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Frankly, you’re not entitled to expect perfection in a product as competitively priced as this – and sure enough, the TCL 55C645K is far from perfect. But it’s surprisingly accomplished in quite a few areas – and in the right circumstances it looks like a more expensive television. Best not to pay too much attention to the way it sounds, though…


  • Vibrant, quite composed images
  • Great specification for the money
  • Good smart TV features


  • Images aren’t all that bright, so contrasts suffer
  • Sound is hard and bright
  • Smart TV interface takes its time

Key Features

  • HDR supportHLG, HDR10+ and Dolby Vision HDR
  • AudioComes with 2.0-channel, 20-watt audio system
  • InterfaceUK owners get access Android TV, Google TV for Europe


If you’ve been researching TVs lately, you’ve probably got a good idea how much a 55-inch 4K QLED TV with HDR talent and a lot of smart TV functionality ought to set you back. 

Well, TCL is here to make your assumptions look a long way wide of the mark. Its 55C645K costs way less than a screen with this kind of specification tends to.

Can it possibly be true? Can TCL have undercut the market by a significant margin while still producing a TV that’s worth watching?


The TCL 55C645 QLED TV is on sale in the United Kingdom at an extremely eye-catching £389. In America the equivalent model goes for $399, while in Australia the most comparable model is yours for AU$899 or thereabouts.

Need I say with undue emphasis that this is very affordable indeed for a 4K QLED TV with a credible smart TV interface and some current-gen games console support? I’m tempted to suggest it’s almost too affordable…  


  • 712 x 1225 x 83mm (HxWxD)
  • 11.1kg
  • 200 x 300mm VESA-ready

When the majority of expensive televisions are nothing special when it comes to design, it seems self-evident that a TV as reasonably priced as the TCL 55C645K has not been designed so much as constructed. 

Still, you tend to buy a television in order to look directly at it, right? And in this respect the 55C645K is absolutely fine. Its bezels are reasonably slim, the boomerang feet it stands on don’t feel anything special but look perfectly ok… and they can be attached in a couple of positions, so the TCL doesn’t need all that wide a surface to stand on. They lift the screen to the extent that any realistically sized soundbar will fit nicely beneath it.  

And besides, when you realise the 55C645K is a hefty 83mm at its deepest point you’re unlikely to want to hang it up on the wall – even if its 11kg weight is no burden, it looks a little less than elegant when it’s up there.

Build quality and the standard of finish are completely unremarkable too – which, in the context of the price, is almost remarkable in itself. The plastics used in its construction feel no more special that those used for the feet, and spending more will buy you far fewer exposed screwheads on the rear panel… but who looks at the rear panel, anyway? Bear the asking price in mind and there’s nothing to take issue with here.


  • 1 x HDMI 2.1
  • Android TV interface
  • Voice control

The TCL 55C645 is a 4K TV using Quantum Dot QLED technology in tandem with full-array backlighting in 2040 discreet zones. It’s compatible with every worthwhile HDR standard, including HDR10+ and Dolby Vision, and its two-channel, 20-watt audio system can deal with Dolby Atmos and DTS-HD soundtracks. At the risk of labouring the point, that’s a powerful specification for a 55-inch screen that costs less than £400.

TCL 55C645K connections
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

And somehow there’s more. One of its three HDMI inputs is at 2.1 standard, with ALLM and AMD FreeSync compatibility for the gamers and eARC functionality for the owners of recent soundbars. Further connectivity is covered by a USB-A 3.0 slot, a couple of aerial binding posts, a 3.5mm composite video input, an Ethernet socket, and a digital optical output. Wireless alternatives are available via Bluetooth 5.0 and dual-band Wi-Fi.

Once you’ve chosen a method to get your content on board, the TCL’s AiPQ 3.0 processing engine is in charge of picture quality – it deploys MEMC (Motion Estimate, Motion Compensation) to deal with on-screen motion. 

It also incorporates its Game Accelerator feature which tries to imply it can deliver 4K/120Hz – but in fact its 60Hz panel requires the use of Dual Line Gate technology to show 120fps content. So yes, you’re only getting half the vertical resolution of true 120fps – but here’s where you need to remind yourself of the asking price again. 

TCL 55C645K game settings
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

It ought to be clarified that this is a review of TCL 55C645K for the UK market, which differs from what you get on the continent, chiefly in terms of the interface. UK owners get Android TV while those not of these isles plug into Google TV as the smart interface. 

