TCL L55V7300F3DE 3D LED TV
This $1499 55-inch LED TV is good value
- Good price
- Energy efficient
- 3-year warranty
- Smart TV features are average
TCL's top LED TV is good value, before and after you buy it. It's largely competitive with mid-range LED TVs from Sony, Sharp, and Samsung, although its Smart TV features aren't as well implemented. The TCL 7300 is cheap and versatile, and it shows TCL is becoming a legitimate player in the TV market.
Price$ 1,599.00 (AUD)
We haven’t seen a great deal of publicity locally from TCL in the past, but in the past few months the company has made an effort to show that it wants to be a big part of Australia’s TV market.
TCL put on a show at CES, displaying a 110-inch Ultra High Definition TV it calls the China Star — you’ll see it on an even bigger screen, too, when it makes its film debut in Iron Man 3 — as well as a tablet-in-a-TV, a Google TV set, and more besides.
It’s clear that TCL isn’t just another no-name Chinese manufacturer, and that the company is here to stay. The TCL L55V7300F3DE — we’ll call it the V7300 — is the top TV from the company’s 2012 line-up.
TCL L55V7300F3DE: Design, connectivity, and setup
The TCL L55V7300F3DE is surprisingly well-built, despite being reasonably thin — around 48mm at its thickest. The light silver bezel around all four edges of the screen is thicker at the base, where it’s also edged with a translucent plastic strip.
The TCL logo on the lower bezel is joined by an over-sized, red-LED-lit power button. Although there are physical buttons on the TV, we expect you’ll more often be using TCL’s bundled remote control. It’s a reasonably well laid-out clicker and offers no real problems.
Arranged across the side and downward-facing rear of the TV are its various input and output connectors. You’ll find four HDMI ports and two USB 2.0 ports on the side, while other less popular ports like VGA, analog audio and video, and Ethernet are on the back. One of the USB 2.0 ports will be occupied by the bundled Wi-Fi network adapter if you choose to use it.
The 55-inch, LED-backlit LCD screen of the V7300 is moderately reflective when it’s turned off, and while this serves to boost the contrast and make colours pop a little more when the screen’s turned on, it also means the display picks up any light sources within the room. If you’ve got a bright light source like a lamp, or a sun-lit window during the daytime, we’d advise that you either adjust your room’s layout or buy a television with a matte screen finish instead.
Setting up the V7300 is a very simple process. All that’s needed to assemble the TV is a Phillips screwdriver, using three screws to attach the base of the TV’s stand to the stem. The V7300’s power cord is a detachable figure-eight cord, so it’s easy to swap for a longer or shorter length if needed.
TCL L55V7300F3DE: Picture quality and performance
TCL’s V7300, like its step-down E5000 sibling, is a Full HD 1080p LED TV, using LEDs arranged around the screen’s edge as a light source. It’s available in both 55-inch and 46-inch screen sizes. A claimed 24,000:1 dynamic contrast ratio means the TV should show plenty of detail in both bright and dark scenes of video, although like most LED TVs it achieves this through dynamically altering the backlight to suit the video content.
In the majority of our viewing the TCL V7300 displayed a generally good amount of detail. We saw good shadow detail in Batman Begins and The Dark Knight, while The Grey’s blend of subtle shadow and over-blown whites did a good job of testing the screen’s dynamic brightness adjustment.
Dynamic brightness on this screen tends towards the bright, prioritising brighter areas of video at the cost of dark detail. This can be ameliorated by lowering the overall backlight brightness or by switching to the TV’s Movie or Studio picture presets, giving a picture that’s more realistic overall at the cost of some maximum brightness.
The TCL V7300 performs on par with a mid-range edge-lit LED TV from Samsung or Sony; it’s able to display a good level of detail from an appropriately high-quality source like Blu-ray, and it can handle all but the most complicated, darkest and brightest scenes we tested it with. It’s not as versatile as a similarly sized and similarly priced plasma television, though.
Where the V7300 takes a huge step ahead of its plasma competitors is in power consumption. At a 160W maximum energy usage figure and a 9-star energy rating, the V7300 is one of the most efficient televisions of its screen size, and will give an appropriately low running cost over its lifetime.
The backlight of our test unit was mostly consistent, which is an area where edge-lit LED TVs generally suffer. We did notice some visible torch-lighting on the top right and bottom right corners of the screen; this was distracting whenever a particularly dark scene was on-screen.
Where the V7300 struggles slightly, like most LED TVs of its price range and market segment, is in its display of fast motion. Being a 100Hz screen it’s able to display a generally smooth picture, but if you’re watching a fast-moving segment of digital TV — a Formula 1 race, for example — the image on the TCL V7300 becomes indistinct and blurry. It’s not a crippling problem, but it’s a problem that is handled on more expensive LED and plasma TVs.
Like the TCL E5000, the V7300’s Smart TV features are average. They’re definitely not bad — you get access to YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and so on — but there’s none of the catch-up TV, Foxtel, or apps that more expensive TVs from LG and Samsung offer.
TCL L55V7300F3DE: Conclusion
You can find the V7300 around $200 cheaper than its recommended retail price if you shop around — with a few clicks we found it for $1299 at BigBrownBox.com.au. At this price, it’s good value, and if you can bargain it down further it’s even more attractive.
The TCL L55V7300F3DE — and its 46-inch counterpart — is a good TV if you’re concerned with price more than having the best of the best picture quality or features. If you spend more, you can get an undoubtedly better TV, but the V7300 sits at a sweet spot before any significant diminishing return in price versus performance.
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Gadgets & Things
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Star Wars Death Star Bluetooth levitating rotating speaker review
- 2 Finally! LG OLED TV 2016 range review
- 3 Fetch TV Mighty review: Better than Foxtel
- 4 Fetch TV Mini review: Make your TV a smart TV
- 5 Panasonic Viera DX900U UHD 4K smart TV review
Latest News Articles
- Sony’s Bravia XBR-A1E OLED could be the first flat-screen TV with sound that doesn’t suck
- Say goodbye to Apple's third-generation Apple TV
- Japan gears up for 8K TV broadcasting
- NHK's latest 8K display is large, thin and beautiful
- Japan starts 8K TV broadcasts in time for Rio Olympics
GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.
The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.
My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.
- The top 10 best and worst tech gadgets and products of 2016
- Best phone of the year 2016
- TV of the year award 2016
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- FTBrand Marketing Manager - Premium Entertainment BrandNSW
- FTSecurity Incident / SOC Analyst (Tier 1) - Permanent - North Ryde BasedNSW
- FTIdentity Access + Security ConsultantSA
- CCMultiple Infrastructure ArchitectsWA
- FTTechnical Account ManagerACT
- FTLevel 2 Service DeskNSW
- CCSenior Developer - Appian/PegaVIC
- CCSenior Test AnalystQLD
- FTSenior Java EngineerACT
- FTLife/400 Developers / Programmers - Permanent - North Ryde areaNSW
- FTDevOps EngineerNSW
- FTLevel 3 EngineerNSW
- CCApplication PackagerVIC
- TPSenior Network EngineerNSW
- FTLevel 2 Help Desk SupportQLD
- FTSolutions Architect - Data Centre/ NetworkQLD
- FTSystems Engineer l Citrix NetScalerNSW
- TPAnsarada Data Room AdministratorNSW
- CCSenior PMO Analyst - ReportingNSW
- TPChange ManagerNSW
- FTIT Field EngineerNSW
- CCSoftware DeveloperACT
- CCSoftware DeveloperNSW
- FTSecurity System EngineerSA