Hands on: TCL X955 115 Max review

One of the biggest and boldest TVs we've ever seen

What is a hands on review?
TCL X955 115 Max
(Image: © Future)

Early Verdict

It's too early for our final verdict, but the TCL X955 115 Max is big, bold and bright


  • +

    Impactful and vibrant picture

  • +

    Bright highlights look effective against dark backgrounds

  • +

    Full HDR format support


  • -

    Impractical size

  • -

    Needs further testing ahead of our verdict

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Like it or not, TVs are getting bigger. It doesn't feel like that long ago that a 32-inch TV was considered to be too big for most people's living rooms, and while the acceptance of 55-, 65- and even 75-inch sets has become more widespread in recent years, the exponential growth of screen sizes just keeps going.

Last year it was all about 98-inch TVs: we even briefly tested the TCL P745 in this size during the TCL Experts Meet Experts event in Warsaw, Poland. Well, the TV brand has held another one of these events, and we're there now looking at its latest range, which includes the extravagantly large X955 115 Max, a 115-inch TV that absolutely dwarfs practically any set we've seen before. 

We briefly went toe to toe with this beast at CES 2024, but this time we've managed to bask in its bright, towering glory for a bit longer – here's what we think so far. 

Price & build

TCL X955 115 Max

(Image credit: Future)

There's two things you need to know about the TCL X955 115 Max: it's big and it's expensive. TCL hasn't revealed much in the way of pricing for this exact model quite yet and availability seems like it could be limited – thankfully you can also opt for the equally large (albeit slightly more manageable) 85- or 98-inch sizes. When we initially saw the North American variant of this TV at CES 2024, we were quoted a price of "under $20,000" which isn't entirely reassuring. 

The X955 is also absolutely huge, towering above the 98-inch set that's placed next to it. A 115-inch screen sounds big on paper, but it's not until you stand face-to-face with this TV that you realise quite how imposing it is. 

It seems to be sturdy though, with a pair of robust feet that stand fairly high, meaning it sits at a fairly comfortable viewing height. Width-wise, this TV is rather chunky, although at this point we weren't expecting OLED-like thinness if we're being honest. It features a similar grid-style pattern on the rear as many other TCL TVs we've seen, with a central mounted subwoofer and wall mounting points; if you have a wall big enough to place it on. 

The bezels surrounding the screen are thin enough to not distract from the picture, and all-in-all, this TV is actually more photogenic than we anticipated; which is appreciated considering it's a very difficult piece of hardware to ignore given its size.


TCL X955 115 Max

(Image credit: Future)

A TV this large has to have a whole lot of tech inside to justify its existence. Thankfully, TCL has obliged, as it crammed the X955 115 Max to the brim with features. Picture-wise, this is a 4K QD-Mini LED TV, which is basically TCL's branding term for using a combination of quantum dots with a Mini LED backlighting system. 

However, this is no ordinary backlighting module, as the X955 115 Max features a jaw-dropping 20,736 individual dimming zones according to TCL. It can also reach a dazzlingly bright 5000 nits of brightness too, not to mention it supports all of the HDR formats we look out for – that includes HDR10, HDR10+, Dolby Vision and HLG

Dolby Vision Gaming is supported and VRR, ALLM and HGiG are also on board. HDMI 2.1 allows for gaming at 4K/120Hz, although only two of the four ports are rated at the 48Gbps standard to allow this. Considering this TV is so huge and likely to put an equally sized strain on your wallet, it's frustrating that this is a compromise we have to make, but it's a common occurrence across the current TV landscape.

On to sound, this TV features a 6.2.2 speaker system, with dual up-firing speakers, dual subwoofers, quad side-firing speakers and dual front-firing speakers. TCL says it features "spatial sound" and, considering that the upward-firing drivers should aid with Dolby Atmos reproduction, we have no reason to dispute this claim. This system is tuned by Onkyo, which has had a hand in many TCL sets before, while the rear woofer should hopefully instigate some punchy bass.

