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TCL 85S546 Review (July 2024)

Looking for a massive, immersive viewing experience without breaking the bank? TCL’s 85S546 is a 85-inch behemoth that aims to deliver cinematic quality at a price that won’t make you cry. This QLED TV boasts an impressive array of features, including Dolby Vision HDR, HDR10+, and Google TV, promising a captivating visual experience with a wealth of streaming options. But is it all just hype, or does this TCL model truly deliver on its promises?

In this comprehensive review, we delve deep into the TCL 85S546, putting its performance to the test with real-world content. We’ll examine its picture quality, sound, smart features, and overall value proposition, considering its price point and competition in the market.

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Whether you’re a movie buff, a gamer, or simply seeking a large screen for everyday viewing, this review will help you determine if the TCL 85S546 is the right fit for your needs. We’ll explore the pros and cons, highlighting what makes this TV shine and where it falls short.

So, buckle up and join us as we embark on this journey into the world of big-screen entertainment with the TCL 85S546.

Name: TCL 85S546
Image: TCL 85S546
Price:
Rating: 4.2 out of 5 stars
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TCL 85S546: A Giant Leap for TCL?

The TCL 85S546 is a behemoth of a TV, boasting a massive 85-inch screen that dominates any room it occupies. This sheer size is a huge selling point for many, offering an immersive cinematic experience unlike anything you’ve seen before. But is the 85S546 more than just a big screen? Does it deliver the picture quality and features to justify its price tag? Let’s dive in and find out.

The 85S546 boasts a QLED panel, a technology known for its vibrant colors and deep blacks. This TV also features TCL’s proprietary Mini LED technology, which uses smaller LEDs for better control of backlight zones. The result is a screen that can achieve incredible contrast and highlight detail, making for a more impactful viewing experience. You’ll notice this especially when watching HDR content like movies and shows on streaming platforms.

But is the 85S546 truly a giant leap for TCL? It’s definitely a strong contender in the large-screen TV market, offering solid performance for its price. The 85S546 is a great option for those who want a big-screen experience without breaking the bank. While it doesn’t quite match the top-of-the-line models in terms of picture quality and features, it offers a good value proposition for the average viewer.

Design and Build Quality

The TCL 85S546 boasts a sleek and modern design that complements any living room. The large 85-inch screen dominates the space, commanding attention with its expansive canvas. The slim bezels surrounding the display create a sense of immersion, minimizing distractions and maximizing the viewing experience. The television rests on a sturdy, minimalist stand that provides a stable base. The stand’s design is understated, allowing the screen to take center stage. While the build quality feels solid, the plastic construction might not be as premium as some higher-end models. However, for a television of this size and price point, the build quality is respectable. It’s not overly heavy, making it easier to maneuver and position. The TCL 85S546 might not have the same premium build as some high-end models, but its solid construction and elegant design make it a visually appealing and functional addition to any home theater setup.

Picture Quality: A Feast for the Eyes?

The TCL 85S546 boasts a massive 85-inch 4K QLED display with HDR support, promising an immersive visual experience. But how does it perform in real-world scenarios? In short, the picture quality is impressive, offering vibrant colors, deep blacks, and sharp details, particularly for content streamed in high definition.

The QLED technology shines through with vibrant and accurate color reproduction. The colors pop off the screen, making everything from landscapes to movie scenes feel lifelike. The wide color gamut ensures that colors stay true to life even when viewed from different angles, making it ideal for larger rooms with multiple viewers.

The display’s high dynamic range (HDR) capabilities enhance the contrast, revealing greater detail in both the brightest and darkest areas of the screen. This creates a more realistic and visually captivating experience, especially when watching HDR-supported content. The black levels are deep and rich, providing a truly immersive experience that is especially noticeable in darker scenes.

However, there are a few minor drawbacks. The panel does suffer from some minor backlight bleed, especially in dark scenes, although it’s not overly distracting. Additionally, the viewing angles are not as wide as some of the higher-end TVs on the market, meaning some color shift may occur when viewing from extreme angles.

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Overall, the picture quality on the TCL 85S546 is excellent, delivering a vivid and detailed experience that is sure to impress. While there are some minor flaws, they are hardly noticeable and don’t detract from the overall viewing experience. This TV is a fantastic choice for anyone looking for a large screen with stunning visuals, especially for those who enjoy streaming content in high definition or HDR.

Sound Quality: Is it Big Enough?

The TCL 85S546 boasts a robust sound system for its size, featuring a 2.1 channel configuration with 30W of total output power. While this may not be the most powerful sound system you’ve encountered, it’s more than adequate for a room of this size. You’ll enjoy clear dialogue and decent bass, making it suitable for everyday TV viewing and casual movie nights. However, if you’re a serious audiophile or host large gatherings with booming sound needs, a separate sound bar might be a better option.

For a more immersive audio experience, the TCL 85S546 supports Dolby Audio, which enhances the sound quality by creating a more three-dimensional soundscape. This technology helps you hear the nuances in your favorite movies and TV shows, making the experience feel more realistic.

