TCL Class 5-Series 4K UHD Dolby Vision HDR Roku Smart TV Review

The TCL 5-Series carves a niche for itself in the ever-competitive 4K TV market. This feature-packed TV boasts a stunning 4K resolution, Dolby Vision HDR for enhanced visuals, and the user-friendly Roku smart platform, all at an attractive price point. But does it deliver a quality viewing experience that justifies its budget-friendly charm? This review delves deep into the TCL 5-Series’ strengths and weaknesses, helping you decide if it’s the perfect fit for your entertainment needs.

Display TechnologyLED
Refresh Rate120 Hz
Special FeatureFlat
Included ComponentsStand, Remote
Connectivity TechnologyWi-Fi, HDMI
Supported Internet ServicesRoku TV
  • Affordable
  • High Picture Quality
  • ROKU TV Integration
  • Alexa, Google Home Assistant, ROKU Search
  • User Friendly UI
  • Audio Needs Improvement
  • Poor Customer Support

TCL 55″ Class 5-Series 4K UHD Dolby Vision HDR Roku Smart TV

TCL 65″ Class 5-Series 4K UHD Dolby Vision HDR Roku Smart TV

Picture Quality

The TCL 5-Series delivers a compelling picture quality, striking a balance between affordability and visual prowess. Here’s a breakdown of its key visual aspects:

  • 4K Resolution and Sharpness: Witness the difference 4K makes. The 5-Series features a stunning 3840 x 2160 resolution, delivering crisp and detailed visuals, especially noticeable in high-resolution content. From nature documentaries to action-packed movies, every frame comes alive with sharp detail.
  • Dolby Vision HDR: Unlike standard HDR, Dolby Vision offers dynamic HDR, meaning that scene-by-scene adjustments are made for optimal brightness, contrast, and color. This translates to a wider range of colors, deeper blacks, and brighter highlights for a more immersive and realistic viewing experience, particularly when watching Dolby Vision content.
  • Wide Color Gamut with NBP Photon Technology: TCL’s NBP Photon technology utilizes nano-sized particles to refine light and enhance color reproduction. This results in a wider color gamut, allowing the TV to display a broader range of colors for a more vibrant and lifelike picture.

Compared To Other TVs

The TCL 5-Series holds its own against similarly priced competitors in terms of picture quality. The 4K resolution delivers sharp visuals, and Dolby Vision HDR adds a significant boost in color and contrast compared to standard HDR. However, some competing TVs might offer superior contrast thanks to VA panels, or even deeper blacks with OLED technology. Additionally, higher-end TVs might boast more advanced picture processing for even sharper details and smoother motion handling.

Brightness and Contrast

Brightness levels on the TCL 5-Series are good for most lighting conditions. Contrast is decent, thanks in part to the use of various contrast enhancement technologies employed by TCL. However, some viewers might find blacks appearing slightly raised compared to higher-end TVs with better native contrast or local dimming features. Local dimming allows the backlight to be adjusted in different zones of the screen, resulting in deeper blacks and improved contrast.


TCL Class 5-Series 4K UHD Dolby Vision HDR Roku Smart TV design

The TCL 5-Series embraces a modern and minimalist aesthetic. The bezels are slim and stylish, creating a near bezel-less look that keeps the focus on the picture. The included stand offers sturdy support and a slight tilt functionality for optimal viewing angles. The back panel is made of plastic, which feels functional but not necessarily premium.

What sets the 5-Series apart from some competitors is the inclusion of a jewel-eye power button. This small design detail adds a touch of sophistication and complements the overall modern look of the TV.

Sound Quality

The sound quality of the TCL 5-Series is its Achilles’ heel. The built-in speakers lack depth and power, resulting in a somewhat thin and underwhelming audio experience. Dialogue can sound clear at moderate volumes, but bass is lacking, and action scenes might sound flat.

For an immersive movie or gaming experience, consider pairing the TCL 5-Series with a soundbar or a home theater system. This will significantly enhance the overall audio quality and unlock the full potential of your entertainment. TCL offers a variety of soundbar options that integrate seamlessly with the 5-Series, creating a unified and powerful audio solution.

Here’s a pro-tip: Factor in the potential cost of a soundbar when budgeting for your new TV. While the TCL 5-Series itself might be a budget-friendly option, adding a soundbar can increase the overall cost.

Smart Features

  • Simple and Intuitive Interface (Continued): It features a horizontal row of icons representing streaming services, apps, and input options, making navigating the platform and finding what you want to watch a breeze.
  • Vast App Selection: Roku boasts a vast selection of streaming channels, including all the major players and a wide range of niche options to cater to diverse interests. You’re likely to find all your favorite channels and potentially discover new ones to explore.
  • Mobile App Integration: The Roku mobile app allows you to control the TV with your smartphone or tablet, even using your phone as a remote control in a pinch. Additionally, the app lets you cast media directly from your phone to the TV for a seamless viewing experience.

