Reviewed on Oct 16, 2019

TCL 6 Series/R625 2019 TV REVIEW

Usage Ratings - Version 1.3
8.1
Mixed Usage
Value for price beaten by
: none
8.4
Movies
7.5
TV Shows
7.4
Sports
8.8
Video Games
8.5
HDR Movies
8.6
HDR Gaming
8.1
PC Monitor
Type : LED
Sub-Type
:
VA
Resolution : 4k

The TCL 6 Series 2019 is a great budget 4k TV with impressive picture quality and low input lag for gaming. It has an excellent contrast ratio, with outstanding black uniformity and a good local dimming feature. It has excellent peak brightness in SDR, and small, bright highlights really pop in HDR. This TV has an excellent color gamut, great for the latest HDR content.

Unfortunately, it has only decent gray uniformity, with noticeable banding and dirty screen effect, and there are some noticeable motion artifacts in some scenes. Like most TVs with VA panels, the image degrades when viewed at an angle.

Pros
  • Outstanding low input lag.
  • Deep, uniform blacks.
  • Excellent wide color gamut.
Cons
  • Noticeable motion artifacts.

Test Results
Design 8.0
Picture Quality 8.1
Motion 7.9
Inputs 9.4
Sound Quality 6.2
Smart Features 7.7

Check Price

Market Context

The TCL 6 Series 2019 replaces the TCL 6 Series/R617 2018. It's one of TCL's most popular models, and its main competitors are the Vizio M Series Quantum 2019, the Hisense H9F, and the Samsung Q70R QLED. Although it was TCL's highest-end model last year, this year they are releasing the TCL Q825, a high-end model designed to compete with premium models from other brands.

8.0

Design

Curved : No

The TCL 6 Series 2019 has a great design. TCL has updated the design this year, adding a few nice touches, including a partial chrome finish on the feet and a glossy panel on the back. All of these changes add a premium look to this TV, and it feels solid and well-built. Unfortunately, there's still no cable management.

Stand

The feet are attached to the side of the TV, which is unique, but this TV requires a wide table if it isn't wall-mounted. There are covers included in the box to hide the mounting slots for the feet when wall-mounted.

Footprint of the 65" stand: 56.7" x 12.6"

Back
Wall Mount : VESA 300x300

The back of the TV is nearly identical to last year's model, but TCL has added a glossy panel to the top half of the TV. This panel appears to be purely cosmetic, but it adds a premium look to the TV.

Unfortunately, like last year's R617, there is absolutely no cable management.

Borders
Borders : 0.35" (0.9 cm)

The borders on the TCL 65R625 are thin, and aren't distracting when watching TV.

Thickness
Max Thickness : 3.39" (8.6 cm)

The TCL 65R625 is thicker than most TVs we've tested, so it sticks out a bit when wall-mounted.

Temperature
Maximum Temperature
:
97 °F (36 °C)
Average Temperature
:
94 °F (34 °C)
7.5 Build Quality

Overall, the TCL 65R625 has good build quality. The stand supports the TV well, with very little wobble. It appears to be well-built, with no obvious issues, but we have received a few reports of damaged screens out of the box.

8.1

Picture Quality

The TCL 6 Series 2019 delivers great picture quality. It has an excellent contrast ratio and excellent black uniformity, resulting in deep, uniform blacks, and it has a good black uniformity feature. This TV has excellent peak brightness in SDR and decent reflection handling, so glare shouldn't be an issue. In HDR, it gets bright enough for small highlights to stand out the way they should, and it can display a wide color gamut. Unfortunately, like most VA TVs, the image degrades when viewed at an angle, and it has only decent uniformity.

8.8 Contrast
Native Contrast
:
4699 : 1
Contrast with local dimming
:
8196 : 1

The TCL 6 Series 2019 has outstanding contrast, very similar to the R617. This results in deep blacks and is especially noticeable in a dark room. With local dimming enabled, the contrast ratio is even better and is a noticeable improvement over the R617.

7.5 Local Dimming
Local Dimming
:
Yes
Backlight
:
Full-Array

The TCL R625 has a good full-array local dimming system, much better than last year's R617. The dimming algorithms can be a bit too aggressive with some content, though, causing some areas to dim a bit too much, but most regular content looks good. There is some noticeable blooming around subtitles, but it isn't as bad as most Samsung TVs.

