Finding the best 4K TV can be tricky, even for seasoned TV buyers. There are so many TVs to choose from now that deciding exactly what it is you need can be tough, especially when it comes to understanding all of the different acronyms.
When shopping for the best 4K TVs, you're bound to come across terms like high dynamic range (HDR), wide color gamut (WCG), variable refresh rate (VRR) and a half-dozen others. Unless you're covering TVs for a living, keeping up with the terminology can be an exercise in frustration.
Thankfully, we've spent hundreds of hours testing and reviewing the latest TVs to find the best 4K TVs on the market. Whether it's major brands like LG, Samsung and Sony, or more affordable models from Hisense, TCL and Vizio, we've run the tests, researched the specs and watched the movies to help you find the best 4K TV for your money.
What are the best 4K TVs?
Our pick of the best 4K TVs is the Samsung QN90A Neo QLED TV (opens in new tab), offering Neo QLED, which has a killer combination of QLED color and mini-LED backlight. Pair that with a stylish design, rich smart features and fantastic sound, and it's easily the best 4K TV we reviewed in 2021.
The new LG G2 (opens in new tab) is our current favorite OLED TV — at least until we've finished testing the forthcoming LG C2 — thanks to excellent all-round performance including the best brightness we've ever seen from an LG OLED. It looks great, too.
The LG C1 OLED (opens in new tab) sits just behind it and is available at a bargain price now, with the new 2022 C2 imminent. It's highly recommended, boasting a gorgeous OLED display and a full complement of HDMI 2.1 connections, it's also one of the best gaming TVs we've ever seen, with superb performance and several exclusive gaming-oriented features.
Hands down, the TCL 6-Series Roku TV (R635) (opens in new tab) is the best budget TV around, and the best 4K TV we've reviewed that sells for under $1,000. The TV's quantum dot display and mini-LED backlight combine to offer 4K picture that rivals more premium sets, and the Roku interface is easy to use without missing any must-have apps. Throw in gaming performance and features and a great design, and it's the budget 4K TV to beat.
The best 4K TVs you can buy in 2022
The Samsung QN90A Neo QLED TV combines Samsung's highly refined quantum dot technology with the tight control of mini-LED backlighting, resulting in one of the best TV displays you'll ever see. Brilliant color and unmatched brightness make for superb performance, and Samsung pairs that with a bounty of smart TV functions and genuinely intelligent features, like a solar-powered remote control that eliminates the need to swap out batteries – delivering eco-friendly design and unbeaten convenience at the same time.
The whole thing is packed into a gorgeous 1-inch-thick design that contains a huge array of smart features, potent Dolby Atmos sound and some of the best performance we've ever seen. HDMI 2.1 connectivity comes standard, along with gamer-friendly features and impressive 12.6-millisecond lag time for an unparalleled gaming experience. It's the best TV we saw in 2021, and so a deserved winner of the 2021 Tom's Guide Award for Best TV, and a second award as the best gaming TV of the year.
Read our full Samsung QN90A Neo QLED TV review.
The LG G2 OLED is our new favorite 4K OLED TV, thanks to a raft of upgrades over last year's G1. In our testing, it reached 590.54 nits of brightness, for instance, which is impressive for an OLED TV, if not quite as high as the Sony A80J elsewhere in this list. And performance is excellent all round, with good color accuracy and reproduction, better-than-expected audio and of course the deep blacks we've come to expect from OLED.
As one of LG's 'Gallery' series TVs, it's also quite the looker, with a near-bezel-less design, while a full complement of ports adds to the package. In fact, you get 4 HDMI 2.1 sockets here, which, combined with the dedicated gaming mode and the low lag times we measured in our testing, makes it a great choice for gamers. The LG C2, which we're currently testing, may ultimately prove a better purchase for some people, but until then this is the best OLED TV you can buy.
Read our full LG G2 OLED TV review
The LG C1 OLED is a fantastic value among premium TVs, offering an amazing OLED display, a full complement of HDMI 2.1 ports, and superb gaming performance and features. The display offers rich picture quality with impeccable contrast and sharpness, superb HDR support and gaming performance that beats everything else we've seen on any other OLED. Combine all of that with a stunning design and better-than-average sound, and you've got one of the best TVs you can buy.
LG's webOS faces stiffer competition on app selection and features, but smart options, like your choice of Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa voice assistants, AI-driven sports alerts, and gaming features like the game optimizer menu and support for Google Stadia and Nvidia GeForce Cloud keep it in the mix for the best smart TVs. All in all, it delivers incredible quality and solid value for the admittedly premium price, making it one of the best TVs we saw in 2021. It remains an excellent buy in 2022, but look out for the C2 when it arrives soon.
Read our full LG C1 OLED TV review.
The TCL 6-Series Roku TV (R635) offers big value for its budget-friendly price, delivering premium picture quality and a great smart TV experience for much less than the competition. As TCL's best mainstream smart TV, the R635 ups the ante with mini-LED backlighting in addition to QLED. The result is impressive color and brightness, with some of the best HDR performance we've seen on anything this side of an OLED display.
