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TCL vs Samsung: Which TV brands offers better value?

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  • 7 min read

If you are thinking of buying a new television, the brand is often an important point that you should consider. Often, a brand is at par with other technical considerations when buying a new electronic gadget.

Several TV brands are in the market right now, and Samsung and TCL are among the best. Both brands are well-respected and offer a wide range of designs and specs. But how do you choose between these brands? How do they stack up against one another?

Fortunately, in this article, we’re here to list the basic differences between TCL and Samsung in terms of several parameters, including brand history, technology, picture quality, and design.

Here’s what we will cover:


Brand history and reputation

Regarding brand history and reputation, Samsung takes the lead. Samsung was established in 1938 and focused primarily on food processing, insurance and other sectors. The company ventured into the electronics market in 1969 and has since established a strong foothold, selling millions of products yearly.

On the other hand, TCL was established in 1981, and although it manufactures some of the best TVs, it still has to reach the same level of finesse and brand reputation as Samsung. TCL has incorporated some of the best technologies, including the Quantum Dot, in their TVs and has also recorded an unprecedented sales record.

So, if you are going solely on the brand reputation, Samsung is the one that you should consider.


Picture quality and display technology

Both brands offer some of the best TVs in the market in picture quality and display technology. Both offer different display technologies, such as LED, OLED, and QLED options. However, Samsung has one more variety to offer: NEO QLED, with improved colour quality, colour and viewing angles.

Also, Samsung’s Quantum Dot technology is considered much better than TCL’s NBP Photons, a proprietary technology of TCL. The latter is relatively less expensive than the former and helps the company keep their costs low. However, Quantum Dot offers a clearer picture quality and an extensive colour gamut.

Samsung focuses more on QLED, where quantum dots light up and display bright colours on the LCD screen. One major advantage of QLED over other display technologies is that the glare will reduce automatically in a bright room. Moreover, QLEDs are more suitable for large screens, more than 100 inches.

TCL’s HDR technology is quite basic but nowhere near the Crystal 4K UHD technology by Samsung. That being said, the upgraded TCL models such as series 5 and 6 have QLED and offer better picture quality.

Also read: OpenGL vs DirectX: Key Difference


Smart features

Samsung TVs run on TizenOS, while TCL TVs use Roku or Android as their operating system. TizenOS is developed by Samsung, and hence, you will see a more seamless integration between the OS and the hardware.

TizenOS also supports various other Samsung products, including smartwatches and fitness trackers. It offers various basic apps for web viewing, such as Netflix and YouTube. You will also get local Samsung apps, entertainment and news apps. Moreover, in higher Samsung models, you will get Bixby voice assistant, which is more or less comparable to Alexa or Google Assistant.

As TCL TVs run on Roku, they have a simple user interface alongwith hundreds of live channels. Moreover, Roku supports thousands of apps, giving you an impressive assortment of movies and web series to watch and enjoy.

TCL has also begun to introduce Google TV in the newer models without considerably raising the price of the TVs. If you habitually binge-watch films and web series, you can go for TCL series 5 or 6.


Audio quality

For the best audio quality, you will need a dedicated sound bar connected to the TVs. In this department, Samsung offers much more than TCL.

If you go for the default audio systems in the TVs, both TCL and Samsung offer some incredible sound systems. Both TCL and Samsung TVs feature Dolby Atmos technology alongwith some improvements such as Object Tracking Sound+ on higher-end Samsung models.

Samsung offers 20W speakers even on their low-end TVs, which have much better sound quality than TCL. However, TCL offers a much improved 40W speaker in newer versions, such as the series 6 TVs.

For those who want better picture and sound quality, Samsung is the one you should go for.

Also read: Flip on Long Edge vs Flip on Short Edge


Model variety and flexibility

When it comes to model variety and flexibility, Samsung leads the way. Samsung offers a much more flexible collection of TVs and accessories for every price range, from a few hundred dollars to the massive 110-inch transparent Micro LED TV range priced at $150,000.

TCL also has some good quality low and mid-end tier TVs, and you can choose from its series 4, 5, 6 or Q7 models, with the 6 series being the premium segment. One thing that may help users is the simple classification in TCL which makes it easier to choose the right TV as per your budget.


Price and value

While the value topic can be of debate as the value of a product is unique to an individual, TCL TVs offer more value for a normal TV viewing experience which most of us usually do.

The price of the TV depends on many factors, including the resolution, sound quality, display technology, screen thickness, and accessories.

Regarding price, Samsung offers a wide range, as we have explained earlier. If you live alone and want a screen to watch a few hours of TV per day, Samsung and TCL have cheaper options.

Other than that, Samsung TVs can reach an incredible price range for more high-end users.

CriteriaSamsungTCL
Brand history and reputationEstablished in 1938; More reputedEstablished in 1981; Less reputed when compared to Samsung
Picture quality and display technologyLED, OLED, QLED, NEO QLEDLED, OLED, QLED
Quantum Dot technology for better qualityUses NBP Photons technology
NEO QLED with improved colour and viewingHDR technology basic, series 5 and 6 have QLED
Smart featuresTizenOS, seamless integration with hardwareRoku or Android OS, simple interface
TizenOS supports other Samsung productsRoku supports thousands of apps, Google TV
Bixby voice assistant in higher modelsSimple UI, hundreds of live channels; Google TV support in some models
Audio qualityDolby Atmos, Object Tracking Sound+ (Samsung)Dolby Atmos technology (both)
20W speakers even in low-end TVs (Samsung)40W speakers in newer TCL models (series 6)
Samsung favored for better sound qualitySound quality is good but not comparable with Samsung
Flexible collectionSeries 4, 5, 6, Q7 models, simpler classification
Price ranges from a few hundred to $150,000Premium 6 series, easier choice by budget
Price and valueWide price range, including high-end optionsMore value for regular TV viewing (TCL)
Factors: resolution, sound, display techPrice range from affordable to high-end
Affordable options for casual viewingMany low-end models
Samsung TVs are more favoured for high-end usersTCL TVs are more favoured by low-end users.

Also read: DFX vs Digital: What’s the difference?


Samsung vs TCL: Which one should you choose?

Choosing between TCL and Samsung ultimately comes down to personal preference and specific needs. If you prioritise cutting-edge technology and sleek design and are willing to invest in a higher-end model, Samsung might be the brand for you.

However, TCL could be the perfect fit if you’re looking for affordability without sacrificing quality, especially if you’re a gamer.

Also read: Dolby Cinema vs Standard: Key Difference

Kumar Hemant

Kumar Hemant

Deputy Editor at Candid.Technology. Hemant writes at the intersection of tech and culture and has a keen interest in science, social issues and international relations. You can contact him here: kumarhemant@pm.me

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