TCL 6 Series/R635 2020 QLED TV Review

Tested using Methodology v1.6
Updated Nov 04, 2020 at 08:02 am
TCL 6 Series/R635 2020 QLED Picture
7.9
Mixed Usage
Value for price beaten by
: Hisense H9G
8.0
Movies
Value for price beaten by
: Hisense H9G
7.7
TV Shows
Value for price beaten by
: Hisense H9G
7.7
Sports
Value for price beaten by
: Hisense H9G
8.0
Video Games
Value for price beaten by
: Hisense H9G
8.0
HDR Movies
Value for price beaten by
: Hisense H9G
8.0
HDR Gaming
Value for price beaten by
: Hisense H9G
7.7
PC Monitor
Value for price beaten by
: Sony X800H
Type LED
Sub-Type
VA
Resolution 4k

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.

Note: It has variable refresh rate (VRR) support and even though it's not advertised to support FreeSync, we noticed it supports FreeSync but it doesn't work properly. We can't test for HDMI Forum VRR support, but once we do, we'll retest it and update the review. You can read more about it here.

Our Verdict

7.9 Mixed Usage

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.

Pros
  • Outstanding contrast ratio.
  • Excellent peak brightness.
  • Easy-to-use Roku interface.
  • Displays wide color gamut for HDR content.
Cons
  • Mediocre full-array local dimming feature.
  • Narrow viewing angles.
  • Uniformity issues.
8.0 Movies

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.

Pros
  • Outstanding contrast ratio.
  • Automatically removes judder from any source.
  • Upscales lower-resolution content without any issues.
Cons
  • Mediocre full-array local dimming feature.
  • Uniformity issues.
7.7 TV Shows

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.

Pros
  • Excellent peak brightness.
  • Easy-to-use Roku interface.
  • Upscales lower-resolution content without any issues.
Cons
  • Narrow viewing angles.
  • Uniformity issues.
7.7 Sports

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.

Pros
  • Great response time.
  • Excellent peak brightness.
  • Upscales lower-resolution content without any issues.
Cons
  • Narrow viewing angles.
  • Uniformity issues.
8.0 Video Games

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.

Note: It supports VRR and we believe it supports HDMI Forum VRR, but we don't have an accurate way of testing that right now. We'll update the review once we do.

Pros
  • Outstanding contrast ratio.
  • Great response time.
  • Upscales lower-resolution content without any issues.
Cons
  • Mediocre full-array local dimming feature.
  • Uniformity issues.
8.0 HDR Movies

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.

Pros
  • Outstanding contrast ratio.
  • Excellent peak brightness.
  • Displays wide color gamut for HDR content.
Cons
  • Mediocre full-array local dimming feature.
  • Uniformity issues.
8.0 HDR Gaming

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.

Note: It supports VRR and we believe it supports HDMI Forum VRR, but we don't have an accurate way of testing that right now. We'll update the review once we do.

Pros
  • Outstanding contrast ratio.
  • Great response time.
  • Excellent peak brightness.
  • Displays wide color gamut for HDR content.
Cons
  • Mediocre full-array local dimming feature.
  • Uniformity issues.
7.7 PC Monitor

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.

Pros
  • Displays chroma 4:4:4 with a 4k resolution.
  • Excellent peak brightness.
  • No risk of permanent burn-in.
Cons
  • Narrow viewing angles.
  • Uniformity issues.
  • 7.9 Mixed Usage
  • 8.0 Movies
  • 7.7 TV Shows
  • 7.7 Sports
  • 8.0 Video Games
  • 8.0 HDR Movies
  • 8.0 HDR Gaming
  • 7.7 PC Monitor
  1. Updated Mar 01, 2021: Retested HDR peak brightness and reshot local dimming video.
  2. Updated Mar 01, 2021: Converted to Test Bench 1.6.
  3. Updated Nov 04, 2020: Updated review for accuracy and clarity.
  4. Updated Sep 09, 2020: We remeasured the pre-calibration in a few different picture modes.

Video

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Market Context
Market Context
Market Context

The TCL 6 Series is the flagship TV in TCL's 2020 lineup. It replaces the TCL 6 Series/R625 2019 and sits above the TCL 5 Series/S535 2020 QLED. Expect its main competitors to be the Hisense H9G, the Samsung Q60/Q60T QLED, and the Vizio P Series Quantum X 2020.

Design
Design
Style
Curved No

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.

Design
Stand

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.

Design
Back
Wall Mount VESA 300x300

The back of the TCL 6 Series looks a bit different than from the TCL 6 Series/R625 2019. The top half is made from a shiny, glossy plastic that feels solid. The bottom half where the inputs are is made from matte plastic that feels a bit cheap. Cable management is serviced through the feet.

Design
Borders
Borders 0.35" (0.9 cm)

The borders are thin and aren't distracting.

Design
Thickness
Max Thickness 3.66" (9.3 cm)

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.

7.5
Design
Build Quality

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.

Picture Quality
9.1
Picture Quality
Contrast
Native Contrast
5560 : 1
Contrast with local dimming
10537 : 1

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.

