4K TV under 1000

Review of TCL S405 , TCL S Series – updated March 2018

TCL S405 from the TCL S Series is one of the best all round budget 4k picks available as an under $500 4k TV. While the TCL S405 has been around for sometime, it still packs a punch and here we provide a latest review of the TCL S405, updated March 2018 with all the features listed and studied.

Note: This TCL S405 review applies to all the sizes available for this TCL model. S405 is available as the 43″ TCL S405 , 49″ TCL S405, 55″ TCL S405, 65″ TCL S405.

Check Price of the TCL S405 4K TV on Amazon

Detailed Review of TCL S405 on various features

Let’s have a look at the detailed review on TCL S405 on various aspects and features which are important for any television, especially 4K TV’s such as: Brightness, Contrast, Color Gamut, Wide Angle Viewing, Input Lag, Motion Blur, Smart Features, Sound Quality etc.


TCL S405 4K Roku TV back view

1. Brightness in TCL S405

TCL S405 is average in the ultra budget range of 4K TV’s for the brightness it provides. These are budget TV’s and are unlikely to be very bright but having said that, brightness of TCL S405 is tolerable.
HDR Peak Brightness (at 100%): 190 nits
SDR Peak Brightness (at 100%) : 190 nits
Average at around 160 nits.
If you’re going to be viewing the TV a predominantly bright room with less use of curtains and reflections, the viewing may be impacted a little.
Rating: We’d go with a 6.9 here.

2. Contrast in TCL S405

Contrast is an important factor , maybe one of the top 2-3 factors when it comes to overall picture quality of any 4K TV and TCL S405 performs decently on this aspect as well. Contrast will be high if the blacks are truer and darker.
Native Contrast Achieved: 4070:1 ( very good for this price range)
No Local dimming
The Contrast actually makes up for the lower brightness delivering a good picture quality for this price range.
Rating: We’d go with a 8.0 here considering the price.

3. Color Gamut in TCL S405

Color Gamut / or Color coverage in TCL S405 is on the lower side as can be expected for a 4k Model in this below $500 range. For Color Gamut we can look at the DCI P3 XY coverage which is around 81.7%. This is somewhat above average for the budget 4K TV’s in this price range.

Color Volume
Normalized DCI P3 Coverage achieved : 67.7 %
Normalized Rec 2020 Coverage : 55.1 %

Wide Color Gamut: No.
Rating: We’d go with with a 7.3 here considering the price and all other aspects.

4. Design and Frame of TCL S405

The Design and frame of the TCL S405 is not very stylish but functional and sturdy. In a budget range like this, build quality of the TV is generally not very good . However TCL S405 provides for a metallic top and lower plastic body. The stands are made of plastic but support the TV properly. Note that the different sizes of the TV have different VESA mounts.
Rating: TCL S405 gets a 7.0 on design

5. Input Lag and Motion Blur Handling of TCL S405

Input lag handling of the TCL S405 is an important factor. The TCL S405 has a very low input lag of around 15 ms which is pretty good, even for competitive gamers. It has a refresh rate of 60Hz and motion blur is pretty low too so it can make a decent PC monitor too. Decent for watching sports without any trails in the picture. It also has full 4:4:4 color support.
Rating: We’d go with a 8.2 here considering the price and the really great performance it provides in motion blur and input lag.

6. Viewing Angle for TCL S405

Have you sat on a large couch near the edge when watching your favourite show or a good movie on your 4K TV and felt cheated on the picture quality? This is due to viewing angle issues which many TV’s have so that if you are off-centre from the screen , the viewing experience is not that great. In the TCL S405, the picture quality does deteriorate when viewing from just ≥30° away from the screen’s centre. However, considering it’s a budget model with mostly smaller sizes, this should not be a big issue.
Rating: Like many budget picks, its not the best in this aspect so a 6.9

7. Review of Smart Features in TCL S405

TCL S405 is a Roku Smart TV. What this means is that streaming prime candidates like Netflix, Amazon Video and Sling TV are front-and-center and just a remote shortcut button away: no need to switch inputs to another device. And the S405 can stream more stuff in the highest quality – 4K and HDR – than non-Roku smart TVs. The main Roku interface does not appear to have any ads. We thus found the Roku Smart features to be reliable, quick and without lag. Remote is basic but there is a smartphone app as well which even allows casting.
Rating: Considering it’s basic but still pretty easy and quick to use, we give it a 7.3 out of 10.

8. Review of Content Upscaling in TCL S405

When looking at upscaling we considered the upscaling of content from
a) 480p input such as older DVD’ – Image isn’t too soft but clear and details fine.
b) 720p input such as Cable – Upscales well, details clear. Average or better than avg. than for others in this price range
c) 1080p input such as Blue Ray – Comes sharp and detailed, no blowing or blurring
d Native 4k Content – No issues – picture quality as detailed above
Rating: For it’s price and budget range, the content up-scaling is pretty decent hence we’ll go with 7.9

9. Review of Sound Quality of TCL S405

The sound quality is not very good at higher volumes but then at this price range, you can easily afford a good soundbar. It sounds average at lower or normal volumes.
Rating: As the sound is somewhat below average, so a 6.9 is what we’ll give it on sound quality.

10. Ports and Connectivity available in TCL S405

HDMI 2.0 : 3
USB : 1
Digital Optical Audio Out : 1
Analog Audio Out 3.5mm : 1
Analog Audio Out RCA : 0
Component In : 0, Composite In : 1
Tuner (Cable/Ant) : 1
Ethernet : 1
With 3 HDMI port , ethernet , TV Tuner, Wi-fi and HDR 10 support, 5.1 Passthrough ARC Dolby Digital support, its got a very good range of input support for its price category.
Rating: We give it a 8.1 on Inputs.

TCL S405 review and side view
TCL S405 Roku view

Is there a better alternate to TCL S405 if I can spend a little more ?

Yes, there is. IF you’re looking to spend a little more, say over $600 with marked improvement in brightness and many other display factors, we’d recommend you can look at the review of TCL P607 which is slightly expensive but still rates as a budget Ultra 4K TV with great specs (comes only in 55″). Check out it’s review also updated for 2018.

Final Rating of the TCL S405 considering all factors

2 Comments

  1. Joan March 21, 2018
    • Sam Sethi March 31, 2018

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