The TCL 5-Series Google TV (S546) belongs to TCL’s new line of Google-powered TVs, which use the new re-branded variation of Android TV. Despite several TCL models found on our list of the best TVs, the transfer to Google TV is an update to a currently great line of wise TVs. In brief, it makes them great, enabling them to take on one of the most premium TVs on wise features, as well as efficiency and develop quality.
We at first thought that the new Google-powered 5-Series would certainly appear and perform very just like the TCL 5-Series Roku TV (S535) that we evaluated previously this year, with previous TCL Android models showing off similar equipment and features to their Roku matchings. Rather, we’ve been treated to an upgraded wise TV that sees a variety of improvements and design changes.
That is saying a fair bit since the TCL 5-Series Roku TV has held a strong position as among the best TCL TVs you can obtain, and among the best TVs under $1,000, mostly because of the outstanding QLED display. The enhancement of Google TV brings with it a snappier user interface, smoother navigation, and one of the most individual and adjustable experiences of any wise TV system.
TCL 5-Series Google TV (S546): Pricing and Accessibility
The TCL 5-Series Google TV is available in 4 dimensions, varying from 50 inches up to 75 inches. The prices are approximately equivalent to TCL’s Roku-based 5-Series TVs, however, that comparable price is a little bit complicated, as it comes as a mix of rising prices for the 2020 Roku model and seller discounts on the new Google TV set. No matter, currently, the price distinction is incredibly narrow – within $20, since this writing.
50-inch (50S546) – $599.99
55-inch (55S546) – $649.99
65-inch (65S546) – $899.99
75-inch (75S546) – $1,299.99
All models feature the same QLED display and features explained listed below, varying just in screen dimension and the variety of distinct lowering areas support the display – up to 60 areas of local lowering on the biggest 75-inch model.
Because the various model dimensions of the TCL 5-Series Google TV (S546) are so comparable, we’re positive that our recommendations in this review put on all screen dimensions currently sold, not simply the 55-inch model we evaluated.
TCL 5-Series Google TV (S546): Design
TCL’s mid-range TV designs aren’t most likely to win any rewards, but the basic black plastic building does the job, providing durable real estate for a good 4K wise TV. It may not appear fancy or be the slimmest point on the TV aisle, but it obtains the job done.
The framework consists of openings for a 200 mm by 300 mm VESA brace, meaning that it can be easily hung on the wall surface using any one of the braces on our list of the best TV installs.
The 55-inch model that we evaluated measures 48.3 x 28.1 x 3.0 inches, and evaluates 34.4 extra pounds. That is light enough that you could probably obtain this setup without assistance, but also for a 55-inch screen, we suggest the 2nd set of hands.
The set also features a two-position stand, which allows you to change the size of space in between the consisted of feet, choosing between 22.7 and 42.3 inches apart. The basic boomerang-shaped feet are made of stout plastic and skip any additionals, such as integrated cable television directing.
The greatest aesthetic upgrade from last year’s TCL 5-Series Roku TV (S535) is a small, fabric-covered sensing unit bar under an all-time low bezel, focused simply listed below the TCL logo design. This tiny grey bar houses the set’s far-field microphones, which enable Google TV’s hands-free articulate management through Google Aide. It also has a sign light that transforms on and lets you know that articulate input is set off.
If you want to transform the microphones off, there is a physical turn on the rear of the cupboard, beside the power switch. It is a beefy switch with clear tags, which makes it satisfyingly obvious when it is changed on or off, so there is no complication about whether you have the room-listening mics allowed.
TCL 5-Series Google TV (S546): Ports
On the right-hand side of the TV framework, you will find the TV’s ports, set 6 or 7 inches in from the side of the display. There you will find 3 HDMI ports (one with ARC), a solitary USB port, and a coax link for antenna or cable television. There is a compound AV port that requires a consisted of adapter, and an electronic optical sound port for connecting older sound equipment, as well as a standard 3.5-millimeter jack for earphones or audio speakers.
The set is also equipped with 802.11ac Wi-Fi, for cable-free network connection, but is, strangely enough, missing out on Bluetooth.
