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9 Reasons Why I’m Buying a TCL Class S3 LED Smart TV

TCL vs LG

9 Reasons Why I’m Buying a TCL Class S3 LED Smart TV

Key Points

  • The TCL Class S3 LED Smart TV offers a load of streaming features backed by decent picture and sound for one of the lowest prices.
  • The TCL Class S3 is an affordable TV that bridges the gap between quality and price, offering just enough features without going overboard.
  • The TCL Class S3 has reliable picture quality with its refined Direct LED backlight and offers a wide range of smart features with the Roku TV OS.
  • The TCL Class S3 comes in multiple screen sizes and has easy setup and plenty of connectivity options.
  • The TCL Class S3 has decent sound quality and Apple AirPlay integration, and it was designed for seamless streaming.

Looking to upgrade your entertainment, but still hurting from holiday spending? The TCL Class S3 LED Smart TV offers a load of streaming features backed by decent picture and sound for one of the lowest prices I’ve seen.

Whether you want to watch your favorite shows on Netflix or hook up your Xbox for gaming, this is a pretty sweet model. Let’s check out all the reasons to consider picking one up.

What Is the TCL Class S3 LED Smart TV?

Budget-Friendly with Great Features
TCL 32-Inch Class S3 1080p LED Roku Smart TV
$149.99
  • Direct LED backlight
  • Bezel-less design for edge-to-edge viewing
  • 3 HDMI inputs including one with ARC
  • Roku TV Smart OS
  • Game Mode delivers the lowest possible input lag and latency
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
03/03/2024 09:56 am GMT

In a market dominated by high-quality, high-price televisions from Samsung, Sony, and LG, the Chinese manufacturer TCL caters to the everyday person with its affordable S-series. This line of budget-friendly TVs tries to bridge the gap between quality and price, offering just enough features without going overboard. The result is a TV that anyone can enjoy.

TCL releases its Class S3 as an elevated streaming platform. Built on the Roku TV operating system, users can access their favorite streaming platforms at the press of a button. Combined with Roku Smart Home and a load of voice controls, it’s hard to believe this television only costs a couple hundred dollars. 

A lot of the value comes in picture quality and refresh rate. It’s not designed to have the clearest image or the fastest picture rotation. Instead, TCL refines LED technology, introducing direct backlight. So while it doesn’t try to compete with the latest QLEDs, it sits at the top of similar models.

The TCL Class S3 definitely comes built for a particular group of people. If you’re looking for a model that is easy to afford and still offers a nice viewing experience, this is a good television. Let’s take a look at what makes the S3 such a deal.

SpecificationsDetails
Screen size32-inch, 40-inch, 43-inch
Resolution1080p
Light typeDirect LED (backlight)
Operating systemRoku TV
Refresh rate60Hz
FeaturesRoku mobile app, Alexa, Google Assistant, Roku Smart Home, Apple HomeKit, Screen Mirroring, Game Mode, Dynamic Contrast, Dolby Audio
Connectivity3x HDMI 2.0 (1ARC), 1x USB 2.0, Composite A/V input, Digital optical audio output, Headphone jack, RF input
AudioDual 5-watt speakers
Screen brightnessMaximum around 200 nits
Wireless connectivityApple AirPlay
Price range$159.99 to $229.99
Recommended use casesBedroom, child’s room, kitchen, secondary TV

Reasons to Buy a TCL Class S3 LED Smart TV

Here are nine reasons why I plan to buy a TCL Class S3 LED Smart TV.

Affordability

When modern televisions run $1,000 or more, we appreciate that TCL offers a model that we can all afford. The Class S3 might be one of the most budget-friendly TVs out there, running as low as $159 for their 32-inch model. And even if you’re looking for something bigger, the price stays low:

  • 40-inch (TCL 40S325): $229.99
  • 43-inch (TCL 43S325): $199.99

Reliable Picture Quality

TCL uses LED lights in their budget televisions to keep prices low. However, the manufacturer doesn’t sacrifice picture quality for opting against the latest technology. In fact, TCL uses its refined Direct LED backlight to enhance black levels and improve color accuracy. It also reduces flashlighting to protect the life of your screen.

A Wide Range of Smart Features

The TCL Class S3 finds its foundation in the Roku TV OS — an integrated platform made for entertainment at the push of a button. Within, you can discover thousands of shows and movies using the Roku Smart remote. Or better, you can just ask:

  • “What movies can I watch for free?”
  • “Turn on subtitles”
  • “Go to the main menu”

With voice control, you can find anything that piques your interest without having to manually search for it. Along with this feature, you’ll have access to live and local television, smart home syncing (Roku, Apple, Alexa, and Google), and easy software updates.

