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TCL Q5/Q550G QLED TV Review

Tested using Methodology v1.11
Reviewed Dec 08, 2023 at 11:56 am
Latest change: Writing modified Jan 31, 2024 at 04:03 pm
TCL Q5/Q550G QLED Picture
7.2
Mixed Usage
Value for price beaten by
: none
6.8
TV Shows
Value for price beaten by
: Hisense A6H [A6, A65H]
6.9
Sports
Value for price beaten by
: Roku Select Series
8.0
Video Games
Value for price beaten by
: none
7.1
HDR Movies
Value for price beaten by
: none
8.0
HDR Gaming
Value for price beaten by
: none
7.7
PC Monitor
Value for price beaten by
: none

The TCL Q5/Q550G QLED is TCL's lowest-tier Q-series TV in 2023, below the TCL Q6/Q650G QLED and TCL Q7/Q750G QLED. It's a simpler TV than its more expensive siblings, so it's better suited for someone who doesn't need any advanced features or capabilities. The TV comes with three HDMI 2.0 bandwidth ports with variable refresh rate (VRR) support, and the 55-inch and 65-inch models have TCL's Game Accelerator 120 feature for 1440p @ 120Hz gaming, which it achieves through resolution halving. It supports Dolby Vision HDR and HDR10+ advanced video formats and can pass through some Dolby and DTS advanced audio formats. It uses the popular and easy-to-use Google TV operating system. It doesn't have hands-free voice control, but its remote has an integrated microphone through which you can interact with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa. It has built-in Chromecast, so you can seamlessly stream your videos using your phone. It's available in 4 sizes: 43, 50, 55, and 65 inches. The TV is a Best Buy exclusive in all sizes except for the 43-inch model, a Canadian-only variant available from different retailers.

Our Verdict

7.2 Mixed Usage

The TCL Q5 is a decent TV for mixed usage. Due to its incredibly low input lag, there is no discernible delay between your actions and what is happening on screen, so it's best suited for gaming and as a PC monitor. The TV's contrast is adequate, but since it lacks a local dimming feature to further improve it, blacks aren't dark and inky, so it's not well suited for dark room usage. On top of that, its HDR brightness is only decent, so bright highlights don't pop like they should with HDR content. On the other hand, its SDR brightness is very good, and this TV has decent enough reflection handling to use in a bright room. Unfortunately, the TV has a narrow viewing angle, so it's not a good choice to use in a group setting, as anyone not seated directly in front of the screen will be looking at a degraded image.

Pros
  • Very good SDR peak brightness.
  • Decent reflection handling.
Cons
  • Narrow viewing angle.
  • No local dimming feature.
6.8 TV Shows

The TCL Q5 is alright for watching TV shows during the day. The built-in Google TV smart interface comes loaded with a huge selection of streaming apps, so it's quick and easy to find your favorite shows. It has decent reflection handling and good enough peak brightness in SDR to fight off a bit of glare in a bright room. Unfortunately, the TV has a narrow viewing angle, so it's not a good choice for watching shows in a group setting, as anyone not directly in front of the TV has to watch a degraded image. The TV also has middling processing features, so if you watch lower-quality streams or shows on DVD, they aren't as smooth and sharp as they could be.

Pros
  • Very good SDR peak brightness.
  • Decent reflection handling.
Cons
  • Narrow viewing angle.
  • Inadequate low-quality content smoothing.
6.9 Sports

The TCL Q5 is okay for watching sports during the day. The TV has a very good response time, so fast motion is clear and easy to see, with very little blur around fast-moving balls and players. It also has good peak brightness in SDR and decent enough reflection handling so that visibility isn't an issue in moderately lit rooms. On the other hand, the TV has a narrow viewing angle, so it's not a good choice for watching the game with friends, as anyone seated to the sides of the screen must deal with a degraded image. The built-in speakers are mediocre at best, so you'll want to pair it with a good soundbar or home theater system.

Pros
  • Very good SDR peak brightness.
  • Decent reflection handling.
Cons
  • Narrow viewing angle.
  • Inadequate low-quality content smoothing.
8.0 Video Games

The TCL Q5 is a very good TV for gaming. It has a good enough response time that fast motion in games is clear, with very little blur or ghosting behind quick-moving objects. The TV has incredibly low input lag that provides a very responsive feel, and this model also supports VRR, so there is almost no screen tearing. Unfortunately, the TV has no ports capable of HDMI 2.1 bandwidth, so you can't play in 4k @ 120Hz. It supports 1080p @ 120Hz natively and 1440p through resolution halving on the 55-inch and 65-inch models, though, so you can play at a higher frame rate if you prefer performance over image quality.

