TCL - TCL U55X9006

TCL

TCL U55X9006: the most affordable Qled TV

Aprox. 1248€

See specifications

Last April, we learned that the manufacturers HiSense and TCL were going to offer Qled televisions using the same LCD panel as Samsung on its high-end televisions. The TCL Xess X2 television, known under the reference TCL U55X9006, is the first non-Samsung model to use a Qled panel.

Positive points

Image quality.

Good contrast.

Possibilities offered by Android TV.

Google Cast built-in.

Bad points

Motion compensation motor not very efficient.

Reduced brightness peak for HDR.

Viewing angles.

Disappointing audio system.

Our review

Presentation

The TCL U55X9006 TV has a 55 inch 10-bit 50Hz VA 50 Hz (≈140 cm) panel with an Ultra HD resolution of 3 840 x 2 160 px. The VA Qled panel used by TCL is content with a refresh rate of 50/60 Hz, against 100/120 Hz for the most affordable Qled model from Samsung (Samsung QE55Q7F). We therefore do not expect to find an efficient backlight scanning system. However, the TCL U55X9006 should take advantage of the new Qled quantum dot filter to increase its brightness peak. Android TV is there to liven up the TV with its batch of applications (Netflix 4K, YouTube, VLC, etc.), as well as the Google Cast functionality. The TCL 55X9006 is equipped with a MediaTek MT5891 processor (4 cores at 1.1 GHz) associated with 2 GB of RAM and 16 GB of storage memory. It also has a simple DVB-T2 / S2 / C tuner (TNT, satellite and cable) and a 2 x 12 W audio system signed JBL.

The TCL Xess X2 U55X9006 is sold for around € 1,300, which is € 700 less than the Samsung Qled QE55Q7F. It remains to be seen whether the TCL model is at the level of the Samsung models.


Image quality

We are in the presence of a VA panel. However, the subpixels differ from those found on Samsung Qled models. To benefit from the Qled logo, TCL is content to use the same quantum dot filter as Samsung, but not necessarily the same screen. This VA panel offers narrower viewing angles than an IPS panel. In return, we enjoy a good contrast. On this model, we found a loss of brightness of up to 65% at 45 °, while the blacks are less deep. The screen is bright, but has a relatively effective anti-reflective treatment. It will still be necessary to choose the location of the TV to avoid reflections on the darkest scenes.

The contrast ratio of 3,570: 1 is very good. It allows you to enjoy deep blacks, even in the dark. On the other hand, like the Samsung models, this television uses a dynamic backlight system which cannot be turned off. The white, yet calibrated at 150 cd / m² on our reference test pattern, drops to 97 cd / m² on our test pattern at 1% white; this translates to an average of 123 cd / m². The quantum dot filter increases the maximum brightness compared to the TCL U55C7006: where the latter is limited to 420 cd / m², the TCL U55X9006 manages to exceed 650 cd / m². This is still quite average for a TV in this range, especially compared to the Qled models from Samsung which exceed 1000 cd / m².

With the exception of blue, the colorimetry of this television is simply excellent in Film mode. We measured an average delta E (difference between the expected colors and the displayed colors) of only 1.6. TCL thus joins the leaders of the category, Sony and Panasonic, with almost perfect color fidelity. Only blue exceeds (largely) the threshold of 3; all other colors are below.

The gamma is slightly above the target value with an average measured at 2.3. On the other hand, the curve is fairly stable across the spectrum, which is quite rare especially with a dynamic backlight system.

The color temperature is very well managed across the spectrum. The average measured at 6,740 K is close to the 6,500 K reference and, above all, the curve is stable.

In the end, this TCL U55X9006 television is perfectly calibrated in film mode. The Chinese manufacturer is catching up here on its Japanese (Sony, Panasonic) and Korean (Samsung and LG) competitors.

The reactivity of the panel measured at 19.5 ms is lower than that noted on the TCL U55C7006 (17 ms), however much more affordable. As on the latter, the motion compensation engine is not at the level of the competition and the poor reactivity of the panel does nothing. Finally, the 50 Hz panel does not allow the use of a backlight scanning system. This results in a blurring effect around moving objects. Several motion compensation settings are available, but none are convincing.

Small disappointment also on the side of the delay in the display: if the TCL U55C7006 displays a delay in the display of 25 ms, whatever the mode chosen (film, game, computer), the TV TCL U55X9006 does not manage to go below 45 ms in Game mode. There are therefore almost three images of delay per second between the action performed with the joystick and its repercussion on the screen. This input lag will not be annoying for casual players, but more experienced players may feel a slight heaviness in the controls. In cinema mode, the delay in display is measured at 115 ms. Fortunately, this value has no impact on watching movies.

TCL's Super Resolution EX scaling engine loses a lot of detail. HD content is correctly displayed on the Ultra HD panel, but the final rendering is very smooth and sometimes blurry. It is clearly not the best scaling engine on the market; on this point, TCL is still far behind its competitors.


