TCL QM8 Class Review

News

Image credit: Future/TechRadar

A brilliant big-screen value, TCL’s #1 mini-LED TV

For 2023, TCL only has its QM8 Class 4K TVs to offer in the mini-LED TV category, but they wanted to make sure its flagship line had something special. One unique feature of the new QM8 Class sets is the availability of screens as large as an astounding 98 inches. They are able to compete with similarly equipped but more expensive models from the major brands because of their higher peak light output, which is an improvement over older TCL mini-LED TVs.

For reasons beyond their impressive brightness, mini-LED TVs frequently appear on our best 4K TVs list. Additionally, the best models have sophisticated local dimming, which, when executed properly, may produce the deep and consistent blacks seen in the finest OLED TVs. The QM8 Class performs admirably in local dimming, and its robust image processing cleanly upscales standard HD images, all while doing exceptionally well in motion handling and noise reduction.

When it comes to next-gen gaming consoles, the QM8 TVs are an excellent choice. The device’s dual HDMI 2.1 ports can handle 4K 120Hz input, and with the help of the Game Accelerator, you can enjoy 1080p VRR gaming at a maximum of 240Hz. Additionally, the top-tier TCL TV comes with a Game Master mode that, when activated, drastically lowers input lag and offers a transparent game bar menu option with settings tailored to gaming.

The aesthetics of TCL’s premium QM8 TVs were carefully considered. The sets have an adjustable stand in the middle and a sleek, bezel-free design. There is a built-in microphone on the TV and a backlit remote control from TCL that allows you to control the TV with your voice. The sets are smart TV-enabled with Google TV and are compatible with Amazon Alexa and Apple HomeKit.

If you want to hear dialogue clearly and music at a respectable volume without distortion, the QM8 Class TV is a good choice. However, it will really shine when paired with top-tier soundbars. If you insist on using the TV’s internal speakers, it has a number of options to improve sound quality, including processing for Dolby Atmos and DTS Virtual: X.

When it comes to TCL products, value is key, and the QM8 Class is no exception. The performance you’re receiving from this mini-LED TV is superior, but it would cost you a pretty penny more. A 55-inch screen would have been a nice addition for people who don’t have a lot of room or money, but having a 98-inch option is amazing.

Features

Image credit: Future/TechRadar

While I did some hands-on testing with an 85-inch TCL QM8 Class TV earlier this year, the 65-inch model I reviewed exhibited much higher peak brightness when using HDR sources. Peak brightness on the 65-inch TV registered an incredible 2321 nits on a 10% white window test pattern in the same image setting, which is the most accurate of the TV’s presets. In comparison, that model reached 1805 nits in its default Movie mode. The 721 nits measured by a white pattern that covered the entire TV screen were also quite outstanding. Make sure you have downloaded the software update that TCL released around the end of June 2023, as it is likely responsible for the QM8’s improved performance.

The TV achieves “infinite” contrast by displaying black levels that are practically unmeasurable when the Local Contrast (local dimming) is set to High. Light blooming effects were minor, and black uniformity was excellent, even when viewing high-contrast images with dark backgrounds and bright highlights. Unless you watch a lot of ultra-widescreen movies, you probably won’t see this because it mostly appears on black letterbox bars.

When using the TV in movie mode, the color balance was generally spot on. We normally aim for delta E values to go below 3, and the average was 4, with a maximum of 6.3. Coverage of DCI-P3 (the color space used for mastering 4K Blu-rays and digital cinema releases) was measured to be 97% and BT.2020 to be 76.0% using Portrait’s Calman color calibration software. These are both very good findings.

The anti-glare screen coating on the QM8 effectively reduced the impact of ambient light on the picture. There were no reflections on the screen, so even the darkest parts of the photos appeared completely black. When seen from seats distant from the center, the TCL’s visual contrast and color saturation were diminished, as they are on many other LCD TVs with VA (Vertical Alignment) screens.