Pros
  • Very good SDR peak brightness.
  • VRR support for 1080p @ 120Hz and 1440p @ 120Hz.
  • Incredibly low input lag.
Cons
  • Poor pre-calibration color accuracy.
  • No HDMI 2.1 bandwidth.
7.1 HDR Movies

The TCL Q5 is decent for watching HDR movies in a dark room. It's better for watching high-quality content from Blu-rays, as its low-quality content smoothing is inadequate, so movies from streaming platforms have noticeable compression artifacts. The TV has adequate contrast but lacks a local dimming feature, so blacks aren't deep and inky in a dark room. It gets bright enough for some minor highlights to stand out, but it's not bright enough for specular highlights to pop like they should with HDR content. The PQ EOTF tracking is fantastic and respects the content creator's intent. Unfortunately, the TV's color accuracy is poor without being calibrated, so calibration is needed if you care about accuracy.

Pros
  • Fantastic PQ EOTF tracking.
  • Wide color gamut.
  • Dolby Vision and HDR10+ support.
Cons
  • Poor pre-calibration color accuracy.
  • Inadequate low-quality content smoothing.
  • No local dimming feature.
8.0 HDR Gaming

The TCL Q5 is very good for HDR gaming. It has decent HDR brightness in Game Mode and good enough contrast for dark room gaming, but since the TV lacks a local dimming feature, blacks aren't dark and inky, and highlights don't pop as much as they could. It has incredibly low input lag, which can be made even lower if you play in 1080p @ 120Hz or 1440p @ 120Hz. The TV also has a good enough response time that you don't have much blur or ghosting around quick-moving objects on the screen.

Pros
  • Wide color gamut.
  • VRR support for 1080p @ 120Hz and 1440p @ 120Hz.
  • Incredibly low input lag.
  • Dolby Vision gaming @ 60Hz.
Cons
  • Poor pre-calibration color accuracy.
  • No local dimming feature.
  • No HDMI 2.1 bandwidth.
7.7 PC Monitor

The TCL Q5 is a good TV to use as a PC monitor. Due to its incredibly low input lag and very good response time, cursor movements are smooth and responsive, with little motion blur. When set to 'PC' Picture Mode, the TV displays chroma 4:4:4 signals properly, which is essential for clear text from a PC. The TV has very good SDR peak brightness and decent enough reflection handling to fight some glare in brightly lit rooms, but any direct light sources will cause visibility issues. Unfortunately, the TV has a narrow viewing angle, so the sides of the screen aren’t consistent with the middle when you sit close to the TV.

Pros
  • Very good SDR peak brightness.
  • Decent reflection handling.
  • Incredibly low input lag.
  • Ability to display chroma 4:4:4 for clear text.
Cons
  • Poor pre-calibration color accuracy.
  • Narrow viewing angle.
  • 7.2 Mixed Usage
  • 6.8 TV Shows
  • 6.9 Sports
  • 8.0 Video Games
  • 7.1 HDR Movies
  • 8.0 HDR Gaming
  • 7.7 PC Monitor
  1. Updated Jan 31, 2024: Specified that the TV is a Best Buy exclusive and that the 43-inch model is only available in Canada in the Introduction and Differences Between Sizes and Variants.
  2. Updated Dec 18, 2023: We reached out to TCL, and they confirmed that the TCL Game Accelerator 120 Feature is limited to the 55-inch and 65-inch models. The text has been changed in the Differences Between Sizes section and throughout the review.
  3. Updated Dec 08, 2023: Review published.
  4. Updated Dec 01, 2023: Early access published.
  5. Updated Nov 23, 2023: Our testers have started testing this product.
  6. Updated Nov 20, 2023: The product has arrived in our lab, and our testers will start evaluating it soon.
  7. Updated Nov 13, 2023: We've purchased the product and are waiting for it to arrive in our lab.

Differences Between Sizes And Variants

We bought and tested the 65-inch TCL Q5/Q550G QLED, but these results are also valid for the 55-inch model. The 43-inch and 50-inch sizes perform roughly the same, but they lack TCL's Game Accelerator Feature 120, so you're limited to 60Hz on those sizes. The 50-inch, 55-inch, and 65-inch models are Best Buy exclusives. The 43-inch model is only available in Canada, and you can purchase it from different retailers.

Size US Model Canada Model Game Accelerator 120
43" - TCL 43Q550G-CA  No
50" TCL 50Q550G TCL 50Q550G-CA  No
55" TCL 55Q550G TCL 55Q550G-CA  Yes
65" TCL 65Q550G TCL 65Q550G-CA  Yes

Our unit was manufactured in July 2023; you can see the label here.

