I am a huge soccer fan and try to catch every fixture, regardless of location or time.
The recent UEFA Europa League was quite exciting, but it made me realize that my TV was getting old and not churning out the best experience.
Upon further inspection, I saw that the colors and hues on my TV were sub-par compared to the current standards.
So, I decided to get a new TV.
After a casual Google search, I learned that even though companies like LG and Samsung make great TVs, they come with a hefty price tag.
On the other hand, brands like TCL and Hisense offer solid, budget, and mid-range options capable of delivering a good viewing experience.
I chose to go down the latter path. But which one of the two made better TVs?
I dove into several gadget forums and user communities to get an answer to this question.
And after spending dozens of hours researching, I finally came to a conclusion.
Hisense and TCL both make great TVs with affordable price tags, and you can’t go wrong with either. However, on a head-to-head comparison, TCL comes out as a clear winner in terms of picture quality, input lag, and durability.
Hisense TVs majorly use Google’s Android TV OS.
The software has essentially been converted from Android phones to Smart TVs.
You can download a huge selection of apps directly to these TVs from the Google Play Store.
You can also cast media to these TVs from any Android device with the help of their built-in Chromecast capability, not to mention the Google voice assistant.
Just the other day, I needed to cast Zoom to Chromecast for a meeting, and it only took me a few minutes to do so.
In contrast, TCL TVs mostly use Roku TV OS, but some newer models have Android TV OS.
The Roku OS uses Miracast technology to cast media.
It’s interesting to note that Windows supports Miracast, allowing you to remotely mirror your computer’s screen to a TV running on the Roku operating system.
The majority of TV critics concur that Roku’s user interface is more responsive and easier to operate than Android TVs.
That being said, it all boils down to your personal preference and usage of the TV. So, in this case, I will give it to both companies.
Both Hisense and TCL TVs provide decent picture quality for the money they charge.
They boast sizable UHD panels that include HDR and accurate colors.
However, both manufacturers have drawbacks primarily related to brightness and viewing angles.
TCL TVs are better suited for cinema use and feature a more dynamic picture.
Hisense TVs, on the other hand, are better suited to sports and games.
Hisense generally has better contrast ratios and black levels, whereas TCL appears to have better local dimming.
TCL TVs also have better peak brightness.
Overall, TCL wins this category.
Both Hisense and TCL integrated sound systems work quite well.
TCL is behind Hisense in one way, though.
The sound on Hisense TVs is more precise and effective.
For instance, you can hear the sound of footsteps and weaponry while playing video games.
Hisense wins in the audio quality segment.
Panel and TV Types
Hisense manufactures TVs using a multitude of technologies at the moment, including ULED, Mini-LED, OLED, and even laser TVs.
But the majority of Hisense TVs are straightforward LED LCDs.
Although TCL has QLED and Mini-LED models, they have not released any OLED TVs yet.
The company also offers a large selection of LCD TVs at affordable pricing.
In terms of panel options, Hisense takes the win.
Nearly all TCL TVs have better motion management features with less stuttering when compared to Hisense TVs.
To that end, gamers will find TCL TVs more tempting because they provide variable refresh rates (VRR), FreeSync, and G-Sync.
All of these technologies result in a smoother and more pleasurable gaming experience.
TCL TVs have lower input lag, making the gaming experience more immersive and giving gamers a competitive edge.
Response time is a feature similar to input lag, and TCL wins here as well.
In all fairness, the difference between TCL and Hisense response times is in milliseconds, but for the sake of comparison, TCL does come out on top.
You can also connect Bluetooth headphones to TCL and Hisense TVs for a more immersive gaming experience.
Design and Build
TCL and Hisense both offer extremely thin-profile Smart TV options with appealing aesthetics.
You can also choose from small and large screen options according to your setup.
When it comes to durability, you can’t expect much from manufacturers who make inexpensive TVs.
But it should go without saying that both brands make TVs with plastic bodies.
However, TCL TVs feature more dependable supports, slightly thicker plastic, and overall better quality.
TCL wins in this case.
Both TCL and Hisense TVs offer almost the same features with some highs and lows, but up until this point, TCL appears to be implementing them better.
To sweeten the pot, TCL TVs are, on average, cheaper than Hisense.
This means you are getting more bang for your buck with TCL TVs.
Although it’s close, I have to conclude that TCL’s choice of affordable 4K TVs is slightly superior to that of Hisense.
The color fidelity, image clarity, motion handling, and response times of TCL TVs are better. They frequently cost a little less as well.
Having said that, Hisense makes some excellent TVs too, so their products are in no way terrible.
They have deeper blacks, better local dimming, a wider variety of TV panels, and higher peak brightness.
Also, it would be much simpler to identify the differences if you could compare a Hisense TV with a TCL TV side by side, ideally at an electronics store.
In the end, all of my research led me to the TCL 65R635, as it’s jam-packed with features like a 120 Hz refresh rate, 4K Ultra HD, and Auto Game mode, and needless to say, I am loving my decision.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are TCL and Hisense owned by the same company?
TCL and Hisense are independent companies that create products that are not only high-quality and durable but also reasonably priced. Both of them are Chinese businesses.
Should I buy a Hisense TV?
You should buy a Hisense TV if you prefer high contrast, immersive audio, and an intuitive interface.
How long do Hisense and TCL TVs last?
Both TCL and Hisense TVs last for 5 to 7 years on average if they are switched off during the day for about 4-6 hours between extended periods of use.
If not, the number of years may decrease.
Do Hisense and TCL provide warranties for their products?
Both Hisense and TCL provide 12-month warranties for their products, covering manufacturing defects, but you can also purchase 3-year and 5-year extended warranties.