While Roku offers a user-friendly experience, some users might prefer the interface of competing smart TV platforms, such as LG’s webOS or Samsung’s Tizen. These platforms might offer additional features or customization options.


The TCL 5-Series features a standard 60Hz refresh rate panel. While it delivers a decent viewing experience for most content like movies and TV shows, fast-paced scenes like sports or action movies might exhibit some motion blur. This can be a concern for gamers or viewers particularly sensitive to motion blur.

TCL incorporates some motion processing features to try and reduce blur, but these might introduce the “soap opera effect” where motion appears unnaturally smooth, which some viewers find undesirable. Consider a TV with a higher refresh rate (120Hz or higher) for smoother motion handling in fast-moving content.

Gaming Features

The TCL 5-Series caters to casual gamers with some basic features to enhance the experience. Game Mode pre-calibrates the picture settings for faster response times and a more responsive gaming experience. Additionally, ALLM (Auto Low Latency Mode) might be included on some models, helping reduce input lag for a faster response time between your controller actions and what appears on the screen. However, the TCL 5-Series lacks some features that might be important for serious gamers:

  • Higher Refresh Rates: As mentioned earlier, the 60Hz refresh rate might not be ideal for gamers seeking the smoothest possible motion.
  • VRR (Variable Refresh Rate): This technology eliminates screen tearing, a visual glitch that can occur during fast-paced gameplay. The TCL 5-Series doesn’t support VRR.
  • Advanced Gaming Modes: Some TVs offer dedicated game modes optimized for different game genres (FPS, RPG, etc.) for the best possible gaming experience. The TCL 5-Series lacks such dedicated modes.

Durability and Build Quality

The TCL 5-Series appears decently built with a plastic back panel and a sturdy stand. TCL TVs generally have an average reputation for reliability, but longevity ultimately depends on usage and care. As with any TV, proper handling and avoiding extreme temperatures or environments will contribute to a longer lifespan.

Viewing Angles and Screen Uniformity

The viewing angles of the TCL 5-Series are decent thanks to the VA panel technology used. Colors and picture quality remain fairly consistent when viewed from off-center positions. However, compared to IPS panels, colors might appear slightly less vibrant when viewed from extreme angles.

In terms of screen uniformity, the TCL 5-Series might exhibit some minor variations in brightness or color across the screen, especially in dark scenes. This is a common occurrence with most TVs, and its severity can vary between individual units. If uniformity is a major concern, researching user reviews and professional calibrations can help you determine if this is a widespread issue with the TCL 5-Series.


TCL Class 5-Series 4K UHD Dolby Vision HDR Roku Smart TV inputs

The TCL 5-Series comes equipped with a good selection of inputs, including:

  • Multiple HDMI ports (with some featuring HDMI 2.0 capabilities) for connecting streaming devices, game consoles, and cable boxes. HDMI 2.0 supports features like 4K resolution at 60Hz and HDR.
  • USB ports for connecting external storage drives or media players.
  • An optical audio output for connecting external sound systems.
  • An Ethernet port for a wired internet connection.

The number of HDMI ports and other inputs might vary slightly depending on the specific screen size model you choose. Overall, the TCL 5-Series offers a good selection of connections for most users.

Overall Value

The TCL 5-Series offers a compelling proposition for budget-conscious viewers seeking a 4K TV with a user-friendly smart platform and a touch of visual flair with Dolby Vision HDR. The 4K resolution delivers sharp visuals, Dolby Vision enhances the viewing experience, and the Roku platform is a breeze to navigate. The sleek design with a modern touch adds to the value proposition.

However, there are some trade-offs to consider:

  • Motion handling might not be ideal for fast-paced content or gamers: The 60Hz refresh rate can lead to motion blur in fast-moving scenes.
  • Sound quality is average: The built-in speakers lack depth and may require a soundbar for an immersive experience (additional cost).
  • Limited gaming features for serious gamers: While basic features are included, higher refresh rates, VRR, and dedicated gaming modes are absent.
  • Viewing angles and screen uniformity might not be perfect: Colors might appear slightly less vibrant from extreme angles, and some minor uniformity variations are possible.


In a nutshell, the TCL 5-Series offers a sharp 4K picture with Dolby Vision for a great price and a user-friendly Roku platform. However, sound quality and motion handling are average, and gamers might miss advanced features. It’s a solid choice for casual viewers on a budget, but consider pricier options if top-notch motion, sound, or gaming features are crucial.

Ali Nawaz

About Ali Nawaz

Hey There, my name is Ali Nawaz, and I am an electrical engineer by profession and a die-hard nerd by passion. On Display Pick, I am responsible for all the guides, and tutorials in which I show you the simple steps for fixing the TVs. When I am not watching TV, I am either on the race track or playing with my cat "Smokey".

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