Review: TCL X955

A mind-blowing film experience!

Size does matter! TCL has previously impressed us with its affordable big screens. But do they have what it takes to climb into the highest class? The top series X955 in 98" and 115" gives us the answer.

Published 2024-04-18 - 5:00 am
TCL X955
Audun Hage

Much has already been written about the new TCL X955 TV colossus. But L&B Tech Reviews is among the first in the world to test the new top model, in both 98- and 115-inch versions. The latter is a brand new and exciting screen size, aimed at the most hardcore film and TV enthusiasts.

The reason these huge TV screens have become so popular in the Nordic region is probably because we Norwegians are among the few who are “crazy” enough to buy such a large TV, and also have enough space in our living rooms.

Author Audun Hage in front of 115″ TCL X955 (Photo: Amund S. Hammeren)

Testing such large TV screens also presents some logistical challenges – but sore knuckles and stiff backs are quickly forgotten when you get them up against the wall.

These are not cheap flat screens: The 98 and 115-inch X955 cost €12,999 and €29,999 (RRP) respectively, so the TCL X955 must really deliver the goods when it comes to picture quality. Plus, of course, we wonder if it’s worth going for the extreme size of a 115-inch colossus!

TCL 98X955 and 115X955 MAX: Colossal TVs for home cinema

The new top model from TCL uses an advanced 144 Hz 4K LCD picture panel with MiniLED backlight and local dimming.

The biggest difference between this and more affordable TCL models is in the backlight. The screens are densely packed with LEDs on the inside, divided into between 5,000 and 20,000 dimming zones depending on the screen size. The X955 should be able to squeeze out up to 5000 nits of brightness at full nail, which should make the displays suitable for sports, gaming and films with dazzling HDR effects.

The TCL X955 is a big, heavy and space-consuming TV. The 98-inch alone is approximately 2.2 x 1.3 metres wide/high and weighs 70 kilos. Meanwhile, the 115-inch measures a full 2.5 x 1.5 metres, and the scale stops at around 98 kilos. The TCL screens are also significantly thicker than an OLED TV, for example. But hey – you don’t buy a 98 or 115-inch because of the slim form factor!

On the plus side, the X955 is actually relatively easy to set up once you’ve opened the box. TCL has ensured that the feet can be mounted while the TV is in the box. Then just lift it into place. The heaviest 115″ model comes with its own carrying handles that are screwed into the sides.

Here you can see the physical dimensions of the TCL monitors.

The 98X955 has 171.6 cm fixed distance between the legs, while the 115X955 has 205.5 cm. The legs can be adjusted in height to accommodate a soundbar (Photo: TCL)

Ease of use and features

The user interface is similar to other TCL models: More specifically, Google TV with a wide range of apps and streaming services. The X955 also comes with a newer “premium” remote control in brushed metal.

We immediately notice that the TV responds quickly to commands and loads menus and apps very quickly. However, TCL has chosen a slightly odd position for the volume buttons, which are located on the side of the remote control. But that’s probably mostly a matter of getting used to it.

The TCL monitors support up to 144Hz refresh rate, to handle the most intense PC games as well as provide smoother motion (interpolation) on different types of TV content. The X955 also supports gaming at 120Hz with Dolby Vision HDR, which we verified on our Xbox Series X.

The TCL X955 also supports popular picture and sound formats such as Dolby Vision, HDR10+ and Dolby Atmos and DTS:X. It also has a surround sound speaker system from Onkyo inside. The 98X955 has 4.2.2 channels while the 115X955 MAX has 6.2.2 channels.

The TCL monitors also come with four HDMI 2.1 inputs, but as with many other models, only two of them support 4K/120-144Hz signals.

BIG TV BOXES: The 98-inch is no small thing, but the 115-inch was ” quite a job” to get through the door (Photo: Audun Hage)

Films are made to be seen on a big screen!

It may seem vulgar to bring a three to four square metre TV screen into your home. And yes, for regular TV viewing, this is probably overkill. However, if you have a dedicated room for home cinema and serious movie watching, it might actually make sense.

The fact is that with feature films in 2.35:1 format, much of the screen area is wasted in black bars, which steals a lot of the screen height – and film enjoyment – from a regular TV. So you simply have to think big when it comes to uncompromising film enjoyment.

The bonus of such a huge 16:9 TV is that you can also watch series, sports and games in full screen format. Many of today’s series and content are filmed and produced in 4K resolution with an impressive sharpness and level of detail that doesn’t come across very well on a (relatively) small 65″ or 75″ screen.

With 85″ we’re getting closer, but it’s still a long way up to the experience you can get from a 98″ TV. Not to mention 115 – we’re talking about a TV that can really give you the “IMAX feeling” in your own home.