Compared To Other TVs

The TCL Q5 is a decent TV and is a solid performer for its price. Its most notable features are its incredibly low input lag and its ability to play games in 1080p @ 120Hz natively or 1440p @ 120Hz with resolution halving on the 55-inch and 65-inch models, so it's a great option for competitive gamers on a budget who care more about performance than image quality. You can easily find other similarly priced TVs with better performance, like the equally-priced Hisense U6K or the slightly more expensive but much better Hisense U7K.

For more options, check out our recommendations for the best budget TVs, the best QLED TVs, and the best 4k gaming TVs.

Samsung CU7000/CU7000D
43" 50" 55" 58" 65" 70" 75" 85"

The TCL Q5/Q550G QLED is better than the Samsung CU7000/CU7000D. The TCL gets much brighter in HDR, supports a wider color gamut, and has better color volume, so colors are more vibrant and lifelike, and highlights pop a lot more than on the CU7000. The TCL also gets much brighter in SDR, so it overcomes glare better in a bright room. Finally, the TCL is better for gaming as it supports VRR and has 1440p @ 120Hz support.

TCL Q7/Q750G QLED
55" 65" 75" 85"

The TCL Q7/Q750G QLED is better than the TCL Q5/Q550G QLED. As a higher-tier model in the same lineup, the Q7 just does more overall than the Q5. The Q7 has HDMI 2.1 bandwidth, so you can game in 4k @ 120Hz. The Q7 also has local dimming, so its contrast is much better, and blacks are much deeper than on the Q5. On top of that, the Q7 gets much brighter in both SDR and HDR, and it supports more advanced DTS audio formats.

Insignia F30 Series 2022
65" 70"

The TCL Q5/Q550G QLED is better than the Insignia F30 Series 2022. The TCL has a much higher SDR peak brightness, so it can overcome much more glare in a bright room, and it has a much better contrast ratio, so it looks better in a dark room. The TCL also gets brighter in HDR and supports a wide color gamut, so highlights pop more and colors are more vibrant and lifelike than on the Insignia. The TCL is also the better option for gamers, as it has VRR and can do 120Hz with TCL’s resolution halving feature. However, the Insignia has a wider viewing angle, so it’s the better option if you regularly watch shows or sports in a group setting.

Hisense A6/A65K
43" 50" 55" 65" 75"

The Hisense A6/A65K and TCL Q5/Q550G QLED are similar TVs, although the TCL is slightly better than the Hisense. The TCL is brighter than the Hisense in both SDR and HDR and offers more to gamers with the option of playing in 1080p @ 120Hz natively or 1440p @ 120Hz with resolution halving. However, the Hisense is much more accurate even without being calibrated; it's a TV you can just buy, install, and watch. On the other hand, the TCL requires a fair amount of work to look its best, especially if you care about color accuracy.

TCL Q6/Q650G QLED
55" 65" 75" 85"

The TCL Q6/Q650G QLED and the TCL Q5/Q550G QLED are very similar TVs, but the Q6 is slightly better in a few ways. The biggest advantage that the Q6 has is in peak brightness. It gets brighter in SDR, so it can fight off glare better. It also gets a bit brighter in HDR, so highlights will pop a little more, but it's still not bright enough to fully take advantage of HDR content. The Q6 also has slightly better HDR gradient handling and PQ EOTF tracking, so there's less banding, and it's more accurate in HDR compared to the Q5.

TCL S4/S450G
43" 50" 55" 65" 75" 85"

The TCL Q5/Q550G QLED is significantly better than the TCL S4/S450G. The Q5 has a much better picture quality overall and looks better in bright rooms thanks to its higher SDR peak brightness. HDR content also has more impact on the Q5 thanks to its higher HDR peak brightness and wide color gamut. Finally, the Q5 is better for gaming thanks to the addition of VRR support, ensuring a nearly tear-free gaming experience.

Roku Select Series
24" 32" 40" 43" 50" 55" 65" 75"

The TCL Q5/Q550G QLED is better than the Roku Select Series. The TCL gets brighter in both SDR and HDR, has better color volume, a wide color gamut, and supports Dolby Vision. The TCL also offers more to gamers with VRR support and the option of playing in 1080p @ 120Hz natively or 1440p @ 120Hz with resolution halving. On top of that, the TCL has better contrast and black uniformity, so it's a better option for dark room viewing.

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Video

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
Design
Style
Curved No

The TCL 65Q550G looks pretty good for a budget TV. It's a simple design, with thin bezels on all three sides and a slightly thicker bezel at the bottom.

