TCL 65S421 Review: Good Value TV at a Modest Cost

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By James Namo

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My take on TCL 65S421

Summary

The TCL 65S421 is a smart TV that offers decent picture qualities at an affordable price. Furthermore, it provides a user-friendly operating system, low input lag, and decent ports. Unfortunately, the TV lacks local dimming, Bluetooth, and the sound quality is poor.

Overall
3.5

Pros

  • Low input lag
  • Fast response time
  • Adequate port selection
  • Easy-to-use OS

Cons

  • Lacks local dimming
  • No Bluetooth
  • Imperfect viewing angle
  • Poor sound quality

TCL 65S421: At First Glance

TCL (Telephone Communication Limited) is a China-based electronic company. This company manufactures quality and affordable products, especially television sets.

For a while now, TCL has been releasing amazing televisions that are budget-friendly. The TCL 65S421 is one of those televisions.

TCL 65S421 features some of the finest features you will find in televisions, including a ROKU TV operating system.

Meanwhile, if you wish to know more about the TCL 65S42, then I recommend you proceed to the following sections of this review.

TCL 65S421: Design, Dimension, and Weight

The TCL 65S421 design is pretty basic, with nothing fascinating about its look. Its body is mainly made of plastic with a matte-black finish.

Also, the TCL 65S421 has a slightly thick black bezel that borders its 4K resolution display. On the bottom bezel, you’ll find the TCL and ROKU TV inscription.

Moving to the television’s rear, the framework is characterized by a chain of triangular patterns at the top. Also, the TCL 65S421 has a couple of stripes that cut across a portion close to the center of the TV’s back.

The build material of the TCL 65S421 is mostly metal at the top and plastic for the remaining parts of the TV except for the stand. The overall build quality is good but not so much classy.

Speaking of the stand, the TCL 65S421 comes with a plastic stand that has a black finishing and features two V-shaped legs.

These legs span the length of the TCL 65S421 and support the TV nicely. Hence, you can place the TV on a fairly wide table.

However, the stand won’t stop the TV from jiggling when bumped. Meanwhile, if you decide to mount the TV on the wall, the TCL 65S421 has provision for 100 x 100 VESA holes at the back.

Even though the TCL 65S421 is thicker at its bottom back, it won’t stick out if mounted on the wall.

In terms of dimension and weight, the TV measures 1455.4 x 78.7 x 845.8 mm (W x D x H). Meanwhile, it weighs 17599.3 g.

Compared to the Philips 65PFL5504/F7, the TCL 65S421 is thinner and lighter. To be precise, the Philips 65PFL5504/F7 measures 1457.9 x 101.6 x 840.7 mm (W x D x H) and weighs 18098.3g.

In summary, the TCL 65S421 has a decent design, but it is not that classy. Hence, in this section of the article, I will be rating it a seven.

TCL 65S421: Display Features

In terms of display, the TCL 65S421 boasts a 65-inch screen. It further offers a resolution of 4K UHD (3840 x 2160) for its display.

A UHD resolution is four times better than what you’ll get from a Full HD resolution display. This implies that the TCL 65S421’s display is very sharp.

In addition to its impressive resolution, the display also employs direct backlighting LED technology. This is to say that there are light-emitting diodes at the back of the TV’s LCD panel.

These light-emitting diodes provide general brightness to the display. As a result, the TCL 65S421 should offer a good picture quality, regardless of its affordability.

That being said, let’s discuss its display performance.

The first performance factor we will consider is the color gamut. Color gamut is the ability of a TV display to produce a wide range of colors.

To be precise, the TCL 65S421 records 63.5% of the Rec 2020 color space gamut test. This result proves the TV has a decent amount of color reproduction.

However, with this result, we still can’t refer to this display as being wide-colored. This is because the display does not cover as much as 90% of the color gamut.

Moving on, let’s discuss the contrast ratio. A display’s contrast ratio is the luminous difference between bright whites and deep blacks on a display.

Impressively, the TCL 65S421 has an excellent contrast ratio of 6,054: 1. Thankfully, high contrast ratios are typical of televisions with VA panels like the TCL 65S421.

As a result, the deep blacks in movies scenes in a dark room will look darker and more appealing on this television.

Sadly, the TCL 65S421 doesn’t have a local dimming feature. To give more details, local dimming enhances the volume of deep blacks on a TV display.

Thus, assuming the local dimming feature was present it would have made the dark scenes even darker. To worsen the situation, the TCL 65S421’s brightness level is also not impressive.

