The TCL 6 Series is the flagship TV in TCL's 2020 lineup. It provides very good overall performance and is an upgrade from its predecessor, the TCL 6 Series/R625 2019. Its QLED technology helps provide a very wide color gamut for HDR content, and it gets bright enough in HDR to make highlights really pop. It has a VA panel with an outstanding contrast ratio, but that comes at the cost of its narrow viewing angles. There's a full-array local dimming feature, but some may be disappointed to know it doesn't perform well and results in blooming around bright objects. The built-in Roku smart platform is easy-to-use and has a ton of apps you can download. The TV is well-built and is a good choice to use in a well-lit environment as it has excellent peak brightness and its reflection handling is decent.
The TCL 6 Series 2020 is a very good overall TV and performs well for most uses. It's great for watching movies in dark rooms thanks to its outstanding contrast ratio. HDR content looks great as the TV displays a wide color gamut and it gets bright in that mode. It also has great gaming features like a quick response time and low input lag. Sadly, its local dimming feature results in blooming around bright objects. Also, it's not ideal for wide seating arrangements because it has narrow viewing angles.
The TCL 6 Series 2020 is great for movies. It has a VA panel that results in an outstanding contrast ratio. Sadly, the local dimming feature is mediocre as there's noticeable blooming around bright objects. It also has some uniformity issues that may be distracting in dark scenes. Fortunately, the TV automatically removes 24p judder from any source.
The TCL 6 Series 2020 is good for TV shows. It gets very bright, so it combats glare without many problems, and it has decent reflection handling. The built-in Roku OS is easy-to-use and there's a great selection of apps you can download. Unfortunately, the TV has narrow viewing angles, so it's not ideal for wide seating arrangements.
The TCL 6 Series 2020 is good for sports. It has a quick response time, so fast-moving content has minimal motion blur. It performs well in bright rooms because it gets bright enough to combat glare and it handles reflections fairly well. Unfortunately, it has narrow viewing angles and there's some dirty screen effect in the center, which may be distracting during sports.
The TCL 6 Series 2020 is great for video games. It has a great response time, resulting in minimal motion blur, and there's a Black Frame Insertion feature. It has low input lag, but it still may be too high for competitive gaming. This is a great TV for dark-room gaming because it has an outstanding contrast ratio, but its local dimming feature is mediocre.
The TCL 6 Series 2020 is great for HDR movies. It has an outstanding contrast ratio, resulting in deep blacks when viewed in the dark. Unfortunately, its local dimming feature is mediocre and results in blooming around bright objects. Fortunately, it displays a great wide color gamut for HDR content and gets bright enough to truly bring out highlights.
The TCL 6 Series 2020 is great for HDR gaming. It has a quick response time, low input lag, and a 120Hz refresh rate. HDR content looks great because it displays a wide color gamut and it gets bright enough to make highlights pop. It also can display really deep blacks, but sadly, its local dimming feature is mediocre.
The TCL 6 Series 2020 is a good choice to use as a computer monitor. It displays chroma 4:4:4, which helps it render text clearly, but only with a 4k resolution and not 1080p or 1440p. It has a low input lag that delivers a responsive desktop experience and a quick response time as well. Sadly, it has narrow viewing angles, so the image may look washed out at the sides if you sit too close to the screen.
The TCL 6 Series in 2020 has a great design that's very similar to the TCL 6 Series/R625 2019. The main frame holding the panel is made out of metal and plastic, and it looks like glass, giving the TV a more premium feel. It has new feet compared to the 2019 model, as they're set at an angle and placed towards the center of the TV.
The stand is fairly wide, so you may need a large table to place the TV on.
Footprint of the 55" stand: 42.1" x 13.6"
Note: You can move the position of the feet towards the center on the 65" and 75" TVs, but you can't do that with the 55" model.
This TV is a bit thick, mainly because of the bottom part where the inputs are sticks out, which may be an issue if you wall-mount it.
Good build quality. The stand is solid and the TV doesn't wobble all that much. The TV is mainly plastic and the plastic on the back feels a bit cheap. However, it's well-built overall and there aren't any obvious issues.
The TCL 6 Series has an outstanding contrast ratio, even better than the TCL 6 Series/R625 2019. It produces deep blacks, which is expected from a VA panel, and the local dimming feature significantly improves the contrast. Note that contrast may vary between units.
This TV has excellent peak brightness. It gets bright enough to combat glare, but it's not the most consistent across varied content, as extremely small and extremely large areas aren't as bright, as seen in the 2% and 100% window tests.
