Review: TCL Q7 65-inch QLED TV
This affordable 4K QLED TV ticks all the right boxes.
- QLED panel has fantastic color accuracy
- Good backlighting with usable local dimming
- 240Hz at 1080p or 144Hz at 2K or 4K with AMD FreeSync Pro and VRR
- Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos support
- Off-axis viewing suffers from poor viewing angles
- Struggles with upscaling non-4K content
It’s never been a better time to buy a TV, with advanced panel technology and powerful processing powering the smart aspects. It’s also never been a more confusing time to look, as the sheer number of features to compare is daunting.
QLED or Quantum LED is one of the newer panel types, using LED backlighting and a quantum-dot film to create eye-popping colors. It used to be used only by one big brand, but now the rest of the manufacturers are catching up.
We’re looking at one such QLED TV today, the TCL Q7 QLED TV, which comes in sizes from 55-inches up to 85-inches. It also features PRO LED backlighting for a brighter panel and higher control over local dimming for HDR content.
Running Android TV, this TV set comes packed with all the buzzwords you’d want, like Dolby Vision, Dolby Atmos, HDMI 2.1, 144Hz or 240Hz refresh rate depending on the resolution used, and a variable refresh rate for smooth gaming.
It doesn’t have the new Dolby Atmos FlexConnect, as that’s for the 2024 range, but maybe that can be added as a software update. We’ve asked TCL and will update you as soon as we hear back.
Let’s see how it fares when the buzzwords hit the real world.
Price, availability, and specifications
The TCL Q7 QLED TV comes in four screen sizes. A 65-inch panel (like the one we’re testing) runs you $999.99 at MSRP but is regularly discounted to around the $650 mark.
The 55-inch retails for $749.99, the 75-inch for $1,399.99, and the 85-inch for a wallet-crunching $2,199.99. All sizes are often discounted, as they have been on the market for several months now.
|Viewable Display Size||64.5″|
|Description||True Premium TV|
|Wi-Fi||Dual Band 802.11ac Wi-Fi|
|Control Buttons||One Button|
|Multilingual On-Screen-Display||English, Spanish, French|
|Parental Control (V-Chip)||Yes|
|Accessible Menu System (CVAA)||Yes|
|JPEG / MP3 for USB||Yes|
|Audio Power (Watts)||15W + 15W|
|Audio Passthrough||Dolby Atmos, Dolby Digital +, Dolby Digital, PCM, DTS HD|
|Dolby Processing||Dolby Atmos, Dolby Digital +|
|Smart Platform / Signal Format Compatibility|
|Google TV||ATSC, NTSC, Clear QAM|
|Panel Refresh Rate||120Hz|
|Panel Resolution||4K Ultra HD (3840 x 2160)|
|Display Colors||1.07 billion|
|Local Dimming Type||Full Array PRO Local Dimming|
|High Dynamic Range Format||HDR PRO+, Dolby Vision, HDR10+, HDR10, HLG|
|Connections – Inputs/Outputs|
|AV Input||Composite Video + L&R Audio In (Mini 3.5mm connector)|
|RF Input (NTSC, ATSC)||1|
|USB||1 USB 2.0|
|HDMI||4 HDMI (1 eARC)|
|SPDIF Digital Audio Optical||1|
|Audio Output Headphone||1|
|Product & Package Information|
|Product Size (WxHxD) with Stand||56.9″ x 35.2″ x 13.4″|
|Product Size (WxHxD) without stand||56.9″ x 32.9″ x 2.8″|
|Stand Separation Distance||55.0”|
|Stand Separation Narrow Distance||37.0″|
|Product Weight with stand (lbs)||45.0 lbs|
|Product Weight without stand (lbs)||44.3 lbs|
|Package Size (WxHxD) (inches)||64.8″ x 39.4″ x 6.5″|
|Total Package Weight (lbs)||63.7 lbs|
|VESA Mounting Specifications|
|VESA Hole Pattern||300mm x 300mm|
|Screw Size||M6 x 18mm|
|Base Stand Specifications|
|Screw Size (Qty)||M5x30 (4)|
|Warranty Info / Quick Start Guide (QSG)||1/1 English|
|Remote Control||Voice Remote|
|Remote Control Battery||Two “AAA”|
|Warranty||1 year limited warranty|
TCL Q7 QLED TV: Display and Design
The TCL Q7 follows the current trend of slim panels, slim bezels, and slim stands. That’s not a bad thing, as it makes this TV look even more premium than the price would have you believe.
The bezels are impressively small, only an eighth of an inch on every side except the bottom, and even then, it’s close to half an inch. The days of picture frame TVs are over unless you’re buying the specific brands to hang on the wall as art.
It also means you see every inch of the beautiful screen on this QLED TV without much to distract you from the picture.
