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4K Ultra HD (UHD) TVs have become the norm for any buyer looking to purchase a new display for their living room, bedroom, or dedicated home theater. However, while all 4K TVs offer a resolution of 3,840 x 2,160 pixels, picture quality and smart-connectivity features can vary wildly between different brands and models. With that in mind, there are some key specifications that you should look for when choosing which TV is the best fit for your needs.
In particular, if you're buying a new display with image performance as a top priority, you'll want to make special note of a TV's high-dynamic-range (HDR) capabilities. Even more so than resolution, HDR has become the defining factor for picture quality in modern TVs. This feature allows a TV to offer enhanced contrast and colors when playing specially graded HDR content on many streaming apps and 4K Blu-ray discs, resulting in a more realistic sense of brightness, depth, and saturation.
Brightness capabilities (measured in nits), black levels, contrast ratio, color gamut coverage, and viewing angles are all major factors that help contribute to a TV's HDR and overall picture performance. Panel type then plays a large role in determining how well a display can handle all of these elements. There are currently two main types of 4K TV panels: OLED and LCD (the latter is often branded as QLED or LED). Each has its own strengths and weaknesses, with OLEDs excelling at black levels, and LCDs shine at brightness.
Of course, picture quality is hardly the only aspect you should be looking at when buying a new display. Smart TV platforms, app selection, voice assistant support, and overall design can all make or break a 4K TV purchase. After all, what's the point of a pretty picture if you can't navigate easily through the TV menus to actually play something?
With all those factors in mind, we've selected the best 4K TVs on the market based on hands-on testing with a variety of models. Our picks represent a range of price points and performance needs, but each of the displays we've selected is good enough to offer capable HDR playback and streaming app support. Since 65 inches has become the flagship screen size for manufacturers, all of our selections fall into that category. That said, please keep in mind that many of the models listed below are also available in smaller and larger screen sizes.
Updated on 02/26/2020 by Steven Cohen: We added upcoming 4K TVs that we're looking forward to, as well as links to related TV buying guides. Prices and links are current at time of posting.
LG's OLED TVs have become synonymous with high-end picture quality, and the C9 continues that trend while adding a few new bells and whistles over previous models, including HDMI 2.1 inputs for better future-proofing. Though it's a little more expensive than some competing LCD TVs, if you're looking for the best balance between premium image quality and cost, then the C9 is the 4K TV to beat.
Unlike traditional LCD TVs (including LED and QLED), the C9's OLED screen does not require a backlight or any dimming zones. Backlights can lead to milky black levels, uniformity issues, and blooming where certain parts of the screen appear brighter than others or washed out, especially when watching movies in a dark room. With an emissive OLED panel, however, each individual pixel is able to create its own light or turn off completely to produce an infinite contrast ratio. This leads to deep, perfectly uniform black levels, along with more precise highlights and wider viewing angles compared to LCDs.
LG's C9 also supports advanced 4K upscaling and processing thanks to the display's α9 Gen 2 Intelligent Processor, which can make lower-quality videos look better, like Full HD (1080p). Multiple HDR formats are supported as well, including HDR10, Dolby Vision, and HLG. Peak brightness hovers around 800 nits and the TV supports close to 100% of the P3 wide color gamut for fantastic HDR. Yes, some QLED TVs can get even brighter, but the pixel-level contrast of the C9's OLED screen can actually give HDR videos more depth and pop.
Smart TV features are extensive as well via LG's webOS platform and ThinQ AI technology. A large selection of apps is easily accessible through the TV's responsive interface, and the C9 also includes a magic remote with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa support. The display's design is great too, with an extremely thin profile and a hefty pedestal stand. You'll have to take a little extra care when setting it up, but the results are beautiful in any living room.
LG's pricier E9 and W9 are even more premium when it comes to design, but the C9 will give you the exact same picture quality for less money. Buyers who want to save even more, can also opt for the more affordable LG B9 OLED instead. This entry-level model uses the same panel as the C9, but swaps out the α9 Gen 2 Intelligent Processor for the less powerful α7 Gen 2 Intelligent Processor.
All things considered, however, the C9 is the best buy of the bunch. The only notable drawback is the potential risk for burn-in that comes with all OLED screens. In rare cases, a ghost image can get permanently stuck on the TV if you leave the same picture paused on the panel for hours on end. Thankfully, there are special functions built-in to reduce the chance of logos (like those used on 24-hour news channels) from getting stuck.
Pros: OLED panel with pixel-level contrast, deep black levels, wide viewing angles, HDMI 2.1 inputs, webOS smart TV platform, Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa capabilities.
Cons: Pricier than most LCD TVs, can't get as bright as QLED models, there is some risk for burn-in.$2,196.98 from Amazon $2,199.98 from Best Buy
Though home-theater enthusiasts will enjoy the enhanced picture quality and smart TV perks that premium displays from LG, Sony, and Samsung provide, the Vizio P-Series Quantum manages to pack in a lot of the same features found on those pricier models, but for a lot less. There are some trade-offs, of course, but if you want solid 4K HDR and streaming performance without breaking the bank, the P-Series Quantum is one of the best options out there.
