Wondering if you could purchase an affordable 4K smart TV with decent performance? Then you’ll be interested in reading this TCL 55S403 review.
Itechguides' Take on TCL 55S403
The TCL 55S403 is a budget-friendly 4K television with an average performance. Furthermore, this TV comes with an amazing contrast ratio and HDR10 technology that improves its picture quality and color accuracy. However, the TV does not support local dimming and lacks Bluetooth.
- Impressive contrast ratio
- Good reflection handling
- HDR support
- Roku TV operating system
- Lacks local dimming
- No Bluetooth
- Poor viewing angles
In this review, I will cover the design and specifications of the TCL 55S403 in great detail. Additionally, I will take you through major aspects of the TV such as its display features, sound features, ports and connectivity features, and smart features.
Moreover, at the end of each section of this review, I will be rating the TV based on its performance and my personal perspective. Also, in various sections of this review, I will ensure to compare the TCL 55S403 with some of its competitors.
Lastly, you will get to know about the TV’s strengths and weaknesses. Therefore, I recommend that you follow this review to the end in other to make an informed purchase decision.
My Intial Thoughts
Over the past years, TCL has rapidly grown enough to measure up to Hisense and Vizio, which are its major competitors. Moreover, TCL is now best known for delivering high-quality TVs while meeting its consumer’s expectations with affordable sales prices.
Thankfully, the TCL 55S403 is no exception as it is one of the most affordable HDR 4K TVs available today. To give more details, with a price tag of $589.97, this television offers good features such as a fast response time, ROKU TV OS, and HDR compatibility.
It is important to note that this TV’s $589.97 price tag was accurate when I wrote this review in January 2022. Thus, by the time you’re reading this review, the TV’s price might have increased or reduced.
Having mentioned a few things about the TCL 55S403, let us get to know the TV even more in subsequent sections below.
TCL 55S403 Design, Dimension and Weight Review
TCL’s TV lineup is one of the finest in terms of design, delivering high-quality design. However, due to the fact that the TCL 55S40 is an affordable television, its design is not particularly of high quality.
That doesn’t mean its design is bad, though. Basically, the TCL 55S403 comes with more like an average design.
To give more details, the TCL 55S403 comes with a basic plastic chassis. This plastic chassis features a matte-black finish.
However, the television’s plastic bezels have a glossy-black finish that gives the TV a pleasant look when viewed from the front. Moreover, these bezels aren’t particularly thin, they are more of average thickness.
Furthermore, there’s a sliver-colored TCL logo at the middle of the bottom bezel. Also, to the right corner of this bottom bezel, there’s a “Roku TV” logo.
In my opinion, these inscriptions/logos add more design patterns to the TV’s appearance.
Moving away from the bezels, the TCL 55S403 comes with a set of plastic legs. These legs have a matte-black finish that matches the television’s chassis.
Furthermore, these legs are triangular in shape, each attached to the extreme edges of the TV’s bottom. Unfortunately, due to their plastic build, these legs might not be able to firmly support the TCL 55S403.
Therefore, the TV tends to wobble if poked even a bit.
Moving to the back of the TCL 55S403, you will be greeted with three parallel lines drawn across a plastic panel. Furthermore, the lower part of this television’s back is significantly thicker than the upper part.
The reason behind this is that the lower part of the TV’s back contains all of the TV’s ports and components. Thus, due to the thickness of its lower back, the TCL 55S403 will bulge out of the wall when wall-mounted.
Therefore, making the TV look awkward if mounted on the wall.
In terms of size and weight, the TCL 55S403 measures 1247.1 x 76.2 x 723.9 mm (W x D x H) and weighs 13380 g. Comparatively, this television is slightly lighter than the Hisense H8F, which weighs 13517.0 g and measures 1229.3 x 71.1 x 713.7 mm (W x D x H).
In conclusion, the TCL 55S403 features a basic design. Therefore, I will rate the TCL 55S403 a seven out of ten in this design review section.
TCL 55S403 Display Features Review
For display, the TCL 55S403 uses a 55-inch LED display. This display comes with a screen resolution of 4K UHD (3840 x 2160).
Being a display with 4K resolution, the TCL 55S403’s 55-inch display should be able to deliver realistic content. Also, the colors on the display should be bright and accurate.
