TCL - TCL 55EP680


TCL 55EP680: an inexpensive 55-inch Android HD TV

Aprox. 549€

See specifications

The TCL 55EP680 is a rather affordable model equipped with Android TV and displaying interesting characteristics on paper. Let's see how it goes in our test laboratory ...

Positive points

Image quality.

Good native contrast.

Two remote controls provided, one with microphone.

Display delay.

Reduced consumption.

Bad points

Limited brightness peak in HDR.

Afterglow time.

Very average audio system.

Slow Android TV.

Viewing angles.

Our review


The TCL 55EP680 has a 55 inch VA panel (approximately 140 cm) displaying an Ultra HD definition of 3,840 x 2,160 pixels. The manufacturer announces a brightness of 320 cd / m², support for extended colors and HDR10, HLG, HDR10 + and even Dolby Vision standards, which is interesting in this price range. In terms of audio system, you have to settle for two 10 W speakers, but TCL announces Dolby Atmos compatibility. Finally the TCL 55EP680 trusts Android TV in its version 9.0 (Pie) associated with 16 GB of storage memory.

The TCL 55EP680 television is currently sold for around € 700. It is also available in a 65 inch (165 cm) version under the reference TCL 65EP680 for around 900 € and in a 50 inch version, or around 127 cm, the TCL 50EP680 for less than 500 €.

All the brightness and colorimetric measurements mentioned in this article were carried out with a SpectraCal C6-HDR probe and the CalMAN Ultimate software.

Image quality

This television uses a VA (Vertical Alignment) type LCD panel. This display technology makes it possible to obtain a good contrast by effectively blocking the light from the backlight, but in return, the viewing angles are reduced than on an IPS or Oled LCD television. We measured a variation of brightness of 70% at 45 °, that is to say as much as on other VA televisions, with the exception of very high-end models using an optical filter improving the viewing angles (Samsung QE85Q85R / QE65Q90R or Sony 65XG9505 ). This is very far from what Oled technology offers with only 25% variation at 45 °.

Film mode provides the most accurate rendering. In this mode, we measured a delta E of only 2.4. The colors can thus be considered as faithful to those sent by the source. Only a few shades exceed a Delta E of 3, a threshold above which the human eye perceives colorimetric drift.

With a setting of +1, the gamma displays quite relative stability, but still retains an average of 2.35, close to the reference 2.4.

Despite a setting on hot, the temperature is too high (7,440 K) compared to the reference value (6,500 K) and this results in the image by rendering a little too cold (slightly turning blue). Nothing prohibitive, but it is not perfect. The curve also lacks stability at the start of the spectrum with warmer light grays than dark grays.

With a ratio of 4,530: 1, the contrast is excellent for an LCD television; thanks to VA technology. However, the manufacturer TCL has taken the bad habit of playing on the dynamic brightness to improve the contrast. The white measured at 150 cd / m² on our 35% goes to 52 cd / m² on our target containing 1% white, an average of 101 cd / m² on white and 0.2 cd / m² on black. This contrast ratio makes it possible to display deep blacks, even in complete darkness.

The scaling engine allows you to resize SD, HD and Full HD content so that they display correctly on this Ultra HD panel. This engine is fairly basic and produces a fairly blurred and very smooth image. Fortunately, it does not distort the original source and it limits the artifacts.

On the motion compensation side, the motor does its best to limit jerks, but it cannot improve sharpness in the absence of a 100 Hz panel. The 50 Hz prevents the insertion of black images via scanning backlight.


Good surprise, the TCL 55EP680 is compatible with the dynamic metadata formats HDR10 + and Dolby Vision in addition to the classic HDR10 and HLG. Remember that HDR10 + and Dolby Vision are particularly effective on entry-level TVs since they take into account the capabilities of the TV and thus avoid clipping (white saturation).

The Display Tone Mapping used by TCL is simply perfect. At least, that's the behavior we expect from a television for the general public. It perfectly follows the curve up to 50% luminance, then it smoothes the signal up to the maximum capacities of the TV so as not to lose detail in very bright areas. It thus avoids the phenomenon of clipping with a signal in HDR10 at 10,000 cd / m² used for this test.

We measured the brightness peak at 320 cd / m², a value too low to take full advantage of the dynamics of HDR content. Fortunately, the TCL 55EP680 catches up with a good level of black, but it cannot display the dynamics of very bright images.

The good surprise comes from the HDR Film mode, which delivers just colors, which is quite rare for a TV in this price range. We measured an average Delta E at 3, synonymous with faithful colors.

The TCL 55EP680 only covers 64% of the Rec.2020 space, a fairly low figure which does not allow to correctly reproduce all the colors of this space. Remember that high-end televisions are currently content with 70 to 75% coverage of Rec. 2020. So it's not really important at the moment, but it is a good indicator of the quality of the panel and the backlighting system.

It is a little better on the side of the coverage of the DCI-P3 color space which reaches 85%. In comparison, Oled TVs display more than 90% of the colors of the DCI-P3. It is this space that is still mainly used today for 4K Ultra HD productions.