While the sound quality is good for its size, the speakers lack the depth and richness you’d find in a high-end audio system. For those who want to push the boundaries of their listening experience, investing in a separate sound system will significantly elevate the entertainment factor.

Smart Features: TCL’s Take on Smart TV

Smart Features: TCL's Take on Smart TV

TCL’s approach to smart TV features in the 85S546 is both familiar and refreshing. It runs on Google TV, a user-friendly interface that’s become a favorite among many. This platform offers access to a vast library of streaming apps, including Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, Hulu, and many more. You’ll also find popular live TV streaming services like YouTube TV and Sling TV, giving you plenty of options to cut the cord.

The 85S546 features Google Assistant voice control, allowing you to use your voice to search for content, control playback, adjust volume, and even manage smart home devices. Just say “Hey Google” followed by your command and you’re good to go. It’s a convenient feature that simplifies your TV experience.

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One of the standout features of TCL’s smart TV system is its integration with Google’s Chromecast built-in. This enables seamless casting from your smartphone, tablet, or laptop to the big screen. Want to share photos from your vacation or watch a video from YouTube? Casting makes it incredibly easy.

The 85S546 also boasts a variety of other useful smart features. The integrated TV guide provides a comprehensive view of your programming options. You can easily browse through channels, find specific shows, and even set recordings with the built-in DVR function (although the storage space is limited). The 85S546 supports HDR10 and Dolby Vision, enhancing the visual experience with vibrant colors and stunning contrast. You’ll also find support for Dolby Atmos, which delivers immersive and captivating audio.

While the 85S546 doesn’t have the most advanced smart features compared to high-end models from Samsung or LG, it offers a solid and comprehensive experience that should satisfy most users. It’s straightforward, easy to use, and provides access to a plethora of streaming content. If you’re looking for a smart TV with a focus on simplicity and ease of use, the TCL 85S546 might be a great fit for you.

Gaming Performance: A Gamer’s Delight?

The TCL 85S546 shines in its gaming performance, offering a smooth and immersive experience thanks to its impressive specs. With a 120Hz refresh rate and support for FreeSync Premium, you can expect buttery-smooth visuals with minimal screen tearing, even in fast-paced action sequences. The low input lag also ensures that your commands are translated into on-screen action quickly, giving you a competitive edge. The 4K resolution, coupled with Dolby Vision HDR, brings the game world to life with vibrant colors and deep blacks. While the TCL 85S546 might not be a dedicated gaming monitor, it offers an excellent gaming experience for console and PC gamers alike. Whether you’re conquering new worlds or competing in intense multiplayer battles, this TV will elevate your gaming sessions. However, it’s worth noting that the lack of HDMI 2.1 could limit the potential for next-generation console gamers, especially for features like Variable Refresh Rate (VRR) at higher resolutions.

Connectivity and Ports

The TCL 85S546 offers a comprehensive selection of ports and connectivity options to cater to diverse user needs. On the rear panel, you’ll find four HDMI ports, all supporting HDMI 2.1, allowing you to connect multiple devices like gaming consoles, Blu-ray players, and streaming boxes with high-bandwidth capabilities. There’s also a single USB port for connecting external storage devices, allowing you to play multimedia content directly from a USB drive.

For audio enthusiasts, the TV provides a dedicated optical audio output for connecting to a surround sound system or external soundbars, enhancing the overall audio experience. For those who prefer a wired connection, an Ethernet port is present for a stable and reliable internet connection.

To ensure seamless integration with your home theater setup, the TCL 85S546 also features an antenna input, allowing you to receive over-the-air broadcasts. The inclusion of a headphone jack is a nice touch, offering a private listening experience when needed.

With its wide array of ports and connectivity options, the TCL 85S546 delivers flexibility and compatibility for various user needs, ensuring a seamless and enjoyable viewing experience.

Pros and Cons

The TCL 85S546 boasts a large screen size, attractive design, and solid picture quality, making it a compelling option for those seeking a big-screen experience. However, it’s not without its drawbacks. Here’s a closer look at the pros and cons:

Pros:

  • Impressive Screen Size: The 85-inch display is a true spectacle, immersing you in your favorite movies and shows like never before. It’s ideal for large living rooms, home theaters, or even dedicated media rooms.
  • Solid Picture Quality: With 4K resolution and Quantum Dot technology, the TCL 85S546 delivers vibrant and accurate colors, sharp details, and excellent contrast. While it may not reach the peak performance of high-end TVs, it’s more than adequate for most viewers.
  • Affordable Price: Compared to other 85-inch TVs, the TCL 85S546 is priced competitively. This makes it an attractive choice for budget-conscious consumers who want a large screen without breaking the bank.
  • Smart Features: The TCL 85S546 comes equipped with Google TV, offering a vast library of streaming apps, voice control, and personalized recommendations. This makes navigating the TV and finding content a breeze.
  • Decent Sound Quality: While not the most powerful audio system, the TCL 85S546 delivers sufficient sound quality for everyday viewing. It’s clear and balanced, and you can always enhance it further with an external soundbar.

