TCL announces US prices for 2023 QLED and mini-LED TVs – and Samsung should worry
TCL has announced pricing for its new TVs in the US. The comprehensive lineup covers a wide range of screen sizes and price points, with everything from 43-inch basic 4K to 98-inch mini-LED 4K TVs represented. All models are available to buy starting today with the exception of TCL’s flagship 98-inch QM8 series TV, which will arrive later this year.
TCL was early to incorporate Quantum Dot (QLED) and mini-LED tech in 4K TVs, and both can be found in the company’s new models. The lineup introduces QLED at an under-$500 price point, and has mini-LED-backlit QLED sets starting at $1,699 (for a 65-inch model). At those prices, competitors like Samsung and Sony should be looking over their shoulders this year, though TCL will also be going up against Hisense, which is selling a QLED TV with mini-LED backlighting starting in the $500 range.
All new TCL TVs for 2023 use the Google TV smart TV platform. They also all have Dolby Vision, Dolby Atmos, and DTS Virtual: X support, with Dolby Vision IQ and HDR10+ high dynamic range offered on the Q7 and QM8 series models. We’ll run down the specs for each new TCL series below.
65-inch MSRP $1,699.99
75-inch MSRP $2,299.99
85-inch MSRP $2,799.99
98-inch MSRP $9,99.99
QM8 TVs feature a mini-LED backlight that TCL says delivers up to 2,000 nits peak brightness and uses up to 2,300 local dimming zones powered by TCL’s AIPQ Engine Gen3 processor. These sets feature a native 120Hz panel with 144Hz VRR for gaming, and also have an anti-glare screen coating and a height adjustable stand to accommodate a soundbar.
55-inch MSRP $749.99
65-inch MSRP $999.99
75-inch MSRP $1,399.99
85-inch MSRP $2,199.99
Q7 series sets feature an LED backlight with up to 200 local dimming zones and can hit up to 1,000 nits peak brightness according to TCL. They use a native 120Hz panel with 144Hz VRR for gaming, and have the same AIPQ Engine Gen3 processor found in the QM8 series models. A stand with reversible feet allows for a range of installation options, while hands-free voice control and backlit voice remote provide added convenience.
55-inch MSRP $499.99
65-inch MSRP $699.99
75-inch MSRP $899.99
85-inch MSRP $1,599.99
The Q6 series TVs are TCL’s entry-level QLED models. These feature a direct LED backlight and are 66% brighter than the budget S4 series, according to the company. A Game Accelerator 120 feature allows for up to 120 VRR gaming, and both Auto Game Mode (ALLM) and AMD FreeSync are onboard. Adjustable width feet on Q6 series TVs allows for easy soundbar placement, and there’s also a Bluetooth audio output for late-night viewing with wireless headphones.
TCL’s budget 4K smart TVs lack the Quantum Dot layer feature found in the upper tier models, but they do provide support for Dolby Vision, HDR10, and HLG high dynamic range. S4 series TVs also have Auto Game Mode (ALLM), DTS Virtual:X audio processing, and a Bluetooth audio input.
Analysis: TCL TVs are ready to play ball – football, to be specific
Like its fellow value-oriented TV maker Hisense, which announced a partnership with NBA basketball to heighten brand visibility in the US, TCL is partnering up with NFL football for 2023. That means football fans will be getting plenty of exposure to TCL across various media platforms, with the intent that the next time they upgrade their TV they will opt for for a TCL model.
With mini-LED TVs as large as 98 inches, TCL will be giving fans a stunning option for viewing football and other sports, and the specified 2,000 nits brightness and anti-glare screens on QM8 series sets should ensure that games look great even in brightly lit rooms. The up to 2,300 local dimming zones specified for QM8 series models should also make them a good choice for movie viewing given the potential for deep and detailed blacks typical of the best OLED TVs that QLED sets with local dimming provide.
TCL’s pricing for its QM8 series models also makes them a strong value compared to pricier TVs from Samsung and Sony offering similar technology. But the company is positioning the Q7 series as the real value standout in its 2023 lineup, maintaining that Q7 series models provide a similar performance level to last year’s 6 series, a TV we gave 4.5 stars in our TCL 6-Series review.
The price for a 65-inch model will be under $1,000 at launch – the same cost as for a 65-inch 6-Series TV. But TCL specs peak brightness at 1,000 nits, which is less bright than the mini-LED backlit 6-Series TV we tested, which had a measured peak light output of 1,326 nits. Otherwise the two series are similarly featured, with Dolby Vision IQ and HDR10+ high dynamic range and a 4K 120Hz input with Variable Refresh Rate (up to 144Hz).
Will the new Q7 be the better overall value? We’ll have more to say about that in our forthcoming TCL Q7 hands-on review, which will post shortly along with our QM8 hands-on test. We’ll be following those up with full reviews for one or both models, so you’ll be able to get a definitive take on just how full-featured these TVs are, and how well they perform.