TCL 6 Series R625 4K QLED TV Review

TCL 65R625

65R625 Dolby Vision HDR Roku Smart LED 60Hz TV

Review Summary
TCL R625

Product Name: TCL R625

Product Description: 4K HDR w/ Dolby Vision high dynamic range support | Quantum Dot color technology | Full-array LED backlighting with local dimming | Auto Game Mode for a responsive gaming experience | Voice Control with Alexa and Google Assistant compatibility

Brand: TCL

  • TCL 65R625
4

See full review below

Model year: 2019

Screen size reviewed: 65”

Bottom Line: The 65R625 is a very good 4K HDR TV and is one of the best models currently available in its class. Its HDR peak brightness is unsurpassed by any other budget brand I’m aware of with the exception of the Hisense H9F which is slightly more expensive. The built-in Roku smart TV interface is considered by many to be the best in the industry and provides a tremendous amount of entertainment options.

Dimensions:

With stand: (W x H x D) 56.9″ x 36.0″ x 12.4″

Without stand: (W x H x D) 56.9″ x 32.9″ x 3.4″

Weight:

With stand: 54.2 lbs.

Without stand: 52.9 lbs.

Warranty: 1-year limited warranty

Pros

  • Quantum dot color technology
  • Very good peak brightness with HDR content
  • Outstanding contrast and black levels
  • Built-in Roku smart TV platform
  • Very low input lag – great for gaming – 1080p @ 60Hz 11.0 ms, 4K @ 60Hz 10.0ms, 1440 @ 60Hz 10.0ms
  • Great performance vs. value

Cons

  • Picture images lose typical amounts of contrast and color saturation at wide viewing angles
  • Motion judder/stutter may be detected with 24p movies

Intro

TCL is a Chinese based company that has become America’s fastest-growing TV brand. In fact, for the first quarter of 2019, TCL was the number one selling brand in North America in units sold surpassing number one ranked Samsung for the first time, according to IHS Markit Technology, which tracks TV sales through its “TV Sets Intelligence Service.” Samsung had been No. 1 for 13 consecutive years.

I’ve had TCL’s 6-Series on my radar list of TVs to review once they became available. And now that the 55” and 65” screen sizes have been released, I recently had the opportunity to evaluate the 65” R625 model in this highly anticipated series. However, before I reviewed the R625, I did some online research and found high praise for this model which put me in a state of high anticipation and eagerness to do my own review of this 4K HDR TV.

During my research on the R625, I checked out several customer reviews on Amazon.com and found a recurring issue with the panel/screen being damaged during shipping. This is not the fault of Amazon, in my opinion, and not necessarily the fault of the shipping company either. It seems to be a quality control issue on TCLs part, and their TVs probably need better packaging, in my opinion.

I must point out, however, the percentage of these damaged displays is low, but there have been enough reported damaged units that I thought it worth mentioning. The unit I used for this review had no physical damage or cosmetic issues.

The 6-Series is second in TCL’s current lineup just under the top-of-the-line 8-Series. The 6-Series is designed to compete with Vizio’s M-Series as well as the Hisense H9F and H8F. As mentioned above, the 6-Series is available in 55” and 65” screen sizes, as well as an earlier release 75” size (75R615).

Design/Features

TCL R625 Side view

Side View

The R625 is a well crafted and handsome looking display. Its build quality is very solid and has a razor-thin bezel accent along the top and sides of the front panel with inset black borders along the outer edges of the TV screen surface. The top half of the back panel contains a glossy black finish which adds an attractive element to the TV’s design, although it will go mostly unnoticed with the back of the TV facing the wall in most installation setups.

One thing that really stood out with this panel design is the width of the bezel when viewed from the side. Most flat-panel designs I come across usually don’t have this amount of side bezel thickness. Furthermore, the maximum panel depth is quite deep for a flat panel design and measures almost 3-1/2” at its thickest point. So keep this in mind if you plan on a wall mount installation.

The TV’s screen has a semi-gloss finish and is illuminated with full-array LED backlighting with local dimming.

The feet (stand) are mounted to the outside edges of the TV and don’t have an alternative mounting location, so the TV will need a wide table-top surface to support the panel. The feet provide very good support for this large 65” display, as there was no panel wobble.

Feature Highlights

  • Quantum dot technology for enhanced and more realistic color performance
  • HDR featuring Dolby Vision, HDR10 and HLG high dynamic range formats for extended picture contrast and brightness
  • Full-array LED backlighting with local dimming – the 65” model contains 120 LED zones – the 55” model contains 100 LED zones
  • Contrast Control Zone technology optimizes the image across individual zones for better contrast between light and dark areas
  • AiPQ Engine uses machine learning algorithms to optimize color, contrast and clarity. AiPQ features three core picture quality algorithms – Smart HDR for vibrant color, Smart 4K Upscaling for sharp clarity, and Smart Contrast optimized to enhance the dramatic, sharp transitions between the brightest whites and darkest blacks
  • Auto Game Mode for a responsive gaming experience
  • Enhanced Roku Remote with voice control
  • Voice Control with Alexa and Google Assistant compatibilityTCL 6 Series Roku enhanced remote

Smart TV – The award-winning Roku TV smart platform is built-in to TCL TVs and provides seamless access to over 500,000 movies and TV shows through a simple, intuitive interface. Accessing this content is easy with an enhanced remote that lets you use your voice to quickly find your favorite entertainment. You can also use voice control to find movie titles, launch or change channels and even switch inputs. This remote uses Wi-Fi so it doesn’t have to be aimed at the TV.

