Ward says. “Luckily, the TCL has Dolby Atmos sound built-in, giving you the quality of a high-end TV.”

There are some personal preferences you should consider when buying a TCL TV. First, make sure you’re happy with its picture quality. Although a vivid, crisp picture with accurate color clarity is important, contrast is essential as well. Simplified, contrast is the difference between the darkest and the brightest a picture can get. When you’re looking at a picture with a wide range of colors, good contrast means the darkest dark colors and the brightest bright colors are displayed authentically, all in the same picture. Some TCL TVs build in LED backlight and contrast control zones to make sure you have the best contrast possible for each scene.

Motion handling is another feature that affects the quality of your display. If you watch action movies or sports, this is especially important. Good motion handling ensures the video remains smooth even through the fastest movement.

If you’re a gamer, you’ll want to pay particular attention to input lag as you shop for your TCL TV. This refers to the length of time that it takes for a TV to respond when information is sent to it. It’s crucial for gaming since every millisecond counts. You may not know why there’s a delay when you’re playing your favorite game. All you’ll know is that something is slowing you down. Purchasing the right TV can be an important step in ensuring your gaming sessions are as successful as possible.

The TCL TV does have its weaknesses; our expert Ward notes that the lack of clarity when you try to view it from an angle is one. “If you have a wider room, this may not be the best TV for you, but it’s perfect for areas where you’ll be centered in front of it,” he advises. “You may also consider TCL for secondary sites in your home, such as your bedroom or a guest room, while making your primary TV one of the costlier competitors.”

But no matter what features you compare as you’re shopping, it’s hard to resist the prices you see on TCL TVs. Where many comparable units have price tags in the thousands, TCLs usually retail in the hundreds. You can even get some of the smaller models for less than $200. This puts these budget-friendly TVs ahead of many others in the same class.

“The in-built Roku streaming and associated smart TV makes a TCL a great option for cord-cutters who prefer to use streaming services rather than traditional cable,” Ward concludes. “As with most TV options, bigger is better and you can be thankful that the bigger screen size doesn’t come with a decrease in quality with a TCL TV.”

He sums up the TCL in one phrase: “Premium TV quality for a budget TV price.”

Simplemost Fun Fact

Streaming has taken off in recent years, gradually overtaking cable TV as the most popular way to watch movies and shows. A recent study found that 69 percent of consumers pay for streaming services, compared to 65 percent who pay for cable. Those numbers only increase with younger generations. The demand has challenged manufacturers to find ways to build easy access to streaming into the electronics that viewers use to watch TV, including incorporating apps like Roku into TV sets. Experts predict that with so many different subscription services available, though, consumers may eventually reach a point of “subscription fatigue.” This means they max out the number of streaming services they’re willing to subscribe to in order to cover every possible piece of content they may want to watch.

