Preferred tv store
Reviewed on May 01, 2019 , Simon Barbier, Ryan Scartozzi, Yannick Khong

TCL 4 Series/S425 2019
TV REVIEW

Usage Ratings - Version 1.3

Test Benches:

  • 1.3: Spring 2019
  • 1.2: Winter 2018
  • 1.1: Summer 2017
  • 1.0: Winter 2015
  • 0.9: Winter 2014
  • 0.8: Winter 2013
7.3
Mixed Usage
What it is: General purpose. The TV will be used for a variety of content and usages. Movies at night, TV shows during the day, video games from time to time, etc.
Score components:
Value for price beaten by
What it is: Product with the best value in this price range
Other best choice in a cheaper price range
Other best choice in a pricier price range
Automatically updated every hour based on the scores and prices of all other products we've tested.
: Vizio V Series 2019
6.4
Movies
What it is: Movies in the dark. The TV will be used for watching movies in a controlled environment, directly in front, in a home theater way. Mostly only high quality content, like Blu-rays, UHD Blu-rays, streaming and a little bit of HDR.
Score components:
7.0
TV Shows
What it is: TV Shows in a bright living room. The TV will be used in to watch TV shows, in a bright room during the day, from multiple viewing positions at different angles. The content watched has an average quality: cable, streaming, SD channels, etc.
Score components:
7.1
Sports
What it is: Sports in a living room. The TV will be used to watch sports during the day, like football or hockey. Usually watched with a group, so from multiple viewing position.
8.4
Video Games
What it is: Video games. The TV will be used to play video games, directly in front, in a controlled light environment. Usually fast games, like online FPS, where motion blur and input lag is important.
6.6
HDR Movies
What it is: HDR Movies and TV shows. The TV will be used to watch 4k UHD HDR content, with a wide color gamut and a high peak brightness. Either via UHD Blu-rays or HDR streaming.
Score components:
7.9
HDR Gaming
What it is: HDR Gaming. The TV will be used to play HDR video games using consoles that support it or on current generation gaming PCs. Xbox One S, PS4 Pro, GTX 10 series and AMD RX series graphics cards.
8.1
PC Monitor
What it is: PC Monitor. The TV will be used as a PC monitor, from 2-3 feet away, either for productivity purposes or gaming. Sharp text is important, as well as a high resolution.
Score components:
Type : LED
Sub-Type
What it is: Type of display technology used by the TV.
When it matters: Different technologies have different performance and are suited to different uses
Good value: IPS maintains good color accuracy at an angle, but has a poor contrast ratio from in front. VA has great picture quality in front, but loses saturation at an angle. OLED maintains good color accuracy at an angle without any of the other issues seen with IPS and VA, as they keep good brightness and contrast at an angle.
:
VA
Resolution : 4k

The TCL 4-Series S425 Roku Smart TV is a decent TV with decent picture quality. It can display deep blacks thanks to its high native contrast ratio, but lacks a local dimming feature to improve dark room performance. It has good reflection handling, but limited brightness both in SDR and in HDR, and doesn't perform well in a bright room. It does not have a wide color gamut and can't deliver HDR content with vivid colors and bright highlights. It has a very fast response time, and fast-moving content has only minimal blur trail. The input lag is very low, and this will please gamers and PC users.

Test Results
Design 6.5
Picture Quality 7.1
Motion 6.8
Inputs 9.6
Sound Quality 6.3
Smart Features 7.5
Pros
  • Very low input lag, great for games.
  • Great smart features.
Cons
  • Can't get bright enough.
  • Image degrades when viewed at an angle.

Check Price

Market Context

What it is: This model's position in the TV market; how it compares to other TVs.

The TCL 4-Series S425 is a budget VA panel TV. It sits below the TCL S517. It is the replacement of last year's TCL S Series S405. The TCL S425 is comparable to most budget models of other manufacturers like the Samsung RU7100, the LG UK6300, or Vizio E Series 2018.

6.5

Design

Score components: Subjectively assigned
TCL 4 Series/S425 2019 Design Picture
Curved : No

The TCL S425 has a decent design. It has a wide plastic stand that supports it well, but the TV will wobble if nudged. The back of the TV is very similar to last year's TCL S405. The top half is metallic, whereas the bottom part and the body are plastic. It is not very thick and will not protrude much if wall-mounted. The build quality is decent, and you should not have any issues with it.

Stand
TCL 4 Series/S425 2019 Stand Picture

The stand of the TCL S425 is plastic and supports the TV well. It is black and almost as wide as the TV. Last year's TCL S405 had a very similar stand, but with a silver finish. The legs cannot be reversed, and the TV will wobble if nudged.

Footprint of the 55" model stand: 32.2" x 7.3"

Back
TCL 4 Series/S425 2019 Back Picture
Wall Mount : VESA 100x100

The back of the TV is plain. The top part is metal, whereas 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.

There is no cable management.

Borders
TCL 4 Series/S425 2019 Borders Picture
Borders : 0.59" (1.5 cm)

The borders are plastic, very plain, and have an average thickness.

Thickness
TCL 4 Series/S425 2019 Thickness Picture
Max Thickness : 2.91" (7.4 cm)

The TV has an average thickness when viewed from the side, and it will not stick out much if wall-mounted.

Temperature
What it is: It is the average and maximum operating temperatures we measured on the TV. If there is an external device, like a One Connect box in some Samsungs, we measure the temperature of that as well.
When it matters: If the temperature of your TV is much higher, check that nothing is blocking the vents.
TCL 4 Series/S425 2019 Temperature picture
Maximum Temperature
What it is: The peak temperature found on the TV.
When it matters: If the TV is placed in an enclosed space.
Good value: <35°C
Noticeable difference: 5°C
:
96 °F (35 °C)
Average Temperature
What it is: The average temperature measured on the TV.
When it matters: If the TV is placed in an enclosed space.
Good value: <35°C
Noticeable difference: 5°C
:
85 °F (29 °C)
6.5 Build Quality
What it is: It represents our perception of the quality of the construction of the TV, of the materials used, and how they all blend.
When it matters: Poor build quality might lessen the expected lifetime of the TV, or make it more prone to faults due to mishandling.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
TCL 4 Series/S425 2019 Build quality picture

The build quality is decent. There are no gaps or loose ends, and although the TV does not have a premium look, you should have no issues with it.

7.1

Picture Quality

The TCL 4-Series has a decent picture quality. It has a high native contrast ratio that delivers deep blacks in a dark room but unfortunately, it lacks a local dimming feature to further improve dark room performance. The S425 cannot get very bright and it is more suitable for a dim room. It can handle reflections well but has narrow viewing angles and it is not suitable for a room with a wide seating arrangement. It doesn't have a wide color gamut and can't deliver HDR content with vivid colors and highlights that pop. Finally, the gray uniformity is decent, but some sports fans might find the amount of dirty screen effect bothersome.

9.1 Contrast
What it is: Brightness difference between white and black. This is the main component of picture quality.
When it matters: Always, but especially when watching dark scenes.
Score components:
TCL 4 Series/S425 2019 Checkerboard Picture
Native Contrast
What it is: Ratio of the white brightness divided by the blacks measured on our checkerboard test pattern with a white target of 100 cd/m².
When it matters: Dark scenes in a dark room.
Good value: > 3,000
Noticeable difference: 500
:
6054 : 1
Contrast with local dimming
What it is: Ratio of the white brightness divided by the blacks measured on our checkerboard test pattern with local dimming turned on (maximum) with a white target of 100 cd/m².
When it matters: Dark scenes in a dark room.
Good value: > 3,000
Noticeable difference: 500
:
N/A

The native contrast ratio of the TCL S425 is excellent. Blacks look deep in a dark room and this great for the picture quality. It is a significant improvement over last year's TCL S405. Unfortunately, the TV lacks a local dimming feature and can't improve the appearance of blacks further.

0 Local Dimming
What it is: The lights behind the LCD layer adapt to the picture displayed, improving the contrast ratio.
When it matters: Dark scenes viewed in a dark room.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
Local Dimming
What it is: Whether it has a feature that controls the LEDs behind the LCD layer, to match the picture and darkens the dark portion of it.
When it matters: On LED TVs only. Dark scenes viewed in a dark room.
:
No
Backlight
What it is: Configuration of the lights of the backlight.
When it matters: Effectiveness of the local dimming.
Good value: Full-array/direct lighting is better for local dimming. As for the uniformity of the screen, it depends on the implementation. Some edge-lit TVs have more uniform blacks than some full-array TVs.
:
Direct

The TCL S425 does not have a local dimming feature. The video is for reference only.