Precisely, the TCL 65S421 measured 183 nits, this score is way below the standard 650 nits. To that effect, the TV won’t be bright enough in a bright room.

However, the TCL 65S421 supports the HDR10 format and, this format aims to boost the brightness of a display. But, unfortunately, the HDR10 won’t do much.

This is because the HDR10 doesn’t have more support from rich HDR formats like Dolby Vision.

Furthermore, the TCL 65S421 has a poor viewing angle. Therefore, the TV’s picture quality might deteriorate when viewed from an angle.

Unfortunately, poor viewing angles are also typical of televisions with VA panels. Thus, you will have to face the TV directly to get an accurate view.

On the positive side, the TCL 65S421 handles reflection decently. Moreover, thanks to its semi-gloss finish, the reflection of light is fairly under control hence, there shouldn’t be much distraction.

However, the TV might struggle with reflection under direct sunlight.

Nonetheless, the TCL 65S421 has a good refresh rate of 60Hz. Refresh rate refers to how often and fast a display updates image frames.

The refresh rate recorded by this TV, coupled with its low input lag, makes it excellent for playing games. Speaking of the input lag, the TCL 65S421 has a value of 13.0ms.

To give more details about input lag, it measures the delay between the input and output on a display. Another exciting thing about the TCL 65S421 is its excellent response time.

Response time refers to how fast a display can switch between colors. The lower the response time of a display the better its motion handling ability.

In light of this, it is impressive to know that this TLC TV has a response time of 12.1 ms. This value might not be the best, however, it is an acceptable value considering the price of the TCL 65S421.

Consequently, the TCL 65S421’s display is good for watching fast-moving content like sports.

In conclusion, the TCL 65S421 display is remarkable, having featured qualities that normally won’t be expected of a low-priced television. Hence, I’ll be rating it an eight in this review section.

TCL 65S421: Sound Features

In terms of sound production, the audio quality of the TCL 65S421 is lacking a lot. Having a pair of 8-watt speakers is the start of its sound flaw.

As a matter of concern, just an 8-watt speaker for a 65-inch TV is very disappointing. In addition to that, the bass of the speakers is nearly imaginary.

Also, you don’t get to feel the rumbling sounds when watching movies and playing games. Moreover, even the entire volume produced by the TCL 65S421 is very poor and won’t be suitable for rooms with surrounding noise.

Furthermore, the TCL 65S421 has a mediocre sound equilibrium effect. This means sound levels between the two 8-watt speakers are not equal, and of course, that’s when the volume is at maximum.

However, clear dialog sound is a bit ok when watching talk shows, news, and sports as long as the volume is average.

Regardless, the TCL 65S421 has an edge over the TCL 6 Series/R625. This is because the TCL 6 Series/R625 is way worse as regards its frequency response.

To elaborate, frequency response is the accurate measurement of produced sound level. Nevertheless, at 70 and 80 percent volume, the sound levels on the TCL 65S421 tend to balance a bit.

Also, the distortion performance of the TCL 65S421 is a bit decent based on its total harmonic distortion test result. This is because at average volume the distortion isn’t noticeable.

Speaking of the term “total harmonic distortion”, it measures the distortion level that a sound system produces. Therefore, in the distortion test, the TCL 65S421 registered 0.764 THD, which is not impressive.

In summary, the sound unit of the TCL 65S421 is nothing to write home about. Although it features two 8-watt speakers, it has no bass, and the distortion is heartbreaking.

However, the TV does produce clear dialog sound. To this end, I will be rating the TCL 65S421 a six.

TCL 65S421: Ports and Connectivity Features

The TCL 65S421 input option isn’t that great, but it is decent enough when you pause to think about its affordability.

These input options are at the rear of the TV and are all side-facing. An exception to this is the rear-facing power inlet located at the right side of the TV’s back.

Also, all the inputs are in a vertical position, hence, we’ll be discussing them accordingly.

From the top, we have a USB 2.0 port for connecting external storage devices. Also, the TV comes with an RJ-45 Ethernet port for wired internet connectivity.

In addition to that, the TCL 65S421 has three 2.0 HDMI ports, one of which supports ARC (Audio Return Channel).

This feature allows users to connect the TV with a soundbar. This could be an advantage since the TCL 65S421 sound quality is poor.

Meanwhile, below the third HDMI port, you will find the coaxial antenna/cable jack and a headphone jack.

