The TCL FS3800 Series 1080p LED is a basic TV with an average picture quality. It cannot get very bright, has average screen uniformity and the motion could be better. When viewed from the side, its picture also degrades quickly. The Roku smart features are great though.
The TCL FS3800 has a bland design. Its lines are a little sharper than on other TCL Roku TVs but its thickness is still a little exaggerated around the back. All of the parts are plastic.
The picture quality of the FS3800 is average. The TV does not support HDR. There are very limited options to adjust the color settings on the FS3800, however the out-of-box colors should be fine for most people. Lower quality sources such as DVDs and cable TV perform well. It cannot get very bright to deal with ambient light or to distinguish highlights. The picture quality degrades significantly even when viewed from a slight angle.
The native contrast ratio provides good performance in dark scenes.
The peak brightness is not good. The TV should not be used in a bright room such as a living room. The lack of local dimming results in a consistent brightness at all window sizes.
This TV does not support HDR.
The gray uniformity is about average, however the edges of the screen are noticeably darker with some faint banding present. The dirty screen effect will be slightly visible when panning across a sports field.
The viewing angle is extremely limited, and only suitable for viewing from directly in front.
Update: We have changed the methodology of testing. Since this is an old TV which we don't have anymore, we extrapolated the results.
The black uniformity is very good, with almost no visible flashlighting or clouding.
The gradient displayed on the FS3800 is very good, and 8 bit gradations cannot be seen. There are slight tints visible in the gray band but this should not be a problem for watching content.
Out of the box, the white balance dE is high and the colors are off, this shouldn't be a problem for most people as you will most likely not notice the issues. Thankfully, the gamma doesn't have too many issues.
The TCL FS3800 doesn't have a wide range of colors and as such will only be enough for Rec. 709 content.
The color volume is poor. This TV can't produce very saturated colors regardless of the brightness level.
The screen can produce reflections that appear large and diffused. It is still possible to see through some of the reflections if they aren't too bright.
Like the Sony W650D, the panel inside the TCL FS3800 has an horizontal pixel substructure which results in a very narrow horizontal viewing angle but slightly better vertical angle.
The TCL FS3800 is average at handling fast moving objects, with a faint amount of motion blur that would be visible. There is no judder when watching movies via blu-ray or DVDs, but may be when playing movies via a set top box. There are no motion interpolation features.
There are a few issues with the response time of this TV. The transition from 0% to 100% takes about 65 ms, and there is overshoot present in all transitions. Thankfully, the trail behind the motion blur logo isn't too long and is faint. The backlight of the TV is flicker free.
There are no options to reduce or remove judder for 24p content. 24hz signals are displayed without judder but it is still visible for 24p content sent over 60p and 60i.
There are no motion interpolation features on the FS3800.
The input lag is quite low, which is good. It does not support a wide range of signals due to the limited frame rate of up to 60Hz and lack of support for full color information. When viewing documents or web pages the text is not as defined as it could be.
There is low input lag, which should not be noticeable to most people. The game mode setting did not affect the measured input lag with the Leo Bodnar tool.
The TCL FS3800 does not support signals at more than 60Hz, or with Chroma 4:4:4. It is not recommended as a PC monitor as text is not well defined.
The sound of the TCL FS3800 is terrible, much worse than on most TVs. It lacks bass and max volume is still fairly low. Distortion is also omnipresent. Any budget sound bar would be an improvement over the the TV speakers.
Note: Sound Quality test for TVs reviewed before 2017 was performed at 75dB, 85dB, and Max SPL. Starting 2017, the target SPL levels have been changed to 70dB, 80dB, and Max dB SPL.
Poor performance overall. Low-end cutoff, maximum volume and frequency response are all poor. There may also be pumping and compression present under heavy load.
Poor distortion performance. The overall amount of harmonic distortion is decent at low listening volumes, however, there is a noticeable rise in distortion at moderate and especially loud listening volumes.
The TCL FS3800 offers a genuine smart interface. It's integration with Roku will allow the user to have access to an endless supply of applications, and to a very reliable smart platform that will be frequently updated. The interface was also quick and responsive. In terms of inputs, the TV offers a reasonable amount of ports, which will be great to plug all your devices in, it also offers USB 3.0 that will have faster transfer speeds for those who plan on plugging a hard drive to the TV.
We tested the 40" (40FS3800). For the most part, we expect our review to be valid for the 50" (50FS3800). The 32 inch version (32S3800) has a 720p resolution.
If someone comes across a different type of panel or if their TCL FS3800 doesn't correspond to our review, let us know and we will update the review.
The TCL FS3800 is an average 1080p TV in a crowded market. Some other TVs offer better picture quality either in other sizes or slightly higher prices. The TCL FS3800 is then hard to recommend.