It’s nearly here. Football season. I already have tickets to the Big 10 Season opener in Minneapolis, where the Nebraska Cornhuskers will take on the Gophers on a Thursday night. Is it strange that as I’ve aged, I’m nearly as happy watching the hype unfold on my television? The angles, the stories, and views are hard to beat. TCL is giving me even more reason to want to stay home with their new 55Q650G model television. It’s a looker for sure.
Yeah yeah – a new TV comes out every year. What’s different? In a word – Google. I have an older model TCL that features Roku, and while it does it’s trick to help me fall asleep on occasion in my bedroom, it lacks features and leniency in apps. I always chose my Sony (Android) based TV in the family room for picture and ease of use. Until now. My Sony is several years old and is showing its age. Direct comparison reveals a much greater brightness in the TCL 55Q650G.
The TCL features 4K resolution and an LED panel that has direct backlighting. It also has HDR support in HDR10+, HDR10, and HLG. Additionally, Dolby Vision is supported, though some may scoff at the lack of Dolby Vision IQ (ambient light adapting tech). Dolby Vision IQ is featured on some of TCL’s higher end TV’s like the Q7 series.
Why it’s great
It isn’t just the addition of Google that makes the TCL Q6 Class of TV’s so much better than predecessors. The image quality looks phenomenal. If you are someone who has a tough time deciding between TVs, and you don’t need tons of bells and whistles (for example – you are not a gamer) – try this out. I promise you will not even think about the difference in quality once you aren’t seeing TVs side by side.
Nature shows always blow me away in 4K and they still do on this television. Netflix is still my go to for 4K quality video in nature programming. This TCL TV streams it to perfection. Is it OLED quality and crazy? Not really, but it’s less than half the price. Is it still awesome to behold? Absolutely. Will you like a high-quality OLED better when they’re side by side? Most likely.
The back of the TV still has 3 HDMI inputs with HDMI 3 supporting ARC for soundbars etc. I plug in each of my gaming systems with no problems at all. Initially, I feel a bit of delay on my controller while playing Fortnite, but when I switch the TV setting to “gaming” mode, the lag instantly disappears. Gamers can still enjoy plenty of intense moments despite no HDMI 2.1 support for the latest systems.
Watching Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 3 is a blast, and I enjoy the beautifully exquisite and colorful scenes in 4K on the device. It allows for streaming on just about any app I can think of (where TVs like LG and Roku often shirk some apps).
What could be better?
There are a few things I believe TCL can improve on, though some would come with a cost (which is why TCL offers better models like the Q7 and QM8 series. Google can be a bit slow, but overall it works great for me. I notice it takes a bit to get started in loading apps, but it isn’t unbearable. Additionally, the remote is a bit long and super sensitive. It isn’t backlit so be careful not to bump those buttons in the dark as I found it easy to interrupt what I was watching.
Finally, the brightness is solid, but is just doesn’t offer the output of say the Q7 series which offers up to 1,000 nits at peak brightness.
Who is this for?
It’s a midrange affordable television that works great as a main or an extra. Gamers can rest easy knowing they won’t feel any “lag”, but they won’t be seeing HDMI 2.1 either, so no 4K at 120Hz. This model is 60Hz anyways, though it should be noted Game Accelerator 120 improves this dramatically (at a lower res). There are 3 HDMI inputs, and I will say it is absolutely critical to put the TV in “Gaming” mode or lag will def be noticeable.
The TCL 55Q650G is for those who want quality don’t necessarily need the best of the best. It’s a GREAT budget TV – maybe the best out there. It’s on sale for only a mind blowing $399 (55″ as of this writing). Gamers and sports enthusiasts will be fully satisfied with the brilliant picture quality. The addition of Google features alone makes me respect TCL as a TV competitor again.