The TCL 4 Series 2019 is an alright overall budget TV with built-in Roku TV. It delivers decent picture quality and displays deep blacks thanks to its VA panel's outstanding contrast ratio. Although it has decent reflection handling, it doesn't get very bright and isn't suitable for a well-lit room. It lacks a wide color gamut, and due to its low HDR peak brightness, it can't deliver HDR content with vivid colors and bright highlights. The response time is fast and it displays fast-moving content with very little blur trail. It offers a responsive gaming performance thanks to the low input lag, but unfortunately, it lacks advanced gaming features like FreeSync.
The TCL S425 is an alright TV for mixed usage. It has decent picture quality but can't get very bright, so it's more suitable for dim rooms. It has decent motion handling and a fast response time that leaves only a small blur trail behind fast-moving objects. It has a very low input lag, and it's very responsive, making it suitable for gaming or use as a PC monitor.
The TCL S425 is an okay TV for watching movies. It delivers deep blacks in a dark room thanks to its high contrast ratio but lacks a local dimming feature, and black uniformity is just decent. There's no motion interpolation feature and unfortunately, the TV can only remove judder from native 24p sources. On the upside, it upscales 1080p content, like from Blu-rays, with no artifacts.
The TCL S425 is an alright TV for watching TV shows. It's more suitable for an average-lit room as it can't get very bright, but it can handle reflections fairly well so a few more lights won't be an issue. Unfortunately, it has narrow viewing angles so you have to sit in front to get an accurate image. The Roku TV smart interface gives you access to a large number of streaming channels.
The TCL S425 is okay for watching sports. It has a great response time, so fast-moving content has minimal blur trail. Unfortunately, it doesn't get bright, but it has decent reflection handling. Also, it has poor viewing angles, which isn't ideal if you want to watch the big game with a group of friends. There's also visible dirty screen effect in the center, which is distracting during sports.
The TCL S425 is a good TV for playing video games. The input lag is very low and you should enjoy a responsive gaming experience, while the response time is fast and delivers crisp motion. Unfortunately, there's no support for any advanced gaming features like FreeSync that more serious gamers are usually looking for, but there's an Auto Low Latency Mode that's great for casual gaming.
The TCL S425 is mediocre for watching HDR movies. It delivers deep and fairly uniform blacks in a dark room where HDR is meant to be watched, but there's no local dimming support to improve performance. When in HDR, the peak brightness is low and since the TV can't display a wide color gamut either, HDR content doesn't display the vivid colors and the bright highlights it's supposed to.
The TCL S425 is decent for HDR gaming. This is mainly due to the very low input lag that makes it very responsive, and the fast response time that leaves only a small blur trail behind fast-moving content. The HDR performance of this TV isn't very good as it can't get very bright and it doesn't have a wide color gamut, so it lacks the means to deliver a great HDR picture.
The TCL S425 is a decent TV for use as a PC monitor. It has a very low input lag, and it responds immediately to your actions. It has no risk of permanent burn-in and the response time is fast and leaves only a small blur trail behind a fast-moving object. Unfortunately, the viewing angles are poor, and there are some uniformity issues on the sides of the screen.
The design is simple and in line with other TCL TVs. It's mainly made out of plastic and doesn't have a premium look to it, but its build shouldn't cause many issues. It's a bit different from the TCL S Series/S405 4k 2018 as it has black feet.
The stand is made of plastic and supports the TV well. It's almost as wide as the TV and looks like the stand from the TCL S Series/S405 4k 2018, but with a black finish. The legs can't be reversed, and the TV wobbles if nudged.
Footprint of the 43" model stand: 32.2" x 7.3"
The back of the TV is plain. The top part is metal, while the bottom half and the rest of the body are plastic. The TCL S425 is available in many sizes and not all of them fit the same VESA mount size. Check here to see which VESA mount size is suitable for each TV size.
Sadly, there isn't any cable management.
The borders are a bit thicker than most TVs, but shouldn't distract you.
The TV itself isn't very thick and shouldn't stick out when wall-mounted.
The TV has alright build quality. There aren't any gaps or loose ends, and although the TV doesn't have a premium look, we don't expect you to have issues with it.
The TCL S425 has an outstanding contrast ratio, which is expected from a VA panel TV. It can produce deep blacks, but unfortunately, there's no local dimming feature to further darken those blacks. Note that contrast may vary between units.
This TV doesn't have a local dimming feature. The video above is for reference only.
