TCL UK TVs: DP628, DP648, DC748 models compared

TCL is a veritable newcomer to the UK; launching in June 2018 in the UK, the company is the third largest TV manufacturer globally, with a big presence in China, the US and more recently, across Europe. For the UK the company will be offering three different TV models. The aim is to offer affordable TVs without compromising on the feature set, so all offer 4K, all have HDR (HDR10 and HLG), all run Freeview Play and offer smart TV features, like Netflix, YouTube and UK-specific catch-up services.

TCL are also aiming to hit price points between GBP300-1000, so they offer great value for money, one of a number of companies looking to challenge the established big brands. Here’s how the different TV models compare.

TCL

TCL DP628

  • Sizes: 43, 50, 55, 65 inches
  • Direct LED, 3840 x 2160 pixels, HDR
  • Price (55 inch): GBP499 GBP399 on Amazon

The DP628 is TCL’s starting point in the UK. It comes in four screen sizes offering 43, 50, 55 and 65-inches.

The panel is direct LED, so it’s a little thicker than some of the other models that TCL offer. It has a plastic build, with a slim bezel around the edges. This is a plastic bezel and is a little glossy, so it doesn’t have the premium looks of the DC648, which is a little more expensive.

The TCL DP628 runs on an HTML5 smart TV platform which is the same across all the UK devices. It runs Freeview Play, offering a backward and forward EPG, linked into the catchup services – BBC iPlayer, ITV Hub, All 4 and Demand 5. It also offers YouTube and Netflix – both with 4K HDR support – Rakuten TV and other services.

It’s a basic user interface and uncluttered, but there’s no support for Amazon Video. It does work with Alexa, however, meaning you can ask Alexa (if you have an Echo device in the room) to change the input of the volume for example. First impressions of this TV are pretty good: the UI is nice and clean so it’s easy to get to the main apps and the picture quality looks reasonably good, especially at these prices.

We noticed some drop off in colour at wider viewing positions because this is a VA panel rather than IPS, so is best for head-on viewing – but you get a lot of TV for your money, especially with Black Friday savings.

TCLTCL UK TVs: DP628, DP648, DC748 models compared

TCL DP648

  • Sizes: 43, 50, 55, 65 inches
  • Edge LED, 3840 x 2160 pixels, HDR
  • Price (55 inch): GBP599 GBP479 on Amazon

The DP648 offers a big step-up in design quality over the DP628, with a much slimmer bezel around the edges. It moves on from plastic, and rather than just looking like metal, it is metal, which gives things a premium lift, without boosting the price too much. Through the body the TV is only 8mm thick, using an edge lit LED panel.

The panel also steps-up a notch, it’s still 4K HDR, but it is brighter, with a function called Brightness+ which can temporarily boost the brightness for a limited time, designed to meet more aggressive HDR demands. It also has a wider colour gamut than the DC628, so will give you better colour reproduction. As with the CD628, it’s an HTML5-based user interface, running Freeview Play with support for all the UK catch-up channels.

Netflix and YouTube are both included at 4K HDR, but there’s no Amazon Video app. It also works with Alexa. Again, we’ve seen some sample content on the DP648 and it looked reasonable for the price.

There is some drop off in colour for more extreme angles because it’s a VA panel, but if you’re sitting head-on, you’ll get a decent picture – and here you can get a 55-inch TV for under GBP500.

TCLTCL UK TVs: DP628, DP648, DC748 models compared

TCL DC748

  • Sizes: 43, 50, 55, 65 inches
  • Direct LED, 3840 x 2160 pixels, HDR
  • Price (55 inch): GBP699 GBP599 on Amazon

The TCL DC748 is the top model for the UK. The biggest visual difference is the integrated 60W JBL soundbar running across the bottom, so it should give you great sound without the need for an additional sound system – the other TVs are a little weaker with 16W down-firing speakers. The rest of the design is enhanced over the DP648 too, with even slimmer bezels that are practically invisible.

The remote also switches to metal and integrates a microphone, and there’s Alexa control integrated into the TV too, so you can speak into the remote to get Alexa to do things. The panel is enhanced again over the previous two TV models: it’s brighter and also offers a wider viewing angle than the other sets, for a slightly more premium result. Sadly we didn’t get the chance to see it actually turned on, so we can’t comment on the quality.

As with the other TVs in this selection, it’s Freeview Play, with all the UK catch-up services and Netflix and YouTube – but again no Amazon Video.

Yes, it’s still a fairly clean and basic UI compared to Samsung or Sony, but if you’re just going to plug in your Sky box, that hardly matters.

We will be bringing you reviews of these TVs when we can get access to samples.

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