Cons:

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  • Average Sound Quality: The built-in speakers, while adequate, lack the punch and depth of dedicated audio systems. For an immersive home theater experience, you’ll likely want to invest in a separate soundbar or surround sound setup.
  • Limited HDR Support: The TCL 85S546 only supports HDR10, which is a widely adopted standard, but it lacks support for Dolby Vision, a more advanced HDR technology that delivers superior dynamic range.
  • Occasional Motion Blur: While the TCL 85S546 performs well in general, it can struggle with fast-paced action scenes, resulting in slight motion blur. This may not be noticeable for casual viewers, but it’s worth noting if you’re a hardcore gamer or movie enthusiast.
  • No Local Dimming: The lack of local dimming can result in uneven brightness across the screen, particularly in dark scenes. While this is not a major issue for most content, it’s something to keep in mind if you prioritize picture perfection.
  • Average Gaming Performance: While the TCL 85S546 can handle games, its performance isn’t exceptional. The input lag is decent, but it lacks the high refresh rates and advanced gaming features found on more expensive TVs.

Ultimately, the TCL 85S546 is a solid TV that offers a large screen, decent picture quality, and smart features at an attractive price. However, it’s not perfect and has some limitations, particularly in audio performance and HDR support. If you’re looking for a budget-friendly TV with a massive screen size, the TCL 85S546 is a strong contender. But if you prioritize top-notch picture quality, audio fidelity, and advanced gaming features, you may want to explore higher-end options.

Price and Value: Is It Worth It?

The TCL 85S546 is a big screen TV with a big price tag, so you’ll want to make sure it delivers on its promises. At around $1,200, it’s positioned as a mid-range option, but it’s going up against some tough competition.

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The key selling point here is the sheer size. 85 inches is a massive screen, and it’s going to dominate any room it’s in. For that price, you’re getting a 4K HDR display with Dolby Vision and HDR10 support, which should deliver excellent picture quality. The TV also has a decent sound system with Dolby Atmos support, though you might want to consider a soundbar for an even more immersive experience.

The TCL 85S546 also comes with a lot of smart features, including access to popular streaming services and Google TV. This makes it a versatile TV that can be used for a wide range of entertainment. However, some users have reported issues with the remote control and the user interface, so it’s worth doing some research before you buy.

Overall, the TCL 85S546 is a solid TV that offers a lot of value for the money, especially if you’re looking for a big screen experience. However, there are other TVs in this price range that offer similar features and performance. If you’re on a tight budget, you might want to consider a smaller screen size or a different brand. But if you’re looking for a big, immersive TV with excellent picture quality and plenty of features, the TCL 85S546 is a great option.

Conclusion: A Worthy Contender?

The TCL 85S546 offers a compelling package for those seeking a large-screen TV with decent picture quality and a budget-friendly price. While it doesn’t quite reach the heights of its more expensive competitors, it delivers a solid viewing experience for everyday use. The 85-inch screen size is a true spectacle, immersing viewers in their favorite movies and shows. The picture quality is generally good, with vibrant colors and sharp details, although some may find the black levels to be lacking. The sound quality is sufficient for casual viewing, but those seeking a more immersive audio experience may want to consider an external sound system. The smart features are user-friendly and offer a wide range of content options.

For gamers, the TCL 85S546 provides a decent gaming experience with minimal input lag. The connectivity options are adequate for most users, and the price tag makes it an attractive option for those on a budget. Overall, the TCL 85S546 is a worthy contender in the large-screen TV market. It’s not perfect, but it offers a lot of value for the price, making it a great choice for those who prioritize size and features over absolute top-of-the-line performance.

Overall, the TCL 85S546 is a compelling option for those looking for a large-screen TV with impressive picture quality at an affordable price. Its QLED technology delivers vibrant colors and deep blacks, while the mini-LED backlighting provides excellent contrast and local dimming. The 120Hz refresh rate ensures smooth motion handling, making it ideal for gaming and fast-paced content. While the sound quality could be better, it’s still sufficient for everyday viewing. However, the lack of HDR10+ support might be a dealbreaker for some viewers.

For those who prioritize a big screen experience without breaking the bank, the TCL 85S546 is a solid choice. Its large size and impressive picture quality make it perfect for movie nights and gaming sessions. However, if you’re a serious movie buff or prioritize the absolute best picture quality, there are other options available with higher peak brightness and wider color gamut.

Ultimately, the TCL 85S546 is a good value proposition for its size and picture quality. It’s a great option for those looking for a large-screen TV that delivers a cinematic experience without a hefty price tag. However, potential buyers should consider their specific needs and preferences before making a decision.

In conclusion, the TCL 85S546 offers a fantastic blend of size, picture quality, and affordability, making it an excellent choice for the average consumer looking for a large-screen TV to elevate their entertainment experience. Its strengths lie in its impressive visual performance, especially for the price point, but its sound quality and HDR limitations might make it a less compelling option for more discerning viewers.

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