5.4 SDR Peak Brightness
What it is: How bright the screen can get. Measured with local dimming and with SDR content.
When it matters: Bright living rooms; bright objects; SDR content.
SDR Real Scene Peak Brightness
What it is: The maximum luminosity the TV can obtain while playing a movie or while watching a TV show. Our Real Scene was selected to represent a more regular movie condition. All measurements are made with the TV set to be as bright as possible, but with a 6500k white. Measured with local dimming on, max backlight and with an SDR signal. Scene: here.
When it matters: When watching movies and TV shows in SDR.
Good value: > 300 cd/m²
Noticeable difference: 30 cd/m²
:
168 cd/m²
SDR Peak 2% Window
What it is: The maximum luminosity, even if only maintained for a short time, of a white square covering 2% of the screen, with the TV set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over SDR signal.
When it matters: Bright highlights, present on screen for a short time
Good value: > 300 cd/m²
Noticeable difference: 30 cd/m²
:
142 cd/m²
SDR Peak 10% Window
What it is: The maximum luminosity, even if only maintained for a short time, of a white square covering 10% of the screen, with the TV set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over SDR signal.
When it matters: Bright objects, present on screen for a short time
Good value: > 300 cd/m²
Noticeable difference: 30 cd/m²
:
177 cd/m²
SDR Peak 25% Window
What it is: The maximum luminosity, even if only maintained for a short time, of a white square covering 25% of the screen, with the TV set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over SDR signal.
When it matters: When watching in a bright room.
Good value: > 300 cd/m²
Noticeable difference: 30 cd/m²
:
177 cd/m²
SDR Peak 50% Window
What it is: The maximum luminosity, even if only maintained for a short time, of a white square covering 50% of the screen, with the TV set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over SDR signal.
When it matters: When watching in a bright room.
Good value: > 300 cd/m²
Noticeable difference: 30 cd/m²
:
177 cd/m²
SDR Peak 100% Window
What it is: The maximum luminosity, even if only maintained for a short time, of a white square covering 100% of the screen, with the TV set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over SDR signal.
When it matters: When watching in a bright room.
Good value: > 300 cd/m²
Noticeable difference: 30 cd/m²
:
177 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 2% Window
What it is: The lowest maximum luminosity (usually after it has stabilized) of a white square covering 2% of the screen, with the TV set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over SDR signal.
When it matters: Bright highlights, persistent during a scene.
Good value: > 300 cd/m²
Noticeable difference: 30 cd/m²
:
141 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 10% Window
What it is: The lowest maximum luminosity (usually after it has stabilized) of a white square covering 10% of the screen, with the TV set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over SDR signal.
When it matters: Bright objects, persistent during a scene.
Good value: > 300 cd/m²
Noticeable difference: 30 cd/m²
:
177 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 25% Window
What it is: The lowest maximum luminosity (usually after it has stabilized) of a white square covering 25% of the screen, with the TV set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over SDR signal.
When it matters: When watching in a bright room.
Good value: > 300 cd/m²
Noticeable difference: 30 cd/m²
:
177 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 50% Window
What it is: The lowest maximum luminosity (usually after it has stabilized) of a white square covering 50% of the screen, with the TV set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over SDR signal.
When it matters: When watching in a bright room.
Good value: > 300 cd/m²
Noticeable difference: 30 cd/m²
:
177 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 100% Window
What it is: The lowest maximum luminosity (usually after it has stabilized) of a white square covering 100% of the screen, with the TV set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over SDR signal.
When it matters: When watching in a bright room.
Good value: > 300 cd/m²
Noticeable difference: 30 cd/m²
:
177 cd/m²
SDR ABL
What it is: The coefficient of variation of the SDR sustained brightness, after linearizing for noticeable differences in luminosity
When it matters: Content with large bright areas, such as for PC or video game use, and sports such as hockey
Good value: <0.07
Noticeable difference: 0.01
:
0.017

Disappointing SDR peak brightness for the S425. The performance is in the same ballpark figure as last year's TCL S405. This TV is okay for a moderately lit room, but it is not suitable for a bright room. Except for small highlights, the brightness remains unchanged no matter the scene, and this is good.

We performed our measurements after calibration with picture mode set to ‘Movie.’ Different settings may produce a brighter picture.

You can check our settings page to see how to set the brightness.

5.1 HDR Peak Brightness
What it is: How bright the screen can get. Measured with local dimming and over HDR signal (if supported).
When it matters: Bright living rooms; bright objects; HDR content.
HDR Real Scene Peak Brightness
What it is: The maximum luminosity the TV can obtain while playing a movie or while watching a TV show. This scene was selected to represent a more realistic movie condition. All measurement are made with the TV set to be as bright as possible, but with a 6500k white. Measured with local dimming, max backlight and over HDR signal. Scene: here.
When it matters: When watching movies or watching TV show in HDR.
Good value: > 550 cd/m²
Noticeable difference: 80 cd/m²
:
191 cd/m²
HDR Peak 2% Window
What it is: The maximum luminosity, even if only maintained for a short time, of a white square covering 2% of the screen, with the TV set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over HDR signal (if supported).
When it matters: Bright highlights, present on screen for a short time; especially for HDR content.
Good value: > 550 cd/m²
Noticeable difference: 80 cd/m²
:
199 cd/m²
HDR Peak 10% Window
What it is: The maximum luminosity, even if only maintained for a short time, of a white square covering 10% of the screen, with the TV set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over HDR signal (if supported).
When it matters: Bright objects, present on screen for a short time; especially for HDR content.
Good value: > 550 cd/m²
Noticeable difference: 80 cd/m²
:
206 cd/m²
HDR Peak 25% Window
What it is: The maximum luminosity, even if only maintained for a short time, of a white square covering 25% of the screen, with the TV set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over HDR signal (if supported).
When it matters: Bright rooms; bright objects in HDR video.
Good value: > 550 cd/m²
Noticeable difference: 80 cd/m²
:
207 cd/m²
HDR Peak 50% Window
What it is: The maximum luminosity, even if only maintained for a short time, of a white square covering 50% of the screen, with the TV set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over HDR signal (if supported).
When it matters: Bright rooms.
Good value: > 550 cd/m²
Noticeable difference: 80 cd/m²
:
207 cd/m²
HDR Peak 100% Window
What it is: The maximum luminosity, even if only maintained for a short time, of a white square covering 100% of the screen, with the TV set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over HDR signal (if supported).
When it matters: Bright rooms.
Good value: > 550 cd/m²
Noticeable difference: 80 cd/m²
:
207 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 2% Window
What it is: The lowest maximum luminosity (usually after it has stabilized) of a white square covering 2% of the screen, with the TV set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over HDR signal (if supported).
When it matters: Bright highlights, persistent throughout a scene; especially for HDR content.
Good value: > 550 cd/m²
Noticeable difference: 80 cd/m²
:
199 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 10% Window
What it is: The lowest maximum luminosity (usually after it has stabilized) of a white square covering 10% of the screen, with the TV set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over HDR signal (if supported).
When it matters: Bright objects, persistent throughout a scene; especially for HDR content.
Good value: > 550 cd/m²
Noticeable difference: 80 cd/m²
:
206 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 25% Window
What it is: The lowest maximum luminosity (usually after it has stabilized) of a white square covering 25% of the screen, with the TV set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over HDR signal (if supported).
When it matters: Bright rooms; bright objects in HDR video.
Good value: > 550 cd/m²
Noticeable difference: 80 cd/m²
:
207 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 50% Window
What it is: The lowest maximum luminosity (usually after it has stabilized) of a white square covering 50% of the screen, with the TV set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over HDR signal (if supported).
When it matters: Bright rooms.
Good value: > 550 cd/m²
Noticeable difference: 80 cd/m²
:
207 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 100% Window
What it is: The lowest maximum luminosity (usually after it has stabilized) of a white square covering 100% of the screen, with the TV set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over HDR signal (if supported).
When it matters: Bright rooms.
Good value: > 550 cd/m²
Noticeable difference: 80 cd/m²
:
207 cd/m²
HDR ABL
What it is: The coefficient of variation of the HDR sustained brightness, after linearizing for noticeable differences in luminosity
When it matters: HDR content with large bright areas, such as HDR gaming
Good value: <0.07
Noticeable difference: 0.01
:
0.003

The TCL S425 has poor HDR peak brightness and can't display bright HDR highlights. Just like in SDR, the brightness remains unchanged no matter the scene. This is a similarly bad performance to last year's TCL S405.

We performed our measurements without calibration with picture mode set to ‘dark HDR' and 'brighter.' Different settings may produce a brighter picture.

You can check our settings page to see how to set the HDR settings.

6.8 Gray Uniformity
What it is: Evenness of colors onscreen (not just gray).
When it matters: Solid colors. Sports, panning shots.
Score components:
TCL 4 Series/S425 2019 50% Uniformity Picture
50% Std. Dev.
What it is: Average squared difference of pixels when displaying a mid 50% gray.
When it matters: Solid colors. Sports, panning shots.
Good value: < 2.5%
Noticeable difference: 1%
:
2.926 %
50% DSE
What it is: Dirty Screen Effect. High-frequency variance of uniformity. Dark spots on the screen.
When it matters: Solid colors. Sports, panning shots.
Good value: < 0.165%
Noticeable difference: 0.025%
:
0.203 %
TCL 4 Series/S425 2019 5% Uniformity Picture
5% Std. Dev.
What it is: Average squared difference of pixels when displaying a mid 5% gray.
When it matters: Dark scenes.
Good value: < 1.15%
Noticeable difference: 1%
:
3.116 %
5% DSE
What it is: Dirty Screen Effect. High-frequency variance of uniformity. Dark spots on the screen.
When it matters: Dark scenes.
Good value: < 0.116%
:
0.112 %

The TCL 4-Series has decent gray uniformity. The corners are a little darker, and some dirty screen effect can be seen at the center of the screen, which might disappoint sports fans. Unfortunately, in near-dark scenes, there are noticeable uniformity issues on both sides of the screen, but the uniformity is better in the center.

