TCL 55RP620K review: Big and smart, but not that bright
TCL might not be a name you know, but this Chinese brand is one you’ll probably hear more of – they’re making serious inroads into budget and mid-range TV circles. It’s easy to see why too.
Focus your attention on the low end and you might find yourself irresistibly drawn to the affordable RP620K family: this talented group of budget TVs team up with Roku’s brilliantly simple interface with 4K HDR panels at a discounted price.
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TCL 55RP620K review: what you need to know
The TCL RP620K is an affordable 4K HDR TV powered by the beloved Roku interface. You can choose from 43in, 50in, 55in and 65in versions and whatever you choose, the Roku front-end is both easy to use and supports every streaming service you can think of. .
There’s little luxury here, as you’d expect for a model that starts at just £ 350, but all the key features are there. You get support for Dolby Vision and HDR10 +, which is good to see for the price, and the VA-type LCD panel and LED backlight are pretty much a must when spending that kind of money. .
Plus, the Roku operating system integrates seamlessly with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Apple HomeKit, and Apple AirPlay for a plethora of voice-activated, intelligently connected options.
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TCL 55RP620K review: price and competition
The RP620K is a Currys PC World exclusive at the moment, and prices start around £ 350 for the 43in 43RP620K and then increase slightly from there – you’ll need to find an extra £ 50 for the £ 50RP620K £ 400, an additional £ 50 for the £ 450 55RP620K I was sent in for this review and then finally add an extra £ 100 for the £ 550 65RP620K. For a budget 4K HDR TV this is a competitive price range.
Another option at this price point is Hisense’s Roku-powered TV. Prices start at around £ 299 for the 43in R43A7200GTUK, and recent price cuts have seen the 50in and 55in models drop to £ 379 and £ 499 respectively. The 65-inch model costs around £ 599. The Hisense is a bit cheaper than the TCL but only supports HDR10 and does not support Dolby Vision and HDR10 +. It’s also a bit weaker than the TCL, but it’s still a good option if you like the idea of a budget Roku-powered TV and it’s available at a good price.
If you’d rather go for a bigger, more well-known brand, Samsung’s TU7020 family may appeal. The prices are very similar to the TCL and Hisense: you’ll pay around £ 379 for the 43-inch UE43TU7020, £ 479 for the 50-inch UE50TU7020, £ 499 for the 55-inch UE55TU7020, and £ 629 for the UE65TU7020. The downside is that Samsung TVs don’t support Dolby Vision.
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TCL 55RP620K Notice: Design, Connections and Control
Put the TCL and Hisense Roku TV side by side, and without the brand’s logos in the middle of the bezel, you’d be hard pressed to tell them apart. Take a closer look, though, and the TCL is just a bit more frumpier: the bezels are noticeably thicker, which gives it a rather dated look and, although the plastic case looks pretty sturdy considering the price tag. , I’m not a fan of the splayed edge mounted legs – you’ll need a relatively wide TV stand to accommodate them.
Around the back, all connections face the right side of the set. Fortunately, however, they are set far enough apart to prevent cables from sprouting unattractively on the side of the TV. All the essentials are here: You get four HDMI 2.0b inputs, including one with eARC support, a USB-A port, optical digital output, composite video input and output. helmet. You also get 802.11ac and Bluetooth 4.2 wireless connectivity as well as a 10/100 Ethernet port.
The TCL’s two downward-facing speakers only have 8W of power pulsing through each driver, but they sound great for everyday TV watching. There are several sound presets, and I would recommend setting it to Theater mode – the other modes are all muted, muffled, or overdone in some way. Even so, not much is happening below 150Hz, so even a cheap soundbar will be a good upgrade.
The lightweight plastic remote won’t win any design awards, but it does work. It’s comfortable to hold and the widely spaced buttons are thoughtfully arranged. Unlike competing remotes which contain as many buttons as possible or are small and dainty, the TCL remote control puts everything you need comfortably at your fingertips. You get quick-launch buttons for Netflix, Spotify, Apple TV +, and Rakuten TV, and the combination of a small directional pad and simple transport controls makes it easy to navigate menus and apps.
