I tested TCL's affordable Q7 4K TV, and it's a great deal – but with a catch

1 week ago 22

Early Verdict

TCL’s caller Q7 people TVs are the successor to past year’s 6-Series and connection a likewise large blend of features and show for the money. Our hands-on investigating revealed the Q7 to person little highest brightness compared to its predecessor – not a astonishment fixed that it lacks a mini-LED backlight – truthful if you find that show facet to beryllium important, you whitethorn privation to look to TCL’s caller flagship QM8 people TVs instead.


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    Good brightness

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    Stand with reversible feet

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    Affordable price


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    Some backlight blooming

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    Screen glare

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    Google TV only

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TCL’s 6-series TVs person presented a low-cost enactment for those successful the US seeking the brightness benefits of mini-LED backlighting on with the colour benefits of QLED. For 2023, the institution is positioning its caller Q7 people models arsenic the successor to the 6-Series, though this clip astir there’s nary mini-LED backlight. To get that feature, you’ll request to measurement up to the QM8 class, which is TCL’s flagship TV bid for 2023. Q7 people sets are either disposable present oregon coming soon depending connected the surface size.

I precocious had an accidental to spot the full scope of caller TCL TVs and aboriginal execute a speedy hands-on trial of an 85-inch Q7 people model. During the aforesaid session, I was besides capable to evaluate an 85-inch QM8 astatine greater magnitude and successful much favorable viewing conditions – the abstraction wherever the Q7 was acceptable up had comparatively agleam lighting, and the timepiece was ticking accelerated during my hands-on. Even so, I was capable to tally a fewer cardinal tests and get a bully consciousness of the Q7’s basal performance.

Q7 people TVs travel successful 55-, 65-, 75-, and 85-inch surface sizes with prices ranging from $799.99 to $2,199.99. The 65-inch exemplary sells for $999, which is the aforesaid terms arsenic past year’s same-size 6-Series. The Q7 uses the Google TV astute level – the institution has not announced a Roku mentation – and features a regular LED backlight with up to 200 section dimming zones. TCL specifies highest brightness astatine 1,000 nits. Q7 people sets usage the aforesaid AIPQ Engine Gen3 processor recovered successful the QM8 class, but dissimilar with the QM8, there’s nary anti-glare surface coating.

TCL QM8 TV backmost  sheet  inputs

The TCL Q7 has 2 HDMI 2.1 ports with enactment for 4K 120Hz input signals (Image credit: Future)

Q7 TVs travel with reversible feet that tin beryllium adapted for a scope of basal and soundbar options. They person a autochthonal 120Hz show sheet with 144Hz VRR enactment for gaming, and a Game accelerator 240 diagnostic for 240Hz VRR gaming astatine little resolution. HDR format enactment includes the Dolby Vision IQ, HDR10+, HDR10, and HLG formats, and they are besides IMAX Enhanced certified.

You’ll find 4 HDMI inputs including 1 with 4K 120Hz enactment and a 2nd with 4K 144Hz support, on with an antenna input for the TV’s ATSC 1.0 integer TV tuner. Dolby Atmos and DTS Virtual:X audio formats are supported and there’s a built-in 2 x 15-watt talker system. A Bluetooth output provides an further audio enactment for late-night viewing.

TCL QM8 distant    power  held successful  hand

TCL's distant power features a backlit keypad (Image credit: Future)

Each Q7 people TV comes with a backlit distant control. They besides enactment with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and Apple HomeKit, and some AirPlay 2 and Chromecast are onboard for streaming from a telephone oregon tablet.  

TCL Q7 basal   with soundbar beside it

The Q7's feet are reversible for greater installation flexibility (Image credit: Future)

Bright enough, oregon is it?

Performing immoderate run-and-gun airy output measurements utilizing a 10 percent achromatic trial signifier with the acceptable successful HDR mode, I confirmed that the 85-inch Q7 was susceptible of hitting 900-nit peaks successful the default Vivid preset and 876 nits successful the default Movie preset. That effect is below, but wrong scope of, TCL’s 1,000 nit highest brightness specification for the Q7 series. More interesting, it’s good beneath past year’s model, which yielded 1,317 nits successful our TCL 6-series Roku TV (2022) review.

Checking retired the montage sequences from the Spears & Munsil Ultra HD HDR trial Blu-ray disc, the Q7 delivered affluent colors and bully contrast. HDR highlights notably lacked the ocular punch of the QM8 exemplary I had tested earlier, but representation prime wide was rather bully fixed the less-than-optimal lighting conditions successful the abstraction wherever I was viewing.

TCL Q7 TV showing colour  trial  signifier   connected  and off-axis

The Q7 showed mean off-axis colour and opposition for an LCD TV, on with immoderate disposable surface glare (Image credit: Future)

The comparatively agleam lighting besides resulted successful immoderate surface glare, arsenic you tin spot successful the supra image. The aforesaid representation shows the set’s mean off-axis performance, with colour saturation and representation opposition fading erstwhile viewed from an off-center position.

With the aforesaid AIPQ Engine Gen3 processor arsenic the QM8, the Q7’s handling of question and sound was likewise awesome arsenic that step-up model. I would person liked much clip to measure and marque a telephone connected the TV’s section dimming performance, but clip constraints prevented maine from doing so.

TCL Q7 bid    TV showing Google TV interface

The Q7's Google TV interface (Image credit: Future)

At $2,199.99, TCL’s 85-inch QLED TV offers a large scope of features and bully wide show for the price. It does deficiency the awesome HDR brightness of the step-up TCL QM8 class, which volition tally you an other $600 for a acceptable with the aforesaid surface size. 

Does the added brightness the QM8’s mini-LED backlight brings warrant the other cost? That volition beryllium connected your situation – brighter is ever amended for well-lit rooms and daylight viewing of sports – and your expectations for added dynamic punch successful movies with HDR. But with the company’s brighter 6-Series TVs inactive disposable to bargain astatine a akin price, the Q7’s main contention appears to beryllium TCL itself.

Shopping for a caller big-screen TV? Check retired our usher to the best 85-inch TVs to find different options.

Al Griffin has been penning astir and reviewing A/V tech since the days LaserDiscs roamed the earth, and was antecedently the exertion of Sound & Vision magazine. 

When not reviewing the latest and top cogwheel oregon watching movies astatine home, helium tin usually beryllium recovered retired and astir connected a bike.

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