TCL vs Hisense: Which budget TV brand is best in 2021?

This guide can help you to choose the right TV. As you can guess, the first thing in this process is choosing the right brand. In this article, we compare TCL vs Hisense. Then, we will try to explain everything you need to know before buying a TV, from screen types, picture quality, sound quality, and smart features!

TCL vs Hisense: Which brand is better?

These two brands are known for reasonable prices and good products. It is up to you to choose the right TV model that suits your needs. 

Before you make a final decision, read the product specifications carefully. Above all, pay attention to the key specification in this article. To make this process easier for you, we have decided to highlight the best features of both brands. 

TCL 

Pros: 

  • QLED technology
  • Optimized 4K content
  • Affordable price
  • Suitable for watching movies in dark environments

Cons: 

  • Narrow viewing angles
  • Not enough ports

Hisense  

Pros:

  • Great viewing angles
  • Powerful speakers
  • A wide range of input/output ports
  • Suitable for sport and gaming

Cons: 

  • Old panel technologies
  • Expensive TV models

Features Face to Face

Screen Types

Before we compare Hisense vs TCL brands, let’s find out more about TV screen types. In general, we can group them into the following categories: 

  • LED (Light-emitting diode) – LED TVs are very popular on the market. They usually offer excellent picture quality. These TVs are extremely thin, so you can place them almost anywhere.
  • OLED (organic light-emitting diode) – OLED TVs provide an extremely high level of color accuracy and high contrast, wide viewing angles, and a blur-free picture. OLED technology also enables extremely thin screens. 
  • QLED (Quantum dot Light Emitting Diod) – The latest technology works on the principle of quantum dots or pixels. Thanks to the combination of LED lights and quantum dots, you get more vivid colors right where it is needed. So if you like brighter and more prominent colors, then a QLED TV might be the right solution for you.

The TCL’s 8-Series (2020) and 6-Series (2019) come with QLED screens, while Hisense models are more oriented towards LED and OLED technology.  

Winner: TCL

Image Processor

If you want to have fast smart TV features and a high-quality picture, consider buying a TV with a powerful processor. When it comes to the Hisense vs TCL comparison, these TV lines have different processors. TCL TVs use AIPQ Engine processors, while Hisense models come with ARM Cortex processors. 

Thanks to machine-learning algorithms, AIPQ Engine processors can understand human visual perception. They use real-time audiovisual optimization to adjust image quality according to the genre (music, movie, game, etc.) and ambient viewing conditions.

At the same time, this processor analyzes every frame to optimize non 4K content and help low-resolution content reach 4K quality. As a result, you get an optimized and improved 4K experience.

On the other hand, Hisense’s ARM Cortex processors raise video streaming quality to a higher level. However, this is something that the previously mentioned processor already does, so you won’t be wrong if you choose either of these two. 

With this in mind, thanks to its features, the AIPQ Engine processor has a slight advantage in this segment. 

Winner: TCL

Picture Quality

Since both Hisense and TCL are budget-friendly TV brands, you can’t expect the perfect quality picture. But, they both offer a good picture quality for the price. 

They have large UHD screens with HDR and color accuracy that is quite surprising at such a low price. On the other hand, both brands have disadvantages, which come down to two things – brightness and viewing angles. 

TCL TVs have a more dynamic picture and they are more suitable for cinema purposes. On the other hand, Hisense TVs are more suitable for sports and gaming.

Contrast Ratio / Black Level

Hisense and TCL TVs both have lower brightness levels. The main result of the darker picture is that it can be blurry at times. It is not as clear as the picture on other TVs from more expensive, high-quality brands. 

However, the general impression is that Hisense has a better color quality, a better contrast ratio, and a sharper image. They have a better spectrum, from black to bright, and overall better and richer color. 

Winner: Hisense

Local Dimming

Local Dimming is a local screen technology used in LCD, OLED, and LED 4K TVs. The technology helps to add black saturation and improve the quality of the picture. This is especially important when watching movies in a dark room

On many TVs, the black color becomes grayish. Therefore, many manufacturers are developing new technologies that can improve the contrast. 

Black saturation and depth are improved by turning off some LEDs. If necessary, a 4K TV panel blocks some matrix pixels in certain parts of the screen. However, this is not quite perfect, so the local dimming technology is crucial.

However, TCL TVs make the most of this technology. The result is obvious; dark scenes are very noticeable in dark environments.  

Winner: TCL 

Peak Brightness

When it comes to both brands, the peak brightness is not really at the highest level. As a result, there is no clear and natural picture. Even for the most expensive models, the peak brightness is not at the highest level. 

So, if you are looking for a super bright TV, OLED technology should not be your first choice. In this case, QLED could meet your expectations. Since TCL TVs usually come with QLED technology, we give them an advantage in this segment.

Winner: TCL 

Color

HDR (High Dynamic Range) is a new feature of 4K Ultra HD TVs. It refers to the high dynamic range and its ability to deliver more colors, more contrast levels, and increased brightness. HDR is basically an upgrade of the 4K or Ultra HD format. 

When watching HDR content, bright colors will be brighter while dark colors will be darker. This results in better contrast, sharp image, and vivid colors. 

In some cases, HDR content can be too saturated, which can be more annoying to the eyes.

