A Review of The TCL 6-Series R625 2019 4K HDR TV (65R625) (65R625)
Stephan Jukic – November 6, 2019
The TCL 6-Series 4K HDR LCD TV is an incredibly good budget 4K TV model with some truly impressive display performance specs and lots of great features. It also offers absolutely superb color and gaming chops. Its other strong features include a very reasonable price, excellent contrast, deep black levels and some remarkably good local dimming for such an affordable ultra HD TV with full HDR. The 6-Series also supports Dolby Vision HDR and is a fantastic successor to the also great 2018 6-Series editions. Unfortunately, it’s only available in two sizes, but the 55 and 65 inch models are both large enough to cover most users’ needs.
• Amazing gaming connectivity
• Superb motion handling
• Really strong black level and contrast performance
• Great color delivery and HDR support
• Incredible display brightness
• Some motion handling issues
• Weak viewing angles
• Native Audio is crappy
TCL’s 2018 6-Series was amazing for its price range, and the 2019 model takes things to an even higher level. While this 4K HDR TV isn’t without a couple flaws, we simply loved it and are very impressed by how much quality and genuinely premium technology it delivers for its price. For anyone who wants a hell of a 4K HDR TV at an incredibly low price, the R625 is one of our absolute favorite picks.
What We Liked about the 2019 TCL 6-Series R625
Where to start? There are so many incredibly good things about the new 2019 TCL 6-Series TVs that we have to focus on the very best features of this TV to make sure we can fit everything essential into this section. This 4K UHD TV is loaded with powerful specs and on some of them it performs downright spectacularly. Seeing its color, contrast, local dimming and gaming performance was especially impressive. Here are the best aspects of these extremely affordable 4K TVs.
To start things off, the gaming chops of the 2019 TCL 6-Series TVs are downright superb. In our recent reviews of several premium 2019 Samsung QLED 4K UHD TVs we noted outstanding gameplay responsiveness and low input lag. Well the TCL 6-Series beats Samsung on nearly all fronts except in that it’s two editions don’t offer 120Hz display and that this TV has no support for Variable refresh rate technology in the form of AMD FreeSync. In terms of overall input lag though, the R625 is fantastic.
Contrast Local dimming & black rendering
The contrast ratio, black level and local dimming of the TCL 6-Series editions are all downright impressive. This 4K UHD TV model renders impressively deep, uniform black levels and these get taken a few notches higher when its high quality local dimming technology is activated. On top of this and partly as a result of both the TV’s brightness (see below) and its deep black levels, the R625 also manages to reach an incredibly high contrast ratio that’s probably the best you’ll find among any LCD TV at this edition’s price range.
To further complement its capacity for deep, rich black levels, the 6-Series can also output absolutely outstanding color performance nearly across the board. In terms of both HDR and regular (SDR) color performance for content and games, this television absolutely shines. Furthermore, its ability to reproduce vibrant, highly saturated colors even at very high levels of brightness or during dark scenes is exceptionally good (better in fact that what we’ve seen in many much more expensive LCD 4K HDR TVs).
The TCL 6-Series 2019 TVs are incredibly bright, when set to either SDR or HDR mode, they render very high average and peak brightness that’s nearly exceptional. This of course complements both the color and contrast/black level performance that we’ve already noted as superb in the R625 TV. Average brightness in this 4K TV is very high for either SDR or HDR content but its peak brightness is what especially impresses, since it can reach or exceed 900 nits under both HDR and normal SDR content viewing modes.
overall HDR delivery
The combination of extremely good contrast/black levels, local dimming, color saturation, fantastic display brightness and support for multiple HDR formats (including Dolby Vision) in the TCL 2019 6-Series TVs means that their general HDR capabilities are nothing short of superb. If you want to watch your favorite ultra HD movies, sportscasts or TV shows in beautiful high dynamic range on these TVs, you really won’t be disappointed by how well they render the best of that content. Their capacity for high quality HDR gaming graphics is of course also great as a result.