Additionally, the TCL 65S421 has a Composite Video + L&R Audio in and lastly the digital optical out. Sadly, the TCL 65S421 doesn’t have Bluetooth.

Next up, we’ll be discussing the TV’s remote. The TCL 65S421 includes a ROKU remote control that is quite basic, easy to use, and not particularly large.

That said, let’s examine the basic function and looks of the TCL 65S421’s ROKU remote control.

The ROKU TV remote control is pill-shaped and has a black finish. It has a power button, home, and back buttons at the top.

Furthermore, the TCL 65S421’s ROKU remote control has a cross-shaped directional key button close to the center of the remote. Also, it features playback buttons at the center and below the directional pad.

Below the playback are the dedicated buttons for quick access to Sling TV, Netflix, HULU, and Direct TV Now. In addition to that, the TCL 65S421’s remote control volume controls and mute buttons are by the side.

Although the remote is small, it can still get the job done.

To conclude this section, the TCL 65S421 is equipped with a decent number of ports and a simple ROKU TV remote. Unfortunately the remote doesn’t have a built-in mic.

After much assessment, I will be rating this TV a seven in this section of the TCL 65S421 review.

TCL 65S421: Smart Features

The TCL 65S421 comes with a version 9.0 ROKU TV operating system. The OS interface is straightforward and easy to use.

Furthermore, the app selection that the TCL 65S421 OS offers is very impressive. Its operating system responds smoothly without much lag.

Moreover, its layout organization makes the TCL 65S421’s operating system easy to use. The interface elements that are frequently accessed are placed in areas where they can be easily accessed.

One good thing about the TCL 65S421 ROKU OS is that it doesn’t have aggressive ads. Moreover, users can as well opt-out of any unwanted ads.

As earlier mentioned, the TCL 65S421 has a good app selection for your streaming pleasure. These apps include Amazon Prime, YouTube, Netflix, MOTV, and the likes.

However, if the featured apps are not enough, the OS allows users to have access to more apps on the Roku store.

Furthermore, users can also stream with those apps in HDR playback. Also, since the TCL 65S421 remote doesn’t have an in-built mic, you can download the Roku app.

With the Roku app, users can make voice searches, however, it is only limited to basic searches. Alternatively, users can pair the TV with Amazon Alexa or Google Assitant to take advantage of the TCL 65S421 in-built voice control feature.

Furthermore, users can stream to the TV from smartphones, tablets, and laptops through the help of Miracast.

In conclusion, the TCL 65S421 Roku platform is smooth, easy to use, and features a good layout. Hence, I’ll be rating this TV a seven in this review section.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Is TCL 65S421 a good TV model?

The TCL 65S421 is a smart TV that offers decent picture qualities at an affordable price. In addition, it provides a user-friendly operating system, low input lag, and has a decent number of ports.

Unfortunately, the TV lacks local dimming, Bluetooth, and its sound quality is not so impressive.

2. How affordable is the TCL 65S421?

The TCL 65S421 is an impressive smart TV that won’t break your bank. To be precise, this TV cost $597.96 in February 2022 when I wrote this review.

3. What remote does the TCL 65S421 have?

The TCL 65S421 comes with a Roku TV RC282 remote control.

4. What operating system does the TCL 65S421 have?

The TCL 65S421 comes with a version 9.0 ROKU TV operating system. The interface of this OS is straightforward and easy to use.

5. Does the TCL 65S421 have Bluetooth?

Unfortunately, the TCL 65S421 doesn’t have Bluetooth.

Conclusion

The TCL 65S421 is an impressive smart TV that won’t break your bank. This is because it is affordable and has decent features.

However, due to its affordability, there are some compromises regarding some of its features. For example, although the TCL 65S421 has a decent display, it lacks local dimming, and its brightness is poor.

Furthermore, the TCL 65S421 has poor sound quality and no Bluetooth. Regardless, the port selection is decent, and the operating system that the TV features is responsive and easy to use.

Therefore, if you need a less pricey smart TV with decent features, you might want to consider the TCL 65S421.

I hope you found this TCL 65S421 review helpful. If you found the review helpful, kindly click Yes to “Was this post Helpful?” below.

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For more Television reviews, visit our Television review page. You may also find our Television Specs page very helpful.

About the Author

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James Namo

James Namo is a Technical Writer for Itechguides.com. He has a B.Sc in Computer Science. Aside from writing for Itechguides.com James loves movies, music, cars, and gadgets. In Itechguides.com, he writes gadget buying guides, apps and software reviews, movies, and video games reviews.

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