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TCL 55RP620K review: Roku operating system
If you’re familiar with Roku’s line of devices, you’ll be right at home here. There is something quite dated about the appearance of the Roku interface but it works – and does well. Clean, simple icons merge with intelligible menus and setting options to create a pleasantly easy-to-learn TV.
The range of streaming services is second to none. All the major services you can think of are available – Disney +, Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Now, Apple TV +, BT Sport, Freeview Play, and YouTube are all there – and the apps load quickly and run smoothly. Combined with support for voice assistants from Google and Amazon, as well as AirPlay, HomeKit, and Apple’s Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, there’s really very little missing here. And yes, you also get an integrated DVB-T2 tuner for terrestrial TNT broadcasts.
The TCL’s processor also kept things pretty crisp and responsive during my time with the TV, which is more than what you can say about some budget TVs I’ve tested.
Not to mention one of my favorite features: You can turn a nearby phone or tablet into a remote by installing the Roku app. If you always lose the remote control on the back of the sofa, the usefulness of this function cannot be overstated.
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TCL 55RP620K review: Image quality
There’s always a hint of trepidation when turning on a low-cost TV for the first time, but the TCL 55RP620K makes a really good first impression. Fire up Netflix to watch a barrage of kid-friendly SDR animation, rewarded with a vibrant, punchy picture that simply oozes with rich, vibrant colors. Scaling from 1080p also looked pretty clean when playing Howl’s Moving Castle.
Netflix’s Umbrella Academy in Dolby Vision HDR was a whole different story – and quickly exposed the limitations of TCL. It’s, it has to be said, not a bright TV and it’s definitely not bright enough to do HDR justice. HDR picture quality is respectable for a budget TV, with largely natural colors and good contrast, but there just isn’t enough brightness to show off all of the brilliant and shimmering benefits of HDR.
Despite the limited brightness of the TCL, the choice of Dark, Normal and Bright modes for Dolby Vision and HDR10 + content helps make the content more readable in different lighting conditions. If you need to use the Bright Room mode, however, I recommend changing the color temperature to the warm setting; At its default cool setting, the intense blue tint renders colors unnatural and crushes highlight details.
Armed with a copy of Calman Ultimate and an X-Rite i1Display Pro Plus colorimeter, I put the TCL through our usual test suite. In SDR, I had to activate Film mode to get the best picture quality; with this commitment, the TCL covered a respectable 96.7% of the Rec.709 / sRGB range with an average Delta E of 2.8. Brightness reaches a modest 238cd / m2, even with the menu’s brightness setting set to its “Brighter” mode, and the contrast is respectable at around 4,220: 1.
Switch to HDR and the TCL starts to struggle. Even the most accurate HDR mode sees color accuracy drop to an average Delta E of 6.69, and brightness still tops out at 238 cd / m2, even with the TV’s “Brighter” mode on. The poor color accuracy in HDR is largely due to the TCL panel’s inability to reproduce the wider color gamut required for HDR – in our tests it only covered 65% of the DCI-P3 color gamut. , compared to the mid and high end. end sets that consistently cover 90% +.
A final downside is that the TCL’s viewing angles are narrow – a familiar scarecrow when it comes to cheaper TVs that use VA panel technology. You can blend a little left or right side by side without losing too much contrast, but going too far and the colors and contrast suffer. The reflective screen doesn’t help here either, and in brighter rooms, the combination of narrow viewing angles and a reflective screen means images can look very washed out.
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TCL 55RP620K review: Verdict
It’s no surprise, however, that a £ 349 TV has limits. What’s surprising is how proficient the TCL is with everything else and, in all fairness, it’s still very watchable in HDR as long as you dim the lights and manage your expectations.
If you are looking for an inexpensive TV that offers good picture quality with a wonderfully simple and elegant interface, then this is a good buy. The TCL RP620K might not work wonders, but it’s a great package for the money and at this price, that’s about all you can ask for.