The 55" inch model has fewer local dimming zones (100 instead of 120), but we don't expect this to have a significant impact on local dimming performance.

8.7 SDR Peak Brightness
SDR Real Scene Peak Brightness
:
571 cd/m²
SDR Peak 2% Window
:
528 cd/m²
SDR Peak 10% Window
:
833 cd/m²
SDR Peak 25% Window
:
958 cd/m²
SDR Peak 50% Window
:
796 cd/m²
SDR Peak 100% Window
:
541 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 2% Window
:
527 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 10% Window
:
826 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 25% Window
:
949 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 50% Window
:
786 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 100% Window
:
539 cd/m²
SDR ABL
:
0.036

Great peak brightness in SDR, more than bright enough for the most difficult environments. It's not quite as bright as the TCL R617, but this shouldn't be very noticeable with SDR content.

We measured the peak brightness after calibration, with the 'Brighter' setting, with the Backlight set to '100' (max) in the 'Movie' Picture Mode, as these are the most accurate settings. Unlike many TVs, these are also the settings that deliver the highest peak brightness.

8.2 HDR Peak Brightness
HDR Real Scene Peak Brightness
:
667 cd/m²
HDR Peak 2% Window
:
558 cd/m²
HDR Peak 10% Window
:
879 cd/m²
HDR Peak 25% Window
:
1016 cd/m²
HDR Peak 50% Window
:
847 cd/m²
HDR Peak 100% Window
:
576 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 2% Window
:
556 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 10% Window
:
874 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 25% Window
:
1007 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 50% Window
:
839 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 100% Window
:
573 cd/m²
HDR ABL
:
0.036

Great peak brightness in HDR, but it isn't as bright as last year's TCL R617 or the Hisense H9F, so small highlights aren't quite as bright in some scenes.

We measured the peak brightness in HDR before calibration, with the 'Dark HDR' Picture Mode, which is the most accurate and the brightest setting.

6.7 Gray Uniformity
50% Std. Dev.
:
4.074 %
50% DSE
:
0.229 %
5% Std. Dev.
:
0.527 %
5% DSE
:
0.114 %

Note 10/17/2019: Gray uniformity varies on a unit-by-unit basis, so if you buy this TV then let us know how your unit compares in the discussions.

Unfortunately, the TCL 6 Series 2019 has only decent gray uniformity. There's significant vertical banding across the entire screen, and the corners are darker than the rest (also known as vignetting). This is especially disappointing for sports fans, but it's noticeable in most content.

5.7 Viewing Angle
Color Washout
:
24 °
Color Shift
:
34 °
Brightness Loss
:
36 °
Black Level Raise
:
21 °
Gamma Shift
:
19 °

The viewing angle on the TCL R625 is a bit better than last year's TCL R617, but like most VA TVs, there is a noticeable degradation in picture quality when viewed at an angle. When sitting directly in front of the TV this isn't an issue, but if you have a wide seating area, or like to move around a bit, a TV with an IPS panel, like the Sony X800G might be a better choice.

9.2 Black Uniformity
Native Std. Dev.
:
0.539 %
Std. Dev. w/ L.D.
:
0.748 %

The TCL 65R625 has outstanding black uniformity. With local dimming disabled, the image is a bit cloudy, but it isn't very noticeable. With local dimming enabled, there is significantly less clouding, but some more noticeable blooming around the test cross.

6.5 Reflections
Screen Finish
:
Semi-gloss
Total Reflections
:
7.1 %
Indirect Reflections
:
1.1 %

Unfortunately, the TCL 65R625 has slightly worse reflection handling than the TCL R617.

5.9 Pre Calibration
White Balance dE
:
5.20
Color dE
:
3.24
Gamma
:
2.28
Color Temperature
:
5680 K
Picture Mode
:
Movie
Color Temp Setting
:
Warm
Gamma Setting
:
2.2

Unfortunately, the TCL R625 has disappointing accuracy with our pre-calibration settings. There are errors in colors and shades of gray that even some non-enthusiasts might notice, and the color temperature is very warm. Gamma doesn't follow the target curve, and most scenes are displayed darker than they should be.

