- 1 Quality and workmanship of the TCL 4 series S425
- 2 Picture quality insufficient for HDR
- 3 Great choice for gaming
- 4 Mediocre sound quality
- 5 Smart TV features of the TCL 4 series S425
- 6 Compared to other TCL models
The TCL 4 series S425 is the 2019 4K model of the Chinese company. While the S425 series has first surfaced in 2018, it has been revamped for the following year. It is one of the most affordable 4K TVs available to buy and boasts a lot of impressive features that make it a true bang for your buck.
Quality and workmanship of the TCL 4 series S425
Relative to its price point, the TCL 4 series S425 is manufactured well. It is mostly made of plastic while the top half is made of metal. The back is plain and entirely made of plastic. The stand is also plastic but supports the TV well. Alternatively, the S425 can be wall mounted with a VESA mount, which has to be chosen relative to the TV size. If wall mounted, the TV will stick out moderately from the wall. It is available in 43, 50, 55, and 75 inches. Unfortunately, there are no cable management options.
Picture quality insufficient for HDR
The TCL 4 series S425 has a VA panel that delivers a refresh rate of 60 Hz. It performs especially well in darker environments, as the VA panel delivers uniform and deep blacks. For the same reason – just as all TVs with VA panels – the image quality degrades when viewed at an angle.
While the overall picture quality is decent, it is insufficient for HDR content. The TCL 4 series S425 does not have a high enough peak brightness to reach a broad contrast ratio. For the same reason, it is not as suitable for very well lit rooms as other TVs. If your living room is especially bright, we recommend you a TV with an IPS panel or a more expensive VA panel TV with high peak brightness, such as the Samsung Q70R.
Great choice for gaming
One of the best qualities of the TCL 4 series S425 is its gaming capability. The input lag is very low, which is great for fast and responsive gaming. First Person Shooters or other games that require fast reactions on the players’ part work well here. The TV will have its problems with HDR gaming for the same reasons stated above.
The input lag is 12 ms at 1080p @ 60 Hz and 13 ms at 4K @ 60 Hz. The achieve these values, you have to switch into the dedicated Game Mode manually. The S425 also has Auto Low Latency Mode to reduce latency between the controller and the TV. Unfortunately there is no VRR support.
If you’re planning to use it as a PC monitor, the TV fortunately supports native 1440p. Higher refresh rates are not possible, as the panel only has 60 Hz.
Mediocre sound quality
Unfortunately, the sound quality of the TCL 4 series S425 is lacking. This comes as no surprise, though, since flatscreen TVs don’t have enough to produce balanced sound. Especially bass frequencies are usually not very pronounced, as is the case with the S425. While dialogues are usually comprehensible, the TV cannot get very loud or produce near enough to display the sound of an action movie impressively. A counter measure would be the use of a dedicated soundbar.
Smart TV features of the TCL 4 series S425
The Smart features of the TCL 4 series are very good. It runs on Roku TV, which is very easy to use and runs extremely smoothly. Unfortunately, the smart OS is not ad-free. Targeted ads can be opted out of, however, this will not remove ads entirely. The app selection is very large and features all the most known apps that you would expect. The included remote is small and performs the basic functions. Additionally, there is a smartphone app that controls the TV. The Roku remote app is very versatile and works well, especially with voice control. As for this, the TV supports Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa and Roku Voice.
Compared to other TCL models
The TCL 4 series is a lower end TV model and we will compare its performance to the more advanced 5 and 6 series, as well as the lower 3 series.
Compared to TCL 3 series S325 2019
The TCL 3 series is set lower than the 4 series, as the name already suggests. Interestingly, this Smart TV does not have 4K resolution. Instead, it relies on Full HD resolution for the 32″, 40″, 43″, and 49″ model. The smaller 28″ and 30″ models even have 720p HD resolution. As expected, these TVs are even more affordable than the 4 series. If you are looking for the cheapest way to watch Netflix or Amazon Prime Video, this is the way to go. The 3 series is also equipped with the smart OS Roku TV and offers the same features.
Compared to TCL 5 series 2019
The 5 series is one step up from the S425. It offers a better picture and is more suited for HDR content, since it supports Dolby Vision, HDR10, and HLG formats. Compared to the 4 series, the S52 is only a smidge better and has some small features, that come in handy when needed. For example, it can switch into Game Mode automatically, has better backlighting for HDR content and better motion handling.
Compared to TCL 6 series 2019
Finally, the TCL 6 series is more sophisticated than the 4 series. The TCL R62 has been first released in 2018 as R617 and is available in 55″ and 65″. There is one striking feature that sets is apart from the lower 5 series, which is the use of QLED technology. Also, it supports the whole Dolby Cinema package, which consists of Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos. While its price is still quite affordable, it is aiming to compete with more expensive models, like Samsung Q60R and Sony X800G. Depending on your usage, the TCL 6 series might be the better deal.