Design
Accelerated Longevity Test
Uniformity Pictures N/A
Design
Stand

The V-shaped feet are very basic. They're set near the ends of the TV, so you'll need a large cabinet for the larger sizes if you're not planning on wall-mounting the TV. Sadly, the feet have no alternative position to accommodate a smaller table. The feet only lift the TV about 2.8", so most soundbars can't fit in front of it without blocking a portion of the screen.

Footprint of the 65" stand: 50.2" x 12.1"

Design
Back
Wall Mount VESA 300x300

The back of the TV is very plain and looks cheap. The inputs are housed in a larger section on the back, near the center of the TV, so they're difficult to access if the TV is wall-mounted. There are clips on both sides to help with cable management.

Design
Borders
Borders 0.31" (0.8 cm)
Design
Thickness
Max Thickness 3.19" (8.1 cm)
6.5
Design
Build Quality

The TV has okay build quality. It wobbles a bit on its feet, but it's nothing to worry about. There's a bit of flex in the metallic upper section of the back, with more noticeable flex in the middle section of the back around the VESA mounts, but this is common and won't cause any issues.

Our unit has a minor pinch in the bottom middle of the screen, which is noticeable in dark scenes.

Picture Quality
6.9
Picture Quality
Contrast
Contrast
7,696 : 1
Native Contrast
7,696 : 1

The TV has okay contrast. Its native contrast is great, but it lacks a local dimming feature, so blacks are deep in dim and dark scenes, but they become raised and washed out when bright highlights are on the screen.

10
Picture Quality
Blooming

The TV doesn't have a local dimming feature, so there's no blooming around bright objects or subtitles during dark scenes.

10
Picture Quality
Lighting Zone Transitions
Local Dimming
No
Backlight
Direct
Dimming Zones Count Of Tested TV
N/A

This TV doesn't have a local dimming feature, so it can't adjust the backlight of individual zones to brighten up highlights without impacting the rest of the image. This means that there's no distracting flicker or brightness changes as bright highlights move between dimming zones.

8.0
Picture Quality
Contrast And Dark Details In Game Mode

Switching to Game Mode doesn't result in any noticeable difference in dark scene performance.

7.2
Picture Quality
HDR Brightness
Hallway Lights (~1950 cd/m²)
381 cd/m²
Yellow Skyscraper (~700 cd/m²)
357 cd/m²
Landscape Pool (~300 cd/m²)
276 cd/m²
Peak 2% Window
424 cd/m²
Peak 10% Window
425 cd/m²
Peak 25% Window
424 cd/m²
Peak 50% Window
425 cd/m²
Peak 100% Window
425 cd/m²
Sustained 2% Window
423 cd/m²
Sustained 10% Window
424 cd/m²
Sustained 25% Window
424 cd/m²
Sustained 50% Window
424 cd/m²
Sustained 100% Window
424 cd/m²
Automatic Brightness Limiting (ABL)
0.000

The TCL Q5 has decent HDR peak brightness. It gets just bright enough for simple scenes in HDR to stand out, but since the TV lacks a local dimming feature and doesn't get as bright as it needs to for most HDR content, bright specular highlights don't pop.

These measurements are after calibrating the HDR white point with the following settings:

  • HDR Picture Mode: Movie
  • Brightness: 100
  • Contrast: 100
  • Color Temperature: Warm
  • Gamma: 2.2

7.0
Picture Quality
HDR Brightness In Game Mode
Hallway Lights (~1950 cd/m²)
378 cd/m²
Yellow Skyscraper (~700 cd/m²)
333 cd/m²
Landscape Pool (~300 cd/m²)
250 cd/m²
Peak 2% Window
421 cd/m²
Peak 10% Window
422 cd/m²
Peak 25% Window
422 cd/m²
Peak 50% Window
422 cd/m²
Peak 100% Window
423 cd/m²
Sustained 2% Window
420 cd/m²
Sustained 10% Window
421 cd/m²
Sustained 25% Window
422 cd/m²
Sustained 50% Window
422 cd/m²
Sustained 100% Window
422 cd/m²
Automatic Brightness Limiting (ABL)
0.000

The HDR brightness in Game Mode is decent, and there is no noticeable difference in brightness between Movie Mode and Game Mode.