Smart TV Platform
Finally, among all the key display features of the TCL 6-Series that we particularly liked, we need to mention this 4K TV’s smart TV platform. The R625 comes with Roku TV, which is one of our favorite smart TV interfaces in terms of both usability and its extremely extensive selection of built-in apps, content options and other features. The accompanying Roku smart remote also comes with high quality voice control technology, which is pretty useful too. This year’s edition of the remote control doesn’t include a private listening earphone port but that’s its only real defect.
Value for Price
The final all-encompassing and maybe most important thing we like about the 2019 TCL 6-Series TV is that it simply delivers so much value for its price. The 55 inch edition is absurdly affordable at less than $600 and the 65 inch model is also very nicely priced. Considering all the premium specs, high-end features and general performance that both deliver, they are easily among the best budget 4K TV choices available right now.
What We Didn’t Like
The TCL 6-Series 4K TVs are superb, but they’re not perfect. And while they literally outshine other pricier 4K UHD TVs and almost any similarly priced TV edition, they do have a couple of notable flaws. The first of these might even be a sale-breaker for some users.
Motion handling issues
The first and most major problem we definitely need to mention about the TCL 6-Series 2019 editions is that their motion handling isn’t excellent. It’s very good, and usually superb for gaming but these TVs max out at only 60Hz of native refresh on their display panel and that makes them useless for gamers who want to do high-frame rate gaming at 1080p or 1440p resolutions. Secondly, because they lack advanced motion handling features like FreeSync, tear-free gaming might be difficult to avoid. On a final note, the backlight isn’t flicker-free and this sometimes creates motion artifacts and brief visual duplications that are visible from time to time.
Weak viewing angles
A second issue of the TCL 6-Series 4K UHD TV is its weak viewing angles. This is caused by the native vertical alignment pixel design of these TVs and since a majority of all LCD 4K TVs come with the same technology, it’s not a problem that’s unique to the R625. Avoiding VA display is tricky and IPS, the other main LCD TV display technology also has its own problems with contrast as a counterpoint. The bottom line: the R625’s screen quickly lose contrast, color and brightness quality at angles of more than 20 degrees to either side.
Like most 4K LCD TVs in all price ranges that we’ve reviewed to-date, the TCL 625 editions offer mediocre native audio. It’s no worse in these editions than we’ve seen it in almost any other similarly priced 4K TVs but this of course means that for audio more serious than what you’d need for watching casual TV content or newscasts, it’s a good idea to buy an external speaker system or soundbar.
Value for Price & Bottom Line
Our bottom line assessment of the TCL R625 6-Series 4K HDR TVs of 2019 is an absolute recommendation of these editions fort anyone on a tight budget who wants superb quality. You literally can’t find better performance at these prices in any other 2019 TV we’ve examined. The R625 models are also superb televisions for ultra HD and HDR gaming as long as you don’t mind their 60Hz refresh rate limitation.
Key TCL 6-Series Specs
• Screen sizes: 55 inch 55R625, 65 inch 65R625 (TV being reviewed is 55 inches)
• Smart TV: Roku TV 2019 Edition
• HEVC (H.265) Included: Yes
• VP9 Included. Yes
• HD to UHD to 4K upscaling: Yes
• HDCP 2.2 Compliance: Yes
• HDR Support: Yes, HDR10, Hybrid Log Gamma, Dolby Vision
• Refresh Rate: 60Hz native refresh rate
• Screen Lighting: LCD Display with full-array backlighting & local dimming
• Resolution: 3840 × 2160 pixels 4K UHD
• Wireless Connectivity: Yes, includes both built-in WiFi and Ethernet port
• Remotes: Roku TV remote with voice control
• Connectivity: 4 HDMI ports (all of them 2.0a and with HDCP 2.2, 3 USB ports, 1 Ethernet port, 1 Digital Audio Out
• Contrast Ratio: 8,202:1 (native, real maximum contrast)
• Absolute Maximum Peak Brightness: 1017 nits (cd/m2)
• 3D Technology: N/A
Display Performance Metrics
The following sections and subsections are the more technically detailed meat of our review of the TCL 6-Series 4K TV. This is where we describe all of the most important performance measurements of what really makes the 4K ultra HD TVs we review and the R625 specifically in this case good or bad. This means that in the details below, you’ll get a no-nonsense breakdown of how well the TCL 6-Series delivers the features and technologies that are absolutely most important for making sure that this 4K HDR TV offers up a high level of picture quality, good motion handling, powerful connectivity and other key specs.
