Due to the pandemic and more people staying home than ever before, never has owning a good TV been more important, but so is affordability. TCL’s 65″ 6-series 65R625 is a Roku powered smart TV with Dolby Vision HDR visuals packed inside of an edge-to-edge form-factor, all for a price that won’t break the bank. But how does the 65R625 stack up against the mid-range TV competition?
TCL’s 65R625 sports a brushed metal design with nearly invisible bezels that border its FullView edge-to-edge glass display. Its design is attractive, minimalist, and pretty high-end. The metallic bottom edge is thicker than its other sides and it matches the TV’s slim stand legs. The TV itself measures 1.25 inches thick, and 2 inches at its thickest point. We are a bit turned off by its chunky backside, but this is hardly a dealbreaker. Also, its legs are positioned at unusually wide angles, which could end up becoming an inconvenience, depending on where you place them.
The TCL 65R625 uses the super easy-to-use Roku smart TV interface which we consider to be the absolute best on the market. Not only is Roku extremely user friendly, but it has a huge app catalog that fills the majority of households’ needs. The TV also comes with a Roku remote with built-in voice control. We do however wish that the TV came with Roku’s remote with a headphone jack. There is however, a headphone jack built directly into the TV, along with 4 HDMI ports (1 ARC) a composite connection, optical audio out, and an Ethernet port.
It takes some minor tweaking within the TCL 65R625’s settings, but it doesn’t take much to produce colors that are vivid and natural. When it comes to picture quality, the 65R625 offers excellent contrast. The 65R625’s panel features full-array local dimming with 120 zones. This is essential to help eliminate blooming. Blooming is where brighter areas bleed into darker ones and lighten adjacent black levels. The TV also features quantum dots (QLED) for improved color, and along with Dolby Vision and HDR10 support, the result is a TV that offers a wide and vibrant color gamut.
Brightness levels on the TV could be better but they are above average for a mid-range TV. We’re particularly impressed by the TV’s deep blacks, especially at this price-point. The 65R625 also offers excellent shadow detail, along with balanced illumination. These aspects are especially appreciated when watching dark shows like Stranger Things on Netflix, which is a show that most budget TVs struggle with.
That said, if you’re a stickler for picture quality, yes, you can spend more and get even better picture quality, but most users will be more than satisfied by the excellent visuals that TCL’s 6-series 65R625 produces.
The TV also features a built-in game mode that offers a low input lag, but it produces noticeable motion artifacts. Ultimately, this means that you can enjoy gaming on the 65R625, but its performance may not satisfy hardcore gamers.
On the audio front, the TV offers Dolby Atmos processing. Its 8W + 8W speakers offer typical performance for a TV, so if you’re serious about audio, you’re going to need to invest in a soundbar, especially if you’re placing the TV in a larger sized room. Our top choice for a TV soundbar continues to be the Sonos Beam, but TCL offers an affordable soundbar alternative that is very good too.
TCL has been building a reputation for offering fantastic TVs that are affordably priced, and their 65R625 exemplifies just that. So much so, that we consider it to be the best mid-range TV for most buyers. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a TV that offers better picture quality at this price. That said, TCL’s 2020 6-series models should be available sometime soon and we expect these new models to further up the ante with the inclusion of Mini LEDs. So if you can wait a little bit longer to buy a TV, we recommend waiting for TCL’s 2020 6-series models.
You can pick up the TCL 65R625 for $749 at Amazon.