8.8
Picture Quality
SDR Brightness
Real Scene Peak Brightness
679 cd/m²
Peak 2% Window
568 cd/m²
Peak 10% Window
907 cd/m²
Peak 25% Window
988 cd/m²
Peak 50% Window
869 cd/m²
Peak 100% Window
596 cd/m²
Sustained 2% Window
567 cd/m²
Sustained 10% Window
902 cd/m²
Sustained 25% Window
982 cd/m²
Sustained 50% Window
865 cd/m²
Sustained 100% Window
594 cd/m²
Automatic Brightness Limiting (ABL)
0.034

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.

6.0
Picture Quality
Local Dimming
Local Dimming
Yes
Backlight
Full-Array

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.

6.0
Picture Quality
Local Dimming In Game Mode
Local Dimming
Yes
Backlight
Full-Array
8.4
Picture Quality
HDR Brightness
Real Scene Highlight
885 cd/m²
Peak 2% Window
599 cd/m²
Peak 10% Window
986 cd/m²
Peak 25% Window
1080 cd/m²
Peak 50% Window
790 cd/m²
Peak 100% Window
662 cd/m²
Sustained 2% Window
597 cd/m²
Sustained 10% Window
980 cd/m²
Sustained 25% Window
1072 cd/m²
Sustained 50% Window
788 cd/m²
Sustained 100% Window
660 cd/m²
Automatic Brightness Limiting (ABL)
0.033

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.

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'.

8.4
Picture Quality
HDR Brightness In Game Mode
Real Scene Highlight
863 cd/m²
Peak 2% Window
603 cd/m²
Peak 10% Window
1003 cd/m²
Peak 25% Window
1096 cd/m²
Peak 50% Window
796 cd/m²
Peak 100% Window
665 cd/m²
Sustained 2% Window
600 cd/m²
Sustained 10% Window
999 cd/m²
Sustained 25% Window
1081 cd/m²
Sustained 50% Window
793 cd/m²
Sustained 100% Window
664 cd/m²
Automatic Brightness Limiting (ABL)
0.034
7.1
Picture Quality
Gray Uniformity
50% Std. Dev.
2.489 %
50% DSE
0.189 %
5% Std. Dev.
2.053 %
5% DSE
0.135 %

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.

6.7
Picture Quality
Black Uniformity
Native Std. Dev.
1.889 %
Std. Dev. w/ L.D.
0.831 %

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.

5.4
Picture Quality
Viewing Angle
Color Washout
25 °
Color Shift
24 °
Brightness Loss
34 °
Black Level Raise
19 °
Gamma Shift
16 °

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.

7.0
Picture Quality
Reflections
Screen Finish
Semi-gloss
Total Reflections
6.0 %
Indirect Reflections
1.1 %
Calculated Direct Reflections
4.8 %

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.

6.1
Picture Quality
Pre Calibration
White Balance dE
4.48
Color dE
3.65
Gamma
2.28
Color Temperature
5753 K
Picture Mode
Movie
Color Temp Setting
Warm
Gamma Setting
2.2

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.

9.4
Picture Quality
Post Calibration
White Balance dE
0.23
Color dE
1.55
Gamma
2.20
Color Temperature
6478 K
White Balance Calibration
11 point
Color Calibration
Yes

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.

8.0
Picture Quality
480p Input

480p content looks great, with no obvious issues.

8.0
Picture Quality
720p Input

720p content, like from cable TV, looks great.

9.0
Picture Quality
1080p Input

1080p content looks excellent, almost as good as native 4k content.

10
Picture Quality
4k Input

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.

0
Picture Quality
8k Input

This is a 4k TV that doesn't display an 8k image.

Picture Quality
Pixels

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.

8.4
Picture Quality
Color Gamut
Wide Color Gamut
Yes
DCI P3 xy
91.01 %
DCI P3 uv
94.57 %
Rec 2020 xy
69.72 %
Rec 2020 uv
78.81 %

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.

7.9
Picture Quality
Color Volume
Normalized DCI P3 Coverage ITP
86.8 %
10,000 cd/m² DCI P3 Coverage ITP
45.0 %
Normalized Rec 2020 Coverage ITP
71.9 %
10,000 cd/m² Rec 2020 Coverage ITP
37.3 %

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.

6.2
Picture Quality
Gradient
Color Depth
10 Bit
Red (Std. Dev.)
0.204 dE
Green (Std. Dev.)
0.176 dE
Blue (Std. Dev.)
0.184 dE
Gray (Std. Dev.)
0.152 dE

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.

10
Picture Quality
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 6 Series shows no signs of temporary image retention, but this may vary between units.

10
Picture Quality
Permanent Burn-In Risk
Permanent Burn-In Risk
No

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

Motion
8.3
Motion
Response Time
80% Response Time
3.8 ms
100% Response Time
11.1 ms

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.

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

This TV uses Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) to dim its backlight at all brightness levels. The high flicker frequency shouldn't bother most people.

8.7
Motion
Black Frame Insertion (BFI)
Optional BFI
Yes
Min Flicker For 60 fps
60 Hz
60Hz For 60 fps
Yes
120Hz For 120 fps
No
Min Flicker for 60 fps in Game Mode
60 Hz

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.

Motion
Motion Interpolation
Motion Interpolation (30 fps)
Yes
Motion Interpolation (60 fps)
Yes

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.

7.0
Motion
Stutter
Frame Hold Time @ 24 fps
30.6 ms
Frame Hold Time @ 60 fps