Hisense vs TCL – which is the better overall budget TV? Let’s take a look and settle the debate.
Both Hisense and TCL are popular Chinese manufacturers known for selling quality TVs while competing on price.
Both offer some higher-end TVs – though they’re still cheaper than the higher-end models offered by the big companies (e.g., LG, Samsung). But they’re not as popular as some of the more economical models that Hisense and TCL have on the market.
Comparing a Hisense 4K TV vs a TCL 4K TV is not always easy, as they have much in common despite being from different manufacturers.
Both companies offer various affordalbe 4K and Full HD smart TV that work for various purposes, including watching TV shows, movies, sports, gaming, and so on.
The difference in picture quality isn’t always immediately obvious.
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Both brands make TVs that have all the advanced modern features. They have HDR, UHD, and so on.
TCL’s TVs also have a full-array LED backlight, HDR10, and Dolby Vision.
Hisense has TVs that provide local dimming, LED backlight, and Motion Rate 120. Many have DTS sound, voice-enabled remote, built-in Google Assistant, and Bluetooth audio. TCL TVs often offer Alexa or Google Assistant and LED, but lack most of the same features at similar price points.
Nearly all of the models produced by both companies work with VA panel displays.
Many of Hisense’s TVs come with features that automatically adapts the picture based on what’s happening on the screen. It will automatically adjust to lighter or darker as a result. This provides convenience such that you don’t have to switch between different modes before watching a movie, gaming, etc.
When it comes to Hisense vs TCL, Hisense generally has more overall features than TC.
TVs from Hisense and TCL come with different operating systems.
Hisense TVs have different operating systems. These include Android, Roku (only occasionally), and Hisense’s VIDAA operating system (which comes in higher-end models).
Android provides access to the most popular streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, HBO, and so on. You also get apps like Google Play Music and Google Games.
Chromecast, which is built in, enables you to stream videos, photos, and music to the TV from any device that has an Android, iOS, or Windows-based operating system.
TCL’s TVs heavily rely on Roku (most but not all)
This operating system works with cable, antenna, and streaming. It gives you access to more than half a million different movies and TV shows. You also get a large list of popular streaming channels, such as Hulu, HBO, ESPN, Netflix, and more.
Both operating systems are easy to use and intuitive. But most of Hisense’s TVs are based on Android. Alexa and Google Assistant enable for easy connectivity via voice.
Hisense 40H5500F, for example, uses Android, and TCL 50S425 uses Roku. Android tends to be more intuitive and is a better thought out operating system.
So in that matchup of similar TV, you might say Hisense 40H5500F is the better option.
Hisense and TCL are both entry-level brands providing affordable TVs. So one can’t expect 10/10 picture quality that is up there with the top high-end brands.
However, both manufacturers can give you HDR or UHD picture on a large flat screen for an economical price.
With VA panel displays, both offer good image depth and contrast. But the response time can be a little long.
TCL’s TVs tend to have a more dynamic picture and gnerally give a more cinematic look that makes it superior for movies and TV shows.
Hisense TVs tend to be better for sports and gaming and other faster-paced activities. It’s a bit more crisp and will show less blur on the screen. Darker colors are also better produced.
Hisense can also provide ULED technology, but these models often run in excess of $1,000.
Both Hisense and TCL have some of the same weaknesses when it comes to picture quality. They don’t offer terrific brightness, even for their higher-end models. They also don’t offer wide viewing angles.
Hisense tends to have a better contrast ratio and better clearness in the picture.
If you look at the Hisense 32H5500F versus the TCL 32S325, you’ll see that the Hisense model has a better image and overall picture quality.
Hisense and TCL normally come with stereo speakers.
Hisense has the advantage, providing higher-quality speakers. TCL uses 16W speakers in all models regardless of price. Hisense uses technologies like noise reduction in some of its pricier TVs.
Neither brand has great surround sound. Dolby Atmos is used is some Hisense and TCL models. But being this is a more advanced technology, it’s used in only more expensive TVs from both companies.
For example, if we look at the Hisense 32H5500F, it uses 6W speakers with DTS virtual surround sound. A comparable model, the TCL 32S325 only comes with a pair of 5W speakers.
So Hisense is generally better when it comes to sound looking at similar price categories.
Hisense generally wins out versus TCL when it comes to the quantity of HDMI ports.
For example, the TCL 40S325 comes with 3 HDMI ports. The Hisense 40H4F has 4 HDMI ports.
So, the Hisense model in this case comes out ahead, as it allows you better connectivity to external sources.
Durability is generally not a strong suit of entry-level TV producers.
The basic idea is to get you something viable at an affordable price with durability being of secondary concern.
Both manufacturers provide TVs with plastic bodies that don’t generally make for strong durability.
But TCL may have the edge.
For example, taking the TCL 43S425 vs the Hisense 40H5500F, the TCL model has a wider stand and is made of a better quality plastic in comparison.
Both Hisense and TCL will start at a price of $200 per TV and go up into the thousands.
Their Full HD models come at comparable prices. But when it comes to 4K models, TCL works better for customers on a budget.
TCL’s 4K TVs tend to run around $100 cheaper (or slightly less) than Hisense’s 4K TVs.
This comes even despite the similar features between the two.
So, TCL generally has a slight edge in some TV categories.
Hisense vs TCL: Conclusion
In the Hisense vs. TCL comparison, both offer TVs at an affordable price. You don’t need to spend thousands in order to buy a high-quality 4K TV that has features like HDR or UHD.
The picture quality and features are adequate for the prices they charge.
Hisense generally comes out ahead when it comes to features like sound, TV ports, and picture quality.
TCL will generally come out ahead when it comes to durability and price.
Who wins overall?
Considering the relative strengths and weaknesses of each, Hisense may be slightly superior. It offers more features and better picture quality for a slightly higher price, but still a better overall value.
Those who are most focused on price might lean toward HCL.