4.8 Viewing Angle
What it is: Color accuracy when viewed from the side.
When it matters: Large living rooms with multiple viewing positions.
TCL 4 Series/S425 2019 Chroma Graph
Color Washout
What it is: The angle at which some colors drop to 80% of their original chroma.
When it matters: When viewing colorful content from the side.
Good value: > 45°
Noticeable difference: 10°
:
19 °
TCL 4 Series/S425 2019 Hue Graph
Color Shift
What it is: The angle at which some colors hue shift by 3° (meaning they change color, such as becoming more blue-ish).
When it matters: When viewing colorful content from the side.
Good value: > 45°
Noticeable difference: 10°
:
23 °
TCL 4 Series/S425 2019 Lightness Graph
Brightness Loss
What it is: The angle at which the TV's lightness drops to 75% of its original lightness.
When it matters: When viewing any content from the side.
Good value: > 45°
Noticeable difference: 10°
:
27 °
Black Level Raise
What it is: The angle at which the black level doubles its lightness, leading to dark shades looking washed out.
When it matters: When viewing dark content from the side.
Good value: > 45°
Noticeable difference: 10°
:
15 °
Gamma Shift
What it is: The angle at which some grayscale shades shift by 3% of their relative position between the black and white levels.
When it matters: When watching any content at an angle.
Good value: > 45°
Noticeable difference: 10°
:
12 °

The S425 has bad viewing angles. This is typical for VA panel TVs. As soon as you move off center, the image loses accuracy as gamma shifts, black levels rise, and colors start to wash out. This is similar behavior to last year's TCL S Series S405. This TV is not a good choice if you have a room with a wide seating arrangement. If viewing angles are important to you, then check out the LG UK6300.

7.3 Black Uniformity
What it is: Evenness of blacks.
When it matters: Dark scenes viewed in a dark room.
Score components:
TCL 4 Series/S425 2019 Native Black Uniformity Picture
Native Std. Dev.
What it is: Average of the squared difference of the blacks.
When it matters: Dark scenes viewed in a dark room.
Good value: < 1%
Noticeable difference: 1%, but keep in mind that it varies a lot by unit, even of the same model; yours likely will not end up exactly like ours.
:
1.142 %
Std. Dev. w/ L.D.
What it is: Average of the squared difference of the blacks with Local Dimming enabled
When it matters: Dark scenes viewed in a dark room.
Good value: < 1%
Noticeable difference: 1%, but keep in mind that it varies a lot by unit, even of the same model; yours likely will not end up exactly like ours.
:
N/A

The black uniformity on the TCL S425 is decent. There is visible backlight bleed at the edges which, however, is only noticeable when you watch a very dark scene in a dark room.

7.8 Reflections
What it is: How much light is reflected by the TV.
When it matters: Bright rooms.
Score components:
TCL 4 Series/S425 2019 Reflections Picture TCL 4 Series/S425 2019 Average Room Off Picture TCL 4 Series/S425 2019 Bright Room Off Picture
Screen Finish
What it is: Type of coating on the screen.
When it matters: Bright objects in the direct reflection path (for example, opposite the TV).
Good value: Glossy is good for ambient light, but not for direct reflections.
:
Semi-gloss
Total Reflections
What it is: The amount of light which is reflected off the screen, in all directions.
When it matters: When watching TV in a bright room, with lamps, windows or walls which reflect directly off the screen.
Good value: 4.5 %
Noticeable difference: 0.5 %
:
5.3 %
Indirect Reflections
What it is: The amount of light reflected off the screen, ignoring direct (mirror-like) reflections
When it matters: Watching TV in a bright room, without sunlight or lamps directed at the TV
Good value: 1.0 %
Noticeable difference: 0.5 %
:
0.6 %

The handling of reflections on the TCL 4-Series is good. The TV has a semi-glossy finish that limits indirect reflections. You should have no problem placing this TV in a room with many small light sources. However, if you place it across from a large window, reflections might become bothersome.

5.9 Pre Calibration
What it is: TV's color accuracy before a full calibration. The only settings that are changed are those that don't vary from unit to unit, like picture mode, color temperature and gamma.
When it matters: All video on an uncalibrated TV. This represents most people's use cases.
Score components:
TCL 4 Series/S425 2019 Pre White Balance Picture TCL 4 Series/S425 2019 Pre Gamma Curve Picture TCL 4 Series/S425 2019 Pre Color Picture
White Balance dE
What it is: Average inaccuracy of shades of gray.
When it matters: Overall color temperature of all video.
Good value: < 3
Noticeable difference: 1
:
3.36
Color dE
What it is: Average inaccuracy of colors.
When it matters: All colors.
Good value: < 3
Noticeable difference: 1
:
5.69
Gamma
What it is: Brightness of shades of gray.
When it matters: Shadows.
Good value: Between 2.1 and 2.3 (our target is 2.2)
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
2.33
Color Temperature
What it is: The color temperature is a measure of the color of light. A colder color temperature (7000K) will look bluer and a warmer color temperature (4000K) will look yellower/redder. 6500K is the standard color temperature use in the TV and film industry as program, film, and photography directors usually work on monitors calibrated on the 6500k color temperature and do their color correction base on what they see on those monitors.
When it matters: To get the most accurate picture when watching TV shows, movies or video games. This is particularly for skin tones.
Good value: 6500K
Noticeable difference: 400K
:
6130 K
Picture Mode
What it is: The picture mode used to do the 'Pre Calibration' measurements.
:
Movie
Color Temp Setting
What it is: The best value for the TV's color temperature setting. The setting name differs between brands; for some it's "Color Temperature", for others its "White Point".
When it matters: All content on screen
:
Warm
Gamma Setting
What it is: The best value for the TV's gamma setting; the setting name differs between TV brands.
When it matters: Shadows, accurate grayscale performance.
:
2.2

Unfortunately, the out-of-the-box color accuracy for the TCL S425 is disappointing. The errors we measured both in the white balance dE and in the color dE are large. The color error especially might be noticeable by many. The TV is clipping reds and whites when not in PC mode. In order to see a significant improvement, you would have to lower the contrast a lot, but we do not recommend it as it affects the picture quality. The color temperature is warmer than the 6500K target, and thus the image has a slight reddish and yellow tint. The gamma does not follow the target, and thus dark scenes are significantly darker than they should be.

9.1 Post Calibration
What it is: TV's color accuracy after a full calibration with a spectrophotometer.
When it matters: All video on a TV that has been professionally calibrated. This isn't that useful, because most TVs can achieve a pretty good calibration if you spend enough time on them.
Score components:
TCL 4 Series/S425 2019 Post White Balance Picture TCL 4 Series/S425 2019 Post Gamma Curve Picture TCL 4 Series/S425 2019 Post Color Picture
White Balance dE
What it is: Average inaccuracy of shades of gray.
When it matters: Overall color temperature of all videos.
Good value: < 3
Noticeable difference: 1
:
0.50
Color dE
What it is: Average inaccuracy of colors.
When it matters: All colors.
Good value: < 3
Noticeable difference: 1
:
2.10
Gamma
What it is: Brightness of shades of gray.
When it matters: Shadows.
Good value: Between 2.1 and 2.3 (our target is 2.2)
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
2.22
Color Temperature
What it is: The color temperature is a measure of the color of light. A colder color temperature (7000K) will look bluer and a warmer color temperature (4000K) will look yellower/redder. 6500K is the standard color temperature use in the TV and film industry as program, film, and photography directors usually work on monitors calibrated on the 6500k color temperature and do their color correction base on what they see on those monitors.
When it matters: To get the most accurate picture when watching TV shows, movies or video games. This is particularly for skin tones.
Good value: 6500K
Noticeable difference: 400K
:
6532 K
White Balance Calibration
What it is: Whether the TV's white balance can be finely calibrated.
When it matters: When calibrating the TV.
:
11 point
Color Calibration
What it is: Whether the TV's color tone mapping can be finely calibrated.
When it matters: When calibrating the TV.
:
Yes
Auto-Calibration Function
What it is: Whether the TV has an auto-calibration function that can be used with a measurement device. Note that this is not used during testing, as we calibrate the TV manually.
When it matters: When calibrating the TV.
:
No

After calibration, the accuracy of the TCL S425 is excellent. It is 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 and some enthusiasts might be able to spot them. 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.

8.0 480p Input
What it is: Quality of a 480p input.
When it matters: Standard definition TV, DVDs.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
TCL 4 Series/S425 2019 480p Picture

Upscaling of low-quality content such as DVDs is good.

8.0 720p Input
What it is: Quality of a 720p input.
When it matters: HD channels, some streaming videos.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
TCL 4 Series/S425 2019 720p Picture

720p sources such as cable are upscaled well. Details remain clear.

9.0 1080p Input
What it is: Quality of a 1080p input.
When it matters: Blu-rays, streaming video, video files, video games.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
TCL 4 Series/S425 2019 1080p Picture

Upscaling of 1080p content such as Blu-rays or game consoles looks good with no obvious issues.

10 4k Input
What it is: Quality of a 4k UHD input.
When it matters: Streaming video, UHD Blu-rays, PC use.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
TCL 4 Series/S425 2019 4k Picture

Native 4k content has no issues.

