The TCL S405 is a well-rounded budget 4K TV that offers good value for its cost. Its picture quality is fair and it is particularly great for gaming thanks to its low input lag and good overall motion handling.
Pro Decent for casual movies/TV watching
The S405 is a decent, affordable pick if you're a casual viewer. You'll get decent picture quality and a good 4K experience, but the HDR performance might be lacklustre due to the lack of local dimming, wide color gamut, and low HDR peak brightness.
Pro Highly versatile
The S405 is versatile enough to be used as a general-purpose display.
The picture quality is decent for movies and TV shows, and it checks all the boxes that makes a TV suitable for gaming, sports, and as a computer monitor: low input lag, low motion blur, good screen uniformity, and full 4:4:4 color support.
Pro Decent picture quality
The S405 looks decent with adequately deep black levels, above-average color accuracy, and sufficient peak brightness levels for most content.
It’s especially great at reproducing dark scenes thanks to the panel’s contrast ratio of about 4000:1, which means blacks can get really dark at about 4000 times darker than the brightest white it can produce.
Colors are spot-on even without calibration, and the panel can get bright enough with a peak brightness level of ~200 nits to make them pop in dark environments.
The best viewing experience will be in a dark environment where the panel won’t have to compete with light. The S405’s screen can’t really get bright enough to perform as well in bright environments.
Pro Colors are accurate even without calibration
The S405 is excellent at reproducing colors accurately out of the box.
Even without calibration, the colors are spot-on - they're very close to what the source signal demands, and any inaccuracies are generally considered imperceptible to most end users.
The overall average difference between the source signal and the panel's reproduction of the color is measured in Delta-E, where lower means better accuracy. The S405 has a Delta-E of below 2.0, and anything below 3.0 is generally considered accurate for most end users.
Pro Excellent for gaming
The S405 is excellent for gaming - the overall experience will be very responsive and fluid, thanks to the really low input lag and barely noticeable motion blur.
It has an input lag of ~15ms that makes the TV highly responsive to user input - gamers will have no issues keeping their actions in sync with what's on the display. The panel can fully change its pixels color in under 15ms, resulting in fast-moving objects not leaving any trails on the screen, eliminating virtually all motion blur.
It's also suitable for HDR gaming because there is no increased input lag for HDR, and it has full 4K suport @ 60 FPS, which makes it suitable for all new 4K games.
Pro Intuitive & smooth user interface
The S405 runs on the Roku TV smart platform, touted for its simple, straightforward, and lag-free UI.
It’s easy for anyone to grasp how navigation works, thanks to its two-column design with the menu on the left and options on the right.
There’s also no noticeable lag during navigation or menu selection.
Pro Decent for watching sports
The S405 is a good pick for watching sports thanks to its low motion blur and reasonably consistent color uniformity.
Fast-moving objects, like footballs, won't leave any visible trails on the screen due to the low motion blur of ~15ms. While there are slight uniformity inconsistencies in the edges of the panel when displaying large, same-color objects on screen, like football fields, the issues generally go unnoticed by most.
Pro Works well as a computer monitor
The S405 works well as a computer monitor thanks to its low input lag, barely noticeable motion blur, and full 4:4:4 color support. The 43" model can even be used up close due to its small minimal viewing distance.
The low input lag and low motion blur of ~15ms makes it highly responsive to input and gives it the ability to handle dynamic content well.
It also has full 4:4:4 color support, so text or shapes with hard edges on the screen won't be blurry.
Pro Excellent value for money
The S405 strikes a nice balance between picture quality, screen size, and input lag, all for an affordable price of below $500. It's a great choice for watching and gaming casually without breaking the bank.
Compared to its direct competitors, it offers decent picture quality that is a tad below them, bigger screen size, and lower input lag.
Content looks decent enough for most casual viewers - the black levels are sufficiently deep, colors are vivid, and it gets bright enough for most types of content in a dark room.
The size difference is pretty huge as options with similar size of 49", or even smaller, cost fairly more than the S405.
Its low input lag of ~15ms contributes to a more responsive gaming experience. It's barely noticeable, and it’s also one of the lowest among 4K TVs, which is an impressive feat in this price bracket.
Con Can't fight glare very well
The S405 can deal with low amounts of light, such as sunlight through curtains, but it won't be able to deal with significantly bright light.
Apart from being unable to get bright enough, its handling of reflections is only average. The panel has a semi-gloss finish which helps in reducing reflections a little, but its peak brightness level of ~200 nits is not enough for fighting glare.
Con Not suitable for group watching
The S405 has a narrow viewing angle that makes it unsuitable for watching with groups.
People sitting away from the center of the screen will not experience the same picture as those sitting in the center because the picture quality starts to deteriorate significantly when viewing from just ≥30° away from the screen's center.
Con HDR support is basic
The S405 can't reproduce HDR pictures very well because it lacks various important features.
HDR won't look much different from SDR due to the lack of wide color gamut and low peak brightness. It can't reproduce the full range of colors necessary for HDR, and the brightness level of only ~200 nits is barely enough for HDR content to stand out.
The black levels are also insufficient for highlights to stand out, and it won't be as dynamic as one would expect for HDR due to the lack of local dimming.