TCL 65s555 Review: A Budget QLED TV That Punches Above Its Weight

TCL 65s555 review

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Here’s a TCL 65s555 review that looks at the trend of high-performance QLED TVs that are gentle on the pocket.

The TCL S555 series promises the picture quality and feature set of a much more expensive display. This type of pleasant surprise is par for the course with brands like TCL, Hisense, and Vizio. After all, we’re in an era where ‘upstart’ brands keep nipping at the heels of older names like Samsung, LG, and Sony.

In a way, reviews of the 65-inch S555 Roku TV can be predictive tools. They can help us place bets on whether newer brands gradually catch up with famous household names.

TCL 65s555 review: Shoppers that should consider the 2022 TCL 5-series

With minimal effort, you can find and buy the 65-inch TCL s555 for less than $800. That’s a lot of QLED screen at a price point you’d only expect to see at black Friday sales. In addition, the 2022 TCL 5-series has basic gaming support, numerous smart features, and the promise of great picture quality. This product line is a good fit for:

TCL 65s555 review

1.       Movie lovers

QLED panels deliver vast color palettes that match the standard that filmmakers use to shoot and produce content. Two: Most VA panels are capable of creating the deep, uniform blacks and stark contrast that we need for beautiful images. The 65-inch TCL S555 panel is both of these things.

Movie buffs should expect an immersive experience with dark room viewing. Being a VA panel, the TV should be bright enough to hold its own against strong ambient light.

2.       Streaming fans

TV shows from cable boxes, satellite, and terrestrial channels look good on displays from the TCL 5-series. The s555 panel is also bright enough to handle glare and render clear, vivid images, even in a sunlit room. HDR content also retains highlights and fine detail in bright spaces.

3.       Gamers

Low input lag from the TCL s555 allows you to see your competition’s moves in time to counter them. The TV also has basic gaming features that reduce the chances of screen tearing and motion blur. Your gaming console should work great with the 2022 TCL 5-series, but you will be unable to enjoy titles with 120Hz frame rates.

Most shoppers would expect some tradeoffs with a deal that offers impressive specs and attractive pricing. The good news is that TCL is a brand with a habit of exceeding expectations. Let’s see what happens when you put the TCL S555 to work.

TCL 65s555 review: Design and build

The 65s555 has a simple design, angular side profile, and plain exterior of your average TV. Panels made of black plastic form the bulk of the TV cabinet. To complete the chassis, metal edges and thin bezels create a solid frame for the screen.

At 3.2 inches at its thickest, the s555 panel is chunky by today’s standards. Still, the TV is slim enough for a decent-looking wall-mount installation. You would need several M6 screws and a mounting bracket that matches the 300mmx300mm VESA wall-mount pattern on the back panel.  

Placing this 65-inch display on furniture requires a surface that can accommodate a footprint of 50.2” by 12.8”. The S555 has extra slots that provide the option of putting the TV feet closer together, at a distance of 27 inches. Yet this review would recommend furniture that can handle the larger, more stable spacing of the TV feet. No matter how you set up the 65s555, you get easy access to a column of side-facing ports.

[Read what others are saying about this television]


You get a few ‘legacy’ ports to go with the regular ports on TCL s555 televisions. We start with four HDMI ports with bandwidth that supports content with a maximum frame rate of 60fps. HDMI4 has eARC capability that allows for audio passthrough from media players to external audio devices. This port allows passthrough of DTS and Dolby Digital audio formats. Along with the HDMI ports, you get:

  • A digital optical output
  • One USB 2.0 port
  • 3.5mm audio jack
  • Composite AV input port
  • RF connector
  • Ethernet port

You also get dual-band WiFi which is essential for features like casting and screen mirroring. For some reason, the TCL s555 lacks Bluetooth which limits the kinds of sound equipment you can use with the TV. Still, you can use your Bluetooth headphones with the help of the Roku companion app. Simply install the app on your mobile device, pair your headphones with the device, and select ‘private listening’ on the app.

TCL 65s555 review:  The charms and benefits of Roku 

In a world of intrusive, in-your-face ads, the Roku platform is a breath of fresh air. The user interface is easy to navigate, thanks to a simple layout and ads that stay out of the way. Your favorite streaming apps are easy to spot, even if you’re a first-time user of the Roku interface. The same goes for different input sources and menu items, which you can locate with a quick glance at the home page. Most importantly, the UI is responsive to user commands and takes less than 5 seconds to load most apps. Other highlights of Roku TV are:

  • Support for Apple Airplay and Apple HomeKit
  • The Roku companion app turns your mobile device into a powerful remote for the TCL S555
  • Support for Alexa and Google Assistant through the Roku companion app

At some point, the Roku platform will suggest that you run an update. Go for it, especially if you come across some random glitch in the interface.