7.2 Color Gamut
What it is: How many colors the TV can display.
When it matters: HDR content. Includes some streaming videos and UHD Blu-rays.
Score components:
Wide Color Gamut
What it is: Whether the TV has an option to enable wide color gamuts.
When it matters: HDR content. Includes some streaming videos and UHD Blu-rays.
:
No
TCL 4 Series/S425 2019 Color Gamut DCI-P3 Picture
DCI P3 xy
What it is: Coverage of the DCI P3 colorspace on CIE 1931 xy.
When it matters: DCI P3 content. Includes HDR, UHD Blu-rays.
Good value: > 90%
Noticeable difference: 5%
:
80.17 %
DCI P3 uv
What it is: Coverage of the DCI P3 colorspace on CIE 1976 u' v'.
When it matters: DCI P3 content. Includes HDR, UHD Blu-rays.
Good value: > 90%
Noticeable difference: 5%
:
86.24 %
TCL 4 Series/S425 2019 Color Gamut Rec.2020 Picture
Rec 2020 xy
What it is: Coverage of the Rec.2020 colorspace on CIE 1931 xy.
When it matters: Rec.2020 content. Includes HDR, UHD Blu-rays.
Good value: > 90%
Noticeable difference: 5%
:
57.74 %
Rec 2020 uv
What it is: Coverage of the Rec.2020 colorspace on CIE 1976 u' v'.
When it matters: Rec.2020 content. Includes HDR, UHD Blu-rays.
Good value: > 90%
Noticeable difference: 5%
:
63.53 %
TCL 4 Series/S425 2019 EOTF

The TCL S425 does not have 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 P3 colors are undersaturated. We assume that this happens because the TV is prioritizing brightness over color accuracy because it is 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 is dimmer than the PQ curve, and at about 50% stimulus gray it starts to roll off very early to smooth the transition to the TV's low peak brightness. The same performance is found in 'Game' mode 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 will result in this EOTF which is a little brighter than before.

6.3 Color Volume
What it is: How many colors a TV can display at different luminosity levels.
When it matters: HDR content. Includes some streaming videos, UHD Blu-rays and HDR games.
TCL 4 Series/S425 2019 P3 Color Volume ITP Picture
Normalized DCI P3 Coverage ITP
What it is: How much of the DCI-P3 colorspace a TV can display at different luminosity levels
When it matters: HDR content. Includes some streaming videos, UHD Blu-rays and HDR games.
Good value: 80%
Noticeable difference: 5%
:
70.9 %
10,000 cd/m² DCI P3 Coverage ITP
What it is: How much of the DCI-P3 colorspace a TV can display at different luminosity levels when compared to an ideal 10,000 nit TV
When it matters: HDR content. Includes some streaming videos, UHD Blu-rays and HDR games.
:
22.8 %
TCL 4 Series/S425 2019 2020 Color Volume ITP Picture
Normalized Rec 2020 Coverage ITP
What it is: How much of the Rec. 2020 colorspace a TV can display at different luminosity levels
When it matters: HDR content. Includes some streaming videos, UHD Blu-rays and HDR games.
Good value: 80 %
Noticeable difference: 5 %
:
55.7 %
10,000 cd/m² Rec 2020 Coverage ITP
What it is: How much of the Rec 2020 colorspace a TV can display at different luminosity levels when compared to an ideal 10,000 nit TV
When it matters: HDR content. Includes some streaming videos, UHD Blu-rays and HDR games.
:
17.8 %

The TCL 4-Series has mediocre color volume. The TV can't display very dark saturated colors. When the TV is trying to display bright P3 colors, the gamut narrows significantly, probably due to the TV's tone mapping prioritizing brightness over color accuracy because the TV is so dim.

8.3 Gradient
What it is: How finely levels of color can be displayed.
When it matters: Details in shadows, sky and skin tones. Matters more for HDR content.
TCL 4 Series/S425 2019 Gradient Picture
Color Depth
What it is: Number of bits per pixel to represent a specific color. Note: we consider 8-bit with dithering to be equivalent to 10-bit, as long as the 10-bit gradient looks smooth.
When it matters: HDR content like UHD Blu-ray players. Won't matter for cable TV, regular Blu-ray movies, video game consoles or content displayed from a Windows PC. Those are limited to 8-bit color.
Good value: 10-bit.
Noticeable difference: 1 bit.
:
10 Bit
Red (Std. Dev.)
What it is: The standard deviation of the color differences (dE) between subsequent 10 bit red shades.
When it matters: Details in skin tones, sunsets, and other reddish objects. Matters more for HDR content.
Good value: < 0.12 dE
Noticeable difference: 0.01 dE
:
0.099 dE
Green (Std. Dev.)
What it is: The standard deviation of the color differences (dE) between subsequent 10 bit green shades.
When it matters: Details in ocean shades and other greenish objects. Matters more for HDR content.
Good value: < 0.12 dE
Noticeable difference: 0.01 dE
:
0.109 dE
Blue (Std. Dev.)
What it is: The standard deviation of the color differences (dE) between subsequent 10 bit blue shades.
When it matters: Details in skies, water and other blueish objects. Matters more for HDR content.
Good value: < 0.12 dE
Noticeable difference: 0.01 dE
:
0.084 dE
Gray (Std. Dev.)
What it is: The standard deviation of the color differences (dE) between subsequent 10 bit gray shades.
When it matters: Details in dull colors, such as shadows, glow and urban scenes. Matters more for HDR content.
Good value: < 0.12 dE
Noticeable difference: 0.01 dE
:
0.109 dE

The gradient of the TCL S425 is very good. Very little banding is visible, especially in darker shades of green and gray, but nothing major. Overall, it performs slightly worse than last year's S405 and a little better than the Samsung NU7100.

10 Temporary Image Retention
What it is: How much a static image is retained on a TV screen after a certain amount of time.
When it matters: When watching TV show, playing video games or when using your TV as a PC monitor.
TCL 4 Series/S425 2019 Image Retention Picture
IR after 0 min recovery
What it is: Image retention measured right after the static image exposure, without recovery time.
When it matters: When changing channels while watching TV, right after changing the type of content (i.e. stopping playing video game to watch a movie) or changing input.
Good value: 0 is perfect.
Noticeable difference: 0.015%
:
0.00 %
IR after 2 min recovery
What it is: Image retention measured after a recovery time of 2 minutes.
When it matters: When changing channels while watching TV, right after changing the type of content (i.e. stopping playing video game to watch a movie) or changing input.
Good value: 0 is perfect
Noticeable difference: 0.015%
:
0.00 %
IR after 4 min recovery
What it is: Image retention measured after a recovery time of 4 minutes.
When it matters: When changing channels while watching TV, right after changing the type of content (i.e. stopping playing video game to watch a movie) or changing input.
Good value: 0 is perfect.
Noticeable difference: 0.015%
:
0.00 %
IR after 6 min recovery
What it is: Image retention measured after a recovery time of 6 minutes.
When it matters: When changing channels while watching TV, right after changing the type of content (i.e. stopping playing video game to watch a movie) or changing input.
Good value: 0 is perfect.
Noticeable difference: 0.015%
:
0.00 %
IR after 8 min recovery
What it is: Image retention measured after a recovery time of 8 minutes.
When it matters: When changing channels while watching TV, right after changing the type of content (i.e. stopping playing video game to watch a movie) or changing input.
Good value: 0 is perfect.
Noticeable difference: 0.015%
:
0.00 %
IR after 10 min recovery
What it is: Image retention measured after a recovery time of 10 minutes.
When it matters: When changing channels while watching TV, right after changing the type of content (i.e. stopping playing video game to watch a movie) or changing input.
Good value: 0 is perfect.
Noticeable difference: 0.015%
:
0.00 %

There is no temporary image retention on the TCL S425.

10 Permanent Burn-In Risk
What it is: The risk of developing a persistent image retention, also known as burn-in, after being exposed to a static image for a prolonged time
When it matters: When watching TV shows, playing video games or when using your TV as a PC monitor where static content is present
Score components:
Permanent Burn-In Risk
What it is: If the TV faces a risk of developing permanent burn-in after being expose, for a long period of time, to static images.
When it matters: When watching TV shows with static logos or banners (news or sports channels), when playing video games with a HUD (head up display), and when using a TV as a PC monitors.
:
No

We don't expect VA panels to experience permanent image retention, as the VA panel in our long-term test appears immune.

Pixels
What it is: The smallest element a screen can display is called a pixel. In color TVs, this consists of three (or more) subpixels. This is a picture of the TV's pixel structure.
When it matters: It can help explain some display behaviors and can provide an indication of whether two panels are the same or not.
6.8

Motion

The motion handling of the TCL S425 is decent. It has a very fast response time, so there is only a little blur behind fast-moving content. Below a certain brightness level, it uses PWM to dim the backlight, which might bother some people. There are no extra features to enhance motion handling, and unfortunately, the TV can only remove judder from true 24p sources.

8.9 Response Time
What it is: Amount of blur in fast motion.
When it matters: Sports, video games.
Score components:
TCL 4 Series/S425 2019 Motion Blur Picture TCL 4 Series/S425 2019 Response Time Chart
80% Response Time
What it is: How quickly pixels can reach 80% of a full transition from one color to another.
When it matters: Fast movement.
Good value: < 8 ms
Noticeable difference: 4 ms
:
4.7 ms
100% Response Time
What it is: How quickly pixels can fully transition from one color to another.
When it matters: Fast movement.
Good value: < 20 ms
Noticeable difference: 10 ms
:
12.1 ms

The response time of the S425 is excellent. Only a short trail follows fast-moving objects. In dark scenes, however, some smearing may be present due to the longer transition between darker shades, such as from 0% to 20%. Nonetheless, this is an improvement over last year's S405.

4.0 Flicker-Free
What it is: How noticeable flicker is on the screen, when all optional flicker has been disabled.
When it matters: All usages, but particularly when viewing fast motion (such as in sports and video games) or when using the TV as a PC monitor.
Score components:
TCL 4 Series/S425 2019 Backlight chart
Flicker-Free
What it is: Whether the screen will be perceived as having no flicker during normal viewing conditions.
When it matters: When flicker is especially bothersome, such as when using the TV as a PC monitor.
Good value: Yes
:
No
PWM Dimming Frequency
What it is: The flicker frequency of the screen, when all optional flicker has been disabled.
When it matters: All usages, but particularly when viewing fast motion (such as in sports and video games) or when using the TV as a PC monitor.
Good value: 0 Hz or very high frequencies (> 300 Hz). Frequencies that are multiples of 60Hz are better.
:
120 Hz

The TV uses PWM to dim the backlight, but only below 17/100 backlight setting. Backlight PWM dimming results in a 120Hz flicker which might bother some people. This is very different behavior than the TCL S405, which used PWM dimming throughout the entire range of its backlight levels.