We’ve based the following on our measurements from one or two reviewed units but the numbers and stats accurately reflect what they should be like for any normally functioning editions of the TCL R625. Only slight variations might be the case with editions of different sizes.
Black Level, uniformity, Local Dimming and Contrast:
Black level, black uniformity, contrast and local dimming (, in which backlight LEDs behind the screen are selectively turned off in specific sections for deeper onscreen black levels) are extremely important because these specs are crucial for high perceived color vibrancy, strong HDR, and good realism in how content looks on the screen. Their importance is especially high for HDR content looking vibrant and rich.
The TCL 6-Series 4K HDR TV delivers all of these essential and interconnected specs fantastically well. This TV comes with an extremely good local dimming feature that is surprising to see in such an affordable 4K HDR TV. Because of the local dimming and in general, the 6-Series can thus deliver excellent, highly even black uniformity, deep overall black levels and consequently, very high contrast, which sits at an exceptionally high 8,202:1 with local dimming activated and manages to reach 4,700 natively, without local dimming. As a result of these specs, colors and brightness both stand out on the TCL 6-Series.
Speaking of brightness in the TCL R625, well, it’s downright superb. These highly affordable but powerful HDR LCD TVs actually come with full-array LED backlighting (which helps make their local dimming so good) and manage to output extremely impressive levels of display luminosity for both HDR and normal SDR content. Their display brightness is high not just for specific HDR highlights on the screen but also on average, for general TV watching in both high dynamic range and normal SDR settings. The TCL 6-Series 2019 4K HDR TV doesn’t get quite as bright in its highlights as Sony’s X950G or Samsung’s best QLED’s the Q90 or Q80, but it does perform very similarly to a lower end QLED like the Q60R, and for a TV that costs only half as much as those TVs, that’s impressive.
The settings below bear out exactly what we mean about both HDR and SDR brightness.
TCL R625 2019 Edition SDR Brightness
- Overall SDR peak brightness for normal content: 575 nits
- Peak 2% display area display SDR brightness: 530 nits
- Peak 10% display area SDR brightness: 956 nits
- Peak 100% display area SDR brightness: 545 nits
- Sustained 10% SDR brightness: 832 nits
- Sustained 100% SDR brightness: 541 nits
TCL 2019 6-Series 4K TV HDR Brightness
- Overall HDR peak brightness for normal content: 675 nits
- Peak 2% display area display HDR brightness: 560 nits
- Peak 10% display area HDR brightness: 1023nits
- Peak 100% display area HDR brightness: 581 nits
- Sustained 10% HDR brightness: 879 nits
- Sustained 100% HDR brightness: 582 nits
On color delivery, TCL has created an impressively high level of performance in its newest ultra HD TV release. The R625 delivers very high quality colors pretty much across the board. Its color performance is not only incredibly good when it comes to rendering of high dynamic range colors, it’s also fantastic at handling color in general for almost all decently mastered content. The R625 outputs a very high level of Wide Color Gamut coverage at well above 95% and it renders 10-bit color for 1.07 billion variations or Red Green and Blue really, really well. Even more impressively, this television’s performance at rendering of high color saturation and accuracy during extremely bright or shadowy scenes is well above average in its quality. Even some of Samsung’s QLEDs don’t perform as well.
Here are the TCL R625’s key color accuracy specs too. As you can see, they’re fantastically good after just a bit of picture settings calibration (the lower the delta e and gamma numbers below, the better):
- Pre-calibration White Balance delta-E: 4.41
- Pre-calibration Color delta-E: 3.28
- Pre-calibration Gamma: 2.02
- Post-calibration White Balance delta-E: 0.21
- Post-calibration Color delta-E: 0.4
- Post-calibration Gamma: 2.09
- Wide Color Gamut: 97.8%
Motion Handling & Upscaling:
One of the few areas in which the TCL 6-Series 2019 4K HDR TV editions have some problems and weakness is in their motion handling. Overall, motion is still very good in the 6-series and many owners wouldn’t even notice problems of any kind; for example this TVs response time is excellent at 7.2 milliseconds, meaning that pixels respond rapidly at how they change colors for content, resulting in low motion blur. On the other hand, the 6-Series come with no strong motion interpolation technologies, and can interpolate content at up to 60 frames per second because of their native 60Hz panels. Smooth, judder-free playback of 24p movies and content from any source is however very good in the TCL R625. The 6-Series also comes with excellent functionality in its flicker-free and black frame insertion technologies, but again, it’s limited by the 60Hz limit of these edition’s displays.