TCL 5Series Google TV (S546): Efficiency
Watching the 4K trailer from Spider-Man: No Way Home, I was impressed by the color quality, which brought out the reds and blues in Spider-Man and Dr. Strange’s outfits — if perhaps a little oversaturated — and the flaring gold of Strange’s magic as he actors a mean. The TV’s local lowering increased the illumination of the glowing, magical visuals while mainly protecting the deep darkness of the personalities. It talks well to the TV’s HDR support. It is also among minority wise TVs on the marketplace to support both Dolby Vision and HDR10 Plus.
Clips of 4K nature video clips revealed vibrant blue skies and colorful plants and pets, with none of the banding that sometimes shows up on lower-quality displays, however, we did notice some crushed blacks in some scenes. However, in a letterboxed movie clip, benches over and listed below the picture looked suitably black, rather than the glowing grey that sometimes afflicts LCD TVs.
The just time we captured more egregious problems with the picture was when we used test displays that are designed to emphasize potential problems. A pink test screen discolored bent on white when viewed at any angles past 45 levels, and the effect also crept in about the sides of the screen when we were rested to shut to the QLED panel — also when focused before it. Those viewing angles looked equally as bad when we removaled up and down (such as standing from a sofa). It was much much less pronounced when watching real content, but the viewing angles do leave a great deal to be preferred.
Shooting up our Xbox Collection X, the TV offers 4K support for video games and content at 60Hz (as well as 24Hz and 50Hz for movies and various other content), but not the greater 120Hz. It does, however, support variable revitalize prices (VRR) in between 48 and 60Hz, as well as auto-reduced latency setting, switching perfectly to video game setting once it detected that the connected console had transformed on. A play test with Assassin’s Creed Valhalla looked great, with clear 4K resolution, smooth motion, and detailed structures.
TCL 5-Series Google TV (S546): Test outcomes
However some aesthetic distinctions from the 2020 TCL 5-Series Roku TV were an enjoyable surprise, we were much more delighted to see that efficiency had improved throughout the board, with the display offering better color, illumination, and much shorter lag times compared to the currently excellent Roku model.
Color precision was great right from the package, with a Delta-E average of 1.3 as measured by our X-Rite spectrophotometer. Lower ratings are better, and a 0 would certainly be a perfect score, but anything under 2.0 is accurate enough that the average individual can’t spot any inaccuracies in routine use. It is also significantly better compared to what we saw on other TV in this price range, beating out the Hisense U7G Android TV (1.9) and Toshiba C350 Terminate TV (1.6), and offering significantly better precision compared to the Sony Bravia X800H (3.6). It is also better compared to last year’s TCL Roku model (1.7), as well as several premium models that cost a lot more but still score greater compared to 2.0 in the same tests.
Color recreation was also outstanding, with the S546 recreating 99.97% of the Rec 709 color space – that is about just comparable to what you are getting without updating to an OLED TV. While lots of TVs hit shut to the 100% note, this strikes previous rivals such as the Toshiba C350 Terminate TV (95.01%), and sides in advance of others, such as the Sony Bravia X800H (99.75%) and the Hisense U7G Android TV (99.88%), however, you had been hard pushed to inform the distinction with the nude eye alone on those last 2. It is also a small, but a quantifiable improvement over the 2020 TCL 5-Series Roku TV (99.85%), which was excellent in its own right.
The TCL 5-Series Google TV also provides better illumination compared to the older Roku model, signing up 466 nits when we evaluated it in its brightest setting, compared with 391 nits. However, both are ruined by the Hisense U7G Android TV (621 nits), which leads to this mid-range price rate.
Players will love the 5-Series for its brief lagtimes, which clocked in at 11.8 milliseconds, much shorter compared to both the older TCL 5-Series Roku TV (13.1 ms) and the gaming-oriented Hisense U7G Android TV (17.2). That is not the fastest we’ve seen — the Sony Bravia X800H (11.2) and the Toshiba C350 Terminate TV (10.7) are both a hair much faster — but it is fast enough to be a wise choice for one of the most required players. Set those times with the excellent feature support offered by the set and the TCL 5-Series Google TV becomes a great option for requiring players.