Either way, though, the smart TV interface occupies the whole screen. It doesn’t have many apps as standard, and downloading the ones you want from the Google Play store takes a while. ‘A while’, in fact, also covers rearranging apps into your desired order, and the loading time of the apps themselves. At least it has every app you’re likely to require, though, and Freeview Play means all the catch-up TV content you want is available too. 

TCL 55C645K Android TV
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

Navigating the interface, or the fairly brief set-up menus, is a job for the comprehensive, logical and unremarkable-feeling remote control handset. Or you may prefer to use voice control – but here, again, is where things differ based on your location. UK viewers are prompted to add the TCL skill to your Alexa app (there’s ‘Works with’ Google interaction too), the Google TV model has Google Assistant built in, naturally. 

Picture Quality

  • Broad, convincing colour palette
  • Good backlighting control
  • Lacks brightness

Having just one HDMI 2.1 socket is a bit of an inconvenience – especially as it’s in charge of eARC functionality too. But there’s no doubt that the TCL 55C645 does by far its best work when given some full-on content to deal with. Load up a PlayStation 5 game or a UHD 4K Blu-ray disc with an HDR element to it and there’s lots to like about the resulting images.

TCL 55C645K Gran Turismo 7
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

The vintage charms of Gregory’s Girl in its Dolby Vision-remastered guise allow the TCL to reveal quite a few areas in which it knows exactly what’s what. It’s a stable and composed watch, handles even the sport-related on-screen motion well, and it keeps detail levels high at the same time. Patterns and textures get plenty of calm, stable expression, and edge-definition is good.

Colours are generally convincing, and the C645 does particularly good work with skin-tones. There’s plenty of across-the-board variation in tone and shade, and the QLED configuration makes its influence felt in the simple range of colours the TCL can generate. Black tones are quite deep by the standards of LCD panels, particularly panels as affordable as this one, and the backlighting is focused and controlled well. I found that only the most testing stuff – white text on a black background, for example – can fluster it.

TCL 55C645K 2001 A Space Odyssey
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

This is not a bright television, though – so despite the fact its white tones are respectably clean and detailed, contrasts are far from strong. Console games that rely on lighting effects don’t have the pop available on brighter screens, and the Dynamic Contrast control in the set-up menus is extremely mild in its effects. None of this is helped by the reflectivity of the screen – watch the TCL in a bright room and its readiness to reflect combines unhappily with its own lack of outright brightness. 

Switch to some 4K content from a streaming service and there’s only the slightest drop-off in detail levels and some restlessness to edge definition to let you know what’s what as regards your source. But you’ll know where your content is coming from already, because the C645K takes longer to load than any screen you’ve sat in front of in who knows how long – and once it’s loaded there’s a short period of jumping and stuttering while the system establishes a buffer.   

Step down to some 1080p content and this is a perfectly decent upscaler – as long as you don’t mind a little softness and rather less certainty with motion than before. Anything less information-rich than this, though, and the TCL isn’t comfortable in the slightest – it becomes quite coarse and noisy and loses its grip on movement quite badly.

Sound Quality

  • Thin, edgy sound
  • Thinner and edgier the louder it gets
  • Small-scale and ill-defined

To be honest, the easiest thing to say here is to budget for a soundbar. This is the feeblest sounding 20 watts I’ve ever heard, and the system’s stereo configuration sounds small and cramped. It sounds aggressive and hard at volume, too. There’s a lack of substance and refinement here that seems almost wilful.

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Should you buy it?

You don’t watch with the lights on: A lack of brightness aside, the TCL 55C645 has plenty going for it in picture-quality terms.

You intend to listen to it too: The sound it makes is far more in keeping with its asking price than the pictures it creates.

Final Thoughts

There’s no such thing as a free lunch etc and so on… but the TCL 55C645K isn’t the service-station sandwich its asking price might suggest. On a pound-for-pound basis, in fact, it’s quite tasty – which is about all you can ask of a 55-inch QLED TV costing less than £400…

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Does the TCL C645 support Dolby Vision Gaming?

You can game in Dolby Vision as the TCL C645 supports that feature with compatible game consoles.

Full specs

Screen Size
Size (Dimensions)
Size (Dimensions without stand)
Operating System
Release Date
Model Number
Types of HDR
Refresh Rate TVs
HDMI (2.1)
Audio (Power output)
Display Technology

Jargon buster

Dolby Vision Game mode

Enhances colours, contrast and black levels for video games that support Dolby Vision HDR.


QLED stands for Quantum-dot Light Emitting Diode. It’s a display technology that uses small particles (called Quantum Dots) made up of slightly different sizes that produce different wavelengths (colours) when light is shone through them. This filter helps to emit a brighter and wider gamut of colours than a conventional LED TV is capable of.

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