We measured the peak brightness after calibration, in the 'Movie' Picture Mode with Local Contrast set to 'High', Gamma set to '2.2', and Backlight at its max. The TV got the brightest possible in these settings, as seen in the 25% peak window test.
Update 08/16/2021: We rechecked the TV on the latest firmware, 10.0.0 Build 4209, to see if it was still crushing blacks. Unfortunately, it's still aggressively crushing blacks in HDR and SDR.
Update 07/12/2021: Uploaded the real content local dimming videos.
Update 02/22/2021: Filmed the local dimming video again because the previous video was shot with the wrong gamma.
Update 09/09/2020: We retested local dimming after testing the TCL 5 Series/S535 2020 QLED, which scored better for local dimming. However, we didn't change our score for this TV because the local dimming on the 6 Series results in more blooming and more black crush than the 5 Series.
The TCL 6 Series has a mediocre full-array local dimming feature. This TV is backlit by mini LEDs, but there aren't many dimming zones, which causes visible blooming around bright objects. Due to the blooming, if there are light sources near people's faces, it causes bright spots near or on faces. Lights pop a bit, but when the light sources are extremely small, they don't pop as much, and there's some black crush. This is noticeable with a star field, as the stars appear bright at first, but as they become smaller, the local dimming fails to light them up, unless they're the brightest star in the image.
Subtitles don't get very bright and there's blooming around them too, as you can see in this photo. Fast-moving objects have visible transitions between the dimming zones, which may be distracting. Overall, the dimming is most noticeable in real content with small sources of light with a dark background, but since it doesn't perform well in that situation, it doesn't look good.
We tested local dimming with Local Contrast set to 'High'. The 65" and 75" models also have more dimming zones, so they may perform better.
Update 07/12/2021: Uploaded the real content local dimming videos.
Update 02/22/2021: We updated the TV to firmware 9.4.0 Build 4200-88 and retested HDR peak brightness as part of our test bench update. Small highlights are more dim but other scenes are brighter.
This TV has impressive peak brightness in HDR, which is a nice improvement over the TCL 6 Series/R625 2019. Small highlights don't stand out as they should, which is a bit disappointing for watching HDR content. However, other scenes are at their correct brightness, as seen in the EOTF curve. If you want something even brighter, then look into the TCL R745 QLED.
We measured the peak brightness in the 'Dark HDR' Picture Mode with Local Contrast to 'High' and Contrast and Backlight at their max.
If you want the brightest image possible, use these same settings but with the Picture Mode set to 'Bright HDR'.
Our unit has decent gray uniformity, but this may vary between units. The edges of the screen are slightly darker and there's some dirty screen effect in the center, which may be distracting during sports. The uniformity is a bit better in near-dark scenes, but there's backlight bleed along the edges.
Black uniformity is just okay, but this may vary between units. There's noticeable backlight bleed near the corners that creates a strange effect. We don't know if this is a defect with our unit or a common issue. If you experience the same thing, let us know in the comments below.
The local dimming feature helps reduce the backlight bleed, but there's blooming around the center cross.
This TV has poor viewing angles, which is expected from a VA panel. The image looks washed out when viewing off-center, so it's not suggested for wide seating arrangements.
This TV has decent reflection handling, which is an improvement over the TCL 6 Series/R625 2019. It performs fairly well in moderately-lit rooms, but the reflections may be a bit too distracting in rooms with direct sunlight.
Update 09/09/2020: A few people have mentioned that the 'Normal' Picture Mode appeared more accurate on their TV than 'Movie'. On our unit, 'Normal' isn't as accurate; we measured a color dE of 6.45, and a white balance dE of 5.36.
The TCL 6 Series QLED has mediocre out-of-the-box color accuracy, but this may vary between units. Most colors are inaccurate and the white balance is off. The color temperature is slightly warm, giving the image a red/yellow tint. Lastly, the gamma doesn't follow the curve well, so most scenes are darker than they should be.
After calibration, color accuracy is exceptional. The light blues are still a bit off, but any remaining inaccuracies are very difficult to spot. Gamma is perfect and the color temperature is very close to the 6500K target. Since there's no auto-calibration function, any calibration has to be done manually. You have to download the Roku app and connect your phone to the TV to change certain settings like gamma and white balance.
See our recommended settings here.
The TCL 6 Series displays 4k content perfectly, and unlike the TCL 6 Series/R625 2019, there aren't any issues with dithering or cross-hatching.