5.4 Black Frame Insertion (BFI)
What it is: How effective the TV's flickering capabilities are in making motion look clearer, when flicker is desired.
When it matters: When flicker is desired by the user. Flicker is especially useful to make motion look clearer when viewing 60 fps content (sports, video games) and when using motion interpolation.
Optional BFI
What it is: Option to turn the screen black between frames.
When it matters: When flicker is desired by the user. Flicker is especially useful to make motion look clearer when viewing 60 fps content (sports, video games) and when using motion interpolation.
Good value: Yes
:
No
Min Flicker for 60 fps
What it is: Lowest possible frequency of flickering pattern when playing 60 fps content.
When it matters: When viewing fast motion such as sports and video games.
Good value: 60 Hz
Noticeable difference: 20 Hz
:
120 Hz
60 Hz for 60 fps
What it is: Whether the screen can flicker at 60 Hz when playing 60 fps content.
When it matters: When playing 60 fps content, such as sports and video games.
Good value: Yes
:
No
120 Hz for 120 fps
What it is: Whether the screen can flicker at 120 Hz when playing 120 fps content.
When it matters: When playing 120 fps content, such as when using motion interpolation on a 120 Hz TV.
Good value: Yes
:
N/A
Min Flicker for 60 fps in Game Mode
What it is: Lowest possible frequency of flickering pattern when playing 60 fps content in Game Mode.
When it matters: When playing video games with fast motion.
Good value: 60 Hz
Noticeable difference: 20 Hz
:
120 Hz

Just like last year's S405, the S425 can't reduce its flicker frequency to 60Hz to make the image look crisper. However, at lower brightness levels, its 120Hz PWM backlight does help somewhat to make motion look clearer.

0 Motion Interpolation
What it is: Also known as 'Soap Opera Effect'. It is an optional feature that increases the frame rate of the video, smoothing movement.
When it matters: If you like the look of smoothed video. Not everyone does.
Motion Interpolation (30 fps)
What it is: Whether the TV can take a 30 fps input and heighten the frame rate to at least 60 fps.
When it matters: 30 fps or lower videos. Includes movies, TV shows, some video games.
:
No
Motion Interpolation (60 fps)
What it is: Whether the TV can take a 60 fps input and heighten the frame rate to at least 100 fps.
When it matters: 60 fps videos. Includes some video games, some sports channels.
:
No

The S425, just like last year's S405, doesn't provide any motion interpolation feature.

7.2 Stutter
What it is: Jarring effect caused by static frame time during motion sequences
When it matters: When watching content with long panning shots and other smooth movement
Frame Hold Time @ 24 fps
What it is: Time that frame is static during 24Hz videos such as movies
When it matters: When watching movies and other low frame rate content which contain panning shots
Good value: < 24 ms
Noticeable difference: 5 ms
:
29.6 ms
Frame Hold Time @ 60 fps
What it is: Time that frame is static during 60 fps content such as TV shows
When it matters: When watching 60 fps content containing slow panning shots (such as field sports)
Good value: < 24 ms
Noticeable difference: 5 ms
:
4.6 ms

The TCL 4-Series has a little stutter due to the very fast response time that results in a higher frame hold time of 24p content, like movies. Unfortunately, the TV does not offer any option to help you reduce stutter.

5.6 24p Judder
What it is: Whether 24p content can play without any judder.
When it matters: Only 24p content (mostly just movies).
Judder-Free 24p
What it is: Judder-free movies over 24p signal.
When it matters: Blu-ray and DVD movies; 24 hz PC signal.
:
Yes
Judder-Free 24p via 60p
What it is: Judder-free movies over 60p signal.
When it matters: Movies from streaming devices (Apple TV, Fire TV, etc.); 60 hz PC signal.
:
No
Judder-Free 24p via 60i
What it is: Judder-free movies over 60i signal.
When it matters: Movies from cable/satellite boxes.
:
No
Judder-Free 24p via Native Apps
What it is: Judder-free movies when playing from native apps.
When it matters: Movies from streaming native apps (Netflix, Amazon TV, etc.).
:
No

Unfortunately, the TCL S425 can only remove judder from 24p movies when they are played from 24p sources like DVDs or Blu-rays. 24p movies played from 60p/60i sources like cable, satellite boxes, or even through the native apps will have some judder.

There is no specific feature or option to turn on so as to remove judder from 24p movies on 24p sources. The TV detects it and displays the movie properly.

0 Variable Refresh Rate
What it is: How frequently the TV can refresh and show new frames, and whether it can vary its refresh rate in real time using technologies like HDMI Forum's Variable Refresh Rate.
When it matters: Mostly for gaming, but does provide a little better motion during normal usage.
Native Refresh Rate
What it is: The out-of-the-box maximum refresh rate; how frequently the TV can refresh and show new frames.
When it matters: When playing content with a frame rate that matches the TV's refresh rate (ex. 60 fps on a 60 Hz TV, 120 fps on a 120 Hz TV), or when using the TV's motion interpolation feature (soap opera effect).
Good value: 60 Hz
:
60 Hz
Variable Refresh Rate
What it is: Feature that allows the TV to synchronize its refresh rate with the input device's output and reduces stuttering and screen tearing.
When it matters: Almost every usage, but is most noticeable when gaming where constant fluctuation in framerate cause distracting artifacts.
:
No
4k VRR Maximum
What it is: The maximum frequency covered by the Variable Refresh Rate feature of the TV when the input signal is 4k.
When it matters: Any time the VRR feature is enabled and 4k is sent.
Good value: Matches maximum refresh rate at 4k.
Noticeable difference: 10 Hz
:
N/A
4k VRR Minimum
What it is: The lowest frequency covered by the TV's Variable Refresh Rate feature when the input signal is 4k.
When it matters: When using the VRR feature of the TV at lower frame rates when sending a 4k signal.
Good value: 30 Hz
:
N/A
1080p VRR Maximum
What it is: The maximum frequency covered by the Variable Refresh Rate feature of the TV when the input signal is 1080p.
When it matters: Any time the VRR feature is enabled and 1080p is sent.
Good value: Matches maximum refresh rate at 1080p.
Noticeable difference: 10 Hz
:
N/A
1080p VRR Minimum
What it is: The lowest frequency covered by the TV's Variable Refresh Rate feature when the input signal is 1080p.
When it matters: When using the VRR feature of the TV at lower frame rates when sending a 1080p signal.
Good value: 30 Hz
:
N/A
VRR Supported Connectors
What it is: The inputs which support a variable refresh rate (eg. HDMI, DisplayPort)
When it matters: When gaming with different consoles or graphics cards.
:
N/A

The S425 has a 60Hz panel and does not support more advanced features such as FreeSync.

9.6

Inputs

Score components:

The S425 has a very low input lag that will please gamers. It supports the most common resolutions and can display proper chroma 4:4:4 as long as you set the input icon to 'Computer.' When you connect a PC to the TV, it automatically switches and locks to PC mode.

