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TCL 43S435 Review | PCMag

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As affordable as a new TV

TCL 4 series TV cables provide moderate picture quality and Roku functions at the lowest price.

TCL is no stranger

, It has always impressed us

, Provide excellent performance at a reasonable price. However, this is one of the company’s more expensive product lines, so if your budget is tight, it may not be one of the products to consider. The price of the TCL 4 series is about half the price (the 43-inch 43S435 we tested starts at $259.99), which is about the same as the price you would buy a brand new TV. However, to reach this price, it will make many compromises in performance.

The S435 looks ordinary, not surprising for a low-budget TV. Its screen is surrounded by narrow, glossy black plastic bezels on the top and sides. The bottom border becomes thicker and becomes a wider brushed texture area with a silver TCL logo in the middle. The combination of power and input buttons can be found behind the logo on the bottom edge of the TV. The screen is located on two V-shaped glossy black plastic feet that match the frame and sides.

The power connector is on the left side of the back of the TV, facing left. All other connections are on the right side of the rear panel, facing right. They include three HDMI ports (compared to the common four), a USB port, an Ethernet port, a 3.5 mm composite video port (without adapter), a 3.5 mm headphone jack, an optical audio output and an antenna /Cable connector.

The included remote control is a standard Roku TV remote control. It is a short, thin black plastic wand with a striking purple plus-shaped navigation pad near the top. The homepage, back and power buttons are located above the keyboard, while the playback controls and dedicated service buttons for Disney+, Hulu, Netflix and Sling TV are located below the keyboard. There is a volume rocker and mute button on the right edge of the remote control.

Since this is an unenhanced Roku remote, it communicates with the TV entirely via infrared and needs to maintain a direct line of sight with the screen. It does not have a pinhole microphone, so you cannot use it with Roku voice search. For wireless control that supports voice search and does not require line of sight, you need to view high-end TVs, such as TCL's 6 series TVs.

For smart functions, the 4 series uses Roku TV, which provides the same applications and services as Roku

. most

Available, including Amazon Prime Video, Apple TV, Disney+, Hulu, Netflix and YouTube (although there is still no Twitch in Roku's library).

The TV is also compatible with Apple AirPlay, which allows you to stream content from a Mac or iOS device. WiDi/Miracast supports wireless screen mirroring from Windows PC and some Android devices, but Google Cast cannot be used for simplified Android streaming. 

TCL 43S435 is

High dynamic range (

) TV with 60Hz refresh rate. It is compatible with HDR10 and HLG, but not compatible with Dolby Vision.

we use

, A

, with

Use based on

Calibration technique. In the film mode with SDR signal (the most accurate color on TV), the 43S435 out of the box has a peak brightness of 208.381cd/m^2, a black level of 0.07cd/m^2, and an effective contrast ratio of 3,155:1. It's not particularly bright, but for such a cheap TV, it's not a surprise. In normal mode, the brightness can be pushed to 273.228cd/m^2 and the contrast ratio is 4,027:1, but this mode can significantly reduce the color.

HDR signal will not change the contrast performance of 43S435 like some high-end TVs. Whether we use dark (HDR) or bright (HDR) image modes, the numbers we measure using HDR10 signals are very similar to SDR.

Although HDR does not make the picture brighter, it can greatly broaden the color range of the 43S435. The above figure shows the color performance of the SDR signal compared with the Rec.709 broadcast standard, and the color performance of the HDR signal compared with the DCI-P3 digital cinema standard. SDR colors are usually very accurate, although red is a bit oversaturated. The TV has HDR pictures, and an incredible attempt is to cover the color space so that the blue and red are almost completely shot, and reach a fairly deep green. Magenta is slightly blue and yellow is slightly red, but for this low-priced panel, its color performance is surprisingly powerful.

When playing the BBC

, Although the green looks a bit unsaturated and does not look as bright as before, the colors usually look balanced on the 43S435. When there is sufficient light, fine details such as fur will become clear and sharp, but they tend to disappear and disappear in darker, densely shaded parts.

Although the green of 43S435 seen when viewing is not very impressive, the red is deep and nice

on television. Even under dim lighting, Deadpool's costumes looked full of vitality in the opening scene, and the skin tone appeared natural. The flames in the burning laboratory look bright and vivid, but the moderate contrast of the TV is formed by the subtle shadow details.

High-contrast party scene in

It doesn't look terrible on the 43S435, but depending on the overall brightness of the frame, dark details such as the cut and texture of the black suit may appear faded or muddy. The skin tone looks natural and balanced, with deep blacks and whites in balance.

We use

, To determine how long it takes between the reception of the signal on the TV and the update of the screen. With the game mode disabled, the 43S435 showed a moderate 45.2 millisecond input delay. Enabling "Game Mode" can shorten the input lag time to 23.3ms, which is a major improvement, but still above the 20ms threshold, we usually think of this as a member of the TV.


TCL's 4 series is not particularly impressive in any way, but it is reasonable in terms of price. The 43-inch TV is priced at 260 US dollars, and the 65-inch TV is 500 US dollars, it is attractive to those who want a decent TV and spend as little as possible. This

Compared with high-end TCL and Hisense models, this product line is also cheaper. Compared with the 4 series, its contrast and color performance are better, and its Amazon Fire TV platform has convenient features such as voice assistants. In other words, although their cost is higher, the TCL 6 series and

This product line can provide much brighter, higher contrast, and better color images, and they are worth the relatively high price if you can afford them.


Will Greenwald (Will Greenwald) has been engaged in consumer technology research for ten years and has worked as an editor for, Sound & Vision and Maximum PC. His work and analysis have been seen in GamePro,, and some other publications. Currently, he covers consumer electronics products in PC Labs as an in-house home entertainment expert, and is responsible for reviewing TVs, media hubs, speakers, headphones, and gaming accessories. Will is also a THX Class I home theater expert and ISF Class III TV calibrator expert, ensuring the thoroughness and accuracy of all PCMag TV reviews.

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