Feature films like Ford v. Ferrari definitely deserve to be seen on a big screen (Photo: Audun Hage)

Picture quality

No need to beat around the bush: Both TCL monitors deliver very impressive picture quality that is among the best we’ve seen from LCD. Both brightness and contrast are very good, as expected, but also the light distribution is surprisingly precise, with virtually no halo effect.

Thanks to thousands of dimming zones (5,184 on 98″, and 20,000+ on 115″), the X955 is able to deliver a dazzlingly bright and precise image. The advanced backlight has high enough “resolution” and works fast enough to follow the image content to the letter. This also means that the black level is very deep and convincing, close to OLED class in many cases. Dark areas of the image remain black, with nothing spilling over from the bright areas.

TCL_115_vs_100_Rose.jpg TCL_115_vs_100_Tulipaner TCL_115_vs_100_Sommerfugl TCL_115_vs_100_Blomst
The TCL monitors have a very convincing, almost OLED-like black level (Photo: Amund S. Hammeren)

We spent the very first days of testing with the 98X955. Naturally, it offers a completely different picture experience than you might expect from a small 75 or 85-inch.

With a TV of this size, you can really appreciate all the detail inherent in the 4K format. In fact, we’d argue that you haven’t really seen 4K until you’ve looked at a screen this size! Even at a viewing distance of just under 3 metres, there’s no hint of pixelation, distortion or extra noise, unless it’s very prominent in the video signal.

When the TV picture is blown up in such a large format, you may be more aware of compression noise from streaming services, but the TCL-X955 has a well-functioning image processing system with effective noise reduction.

During the test, we used a lot of HDR video material from Netflix, HBO Max and Prime, which typically use the heavily compressed AV1 video codec. But the real wow factor came when we switched to 4K Blu-ray and lower compression test videos. For example, the UHD HDR Benchmark test disc from Spears & Munsil, which features videos in 4K Dolby Vision HDR format, mastered to 4000 nits.

Here we were able to enjoy the extra colour and highlight detail that comes with the HDR format. The TCL displays have an impressively wide colour gamut and dazzlingly strong reproduction of, for example, sunlight, blue skies, flames and sparks. Here, the X955 manages to reproduce many nuances that are lost on less light-capable displays. The realism is palpable, and we can literally feel the radiant heat from the screens in some cases.

TCL X955 test (10) TCL X955 test (11)
HDR content mastered to 4000 nits looks great on the TCL X955 (Photo: Audun Hage)

From 98 to 115 inches

98 inches isn’t exactly a small TV, but 115 inches is actually the biggest TV we’ve tested so far! That meant some useful test experiences and entertaining moments in front of the two TCL screens.

Looking at the 98X955 and 115X955 side by side, there’s no doubting the similarities. Both TCL monitors deliver roughly equivalent performance on colour reproduction, brightness and contrast, although it was clear that the 115’s big brother had the higher brightness in many cases – presumably as a result of even more dimming zones.

When it comes to picture EXPERIENCE, however, there is no doubt who is the king of the living room, and the eye is immediately drawn to the larger of the two, as images and subjects are larger and more visually striking.

Both the 98X955 and 115X955 MAX looked very convincing when we tested them with HDR video material and test images mastered to 4000 nits, but even then it was clear that “big brother” could cope with slightly higher brightness than little brother.

98″ The X955 is a big TV with the ability to engage. But there’s no doubt that its big brother looks extra “awe-inspiring” (Photo: Audun Hage)

Gaming on the TCL X955

The TCL monitors also offer a formidable gaming experience. This is something completely different from being glued to a 30-40 inch gaming PC monitor! Here you can lean back in your armchair and still have a full overview of the environment you’re travelling in, whether it’s a racing car game, role-playing game, flight simulator or shooter.

The X955 has an efficient game mode – Game Master Pro 2.0 – with low input lag (measured at around 14ms) and smooth flicker-free movements. We were able to play intense car games like Dirt 5 on Xbox at 120fps with crisp and smooth visuals without experiencing annoying screen tearing. The realism and immersion in shooter games like Gears 5 was also excellent, with brilliant shadow detail even through the darkest passages.

TCL X955 test (4) TCL X955 test (5) TCL X955 test (6) TCL X955 test (7)
The X955 has a dedicated gaming menu with various game-related settings and info.

The X955 has a dedicated gaming menu with various game-related settings and info.

Limited viewing angle

With the X955, TCL has managed to reduce many of the classic weaknesses of LCD, but of course they haven’t managed to eliminate them completely. This is primarily visible in the viewing angle. With an LCD layer and LED lighting on the back, the angle you look from becomes quite crucial.