This is a 4k TV that doesn't display an 8k image. The replacement to this TV, the TCL 6 Series/R648 2021 8k QLED, supports an 8k resolution.
This TV uses a BGR subpixel layout, which can affect the way text is displayed when using the TV as a PC monitor. You can read about it here.
The TCL 6 Series has an impressive color gamut. It's a QLED TV with outstanding coverage of the commonly-used DCI P3 color space used in HDR content. It also has decent coverage of the wider Rec. 2020 color space.
The EOTF follows the curve well until it rolls off at its peak brightness. We were able to get the brightest image possible using our regular HDR settings. Set the Picture Mode to 'Dark HDR', Local Contrast to 'High', and the Contrast and Backlight to their max if you want HDR to get its brightest.
In 'Game' mode, the EOTF is very similar, as seen here.
The color volume is very good. This TV displays dark, saturated colors well due to the outstanding contrast ratio, but like most LED TVs, it can't display extremely bright blues.
This TV's gradient handling is mediocre. There's banding with most colors, especially darker shades. It's most noticeable with dark grays and blues. The Noise Reduction setting doesn't improve the gradient handling at all. It has much worse gradient handling than the lower-end TCL 5 Series/S535 2020 QLED.
The TCL 6 Series shows no signs of temporary image retention, but this may vary between units.
We don't expect VA panels to experience permanent image retention, as the VA panel in our long-term test appears immune.
The TCL 6 Series has a great response time, which is a big improvement over the TCL 6 Series/R625 2019. Most content should have minimal motion blur. There's noticeable overshoot with dark transitions, which may cause motion artifacts in dark scenes.
This TV uses Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) to dim its backlight at all brightness levels. The high flicker frequency shouldn't bother most people.
There's has a Black Frame Insertion (BFI) feature to help reduce motion blur. It reduces the flicker frequency to 60Hz and doesn't dim the screen much. To enable it, simply turn on LED Motion Clarity.
This TV can interpolate lower-frame rate content up to 120fps, known as the 'Soap Opera Effect'. It works well but it doesn't stop interpolating in busy scenes, so there are noticeable artifacts.
See the settings for the motion interpolation feature here.
Due to the TV's quick response time, there's visible stutter with lower-frame rate content because each frame is held on longer.
This TV automatically removes judder from any source, and you don't need to turn on any setting for it to work.
This TV supports variable refresh rate technology to reduce screen tearing. It isn't advertised to support FreeSync, but strangely, when it's connected to a PC with a Radeon graphics card, FreeSync is enabled in the Radeon settings. However, FreeSync doesn't work because there's still screen tearing. By connecting our Xbox One S, we were also able to confirm it supports VRR.
We set HDMI Forum VRR as 'Unknown' because we currently don't have an accurate way to test for HDMI Forum VRR compatibility. The Xbox shows there's VRR, but we don't know if it's recognizing FreeSync like the Radeon and it won't work, or if it detects HDMI Forum VRR. We'll update the review once we're able to test for it.
The TCL 6 Series has a low input lag in 'Game' mode, although it's not as low as the lag on the TCL 6 Series/R625 2019. It has an 'Auto Low Latency Mode' that automatically switches the TV into 'Game' mode when a game from a compatible device is launched, and you don't need to turn on any settings for it to work.
The TV also automatically switches into 'PC' mode when you connect a PC, ensuring you get the lowest input lag possible.
This TV displays proper chroma 4:4:4, which is important for reading text if you want to use it as a computer monitor. However, it only displays 4:4:4 with a 4k resolution. With a 1080p or 1440p resolution, it doesn't properly display 4:4:4 because text doesn't look clear. To achieve full bandwidth, set the HDMI Mode setting to 'HDMI 2.0'.
The Composite In input needs an adapter, but unlike the TCL 6 Series/R625 2019, the TV doesn't come with one.
This TV has eARC support, which allows you to send high-quality Dolby Atmos via TrueHD or DTS:X via DTS-HD MA through an HDMI connection. For it to work, go into the 'Audio' settings page, enabled S/PDIF, and set eARC to 'Auto Detect.'
The built-in speakers have a good frequency response. The bass gets fairly low but not low enough for any rumble or thump. The sound profile is well-balanced overall, resulting in clear dialogue. It also gets loud, great if you want to place it in a noisy environment.
This TV has great distortion performance. There's minimal total harmonic distortion at moderate listening levels, and even though there's a bit at its max volume, most people won't hear it.
