TCL is overhauling its TV strategy for 2023 by ditching the company’s long-running 6-Series, 5-Series, and 4-Series branding in favor of two new lines: higher-end sets will be part of the Q-Series, while more value-focused TVs will fall under the S-Series. Within the two segments are six different models in all.
Let’s cover the best first, shall we? With its flagship QM8, TCL is promising double the peak brightness of its best Mini LED TVs from 2022 — and those were already fairly impressive in their own right. Set to come in screen sizes between 65 inches and 98 inches, the largest QM8 packs in more than 2,300 dimming zones. TCL claims that’s the most of any 4K Mini LED TV on the market — and even more than 8K models. The QM8 features Wi-Fi 6 and has a built-in subwoofer for powerful audio. The design has been refreshed with a “bezel-less” design and height-adjustable stand.
Beyond its super bright picture, faster Wi-Fi, and boomier sound, the QM8 will share many core features with the step-down Q7 — though you lose out on Mini LED by going with the cheaper TV and will have to settle for regular full-array local dimming. Otherwise, you’re still getting a native 120Hz panel that’s capable of boosting up to a VRR refresh rate of 240Hz thanks to a feature called Game Accelerator. (You do lose half the vertical resolution when doubling the refresh rate like this, so if you want full 4K120, you can leave Game Accelerator off.) T
The QM7 is AMD FreeSync Premium Pro and IMAX Enhance certified. It comes with a backlit voice remote, but both the QM8 and Q7 also offer hands-free voice controls through integrated far-field microphones. Curiously, both of these models will run Google TV; so far TCL isn’t announcing Roku TV versions. They also both support Dolby Vision IQ.
Move down from the Q7 and you land on the Q6. Here’s a neat thing about this TV: TCL claims despite it being a native 60Hz panel, it can do the same trick as the higher models and double that in VRR, hitting up to 120Hz. It still delivers quantum dot color and has a similar design to the more premium models. TCL will sell the Q6 in sizes between 50 and 75 inches.
As for the S-Series, TCL is pitching it as the “smart choice” for customers who just want a decent smart TV:
The S3 is smart and versatile with 1080p Full HD resolution and HDR, so it can double as a PC monitor. TCL’s S4 provides 4K Ultra HD resolution and is getting major upgrades including features such as Dolby Vision HDR for ultra vivid pictures, immersive Dolby Atmos audio, MEMC, and much more. TCL’s S3 model will be available in 32 to 43-inch screen sizes, while the S4 will be offered in 43 to 85-inch screen sizes.
The S4 is the bread and butter of the S-Series lineup, but there’s even a 720p S2 filling out the bottom as the extreme budget option..
TCL’s Q-Series and S-Series TVs will begin shipping over the next few months, but I wouldn’t expect the company’s existing monitors to go away anytime soon. TCL has sold over 25 million TVs in the US alone over the past four years, and its familiar Roku TV and Google TV models have played a big role in that.
But what we’re seeing here at CES is the next phase of the company’s TV strategy and a sense of where it’s headed. TCL is trying to be more deliberate in targeting various customer segments and differentiating its TVs. It’s the TV maker that led the way in implementing Mini LED and other technologies, and it’s determined not to get overshadowed by Hisense, Samsung, LG, Sony, and others.