Both brands offer TVs with features for enhanced picture quality. If you are not a photographer or video editor, you likely won’t pay too much attention to this segment. 

Winner: Draw

Viewing Angle

When it comes to both brands, the best viewing angle is directly facing the TV. However, if you see pixels on the TV screen, then you are too close to the screen. 

If you are looking at any other angle, you will not be able to see an optimal quality of the picture. A wide viewing angle can allow more family members or friends to enjoy content on your TV. This is why you should find a TV with a wide viewing angle.  

Many TCL models have a narrow viewing environment. At the same time, Hisense TVs usually offer a viewing angle of around 178°.  

Winner: Hisense 

Sound Quality

Modern TVs have outstanding picture quality, but sometimes we get the impression that their sound is not quite as good. Maybe integrated speakers are the reason for that. Unfortunately, they usually don’t produce a sophisticated and powerful sound. 

TV manufacturers are aware that integrated speakers don’t produce good sound for everyone. That is why all modern TVs have some sort of audio output to external audio devices. By using these outputs, you can connect your TV to an external high-quality sound system. 

However, in this Hisense vs TCL comparison, we want to check out what these devices offer us. Both of them provide at least stereo sound quality.

When it comes to gaming, both integrated sound solutions are excellent. But somehow, Hisense is one step ahead of TCL. Hisense TVs provide more detailed and efficient sound. For example, while playing games, you can hear the clear sound of footsteps and weapons.

Winner: Hisense  

Smart TV Platform (Operating System)

Why do you need a Smart TV platform? If you choose a TV with this feature, you might be able to watch Internet content via pre-installed applications or those that you choose from official web stores. So, you can use services like Netflix, Youtube, HBO, Facebook, and many others! 

It is also possible to view content from a mobile phone, tablet, or computer without a physical connection to the TV.

Hisense TVs offer more options since they can run on multiple operating systems. In some rare cases, they run on Roku, but they primarily run on Android OS or their own VIDAA OS. Their operating system comes with an AI option and it is included with high-end TV models. 

On the other hand, TCL TVs mostly run on Roku. The good thing about it is that it supports antenna, cable, and streaming. As a result, you can get access to numerous TV shows and movies and get Hulu, Netflix, HBO, ESPN, and other popular streaming channels. 

Since Hisense TVs are Android-based, they have a more intuitive interface than Roku. So we are on the side of Hisense on this one. 

Winner: Hisense

Connectivity

Inputs

In addition to the high-quality picture, modern TVs have pushed the boundaries regarding the number of input ports. Users often don’t know which port to choose. 

High Definition Multimedia Interface or HDMI is the most popular interface in the world of consumer electronics today. It is a digital alternative to analog connectors such as SCART, S-Video, component, and composite connectors. 

Besides modern inputs, Hisense TVs usually come with old connectors such as component In or composite In. Compared to TCL TVs, Hisense models almost always come with several HDMI and USB ports. 

Therefore, in this segment, we give preference to Hisense models.

Winner: Hisense 

Voice Assistants

For those who prefer voice controls over regular controls, this is an important TV feature. 

When it comes to TCL Roku voice commands, you can do a lot of things. You can find content on your channels, start TV shows and movies, control your Roku TV, etc. But, there is no option of controlling the TV’s settings. 

Roku also has the option of installing a remote app that allows you to do a bunch of things. Basically, it can do anything that a smart remote can, from turning your TV on and off to listening to sound on the headphones of your device on which the app is installed.

On the other hand, since most Hisense TVs run on Android, it is easier to set up and use Google Assistant or Alexa. Therefore, Hisense has a slight advantage when it comes to voice assistants. 

Winner: Hisense

Price and Durability

If you are comparing these two brands, then probably the TV price is an important factor for you. Both of these brands offer affordable TVs, but they are not the same. 

There are differences between these brands based on the size of the TV. If you are looking for a smaller TV, you could probably find Hisense TVs with better features at a better price than TCL TV.

On the other hand, when it comes to bigger TVs, Hisense is more expensive. Mid-sized and large TCL TVs offer a better picture and better overall features for a lower price than Hisense. 

We must conclude that you can’t expect much from brands that produce budget TVs when it comes to durability. But, of course, both brands produce TVs with plastic bodies. But, TCL TVs have slightly better quality, a bit thicker plastic, and more stable stands. Therefore, TCL wins on this one. 

Winner: TCL

Conclusion

From this TCL vs Hisense comparison, you can conclude that there is no need to spend thousands of dollars on a decent, good-quality 4K TV with great features like HDR or UHD resolution. 

Even though both of these brands offer similar features and performance, there are still some differences between them. 

Use TCL brand if you

  • Want to have fast, smart applications
  • Would like to use TCL TV in a dark environment
  • Looking for a good price-quality ratio 
  • Would like to have machine learning picture optimization

Use Hisense brand if you

  • Would like to have an intuitive smart TV interface
  • Want better contrast ratio
  • Want the best viewing angles
  • Prefer powerful speakers
  • Would like to have multiple TV ports
About Jon

Hey, I'm Jon. I'm an engineer by trade, so it makes sense that I'm obsessed with anything technology related! On the weekends, you can find me playing around with my computers or fixing something around the house. Feel free to leave a comment if you want to get in touch.

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