9.6 Post Calibration
White Balance dE
:
0.33
Color dE
:
0.80
Gamma
:
2.20
Color Temperature
:
6488 K
White Balance Calibration
:
11 point
Color Calibration
:
Yes
Auto-Calibration Function
:
No

After calibration, the TCL R625 has much better accuracy. There are still a few remaining inaccuracies, but most people won't notice anything.

TCL originally announced that the TCL 6 Series 2019 will have an auto-calibration function. Unfortunately, this feature hasn't been released yet, so we haven't been able to try it. Once the app is out we will reset the TV and test the auto-calibration, and post our findings in a discussion post below.

See our recommended settings here

8.0 480p Input

480p content looks great on the TCL R625, with no obvious issues.

8.0 720p Input

720p content, including cable TV, looks great on the TCL R625.

9.0 1080p Input

1080p content looks excellent on the TCL R625, almost as good as native 4k content.

9.9 4k Input

4k content is displayed nearly perfectly on the TCL R625. Unlike the R617, there is no sub-pixel dithering, but we noticed some minor cross-hatching in some content. It isn't very noticeable though, and from a comfortable viewing distance, it isn't an issue.

8.5 Color Gamut
Wide Color Gamut
:
Yes
DCI P3 xy
:
94.65 %
DCI P3 uv
:
97.22 %
Rec 2020 xy
:
71.61 %
Rec 2020 uv
:
78.18 %

Update 10/17/2019: Added clarifications to text.

This TV has an outstanding color gamut, similar to most OLED TVs we've tested, like the LG C9, and very close to the Samsung Q9FN. This is expected, as the quantum dot color used to produce a wide color gamut was one of the main advertised features of this TV. It is a noticeable improvement over the R617, and is important for more saturated colors with the latest 4k HDR movies.

Unfortunately, the EOTF (electro-optical transfer function) doesn't follow the target PQ curve, and most scenes are displayed brighter than they should be. 'Game' mode is a bit more accurate, as shown here. If you find HDR too dark, changing local dimming to 'Medium' results in an overall brighter picture, but the peak brightness is a bit lower, as shown here.

8.0 Color Volume
Normalized DCI P3 Coverage ITP
:
88.2 %
10,000 cd/m² DCI P3 Coverage ITP
:
44.2 %
Normalized Rec 2020 Coverage ITP
:
72.0 %
10,000 cd/m² Rec 2020 Coverage ITP
:
36.0 %

The TCL 6 Series 2019 has great color volume. It's mainly limited by the incomplete color gamut, as it can display dark saturated colors well, and most colors are as bright as pure white.

7.6 Gradient
Color Depth
:
10 Bit
Red (Std. Dev.)
:
0.109 dE
Green (Std. Dev.)
:
0.106 dE
Blue (Std. Dev.)
:
0.080 dE
Gray (Std. Dev.)
:
0.225 dE

The TCL R625 has good gradient handling, but there is some severe banding, especially in green and shades of gray.

10 Temporary Image Retention
IR after 0 min recovery
:
0.00 %
IR after 2 min recovery
:
0.00 %
IR after 4 min recovery
:
0.00 %
IR after 6 min recovery
:
0.00 %
IR after 8 min recovery
:
0.00 %
IR after 10 min recovery
:
0.00 %

The TCL 65R625 shows no signs of temporary image retention, even immediately after displaying our high-contrast static test image for ten minutes.

10 Permanent Burn-In Risk
Permanent Burn-In Risk
:
No

We don't expect VA panels like the TCL R625 to experience permanent image retention, as the VA panel in our long-term test appears immune.

Pixels
7.9

Motion

The TCL 65R625 has good overall motion handling. It has a fast response time, but the backlight always flickers, causing some noticeable motion artifacts and duplications. It has an optional black frame insertion feature, and it can interpolate lower frame rate content up to 60 frames per second. Unfortunately, it doesn't support any advanced motion handling features, like FreeSync.

