The TCL S4/S470G is an entry-level 4k TV released in 2023. It's part of the TCL S4 series of budget TVs, which offer a limited selection of extra features but are available in a wide variety of sizes. It's similar to the TCL S4/S450G, which is a lower-end model with a different panel. Powered by the Google TV smart interface, there's a plethora of streaming apps available and the smart interface is feature-packed and easy to use.
The TCL S470G is a mediocre TV overall. It's best suited for watching shows or gaming in a moderately-lit room with a wide seating arrangement, as it doesn't look good in a dark room. It has a low contrast ratio, low peak brightness, and no local dimming feature, so it's not very versatile. It has low input lag and an okay response time, so it's okay for gaming. It supports HDR, but there's no point, as this adds next to nothing to this TV as it can't get bright enough to bring out bright specular highlights.
The TCL S470G Series is an okay TV for watching shows, but only in a moderately-lit room. It has decent reflection handling but very low peak brightness, so it can't handle glare in a bright room. It has a wide viewing angle, so it's an acceptable choice for a wide seating arrangement. It also has a wide array of smart features, including access to a huge selection of streaming apps, so you can easily find your favorite shows.
The TCL S470G is a mediocre choice for watching sports. Its wide viewing angle makes it an acceptable choice for a wide seating arrangement or if you want to watch the big game with a large group of friends. It can't get very bright, though, so despite its decent reflection handling, it's not a good choice for a bright living room. It has an okay response time, so fast-motion in sports is clear overall, but there's some blur behind fast-moving objects. It also has bad sound quality, so it's best to pair it with a soundbar or audio receiver for parties.
The TCL S470G is an okay choice for gaming, but only in a moderately-lit room. It has fantastic low input lag, ensuring a responsive gaming experience with minimal delay between your actions on your controller and what you see on the screen. It doesn't support advanced gaming features like VRR, though, and it can't get very bright, so it's best used in a moderately-lit room. It also looks bad in a dark room due to its low contrast ratio and lack of a local dimming feature.
The TCL S470G is a disappointing TV for watching movies, especially if you're in a dark room. It has a low contrast ratio, sub-par black uniformity, and no local dimming feature, so dim scenes are washed out and patchy. It was a wide color gamut, so colors are vivid and realistic, but it can't get very bright, and highlights don't stand out at all.
The TCL S470G is an okay TV for gaming in HDR, but mainly due to its gaming performance and low input lag. It feels very responsive, as there's very little delay between your actions on your controller and the action on-screen, and it has an okay response time with just a bit of blur behind fast-moving objects. HDR adds almost nothing, though, as it can't get very bright and lacks a local dimming feature to improve its dynamic range.
The TCL S470G is just okay for use as a PC monitor. It displays chroma 4:4:4 properly, which is essential for clear text from a PC, and it has low input lag so your mouse movements feel responsive. It has an okay response time, with just a bit of blur behind fast-moving objects. It also has a wide viewing angle, so the sides of the screen remain uniform when you're sitting close to the screen. On the other hand, it can't get very bright, so glare is distracting if you're in a bright room.
We bought and tested the 50-inch TCL S470G, which is part of the TCL S4 lineup, and these results are also valid for the 43-, 55-, 58-, 65-, 70-, 75, and 85-inch sizes. There are a few different models in TCL's S4 series, which share a similar design but slightly different features and picture quality. The TCL S450G is very similar to this one but has a different panel with much better contrast, a worse viewing angle, and a narrower color gamut. All sizes perform the same, but the 75-inch and 85-inch models have slightly different stands and an additional USB port.
Our unit was manufactured in May 2023; you can see the label here.
The TCL S470G is a very basic entry-level TV with very few additional features and poor picture quality. Its main selling feature is its wide color gamut, which is uncommon for a TV in this price range. Unless you only care about vivid colors, pretty much any other budget TV is a better choice than this one overall, and most competing models offer a wider range of extra features.
The Hisense A6/A65K is much better than the TCL S4/S470G. The Hisense delivers much better picture quality thanks to its better contrast, higher peak brightness, and better accuracy. The Hisense also has better motion handling with less blur behind fast-moving objects. The TCL has a wider viewing angle, but the Hisense is still a better choice, even if you have a wide seating arrangement.
The LG UR8000 is significantly better than the TCL S4/S470G. The LG delivers much better picture quality, with better contrast, higher peak brightness, and better handling of low-quality content. The LG also has better motion handling, with less blur behind fast-moving objects. The TCL has a wider viewing angle, but the LG is still a better choice, even if you have a wide seating arrangement.
