TCL 5-Series Roku TV (S535): Quantum dot Enhancement for Less

The 5-Series is much from perfect, however. It has the benefits of quantum dots, certain, but unless you want to maintain the TV in its default Vivid picture setting that oversaturates the picture, you will need to decide between color precision and greater top illumination. If you avoid the last option, the 5-Series does not have the necessary illumination to truly make HDR content shine. This sadly makes movies and shows appearance relatively boring.

Bad upscaling and some dull motion processing also produce a genuine step below the spectacular TCL 6-Series (R635), which we’d suggest at a slightly greater price.


While we have some gripes with its picture efficiency, it is hard to be crazy about the TCL 5-Series’ price – it starts at simply over $400 for the 50-inch variation (TCL 50S535) while the biggest dimension, the 75-inch (TCL 75S535), is available in at simply under $1,000.

While we have no problems with the price of the TV, the TCL 5-Series does rest instead precariously in the 2020 TCL TV schedule. Probably, you could make the situation to plunk down $250 more to obtain the significantly better TCL 6-Series R635 that ups the illumination of the screen, or conserve $100 by switching to the non-Dolby Vision-compatible TCL 4-Series.

Your various other option, if you are connected to this price point, is the spectacular Hisense H8G Quantum. Hisense does not have the same clout or name acknowledgment that TCL has, but the H8G brings many of the same features – minus the integrated Roku TV – and greater illumination of about 600 nits in HDR for about the same price.


The TCL 5-Series (S535) is valued on the lower finish of the mid-range, but it certainly does not appear like it. With a very little bezel and metal frame, the 5-Series should appear modern and sleek in any living room.

To shape a variety of entertainment centers, the 5-Series is available in 4 dimensions: 50 inches, 55 inches, 65 inches, and 75 inches. We were sent out the 50-inch model for review, but beyond the variety of lowering areas, the specifications and features remain the same.

This year, TCL has included a minimal cable television management system in the rear of both legs that have been burrowed that can be used to run HDMI and power cable televisions. Sadly, we found that the legs just weren’t able to hold all 4 HDMI cable televisions we had going to the TV, but folks with fewer links should have the ability to conceal cable televisions without a lot of a problem.

Talking cable televisions, the 5-Series offers one set of traditional RCA inputs and 4 HDMI ports, all of which are HDMI 2.0b certified, and one is eARC-enabled. That last port allows you to connect an AV receiver or soundbar system and use one remote to control the quantity and inputs – an extremely handy feature if your home entertainment system has several elements.

Probably the greatest defect of the design, however, is the IR remote that ships with the TV. Without an integrated Bluetooth connection, there is no chance to use it for articulate searches and it constantly requires a line of view to the IR receiver located underside of the TV.

That last bit isn’t a deal-breaker whatsoever, and you can still use the Roku application if you want to use articulate browse on the TV, but the less-premium plastic IR remote is simply another small drawback compared with the slightly more expensive TCL 6-Series.

Smart TV (Roku TV)

The TCL 5-Series S535 uses Roku TV, an egalitarian wise TV system that has a reasonable and durable browse feature and most of the significant streaming applications.

To wit, you will find everything from Netflix, Hulu, Sling TV, and Amazon, to lesser-known networks such as Pluto. television, tube, Crackle, and others, plus new streaming solutions such as Peacock, HBO Max, Disney Plus, and Apple TV Plus, too.

With so many options extensive browse is available in handy. As opposed to the Apple TV or Amazon Terminate TV, both of which would certainly a lot instead have you stream from their ancillary streaming solutions over any one of the third-party ones, Roku does not have ties to a significant streaming solution which means it does not press you in any instructions you do not want to go.

If you are a cable cutter, you will love the Featured Free area of the homepage that shows you what’s available free of charge on the various solutions and Roku’s own streaming solution, The Roku Network, which provides its own collection of completely free movies that change in and out every couple of months. These are important sources for cord-cutters that want live cable-free, and a great alternative to network browsing for folks that still have a box.

One nice surprise TCL and Roku put right into the TV is that it is Screencast-ready – a useful feature that allows you to actors content from your mobile phone for your TV. This behaves as if you have actually a team of friends over and they all want a transform showing their favorite YouTube clip, or if you want to use your TV as an electronic picture frame when family comes to visit.