7.9 Response Time
80% Response Time
:
7.4 ms
100% Response Time
:
15.3 ms

Overall, the TCL 6 Series 2019 has a good response time, but some transitions, especially in dark scenes, are extremely slow, which results in more noticeable ghosting. Unfortunately, the backlight flicker of the TV results in noticeable duplications and other motion artifacts in some content, and this can't be disabled. This can be seen in the above response time photo.

9.9 Flicker-Free
Flicker-Free
:
No
PWM Dimming Frequency
:
960 Hz

Unfortunately, the backlight uses PWM to dim, and there is always flicker, even at max backlight. The relatively high flicker frequency shouldn't bother most people, but it causes some noticeable motion artifacts.

10 Black Frame Insertion (BFI)
Optional BFI
:
Yes
Min Flicker for 60 fps
:
60 Hz
60 Hz for 60 fps
:
Yes
120 Hz for 120 fps
:
N/A
Min Flicker for 60 fps in Game Mode
:
60 Hz

The TCL 6 Series 2019 has an optional black frame insertion feature, which reduces the backlight flicker to 60Hz when enabled. This improves the appearance of motion, but causes duplications. The LED Motion Clarity setting controls this feature.

7.0 Motion Interpolation
Motion Interpolation (30 fps)
:
Yes
Motion Interpolation (60 fps)
:
No

The TCL 6 Series 2019 has an optional motion interpolation feature, but it can only increase the frame rate up to 60 frames per second.

The Action Smoothing setting controls the motion interpolation feature on this TV.

7.7 Stutter
Frame Hold Time @ 24 fps
:
26.4 ms
Frame Hold Time @ 60 fps
:
1.4 ms

The relatively slow response time of the TCL 6 Series 2019 results in less noticeable stutter when watching 24p movies. Stutter can still be seen in some movies, though, especially in slow, panning shots.

10 24p Judder
Judder-Free 24p
:
Yes
Judder-Free 24p via 60p
:
Yes
Judder-Free 24p via 60i
:
Yes
Judder-Free 24p via Native Apps
:
Yes

Like most TCL TVs, the TCL 6 Series 2019 can remove judder from all sources, which is unusual for a 60Hz TV. The Natural Cinema setting must be enabled for this to work. Note that enabling this setting doesn't add any soap opera effect.

0 Variable Refresh Rate
Native Refresh Rate
:
60 Hz
Variable Refresh Rate
:
No
4k VRR Maximum
:
N/A
4k VRR Minimum
:
No VRR support
1080p VRR Maximum
:
N/A
1080p VRR Minimum
:
No VRR support
1440p VRR Maximum
:
N/A
1440p VRR Minimum
:
No VRR support
VRR Supported Connectors
:
No VRR support

The TCL 6 Series 2019 has a 60Hz refresh rate and doesn't support any of the variable refresh rate technologies, like AMD's FreeSync.

9.4

Inputs

The TCL R625 has outstanding low input lag, resulting in an extremely responsive gaming experience. It accepts 1080p, 1440p, and 4k inputs, but can only display chroma 4:4:4 properly with 4k content, which might be an issue when using it as a PC monitor.

9.9 Input Lag
1080p @ 60 Hz
:
11.3 ms
1080p @ 60 Hz Outside Game Mode
:
94.2 ms
1440p @ 60 Hz
:
10.7 ms
4k @ 60 Hz
:
10.8 ms
4k @ 60 Hz + 10 bit HDR
:
13.3 ms
4k @ 60 Hz @ 4:4:4
:
10.6 ms
4k @ 60 Hz Outside Game Mode
:
94.3 ms
4k @ 60 Hz With Interpolation
:
94.3 ms
8k @ 60 Hz
:
N/A
1080p @ 120 Hz
:
N/A
1440p @ 120 Hz
:
N/A
4k @ 120 Hz
:
N/A
1080p with Variable Refresh Rate
:
N/A
1440p with VRR
:
N/A
4k with VRR
:
N/A
8k with VRR
:
N/A
Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM)
:
Yes

This TV has outstanding low input lag in any supported mode, as long as 'Game mode' is enabled. Like most recent TCL TVs we've tested, it also has an automatic low latency mode, which automatically enables 'Game Mode' when it detects a game is being played from a supported console or PC.