The Hisense A6H and the TCL S4/S470G are pretty similar overall, but the TCL is slightly better. They deliver a very similar viewing experience, and both models look best in moderately-lit rooms, as they have low peak brightness and terrible contrast. The TCL has a much wider color gamut thanks to its PFS Phosphor coating, so HDR content looks more vivid and realistic, whereas the Hisense looks dull.
In an odd twist, the lower-end TCL S4/S450G is better than the higher-end TCL S4/S470G. The S450G delivers much better picture quality, with a much higher contrast ratio, resulting in better dark room performance. The S470G has a wider color gamut, so HDR content looks a bit better, and it has a wide viewing angle, which is great if you have a wide seating arrangement. Despite these improvements, the overall picture quality and viewing experience on the S450G is better.
The TCL S470G is identical to the TCL S450G. It has a simple design that doesn't look very premium. The bezels are thin and not distracting, but the rest of the TV looks a bit cheap.
The V-shaped feet are set near the ends of the TV, so you'll need a large cabinet for the larger sizes if you're not planning on wall-mounting the TV, and there's no narrow position. The feet don't lift the TV very high, so most soundbars won't fit in front of it without blocking a portion of the screen.
Footprint of the 50" stand: 37.8" x 10.1" x 2.5"
The back of the TV is very plain and looks cheap. The inputs are housed in a larger section of the back, near the center of the TV, so they're difficult to access if the TV is wall-mounted. There's no cable management.
The TCL S470G has mediocre build quality. The materials used feel cheap, as it's mostly made of cheap plastic, and there's noticeable flex around the plastic panels, especially near the VESA mounts. There's a slight difference in the gap size between the bezel and the panel, which isn't very noticeable but indicates some minor quality control issues.
Unfortunately, this TV has a very low contrast ratio. Blacks are raised when any bright highlights are visible on the screen, causing shadow details to appear washed out. There's also no local dimming feature to improve it.
This TV doesn't have a local dimming feature, so there's no blooming around bright objects or subtitles in dark scenes.
This TV doesn't have a local dimming feature, so it can't adjust the backlight of individual zones to brighten up highlights without impacting the rest of the image. But this means that there's no distracting flicker or brightness changes as bright highlights move between zones.
Switching to Game Mode makes no noticeable difference in dark scene performance, as shadows still look washed out.
Unfortunately, the peak brightness in HDR is bad. Specular highlights are dull and flat, and bright areas of the scene don't stand out.
These measurements are after calibrating the HDR white point with the following settings:
The brightness in the 'Game' Picture Mode is nearly identical to the brightness in 'Movie'. It's just as bad, and bright highlights in games still don't stand out at all.
These measurements are after calibrating the HDR white point with the following settings:
The PQ EOTF tracking on this TV is decent. Near-blacks and shadow details are raised due to the low contrast ratio and lack of a local dimming feature, as it simply can't display blacks that low. It's also severely limited by the TV's low peak brightness, so bright scenes are too dim. The EOTF tracking is consistent with content mastered at various brightness levels, but content mastered at 4,000 nits starts to tone map a bit earlier than content mastered at a lower level.
The peak brightness of this TV in SDR is bad. It's not bright enough to handle even moderate amounts of glare, so it's not a good choice for a room with lots of lights or windows.
These measurements are after calibration with the following settings:
The TCL S470G has a very good color gamut in HDR thanks to the inclusion of a PFS phosphor coating (as confirmed by the TV's spectral power distribution), like the Hisense A6/A65K and the Samsung CU8000. This results in a much wider color gamut than similar budget models. With content mastered in the DCI-P3 color space, the tone mapping is shockingly good, but saturated greens and cyan are noticeably off in the wider Rec. 2020 color space.
Unfortunately, the color volume is mediocre. Although the TV displays a wide range of colors well, it can't do so at a variety of luminance levels due to the low peak brightness and low contrast. Dim saturated colors aren't displayed well, and bright highlights don't stand out, so most colors are flat and dull.
With a few quick settings changes out-of-the-box, the TCL S470G has good overall accuracy. Colors are excellent, with just a few slight issues with saturated yellow and cyan, and the overall color temperature is very close to the target. Gamma follows the 2.2 target closely, with some issues in near-blacks caused by the TV's low contrast ratio. However, the white balance is worse, and bright shades of gray are noticeably off.
The TV's calibration system is finicky and difficult to nail down without being too aggressive. It's effective, though, and there are no noticeable issues after calibration.
You can see the full settings used for our calibration here.