The overall efficiency of the system fallen leaves something to be preferred – as shows on Netflix did take a 2nd or more to load – but overall speed isn’t a significant issue.

In regards to wise aides, Roku TV uses the Roku Aide, which is truly just great for finding shows and movies, but it does connect to Amazon Alexa and Google Aide if you want to control the TV using either among those wise home systems.

That aide isn’t nearly as handy as having actually Alexa or Google Aide built straight right into the TV, but that is a fairly small complaint all points considered.


The efficiency of the TCL 5-Series is a little bit varied. Components of the efficiency, such as the way the complete array local lowering system maintains black degrees reduced, are amazing but the TV has a genuine problem with illumination that holds it back from being a really great experience.

One of the most harmful aspects of the TV’s efficiency is its lack of illumination, particularly when watching HDR content. Illumination degrees max out about 450 nits of top illumination, which is about fifty percent of what various other mid-range 4K HDR TVs produced.

Because illumination is a visible soft spot for the TCL 5-Series, color saturation takes a strike, too. While the quantum dots do provide a wider color range, without a more vibrant backlight you are not obtaining the best color saturation and you are losing a great deal of vibrancy.

Similarly, upscaling isn’t wonderful, which isn’t unexpected considering that the 5-Series uses TCL’s AIPQ cpu that we mostly found not successful at upconversion on the TCL 6-Series. Production issues are even worse, its lower native revitalization rate of 60Hz means motion processing isn’t nearly just comparable to the TCL 6-Series that is simply one step over it.

What can you do about it? Well, we found some success by tweaking the setups (we set Activity Smoothing to High and LED Motion Clearness to On) but we still found motion artifacts in hectic video cam frying pans. It is simply something you will need to deal with.

In regards to off-axis viewing angles, you practically just want to watch this TV head-on. The 5-Series does a somewhat better job keeping color saturation off-axis compared to some of its competitors such as last year’s Vizio V-Series, but anything greater than a couple of levels seriously degrades the integrity of the picture.

Sound, similarly, is absolutely nothing to write home about. It is serviceable with a concentration on the mid-range for clear discussion but does not have any kind of shimmer in the highs or any real roar in the bass. It is fine, but a soundbar is definitely suggested.

If there is a silver cellular lining to the 5-Series’ efficiency, it is that it just has 11ms of lag and has a video game setting that will transform on immediately when you transform on a computer game. Combined, these 2 features certainly help video games feel more receptive – something we can vouch for after having fun several hrs of extreme UFC 3 suits on the 5-Series – but without HDMI 2.1 and/or 120Hz support, it is truly not great in shape for the Xbox Collection X or PS5.

Finally, the 5-Series does have Dolby Vision support and Dolby Atmos passthrough. The previous allows the TV to access the finest content over streaming solutions, while the last can pipeline spatial sound for your soundbar without a dedicated streaming gamer.

Both can regularly be found on more expensive TV sets, but to find them here at this price seems like a genuine hidden prize.

Should you buy the TCL 5-Series (S535)?

Buy it if…

You want an inexpensive and user-friendly wise TV

Roku TV is among the big highlights of the TCL 5-Series. It is extremely easy to use, pretty extensive in regards to the applications available on it, and has a free streaming solution baked right in if you are looking to cut the cable.

You are interested in Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos

The TCL 5-Series S535 is among the most affordable Dolby Vision TVs out there today, and it can also pass Dolby Atmos sound through its eARC HDMI port. If you’ve been interested in those technologies and do not want to invest a great deal to inspect them out, the 5-Series is the most affordable ticket in the area.

Do not buy it if…

You are a stickler for perfect shades and high illumination

The 5-Series isn’t boring whatsoever, but with about just 450 nits of top illumination, it does not touch the 1,000 nits of top illumination needed for the very best HDR efficiency.

You are buying a brand-new TV for the Xbox Collection X or PS5

Because it has just an indigenous revitalization rate of 60Hz and uses HDMI 2.0 ports, you definitely should not buy this TV if you want the maximum efficiency of the PS5 and Xbox Collection X. Rather, appearance out for a TV with 120Hz and HDMI 2.1 – such as the LG CX OLED, Vizio OLED or Sony X900H – rather.