6.7 Supported Resolutions
1080p @ 60 Hz @ 4:4:4
:
No
1080p @ 120 Hz
:
No
1440p @ 60 Hz
:
Yes (forced resolution required)
1440p @ 120 Hz
:
No
4k @ 60 Hz
:
Yes
4k @ 60 Hz @ 4:4:4
:
Yes
4k @ 120 Hz
:
No
8k @ 30 Hz or 24 Hz
:
No
8k @ 60 Hz
:
No

The TCL 6 Series 2019 can display chroma 4:4:4 properly, but only in 4k. When sending a 1080p or 1440p signal from a PC, it can't display chroma 4:4:4 properly, so text doesn't look clear. This is very surprising, as almost all 4k TVs can do this, so we expect it's a bug with the current firmware. We'll retest this with future firmware updates.

Input Photos
Total Inputs
HDMI : 4
USB : 1
Digital Optical Audio Out : 1
Analog Audio Out 3.5mm : 1
Analog Audio Out RCA : 0
Component In : 0
Composite In : 1 (incl. adapter)
Tuner (Cable/Ant) : 1
Ethernet : 1
DisplayPort : 0
IR In : 0
SD/SDHC : 0
Inputs Specifications
HDR10
:
Yes
HDR10+
:
No
Dolby Vision
:
Yes
HLG
:
Yes
3D
:
No
HDMI 2.0 Full Bandwidth
:
Yes (HDMI 1,2,3,4)
HDMI 2.1
:
No
CEC : Yes
HDCP 2.2 : Yes (HDMI 1,2,3,4)
USB 3.0
:
No
Variable Analog Audio Out : Yes
Wi-Fi Support : Yes (2.4 GHz, 5 GHz)
Audio Passthrough
ARC
:
Yes (HDMI 4)
eARC support
:
No
Dolby Atmos via TrueHD via eARC
:
No
DTS:X via DTS-HD MA via eARC
:
No
5.1 Dolby Digital via ARC
:
Yes
5.1 DTS via ARC
:
Yes
5.1 Dolby Digital via Optical
:
Yes
5.1 DTS via Optical
:
Yes
6.2

Sound Quality

Like most TVs, the TCL 6 Series 2019 delivers only mediocre sound. It has a mediocre frequency response, and the bass lacks thump or rumble, but has a bit of punch. It can get loud enough for most environments, and there is very little compression. For better sound, a dedicated speaker system or soundbar is recommended. See also our recommendations for the best soundbars.

6.0 Frequency Response
Low-Frequency Extension
:
106.79 Hz
Std. Dev. @ 70
:
5.78 dB
Std. Dev. @ 80
:
5.86 dB
Std. Dev. @ Max
:
6.76 dB
Max
:
89.7 dB SPL
Dynamic Range Compression
:
2.84 dB

This TV has a mediocre frequency response. The low-frequency extension (LFE) is high, resulting in a bass that lacks thump or rumble, but has a bit of punch. Above the LFE, the response is flat, resulting in clear, even dialog, but it lacks airiness due to the drop in the mid-treble. This TV has good max volume and should be loud enough for most rooms, and there is very little compression or pumping artifacts.

6.6 Distortion
Weighted THD @ 80
:
0.105
Weighted THD @ Max
:
0.423
IMD @ 80
:
12.19 %
IMD @ Max
:
17.10 %

Decent distortion performance, about average. The total amount of harmonic distortion at 80dB SPL is good, but it increases a bit at max volume. Like the R617, this TV produces high amounts of inter-modulation distortion, but most people won't notice this.

7.7

Smart Features

Smart OS : Roku TV
Version : 9.1.2

The TCL 6 Series 2019 has good smart features. It runs the same Roku TV interface as most other Roku devices, from TVs to streaming sticks, and it has a huge selection of streaming apps. Unfortunately, there are large ads on the main home page, and they can't be disabled.

8.0 Interface
Ease of Use
:
Easy
Smoothness
:
Very Smooth
Time Taken to Select YouTube
:
4 s
Time Taken to Change Backlight
:
3 s
Advanced Options
:
Many

The interface is identical to the Roku interface found on other Roku devices, from TVs to streaming sticks. It's easy-to-use and fast, but not the fanciest.

0 Ad-Free
Ads
:
Yes
Opt-out
:
No
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