That said, the TCL 55S403’s display comes with an impressive contrast ratio of 6,067:1. In case you are wondering what a contrast ratio is, let me explain.
A display’s contrast ratio is the ratio between the display’s brightest white and blackest black. In addition to that, the contrast ratio of a display is vital in determining the black level of the display.
Basically, if a display has a high contrast ratio, it will be able to produce deep black. Therefore, with its impressive 6,067:1 contrast ratio, blacks on the TCL 55S403’s 55-inch display will be deep and accurate.
Hence, watching movies with plenty of dark scenes on the TCL 55S403 will be very appealing. Sadly, this TV display doesn’t support local dimming that improves the black level of a display.
However, that shouldn’t be a major concern since the TCL 55S403’s display already have an impressive contrast ratio. Moreover, even though it doesn’t support local dimming, this display supports HDR.
For clarity, HDR (High dynamic range) is a picture technique that displays use to improve their brightness and color accuracy. Therefore, when viewing HDR-supported content from streaming apps, the picture quality of the TCL 55S403’s display will be incredible.
On the downside, the TCL 55S403 isn’t bright at all. To give more details, this television’s display comes with a peak brightness of 212 nits.
Therefore, you will tend to lose picture quality when viewing the TCL 55S403 in a well-lit or even moderately-lit area.
Regrettably, asides from its poor peak brightness, this television’s display also comes with poor viewing angles. Therefore, color accuracy and quality will reduce drastically when watching movies on the TCL 55S403 from the sides or extreme angles.
On a positive note, the TCL 55S403’s display has a low input lag of 12.6 milliseconds, which makes the TV suitable for gaming. Input lag is the amount of time that it takes a display to register a signal input from a remote control or gamepad.
Therefore, the lower the input lag, the better the gaming experience.
Unfortunately, this TV’s display comes with a 60Hz refresh rate, which is actually expected from a low-budget TV. For clarity, the refresh rate of your display refers to how many times it can draw a new image each second.
For example, the TCL 55S403’s 60Hz refresh rate means the display draws a new image 60 times every second. Moreover, the refresh rate of a display mostly determines if the display will be capable of handling fast-motion content.
Therefore, with its display’s average 60Hz refresh rate, the TCL 55S403 isn’t the best TV for viewing fast-motion content like sports.
In conclusion, the TCL 55S403 delivers an average display performance. Basically, this TV’s display offers a 4K resolution, an impressive contrast ratio, but has a poor brightness.
Hence, I will rate the TCL 55S403 a seven out of ten in this display review section.
TCL 55S403 Sound Features Review
I won’t say the TCL 55S403 offers good performance when it comes to the sound department, but I will say it’s average. The reason behind this is that the television comes with a pair of 8-watt speakers that produces a not-so-appealing sound.
Moreover, these speakers aren’t loud at all, they aren’t even loud enough to fill a medium-sized room with sound. To make matters even worse, the TCL 55S403 lacks a subwoofer.
What this basically means is that, with the television, bass is totally absent. Therefore, if you want to enjoy good sound and bass, I strongly recommend you purchase a subwoofer with the TCL 55S403.
On a positive note, despite the lack of a subwoofer, the TCL 55S403’s speakers produce a well-balanced sound for clear and understandable dialogue. For clarity, dialogue is the sound produced when there is a conversation between two or more characters in a film.
Aside from its impressive dialogue production, the TCL 55S403’s distortion performance is outstanding. This is evident through the television’s THD score of 0.559%.
THD (Total Harmonic Distortion) is a measurement that evaluates the amount of distortion a speaker or sound system produces. Moreover, the acceptable THD score is 1% or lower.
Therefore, because the TCL 55S403’s THD score is way less than 1%, distortion is inaudible on the TV even at the maximum volume level. Therefore, you shouldn’t have to worry about distortion when planning to watch a loud movie or play a loud song on the TCL 55S403.
In conclusion, the sound performance of the TCL 55S403 isn’t great, but it also isn’t bad. Notwithstanding, I still suggest that to get the optimal sound experience on the TCL 55S403, users need to purchase a soundbar.
Well, after thorough consideration, I will rate the TCL 55S403 a seven out of ten in this sound review section.