Clouding

The TCL U55X9006 television uses an Edge Led backlighting system consisting of a single bar located at the bottom of the panel. The hot spots noted in the center of the panel are due to the presence of the power supply on the left and part of the electronics on the right. The diffuser filter of Edge Led models is quite sensitive to shocks and a problem during transport can result in clouding (grayish spots on a gray background). On our test model, we could see some traces of clouding on solid funds.

The average difference in white homogeneity over the entire slab is measured at only 6%; an excellent figure, well below the 20% below which the eye perceives a difference in uniformity.


3D

This model is not compatible with 3D.


Ergonomics

The design of the TCL U55X9006 is less versatile than that of the TCL U55C7006. It must be said that the development of the front speakers is far from unanimous.

The feet are fairly light and well finished. They are spaced 67.5 cm apart and the TV can therefore be used on a fairly small TV stand.

With a thickness of only 5.5 cm without the feet, the TCL TV is quite thin. But as always, it is the feet determine the floor occupation of this model. It is thus necessary to count 21.9 cm deep. For the rest, the TCL U55X9006 measures 124.3 x 75.5 cm with a weight of 16.8 kg.

The plastic back is fairly classic with no frills. All of the connectors are grouped on the left side. A cover hides the outputs and a cable management system allows the output of the assembly to the left or right of the TV.

Grouped at the back of the TV, the connection consists of three HDMI 2.0a HDCP 2.2 compatible inputs, two USB ports, one of which is USB 3.0 compatible, one component / composite input (via adapter supplied), one optical digital audio output, one output headset, an Ethernet port, a PCMCIA port (CI + common interface) and TNT / cable and satellite antenna sockets. The TV also has Wi-Fi.

The manufacturer TCL now entrusts the keys to its television to Google and Android TV for the software part. So here we find a well-honed interface, common to Philips and Sony televisions. It is clear and rather reactive, especially for an entry-level TV.

Google Play still provides access to a large catalog of applications. Obviously, all the flagship applications are available there: YouTube, Netflix, Deezer, Spotify, the various replay services of French channels, etc. The big weak point is the absence of a microphone on the remote control. All searches are done using the virtual keyboard, which quickly becomes boring.

The media player accepts a very large number of file types, including Ultra HD content in H.264, H.265 (HEVC) and VP8 / VP9, MKV, AVI, WMV, MP4, TS, OGM containers, etc. . We have successfully read a 98.2 Mb / s H.264 Ultra HD MP4 file and a 50 Mb / s H.265 TS file, but the player did not support a 80 Mb / s H.264 Ultra HD MKV file. The integrated player can therefore meet occasional incompatibilities, but this can be circumvented by using one of the many multimedia players available on Google Play (VLC, Kodi, etc.), even if not all of them work optimally with the processor. MediaTek from the TV. Finally, the integration of Google Cast functionality is a real plus for sending content from your smartphone, tablet or computer.

There are more and more Android TVs on the market. Among them, Sony and Philips have adopted the Google system for two ...

The TV comes with two remote controls. The larger one is very pleasant to use. Light and long, it offers access to all of the functions and the main keys naturally fall under the thumb. The Netflix touch has been brought all the way down, which is a good thing; this in particular avoids handling errors. The rubber keys are nice and make almost no noise. The smaller remote is a little less comfortable to use. The buttons are made of hard plastic and the pressure noise is clearly audible. Its only advantage is the presence of a microphone greatly facilitating research. Neither has backlit buttons.


Audio

The TCL U55X9006 television has an audio system composed of two 12 W speakers on the front, the sound of which has been entrusted to JBL. If the audio rendering of the TCL U55C7006, also signed JBL, was of good quality, this is far from the case here. If the frequency response is relatively good, between 200 and 3000 Hz, the significant distortion between 350 and 1000 Hz is very annoying to the ear. With this television, it is essential to use an external sound bar type system, PC speakers or a home cinema system.


Consumption

We measured the consumption of the TCL U55X9006 at only 79 W on our test pattern. Relative consumption is therefore limited to 95 W / m², far more than the Sony KD-65XE8505, champion of the category with a relative consumption of only 64 W / m². Even the Samsung QE65Q7F does better with a relative consumption of 82 W / m². Standby consumption is always less than 1 W. Maximum consumption reaches 135 W (at 650 cd / m²). Please note: Android TV offers a quick start mode; the television then launches in less than 2 s instead of the usual 45 s, but this mode increases standby consumption to 22 W, or 25 € of annual electricity in standby - consumption prohibitive.


Conclusion

TCL's first Qled TV, the U55X9006 is struggling to convince us. Admittedly, the light peak is higher than on the U55C7006 model, but that does not really justify the price difference between the two. The U55X9006 even regresses on certain points, which is hardly acceptable at this price. In the end, this first Qled "non Samsung" television is disappointing. It is certainly cheaper than its Korean counterparts, but it is also far behind in quality.


Specifications