Review of the 50-inch TCLEP680 TV
"With this TV, TCL follows its strategy of manufacturing products with a good value for money."
Decent image and sound quality
Voice control improvable
Low-flow Android experience
It takes time to light up
TCL, one of the largest television manufacturers in the world, stood out at CES with its new 6-Series, just as it did last year with the EP68 Series, nominated for Best Product in the 2019 EISA Awards. Of this series, which is a Of the highest ranges, we have tested the 50-inch model. It is not aimed at those who seek the most advanced in the market, but for those who want a product with decent quality at an incredible price.
This TCL model follows the trend that has been imposed on mobile phones and also on televisions: the absence of almost frames (6 mm), which gives the screen more breadth and a modern look. A black metallic stripe adorns the bottom and integrates the TCL letters in silver and with some relief. Just below the logo incorporates a light (white) that, if you install the TV in a bedroom, it can disturb you at night, as it always stays on.
It is not a model that stands out for its thin thickness, but it is normal for today's TVs. It comes with a metal base that mounts easily and gives stability without raising it too much. It can be mounted on the wall with a Vesa 400 x 200 mm bracket (purchased separately).
The glass screen attracts fingerprints and it is not as easy to clean as on a mobile screen. We have resorted to a glass cleaner product so that they disappear, as indicated by the manufacturer in the user manual.
As for connections, it has everything you need: three HDMI 2.0b, two USB, Ethernet and headphone port. All are located on the left side of the back of the television.
Instead of a control, this model includes two, one longer with all the buttons you might need, and another smaller and more manageable to control Netflix and the basic playback buttons.
The 50-inch TCL EP680 Smart TV is equipped with Ultra HD resolution (3,840 x 2,160), which means four times more Full HD. It is a screen with 4K HDR PRO image quality, that is, it is compatible with the standards HDR 10, HDR HLG, HDR 10+ and also with the Dolby Vision format. To get the most out of this latest technology, you will need the video source, such as a Blu-ray player, or the contents, for example, those of streaming, also support it. The good thing is that many movies and series of Netfllix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney Plus and Apple TV are already compatible with it.
The image quality of the TV is remarkable with 4K content and the difference is also appreciated if you are watching a TV channel that broadcasts in HD compared to a normal broadcast. With contents in 4K and Dolby Vision you get sharpness and realistic colors.
In the sound section, this model is compatible with Dolby Atmos, an increasingly common standard in movies and series for its ability to provide surround sound. The TV is equipped with two 10-watt speakers.
Like Smart TV, this model brings the applications of Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Roku TV, T-Channel, YouTube and Google Play. Also T-Cast, which allows you to control the TV with a smartphone Android With Android TV 9.0 (Pie), it allows you to download applications from Google Play. As it integrates Chromecast, if you want you can send photos, videos and music from your phone to see them on a 55-inch screen.
To set up the TV, you have the option to do it quickly with an Android phone. To do this, link to a Google account, and then you must follow the instructions. The process is extremely simple and fast. It is not even necessary to enter the Wi-Fi key, as the mobile phone jack. The TV does not turn on instantly, but it takes about 50 seconds. It also takes longer than we expected to switch from one application to another or access some content.
Compatible with the Google Assistant and Alexa, in our tests we have used the Google Assistant through the Lenovo Smart Clock smart alarm speaker and the Google Home application. From the latter, you control the volume of the TV and the pause or playback of YouTube music. The voice control has not given us problems when we have asked you for YouTube content but it has not worked for us when we asked you to put a specific Netflix movie, even though the Google Assistant told us how to do it.
With such an affordable price (549 euros on Amazon Spain), few "but" we can put the TCL EP680 TV. Do not expect it to be the most elegant, nor is it the one with the best image and sound quality: it is not for demanding users, nor is it intended, but it does not disappoint the majority of users looking for decent quality for a reasonable price at 55 inches
What is improved is the user experience with Android, at least having it configured with an Android phone. About a minute passes from when you turn it on until the TV channel or menu is displayed. This is not a problem, but we are used to press the control button and, instantly, enjoy television content. It also takes time to load when you want to put, for example, an episode of a series, although the same happens on other televisions.
In summary: it is a television with a good value for money and a current design, which will compensate you if you do not care too much about those small usability problems.