The QM8 performed admirably with HDR images graded at a high brightness level, as is typical when I begin my viewing tests with the demonstration section of the Spears & Munsil Ultra HD Benchmark disc. Shots with strong highlights, such as a sunset or light reflecting off glass, demonstrated impressive contrast, and the colors appeared appropriately rich in the nature photos. There was no evidence of blooming effects in a starfield test using the same disc, yet the black levels weren’t as deep as those on top-tier OLED TVs.

The 4K Blu-ray of Shadow, directed by Zhang Yimou of China, revealed a vast spectrum of delicate gray tones in the film’s black-and-white imagery. The blacks were really dark, and the whites were very bright and striking. Additionally, the detail was top-notch, particularly in the sequences set in the king’s chamber when the elaborate layering of translucent fabrics was on full display.

Along with Dune, two other reference 4K Blu-rays, No Time to Die, demonstrated the QM8’s capabilities. Against the gloomy backdrops of Dune, the orbs that hover in the internal chambers appeared astonishingly brilliant. Noise was also effectively eliminated, even in challenging dark scenes with noticeable film grain.
The same level of high dynamic range contrast was visible in an Italian scenario where Bond and Madeleine ascended a flight of stairs at night during the release of burning notes over the city in No Time to Die. Later on, the camera follows Bond as he climbs across rough hills, and the TCL’s superb motion control makes sure that the visuals appear solid with minimal judder.

Design

Image credit: Future/TechRadar

Like a giant computer monitor, the TCL QM8 has a thin metal bezel and an inclined stand positioned in the middle. (Instead, the 98-inch model features stands attached to the screen on either side for extra stability.) Even the TV’s rear, which protrudes only 1.7 inches, has a stylish design that complements the front. To accommodate a soundbar, the set’s stand can be adjusted to different heights.

Four HDMI connections, two of which are 2.1 and one of which is equipped with eARC, are located on the side of the TV. A powered USB port, optical digital audio, wired headphone outputs, and a composite video/analog audio input round out the features. You can use the set’s RF input to receive TV signals via an antenna. However, the built-in digital TV tuner is only compatible with ATSC 1.0, not ATSC 3.0, the next generation of broadcast standards.

The TCL remote is a slim, long wand with rubberized buttons on top and ones on the bottom that take you straight to other applications like Apple TV Plus, Netflix, and Prime Video. Even in low light, you’ll be able to see and use the keypad’s illuminated white icons. Noteworthy controls include a microphone button on top that activates the TV’s voice command feature and a Quick Settings button in the center that brings up an onscreen Quick Menu where you can choose image mode and change the brightness, among other things.

Value

• It’s less expensive than the majority of mini-LED TVs on the market

• It has great performance considering its price

• You can still find other, less expensive mini-LED TVs from TCL

You can get a lot of bang for your buck with the TCL QM8—it retails for $1,699 but is available for far less at most stores. Brands like Samsung and Sony offer mini-LED backlit TVs with comparable features and performance for far more money. However, TCL faces tough competition from Hisense in the affordable mini-LED TV market.

Our top 4K TVs list includes TCL’s 6-Series Roku TV (2022), a mini-LED model that competes with Hisense and other brands like it. You can still find the 6-Series for less than $1,000 at some retailers, even if it’s a 2022 model. The 6-series from TCL may lack the QM8’s brightness monster, but it makes up for it with an outstanding picture and the Roku TV smart interface, which is both simplified and easy to use.

The Bottom Line

The QM8 Class, TCL’s 2023 flagship TV, is a mini-LED model with high brightness and outstanding local dimming, which produces deep and detailed shadows. With screen sizes ranging from 65 inches to 98 inches, QM8 class sets offer a comprehensive array of capabilities that will appeal to movie fans, sports fans, and gamers alike, and they are reasonably priced compared to much of their mini-LED competitors. The company’s previous mini-LED TVs included a Roku TV option; however, the QM8 Class sets only have Google TV as a smart interface, which is fine and allows you to use the Google Assistant feature without using your hands.

This one can be the TCL 43-Inch Class S4 4K. The TCL QM8 may not be available yet. But the TCL 43-Inch Class S4 4K is! Buy it here on Amazon!🚀

As an affiliate I get a small fee from Amazon.

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