The TCL 6 Series/R635 2020 QLED is a flagship 4k LED TV. It's part of TCL's 6 Series lineup that includes the TCL 6 Series/R646 2021 QLED and the TCL 6 Series/R648 2021 8k QLED, and this model has Roku TV as its built-in smart interface. It's user-friendly and has a ton of apps available to download. It features Mini LED backlighting that allows the screen to get bright, but even though it's meant to provide greater control over the local dimming zones, its full-array local dimming is mediocre. It has most advanced features people are looking for in a high-end TV, like a 120Hz panel and variable refresh rate (VRR) support, but it doesn't have HDMI 2.1 inputs, so it's not future-proof for console gaming.
The TCL R635 is a very good overall TV. It's great for watching movies in dark rooms thanks to its fantastic contrast ratio, but sadly its local dimming feature causes blooming around bright objects. HDR content looks great as the TV displays a wide color gamut, and it gets bright enough to make highlights pop. It also has great gaming features like a quick response time and VRR support, but it doesn't have HDMI 2.1 support. It's good for watching sports and shows in bright rooms, but it has narrow viewing angles if you have a wide seating arrangement.
The TCL R635 is great for watching movies in dark rooms. It has a VA panel that displays deep blacks thanks to its fantastic contrast ratio. Sadly, the local dimming feature is mediocre as there's noticeable blooming around bright objects. It also has some uniformity issues that are distracting in dark scenes. Fortunately, the TV automatically removes 24p judder from any source.
The TCL R635 is good for watching TV shows in bright rooms. 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 as the image looks washed out from the sides.
The TCL R635 is good for watching sports in bright rooms. 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 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 R635 is great for video games. It has a great response time, resulting in minimal motion blur, and there's a backlight strobing feature to improve the appearance of motion. It has low input lag, but it's higher than other TVs, and it doesn't have HDMI 2.1 inputs. It's a great TV for dark-room gaming because it has a fantastic contrast ratio, but its local dimming feature is mediocre as it causes blooming.
The TCL R635 is great for HDR movies. It has a fantastic contrast ratio, resulting in deep blacks when viewed in the dark. Unfortunately, its local dimming feature is mediocre and causes 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 R635 is great for HDR gaming. It has a quick response time, low input lag, and a 120Hz refresh rate with VRR support for a smooth and responsive gaming experience, but it lacks HDMI 2.1 inputs. HDR content looks great because it displays a wide color gamut, and it gets bright enough to make highlights pop. It also can display deep blacks, but sadly, its local dimming feature is mediocre.
The TCL R635 is a good choice to use as a computer monitor. It displays chroma 4:4:4, which helps 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 R635 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 instead of being straight.
The stand is fairly wide, so you may need a large table to place the TV on.
Footprint of the 55 inch stand: 42.1" x 13.6"
Note: You can move the position of the feet towards the center on the 65 inch and 75 inch TVs, but you can't do that with the 55 inch 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.
The TCL 6 Series Mini LED has good build quality. The stand is solid, and the TV doesn't wobble all that much. The TV is mainly plastic, which sadly feels a bit cheap on the back. However, it's well-built overall, and there aren't any obvious issues.
The TCL 55R635 has a fantastic 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 SDR 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. These are caused by frame dimming and the Automatic Brightness Limiter (ABL).
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.
The TCL 55R635 has a mediocre full-array local dimming feature. This TV uses Mini LED backlighting, with about 220 local dimming zones, and there's 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. It's 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, causing intense black crush. It's worse than the local dimming on the TCL 5 Series/S535 2020 QLED because that TV has less black crush and less blooming.
Subtitles don't get very bright either, 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 local dimming improves the contrast because it helps the TV deeper blacks, but it also causes bright highlights to be more dim.
We tested local dimming with Local Contrast set to 'High'. The larger models, the 65R635 and the 75R635 are advertised to have up to 240 zones, which isn't much more than the 220 on this TV.
Update 07/12/2021: Uploaded the real content local dimming videos.
The local dimming feature looks the same in Game Mode as outside of it. There's still too much black crush and blooming.
The TCL 55R635 has impressive peak brightness in HDR, which is a nice improvement over the TCL 6 Series/R625 2019. It gets bright in most scenes, including real content, but really small highlights are dimmer due to the black crush. Even large areas of bright colors are dimmer than the rest, but other scenes are more consistent. The EOTF follows the target curve fairly well, but some dark scenes are a bit too dark, and this is the best EOTF we measured. 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'.
The HDR peak brightness in Game Mode is the same as outside of it. Any difference in testing results is within the margin of error.
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.