9.8 Input Lag
What it is: Delay between input and onscreen reaction.
When it matters: Video games; when TV is used as PC monitor.
1080p @ 60 Hz
What it is: Lowest input lag possible for a 1080p @ 60 Hz input signal.
When it matters: Gaming and PC use.
Good value: < 40 ms
Noticeable difference: 15 ms
:
12.9 ms
1080p @ 60 Hz Outside Game Mode
What it is: Lowest input lag possible for a 1080p @ 60 Hz input signal when in a fully featured picture mode.
When it matters: For gaming and PC use, while retaining access to all features of the TV.
Good value: < 40 ms
Noticeable difference: 15 ms
:
48.6 ms
1440p @ 60 Hz
What it is: Lowest input lag possible for a 1440p @ 60Hz input signal.
When it matters: Gaming and PC use.
Good value: < 40 ms
Noticeable difference: 15 ms
:
12.8 ms
4k @ 60 Hz
What it is: Lowest input lag possible for a 4k @ 60 Hz input signal.
When it matters: Gaming and PC use.
Good value: < 40 ms
Noticeable difference: 15 ms
:
13.0 ms
4k @ 60 Hz + HDR
What it is: Lowest input lag possible for a 4k @ 60 Hz + HDR input signal.
When it matters: Gaming and PC use in HDR.
Good value: < 40 ms
Noticeable difference: 15 ms
:
12.9 ms
4k @ 60 Hz @ 4:4:4
What it is: Lowest input lag possible when displaying 4k @ 60 Hz with proper full 4:4:4 chroma, without subsampling. For this test a 4k @ 60 Hz @ 4:4:4 signal is usually used, but a 4k @ 60 Hz @ Full RGB signal may be used if it's required for the TV to show proper 4:4:4 chroma subsampling.
When it matters: PC use and gaming where fine text display (ClearType) is needed.
Good value: < 40 ms
Noticeable difference: 15 ms
:
13.0 ms
4k @ 60 Hz Outside Game Mode
What it is: Lowest input lag possible for a 4k @ 60 Hz input signal when in a fully featured picture mode.
When it matters: For gaming and PC use, while retaining access to all features of the TV.
Good value: < 40 ms
Noticeable difference: 15 ms
:
29.7 ms
4k @ 60 Hz With Interpolation
What it is: Lowest input lag possible for a 4k @ 60 Hz input signal, when motion interpolation is turned on.
When it matters: When you want to play video games with motion interpolation (Soap Opera Effect) enabled.
Good value: < 40 ms
Noticeable difference: 15 ms
:
N/A
8k @ 60 Hz
What it is: Lowest input lag possible for an 8k @ 60Hz input signal.
When it matters: PC use.
Good value: < 40 ms
Noticeable difference: 15 ms
:
N/A
1080p @ 120 Hz
What it is: Lowest input lag possible for a 1080p @ 120 Hz input signal.
When it matters: Console gaming and PC gaming.
Good value: < 40 ms
Noticeable difference: 15 ms
:
N/A
1440p @ 120 Hz
What it is: Lowest input lag possible for a 1440p @ 120 Hz input signal.
When it matters: Console gaming and PC gaming.
Good value: < 40 ms
Noticeable difference: 15 ms
:
N/A
4k @ 120 Hz
What it is: Lowest input lag possible for a 4k @ 120 Hz input signal.
When it matters: Console gaming and PC gaming.
Good value: < 40 ms
Noticeable difference: 15 ms
:
N/A
1080p with Variable Refresh Rate
What it is: Lowest input lag possible for a 1080p input signal when using Variable Refresh Rate (FreeSync, etc).
When it matters: When gaming with a device that supports Variable Refresh Rate, such as the Xbox One X or a PC.
Good value: < 40 ms
Noticeable difference: 15 ms
:
N/A
1440p with VRR
What it is: Lowest input lag possible for a 1440p input signal when using Variable Refresh Rate (FreeSync, etc).
When it matters: When gaming with a device that supports Variable Refresh Rate, such as the Xbox One X or a PC.
Good value: < 40 ms
Noticeable difference: 15 ms
:
N/A
4k with VRR
What it is: Lowest input lag possible for a 4k input signal when using Variable Refresh Rate (FreeSync, etc).
When it matters: When gaming with a device that supports Variable Refresh Rate, such as the Xbox One X or a PC.
Good value: < 40 ms
Noticeable difference: 15 ms
:
N/A
8k with VRR
What it is: Lowest input lag possible for an 8k input signal when using Variable Refresh Rate (FreeSync, etc).
When it matters: When using a PC that supports Variable Refresh Rate.
Good value: < 40 ms
Noticeable difference: 15 ms
:
N/A
Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM)
What it is: Whether a source (such as a game console) can request the TV switch into a low latency mode (such as game mode).
When it matters: Console gaming; both PS4 and Xbox One S/X support ALLM.
:
Yes

The TCL S425 has excellent low input lag. To get the lowest input lag, you need to switch the Game Mode to 'On.' The Game Mode is available in all picture modes. During our test, there we times where we had to turn off the TV or disconnect and reconnect the HDMI to get the lowest input lag. We assume that this was due to an issue with the HDMI handshake. When we changed to 'Game Mode' it went to an in-between state that had a higher input lag. This should not be a common issue to most users.

When you connect a PC, it is always detected automatically, and you do not have to do anything special to display proper chroma subsampling 4:4:4. To display 4:4:4 through other sources, change the icon to Computer.

8.3 Supported Resolutions
What it is: Different resolutions supported by TV.
When it matters: PC monitor usage.
Score components:
  • 17% 1080p @ 60 Hz @ 4:4:4
  • 8% 1080p @ 120 Hz
  • 8% 1440p @ 60 Hz
  • 4% 1440p @ 120 Hz
  • 34% 4k @ 60 Hz
  • 25% 4k @ 60 Hz @ 4:4:4
  • 4% 8k @ 30 Hz or 24 Hz
1080p @ 60 Hz @ 4:4:4
What it is: Whether the TV can properly display a 1080p @ 60 Hz @ 4:4:4 signal sent from a physical input (HDMI, etc).
When it matters: ClearType text display for PC productivity and gaming with fine text.
:
Yes
1080p @ 120 Hz
What it is: Whether the TV can properly display a 1080p @ 120 Hz signal sent from a physical input (HDMI, etc).
When it matters: Console gaming and PC gaming.
:
No
1440p @ 60 Hz
What it is: Whether the TV can properly display a 1440p @ 60 Hz signal sent from a physical input (HDMI, etc).
When it matters: Gaming and PC use.
:
Yes (native support)
1440p @ 120 Hz
What it is: Whether the TV can properly display a 1440p @ 120 Hz signal sent from a physical input (HDMI, etc).
When it matters: Console gaming and PC gaming.
:
No
4k @ 60 Hz
What it is: Whether the TV can properly display a 4k @ 60 Hz signal sent from a physical input (HDMI, etc).
When it matters: 4k Blu-rays, gaming, PC use, etc.
:
Yes
4k @ 60 Hz @ 4:4:4
What it is: Whether the TV can properly display a 4k @ 60 Hz @ 4:4:4 signal sent from a physical input (HDMI, etc).
When it matters: ClearType text display for PC productivity and gaming with fine text.
:
Yes
4k @ 120 Hz
What it is: Whether the TV can properly display a 4k @ 120 Hz signal sent from a physical input (HDMI, etc).
When it matters: PC gaming.
:
No
8k @ 30 Hz or 24 Hz
What it is: Whether the TV can properly display an 8k @ 30 Hz or 24 Hz signal sent from a physical input (HDMI, etc).
When it matters: PC use.
:
No
8k @ 60 Hz
What it is: Whether the TV can properly display an 8k @ 60 Hz signal sent from a physical input (HDMI, etc).
When it matters: PC use.
:
No

The TCL S425 supports most common resolutions at 60Hz, but it can't display any resolution at 120Hz. Chroma 4:4:4 works properly with a PC even if the icon on the input is not set to 'computer.' For other sources, change the icon to 'computer.'

To set an HDMI port to full bandwidth 2.0, follow this sequence: Settings > TV Inputs > HMDI1 (for port 1) > HDMI Mode > HDMI 2.0.

When you connect a PC, the TV switches automatically to PC mode. There is no way to use the TV with a PC and be outside of PC mode.

Input Photos
Total Inputs
HDMI : 3
USB : 1
Digital Optical Audio Out : 1
Analog Audio Out 3.5mm : 1
Analog Audio Out RCA : 0
Component In : 0
Composite In : 1 (incl. adapter)
Tuner (Cable/Ant) : 1
Ethernet : 1
DisplayPort : 0
IR In : 0
SD/SDHC : 0
Inputs Specifications
HDR10
What it is: Standard HDR format.
When it matters: Most common format. All UHD Blu-ray discs are required to have it.
:
Yes
HDR10+
What it is: Enhanced version of HDR10, adds dynamic metadata like that found in Dolby Vision.
When it matters: When playing HDR10+ content, such as from Amazon Video and some Blu-ray disks.
:
No
Dolby Vision
What it is: Better format, due to its dynamic nature.
When it matters: Dolby Vision mastered content. Current available from streaming services (Netflix, Amazon Video), some Blu-Ray players, the Apple TV 4k and ChromeCast Ultra.
:
No
HLG
What it is: HLG or Hybrid Log Gamma is a broadcast HDR format.
When it matters: HLG capable sources such as Youtube or OTA broadcasts in specific regions. Backwards compatible with SDR TVs.
:
No
3D
What it is: Optional 3D video capability on TV.
When it matters: 3D movies & videos.
:
No
HDMI 2.0 Full Bandwidth
What it is: HDMI 2.0 is the main used HDMI standard and supports a range of video resolutions and refresh rates up to 4k@60Hz, with a total maximum bandwidth up to 18Gbps.
:
Yes (HDMI 1,2,3)
HDMI 2.1
What it is: Whether the manufacturer advertises HDMI 2.1 support.
When it matters: When using an HDMI 2.1 source that takes advantage of its new features.
:
No
CEC : Yes
HDCP 2.2 : Yes (HDMI 1,2,3)
USB 3.0
What it is: USB 3.0 is the latest USB standard which can transfer data up to 5 Gbit/s, and is easily recognizable due to its blue color-coding of the connector.
:
No
Variable Analog Audio Out : Yes
Wi-Fi Support : Yes (2.4 GHz, 5 GHz)

The S425 supports CEC, but we were unable to make it work with our Blu-ray player.

Audio Passthrough
What it is: Whether the specific audio format (ex. Dolby Digital) can be sent by the source, pass through the TV, and be re-sent to an audio sink (such as a receiver) with all its functionality intact.
When it matters: When playing surround sound using a receiver or soundbar, from a source that is connected to the TV.
ARC
What it is: Audio Return Channel (ARC) enables a TV to transmit, via an HDMI cable, audio data to an A/V receiver, without the need for any extra audio cables.
When it matters: When connecting your audio/video receiver directly to your TV via an HDMI cable.
:
Yes (HDMI 3)
eARC support
What it is: Whether the TV supports Enhanced Audio Return Channel (eARC).
When it matters: Passthrough of Dolby Atmos/TrueHD and DTS-HD MA / DTS:X .
:
No
Dolby Atmos via TrueHD via eARC
What it is: Whether the TV can receive and pass a Dolby Atmos signal to a receiver via HDMI eARC, when Dolby TrueHD is used as the carrier signal.
When it matters: Blu-rays and video games with Dolby Atmos audio.
:
No
DTS:X via DTS-HD MA via eARC
What it is: Whether the TV can receive and pass a DTS:X signal to a receiver via HDMI eARC, when DTS-HD MA is used as the carrier signal.
When it matters: Blu-rays and video games with DTS:X audio.
:
No
5.1 Dolby Digital via ARC
What it is: Whether the TV can receive and pass a Dolby Digital 5.1 signal to a receiver via HDMI ARC.
When it matters: 5.1 audio on DVDs, Blu-rays and video games.
:
Yes
5.1 DTS via ARC
What it is: Whether the TV can receive and pass a DTS 5.1 signal to a receiver via HDMI ARC.
When it matters: 5.1 audio on DVDs, Blu-rays and video games.
:
Yes
5.1 Dolby Digital via Optical
What it is: Whether the TV can receive and pass a Dolby Digital 5.1 signal to a receiver via digital optical (Toslink).
When it matters: 5.1 audio on DVDs, Blu-rays and video games.
:
Yes
5.1 DTS via Optical
What it is: Whether the TV can receive and pass a DTS 5.1 signal to a receiver via digital optical (Toslink).
When it matters: 5.1 audio on DVDs, Blu-rays and video games.
:
Yes

If you wish to enable Dolby over ARC, you must select the Dolby D/DTS setting.