Video games

The remanence time measured at 17.5 ms is very far from that of the best LCDs on the market, such as the Samsung QE65Q85R and Sony KD-75XG9505 which drop to 11 ms. It corresponds to that of entry-level televisions like the Samsung UE55RU7405 which displays a remanence time of 18 ms. We can therefore perceive a trail behind moving objects (ghosting).

The TCL 55EP680 television does much better in terms of delay in display since the Game mode allows it to be reduced to only 17.5 ms. An excellent value which results in just a little more than one image of delay compared to the source (at 60 Hz). In practice, there is almost no lag between the action on the joystick and its impact on the screen.

If the Game mode is uncorrelated from the chosen picture mode - it is accessible in the general options of the TV -, it still changes the display and color rendering. We have measured an average delta E of 4.8 which is still satisfactory.


The use of a Direct Led backlight system limits the risks of clouding, but this defect can still appear if the light distribution filter is damaged during transport. We didn't see any clouding issues on the model we tested or light leaks in the corners.

We have measured the average difference in white homogeneity over the entire slab at 19%; a fairly average figure for a 55-inch LCD model. Recall that above 20% the eye begins to perceive a difference in uniformity.


The TCL 55EP680 sports a fairly classic design without flaw with a dominant of black. Despite the presence of a small chin at the base of the slab, the speakers are not on the front, but under the TV.

If the foot is ventilated, it is ultimately quite bulky on the TV stand. It is 61.5 cm wide and protrudes 10 cm in front of the TV. It is therefore necessary to provide a fairly deep piece of furniture if you want to install a sound bar.

The treatment of the slab is quite effective against reflections. This TV does not do as well as the high-end models of Samsung - real references on this criterion - and does not equal the Oled models either. On the other hand, it does make a slightly better entry-level LCD TV from Samsung like the Samsung UE55RU7405.

In profile, the thickness is measured at 7.3 cm. The size on the TV stand is in any case always linked to that of the stand, which here displays a depth - rather contained - of 22 cm. This TV is therefore perfectly comfortable on our reference TV stand (160 x 40 cm).

The frame around the screen is not particularly thin, but it is far from coarse. In addition, the finishes are good for a TV in this price range.

The rear is very classic. Black plastic is basic. The mounting holes used for the feet can also be used to hang the TV on the wall via a wall support to the VESA standard 300 x 200 mm.

The connection consists of three HDMI 2.0 inputs HDCP 2.2 and HDR compatible, two USB 2.0 ports, an optical digital audio output, a composite input, an Ethernet port, a headphone output, a PCMCIA port (Common Interface CI +) and the antenna sockets TNT / cable and satellite. This television embeds a DVB-T / T2 / C / S / S2 tuner as well as Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.

The TCL 55EP680 has Android TV in its latest version (9.0). This system uses the new interface launched by Android 8.0. It is a little less intuitive at first, but more effective later. The lines directly display the content of the most used applications (Netflix, YouTube, Molotov TV, myCanal, SFR Sport, etc.). The Android TV system is one of the most complete on the market and especially the one with the most applications, but not all of them are optimized for use on a television. In addition, the integrated Chromecast allows you to receive and display a video stream sent from a smartphone, tablet or computer. The Quad Core processor of this television shows its limits fairly quickly and navigation is generally slow. We will just use the basic video playback applications and we must ignore the games.

As with all Android TVs, the first boot takes longer. It takes about 41 seconds here. Fortunately, the TV comes out of standby in 4 seconds, while consuming less than one watt in standby. In any case, it is much longer than Tizen systems from Samsung or WebOS from LG, which start up in less than 5 seconds. Finally, as often, the standby is instantaneous.

Despite its tight price, this television is supplied with two remote controls. The largest has all the usual keys, including the numeric keypad for direct access to certain channels, but it skips the microphone. The smallest has an essential microphone to perform voice searches via Google Assistant. Light, it is more pleasant to take in hand.


The audio system consists of two 10 W speakers. The sound is very average and lacks bass and treble. The frequency response is only correctly ensured between 160 and 1300 Hz, which is problematic for reproducing part of the voices. With this TV, we advise you to opt for a sound bar, a home cinema kit or even a PC speaker kit.


We measured consumption at 63 W on our target with a white set at 150 cd / m², or a relative consumption of only 75.5 W / m², much lower than the average of the televisions tested (around 100 W / m²). If this TV does not compete directly with the most energy-efficient TVs, such as the Samsung QE65Q60R with 66.1 W / m², the TCL 55DC760 with 66 W / m² or the Sony KD-65XG8505 - the most economical TV in our comparison - which is satisfied with a consumption of 55.8 W / m², it is nevertheless one of the very good students. Standby consumption is always less than 1 W.


The TCL 55EP680 is a good Ultra HD television which delivers a very well calibrated image in SDR and HDR, as well as a very good native contrast allowing to display fairly deep blacks. It also stands out for its low display delay and reduced consumption. However, like all LCD TVs in this price range, its limited brightness peak has little interest in HDR and the afterglow results in a blurring effect, especially visible in games. It is a serious competitor for the Samsung 55RU7405. It's up to you to see if you prefer the versatility of the TCL's Android TV at the cost of a few slowness to the fluidity of the Samsung Tizen system, but with a slightly more perfectable calibration.