TCL 5-Series Google TV (S546): Sound
The TV is equipped with a set of 8-watt audio speakers, offering passable stereo sound and good quantity. TVs in this price range aren’t known for excellent sound quality, and the 5-Series Google TV is no exemption. The TV offers remarkably great low-end for not having actually a subwoofer integrated, however, the treble can obtain shed in the blend in lower quantities.
It also upgrades the sound support from the 2020 5-Series Roku TV through Dolby Atmos, however, you will need an Atmos-enabled soundbar to enjoy the more immersive sound style.
While it offers room-filling quantity, the quality of sound drops off significantly when shown up greater compared to 50%, with distorted bass and also sound that appeared to cut in and out a little bit. Again, these problems are easily refixed by including among the best soundbars.
TCL 5-Series Google TV (S546): Smart TV
There is a solid situation to be made that Google TV is the best wise TV os on the marketplace, offering a tidy, easily-navigated home screen, with useful content recommendations, easy access to live TV, and the benefit of articulate control through the remote’s integrated mic or the TV’s incorporated far-field microphones.
The home screen and food selections of Google TV appear great, surpassing the currently strong experience that Android 10 provided.
It is also stylish, offering significantly quicker and smoother procedures compared to various other systems, consisting of the sometimes slow Roku TV software that many TCL-wise TVs use.
But the real treat remains in the unique features Google TV gives the table. You can set up individual accounts for each participant of the home, allowing you to enjoy personalized recommendations, include shows for your own watchlist right from your telephone, and communicate with lots of wise home devices from the convenience of your sofa.
TCL 5-Series Google TV (S546): Push-button control
TCL’s Google TV obtains an extremely different-looking push-button control to go with the new os, ditching the acquainted Roku device for a sleeker Google TV model that offers a remarkably abundant variety of features. Where wise TV remotes have often gone minimal, ditching switches for directional pads and maintaining the remote face uncluttered, Google TV includes a couple of new switches but ties them to effective features that I wish to see appearing on more wise TVs.
The usual switches are all there, with manages for power, leaping back to the home screen, accessing setups, and changing or muting the quantity. But Google TV includes new features, with switches for accessing your individual Watchlist, triggering Google Aide for articulate browse and commands, leaping right to the programming guide for local networks, and drawing up an on-screen keyboard. There is also a function called the fast panel, which draws up current and favorite applications and various other information, allowing you to see your faves without returning to the home screen. Plus there is a switch for the TCL Home application, giving you an on-screen device for managing various connected wise home devices.
Listed below all these functional manages are 4 dedicated application switches, with one-press access to Netflix, YouTube, the TCL Network (a brand-new free streaming solution on TCL TVs), and Amazon Prime Video clip.
The just issue we had with the remote was that our unit appeared to have experienced some shipping damage or a manufacturing problem that maintained the battery area from shutting securely. I was mainly fine throughout my hands-on testing, but throughout laboratory tests, it consistently dropped off.
TCL 5-Series Google TV (S546): Decision
Overall, the TCL 5-Series Google TV (S546) offers shoppers a genuine update from the already-great TCL 5-Series Roku TV (S535). The overall efficiency is better, the support for HDR and sound styles is broadened, and Google TV offers a great wise TV experience. And the price distinction between both is minimal, production it easy to suggest the Google-powered model over the Roku TV variation.
We’re most excited to see the same Google TV options on TCL’s more premium 6-Series model line, which upgrades the QLED display with a mini-LED backlight that provides better illumination and improved comparison control. Considering that we called the TCL 6-Series Roku TV (R635) among the best TVs of the year, the Google TV variation should produce an outstanding TV certainly.
But for the very best wise TV experience in a TV under $1,000, it is hard to reject that the TCL 5-Series Google TV (S546) is a strong competitor. That is many thanks almost completely to the improvements that come with Google’s new TV system, which outperforms the moderate efficiency improvements.