We decided to test the new TCL 50S425 4K Smart LED TV, with a promise of 120-hertz refresh rate to find out just how good it is. Though we had our doubts considering it falls under the budget TV price range and we did notice some shortcomings while reviewing it overall. We might just keep this one, at least for gaming.
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The TCL 50S425 doesn’t seem to have changed much on the outside compared to the other TCL models. Though some minor changes have been made when comparing to the TCL 32S305 model which as you might have guessed is the 32-inch model. The biggest and most obvious being the bigger screen size.
There have also been some minor changes on the edges of the TV with the TCL 50S425 having more sharp edges while the TCL 32S305 has a bit more roundness on the corners. Not a big change, but in my personal opinion something that just makes the TV look a bit better when looked close by.
The display is a mediocre display equipped with a 120-hertz refresh rate (actual 60 Hz, more on this later) and a resolution up to 4K. This comes in handy if you like to watch BluRay movies or stream high-quality content as I can guess many of you want. Especially if you’re using the Amazon Prime for your movie and show needs.
As for the mediocre display, we don’t mean its a bad thing. You get what you pay for and in this particular price range, TCL has made a great job giving the 4K experience for those of us who are not ready to spend thousands for cinema-level TV.
Colors on the display might be a bit lackluster on the most black or bright colors, but in most cases, this could easily be changed or at least made a bit better by changing the preset mode to “Movie” mode and toggling the brightness.
For gaming, the TV seems to be more than adequate. The refresh rate keeps everything clear and there is not lagging or cutting of image even with a lot of action and explosion happening.
This is something we wanted to mention for everyone reading this review. The TCL 50S425 does not run an actual 120-hertz screen. The TV is actually a 60 hertz TV, even though they might advertise it as a 120 hertz and this is completely fine. The way the TV works is that it generates another artificial frame from two others to increase the smoothness on movement. Again we know this might be a bit of a deal breaker for some but consider this. Almost all tv-shows and content is still 60 hertz and on console gaming, the 60 hertz should be more than enough also. Thanks to the low ~29ms input lag (4K HDR) you can still enjoy almost completely lag-free gaming making on a budget TV.
Inputs you can now find from the right side of the TV while as the older 32S305 had its inputs on the left. TCL has equipped the 50S425 fairly well.
From top to bottom you can find the reset button, the network plugin RJ45, 3x HDMI with third one equipped with ARC, cable antenna input, AV IN, a 5.1 audio input and an optical input.
Now for the Roku TV that you get with the TCL 50S425, all we can say is that we absolutely love it. Setting it up is super easy. The tv walks you through the steps to set up your Netflix, Hulu, HBO Now etc and with the universal search, you find new content quickly and easily. Samsung, LG, and other tv companies have done some great work with their smart TVs but they just don’t get to the same usability yet as the Roku TV.
The big difference here is also the free phone app for Roku TV that allows you to use the tv with your smartphone. It also allows you to control your TV with just your phone.
The remote for the TCL 32S305 is an infrared remote so you need to have a visual on the TV to use it, but this is not a big deal thanks to the smartphone app. Unlike most remotes, you actually find the volume up/down and mute buttons on the right side of the remote. If you’re not happy with the remote there is another way to control your TV which is using the Roku TV app.
Price History for TCL 50S425 50 inch 4K Smart LED Roku TV (2019)
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There have been some obvious problems with the TVs quality control, but overall people have been very happy about what they get.
As for the conclusion, all we can say is that the TCL 50S425 is top of the budget TVs. It might not have the promised and advertised 120-hertz refresh rate, but the overall quality and low input lag, while still offering 4K capabilities and the inbuilt Roku TV makes this TV a great pick. So if your considering to get a new TV, but aren’t just there yet to spend thousands for a 4K TV, then this might just be the choice for you.
- Low input lag
- Roku TV
- Overall quality
- Great for gaming
- Not 120-hertz as advertised (60-hertz in reality)
- Colors could be more vibrant
- Black could be darker
Specification: TCL 50S425 review – 4K Smart LED TV