The TCL TV Tips and Advice

  • A good TV starts with picture quality. If you’re looking for a top-quality picture, the TCL 55″ 4K HDR Dolby Vision Roku Smart LED TV can rival some of the best models on the market. One reason is the built-in Contrast Control Zones, which optimize the image across 120 zones, giving you the perfect contrast for each section of the screen. The TCL 55-In 4K Ultra HD Roku Smart LED TV also has an impressive picture, with a contrast ratio that can take on some of the best LED TVs in the industry. It does especially well in darker rooms.
  • You’ll likely know the screen size you’re looking for before you even start shopping. If you need a larger TV, the TCL 55″ 4K HDR Dolby Vision Roku Smart LED TV or TCL 55-In 4K Ultra HD Roku Smart LED TV should top your list. Those interested in a smaller TV, perhaps for a kitchen or guest bedroom, should consider the TCL 43-In 4K Ultra HD Smart Roku LED TV or the TCL 40-In 1080p Smart LED Roku TV.
  • If you’re interested in hooking up a gaming console, cable box or Blu-Ray DVD player, the number of ports on the set you buy will matter. The TCL 55″ 4K HDR Dolby Vision Roku Smart LED TV, TCL 40-In 1080p Smart LED Roku TV, TCL 43-In 4K Ultra HD Smart Roku LED TV and TCL 55-In 4K Ultra HD Roku Smart LED TV each have three HDMI ports and one USB port, which should be more than sufficient for a TV that builds in Roku for all your streaming needs. With the TCL 55″ 4K HDR Dolby Vision Roku Smart LED TV, you also get an Ethernet jack if you need to directly connect to your home’s internet.
  • Many TV shoppers today are looking for support for 4K technology. The TCL 55″ 4K HDR Dolby Vision Roku Smart LED TV, TCL 43-In 4K Ultra HD Smart Roku LED TV and TCL 55-In 4K Ultra HD Roku Smart LED TV all display 4K Ultra HD content, although you’ll get the best HDR picture from the TCL 55″ 4K HDR Dolby Vision Roku Smart LED TV. The smaller TCL 40-In 1080p Smart LED Roku TV is limited to full HD resolution.
  • Chances are, you’re considering a TCL TV for its price. For the least expensive, you’ll have to go with the smaller models. You can find the TCL 40-In 1080p Smart LED Roku TV for the most affordable price. But for bigger screens, you can’t go wrong with the TCL 55-In 4K Ultra HD Roku Smart LED TV, which is far more affordable than comparable 55-inch TVs. The TCL 55″ 4K HDR Dolby Vision Roku Smart LED TV is still affordable, though, and can fit most budgets.
  • If you’re a gamer, you’ll need to choose a TV with a focus on keeping input lag to an absolute minimum. With TCL TVs, that’s the TCL 55″ 4K HDR Dolby Vision Roku Smart LED TV, which has an input lag of 18.4 milliseconds. You’ll find many other TVs have an input lag twice as long. The TCL 55-In 4K Ultra HD Roku Smart LED TV also has a lower input lag than other TVs.
  • Since TCL TVs come with Roku built in, you’ll need a remote that makes this as easy to use as possible. The TCL 55-In 4K Ultra HD Roku Smart LED TV includes a voice feature that makes searching for your favorite shows a breeze. Best of all, though, is the fact that the remote is so streamlined and easy to use.
  • Your screen will become an important design element in any room you choose for it, so you may want to consider design among your buying factors. The TCL 55″ 4K HDR Dolby Vision Roku Smart LED TV and TCL 55-In 4K Ultra HD Roku Smart LED TV both have a contemporary look with black, slim bezels and feet. The look is similar to what you’d see with much higher-priced TVs.
  • One negative you’ll find with TCL TVs is that their viewing angles are limited. The image will degrade when you get beyond 45 degrees, so make sure you’ll be situated directly in front of it.
  • Motion handling is one feature that sets some TCL TVs apart from others. The TCL 55″ 4K HDR Dolby Vision Roku Smart LED TV handles fast-paced motion extremely well, especially if you take advantage of the built-in low, medium and high settings for motion. This TV has something called LED Motion Clarity to keep images clear even during the most fast-paced action movies. The TCL 40-In 1080p Smart LED Roku TV has a fast refresh rate that helps when you’re watching action movies and sports.
  • The sound on TCL’s TVs isn’t the best, but you can purchase a sound bar to provide that theater-like viewing experience. TCL TVs can ship with an optional Alto sound bar that only minimally impacts the price.
  • TCL incorporates Roku into its TVs, which is a bonus for you. You’ll get access to more than 500,000 movies and TV shows through streaming apps like Netflix, Hulu and YouTube. Unlike gaming consoles and DVD players, Roku makes it easy to find and watch shows. It’s all built into the TV’s menu, which you can access using the included remote.
  • When making an electronics purchase, you’ll be faced with a decision on whether to get a warranty. Manufacturer’s warranties only protect your TV for a limited time, and usually only on manufacturer’s defects. Adding on an extended warranty can cover you for several years and ensure your TV is repaired. However, when you’re spending in the low hundreds of dollars, sometimes the warranty may not be as urgent.