If you want the visual splendor of a premium QLED screen but can’t afford the premium price that usually accompanies it, you have options in the TCL 6-Series Roku TV and Samsung Q60T QLED TV. Both offer an impressive list of features beyond the QLED screen, too, with HDR support and excellent smart TV platforms. While either is a good fit if you’re on a budget, which one is the best for you?
To help you decide the answer for yourself, we've broken it down along some of the biggest points of differentiation between the two brands and models. For a more detailed look at how to choose the best TV for you check out our TV buying guide.
And for a closer look at the models discussed here, check out our TCL 6-Series Roku TV (R635) review and Samsung Q60T QLED TV review, which take a deeper dive into each set's design, features and picture quality.
TCL 6-Series Roku TV (R635) vs. Samsung Q60T QLED: Specs
|Screen sizes||55, 65, 75 inches||43, 50, 55, 58, 65, 75, 85 inches|
|Resolution||4K UHD (3,840 x 2,160)||4K UHD (3,840 x 2,160)|
|HDR||Dolby Vision, HDR10, HLG||HDR10+, Hybrid Log-Gamma (HLG)|
|Ports||4x HDMI||3x HDMI|
|Audio||2.0 channel sound||2.0 channel sound|
|Smart TV software||Roku TV||Tizen|
|Processor||Quantum Processor 4K Lite|
|Voice interaction||Mic in remote||Mic in remote|
|Smart assistant||None built-in (works with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant)||Bixby, Alexa, Google Assistant|
TCL 6-Series Roku TV (R635) vs. Samsung Q60T QLED: Price and size options
The TCL 6-Series comes in the standard 55-, 65- and 75-inch models, while the Samsung Q60T offers a dizzying variety of sizes to choose from — as small as 43 inches and as giant as 85 inches.
The TCL 6-Series is an everyday great bargain at its list prices, but Samsung has recently slashed the cost of the Q60T line across the board. The Samsung sale makes the Q60T very appealing, undercutting the 6-Series at almost every size. If prices reset to closer to their list prices, the TCL 6-Series will be the better choice when it comes to cost.
TCL 6-Series Roku TV (R635) vs. Samsung Q60T QLED: Display
Both the TCL 6-Series and the Samsung Q60T use quantum light emitting diode (QLED) technology in their screens. QLED results in better brightness, more vivid colors and deeper blacks than a standard LCD and competes with OLED for the most realistic display technology.
But not all QLEDs produce the same picture quality. While both TVs deliver sharp and bright pictures, we tested both models and found a significant advantage for the TCL 6-Series in terms of the images it shows.
The TCL 6-Series had impressive scores for the breadth of colors it can display (color gamut) as well as color accuracy. The Samsung Q60T couldn’t match the 6-Series on either. The Samsung Q60T also has a lower refresh rate than the 6-Series, which resulted in some blurring during fast action scenes. The Samsung Q60T uses a dual backlight, a two-color variation on edge lighting, while the TCL 6-Series has a full array mini-LED backlight with local dimming; the 6-Series’s approach resulted in better consistency in the picture across the entire screen. Neither TV had particularly impressive lag times — important when it comes to gaming — though the 6-Series was slightly faster than the Q60T.
Beyond the numbers, movies and TV shows just look great on the TCL 6-Series. If picture quality is the most important thing to you, the TCL 6-Series Roku TV is the best choice.
Winner: TCL 6-Series Roku TV (R635)
TCL 6-Series Roku TV (R635) vs. Samsung Q60T QLED: Audio
Neither of these TVs will wow you with the sound that comes out of the speakers built into the units. The TCL 6-Series has two 8-watt speakers, while the Samsung Q60T has two 10-watt speakers — the difference is negligible. You can hear dialog okay, but both lack any significant bass, and the sound doesn’t match the visual quality.
But a key difference is that the TCL 6-Series supports Dolby Atmos, while the Samsung Q60T doesn’t. You won’t notice Atmos much when using the built-in speakers, but if you connect a soundbar that supports Atmos, you’ll be able to experience the sound improvements that Atmos offers.
Winner: TCL 6-Series Roku TV (R635)
TCL 6-Series Roku TV (R635) vs. Samsung Q60T QLED: Remote control
TCL and Samsung take slightly different approaches to the remote controls for their TVs, but both work well.
Samsung uses a “wand” style, which is long and narrow. It has a minimalist design and fits comfortably in your hand. It has more of a polished feel than the TCL remote.
The TCL remote is familiar if you’ve ever used a Roku; it’s small and fairly uncluttered, and it’s also easy to hold. The TCL remote has four dedicated app buttons, while the Samsung only has three (and Samsung uses one of those for its Samsung TV Plus service instead of a more popular app, like Hulu).
TCL 6-Series Roku TV (R635) vs. Samsung Q60T QLED: Tizen vs. Roku TV
Both of these TVs come with easy-to-use smart TV software. Samsung’s Tizen platform offers just about every app you can want for streaming content. You can control the TV via your choice of voice assistants: Samsung’s Bixby, Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant. With Samsung’s SmartThings app, you can also tap into the rest of your smart home and control it all from your TV.
TCL’s Roku TV will be very familiar if you’ve ever used a Roku streaming stick or set-top box. It’s simple to use and has most apps you’ll want for streaming (except HBO Max). But it lacks integration with smart home controls. You can add an Alexa or Google Assistant speaker to give it more functionality, but it’s not as simple as Samsung’s experience.
Winner: Samsung Q60T QLED TV
TCL 6-Series Roku TV (R635) vs. Samsung Q60T QLED: Which one wins?
If you’re looking for an affordable QLED TV, the TCL 6-Series and Samsung Q60T QLED are your best choices.
Both the TCL 6-Series and Samsung Q60T represent good values, especially at the Samsung’s current prices. The right choice between these two comes down to whether picture quality is most important to you.
The TCL 6-Series is the clear winner when it comes to overall picture quality. It has vivid colors and excellent contrast, and beats the Samsung Q60T in all of our tests.
But the Samsung Q60T comes in many more sizes and has a better smart TV platform. Its Tizen OS has more apps, options when it comes to a voice assistant and better smart home integration than TCL’s Roku TV platform.
In most cases we’d pick the TCL 6-Series over the Samsung Q60T, but either way you’ll get a great TV.
Which TV should you buy? See how our favorite TVs stack up in our collection of TV face offs: