TCL X955 Review: Top-level performance at a low price

TCL X955 Review

TCL recently introduced and launched a new family of premium QD-Mini LED TVs, the TCL X955. This line provides the best image quality, and its main characteristics are its impressive size. The X955 series is a mammoth 85-inch, 98-inch and 115-inch TV offering a visual range that meets the most demanding demands.

The company dominates the widescreen segment with an iron fist, and the new TCL X955 immediately moves into the High-End segment. In addition to the size, this is helped by the Full Array local dimming VA panel with over 5,000 local dimming zones and 5,000 nits of brightness, as well as support for major standards. In the TCL 98X955 Mini LED 4K review, we will look at the main technological achievements of the new product.

TCL X955 review

Design

TCL X955 review

 

In terms of appearance, the TCL 98X955 TV has a typical TCL design. Even at this price point, it doesn’t try to make a stunning impression, but at the same time it looks good. The build quality also meets established standards. The TV is quite durable and the construction is satisfactory. The TV is a combination of metal and plastic, and our test unit doesn’t show any blemishes.

The thickness of the case slightly exceeds 4 cm, which in relation to its diagonal (249 cm) seems visually imperceptible. But compared to other Mini LED TVs, such as the Samsung QN90C , it is significantly thicker. However, if you mount the TV close to the wall, it will fit perfectly into any interior, like a work of art. Ports that face sideways and are close to the edge are also ideal for this installation method, making them easier to access.

The TCL X955 TV can also be installed on a stand. Metal legs 24 cm long keep the body from swaying forward/backward in case of accidental contact. Cables are also routed through holes in the legs, making them invisible. Next to the power button is a button to turn on the TV microphone. It allows you to adjust the volume hands-free.

The remote control also has a traditional TCL design. It is completely similar to the TCL QM8 TV remote control , differing only in the purpose of the quick access buttons. There are no numeric buttons; they are replaced by a button to turn on the virtual keyboard on the screen. As usual, it is equipped with a built-in microphone for using the voice control function.

 

Image quality

There’s no doubt that the 98X955’s flagship technology is Mini LED. This backlight divides the entire screen field into thousands of zones, illuminated by tiny LEDs. The brightness of each zone is adjusted separately. The 98-inch screen has 5184 such zones (54×96). The 85-inch TCL X955 model has 5,184 dimming zones, the same as the 98-inch, so in theory it should offer better backlight control due to the smaller LCD panel.

TCL calls its backlight technology Dual-5000 Mini LED. This is explained by the use of a wide-angle lens over each zone in the form of a double-layer arched bridge. This design helps to increase the uniformity of illumination, which ultimately makes the picture clearer. But it’s not just the precision control of local backlight dimming that makes this TV a flagship TV.

The strength of the TCL X955 series is also its high brightness. Full screen brightness reaches 900 nits, and peak HDR brightness increases to 5500 nits in the 5% window and 4500 nits in the 2% window. Shooting outdoors is particularly impressive, with landscapes or oceans bathed in sunlight that look better than any OLED TV.

This is due to the fact that the brightness of MiniLED LCD TVs is not reduced to the full-screen OLED brightness of 200-250 nits, but on the contrary, it has a larger margin. Bright scenes can last up to 5 seconds, after which the X955 drops to around 2200-2500 nits, the normal peak brightness level, to avoid overheating and damaging components. Real content (movies) usually have lower peak brightness due to the complex light/color composition in the scenes.

 

Of course, it’s hard to imagine that we need 5000 nits for a 5% window (5% of the screen). But this is necessary for tiny areas of the image of 0.05% or less if you want the stars to really sparkle, the reflections to sparkle, and the lamps to glow. It’s a balance between power (brightness) and refinement: miniLED LCD delivers power and OLED delivers refinement.

In terms of color, the X955 covers 97% of the DCI-P3 color gamut in Cinema mode (a shade below comparable TVs) and has a Delta-E value (color difference between source and screen) of 3.2. True color reproduction is ensured by TCL AI-Color technology. Coverage of the wider Rec. 2020 is within 80% – most LCD TVs and even some OLED TVs can’t cover that much.

As you would expect from the VA matrix that underlies the TCL X 955 QD-MiniLED TV, viewing angles are not expanded. When you deviate from the center, the picture begins to fade, unlike IPS panels . But with a sufficient distance from the TV, even with a wide seating of the audience, the angles of deviation from the center will be small.

TCL X955 – design

 

Game Mode

In gaming mode, the X955’s local dimming is less effective. This is not specific to TCL miniLED LCDs, but is simply a feature of local dimming. The backlight control has a specific rise and fall time and has a separate controller chip. And to reduce output lag while gaming, zone dimming is kept to a minimum. This is one area where OLED continues to outperform the most advanced miniLED LCDs.

Input lag is 13.5 ms at 60 Hz and 5.3 ms at 120 Hz. The TVs even have a special 240Hz half-vertical resolution mode (Dual-Line Gate or DLG) that provides an output latency of 2.8ms. Changing Local Dimming to “High” in Game Mode will increase output lag to around 15-17ms for 60…120Hz. For gamers, the TCL X955 TV also supports Auto Low Latency mode, variable refresh rate up to 144 Hz and AMD FreeSync.

Smart TV

The TV runs on the Android 12 intelligent system with the Google TV shell. X955 is equipped with AiPQ 3.0 processor (based on MediaTek Pentonic 700 SoC) with TCL’s latest proprietary AI algorithms to deliver optimized clarity, contrast, HDR support, color and motion in various scenes. The 85-inch variant is also certified by TUV Rheinland for its realistic visual experience.

The OS interface is relatively easy to use and works well, with a large selection of apps to choose from. Like most TVs on the market, the X955 suffers from advertising all over the screen and you can’t turn it off. There is a Miracast function for displaying content from mobile devices. The TCL Channel option allows you to watch content on demand and additional applications from TCL.

 

TCL X955 – switching

Sound

Although the X955 has an upgraded sound package compared to the TCL C755 , a 98-inch home theater TV still requires better sound. The X955 series offers compatibility with both Dolby Atmos and Dolby Digital+. Moreover, the new product offers support for Dolby Atmos FlexConnect, Dolby’s latest innovation in the field of immersive sound.

Dolby Atmos FlexConnect is a new feature that seamlessly connects your TV’s audio system with additional wireless speakers, delivering a larger, more immersive Dolby Atmos sound experience. The TV has two 10 W woofers, but you won’t hear impressive bass sound. To be more immersed in the atmosphere of the film, you should consider purchasing a soundbar. For example, TCL X937U .

Connections

We find all the X955 ports on the left side when viewed from the rear. As always, the power jack is the only port we see on the right side. Looking through all ports from top to bottom, we get the following. An Ethernet port for a wired connection to a local network, four HDMI ports (two of them are version 2.1), antenna jacks, a USB port, a composite video input (via an adapter), a headphone output and a digital optical audio output. Wireless communication – WIFi6 and Bluetooth 5.2. The USB 3.0 port is located on the side of the TV, which is very convenient for connecting flash drives.

Conclusion

If you really need top-level performance but aren’t tied to one of the big three brands Sony, LG or Samsung, then the TCL X955 is a great choice. It combines amazing options with a rather reassuring value that is hard to find these days when prices have increased significantly.

TCL X955 Specifications

Panel
Permission 4K UHD 3840×2160
Aspect Ratio 16:9
Diagonal size 249 cm
Type VA QLED MiniLED
Update frequency 144 Hz VRR +240 Hz DLG
HDR HDR10, HLG, Dolby Vision IQ, HDR10+
Color depth 10 bits
Contrast 6000:1 (typ.)
Brightness 5000 nits (max) / 720 nits (typ)
Backlight Direct FALD
Local dimming 5184 zones
Audio
System 4.2.2
general power 160 W
Number of speakers 8
Subwoofer 2×10 W
Dolby Atmos Yes, FlexConnect
Smart TV
operating system Android 12/Google TV
CPU AIPQ 3.0
Operating / built-in memory 3 GB / 64 GB
Google Assistant Yes
Miracast Yes
Game center Game Master Pro 2.0
Game options VRR 144 Hz, FreeSync Premium Pro, ALLM
Improves clarity in games Game Accelerator 240 Hz (DLG)
Connections
HDMI 2 x 2.1, 2 x 2.0
USB 1 x 2.0, 1 x 3.0
Audio output Digital optical
Analog video input Yes, via adapter
Headphone output Minijack 3.5 mm
LAN port Yes
WiFi 5 / 2.4 GHz + WiFi6 802.11 ax / ac / b / g / n
Nutrition 
Working consumption 600 W
Annual energy consumption 485 kWh/year
Dimensions and weight
Size with stand (WxHxD) 2178 x 1287 x 418 mm
Size without stand (WxHxD) 2178 x 1250 x 41 mm
Weight with stand 69 kg
Vesa mount 600 x 600