This TV has built-in Roku OS, which is user-friendly and runs very smoothly. If you're not a fan of Roku and prefer Google TV instead, then check out the TCL 6 Series/R646 2021 QLED.
Unfortunately, like all Roku TVs we've tested, there are large ads on the home screen and they can't be disabled.
Roku's app store has a great selection of apps you can download.
This TV has the same Roku remote as the TCL 6 Series/R625 2019. It's small and very simple, and it comes with shortcut buttons to popular streaming services. The voice control can be a hit or miss at times, as we were able to search for specific content in apps, but when we asked it to change the backlight setting, it changed the volume instead.
The TV's control consists of a single button located on the right back side of the TV. It allows you to turn the TV On/Off and change the input source.
We tested the 55 inch TCL 6 Series 2020 (55R635), and for the most part, we expect our review to be valid for the 65 inch (65R635) and the 75 inch (75R635) sizes too. The larger variants have more dimming zones, so the local dimming feature may perform better. TCL's lineup outside North America is very different, so we're not aware of any equivalents outside Canada and the United States.
If someone comes across a different type of panel or if their TCL 6 Series doesn't correspond to our review, let us know and we will update the review. Note that some tests, such as gray uniformity, may vary between individual units.
You can see the label for our unit here.
The TCL 6 Series 2020 offers good performance for its price and most people should enjoy this TV. However, it's not nearly as good as its main competitor, the Hisense H9G, as it has too many uniformity issues and the local dimming feature doesn't perform as well as some other upper-mid range TVs in 2020. Also see our recommendations for the best budget TVs, the best TCL TVs, and the best 4k TVs.
The LG C1 OLED and the TCL 6 Series/R635 2020 QLED are different types of TVs. The LG has an OLED panel with a near-infinite contrast, perfect black uniformity, and wider viewing angles. It also has HDMI 2.1 inputs, allowing you to play 4k games up to 120 fps, while the TCL is limited to 4k @ 60 fps gaming. However, the TCL has an LED panel that gets brighter, and it doesn't suffer from the risk of permanent burn-in like the LG.
The Hisense U8G is significantly better than the TCL 6 Series/R635 2020 QLED. The Hisense has a much better local dimming feature, and the unit we tested has significantly better black uniformity, so it looks better overall in a dark room. The Hisense also has much better reflection handling, and although minor for most people, it's a bit more future-proof, with 2 HDMI 2.1 ports.
The Hisense U6G is a bit better than the TCL 6 Series/R635 2020 QLED. The Hisense has much better black uniformity, better reflection handling, and a better local dimming feature. On the other hand, the TCL has better contrast, although this isn't a very noticeable difference, and the TCL can remove judder from more sources, including 60Hz sources like a cable box.
The Hisense U7G is a bit better than the TCL 6 Series/R635 2020 QLED. The Hisense has a better local dimming feature, better black uniformity, and better reflection handling. The TCL is a bit brighter overall in HDR, but small highlights stand out better on the Hisense. The Hisense is a bit more future-proof, with two HDMI 2.1 ports, and a bit better for next-gen gaming as it supports 4k @ 120Hz.
The TCL 6 Series/R635 2020 QLED and the TCL 6 Series/R646 2021 QLED sit alongside each other in the TCL 6 Series lineup. The R646 was released a year after the R635, so it improves in a few areas. The main difference is that the R646 has much better local dimming as there's less blooming around bright objects, but it doesn't deliver as deep blacks with local dimming enabled. The R646 also has two HDMI 2.1 inputs, which the R635 doesn't have, meaning you can use it for 4k gaming up to 120 fps. They each have different smart systems, with the R646 using Google TV and the R635 using Roku.
The TCL 6 Series/R635 2020 is better overall than the TCL 5 Series/S535 2020. The 6 Series gets significantly brighter, so highlights pop the way they should in HDR. It also has a 120Hz refresh rate, VRR support, and a quicker response time. However, the 5 Series has better out-of-the-box color accuracy, gradient handling, and it has much lower input lag.
The TCL 6 Series/R635 2020 QLED is much better than the Samsung Q60/Q60A QLED. While they both use VA panels, the TCL has a higher contrast ratio and a full-array local dimming feature to further improve black level. It delivers a better HDR experience overall because it has a wider color gamut and gets significantly brighter, but its gradient handling is mediocre, much worse than the Samsung. The TCL has better response times but higher input lag, and even though it has a 120Hz panel, it lacks HDMI 2.1 ports and can only display a 4k @ 60Hz signal. That said, it supports VRR, whereas the Samsung doesn't.
