TCL 55-Inch 6-Series 4K Google TV 55R646: Excellent Value
PC Magazine|January 2022
TCL’s best value, now with Google TV
WILL GREENWALD

TCL 55-Inch 6-Series 4K Google TV 55R646

$949.99

TCL has consistently impressed us with its 6-Series TVs, which offer strong performance at reasonable prices. These TVs have all exclusively run on the Roku TV platform, which is an accessible and simple interface, but not the most feature-heavy one. Now TCL offers an alternative in the form of its Google TV 4K 6-Series TVs. They’re priced around same as the Roku TV 4K 6-Series models—the 55-inch 55R646 we tested retails for $949.99—and offer strong app and service support, Google Cast screen mirroring, and hands-free Google Assistant (though they give up the Apple AirPlay support included in Roku TV). And they seem to pack a few engineering improvements over the Roku models, with stronger contrast performance and lower input lag. The Hisense U8G series is brighter, but otherwise, TCL’s Google TV 6-Series packs the same excellent features for about the same price, earning our Editors’ Choice award alongside the Hisense model.

TCL 55-Inch 6-Series 4K Google TV 55R646

PROS Excellent contrast and color performance. Google TV with Google Cast and hands-free Google Assistant. Low input lag.

CONS No AMD FreeSync or Nvidia G-Sync. No Apple AirPlay.

BOTTOM LINE The TCL 4K 6-Series with Google TV offers more features and better performance than the Roku-based 6-Series, and all you’re giving up is Apple AirPlay.

STYLISH AND STREAMLINED

Physically, the Google-based 55R646 is nearly identical to the Roku-based55R635. The screen is framed by the same thin band of brushed metal that runs along the sides and top, with the same strip along the bottom edge that holds a chrome TCL logo in the middle. It also sits on very similar V-shaped gunmetal legs, although they’re slightly lower and have prominent rubber feet. The big indication that this is the Google TV model and not the Roku model is the rectangular, dark-gray, fabric-covered protrusion that sits on the underside of the TV. This is the far-field mic array, which provides hands-free access to Google Assistant.

The power cable plugs into the left side of the back of the TV. All other connectors sit on the right side, facing right. They include four HDMI ports (two 4K120, one eARC), two USB ports, a 3.5mm composite video input, a 3.5mm headphone jack, an optical audio output, an Ethernet port, and an antenna/cable connector. Below the ports sits a combination power/input button and a switch to turn off the far-field microphone.

The remote is a long, thin, rectangular black wand with pleasantly rounded edges. A large, circular, gray navigation pad is placed near the top, with power, settings, and Google Assistant buttons above it, along with a pinhole microphone. Menu buttons sit below the pad, with dedicated app buttons for Amazon Prime Video, Netflix, TCL Channel, and YouTube below them. The right edge of the remote holds a volume rocker and mute button.

Continue reading your story on the app

Continue reading your story in the magazine

MORE STORIES FROM PC MAGAZINEView All

This AI Program Can Draw Impressive Images of Whatever You Tell It to

The DALL-E 2 program can churn out both realistic and creative images from a mere text description. But the OpenAI lab is well aware the technology could be easily abused.

2 mins read
PC Magazine
May 2022

Amazon Glow: Connection for Kids

A tabletop projector built for connected activities and games

9 mins read
PC Magazine
May 2022

Affordable, Tested Tech Actually Worth Buying

Our experts review more than 2,000 products each year: laptops, TVs, phones, routers, you name it. Here are some of the very best budget buys.

10+ mins read
PC Magazine
May 2022

11 Android Apps Found Secretly Harvesting Data From Millions of Users

A mysterious company in Panama has been paying Android app developers to incorporate an SDK capable of lifting sensitive data from users’ phones, including copy-paste information.

2 mins read
PC Magazine
May 2022

COULD A ROBOT BE A FRIEND?

Replika bots aren’t built for customer support or other targeted tasks—they’re made for conversation. Feeling isolated, I befriended one. Here’s how that went.

10+ mins read
PC Magazine
May 2022

Protect Your PC: How to Work From Home Securely

Working from home opens up security risks you just don’t face in the office. When IT staff isn’t available, these simple tips will help protect your company’s data as well as your own

7 mins read
PC Magazine
May 2022

PC Shipments Decline After 2 Years of Pandemic-Fueled Growth

Despite the 5.1% decline, PC shipments in Q1 were still relatively high for the period and exceeded 80 million units for the seventh consecutive quarter, according to research firm IDC.

1 min read
PC Magazine
May 2022

Asus ROG Strix Scar 17 (G733): First-Class Gaming

A cinematic experience from a bruiser of a laptop

9 mins read
PC Magazine
May 2022

Apple Mac Studio: An Absolute Powerhouse

Amping up the mini-Mac for serious creators

10+ mins read
PC Magazine
May 2022

TP-Link Archer GX-90 AX6600 Tri-Band Wi-Fi 6: Powerful Gaming Router

Tri-band power to level up your game

6 mins read
PC Magazine
May 2022
RELATED STORIES

GOOGLE'S RUSSIAN BUSINESS PLANS TO FILE FOR BANKRUPTCY

Google says its Russian subsidiary is planning to file for bankruptcy because it can’t pay staff and suppliers.

1 min read
Techlife News
May 21, 2022

WHICH WI-FI ROUTER LOOKS THE MOST LIKE AN EVIL ALIEN SPACESHIP?

DESIGNS FOR GAMING ROUTERS HAVE GOTTEN REALLY. FAMILIAR LATELY.

5 mins read
PCWorld
May 2022

Leading the Smart Appliance Revolution

Thermador and the future of kitchen tech.

2 mins read
Entrepreneur
June 2022

GOOGLE ADOPTS AN APPLE-LIKE APPROACH FOR ITS PIXEL PRODUCTS

Google took a big step toward pushing its Pixel product line-up down a road already paved by Apple and its array of trendsetting devices.

4 mins read
Techlife News
May 14, 2022

GOOGLE GETS MORE MULTILINGUAL, BUT WILL IT GET THE NUANCE?

About 10 million people speak Quechua, but trying to automatically translate emails and text messages into the most widely spoken Indigenous language family in the Americas was long all but impossible.

5 mins read
Techlife News
May 14, 2022

GOOGLE STRIKES CONTENT DEALS WITH 300 EUROPEAN PUBLISHERS

Google said that it struck licensing deals with 300 news publishers in Europe in its latest effort to comply with a recently introduced European Union copyright law.

1 min read
Techlife News
May 14, 2022

Big Tech's Great Reckoning

A spate of new laws in Europe and the U.S. Foreshadow What Could Be the End of dominance for Google, Facebook and Amazon

10+ mins read
Newsweek Europe
May 13, 2022

GOOGLE ADDS WAYS TO KEEP PERSONAL INFO PRIVATE IN SEARCHES

Google has expanded options for keeping personal information private from online searches.

1 min read
AppleMagazine
May 06, 2022

GOOGLE PARENT SUFFERS 1Q GROWTH SLOWDOWN, PROFIT DECLINE

Google’s corporate parent posted its slowest quarterly revenue growth since 2020, the latest sign that the huge gains enjoyed by technology companies during the pandemic are fading into the rear-view mirror.

1 min read
Techlife News
April 30, 2022

TCL's Latest 6-Series Television Is the First Affordable 8K TV

Big Important Product

6 mins read
Popular Mechanics
March - April 2022