TCL 55-Inch 4K Smart LED TV

Last updated date: March 28, 2019

DWYM Score
8.3

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We looked at the top 1 4K TVs and dug through the reviews from 9 of the most popular review sites including Tech Radar, TechHive, Digital Trends, CNET, Consumer Reports, PG Magazine - SE Asia, Tom's Guide, BestReviews, RTINGS.com and more. Through this analysis, we've determined the best 4K TV you should buy.

Overall Take

In our analysis of 91 expert reviews, the TCL TCL 55-Inch 4K Smart LED TV placed 3rd when we looked at the top 15 products in the category. For the full ranking, see below.

Editor's Note May 6, 2019:
Checkout The Best 4K TV for a detailed review of all the top 4k tvs.

Expert Summarized Score
8.2
9 expert reviews
User Summarized Score
8.5
1,491 user reviews
Our Favorite Video Reviews
What experts liked
4K/HDR Performance TL;DR: A perfect companion for games and movies (especially those in Dolby Vision) the 6-Series punches well above its weight.
- Tech Radar
November 1, 2018 | Full review
The TCL remote is essentially a Roku remote (it’s basically the same remote you’d get if you bought one of Roku’s higher-end set-top boxes). It has a minimal number of buttons and is quite efficient. The remote supports voice commands and has a headphone output for private listening via headphones or earbuds.
- TechHive
July 13, 2018 | Full review
The TCL 6-Series supports both HDR10 and Dolby Vision, and it displays both of them extremely well.
- Digital Trends
July 30, 2018 | Full review
Dim lighting: The TCL punched far above its weight in my dark-room comparison with the TVs calibrated to the same light output.
- CNET
July 26, 2018 | Full review
This 55-inch 4K UHD smart TV from TCL, a Roku TV model in TCL's step-up 6-series sets for 2018, delivers excellent high-definition picture quality and excellent UHD performance. The TV's HDR performance was very effective, up there with the very best sets. (The TV supports both the HDR10 and Dolby Vision HDR formats.)
- Consumer Reports
It makes few significant changes besides a slightly more attractive physical design, keeping the excellent contrast and color range of the previous version intact.
- PG Magazine - SE Asia
May 10, 2018 | Full review
The TV provides better than average performance and offers deep black levels thanks to its individual lighting zones.
- Tom's Guide
December 17, 2018 | Full review
Has built-in Roku that makes it easy to stream numerous popular apps.
- BestReviews
January 1, 2019 | Full review
The TCL 6 Series (R617/R615) is a very good 4k TV for a wide range of usages. It has good dark scene performance due to the full-array local dimming and high native contrast so blacks appear deep even in a dark room.
- RTINGS.com
May 18, 2018 | Full review
What experts didn't like
Where there’s room for improvement here is with how the TV handles motion. For the most part, it’s surprisingly good - even if you’re watching fast-paced content - but the way Roku TV is implemented here, you don’t have much control over how motion is handled. There are just three settings - high, medium, low - or it can be turned off entirely.
- Tech Radar
November 1, 2018 | Full review
Note that this is a 60Hz panel, so forget TCL’s 120Hz Clear Motion malarky. Generally speaking, 60Hz TVs suffer more severe motion issues because, yes, they don’t have as many dead frames per second to play with, and compensation for this generally requires more processing power than is provided.
- TechHive
July 13, 2018 | Full review
In the case of the 6-Series, we witnessed and documented some vertical banding which brings about an anomaly called dirty screen effect – so called because it can make the screen appear as if it has smudges on the surface. Now to be clear, this vertical banding and the resulting effect it has on images is difficult to detect in most typical viewing cases – in fact, we had to display solid color screens to show the problems our panel had with uniformity.
- Digital Trends
July 30, 2018 | Full review
Blooming is often an issue in HDR with its extra brightness, but the TCL controlled it well, even in difficult sequences like the white-on-black credits at the end of Showman.
- CNET
July 26, 2018 | Full review
The optimal seating position for best picture quality is directly in front of this model. When we viewed the TV from the sides, image quality got worse. The picture showed a moderate loss of color, so flesh tones looked a bit washed out. Black levels visibly brightened, reducing contrast especially on dark scenes. When viewing the image from above or below eye level to the screen, the vertical viewing angle was very good. The picture showed minimal change in color, contrast, and black level.
- Consumer Reports
It lacks the headphone jack we've become very fond of on Roku's Enhanced remotes, which enables private listening. The headphone jack is present on the Roku Ultra, and was on last year's TCL 55P607, but you won't find it on this remote.
- PG Magazine - SE Asia
May 10, 2018 | Full review
The sound isn't as impressive as the picture quality.
- BestReviews
January 1, 2019 | Full review
Gray uniformity is decent, but we have received reports from many people with much worse uniformity. Like the P607, the viewing angle is bad.
- RTINGS.com
May 18, 2018 | Full review

From The Manufacturer

TCL's 6-Series combines stunning 4K HDR picture performance and the award-winning Roku TV smart platform in a bold, brushed metal design for a superior TV experience. Dolby Vision delivers greater brightness and contrast, as well as a fuller palette of rich colors. TCL’s Contrast Control Zone technology individually optimizes the image across up to 120 zones to yield striking contrast between light and dark areas. The 6-Series models’ iPQ Engine provides precise color replication while HDR Pro Gamma significantly improves HDR performance in any setting. Powerful picture performance is complemented by the Roku OS, providing seamless access your cable box, Blu-ray player, gaming console, and other devices without flipping through inputs or complicated menus. An enhanced remote makes it easy to find movie titles, launch or change channels, and even switch inputs, all with your voice.