Moving onto content upscaling, it’s excellent in the TCL 6 Series editions. Almost all 4K TV today’s upscale content from lower-resolution sources wonderfully, and this TV will do it just fine for anything that isn’t badly mastered to begin with.
Input Performance for Gaming and PC:
The TCL 2019 6-Series TV editions are absolutely fantastic performers at how responsive their inputs are for console or PC gaming. They have some of the lowest input lag we’ve seen in ANY 2019 4K HDR TV and only their 60Hz display limitation messes up their capacity for delivering things like 1080p and 1440p content at 120Hz. These TVs also lack variable refresh rate tech of the kind that Samsung’s QLED’s come with. Despite this, the input lag and versatility of gaming at different resolutions, color settings and HDR metrics are all excellent.
Here are some of the key specific specs for the gaming performance in different console setups:
- 4k @ 60Hz: 11.9 ms
- 1080p @ 60Hz: 10.1 ms
- 1080p @ 120Hz: N/A
- 1080p @ 60Hz outside Game Mode: 76 ms
- 4k @ 60Hz + HDR: 13.5 ms
- 1440p @ 60Hz: 10.4 ms
- 4k @ 60Hz Outside Game Mode : 57.2 ms
- 4k @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4: 10.5 ms
- 4K @ 120Hz: N/A
- 1440p @ 120Hz: N/A
- 1080p with FreeSync: N/A
- 4K with interpolation activated: 98.7 ms
The TCL 6-Series is also a superb 4K TV for use as a PC monitor for gaming or other needs. These specs show its key connectivity metrics for PC.
- 1080p @ 120Hz: No
- 1080p @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4: No
- 4k @ 60Hz + 4:4:4: Yes
- 1440p @ 60Hz: Yes
- 4k @ 120Hz : No
- 4k @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4: Yes
- 1440p @ 120Hz: No
The connectivity specs of TCL’s excellent 2019 6-Series R625 4K HDR TVs are perfectly up-to-date, ready for the essentials of content today and fully functional for HDR movies and TV programming playback from any source. This TV comes with four HDMI 2.0a ports, but only one USB port, which is our only irritation here. The R625 does however support Dolby Vision HDR via its HDMI ports, so that’s wonderful.
- HDMI : 4 (HDCP 2.2 & full HDMI 2.0a capacity)
- HDMI 2.1 : N/A
- USB : 1 (USB 2.0 x 1)
- Digital Optical Audio Out : 1
- Analog Audio Out 3.5 mm : 1
- Tuner (Cable/Ant) : 1
- Ethernet : 1
- HDR10 support: Yes
- HDR10+ support: No
- Dolby Vision HDR support: Yes
- Hybrid Log Gamma HDR support: Yes
- Dolby Vision HDR: Yes
The TV models also offer audio connectivity in the following types.
- 1 Passthrough ARC 5.1 Dolby Digital
- 1 Passthrough Optical 5.1 Dolby Digital
- 1 Passthrough ARC support
- 1 Passthrough DTS via ARC support
TCL is selling the 2019 R625 6-Series TV in only two editions, the 55 inch and the 65 inch model. This is a shame for fans of excellent budget TVs in the even more economical range or the giant range (this TV would be superb at 75 inches) but both models are very, very affordably priced for the equally superb quality each offers.
These two editions all sell for the following prices, found in the link below at the time of this writing. Bear in mind that these are subject to sometimes frequent downward change and it’s a good idea to click the following Amazon links for real-time pricing and all available discounts on this model.