While you won't get OLED-quality contrast, the P-Series Quantum's LCD panel does feature full-array local dimming. This tech enables the TV to dim and brighten in specific zones across the screen. As a result, the display can produce better black levels and more precise highlights compared to LCDs without dimming. The 65-inch P-Series Quantum offers 200 zones, which is great for this price, along with a max brightness of 1,100 nits and support for HDR10, Dolby Vision, and HLG. Quantum dot technology is employed as well for wide color playback.
Unlike TCL's similar and more affordable 6-Series TV, the Vizio also boasts a 120Hz panel for smooth motion and AirPlay 2 support for easy wireless content streaming from Apple products. The display is compatible with separate Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant devices as well, but the TV's included remote does not feature a microphone for integrated voice control.
On the downside, like a lot of other LCD TVs in this price range, viewing angles aren't that great, which means colors and contrast do get washed out when you aren't sitting toward the center of the display. For better viewing angles, you'll have to opt for one of Sony or LG's OLED TVs, or an LCD TV with an IPS panel. Vizio's SmartCast OS is also a little lacking compared to other smart TV platforms like Roku. You can still cast plenty of apps to the display from a mobile device, but the on-screen selection is a bit limited.
Meanwhile, for buyers who want to save a bit more money, Vizio's M-Series Quantum is a great entry-level alternative to the P-Series. Brightness and local dimming aren't as strong, but you still get great performance for the price. If you want to step things up even further, there's also the company's flagship P-Series Quantum X, which offers some of the brightest HDR performance on the market and a whopping 384 zones of local dimming on the 65-inch model. For the price, however, the standard P-Series Quantum hits the perfect sweet spot between cost and performance.
Pros: Full-array local dimming with 200 zones, quantum dot color technology, 120Hz panel, AirPlay 2 support, competitive pricing
Cons: On-screen app selection is limited, no voice remote, viewing angles are mediocre.$1,099.00 from Amazon $1,099.99 from Best Buy
Over the last few years, TCL's 6-Series Roku TV has cemented itself as one of the best bang-for-your-buck 4K TVs on the market, and its new 2019 model steps things up even further by adding quantum dot color technology to the mix. Like Vizio's similar offerings, the 6-Series provides fantastic image performance for its class and, unlike Vizio's options, the TCL provides a larger selection of on-screen apps via the simple and convenient Roku OS.
The 6-Series offers full-array local dimming with 120 zones on the 65-inch model. That's not quite as many zones as the P-Series Quantum, but black level performance is still great for an LCD in this price range. The 6-Series also boasts quantum dots, which expands the display's wide color capabilities. HDR support is strong too with HDR10, Dolby Vision, and HLG playback, along with peak brightness in the 800 nits range.
Compared to more expensive TVs, the 6-Series is lacking a few features and design perks here and there. The panel itself is thicker than a lot of other modern LCDs, viewing angles aren't the best, and you'll get a 60Hz refresh rate rather than the higher 120Hz refresh rate featured on most of the competition.
Sadly, Apple AirPlay 2 connectivity is not supported either, despite being available on Vizio, LG, and Samsung TVs. Still, actual image performance on the 6-Series is almost unmatched for a TV under $800. The Roku interface and included voice remote also work great for simple and convenient access to a great library of streaming channels.
If you want a Roku TV with even better picture quality, then you might also want to consider TCL's new 8-Series. This more expensive model boasts mini-LED backlight technology for even better dimming and brightness performance, though the upgrade comes with a pretty steep price.
Pros: Full-array local dimming with 120 zones, quantum dot color technology, Roku OS with plenty of apps, very affordable.
Cons: Mediocre viewing angles, 60Hz panel rather than 120Hz, no AirPlay 2 support.$749.99 from Best Buy $799.99 from Amazon
Though Vizio and TCL have done a great job bringing quantum dot technology to their value-priced TV models, Samsung's flagship Q90R QLED TV remains a good buy for enthusiasts thanks to some key performance features and a very stylish design.
Samsung doesn't reveal an exact number, but the Q90R boasts over 400 zones of full-array local dimming for some of the deepest black levels on any LCD TV. Peak brightness hits around the 1,500 nits range, easily besting OLED displays from LG and Sony. While the Vizio P-Series Quantum X and TCL 8-Series can get brighter in certain situations, the Q90R is a little less prone to dimming artifacts, like blooming, which can create distracting halo effects around objects.
This TV's quantum dot tech also provides great wide color capabilities during HDR playback, and Samsung is the only TV manufacturer in the US to currently include support for the advanced HDR10+ format. Sadly, however, the Q90R does not support the similar but more widespread Dolby Vision format, which is one of the TV's only key drawbacks. On the plus side, gaming performance is strong with very low input lag. FreeSync variable refresh rate technology is supported as well, which can reduce screen tearing and stuttering during gameplay.