These measurements are after calibrating the HDR white point with the following settings:

  • HDR Picture Mode: Game
  • Brightness: 100
  • Contrast: 100
  • Color Temperature: Warm
  • Gamma: 2.2

9.0
Picture Quality
PQ EOTF Tracking
600 Nit Tracking Delta
0.0065
1000 Nit Tracking Delta
0.0065
4000 Nit Tracking Delta
0.0061

The PQ EOTF tracking on the TV is fantastic. Midtones are a little dimmer than they should be, and blacks are raised, but aside from that, the TV's brightness closely follows the curve and tracks the content creator's intent well. There's a sharp cutoff with content mastered at 600 and 1,000 nits, leading to a loss of bright detail. There is a smoother roll-off with content mastered at 4,000 nits, which preserves more fine details in really bright content.

7.8
Picture Quality
SDR Brightness
Real Scene Peak Brightness
373 cd/m²
Peak 2% Window
425 cd/m²
Peak 10% Window
423 cd/m²
Peak 25% Window
423 cd/m²
Peak 50% Window
422 cd/m²
Peak 100% Window
422 cd/m²
Sustained 2% Window
423 cd/m²
Sustained 10% Window
422 cd/m²
Sustained 25% Window
422 cd/m²
Sustained 50% Window
422 cd/m²
Sustained 100% Window
421 cd/m²
Automatic Brightness Limiting (ABL)
0.000

The TV's SDR peak brightness is very good. It gets bright enough to fight glare in a well-lit room, and there's no variation in brightness across different scenes.

These measurements are after calibration with the following settings:

  • Picture Mode: Movie
  • Brightness: 100
  • Contrast: 100
  • Black Level: 50
  • Dynamic Contrast: Off
  • Black Stretch: Off
  • Dynamic Brightness: Off
  • Micro Contrast: Off
  • Gamma: 2.2

7.9
Picture Quality
Color Gamut
Wide Color Gamut
Yes
DCI P3 xy
87.88%
DCI P3 uv
93.66%
Rec 2020 xy
64.14%
Rec 2020 uv
71.05%

The TV has a very good color gamut. It has fantastic coverage of the commonly used DCI-P3 color space, although its greens and yellows are undersaturated. The TV adequately covers the wider, but not as common, Rec. 2020 color space.

7.2
Picture Quality
Color Volume
1,000 cd/m² DCI P3 Coverage ITP
61.6%
10,000 cd/m² Rec 2020 Coverage ITP
27.4%
White Luminance
427 cd/m²
Red Luminance
90 cd/m²
Green Luminance
308 cd/m²
Blue Luminance
30 cd/m²
Cyan Luminance
338 cd/m²
Magenta Luminance
120 cd/m²
Yellow Luminance
392 cd/m²

The TV has decent color volume in HDR. Unfortunately, it struggles to represent darker colors and brighter, more heavily saturated greens and yellows.

5.1
Picture Quality
Pre Calibration
White Balance dE
7.01
Color dE
3.48
Gamma
2.16
Color Temperature
6,272 K
Picture Mode
Movie
Color Temp Setting
Warm
Gamma Setting
2.2

The TV has poor pre-calibration accuracy. Its white balance is terrible, with significant accuracy errors throughout every range of gray except blacks. The TV's gamma is over-brightened compared to the reference target of 2.2. The TV's color accuracy is decent; saturated colors are accurate, but undersaturated colors show a fair amount of inaccuracy. Thankfully, the TV's color temperature is very close to the 6500K target, so it has neither a warm nor cool tint.

9.5
Picture Quality
Post Calibration
White Balance dE
0.44
Color dE
0.80
Gamma
2.20
Color Temperature
6,487 K
White Balance Calibration
20 point
Color Calibration
Yes

The TV's accuracy after calibration is outstanding. The TV wasn't too hard to calibrate, but adjustments between 85 and 100 were stubborn and would barely do anything to affect the picture compared to adjustments between 1 and 84.

You can see our full calibration settings here.

7.3
Picture Quality
Gray Uniformity
50% Std. Dev.
4.513%
50% DSE
0.184%
5% Std. Dev.
0.635%
5% DSE
0.095%

The TCL Q550G has decent gray uniformity. On a very dark or near-black screen, its uniformity is great. On brighter uniform colors, there's significant vignetting, banding, and dirty screen effect near the center of the screen. This is noticeable in content like hockey with its all-white rink, as the sides and corners of the scene are noticeably darker than the rest.

9.7
Picture Quality
Black Uniformity
Std. Dev.
N/A
Native Std. Dev.
0.487%

The TV's black uniformity is incredible, although there's some noticeable backlight bleed near the TV's bottom edge. There's no local dimming feature, so the entire screen is blueish and cloudy when bright highlights are on the screen.