TCL 55S403 Port and Connectivity Features
To start with, the TCL 55S403 comes with a decent number of ports. Furthermore, these ports are all located on the right side of the television’s lower back.
Moreover, these ports include three HDMI ports, one of which is ARC-compatible. Therefore, using the ARC-compatible HDMI port, you can connect a soundbar to the TCL 55S403 without the stress of running an additional audio cable.
In addition to its HDMI ports, the TCL 55S403 features one USB 2.0 port and an RF connector for connecting an antenna to the TV. Also, this television comes with a composite video input, optical digital out, an Ethernet port, and a 3.5 mm headphone jack.
For wireless connectivity, the TCL 55S403 features an in-built 802.11ac Wi-Fi. Unfortunately, Bluetooth is absent on this television.
That said, now let us discuss the included remote control. The TCL 55S403 comes with a ROKU TV RC282 remote.
This remote has a pill-like shape and features a plus-shaped directional pad in the middle. Also, the remote is made of plastic and comes with a matte-black finish.
Interestingly, despite its small stature, the TCL 55S403’s remote features four dedicated buttons for quick access to streaming apps. These streaming apps include HULU, Netflix, DirectTV Now, and SLING TV.
Unfortunately, because the remote has a small shape, it lacks a number pad. Also, this remote lacks an in-built mic, which means it doesn’t support voice control.
All things considered, I will rate the TCL 55S403 an eight out of ten in this port and connectivity review section.
TCL 55S403 Smart Features Review
Just like most TCL television available, the TCL 55S403 features Roku TV operating system. This operating system has a good interface that is easy to understand and user-friendly.
Moreover, this operating system’s user-friendly interface is responsive, free of bugs, and has only minimal lag. Also, thanks to this Roku TV operating system, the TCL 55S403 has access to a great selection of streaming services.
Some streaming services that you will find on the TCL 55S403 include YouTube, HBO Now, HULU, Netflix, and Sling TV. However, you will have to pay a subscription fee to gain access to most of the streaming services that this TV offers.
I know you must be disappointed. Well, you don’t have to be disappointed because Roku TV OS also offers some major free streaming services including CBS news and Tubi.
Interestingly, with the help of the Roku app, you can share content from your smart devices to the TCL 55S403. Moreover, in case you misplace your remote control, you can also control the TCL 55S403 using the Roku app.
Furthermore, this Roku app is supported by both Android and iOS. Therefore, you can download the app from the App Store or the Google Play Store.
In summary, this TCL 55S403 features an impressive Roku TV operating system that allows it offers major free and paid streaming apps. Thus, I will rate the TCL 55S403 a nine out of ten in this smart review section.
Frequently Asked Questions
No, they are not bad. TCL is a good brand that offers good products at an affordable price.
Moreover, most TCL televisions offer amazing features such as a 4K display and the Roku TV operating system.
The TCL 55S403 was released in 2018.
Like most TCL television out there, the TCL 55S403 features the Roku TV operating system. This operating system offers a user-friendly interface and the majority of the popular streaming services.
The TCL television Brand is owned by a Chinese organization called TCL Communication Technology Holdings Ltd (TCT)
The TCL 55S403 is quite heavy, weighing a massive13,380.9 g.
My Final Thoughts
The TCL 55S403 is an affordable television that comes with a 55-inch 4K display. This television’s 4K display offers decent picture quality, excellent contrast ratio, and HDR compatibility.
Moreover, this television comes with the well-known Roku TV operating system. Therefore, the TV offers quite a good number of popular streaming apps including Netflix.
However, the TCL 55S403 comes with some major flaws which include poor display brightness, and not-loud-enough speakers.
Nonetheless, if you are looking for a budget-friendly TV with a decent performance, I totally recommend the TCL 55S403.
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References and Further Reading
- walmart.com – 55″ Class S-Series 4K UHD HDR Roku Smart TV – 55S403
- tomsguide.com – TCL 4 Series Roku TV (55S425) review
- rtings.com – TCL 4 Series 2020 TV Review
- amazon.com – TCL 55S403 LED 4K 120 Hz Wi-Fi Roku Smart TV, 55″ (Renewed)
- zkelectronics.com – TCL 55S403 (USA version)
- Itechguides Community
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