6.3

Sound Quality

What it is: How well and accurately the audio is reproduced.
When it matters: When a good and accurate sound reproduction is needed.
Score components:

The TCL has a mediocre sound. It can't get very loud but is able to produce clear and intelligible dialogue. Unfortunately, its bass is lacking and doesn't have any body or thump to it. The TCL S425 has no room correction system but its distortion performance is decent. For a better sound, dedicated speakers or soundbars are recommended.

6.2 Frequency Response
What it is: How accurately the sound level of each frequency is being produced.
When it matters: For a balanced and neutral sound.
TCL 4 Series/S425 2019 Frequency Response
Low-Frequency Extension
What it is: The lowest frequency at which the frequency response reaches -3dB of the target response.
When it matters: Movies, Gaming. Shows how extended the bass is.
Good value: < 60Hz
Noticeable difference: 10Hz
:
134.54 Hz
Std. Dev. @ 70
What it is: The amount of deviation (weighted standard deviation) in frequency response measured at 70dB SPL, as compared to a target response that would sound perfectly balanced to most people.
When it matters: Shows the TV's frequency response at quiet listening levels
Good value: < 4 dB
Noticeable difference: 0.5 dB
:
3.19 dB
Std. Dev. @ 80
What it is: The amount of deviation (weighted standard deviation) in frequency response measured at 80dB SPL, as compared to a target response that would sound perfectly balanced to most people.
When it matters: Shows the TV's frequency response at moderate listening levels
Good value: < 4 dB
Noticeable difference: 0.5 dB
:
3.20 dB
Std. Dev. @ Max
What it is: The amount of deviation (weighted standard deviation) in frequency response measured with the TV at maximum volume, as compared to a target response that would sound perfectly balanced to most people.
When it matters: Shows the TV's frequency response at under maximum load
Good value: < 4 dB
Noticeable difference: 2 dB
:
5.27 dB
Max
What it is: Maximum volume reached by the TV at their optimum viewing distance (size dependent)
When it matters: For listening to loud audio.
Good value: > 88 dB
Noticeable difference: 2 dB
:
86.2 dB SPL
Dynamic Range Compression
What it is: The amount of difference between the TVs frequency response performance at 70dB SPL and Max dB SPL. Too much compression will result in pumping in the sound.
When it matters: When an accurate and free-of-pumping performance is required at higher volumes
Good value: < 3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.5
:
3.80 dB

The S425 has a mediocre frequency response. LFE (low-frequency extension) is at 135Hz, which is poor. This means that this TV won't have any thump or punch to its bass. The response above the LFE point is good, so dialogue will be clear and intelligible. It can get reasonably loud, but not loud enough for noisy environments.

6.6 Distortion
What it is: Deformation of an output signal compared to its input, usually clipping, harmonic distortion, or inter-modulation distortion caused by non-linear behavior of the sound system.
When it matters: When a clean, pure and transparent reproduction is desired.
Score components:
TCL 4 Series/S425 2019 Total Harmonic Distortion
Weighted THD @ 80
What it is: The overall amount of harmonic distortion measured at 80dB SPL. To make the score more perceptually relevant, more weight is given to the higher frequencies.
When it matters: How pure the sound is at moderate listening levels.
Good value: < 0.100
Noticeable difference: 0.100
:
0.215
Weighted THD @ Max
What it is: The overall amount of harmonic distortion measured at the TV's maximum SPL. To make the score more perceptually relevant, more weight is given to the higher frequencies.
When it matters: How pure the sound is at moderate listening levels.
Good value: < 0.100
Noticeable difference: 0.100
:
0.764
IMD @ 80
What it is: The average amount of inter-modulation distortion produced by the TV under maximum load. The percentage shown here is the average result of 3 separate test signals/standards: SMPTE, DIN, & CCIF
When it matters: When a clean and free of aliasing reproduction is desired
Good value: < 5%
Noticeable difference: 2
:
3.73 %
IMD @ Max
What it is: The average amount of inter-modulation distortion produced by the TV under maximum load. The percentage shown here is the average result of 3 separate test signals/standards: SMPTE, DIN, & CCIF
When it matters: When a clean and free of aliasing reproduction is desired
Good value: < 5%
Noticeable difference: 2
:
14.73 %

The distortion performance of the TCL S425 is decent. Although it won't be noticeable in most cases, the TCL S324 has a relatively elevated amount of distortion. However, the jump in THD at max volume is not very large, which is good.

7.5

Smart Features

Score components:
  • 42% Interface
  • 2% Ad-Free
  • 37% Apps and Features
  • 16% Remote
  • 3% Remote App
TCL 4 Series/S425 2019 Smart TV Picture
Smart OS : Roku TV
Version : 9.0

The TCL 4-Series runs the Roku TV Smart OS. It is very easy to use and runs smoothly without issues. Unfortunately, there are ads from which you can not opt out.  It has a very large number of apps, that Roku calls 'Streaming Channels,' where you'll find what you need. The remote is very basic, but the remote app offers some neat features like voice control.

8.0 Interface
What it is: The usability, features and performance of the main interface of the TV, not including the interfaces of the apps themselves.
When it matters: Anytime when using the TV, but especially when changing settings and using apps.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
Ease of Use
What it is: How easy the interface is to navigate, affected by the organization of its layout, placing frequently accessed elements in areas that are faster to access, etc.
When it matters: When using the smart features.
:
Easy
Smoothness
What it is: How smooth the interface is to navigate, affected by lag and frame drops.
When it matters: When using the smart features.
:
Very Smooth
Time Taken to Select YouTube
What it is: How long it takes to select YouTube for launch, starting from HDMI 1 input, when YouTube is placed first on the list of apps or added as a shortcut. This does not include app launch time, and does not use a fixed YouTube button on a remote. This serves as an indication of the time needed to select any app.
When it matters: When launching any app.
:
4 s
Time Taken to Change Backlight
What it is: The time it takes to navigate to the 'Backlight' setting ('Brightness' on Sony TVs). This serves as an indication of how long it takes to navigate to basic TV settings.
When it matters: When changing TV settings.
:
4 s
Advanced Options
What it is: Whether advanced options and settings are available, such as color calibration.
When it matters: When customizing the TV and using the smart features.
:
Many

The Roku interface is very responsive, with smooth animations and almost no lag. The navigation menu is easy to use. However, nearly all navigation must pass through the home menu, which can be tiring at times.

0 Ad-Free
What it is: Whether or not ads can be found on the TV's smart platform.
When it matters: When using the smart features.
Score components:
Ads
What it is: Whether the TV's main interface has ads. This does take into account ads in third-party apps.
When it matters: When using the smart features.
:
Yes
Opt-out
What it is: Whether or not you can opt out of all ads. A TV only passes this test if it allows you to remove them completely, not just disable the personalized advertising.
When it matters: When using the smart features.
:
No
Suggested Content in Home
What it is: Whether suggested content appears in the TV's home menu or main menu. Suggested content can include recommended movies, TV shows, YouTube videos etc.
:
Yes
Opt-out of Suggested Content
What it is: Whether the suggested content feed in the home menu can be removed or hidden
:
No

We saw no ads during our testing, but the TCL TVs are known to have ads as you can see on the S405. You can opt out of personalized ads, but you will still get ads that are not targeted. To opt out of personalized ads, you must enable the 'Limit ad tracking' option in the Advertising menu.

8.0 Apps and Features
What it is: The usability, features and performance of apps and other smart features.
When it matters: Only when using smart features such as apps, casting and USB playback.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
TCL 4 Series/S425 2019 Apps Picture
App Selection
What it is: The number and variety of apps available to download for the smart platform.
When it matters: When downloading new apps.
:
Many
App Smoothness
What it is: How smooth it feels to navigate the interfaces of apps, affected by lag and frame drops.
When it matters: When using apps.
:
Average
Cast Capable
What it is: Whether apps on a phone or tablet can cast content to the TV.
:
Yes
USB Drive Playback
What it is: Whether the TV can play content from a drive connected to one of the TV's USB ports.
:
Yes
USB Drive HDR Playback
What it is: Whether HDR files played from a USB drive can be displayed properly.
:
Yes
HDR in Netflix
What it is: Whether HDR content on Netflix can be played back in HDR using the native Netflix app.
:
Yes
HDR in YouTube
What it is: Whether HDR content on YouTube can be played in HDR using the native YouTube app.
:
Yes

The TCL S425 has a very large number of apps. The Roku interface calls its apps 'Streaming Channels,' but they work like normal apps. It is a very versatile interface that allows you to do many things like casting from your phone or playback from a USB, among other things.

