Shopping for a TCL TV in 2021? Here’s what you need to know about the Chinese electronics’ manufacturer’s range for this year, from its bread-and-butter TVs, to its Roku and Google TVs and Mini LED sets.
TCL is a big mover in the United States and China, but still growing its presence in the UK. It’s TV line-ups for the US and Europe aren’t like-for-like, so this range guide looks at what is in store for both continents.
We’ll update this list throughout the year with details on prices and availability, as well as adding links to reviews of any TVs we have reviewed.
New TCL TVs for 2021
TCL is battling in a few regions for TV supremacy. In the US it’s launched its most affordable 8K sets with its 6-Series and a range of TVs aimed at those with bigger rooms in the XL Collection.
For Europe/UK, things aren’t as super-sized, but there are new Mini LEDs, brand new 4K QLED and HDR smart TVs. Other highlights include transitioning from Android TV to the Google TV, the launch of Roku TVs in the UK and the adoption of Dolby Vision IQ for several sets.
Go big with XL Collection
TCL has noticed the market for the big screens has grown in North America, and it’s looking to better serve that market with the introduction of its XL Collection.
All three models are 85-inch models and feature Roku OS integration. There’s a 4-Series smart 4K TV, along with a QLED 4K TV and Mini-LED 8K set with QLED wide color technology.
TCL says this range fits any budget and exceeds the “highest” performance standards”. First off the production line is the 4-Series smart 4K TV, with the 7-Series 4K QLED TV and the 8K QLED Mini LED arriving later in 2021.
Swapping out Android TV for Google TV
TCL is also jumping into bed with Google TV. The brand is transitioning some of its TVs from Android to the Google TV UI, which brings movies, TV shows, live TV, apps and subscriptions all in one place for easy access.
TCL’s thinnest QLEDs yet with new OD Zero Mini-LED technology
This year TCL is rolling out its ultra-slim TVs with its OD Zero Technology. OD Zero stands for Optical Depth Zero and is a reference to the amount of space between Mini LED backlight layer and the LCD display layer (diffuser plate), which has been reduced to 0 mm.
OD Zero uses smaller LEDs (similar to Samsung’s Neo QLEDs), and by using smaller LEDs it allows for more light sources to be placed in the TV. The result is a more consistent brightness and accurate image, with better colour reproduction, more precise contrast and smoother uniformity (less blooming). Another benefit is the chassis having an ultra-thin profile, which should like make OD Zero TVs more attractive for wall mounting.
The OD Zero Mini-LED tech is different from TCL’s Vidrian Mini-LEDs tech we saw at CES 2020 but hasn’t hit the market yet. Don’t expect the OD Mini LED to be available in 2021 though. They’ll hit the market early in 2022.
More affordable 8K TVs
TCL is driving down the price of 8K TVs with its decision to include ultra high resolution sets in its 6-Series TVs. In fact, new 6-Series TVs for 2021 support 8K.
Considering the 6-Series range is one of the company’s more popular (and affordable), it attempts to drive 8K into the mainstream by hitting more affordable prices.
The company continues to sell its 4K 6-Series for those unconcerned with the higher resolution. In terms of specs the 6-Series feature Mini LED backlights, VRR, a THX certified Game mode, Dolby Vision HDR and support for Siri/AirPlay, Alexa and Google.
Prices start at $2199 for the 65-inch model.
Roku TVs in the UK
TCL has continued its partnership with Roku to bring affordable smart TVs to the UK.
There are two ranges – one for HD and one for 4K – with sizes ranging from 32-inches to 65-inches. They’re exclusively available to purchase from Currys PC World.
The TVs include support for voice commands with Alexa and Google Assistant devices, AirPlay 2, with the 4K model supporting Dolby Vision.
TCL US TV 2021
- 85R435 – $1799
- 85R745 – $2999
TCL’s big-screen collection of TVs is made up of three 85-inch behemoths that includes a 4-Series LCD TV, 7-Series QLED model and a high-end Mini-LED powered 8K LCD TV with QLED wide-color technology. Each hits different price points and all bear support for Roku’s smart platform.
The 4-Series LCD was first out the gates in the first quarter of 2021 for $1799 SRP. Second was the QLED, with the third 8K model yet to arrive.
Not much has been divulged about the high-end 8K model other than its support for Mini LED and QLED technology. More is known about the 7-Series QLED, which will have TCL’s Contrast Control Zone feature (192 zones) for a more striking contrast performance.
