TCL S425 4K Ultra HD Smart ROKU LED TV Review

TCL S425 4K Ultra HD Smart ROKU LED TV Review

Considering a jump into the world of 4K TVs but on a tight budget? The TCL S425 might be your perfect match. This LED TV boasts a stunning 4K resolution, a user-friendly Roku smart platform, and a sleek design, all at a price tag that won’t break the bank. But is it all sunshine and rainbows, or are there hidden clouds in this budget-friendly package? This review delves into the TCL S425’s strengths and weaknesses, helping you decide if it’s the key to unlocking your next binge-watching haven.

Display TechnologyLED
Refresh Rate120 Hz
Special FeatureFlat
Included Components2 x AAA bartteries, Quick start guide, Power cable, Remote control
Connectivity TechnologyWi-Fi, USB, HDMI
Supported Internet ServicesNetflix, Skype, Hulu, Youtube, Spotify, Amazon Instant Video
  • Affordable
  • Upscaling 4K Processor
  • 120Hz Refresh Rate
  • ROKU TV Integration
  • Alexa Compatibility
  • Brightness Needs Improvement

TCL 43S425 43 Inch 4K Ultra HD

TCL 50S425 50 Inch 4K

TCL 55S425 55 inch 4K

TCL 65S425 65 Inch 4K

TCL 75S425 75 Inch 4K

Picture Quality

The TCL S425 centers around delivering a great 4K viewing experience. Here’s a breakdown of its key visual aspects:

  • 4K Resolution: Witness the difference 4K makes. With a resolution of 3840 x 2160 pixels, the S425 delivers sharp and detailed visuals, especially noticeable in high-resolution content. From nature documentaries to action-packed movies, every frame comes alive with a crispness that surpasses Full HD.
  • HDR Compatibility: The S425 supports HDR10, a format that expands the contrast range and color gamut. This translates to brighter highlights, deeper blacks, and a wider range of colors for a more immersive viewing experience, particularly when watching HDR content. However, some users might find the HDR effect subtle compared to higher-end TVs with more advanced HDR processing.
  • Limited Color Accuracy: While the S425 offers decent color reproduction, it might not be as vibrant or accurate as some competing TVs. This is a common trade-off in budget-friendly models.

Compared To Other TVs

The S425 holds its own against similarly priced competitors in terms of picture quality. The 4K resolution delivers sharp visuals, and HDR compatibility adds a touch of extra pop. However, some TVs in this range might boast better color accuracy or use more advanced panel technologies like VA panels for deeper blacks.

Brightness and Contrast

The brightness levels on the S425 are decent for most lighting conditions. You can enjoy a comfortable viewing experience even in moderately lit rooms. However, the contrast might not be the strongest. Blacks appear slightly gray in dark scenes, especially when compared to TVs with features like local dimming that adjust backlighting dynamically.


TCL S425 4K Ultra HD Smart ROKU LED TV design

The TCL S425 embraces a minimalist aesthetic. The bezels are slim and stylish, creating a near bezel-less look that keeps the focus on the picture. The sleek 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. Overall, the design prioritizes clean lines and functionality, seamlessly blending into modern living spaces without demanding excessive attention.

Sound Quality

Let’s be honest, the built-in speakers on the S425 are just average. They 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 S425 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 S425, 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 S425 itself might be a budget-friendly option, adding a soundbar can increase the overall cost.

Motion Handling

The TCL S425 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.

The S425 lacks some motion processing features found on higher-end TVs. While some may be included to try and reduce blur, they 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 S425 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 S425 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 S425 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 S425 lacks such dedicated modes.

Durability and Build Quality

The TCL S425 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 S425 are decent thanks to the VA panel technology used in most models. Colors and picture quality remain fairly consistent when viewed from off-center positions. VA panels offer wider viewing angles compared to IPS panels, making them a good choice for rooms where multiple people might be viewing the TV from different angles.

In terms of screen uniformity, the TCL S425 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 S425.


TCL S425 4K Ultra HD Smart ROKU LED TV inputs

The TCL S425 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.
  • 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 S425 offers a good selection of connections for most users.

Smart Features

The TCL S425 runs on Roku TV, a popular smart platform known for its user-friendly interface and vast selection of streaming services. Here’s a breakdown of its strengths and weaknesses:


  • User-friendly Interface: Roku boasts a simple and intuitive interface with a horizontal row of icons representing streaming services, apps, and input options. Navigating the platform and finding content is a breeze.
  • Vast App Selection: Roku offers a wide selection of popular streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, and countless others, along with games and additional apps.
  • Content Discovery Features: Roku integrates features that recommend shows and movies based on your viewing habits, helping you discover new content.
  • Regular Updates: Roku receives regular updates, ensuring access to the latest features and apps.


  • Potential Remote Quirks: The basic remote included with the S425 might have occasional minor responsiveness issues. Upgrading to a Roku remote with voice control can address this.
  • Limited Customization: Roku offers less customization compared to some competing smart platforms.

Overall Value

The TCL S425 offers a compelling proposition for budget-conscious viewers seeking a 4K TV with a user-friendly smart platform. The 4K resolution delivers sharp visuals, Roku TV is a breeze to navigate, and the design is sleek.

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 are decent, but blacks might appear washed out at angles: VA panels offer wider viewing angles, but contrast might suffer compared to IPS panels.
  • Screen uniformity might have minor variations: This is common, but severity can vary between units.
  • Roku remote might have minor responsiveness issues: Upgrading to a Roku remote with voice control might be an option for some viewers.


The TCL S425 strikes a sweet spot for budget-minded viewers seeking a jump into the 4K world. Its crown jewels are a crisp 4K resolution for stunning visuals and a user-friendly Roku TV platform overflowing with streaming options and apps. All this comes at a price tag that won’t break the bank, making it a tempting choice for casual viewers.

However, it’s important to manage expectations. The S425 won’t win awards for sound quality – the built-in speakers are just average, and a soundbar is practically a necessity for an immersive audio experience. Gamers, in particular, might be disappointed by the 60Hz refresh rate, which can lead to motion blur in fast-paced scenes. Additionally, the TV lacks advanced gaming features like VRR that serious gamers crave.

Here’s the bottom line: if you prioritize a sharp picture, a user-friendly smart platform, and affordability, the TCL S425 is a compelling option. But if you demand silky smooth motion handling, superior sound quality, or top-notch gaming features, you might need to consider pricier alternatives. Ultimately, the TCL S425 shines for casual viewers who prioritize value and understand its limitations. It’s a solid gateway to the world of 4K on a budget.

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About Saqlain Bukhari

Hey There, it's Saqlain Here, and I am responsible for all the product reviews that take place on Tearing things apart is in my DNA, and it's what I do here. I thoroughly test the products, and then provide you with in-depth reviews, so you can make more mindful choices.

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