TCL is also touting its answer to Q Symphony and WOW Orchestra with the Tutti Choral feature, which will allow the 2024 soundbars to sync with the TV speakers to create a "sound dome effect". You'll need to connect your bar to the TV via HDMI eARC though, which means sacrificing a precious HDMI 2.1 socket. 

Much like other TCL sets, this super-large TV runs Google TV, meaning app compatibility and usability should be broad and easy respectively. 

Finally, TCL has introduced a new slim metallic remote which is supposed to be more premium than the current long and skinny plastic affair. It certainly looks the part with its silver aluminium finish, alongside the plethora of useful buttons including quick access to source selection, settings and Google Assistant. 


TCL X955 115 Max TV

(Image credit: Future)

Making any final conclusions on the TV's picture are tricky, as our viewing conditions and the content on show were less than ideal during our time with the X955. We're relying on a reel of TCL demo content in a room with uneven lighting with plenty of neon signage and so forth, so consider this a first impression.

Unsurprisingly, the X955 115 Max delivers an impactful image, which is to be expected when we consider how big and bright it is. Various demo shots of a seaside town with brightly coloured houses pop with vibrancy and texture, while a night-time shot of a San Francisco pier looks effective thanks to the pop of street lights against the mostly dark background. 

It also handles black depths very well, as demonstrated by a video of fireworks against a near-pitch black sky. The enhanced brightness really conveys the sparkle and dazzle that we want from this shot while blooming doesn't seem to plague this TV to a great extent. 

The picture was also impressively sharp and clear, which we're relieved to see. A screen this big would certainly highlight any deficiencies in picture quality, as they would stick out like a sore thumb on the expansive 115-inch display. However, finer details such as people walking around a village in a distant wide shot or a thick pine forest with hundreds of individual trees are well served (at least in this demo footage).

If there is one criticism we have, it would be that it's potentially slightly too bright and in your face at times. A video of a chocolate labrador retriever standing in a park is vibrant and punchy, but the detail of the sun that basks this shot in a glorious natural light is almost entirely lost. Instead, there is a blob of bright light in the top left-hand corner that lacks definition.

Motion also appears a tad jumpy at times, with a shot of a cable car ascending not looking particularly smooth. This could very well be down to the settings of this TV or the video content itself, but it's worth noting nonetheless. 


TCL X955 115 Max

(Image credit: Future)

We'll keep this short and sweet, we didn't get a chance to listen to the X955 115 Max in great detail, and the listening conditions were anything but ideal. So we can't make any real comments on its 6.2.2 speaker system.

Early verdict

TCL X955 115 Max

(Image credit: Future)

It's far too soon to pass judgement on this massive TV; we'd need to wrangle it into our testing room to do that and, truthfully, we're not sure how feasible that is. Being optimistic, we'll say 'never say never' to a full review, though, so watch this space. 

In the brief time we did have with the X955 115 Max, we felt a new appreciation for super-sized TVs. While it's certainly not the most practical hardware we've ever seen, it appears to deliver on its promise of providing a big, bright and punchy picture. With ultra short throw projectors posing a threat to XL TVs for some time now, the X955 115 Max might well be the TV that recovers some ground for team TV – if you can afford it, that is.


Read our full TCL 85C805K review

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Lewis Empson
Staff Writer

Lewis Empson is a Staff Writer on What Hi-Fi?. He was previously Gaming and Digital editor for Cardiff University's 'Quench Magazine', Lewis graduated in 2021 and has since worked on a selection of lifestyle magazines and regional newspapers. Outside of work, he enjoys gaming, gigs and regular cinema trips.

What is a hands on review?

'Hands on reviews' are a journalist's first impressions of a piece of kit based on spending some time with it. It may be just a few moments, or a few hours. The important thing is we have been able to play with it ourselves and can give you some sense of what it's like to use, even if it's only an embryonic view.