For gaming there’s VRR (Variable Refresh Rate) and at least one of the inputs supports 4K/120Hz. The 7-series also carries Dolby Vision and Atmos.
6-Series Roku TVs
The all-new 6-Series range for 2021 will be exclusively 8K models and have the model name R648. They make use of the AIPQ upscaling engine for transforming content to near-8K quality.
They are a mixture of Roku OS and Google TV sets, with Mini LED backlights and QLED displays.
TCL UK/EU TV 2021
X-Series Mini LED TV
The X92 has been certified by the 8K association, which means it passes the measurement of offering “a true 8K experience”.
It packs in 8K upscaling (naturally), with a panel that supports 100Hz for smooth motion and can hit colour volume of 100%. That’s a lot of colours. Dolby Vision IQ is supported along with HLG, HDR10 and HDR10+.
Also included with the X92 model is a 2.1ch, 60W Onkyo system that supports Dolby Atmos for a larger, spacious sound, while the X92 Pro gets a 5.1.2 sound system. Gaming performance is targeted by this TV with HDMI 2.1 and Wi-Fi 6 support for lower input lag and stronger Wi-Fi connection respectively.
Onboard is Variable Refresh Rate (VRR), Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM), with its eARC connection able to supply high quality audio over to an external sound system.
Google TV is the OS, bringing together all your apps and subscriptions into once place with recommendations on what to watch next based on your viewing history. Google Duo is pre-installed for instant video calls with family and friends.
The top model in TCL’s European TV range, it can hit a maximum of 1800 nits, features wide HDR support and is also compatible with 120fps gaming. The sound system is quite a complex one, with 25 speakers producing 160W of power.
- OD Zero Mini LED backlight
- 1800 nits
- HDR10, HDR10+, HLG, Dolby Vision IQ
- 4K/120fps, ALLM, VRR, eARC
- Native 100Hz display
- Google TV
- 5.1.2 sound system
- Dolby Atmos
These are the non-Pro models, which means they do not have the OD Zero backlight but still support Mini LED. Dimming zones are downgraded to hundreds instead of the Pro’s thousands, so contrast and brightness won’t be as impactful.
This TV, along with the ‘Pro’ and the C825 below, will have an integrated soundbar, which may or may nub the need for an external sound system.
- Mini LED backlight
- 1000 nits
- HDR10, HDR10+, HLG, Dolby Vision IQ
- 4K/120fps, ALLM, VRR, eARC
- Native 100Hz display
- Google TV
- 2.1ch, 60W sound system
- Dolby Atmos
The Mini LED backlight is married with a Quantum Dot display, with a 2.1 soundbar from Onkyo integrated in the chassis.
There’s Dolby Vision IQ to adapt the brightness of supported HDR content by using the TV’s light sensor, so the viewer gets the same punchy, detailed HDR performance in both bright and dark rooms. HDR support extends to all the main formats, including HDR10+.
IMAX Enhanced is supported for watching certified IMAX picture quality and sound. HDMI 2.1 features include VRR, ALLM (for instantly putting the TV into low latency mode), and there’s eARC for passthrough of high-quality Dolby Atmos soundtracks. This TV is also due to be upgraded to the Google TV UI.
With the C728 we lose the Mini LED backlights in favour of a Direct LED backlight, so expect this model to be chunkier in terms of design and feature reduced black levels and contrasts. Also dropped is the integrated soundbar featured on the models above.
Otherwise, the spec is similar to what you’d get from the C825. There’s the all-encompassing HDR support that includes Dolby Vision IQ, Google TV will be present and it looks like it gets various HDMI 2.1 features in VRR, ALLM and eARC.
Features begin to recede with the C725. This could be another set that makes its way to UK shores, and carries a similar spec to 2020 C71 series. It’s a TV with a QLED panel, using Quantum Dot technology to deliver a wide array of colours. HDR support doesn’t include Dolby Vision IQ nor is there any room for HDR10+, which surprises as the C71 boasted support for all the HDR formats.
HDMI 2.1 features are dropped for the most part, so while eARC and the ALLM game mode stays, VRR is not included in the spec (4K/60Hz for gaming). Android TV will be the interface when it launches but expectations are it’ll be updated to the Google TV UI later.
The P725 drops the Quantum Dot panel for a Direct LED backlight, so our expectations is that black levels and contrast will take a knock and blooming will be more obvious. Again, there’s no HDR10+, but there is Dolby Vision HDR, as well as Atmos for better sound processing.