5.8
Picture Quality
Viewing Angle
Color Washout
26°
Color Shift
58°
Brightness Loss
30°
Black Level Raise
18°
Gamma Shift
16°

The TV's viewing angle is sub-par and isn't a good choice for wide seating arrangements. There's significant color shifting and brightness loss as you move off-center, and the image looks increasingly washed out as you move further away to the sides.

7.1
Picture Quality
Reflections
Screen Finish
Semi-gloss
Total Reflections
5.8%
Indirect Reflections
0.9%
Calculated Direct Reflections
4.9%

The TV's reflection handling is decent. It does an excellent job with indirect reflections, like when you have glare from a source that isn't directly facing the screen. With more direct light sources hitting the screen, reflections are very noticeable.

6.5
Picture Quality
HDR Native Gradient
100% Black to 50% Gray
4.0
50% Gray to 100% White
8.0
100% Black to 50% Red
6.0
50% Red to 100% Red
8.0
100% Black to 50% Green
6.0
50% Green to 100% Green
6.0
100% Black to 50% Blue
6.0
50% Blue to 100% Blue
8.0

The TV has alright HDR gradient handling. There's noticeable banding in dark reds, dark greens, and dark blues, with especially noticeable banding in dark grays. Other color gradients fare better and have minimal banding.

5.8
Picture Quality
Low-Quality Content Smoothing
Smoothing
5.0
Detail Preservation
7.5

The TV has inadequate low-quality content smoothing. While its detail preservation is good, there's significant macro-blocking in dark scenes.

6.0
Picture Quality
Upscaling: Sharpness Processing

The TCL Q5 has mediocre upscaling capabilities. It manages to preserve some details, and text is clear enough, but upscaled content looks a bit muddy overall.

Sharpness processing was calibrated with no over-sharpening for low-resolution or low-bitrate content, with the following setting:

  • Sharpness: 15

Picture Quality
Pixels
Subpixel Layout
BGR
Type LED
Sub-Type
VA

The TV uses a BGR (Blue-Green-Red) subpixel layout instead of the traditional RGB layout. It doesn't cause any issues for video content, but if you plan to use this TV as a PC monitor, non-RGB subpixel layouts impact text clarity, and text looks slightly blurry. You can read about it here.

Motion
7.8
Motion
Response Time
80% Response Time
5.5 ms
100% Response Time
12.9 ms

The TCL Q5 has a good response time. It does struggle a bit more when coming out of dark states, so there's some black smearing in dark transitions.

2.1
Motion
Flicker-Free
Flicker-Free
No
PWM Dimming Frequency
150 Hz

The TCL Q5 uses pulse width modulation (PWM) to dim its backlight. It flickers at 150Hz, which is low enough to be noticeable by users who are sensitive to it, especially as it doesn't flicker in time with the TV's refresh rate. Fortunately, the TV is flicker-free at these brightness levels and picture modes:

  • Movie, Sports, Vivid, PC, Game, with brightness levels 29-100
  • Low Power, with brightness levels 37-100
  • Smart HDR, always flicker-free

Motion
Black Frame Insertion (BFI)
Optional BFI
No
Min Flicker For 60 fps
150 Hz
60Hz For 60 fps
No
120Hz For 120 fps
N/A
Min Flicker for 60 fps in Game Mode
150 Hz

This TV doesn't have an optional backlight strobing feature, commonly known as black frame insertion (BFI).

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

The TCL Q5 has a motion interpolation feature to interpolate 30 fps content up to 60 fps. As typical of this feature, it looks fine with slow scenes, but there are noticeable artifacts with fast-moving objects.

7.3
Motion
Stutter
Frame Hold Time @ 24 fps
28.8 ms
Frame Hold Time @ 60 fps
3.8 ms

Due to this TV's relatively slow response time, it does an alright job with stutter in 24 fps content like movies, but there is still noticeable stutter with slower camera movements. It's fantastic with 60 fps content, though, so there isn't noticeable stutter with higher frame rate content.

7.8
Motion
24p Judder
Judder-Free 24p
Yes
Judder-Free 24p via 60p
No
Judder-Free 24p via 60i
No
Judder-Free 24p via Native Apps
Yes

The TCL Q5 gives a judder-free experience with 24p sources like a Blu-ray player and from native apps. Unfortunately, it can't remove judder from 60Hz sources like most cable TV boxes and older streaming devices that lack a Match Frame Rate feature.