Yes, there’s a visible TCL logo on the bottom edge too, but it’s fairly unobtrusive. Under that logo are a couple of physical controls: a switch to turn the far-field microphone off or on and a button to open a limited OSD.
The back has a 300 x 400 VESA mount for wall mounting if you don’t want to use the two legs. These are V-shaped and can be bolted to point inwards or outwards, depending on your TV cabinet.
As for ports, you get Ethernet, coaxial for an antenna or cable, one USB-A, A/V in, a 3.5mm audio jack, S/PDIF optical out, and four HDMI ports.
Two of these are HDMI 2.0, limited to 60Hz one is HDMI 2.1 at 120Hz, and the last is an HDMI 2.1 port that supports 4K at 144Hz, 1080p at 240Hz, and Variable Refresh Rate (VRR).
We’d have liked to see all four HDMI ports using the 2.1 spec, even if support for extended refresh rates and VRR was still limited to one port. It’s an odd place to cut costs.
TCL Q7 QLED TV: Software and sound
The Q7 runs Google TV, which is good since many smart TV operating systems are frankly terrible. Until Apple makes its own physical TV, Google TV is about as good as it gets.
You can control it using the remote, which is typical and full of buttons that you probably will never use, or use the onboard mic to control with Google Assistant or Alexa or connect it to HomeKit for Siri control.
The mic can be disabled with a physical switch on the TV, and there’s a push-to-talk button on the remote for the privacy-minded among us. That should be everyone, really, and it’s nice to see a physical switch.
The stereo speaker setup built into the TV is pretty punchy, all things considered. That comprises two 15W speakers, so it’s pretty good at filling the room.
Seriously, the days of TV inbuilt speakers being muddy or incomprehensible are over. These are capable, although you’ll want a sub for some low-end grunt.
While the speakers are fine, the immersive screen deserves more enveloping sound. With HDMI eARC on one port or S/PDIF optical out, you can pass through to a better sound system.
The Q7 supports Dolby Audio, Dolby Digital+, Dolby Digital, and DTS Virtual: X. That means whatever speakers you use, you’ll get great audio.
We used a Definitive Technology Studio 3D Mini soundbar as well, and the Dolby Digital pass-through was superb.
This soundbar with Dolby Atmos and DTS:X support might be small of stature, but the sound you get out of it is anything but. The subwoofer's 8-inch driver can make your chest thump, and the six speakers in the soundbar fill your room with crystal-clear sound.
TCL Q7 QLED TV: Performance
The QLED panel with a 120Hz native refresh rate and over 200 local dimming zones makes for great picture quality. It supports all the major HDR formats, including Dolby Vision IQ, thanks to an ambient light sensor.
Color performance is great, with accurate whites and very low black levels, thanks to those local dimming zones hard at work. SDR and HDR performance are pretty similar, with little to no color skew.
Bright, bold cartoons look amazing on this TV, with Paw Patrol, Love, Death & Robots, and The Simpsons all looking beautiful and crisp. In particular, blues are very well represented, but that’s to be expected of any panel using quantum dots.
Brightness and contrast are also good, better than I had expected from a mid-range TV like this. It’s also decently bright, helping with handling those pesky reflections from the room.
We watch a lot of cooking shows, and often, there’s a mismatch between skin tones and the hues of the food. Not so on the Q7, with everything looking natural, if a little more vibrant than in real life.
TCL’s Game Accelerator 240 feature means you can run the TV at 1080p 240Hz with Variable Refresh Rate. That’s a super smooth gaming experience, although we couldn’t test this as we didn’t have a current-gen console on hand.
It also supports AMD FreeSync Premium Pro and has Auto Game Mode (ALLM) for the best low-latency input tweaks.
The HDMI 2.1 port that Game Accelerator 240 works on can also do 4K 144Hz gaming if you have a system powerful enough to push those frame rates.
The one thing this TV struggles with is upscaling content that isn’t natively 4K. The output from the Nintendo Switch is 1080p when docked, and there was noticeable blocking around characters.
This is something that many TVs struggle with, however, and isn’t really a dealbreaker.
TCL Q7 QLED TV: Alternatives
TCL Q7: Is this the QLED TV you’re looking for?
The TCL Q7 is a mid-range QLED TV monster with great brightness levels and insanely smooth black levels. That’s perfect for HDR content, which is only slightly let down by the 1,000 nits max brightness.
It’s also pretty great for SDR content, where the QLED screen has great color reproduction. We found it was fine at default settings once motion smoothing was turned off.
The standout use for this TV is console gaming. With a dedicated 144Hz refresh rate HDMI 2.1 port that supports all versions of Variable Refresh Rate technology.
If you own an Xbox Series X or PlayStation 5, this is the midrange TV to get.
The TCL Q7 is a capable and affordable QLED TV with PRO LED backlighting for high brightness levels and superb color reproduction.
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