Step 1: Setup Your Roku TV
From the Roku Home menu, you can access all of your favorite streaming platforms, any connected devices, and more.

Multiple Screen Sizes

It’s insane that a television with solid video quality and all of these features can run for under $200. Plus, because you’re saving so much, why not buy two? The TCL Class S3 comes in three sizes: 32-inch, 40-inch, and 43-inch. So whether you’re buying for the living room or the bedroom, you’ll have no problem finding a model that fits.

Easy Set Up

While smart televisions bring so much value and versatility, the thought of setting them up may make some hesitate. Fortunately, TCL simplifies this process straight out of the box. From assembly to the quick-start guide, you’ll have your television up and running just soon after it arrives.

Plenty of Connectivity Options

While the TCL Class S3 smart TV makes for a simple model, it still comes with all the ports necessary for your favorite devices and toys. Despite its compact size, the television includes 3 HDMI ports, a USB 2.0 port, and a digital optical audio output. This makes it the perfect model for setting up gaming consoles and syncing a soundbar.

Decent Sound Quality

There are multiple ways to experience sound through this budget television. Using either the HDMI ARC or optical output, setting up a speaker requires a simple plugin. However, you won’t feel like you’re missing out if you don’t have an external audio system. The TCL Class S3 has dual 5-watt speakers, which provide clean audio in an immersive way. So whatever equipment you use, you’ll enjoy using this television.

Apple AirPlay Integration

Apple users will find this TV particularly valuable; the Class S3 comes with Apple AirPlay built-in, allowing you to connect your iPhone, iPad, or MacBook wirelessly. You can use the television to stream additional content or even use it as a second monitor for multitasking. Apple AirPlay on the TCL Class S3 further unlocks its potential.

It Was Designed for Streaming

Roku on tv streaming with remote
You can pair your Class S3 TV with the Roku remote for easy access to streaming platforms.

At the heart of this television lies one aspect: seamless streaming. From the very beginning, you’re introduced to the Roku Home menu. From here, you have access to the whole gamut of streaming platforms including Netflix, Hulu, Prime Video, Disney+, and more. 

The Class S3 pairs with an intuitive Roku remote, which offers even easier access to these platforms with the press of a button. So if you’re looking for a television to watch your favorite shows at an affordable price, you’ve found the model for you.

What to Consider Before Buying a TCL Class S3 LED Smart TV

Keep in mind that TCL made this budget model to help you save money. So while it comes packed with features and offers decent picture and sound, it won’t compare to your friend’s AMOLED TV

The TCL Class S3 is designed for 1080p HD video. It offers only a quarter of the clarity that 4K televisions are capable of. That’s not the end of the world, but you may miss out on some of the excitement, especially when it comes to videos filmed in ultra-high resolution.

This television has a baseline when it comes to gaming, too. Capable of just 60Hz, you’ll see no issues with low or medium-resolution games. Plus it offers a Game Mode for the lowest input lag and latency possible. However, most new titles run best around 120Hz-144Hz. So if you’re hoping to spend hours playing the latest Cyberpunk, you might want to consider a different model.

Reasons to Buy a TCL Class S3 LED Smart TV

1. Affordability
2. Reliable Picture Quality
3. A Wide Range of Smart Features
4. Multiple Screen Sizes
5. Easy Set Up
6. Plenty of Connectivity Options
7. Decent Sound Quality
8. Apple AirPlay Integration
9. It Was Designed for Streaming
  1. TCL 32-Inch Class S3 1080p LED Roku Smart TV
    $149.99
    • Direct LED backlight
    • Bezel-less design for edge-to-edge viewing
    • 3 HDMI inputs including one with ARC
    • Roku TV Smart OS
    • Game Mode delivers the lowest possible input lag and latency
    Buy Now

    We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

    03/03/2024 09:56 am GMT

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best budget smart TV?

The TCL Class S3 offers quick access to all of your favorite streaming platforms. It syncs with a Roku remote for an even easier connection. It comes with other features, including voice command and Roku Smart Home. Plus with Direct LED backlights and dual 5-watt speakers, you’ll have decent picture and sound.

Does the TCL Class S3 come with Roku?

The TCL CLass S3 runs on Roku TV OS. This allows you to go right to the home screen and choose from a long list of streaming platforms. It works with a Roku remote, and syncs with Roku Smart Home for additional features.

Is the TCL Class S3 good for gaming?

While te TCL Class S3 makes for a solid streaming television, it lacks the refresh rate to support modern gaming. However, those who play low or medium-resolution titles will still enjoy using this model.

Can I connect my iPhone to the TCL Class S3?

The TCL Class S3 comes with Apple AirPlay, allowing you to wirelessly connect your iPhone, iPad, or MacBook.

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