The black uniformity on the TCL 6 Series 2020 is just okay, but this may vary between units. There's a noticeable backlight bleed near the corners that creates a strange halo effect. If you experience the same thing, let us know in the comments below. However, local dimming improves the contrast and removes the halo, but also causes blooming around bright objects.
The TCL 55R635 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.
The TCL R635 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.
The TCL R635 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.
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.
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.
See our recommended settings here.
The TCL 55R635 doesn't have any trouble upscaling 720p content from cable boxes.
The TCL 55R635 displays 4k content perfectly, and unlike the TCL 6 Series/R625 2019, there aren't any issues with dithering or crosshatching.
The TCL 55R635 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.
The TCL R635 uses a BGR subpixel layout, which affects the way text is displayed when using the TV as a PC monitor. You can read about it here.
The TCL 55R635 has an impressive color gamut. It uses quantum dot technology 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 color volume is very good. This TV displays dark, saturated colors well due to the fantastic contrast ratio, but like most LED TVs, it can't display extremely bright blues.
The TCL R635 has mediocre gradient handling. 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. It has much worse gradient handling than the lower-end TCL 5 Series/S535 2020 QLED.
The TCL R635 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 55R635 has a great response time, which is an improvement over the TCL 6 Series/R625 2019. Most fast-moving content has minimal motion blur, but there's noticeable overshoot with dark transitions, which causes motion artifacts in dark scenes.
The TCL 55R635 uses pulse width modulation (PWM) to dim its backlight at all brightness levels. It flickers no matter which picture mode or backlight level, but the high flicker frequency shouldn't bother most people.
The TCL 55R635 has a backlight strobing feature, known as black frame insertion (BFI), to help reduce motion blur. It only flickers at 60Hz, even for 120Hz content, and it doesn't dim the screen like the BFI feature on other TV does. However, the timing is off, resulting in noticeable crosstalk that creates the image duplication you see with the letter R in the photo. The BFI score is based on the flicker frequency and not the actual performance.
The TCL 55R635 can interpolate lower frame rate content up to 120 fps. It works well, but it doesn't stop interpolating in busy scenes, so there are noticeable artifacts.
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, which helps with the appearance of motion in movies, and you don't need to turn on any setting for it to work.
The TCL 6 Series Mini LED supports variable refresh rate technology to reduce screen tearing. It isn't advertised to support FreeSync, but strangely, when 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 there currently isn't an accurate way to test for HDMI Forum VRR compatibility. The Xbox Series X shows there's VRR, but since it supports both HDMI Forum VRR and FreeSync, there's no way to know which is actively working.
The TCL 55R635 displays proper chroma 4:4:4, which is important for reading text if you use it as a computer monitor. However, it only displays 4:4:4 with a 4k resolution. With a 1080p or 1440p resolution, text doesn't look clear because it doesn't display proper 4:4:4.
The TCL 55R635 supports 4k games from the Xbox Series X and PS5 up to 60 fps as it lacks HDMI 2.1 support, but because it has a 120Hz panel, it also supports 1080p @ 120Hz games. It has an Auto Low Latency Mode that automatically switches the TV into Game Mode when launching a game from a compatible device.
Unlike the TCL 6 Series/R646 2021 QLED, it's limited to HDMI 2.0 bandwidth instead of HDMI 2.1.
The Composite In input needs an adapter. 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.
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. The amount of distortion also depends on the content.
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 R635 (55R635), and for the most part, we expect our review to be valid for the 65 inch (65R635) and the 75 inch (75R635) sizes. The 55 inch unit we tested has about 220 local dimming zones, and it's advertised to have up to 240 on the larger sizes, so local dimming should perform the same between each size. 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 R635 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 R635 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 higher-end TVs in 2020.
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 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 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 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 two HDMI 2.1 ports.
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 slightly 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 Hisense U6G is a bit better than the TCL 6 Series/R635 2020 QLED. The Hisense has much better black uniformity, slightly 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 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 TCL 5 Series/S546 2021 QLED and the TCL 6 Series/R635 2020 QLED are both very good TVs. The R635 is a higher-end than the TCL, so it has a 120Hz panel with a quicker response time, but both TVs have HDMI 2.0 inputs. The R635 also gets brighter and doesn't have issues upscaling lower-resolution content from DVDs, so it's a better choice for watching shows. The R635 uses Roku TV as its smart system, which is user-friendly, while the S546 has Android TV, which has a bigger app store.
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 TCL 6 Series/R635 2020 is somewhat better than the Hisense H8G. The TCL gets much brighter, displays a much wider color gamut, 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 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 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 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 has 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 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 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 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 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 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 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.
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.