TCL 65s555 review: Hardware and performance

The 2022 5-series uses a 60Hz VA-type QLED panel with a direct array backlight and local dimming. This 4K panel gets pretty bright, especially for its price range. It will sustain a peak level of 550 nits, which is enough to deliver stunning HDR highlights. A bright VA panel should display clear images, even in spaces with plenty of light. With the TCL s555, you get clear, vivid video and decent reflection handling.

1.       Color reproduction

Being a QLED panel, the S555 has a wide color gamut that covers nearly all of the filmmakers’ color space. The TV also has an AI-powered processing module that uses the panel’s native capability to expand an already expansive color palette. For viewers, these qualities translate to rich colors that have plenty of nuance and variation.

Sunset at the beach soaks the screen with countless hues as light grazes the waves, the wet sand, the trees, and the leathery skin of the lead actor.

2.       Contrast and HDR content

The TCL 65S555 delivers outstanding black levels that combine with brilliant colors to create stark contrast. This means that you get to enjoy HDR highlights that are hard to miss. You can also spot small, intricate detail that would be hard to see in panels with less native contrast. Texture, depth, and other kinds of fine detail remain visible, even in darker sections of an image.

3.       Screen uniformity

Black uniformity on the s555 is near-perfect and the only fault you should see is a tiny amount of light bleedthrough. Gray uniformity should be pretty decent as well, except for a slight dirty-screen artifact. This small drawback is most noticeable with fast-moving objects zooming across a uniform screen. It follows that sports fans are most likely to notice patches of brown on a football or baseball field.

4.       Viewing angle

With a clever seating arrangement, the 65-inch s555 is large enough to mitigate the narrow viewing angle of a VA panel. The panel retains its brightness and contrast at wide angles. Still, viewers would have to deal with shifting colors starting at 45 degrees off-center.

5.       Motion handling and gaming support

An input lag of 11ms for 60fps content makes the TCL S555 one of the fastest budget TVs in the market. 11ms is fast enough to render responsive graphics during gameplay. Pixels switch colors in less than 14ms, which is fast enough to minimize motion blur.

On detecting a gaming console, the TV automatically switches to game mode to deliver the lowest lag time possible. You also get FreeSync VRR which will adjust the panel’s refresh rate to reach lows of 48Hz. This feature allows the TV to match the frame rate of slower games, which goes a long way to prevent screen tearing.


  • A wide color palette 
  • Accurate color reproduction
  • The TCL S55 is bright with excellent contrast
  • Vivid, detailed HDR content
  • Decent screen uniformity
  • Low input lag and response time
  • Basic gaming support with ALLM and FreeSync VRR
  • Roku is arguably the least bothersome smart TV interface, with the least bothersome ads


  • Minor light bleed
  • Slight motion blur and dirty screen effect
  • Narrow viewing angle
  • Both the TV and remote lack microphones, so you use voice commands by installing the Roku companion app on your phone
  • No Bluetooth connectivity
  • You may have to update the Roku software to deal with potential glitches
  • Shaky video upscaling 480p video

TCL 65s555 review verdict: Pricing and Performance Strike A Balance In This QLED Roku TV

This TCL 65s555 review finds that you can get a high-performance TV without breaking the bank. The 2022 TCL 5-series product line has a TV for every price range, depending on the model you want. A little legwork will get you the 50-inch and 55-inch models at less than 600 dollars. The 65” and 75” models are also available at a bargain.

In exchange for your money, you get great picture quality for all kinds of content. The built-in Roku OS is also a bonus that you get at no extra cost. Click here to learn more about this television.

Read more:

Fire TV Cube 3rd Gen Review: Speed and Roaring Power Crouch in a Small Box

LG OLED B2 65 Review: OLED Excellence at a Reasonable Price

Hisense 50A65H TV Review: A Closer Look at An Unbeatable Deal

TCL 98 Inch TV Review: A Big First Impression Backed by Solid Performance

Samsung Q7 Series Review: A Mixed Bag with Some Gems Inside



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