The TCL S425 has bad peak brightness. It doesn't get bright enough to combat glare in well-lit rooms. Its brightness remains very consistent for the most part, except small highlights are a bit dimmer. We measured peak brightness after calibration in the 'Movie' Picture Mode.
This TV has bad HDR peak brightness. It gets brighter than in SDR, but it doesn't get bright enough to make highlights stand out. Once again, small areas aren't as bright as larger areas.
We measured HDR peak brightness in the 'Dark HDR' Picture Mode with TV Brightness set to 'Brighter'.
This TV has some uniformity issues as the corners of the screen are darker, but this may vary between units. There's also visible dirty screen effect in the center, which could be distracting during sports. In near-dark scenes, uniformity is worse as there's backlight bleed along the edges.
This TV has bad viewing angles, which is normal for a VA panel. You quickly lose image accuracy when viewing from the side.
If you want an IPS TV with better viewing angles, check out the LG NANO85.
The black uniformity is decent, but this may vary between units. There's visible backlight bleed at the edges which is noticeable when you watch dark scenes in a dark room.
The TCL S425 has decent reflection handling. The semi-glossy finish limits the amount of light reflected, and you shouldn't have any issues using it in a moderately-lit room. However, it may struggle with direct sunlight on it.
This TV has disappointing out-of-the-box color accuracy, but this may vary between units. Most colors are noticeably inaccurate, and it has a warm color temperature, giving the image a red/yellow tint. White balance is off and gamma doesn't follow the target well, so most scenes are darker than they should be.
This TV has outstanding color accuracy post-calibration. It's almost impossible to spot any remaining white balance inaccuracies. On the other hand, some color inaccuracies, mainly in the reds and the greens, remain after calibration. Just like with other TCL TVs, calibration is only possible via the mobile app, but you still need to use a colorimeter.
You can see our recommended settings here.
1080p content, like Blu-rays or game consoles, looks great with no obvious issues.
This TV has a decent color gamut, but it's not considered a wide color gamut. The true color gamut of the TV is shown by the maximum red, green, and blue in the Rec. 2020 gamut picture. Unfortunately, all other colors in the Rec. 2020 picture and all the DCI P3 colors are under-saturated. We assume that this happens because the TV is prioritizing brightness over color accuracy because it's so dim. These tests were done at 75% brightness stimulus. When we performed the same tests at a dimmer 50% stimulus, the accuracy was much better as can be seen in the following images:
The TV's EOTF follows the target curve fairly well until it rolls off, but most scenes are too dark. The 'Game' mode EOTF is similar, as you can see here.
If you wish to make the HDR brighter, you can set Gamma to '1.8' in the phone app. This results in this EOTF, which is a little brighter than before.
The color volume is mediocre. It's limited by the lack of a wide color gamut, and it can't display dark, saturated colors.
This TV has great gradient handling. A little banding is visible, especially in darker shades of green and gray, but this shouldn't be a problem with real content. The Noise Reduction setting doesn't improve the gradients all that much.
There isn't any temporary image retention on this TV, but this may vary between units.
We don't expect VA panels to experience permanent image retention, as the VA panel in our long-term test appears immune.
This TV has a great response time. There's some overshoot in the darker transitions, but overall, there's minimal blur trail behind fast-moving objects. This is a big improvement over the TCL S Series/S405 4k 2018.
The TV uses Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) to dim the backlight, but only below a 17/100 backlight setting, at which point it results in a 120Hz flicker which might bother some people. This is very different behavior than the TCL S Series/S405 4k 2018, which used PWM dimming throughout the entire range of its backlight level.
There's no Black Frame Insertion feature to improve the appearance of motion.
Unfortunately, this TV can't interpolate lower frame rate motion, which won't please the fans of the 'Soap Opera Effect'.
There's a little stutter due to the fast response time that results in a higher frame hold time of 24p content, like movies.
This TV can only remove judder from native 24p sources, like from Blu-rays. However, it can't remove it from native apps.
There's no specific option to remove judder as the TV does it automatically.
The TCL 43S425 has a 60Hz panel and doesn't support any variable refresh rate technology.
This TV has excellent low input lag provided you turn Game Mode to 'On.' The Game Mode is available in all picture modes. During our test, there were times where we had to turn off the TV or disconnect and reconnect the HDMI to get the lowest input lag. When we changed to Game Mode it went to an in-between state that had a higher input lag, and we got the lowest input lag after restarting the TV. Let us know in the discussions if you experience the same issue.