When it comes to viewing angles, Samsung uses a special layer to offer better off-axis color and contrast compared to TCL and Vizio TVs. Bixby voice control and compatibility with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and AirPlay 2 are featured as well for extensive digital assistant and connectivity options. Samsung's Smart Hub platform, powered by the company's Tizen OS, provides fast and responsive navigation with on-screen support for a large selection of streaming apps.
The TV's design also features a stylish and premium appearance. All of the display's connections are actually housed on a separate One Connect box instead of the panel itself, enabling a very thin profile and cleaner wall mounting.
Samsung's less expensive Q80R and Q70R are both solid QLED options as well, but brightness and dimming performance aren't as good as the Q90R, and the Q70R lacks the wide viewing angle layer found on the step-up models. In general, the performance and style perks found on the Q90R make it the best QLED choice for buyers who are willing to pay a premium over TCL and Vizio's more affordable models.
Pros: Bright HDR performance with HDR10+ support, full-array local dimming with great black levels, quantum dot color, wider viewing angles than typical LCDs, stylish design with thin profile, Smart Hub platform with lots of apps, Bixby voice control.
Cons: Expensive for an LCD, lacks Dolby Vision support.$2,597.98 from Amazon $2,599.98 from Best Buy
OLED TVs from LG and Sony are among the best displays you can buy — but prices have tended to be rather high compared to most LCD models. That could be about to change, however, with the upcoming release of Vizio's first 4K OLED TV.
The TV will feature many of the same image quality perks found on LG and Sony's OLEDs, including an infinite contrast ratio with perfect black levels. Peak brightness is also supposed to be on par with the competition, with Vizio listing a max of around 800 nits. The display will offer extensive HDR format support as well, with HDR10, Dolby Vision, and HDR10+ capabilities. An exact price hasn't been announced yet, but when we asked about the potential cost, Vizio reaffirmed that the brand's mission is to make great TVs that are "attainable for everyone."
If the company can maintain the affordable pricing it's known for, then Vizio's 4K OLED TV could finally bring OLED display tech to the mainstream. There's no word on a firm release date, but the Vizio 4K SmartCast OLED TV is set to launch later this year in 55- and 65-inch sizes.
When it comes to premium design 4K TVs set for release in 2020, few look quite as lovely hanging on a wall as LG's new GX Gallery Series OLED. Thanks to its incredibly thin panel, the display can be mounted flush like a piece of art hanging in your living room.
The TV isn't as razor-thin as LG's Wallpaper OLED models, but the 65-inch GX Gallery TV still features an impressively narrow profile of just 0.79 inches. Even better, unlike the Wallpaper displays, LG has managed to house all of the TV's electronics within the panel itself. As a result, you can plug in all your devices directly into the TV rather than having to rely on a separate box or soundbar to pass your components through.
Outside of the new fancy design, the GX Gallery TV will feature the same impressive picture quality that current LG OLEDs are celebrated for. The display will also incorporate the company's latest α (Alpha) 9 Gen 3 AI Processor, which should offer some improvements when it comes to upscaling compared to previous generation models.
LG hasn't confirmed pricing just yet, but the GX Gallery Series 4K OLED TV will start shipping later this year. Models will be available in 55, 65, and 77 inches.
This one is more of a curiosity than the other models on this list, but Samsung's upcoming Sero 4K TV certainly has us intrigued. The display includes a unique rotating feature which allows the TV to transition from landscape to portrait mode.
Why would you want your TV in portrait mode? For social media videos, of course. Designed for millennial buyers who typically watch content on their mobile devices, the Sero TV is aimed at providing a big screen option for viewing vertical videos captured on smartphones. The display even has the ability to sync with Samsung Galaxy phones, allowing the panel to automatically rotate to match whatever video is being played on your device.
Though the portrait mode is the main draw here, the Sero TV also includes solid picture quality specifications. With a 4K QLED panel, the display should offer similar image performance compared to Samsung's more traditional mid-range TV models. It also boasts all of the major smart features the QLED line is known for.
It remains to be seen whether the rotating option ends up being a truly useful feature, or merely a gimmick, but if nothing else, the Sero TV is different. An exact price hasn't been detailed yet, but a 43-inch Sero TV model is set for release in the US later this year.
Though flagship TVs can get pricey, there are plenty of budget-friendly displays out there with solid performance. There are even models with genuine HDR support for surprisingly affordable prices. We've rounded up the best affordable 4K TVs you can buy:
OLED TVs offer some key performance benefits compared to traditional LCD displays, including better black levels and uniformity. While all OLED TVs tend to be very similar when it comes to picture quality, certain models feature premium design upgrades that make them a bit more expensive. Through research and hands-on testing, we've selected the best OLED TVs you can buy:
Apple's HomeKit ecosystem enables convenient control for a variety of smart devices, including select TV models. The feature even allows you to set up automated tasks for your TV in conjunction with other HomeKit products. For instance, you can configure your smart lights to dim whenever you turn your display on. HomeKit-enabled TVs are now available from LG, Sony, and Vizio. Here are the best models you can buy right now:
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