Connectivity

  • 4 HDMI 2.0a ports with HDCP 2.2
  • 1 USB (2.0)
  • 1 Composite input
  • 1 Digital optical output
  • 1 analog audio output 3.5mm
  • 1 RF input (cable/antenna)
  • 1 Ethernet input
  • 802.11ac dual-band Wi-Fi
  • ARC on HDMI port 4

Performance

As I stated earlier, I had read high praise for the R625’s performance. And after reviewing this model, I have to agree with the info I found online. In general, I was very impressed with the R625’s great overall picture quality. The images were bright and sharp with excellent detailed and clarity in addition to very good image depth and transparency. These observations were apparent with all high-def image resolutions including 1080p and 4K (2160p).

Contrast and black levels were excellent thanks in part to the displays full-array LED backlighting with local dimming. The contrast ratio on this TV is excellent especially with local dimming enabled. Viewing dark content on this display was awesome, black levels were exceptionally deep and very inky in appearance. This really paid big dividends when watching this TV in a dark viewing environment.

Shadow detail in dark scenes was rendered very well. Objects that were displayed in dark areas of the picture images showed plenty of detail and clarity without any black crush, which allowed me to easily discern object definition in these dimly lit scenes.

Black uniformity was very good on this TV. The screen appeared uniformly black across the entire surface with virtually no clouding with local dimming enabled. You may, however, experience some very faint blooming when viewing white text against a black background. Although definitely not a deal-breaker.

Color reproduction on the R625 was quite good, delivering rich and vivid colors with good tonal balance and generally accurate hues. The R625’s use of quantum dots pushes its color capability to a level that can compete with much more expensive TVs from other brands.

The R625 also has excellent peak brightness with SDR content which is great for viewing this TV in a room that is well lit with natural lighting. The R625 also does well with HDR images and has very good peak brightness when viewing HDR content which allows small bright highlights to stand out.

I was very impressed with this TV’s HDR capability due to the fact that it is a budget brand TV since most budget models I have encountered and even entry-level models from major manufacturers don’t produce enough peak brightness to render HDR content properly. Well done TCL.

Wide-angle viewing on this TV revealed the common image degrading which is typical of most LED/LCD panels. This comes in the form of contrast and color saturation loss.

Motion handling: The R625 had decent overall motion handling with regular fast-action content. There were no notable motion artifacts with the demo content I viewed of fast-paced sporting events that appeared smooth and blur-free. However, this TV did have some motion artifact issues with certain content, namely 24p movie images that revealed some motion judder and stutter. To help reduce or eliminate motion judder you can turn on the TV’s Natural Cinema setting. The TV also has an Action Smoothing setting that controls motion interpolation to smooth onscreen motion and to help relieve any stutter that may be present.

The sound quality from this TV was mediocre – as is the case with many flat panel designs. The sound output was lean and thin having very little bass punch. However, the TV could play loudly and dialogue was clear and intelligible.

Conclusion

TCL has done a great job with the 6-Series as I discovered while reviewing the 65R625. It delivers very good overall picture quality. Contrast and black levels are outstanding. It has excellent peak brightness with SDR content and very good peak brightness with HDR content.

High-def images deliver very good detail and clarity. The TV has wide color gamut capability and delivers an eye-pleasing color presentation, thanks in part to the R625’s quantum dot technology.

And let’s not forget about the TV’s excellent and award-winning Roku smart TV platform that brings you a huge variety of entertainment options.

If you’re looking for a budget-priced TV that delivers high-quality picture performance, then I highly recommend TCL’s 65R625.

Check out this short video on presentation TCL’s 6-Series 4K QLED TV…

4 comments

  • Hi Milton-

    So I read your review on the TCL R625. It seems like it’s in line with alot of other reviewers. Did you review last year’s model the TCL R617? If so, how does this compare to the new 6 series? Would you say it’s worth to upgrade? How is the upscaling? I know there really isn’t a way to test the upscaling but how does 480, 720, 1080p look?

    Thanks

    • Hi Scott,

      I did not review last year’s model, so I can’t tell you how it compares to the R617. However, with all the R625 has to offer in performance and features I do recommend it outright.

      As far as upscaling, the R625 does a good job with the resolutions you mentioned. But as a point of reference, I must point out that its upscaling isn’t as good as Sony’s 4K X-Reality Pro which is considered by many to be the best in the industry.

      Thanks for your comments.

      Regards,
      Milton
      HDTVs and More

  • I am torn between this and the Samsung QN65Q70RAFXZA, aside from the price can you offer any insights? My biggest concern would be black levels and judder.

    • Hi Michael,

      Both TVs offer very good contrast and black levels and I believe you would be happy with either model in this regard. As far as motion handling is concerned, the Q70R does do a better job, but not to the point that I would recommend it over the R625. And any issues with motion judder on the R625 can be reduced or eliminated by enabling the TVs “Natural Cinema” feature.

      With that said, both of these displays offer very good picture quality, and I could live happily with either model.

      Regards,
      Milton
      HDTVs and More

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