Are TCL TVs Worth Buying?

Updated

Cheap TVs are the meat and potatoes of many Black Friday sales. Retailers use these ridiculously priced TVs to lure shoppers into their stores (or websites). The hope is that shoppers will not only buy said TV, but also purchase higher priced accessories like HDMI cables.  

While some videophiles may glance over these TV deals, the average person can save a good chunk of change by opting for a top-performing, low-cost TV. The trick is, knowing which brands to trust and buy. 

What Budget TV Should I Buy?

Currently, TCL is manufacturing some of the best budget TVs on the market. Two popular models — the TCL 49S517 and TCL 55S517 — are already on sale for $399.99 ($30 off) and $429.99 ($270 off). If you're tempted by those prices now, we'd wait till we get closer to Black Friday as the 49-inch TV was $15 cheaper on Prime Day. The 55-inch model is currently at an all-time price low, but we predict it'll drop further.

We haven't tested those TVs in our labs, but we did test the smaller TCL 43S517 (part of TCL's 2018 5-series) and that TV nabbed our hard-to-get Editors' Choice award and made it to our Best Tech Bargains of 2018 list.

Budget TVs to watch:

We liked it not only because of its low price, but this TV also packs unexpectedly premium features like Dolby Vision, Dolby Atmos sound, and a better-than-average version of Roku TV. In a nutshell, it's a budget TV that performs above and beyond its price. 

Other popular TCL models which are likely to go on sale this holiday season include the TCL 55S405 (solid 4K resolution, basic HDR support, and adequate color accuracy) and the TCL 49S405 (an Editors' Choice winner for its affordable price and better-than-expected audio and video performance).

We'll be tracking the best Black Friday TV deals for the remainder of the year, and we'll call out brands/models we recommend, as well as those TVs that should probably remain on store shelves.