The Hisense H9G is much better than the TCL 6 Series/R635 2020. The Hisense has a better local dimming feature, handles reflections much better, has a quicker response time, and has a lower input lag. However, the TCL displays a wider color gamut and has better built-in speakers.
The Samsung Q80/Q80T QLED is better for most uses than the TCL 6 Series/R635 QLED, but they both offer very good picture quality. The Samsung has HDMI 2.1 support, so it supports 4k @ 120Hz games, and its quick response time results in smoother motion. The Samsung also has wider viewing angles, but the TCL has a better contrast ratio. The TCL is slightly better for watching HDR movies because it gets much brighter, allowing it to make highlights pop in HDR.
The TCL 6 Series/R635 2020 is somewhat better than the Hisense H8G. The TCL gets much brighter, it displays a much wider color gamut, it has a quicker response time, and has VRR support. However, the Hisense has a much lower input lag, better gradient handling, better reflection handling, and the local dimming feature performs better.
The LG CX OLED performs much better than the TCL 6 Series/R635 2020. The LG uses an OLED panel that results in an infinite contrast ratio, perfect black uniformity, and wide viewing angles. It also has better reflection handling, color accuracy, and gradient handling. However, the TCL doesn't have the risk of permanent burn-in and it gets much brighter.
The TCL 6 Series/R635 2020 is much better than the Samsung Q60/Q60T QLED. The TCL has a 120Hz refresh rate, a much quicker response time, a wider color gamut, and gets much better. On the other hand, the Samsung has much better out-of-the-box color accuracy and lower input lag.
The TCL 6 Series/R635 2020 QLED is better overall than the Samsung Q70/Q70T QLED. The TCL is a flagship model that gets much brighter than the Samsung, delivering a much better HDR experience. It also has a local dimming feature, which the Samsung doesn't have, but it doesn't perform very well on the TCL. They each have a 120Hz panel with VRR support, but with HDMI 2.1 support on the Samsung, it allows for 4k @ 120Hz gaming with both the PS5 and Xbox Series X.
The TCL 6 Series/R635 2020 is slightly better overall than the TCL 6 Series/R625 2019. The 2020 model performs much better in well-lit rooms because it has improved reflection handling and it gets much brighter, so it combats glare easily. It also a faster response time that makes motion look smoother in video games or when you watch sports. However, the 2019 version is a better choice for dark room viewing since the local dimming feature is much better; there's a lot less blooming, and it has significantly better black uniformity, but this may vary between units.
The TCL 8 Series 2019/Q825 QLED and the TCL 6 Series/R635 2020 QLED are similarly performing TVs. That said, the 6 Series has more advanced features, like VRR support and eARC capability. It also has a lower input lag and a faster response time, so it's a better option for gaming. On the other hand, there's a lot more backlight bleed with the 6 series, causing issues with black uniformity; however, this can vary between units.
The Vizio P Series Quantum 2020 is a bit better than the TCL 6 Series/635 2020. The Vizio has better reflection handling and color accuracy, as well as lower input lag and faster response time. On the flip side, the TCL can remove judder from all sources, its internal speakers sound better, and its backlight's high flickering frequency causes less motion duplication in fast-moving scenes.
The TCL 6 Series/R635 2020 QLED and the TCL R745 QLED are both very good TVs. While the R635 is available from 55 to 75 inch sizes, the R745 is only available in an 85 inch model. They're similar overall, but the R745 is slightly better in a few areas, such as HDR peak brightness, gradient handling, and response time. However, the R635 has much better speakers, so sound is better without needing a receiver.
The TCL 6 Series/R648 2021 8k QLED and the TCL 6 Series/R635 2020 QLED are part of the same lineup, but they have different features. The R648 has an 8k resolution, while the R635 is 4k. The 8k resolution is supposed to deliver clear images, but the R635 still does a better job at displaying 480 and native 4k content. The R648 improves in a few ways, like the better local dimming, HDMI 2.1 inputs, and better reflection handling, but the R635 still gets brighter in HDR.
The TCL 6 Series/R635 2020 QLED is much better than the Samsung TU6980. The TCL has a full-array local dimming feature, gets significantly brighter, displays a wide color gamut, and has a quicker response time. On the other hand, the Samsung has slightly better reflection handling and much lower input lag.