8.2
Motion
Variable Refresh Rate
Native Refresh Rate
60 Hz
Variable Refresh Rate
Yes
HDMI Forum VRR
Yes
FreeSync
Yes
G-SYNC Compatible
Yes
4k VRR Maximum
60 Hz
4k VRR Minimum
48 Hz
1080p VRR Maximum
120 Hz
1080p VRR Minimum
< 20 Hz
1440p VRR Maximum
120 Hz
1440p VRR Minimum
< 20 Hz
VRR + Local Dimming No Local Dimming

This TV supports all VRR technologies for a nearly tear-free gaming experience. The TV's VRR range is limited to 4k @ 60Hz but can handle up to 1440p @ 120Hz, which is great for competitive gamers who prefer a higher refresh rate over a higher resolution.

Inputs
9.7
Inputs
Input Lag
1080p @ 60Hz
10.9 ms
1080p @ 60Hz Outside Game Mode
111.7 ms
1080p @ 120Hz
6.5 ms
1080p @ 144Hz
N/A
1440p @ 60Hz
10.7 ms
1440p @ 120Hz
6.3 ms
1440p @ 144Hz
N/A
4k @ 60Hz
10.3 ms
4k @ 60Hz + 10-Bit HDR
10.2 ms
4k @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4
10.4 ms
4k @ 60Hz Outside Game Mode
94.6 ms
4k @ 60Hz With Interpolation
94.7 ms
4k @ 120Hz
N/A
4k @ 144Hz
N/A
8k @ 60Hz
N/A

The TV has superbly low input lag in Game Mode. It's equally as good in the TV's 'PC' Picture Mode, which you need to set the TV at to get chroma 4:4:4 support for clear text when using the TV as a PC monitor.

8.2
Inputs
Supported Resolutions
Resolution 4k
480p @ 59.94Hz (Widescreen)
Yes
720p @ 59.94Hz
Yes
1080p @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4
Yes
1080p @ 120Hz
Yes
1080p @ 144Hz
No
1440p @ 60Hz
Yes (forced resolution required)
1440p @ 120Hz
Yes
1440p @ 144Hz
No
4k @ 60Hz
Yes
4k @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4
Yes
4k @ 120Hz
No
4k @ 120Hz @ 4:4:4
No
4k @ 144Hz
No
8k @ 30Hz or 24Hz
No
8k @ 60Hz
No

The TCL Q5 supports all common resolutions up to 4k @ 60Hz. Even though the TV has a 60Hz panel, it can do 1080p @ 120Hz natively, and 1440p @ 120Hz with resolution halving through TCL's Game Accelerator 120 feature, but this feature is only supported on the 55-inch and 65-inch models. This impacts image quality as the TV halves the display's 4k vertical resolution to run at 120Hz. Still, it's a great option for competitive gamers who prefer having a higher refresh rate and lower input lag over a higher resolution. Despite 1440p @ 120Hz working without issues, 1440p @ 60Hz isn't supported on AMD GPUs.

Inputs
PS5 Compatibility
Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM)
Yes
4k @ 120Hz
No
1440p @ 120Hz
Yes
1080p @ 120Hz
Yes
HDR
Yes
VRR
Yes

The TCL Q5 can't take full advantage of the PS5, as it doesn't have the HDMI 2.1 bandwidth required for 4k @ 120Hz. However, it can do 1440p @ 120Hz with resolution halving on the 55-inch and 65-inch models. Unlike on the Xbox consoles, the TV has no issues playing HDR games in 120Hz on the PS5.

It also supports VRR and Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM), so the TV automatically switches to Game Mode when it detects the console.

Inputs
Xbox Series X|S Compatibility
Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM)
Yes
4k @ 120Hz
No
1440p @ 120Hz
Yes
1080p @ 120Hz
Yes
HDR
Yes
VRR
Yes

The TV can't take full advantage of the Xbox Series X|S, as it can't do 4k @ 120Hz. However, it can do 1080p @ 120Hz natively and 1440p @ 120Hz with resolution halving on the 55-inch and 65-inch models. Unfortunately, the Xbox consoles only support HDR gaming with 4k content, so you can't play games in HDR if you choose to play in 1080p @ 120Hz or 1440p @ 120Hz. If you want to play in 1440p @ 60Hz, you can go into the console's settings and enable it in the display override section, as applying it directly in the display resolution menu defaults back to 4k @ 60Hz.

The TV also supports VRR and Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM), so the TV automatically switches to Game Mode when it detects the console.

Inputs
Inputs Specifications
HDR10
Yes
HDR10+
Yes
Dolby Vision
Yes
HLG
Yes
HDMI 2.0 Full Bandwidth
Yes (HDMI 1,2,3)
HDMI 2.1 Class Bandwidth
No
CEC Yes
HDCP 2.2 Yes (HDMI 1,2,3)
ATSC Tuner
1.0
USB 3.0
Yes (1)
Variable Analog Audio Out Yes
Wi-Fi Support Yes (2.4 GHz, 5 GHz)

This TV is limited to HDMI 2.0 bandwidth on its three HDMI ports and supports HDR10+ and Dolby Vision. Unfortunately, the tuner is limited to ATSC 1.0, so you can't stream 4k content over the air.