Sizes aren’t as big the C725 – there’s no 75-inch model – but it does offer the smallest size in the entire range with a 43-inch entry. Again, it’s Android TV at launch, with an upgrade to Google TV arriving later.
The RP620K is the 4K model in the TCL Roku TV range for the UK, There’s support for HDR10, HLG and Dolby Vision. There’s also an auto game mode with a pretty rapid response time. With the Roku OS onboard there’s a huge amount of features to enjoy, including a wide range of apps, Freeview Play and more free content in the Roku Channel.
We’ve reviewed the 55-inch model and found it packs in a huge amount of value its price, but it’s not quite the all-round performer its Hisense sibling is.
The RS520K is the HD variant but you still get all the goodness from the Roku OS. That means support for Freeview Play thanks to the built-in Freeview tuner. There’s HDR apps, a plethora of apps in the Roku OS to entertain yourself and smart compatibility with Google and Alexa products.
That’s all the information we have on TCL’s 2021 TV line-up for the US, EU and UK. We’ll be updating this page with more info on specs, release dates and prices as they’re divulged. Below is information on TCL’s 2020 TV range for the UK.
TCL UK TV 2020
C81 (C815K) QLED
Sitting at the top of the 2020 TV range is the C81 QLED TV. Constructed out of premium metal, you get connections housed in a side compartment for easier access when wall mounted. The TV sits on a central three-legged stand to give the impression of the TV floating.
The 75- and 65-inch models feature a native 100Hz panel for improved motion handling. The 55-inch set doesn’t get the same panel, using TCL’s MEMC Motion Clarity Pro Algorithm to stabilise fast-moving images instead. On the HDR front there’s Dolby Vision and HDR10+, plus what TCL refers to as Smart HDR, upconverting Standard Dynamic Range (SDR) images to HDR for greater contrast.
Android 9.0 (Pie) is the OS (no word yet on an upgrade to Google TV). The sound system is an integrated Onkyo 2.1 system that should produce a better performance than a more standard TV audio system, and TCL said it’s aiming for less than 10ms with regards to gaming latency.
C71 (C715K) QLED
The step-down QLED model carries similar features to the C81 but doesn’t have a design as fancy nor does it come with an integrated 2.1 soundbar. The feet are adjustable to fit different spaces (wide and narrow configurations), with a slim bezel and use of premium metal in the construction of the chassis for an elegant and durable build quality. The 50-inch model doesn’t have the adjustable feet.
Freeview Play is supported so you get access to that TV platform plus the connected apps in the likes of iPlayer, ITV Hub et al. Voice control is possible through Google Assistant, and the set “works with” Alexa enabled devices. For sound there are full-range, downward firing speakers with support for Dolby Atmos soundtracks.
P71 (P715K) LED
Features for the P71 have inevitably been downscaled from the above QLEDs as the P71 loses HDR10+, Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos support. It does have a wider range of sizes, and the design looks to be a notch above most budget smart TVs with a bezel-less design that TCL calls an edge-to-edge display.
The P71 supports Android TV and that means built-in Google Assistant and Chromecast. The TV only refers to having HDR, but we expect that covers HDR10 and HLG formats. There’s also Smart HDR for upconverting SDR, as well as – according to TCL – improving on native 4K HDR content.
The EC78 is one of TCL’s cheapest Android TVs for the UK, featuring an Ultra Slim Metal design that combines a thin bezel with its central stand to help it melt into a room. It gets the brand’s 4K HDR PRO engine, and that has support for Wide Colour Gamut, Dolby Vision HDR and HDR10+.
Google Assistant is built-in but there’s no mention of Chromecast. The EC78 Series is another TV in the range that comes with an integrated front-firing sound system developed by Onkyo. It can also support Dolby Atmos soundtracks.
The EP65 Android range is cheaper than the EC78 and comes in more sizes with 43- to 65-inch models available.
There are several downgrades from the EC78 – no HDR10+ or Dolby Vision and no Atmos (replaced by Dolby Audio). With this model, there’s no integrated soundbar either.
Weirdly, the specs count built-in Chromecast among its number where the EC78 does not. You also get Google Home and Assistant functionality, while this range “works with” Alexa, so this TV that can be operated through Echo/Alexa-enabled devices. Like the EC78 the EP65 carries Freeview Play functionality, and there’s the Smart HDR for upgrading SDR content into a more HDR-like experience.