Overall Product Rankings

3. TCL 55-Inch 4K Smart LED TV
Overall Score: 8.3
Expert Reviews: 9
4. TCL 65-Inch 4K Ultra HD Roku Smart LED TV
Overall Score: 8.2
Expert Reviews: 7
6. Sony 43-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart LED TV
Overall Score: 8.1
Expert Reviews: 4
9. LG 65-Inch 4K Ultra HD LED LCD TV
Overall Score: 7.9
Expert Reviews: 2
10. Vizio 65-Inch LED TV
Overall Score: 7.8
Expert Reviews: 3
11. LG 55-Inch 4K Ultra HD LED LCD TV
Overall Score: 7.7
Expert Reviews: 2
12. Sony 60-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart LED TV
Overall Score: 7.4
Expert Reviews: 3
13. VIZIO 40-Inch LED Smart TV
Overall Score: 7.3
Expert Reviews: 4
14. Sharp 55-Inch 4K Ultra HD LED Smart HDTV
Overall Score: 6.8
Expert Reviews: 1
15. Sharp 43-Inch 4K Ultra HD LED Smart HDTV
Overall Score: 6.7
Expert Reviews: 1

An Overview On 4K TVs

Televisions have likely come a long way since the last time you were in the market for a new screen. TVs have followed the typical tech trajectory of slimming down and dropping weight while increasing screen sizes. Even if your current TV is only a couple years old, technology has skyrocketed in that time to produce incredible visual effects. That’s largely due to the introduction of 4K TVs. These 4K TVs bring along crisper, brighter and more colorful picture quality than ever before.

There are truly outstanding 4K TVs available with four times the amount of pixels as their 1080p predecessors. On top of that, they boast the latest and greatest screen technology. All of that adds up to the ultimate in viewing experiences, no matter what you choose to watch. Quite frankly you’ve never seen your favorite shows or anything from around the world so vividly from the comfort of your couch.

But all these new and improved features can make choosing a new TV complex and confusing. There are many new numbers and acronyms in the descriptions that can sound like a foreign language to a new buyer. However, armed and ready with a bit of knowledge and a few tools of the trade, you can make an informed purchase and find the best 4K TV for you.

One of the first factors to consider is size. Measure and understand how much space you have for your TV. You’re more likely to mount a 4K TV on your wall than set it on a console, but some models have legs and can sit on a stand. It’s worth noting, these legs are generally at the outer edges of the TV, instead of in the center, affecting the overall dimensions of the stand. Additionally, TVs are measured diagonally, so take that into consideration when you assess your space and size needs.

Now, the standard resolution is 4K Ultra HD, which offers four times the pixel resolution as previous 1080p HD. That means crisper, more detailed images. It also lets you sit closer to larger TVs without the usual image degradation.

Pixels alone aren’t responsible for the wow factor that comes with 4K TVs. For that, you need to dive into the additional differentiating acronyms. When you combine screen technology like High Dynamic Range (HDR) and Wide Color Gamut (WCG), that’s when those extra pixels really pop.

What’s more, these 4K TVs have all the features you need seamlessly integrated. They are smart TVs. That means there are no more gadgets or cords required to connect to apps, streaming services and more. It’s all in one.

The latest and greatest technology doesn’t always come cheap. While there are three excellent budget-friendly buys in the top 4K TVs, there are also spendier versions. They start under $500 for the budget-friendly TCL 55S517 55-Inch 4K Ultra HD Roku Smart LED TV, $600 for similar TCL 55R617 55-Inch 4K Ultra HD and $750 for the Vizio P Series 55-inch. The splurge version is the Samsung QN65Q9FN FLAT QLED 4K UHD 9 Series Smart TV at $3,000 for the 65-inch. At that price, the Samsung delivers much more than a standard TV viewing experience. In fact, it includes a new Ambient Mode, which displays decorative content, useful information, personal photos or background music to blend with and enhance your interior décor.

You can rest assured it’s a good time to upgrade your TV. There are always updates and new technology in the works, but the next big change to 8K resolution is still a ways off.

DYWM Fun Fact

Most televisions 50 inches and larger available for sale today are 4K. However, this high-definition resolution and massive size wasn’t always the norm. The earliest televisions were very primitive in comparison. RCA began selling the very first television sets and broadcasting regular programs back in 1939. These had 5-by 12-inch (12.7 by 25.4 cm) picture tubes.

Television technology has progressed by massive leaps and bounds since the early days. Still, for decades, the primary resolution used to describe TVs was the vertical resolution. The switch to 4K, or horizontal resolution, only came in recent years.

Even now, not all content will come in at 4K level. There isn’t any U.S. broadcast TV at this level yet. However, you can find 4K content in from many streaming services, like Netflix, Amazon, iTunes and Vudu. You can also access 4K content with Ultra HD Blu-ray players and gaming consoles, like the PS4 Pro and Xbox One X.

What you can expect in the future is even more shifts, including increases in pixel resolution and more innovative technology. No matter what, the future of TV viewing is getting clearer and crisper with each new innovation.

The 4K TV Buying Guide

  • Remember to measure twice before selecting a new 4K TV. The screen measurements listed on TVs reflect the diagonal distance on the screen. The other measurement is the width of the TV, for sitting on a stand as well as hanging on the wall.
  • The newest 4K TVs have four times the pixels of the previous 1080p TVs from a few years ago.
  • There is new, advanced pixel technology in the works. However, it is a few years away still, so it’s a good time to upgrade to the latest and greatest 4K TVs available now.
  • The larger the number of pixels, the closer you can sit to the TV and still see a crisp clear image.
  • The new 4K TVs vary widely in price, so researching each of their distinguishing features could help you choose a more cost-friendly option.
  • The official resolution for 4K TVs is 3,840 by 2,160, so they are just shy of truly 4,000. The simplified description is much more user-friendly, so it stuck.