Over the years, the Chinese TV brand TCL has built a reputation for having an abundance of affordable TVs. Last year it became the third largest brand in North America and, according to the company, its LCD TV sales are growing rapidly year after year.
Nearly ten years after TCL brand products were first made available in several European countries, TCL now has a presence in the UK. It comes armed with a double number of budgets of 4K TVs in various bands, including the DP608 (models 43in and 55in), DP628 (43in, 50in, 55in) and DP648 (43in, 50in, 55in and 65in) series.
When they launched in the summer, the most affordable was £ 338. Just a few months later, this is now £ 288 – thanks, you guessed it, Black Friday.
There are up to 150 pounds off TCL TVs, which may not look great, as we've seen some TVs with huge £ 1000 + discount bars but, first, they were cheap, so the rebates are quite significant.
We're talking about £ 150 with a £ 6599 TCL 65DP648 TV. There are decent savings in smaller sizes, including the 43 at 43DP608 for £ 288, the 50 at TCL 50DP628 for £ 349 and 55 at 55DP608 for £ 379.
£ 329 £ 289 The cheapest TCL 4K TV offers a 43-inch screen with a 4K resolution, HDR10 and HLG HDR, Netflix and Freeview Play support for the full suite of UK capture TV applications. .See offer
Short answer: If your priority is screen size and pixels per pound, these TCL TVs are certainly worth considering – especially if you do not have a video streamer and want a TV with a fair share of smart apps integrated into it. For daytime TV and HD / SD broadcasts, they are likely to be fine, but those that follow the true splendor of 4K HDR playback may want to consider a more premium offer.
TCL DP608, DP628 and DP648: everything you need to know
With 4K resolution, HDR10 and HLG (Hybrid Log Gamma) support, as well as Freeview Play offering on-demand services and live TV together in one place with no monthly costs, these TCL TVs are as complete as you would expect for this end of the market.
There are Netflix and YouTube applications for 4K content and various applications that can be installed for SD and HD content. It's unclear if Amazon Prime Video is available on TCL's TV offering – if it is not, users of this video streaming service would need to go through an economical video stream such as Google Chromecast or Amazon Fire TV 4K Stick.
Features: tick. But what about the photo? As these TCL TVs are so new to the UK market, we did not do twelve rounds with none. However, if your specs and our experience with cheap 4K TVs are sufficient, we will moderate expectations regarding 4K HDR performance.
The DP648 models offer the TCL Wide Color Gamut and Brightness + range in the DP608 range, but the brightness levels still reach 320 nits, so these TVs do not take full advantage of HDR content. Again, at this price, you might not expect them to happen, but that means we would not rush into pairing them with a 4K Blu-ray player – advice we also made about Hisense 4K TVs, which were recently reviewed . If you want to take the risk, all two or three HDMI inputs of the sets are compatible with 4K pass-through from 4K connected sources.
For non-HDR content, however, they should perform very well where brightness is concerned. And we could just hope – especially considering the brand's popularity abroad – that color levels, detail and sharpness are also up to par.
Then again, for proved quality at a banana price we would point you to the best value TV of the year: a five-star Philips 50PUS6703, a 50-inch HDR 4K TV that is currently only £ 400 (under £ 600). The four-star deal of Hisense H43AE6100UK is at an attractive £ 279 as well.
If you want to increase the screen size, these ultra-economical TCL 4K TVs can do just the trick. Want to explore other options too (and we ask you to do this)? There are plenty of Black Friday 4K TV deals to be had now and over the weekend.
Verdict: If smart apps and the biggest screen for less money are your priorities, and you're not keen to make the most of what 4K and HDR have to offer, these TCL TVs must offer. Looking to invest in a 4K Blu-ray player and discs now or in the near future? More expensive sets undoubtedly justify this better.
MORE: The best offers of Black Friday 4K TV 2018