The gray uniformity is just okay. There are dark patches in all four corners, which is noticeable with all content. The center of the screen is relatively clear, though, which is good for sports fans as the action in the center of the screen looks good.
Unfortunately, the TCL S470G has disappointing black uniformity. The screen looks blue due to the low contrast ratio, and there are multiple bright patches across the screen. It doesn't look good in a dark room.
Unlike the TCL S4/S450G, the TLC S4/S470G variant has a good viewing angle. The image remains consistent when viewed from the sides, so it's a good choice for a wide seating arrangement or if you like to move around the house with the TV on.
The reflection handling is decent. The semi-gloss coating helps reduce the intensity of direct reflections, but they're still distracting. Still, since this TV has very low peak brightness, it's not recommended for a bright room.
In HDR, gradients aren't displayed well on this TV. There's noticeable banding in almost all colors, and it's especially noticeable in darker shades of gray.
The low-quality content smoothing is mediocre. It can't completely remove macro-blocking and pixelization in dark scenes, and the smoothing algorithms cause a loss of some fine details in all content.
The sharpness processing on this TV is mediocre. Text and fine details aren't upscaled well and look soft. Some fine details are lost, and upscaled text is hard to read.
Sharpness processing was calibrated for low-resolution or low-bitrate content, with no over-sharpening, with the following setting:
The TV has an RGB sub-pixel layout, which helps with text clarity when using it as a PC monitor. You can read more about text clarity here.
The response time on this TV is okay. There's some noticeable blur behind fast-moving objects, which is good for watching movies but not for gaming or watching sports. There's very little variation in response time between different transitions, ensuring a consistent viewing experience, and unlike the TCL S4/S450G, there's very little black smearing in shadow details.
The TV's backlight uses pulse width modulation (PWM) to dim the backlight at low brightness levels. This causes noticeable flicker, and since it flickers at an unusual frequency, it's very distracting and causes motion issues. It's flicker-free with a backlight setting above '31' in most modes. The 'Low Power' mode is flicker-free above '41', and it's always flicker-free in the 'Smart HDR' mode. Since this TV can't get very bright, almost everyone will always use this TV above those brightness settings, so you'll never notice this issue.
This TV has no optional backlight strobing feature, commonly known as black frame insertion.
The TCL S470G TV has an okay motion interpolation feature. It struggles to keep up with fast-action scenes, and there are significant motion artifacts. Overall, it doesn't do much to improve the appearance of motion blur.
There's a bit of stutter on this TV when watching low-framerate content like movies and most TV shows, but it's not too bad.
The TCL S470G can remove judder from 24p sources like a Blu-ray player and from the native apps. It can't remove judder from 60Hz sources like most cable TV boxes or older streaming sticks that lack a "Match Frame Rate" feature.
All sizes of this TV are limited to a 60Hz refresh rate and don't support VRR.
The input lag on this TV is incredibly low, resulting in a responsive gaming or desktop experience.
Since this TV is limited to a 60Hz refresh rate, it can't take full advantage of the PS5.
Since this TV is limited to a 60Hz refresh rate, it can't take full advantage of the Xbox Series S|X.
This TV is limited to HDMI 2.0 bandwidth on all three HDMI ports.
The TCL S470G supports eARC, or Enhanced Audio Return Channel, allowing you to pass high-quality, uncompressed audio to a compatible receiver. While the TV can pass DTS 5.1 through ARC and Optical connections, it can't pass the full 7.1 DTS:X or DTS-HD formats through eARC, which is disappointing as many UHD Blu-ray discs use these as their main audio track. If you have a 7.1 channel or higher speaker setup, connect your player to your receiver for the best audio quality.
The TCL S470G Series has a poor frequency response. There's next to no bass response, as the low-frequency extension (LFE) is incredibly high. Above the LFE, the frequency response is well-balanced at low-volume settings, and most dialogue is clear and easy to understand. It can't get very loud, though, and there's noticeable compression at max volume.
There's some noticeable distortion on this TV, even at moderate volume levels. It's significantly worse at max volume.
The TV uses version 11 of Google's popular Google TV OS. It's relatively easy to use and runs well, with a large selection of apps.
Like most TVs on the market, this TV has ads throughout the interface, and you can't disable them.
The TCL S470G Series has a great selection of streaming apps, with every popular streaming app being present. The interface is very smooth and pleasant to use.
The TV's remote is medium-sized and has a simple layout. It has a series of dedicated buttons for the most popular streaming apps. The remote has an integrated microphone for voice commands, which works well. It only supports simple queries, like launching an app or searching for content.