6.0 Remote
What it is: The usability and features of the TV's physical remote.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
TCL 4 Series/S425 2019 Remote Picture
Size
What it is: How big the remote is
:
Small
Voice Control
What it is: The capabilities of the TV's voice control feature
:
No
CEC Menu Control
What it is: Whether the remote can act as a universal remote for HDMI CEC enabled devices. This was tested on our Samsung UBD-K8500 4K Blu-ray player, and may not be valid for other CEC devices as implementations vary by manufacturer.
:
No
Other Smart Features
What it is: Whether the remote has any other smart features, such as a pointer, universal remote support for non HDMI CEC devices, etc.
:
No

The remote is very basic. It has the basic navigation buttons and 4 dedicated app buttons. The volume controls are on the side of the remote and can be hard to find the first time.

8.0 Remote App
What it is: The features of the official phone and tablet app for the TV.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
TCL 4 Series/S425 2019 Remote App Picture
Acts as the Remote
What it is: Whether the remote app can emulate all the buttons of the physical remote.
:
Yes
Directly Launches Apps and Inputs
What it is: Whether the remote app can directly launch the TV's apps and change between its inputs, without requiring any interaction with menus on the TV.
:
Both
Inputs Text in YouTube
What it is: Whether the remote app can enter text for YouTube searches.
:
No
Inputs Text in Netflix
What it is: Whether the remote app can enter text for Netflix searches.
:
Yes
Streams Device Files
What it is: Whether the remote app can stream files from the phone or tablet to the TV, files such as pictures, music and video.
:
Yes
Controls TV Settings
What it is: Whether the app can change all or some of the settings on the TV, such as the backlight.
:
Some
Voice Control
What it is: Whether the remote can send voice commands to the TV.
:
Limited Support

The Roku remote app is very versatile. It acts as a remote, allows you to stream files to the TV, and even allows you to control certain features of the TV with your voice. You can open YouTube or Netflix but you can't search for specific content.

TV Controls
TCL 4 Series/S425 2019 Controls Picture

The TV controls are located on the underside in the center of the TV, under the TCL logo and far back. The functionality is limited, and you can only power on or turn off the TV, change input source, and adjust the volume.

In The Box
TCL 4 Series/S425 2019 In The Box Picture

  • Manual
  • Batteries
  • Remote
  • Composite In Adapter

Misc
Power Consumption : 42 W
Power Consumption (Max) : 73 W
Firmware : 9.0.0 build 4151-30

Differences between Sizes and Variants

We tested the 43" (43S425). For the most part, we expect our review to be valid for the 49" (49S425), 50" (50S425), 55" (55S425), 65" (65S425), and 75" (75S425) versions. 

If someone comes across a different type of panel or if their TCL S425 (4-Series) doesn't correspond to our review, let us know and we will update the review.

Some retailers also sell the S423 and S421. We don't expect any significant differences between the S425, S423, and S421, but there may be some minor cosmetic and technical differences we are not aware of. We have noticed that the specifications for the VESA mount hole pattern on the TCL website for the 65" models are not the same for the S425, the S423, and the S421. As we have only bought the 43" S425, so we can't be sure about those models. If you find any differences in the S423 or S421, please let us know in the discussions down below.  

Size S425 Variant VESA Mount S423 Variant VESA Mount S421 Variant VESA Mount
43" 43S425 100 x 100 43S423 100 x 100 43S421 100 x 100
49" 49S425 200 x 200        
50" 50S425 200 x 200 50S423 200 x 200    
55" 55S425 200 x 200 55S423 200 x 200 55S421 200 x 200
65" 65S425 400 x 200 65S423 200 x 200 65S421 200 x 200
75" 75S425 300 x 300 75S423 300 x 300    

The 43" TCL S425 we tested was manufactured in Jan. 2019.

Compared to other TVs

TCL 4 Series/S425 2019 Group Shot Picture
Top left: TCL S325 (40S325). Bottom left: TCL (43S405). Middle: TCL S425 (43S425). Top right: Vizio  V Series 2019 (V505-G9). Bottom right: Samsung RU7100 (UN55RU7100).  Unlike our other photographs, this picture wasn't taken under a controlled environment, so do not draw conclusions from it.

The TCL S425 is a decent TV that can deliver decent picture quality and is equipped with great smart features. See our recommendations for the best budget TVs and the best smart TVs.

TCL S Series/S405 4k 2018
43" 49" 55" 65"

The TCL S Series S405 4k and the TCL 4 Series S425 have very similar performance. The TCL S425 has marginally higher contrast ratio, which is great for watching movies in a dark room, and a slightly lower input lag, which is good for playing video games. The S405, on the other hand, can remove 24p judder from the native apps.

Vizio E Series 2018
43" 50" 55" 65" 70" 75"

The Vizio E Series 2018 is better than the TCL S425. The Vizio can get much brighter and has a local dimming feature to improve dark room performance. It also includes an optional black frame insertion feature that can help make motion crisper. The TCL S425 has a lower input lag which is great for playing video games.

LG UK6300
43" 49" 50" 55" 65"

These are two different types of TVs. If you have a bright room with a wide seating arrangement, then the LG UK6300 is a better choice as it can get brighter and has wide viewing angles thanks to its IPS panel. The TCL S425, on the other hand, is more suitable if you watch movies in a dark room and you sit straight in front. The TCL S425 has deeper blacks thanks to the higher native contrast ratio. The LG UK6300 has an optional motion interpolation feature to please soap opera effect fans.

Samsung RU7100
43" 50" 55" 58" 65" 75"

The Samsung RU7100 is somewhat better than the TCL S425. The Samsung RU7100 can get brighter and is more suitable for a bright room. It also incorporates a motion interpolation feature to please the soap opera effect fans. The TCL S425, on the other hand, can remove 24p judder from native 24p sources and has a faster response time that can deliver a crisper image.

Conclusion
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

7.3Mixed Usage
What it is: General purpose. The TV will be used for a variety of content and usages. Movies at night, TV shows during the day, video games from time to time, etc.
Score components:
The S425 is a decent TV for mixed usage. It has a decent picture quality but can't get very bright, so it is 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 is very responsive, suitable for gaming or use as a PC monitor.
6.4Movies
What it is: Movies in the dark. The TV will be used for watching movies in a controlled environment, directly in front, in a home theater way. Mostly only high quality content, like Blu-rays, UHD Blu-rays, streaming and a little bit of HDR.
Score components:
This is a mediocre TV for watching movies. The native contrast ratio is excellent, and the TV can display deep blacks in a dark room. Unfortunately, it lacks local dimming to further improve dark room performance, and its black uniformity is just okay. The TV cannot remove 24p judder from all sources, and this might bother movie enthusiasts.
7.0TV Shows
What it is: TV Shows in a bright living room. The TV will be used in to watch TV shows, in a bright room during the day, from multiple viewing positions at different angles. The content watched has an average quality: cable, streaming, SD channels, etc.
Score components:
The TCL 4 Series S425 is a decent TV for watching TV shows. It has good reflection handling, but unfortunately, it can't get very bright to fight glare, so it is more suitable for dim rooms. It has poor viewing angles, and you have to sit straight in front to enjoy the most accurate picture quality. It has decent gray uniformity but lacks motion interpolation to please the soap opera effect fans.
7.1Sports
What it is: Sports in a living room. The TV will be used to watch sports during the day, like football or hockey. Usually watched with a group, so from multiple viewing position.
The TCL 4-Series is a decent TV for watching sports. It has a fast response time, so fast-moving content has only a small blur trail. It can handle reflections well, but it cannot get bright enough for a bright room. Unfortunately, the viewing angles are poor, and if you're watching a game with a group of friends, those watching from the side will not enjoy the same accurate image as those sitting directly in front. Finally, some sports fans might be bothered by the amount of dirty screen effect this TV has.
8.4Video Games
What it is: Video games. The TV will be used to play video games, directly in front, in a controlled light environment. Usually fast games, like online FPS, where motion blur and input lag is important.
The TCL 4-Series is a great TV for playing video games. It has an excellent low input lag, supports most common resolutions, and the response time is fast so fast-moving objects have only a small blur trail. Unfortunately, the TV lacks more advanced features like FreeSync support, that are important to competitive gamers. On the upside, it is a very responsive TV, one of the best in its category.
6.6HDR Movies
What it is: HDR Movies and TV shows. The TV will be used to watch 4k UHD HDR content, with a wide color gamut and a high peak brightness. Either via UHD Blu-rays or HDR streaming.
Score components:
Watching HDR movies on the TCL S425 is decent. The TV has excellent native contrast ratio with deep blacks but lacks a local dimming feature to make dark room performance even better. It can't get bright enough in HDR to deliver HDR content with highlights that pop. Finally, it does not have a wide color gamut, so it can't display a full set of vivid colors to improve HDR performance.
7.9HDR Gaming
What it is: HDR Gaming. The TV will be used to play HDR video games using consoles that support it or on current generation gaming PCs. Xbox One S, PS4 Pro, GTX 10 series and AMD RX series graphics cards.
This is a good TV to play HDR games. 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 the TV is not very good as it can't get very bright and it does not have a wide color gamut, and thus lacks the means to deliver a great HDR picture.
8.1PC Monitor
What it is: PC Monitor. The TV will be used as a PC monitor, from 2-3 feet away, either for productivity purposes or gaming. Sharp text is important, as well as a high resolution.
Score components:
The TCL S425 is a great 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 very fast and leaves only a small blur trail behind a fast-moving object. Unfortunately, the viewing angles are poor, and you will have some uniformity issues on the sides of the screen.

LOG IN

JOIN RTINGS.com

Be part of the most informed community and take advantage of our advanced tools to find the best product for your needs.
Join our mailing list:

Create Discussion