It's a newer brand, but TCL has already secured its place on the Mount Rushmore among TV manufacturers. Over the past decade, the company has competed with major electronics manufacturers like Vizio, Samsung, and LG, and it's always been at the forefront when it comes to delivering the best picture for the money. TCL TVs are so good, in fact, that we keep recommending cheaper models as our top picks. So is it worth splurging on this Q7 model over the much cheaper Q6 (7/10, WIRED Review)? I think so for both gaming and daytime viewing. Whether you're zooming around a virtual F1 track or watching the latest Wes Anderson films, the new Q7 delivers some of the sharpest, most vibrant images I've ever seen for its relatively low performance. affordable price. Aside from a few glitches in the Google TV interface and a slightly more reflective screen than I'd like, this is one of the best TVs of the year.
The Q7 is a familiar piece of rectangular plastic and glass that is rounded on the sides. the edges, therefore easier than most to place on its stomach to install the legs on either side of the screen. The legs protrude awkwardly within the footprint of the 65-inch model, sticking out about 4 inches on each side once it's on my TV stand. I don't like these types of feet because you will need extra large furniture to mount the TV in your space. A pedestal mount solves this problem, and I still wonder why this isn't the industry standard. You can also just buy a wall bracket. Setup is extremely simple and easy, with the Q7 boasting 3 HDMI ports, including HDMI eARC for easy soundbar or speaker setup, allowing you to use the included remote control for volume. This remote is about the length of a king-sized candy bar, with white buttons making them easy to spot in the dark. The Google TV interface is a change from TCL's old Roku operating system, but it's not really one I can complain about. You still get support for pretty much every app through Google, and this makes casting easier for those of us without an iPhone, thanks to the built-in Google Smartcast. The interface is super easy to use (as are the voice controls for Alexa, Google Assistant, and Apple Homekit), but I did notice that this isn't the fastest TV I've ever scrolled through. Occasionally I waited while the curse hung on some menu. It wasn't enough to make me immediately plug in an external streaming device, but that's always an option (and a cheap one at that) if you get tired of it. One thing you'll want to upgrade is the speakers. Buy a soundbar if you don't already have one. This TV sounds tinny.
The main reason to buy this TV is the picture quality, which is great right out of the box. Hundreds of zones with local dimming and TCL's quantum dot panel pair for some of the brightest and most exciting colors I've ever seen at this price. It's not exactly photobook accurate in all modes, but TCL's processing makes for a very nice watch in the vast majority of conditions, and it gets even better when calibrated. This model easily competes with higher-end options from Samsung and LG in my book.
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