Inputs
Input Photos
Inputs
Total Inputs
HDMI 3
USB 1
Digital Optical Audio Out 1
Analog Audio Out 3.5mm 1
Analog Audio Out RCA 0
Component In 0
Composite In 1 (adapter required, not incl.)
Tuner (Cable/Ant) 1
Ethernet 1
DisplayPort 0
IR In 0
Inputs
Audio Passthrough
ARC/eARC Port
eARC
eARC: Dolby Atmos Over Dolby Digital Plus
Yes
eARC: Dolby Digital Plus 7.1
Yes
eARC: LPCM 7.1 Over Dolby MAT
Yes
eARC: Dolby TrueHD 7.1
Yes
eARC: DTS:X Over DTS-HD MA
No
eARC: DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1
No
eARC: LPCM Channels (Bitstream)
2.0
ARC: Dolby Digital 5.1
Yes
ARC: DTS 5.1
Yes
Optical: Dolby Digital 5.1
Yes
Optical: DTS 5.1
Yes

The TCL Q550G supports eARC, allowing you to pass high-quality, uncompressed audio to a compatible receiver. While the TV can pass DTS 5.1 through ARC and Optical connections, it can't pass the full 7.1 DTS:X or DTS-HD formats through eARC, which is disappointing as many UHD Blu-ray discs use these as their main audio track. However, it can pass Dolby advanced audio formats through eARC.

Sound Quality
5.1
Sound Quality
Frequency Response
Low-Frequency Extension
151.02 Hz
Std. Dev. @ 70
5.87 dB
Std. Dev. @ 80
5.78 dB
Std. Dev. @ Max
7.21 dB
Max
86.7 dB SPL
Dynamic Range Compression
3.60 dB

The TCL Q5 has a disappointing frequency response. TV speakers tend to lack bass, and this TV is no different, as there's no thump and rumble at all. It also can't get very loud, so it's unsuitable for noisy environments. The TV has little pumping or compression artifacts at max volume, but other than that, it doesn't sound great, with inaccurate sound reproduction across the board.

7.6
Sound Quality
Distortion
Weighted THD @ 80
0.024
Weighted THD @ Max
0.142
IMD @ 80
1.63%
IMD @ Max
14.67%

This TV's handling of sound distortion is good. Sound is distorted at max volume, which sounds unpleasant, especially if you're sensitive to it. However, it sounds good at lower volumes, and it's hard to notice any harsh or unexpected frequencies when listening at moderate volume levels.

Smart Features
8.0
Smart Features
Interface
Smart OS Google TV
Version 11
Ease of Use
Average
Smoothness
Very Smooth
Time Taken to Select YouTube
1 s
Time Taken to Change Backlight
2 s
Advanced Options
Many

The TCL Q5 uses version 11 of Google's popular Google TV OS. It's relatively easy to use and runs well, with a large selection of apps.

0
Smart Features
Ad-Free
Ads
Yes
Opt-out
No
Suggested Content in Home
Yes
Opt-out of Suggested Content
No

Like most TVs on the market, this TV has ads throughout the interface, and you can't disable them.

9.0
Smart Features
Apps and Features
App Selection
Great
App Smoothness
Very Smooth
Cast Capable
Yes
USB Drive Playback
Yes
USB Drive HDR Playback
Yes
HDR in Netflix
Yes
HDR in YouTube
Yes

The TV has a great selection of streaming apps, with every popular streaming app being present. The interface is very smooth and pleasant to use.

8.5
Smart Features
Remote
Size
Medium
Voice Control
Many Features
CEC Menu Control
Yes
Other Smart Features
No
Remote App Android TV

The TV's remote is medium-sized and has a simple layout. It has a series of dedicated buttons for the most popular streaming apps. The remote has an integrated microphone for voice commands, so you can change inputs, search within apps, and ask for the weather and time.

Smart Features
TV Controls

The power button is on the bottom bezel of the TV below the TCL branding. Outside of turning the TV on or off, you can also use it to change channels, adjust the volume, or change the inputs.

Smart Features
In The Box

  • Remote (with 2x batteries)
  • Power cable
  • Manuals
  • 2x cable management clips

Smart Features
Misc
Power Consumption 49 W
Power Consumption (Max) 185 W
Firmware V8-R51MT08-LF1V058.021060