Among the several different TV models launched by TCL this year, the latest one to enter the market is TCL P8S. This will be our third Android TV review, and with each model, there has been consistent improvements from TCL’s side. Previously, we reviewed the TCL C6 and TCL S6500 — both Android TV models. In this TCL P8S review, we look into several factors on what makes this a great TV in such an affordable price range.
TCL P8S is the latest in their lineup of mid-range 4K TVs which is powered by Android 9.0 Pie, supports HDR10+ display, micro dimming and is equipped with Google Assistant and Chromecast. The TV also comes with Dolby Audio with twin integrated speakers at the bottom. All this is packaged in a super-slim design. This means, you can enjoy all the Android apps like Netflix, YouTube and countless others that you can download from the Google Play Store. As we have said before, TCL has been dominating the TV market globally by offering such features at an affordable price.
Our In-Depth TCL P8S Review
This latest TCL P8S came out earlier this quarter, but here we just got our hands on it and decided to do a full review for those looking to buy their very first Android TV experience with full UHD display and a flagship-like software experience. You can get the TCL P8S in several sizes, the one we have is the 50-inches model.
TCL P8-series consists of three different types. One is the main P8 model, then there is P8E and P8S series — all available in different screen sizes and a slight difference in their specs sheet.
Let’s start off with some quick technical specifications of the TV:
- 3840p x 2160p display screen
- A55x4 1.1Ghz 64bit CPU
- Mali 470 x 3 GPUs
- 4K HDR10+ Decoding
- 16GB storage
- 5000:1 contrast ratio
- Built-in Chromecast
- Dolby Audio
- Google Assistant
What’s Inside The Box
Now that we have established the basic tech specs of the TV, these are all the things that come inside the box of TCL P8S:
- TCL P8S TV
- 3x table metallic stands
- 2x AA batteries
- Remote control with mic
- Power cable and adapter
- Plenty of screws
- Quick user guide and manuals
- AV cable / adapter
- Wall mount (given separately)
So this is everything you get when you purchase TCL P8S TV.
Design / Display Quality
Like all of other TCL TV models, the P8S also features super-slim design with thin bezels all around and is surrounded by a metal frame. The integrated twin speakers are located at the bottom side and are capable of sound output at 20W. We have seen this similar design in previous TCL models as well. However, this seems to be a major upgrade for the mid-range TCL P-series. The P6 from last year sported a less fascinating front exterior and it did not have the full Android experience either.
Inside the box, you get three individual metallic desk stands that you can connect at the back side of this TV with included screws. That will allow you to place the TV on a table, desk or a console — this is how I have it in my living room. Alternatively, you can put up this TV on a wall using the wall mount that comes as a separate accessory, but you get it when you buy the TV. It’s just that the wall mount is not included inside the main TV box.
Like most TV sets, the P8S has been designed in a way that even if you wall mount this TV, you can easily plug in cables and hardware at the back. There are three HDMI slots, a LAN port, a cable connection port, two USB slots, AV port, SPDIF port and a 3.5mm headphones jack.
The screen is a big 3840 x 2160 display screen with full HDR10+ support, high colour gamut and micro dimming. The P8S panel offers a 5000:1 contrast ratio and 300 nits peak brightness levels. This means you can enjoy your Netflix and YouTube content with full HDR support — just the way it should be watched, and that too, in full 4K quality.
The backlit technology inside TCL P8S is intelligent enough to adjust the brightness automatically depending on the type of content you are watching on the screen.
Performance / Android TV
On a screen this size and with the above mentioned processor, you might think this TV would lag in basic operations — but that is not the case. P8S will definitely surprise you with its features, overall specifications and performance. This TV is just like a smartphone with full Android OS running on it. You will be amazed at how well the P8S handles full HDR10 content from YouTube or Netflix. I can safely say this after watching the full first season of The Witcher. Features like Micro Dimming Pro and high contrast ratio helps in a truly immersive experience.
This is a TV, not really a smartphone with high-end processors. So running benchmarks on it is not going to be much useful.
We have already talked about Android TV in our TCL C6 review, so we will not get into much details of the main software. However, it is definitely worth mentioning that TCL P8S comes with the newer version of Android TV which is based on Android 9.0 Pie. This means, it is also running the brand new version of the Google Play Store with better content discovery and newer apps and games to enjoy on this TV screen.
If compared to the TCL P6-series, the P8- series is definitely a major improvement since the former never had Android TV on it. It was shipped with the basic TV OS+ with only two apps — YouTube and Netflix. So I think, we will take Android TV any day over TV OS+.
Sound is not the strongest of points in the TCL P8-series, but the bottom-facing twin speakers are decent enough. If you are much concerned about the sound quality, you can safely go for an external sound bar but that can get costly.
Dolby Audio is very reliable on this TV for high-performing sound in movies or Netflix content. There is not much you can tweak around in terms of sound quality, but the presets are really good.
Connectivity and Ports
As mentioned earlier, there are several connectivity options. TCL P8-series come with a dedicated LAN slot — and trust me, you’d really need it. LAN connections are super useful if you really wan to enjoy true 4K content from streaming services. This is because our basic home wireless routers are not powerful enough to support 4K quality video; and of course, fast Internet.
There are 3 HDMI slots and 2 USB slots as well, among other ports at the back of the TV. Like other TCL models, there is no back case to cover the slots and wires when they are plugged in at the back.