When viewing the screen from the side, the image becomes noticeably paler with weaker colours and contrast. Therefore, you should arrange the TV and sofa/chairs so that viewers are seated directly in front of the TV. But as long as you take these precautions, there is little to criticise in terms of picture quality.

When it comes to motion and levelling (interpolation), TCL has not usually been in the same class as Sony, LG or Samsung, for example. But the TCL X955 seems to have made some improvements here too, and we tried a few different settings for motion and flicker reduction, eventually finding a good balance of smooth motion without an artificial “soap opera” effect. No TV is perfect in this area.

Like most LCD TVs, the TCL X955 looks best when viewed from the front. The black level remains good even when the picture is viewed from the side, but the colours slip a little (Photo: Audun Hage)


After a fascinating first impression, we took out our measuring instruments to check whether the TCL X955 lives up to its promises in terms of brightness and colour precision.

Measured straight out of the box in the most precise cinema mode, the TCL displays give generally good readings for MiniLED LCDs, albeit not quite in the reference class.

LCD screens with backlighting are known to be very dependent on local dimming to work properly, which means that the measurements can be a little uneven. You can achieve more precise measurements by switching off all local dimming, but then the screens also lose a lot of the extra contrast.

We measured the TCL X955 at just over 3000 nits (98″) and 4000 nits (115″) in a 10% test window in HDR mode. It’s undoubtedly a very powerful brightness, but some way off the specified 5000 nits. Despite repeated attempts in different window sizes and settings, we were unable to squeeze out the last few nits.

However, we must make a small reservation here, as this may be due to something in our chosen test mode, light meter or picture settings, and not necessarily a lack of brightness in the TV screen itself.

When we contacted TCL about this, they pointed out that the TVs are still very new, and that there may be newer, customised software that makes even better use of the capacity of the picture panel. At a TV event in Poland last year, a 98″ X955 managed just over 5000 nits.

TCL X955 test (8) TCL X955 test (13) TCL X955 test (15)
Measurements TCL 98X955 TCL 115X955
(Theatre mode)
Colour reproduction SDR 2,7 3,2
Greyscale SDR 4,3 4,9
Colour reproduction HDR 4,8 3,3
Greyscale HDR 4,9 4,5
2 % 1675 nits 2675 nits
5 % 3000 nits 4000 nits
10 % 3200 nits 3740 nits
25 % 3200 nits 2300 nits
50 % 1800 nits 1300 nits
75 % 1100 nits 1300 nits
100 % 896 nits 890 nits

Sound quality

With TVs of this size, it’s clearly advantageous to have multiple speakers.

Both TCL monitors have a slightly more lavish Onkyo sound system with 4.2.2 and 6.2.2 channels respectively. It consists of additional surround speakers on the top and sides, as well as two additional subwoofers on the back of the monitor.

The sound reproduction is above average, and gains extra efficiency thanks to the extra dispersion of the sound sources. The soundstage is sized to match the massive aspect ratio, and when the cars pass the pit on Ford v. Ferrari, we get a good sense of surround effect. Speech reproduction is relatively strong and clear, and you get a decent sense of the bass on music and sound effects.

That said, the built-in sound is no match for a separate soundbar or surround speaker system, and with a high-end TV, you might as well budget for a serious home cinema setup. We take that for granted!


TCL has previously impressed us with its large and affordable LCD screens. With the X955 series, they really take the step up to the high-end class. And we have to say that the Chinese manufacturer has succeeded well with its largest and most expensive TV to date.

Technically, the X955 delivers impressive brightness and contrast. The black level is also very good, with very little “halo” effect thanks to very precise and well-functioning local dimming.

Grayscale and colour reproduction is very nuanced, although colour precision is not quite “studio quality” out of the box. It may therefore be worth paying for a Calman calibration on this monitor.

All in all, we can safely recommend the TCL X955. If you’re dreaming of your own IMAX cinema, the 115″ TCL 115X955 MAX could be for you. But the 98-inch is in itself wild enough for most people, and appears to be the more sensible choice of the two – to the extent that a 98″ TV can be called sensible!

115″ The X955 appeals to home cinema enthusiasts, but the more compact 98X955 is also “big enough” in many contexts (Photo: Amund S. Hammeren)

TCL X955
Ultra High End

We think

The TCL X955 delivers an impressive picture experience with dazzling brightness, nuanced colour reproduction and crisp contrast. A great big screen for sports, gaming and home cinema. Like most LCD screens, the viewing angle is relatively narrow. You therefore get the best viewing experience sitting directly in front of the TV.

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