But TCL doesn't stop there. THX Certified Game Mode makes the 6-Series one of the best gaming TVs available, even for new consoles like the PS5 and the Xbox Series X. From the design's smart touches, like cable management in the stand, to the reliably great Roku TV platform, the TCL 6-Series R635 is the best budget 4K TV, and it's not even close.
Read our full TCL 6-Series Roku TV (R635) review.
The TCL 5-Series Google TV (S546) wowed us with its combination of smart TV features, solid performance and great value for your dollar. Building on the foundation of the already-good 5-Series, the move to Google TV gives the affordable 4K smart TV a more premium smart TV platform, one that offers personalized and customizable suggestions, a huge assortment of smart features, and deep Google Assistant integration that makes it a viable center for the entire home of connected gadgets.
But it also offers a step up in other aspects of the TV. From color quality to lag times, the 5-Series Google TV is a more polished version of the 5-Series TV, delivering an excellent QLED 4K display, a slick remote control, and a surprisingly wide array of gaming features for a 60Hz TV. For a smart TV that sells for under $1,000 for most size options (and way under that for some of the most popular sizes), it's easily one of the best TVs on the market.
Read our full TCL 5-Series Google TV (S546) review.
Affordable OLED TV may sound like an oxymoron, but the Vizio QLED TV is the first to offer the unbeatable quality of OLED for less money than premium models from LG and Sony. The Vizio OLED delivers premium picture quality for hundreds of dollars less than the competition, and pairs it with great sound that has better-than-average bass.
Vizio's SmartCast smart TV platform has also expanded its app selection significantly, and all of the major apps you might want -- from Netflix to Disney+ -- are available right on the TV. The few that aren't offered on the home screen (HBO Max is the most glaring omission) can still be enjoyed through the TV's built-in Google Cast and AirPlay 2 support. It's one of the best 4K TV values of the year, and the easy pick for affordable OLED TVs.
Read our full Vizio OLED TV review.
The Sony Bravia XR A80J is absolutely packed with futuristic technologies: this 4K OLED TV has HDR, a 120 Hz refresh rate, ATSC 3.0 tuner, Google TV streaming and Sony's own Bravia Core service, Acoustic Surface Audio+ technology… the list goes on. Sure, not everyone will need everything here, but it's nice to have the option.
Just as importantly, it also excels at the basics — contrast is superb, colors are rich and varied, viewing angles are impressive and it handles upscaling well. Sound is also excellent and Google TV is a big upgrade on the older Android TV. Against that, the XR A80J requires a little more tweaking in order to look its best; it's fine out of the box, but to really reach its full potential, you'll want to play around with various modes. It's not the cheapest and other sets beat it purely based on picture quality, but as an all-round package the A80J is a great choice.
Read our full Sony Bravia XR A80J review.
The Samsung Q80T QLED 4K TV is as impressive as ever, thanks to quantum-dot enhanced picture, clever smart features and impressive Object Tracking Sound. We love the excellent color quality and HDR performance, though you will have to accept that Samsung TVs don't offer Dolby Vision support. Powered by Samsung's latest powerful Quantum processor, the Q80T is also formidable on the smart TV features, with Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant in addition to Samsung's Bixby voice assistant.
And while it was originally released in 2020, it doesn't look long in the tooth in 2022. At the time of release, there were only a couple of minor spec differences compared to Samsung's top-range Q90T, so you're getting a lot of TV for your money, even a couple of years on — you might just have to shop around a bit to find the stock.
Read our full Samsung Q80T QLED TV review.
The TCL 5 Series Roku TV does what TCL does best, delivering a surprisingly great mix of features and performance at an excellent affordable price. With even the largest model selling for less than $1000, you get the superb color and brightness of QLED, as well as Roku's user-friendly smart TV interface, which puts thousands of apps right at your fingertips.
In addition to the excellent color accuracy and full color gamut offered by the QLED display, it offers top-of-the-line HDR support, with Dolby Vision in addition to basic HDR10 and HLG formats. With input lag clocking in at 13.1 milliseconds, it's also one of the best affordable gaming TVs you can buy. And it's roughly half the price of Samsung's equivalent QLED TV, making it one of the best values in smart TVs.
Read our full TCL 5-Series Roku TV (S535) review.
The Toshiba C350 Fire TV is the 2021 addition to the small family of Amazon-powered smart TVs, offering good features and decent performance for its extremely affordable price. It's a decent example of the Fire TV template, combining good-enough 4K picture quality, impressively short lag times, and Amazon's great Fire TV smart features, like built-in Alexa voice control, a pretty big app store and (of course) an interface that puts Amazon's Prime Video service front and center. With even the largest 55-inch model selling for less than $500 (and likely much less during sales events), it's one of the smartest affordable TVs you can get.
The C350 doesn’t come with the latest bells and whistles, such as HDMI 2.1 or Dolby Atmos support, but it does Dolby Vision and HDR10 — though not very well. But with excellent color accuracy, low lag time and a good-looking design, it's still a solid TV for the price, and better than many Fire TV models we've seen in the past.
Read our full Toshiba C350 Fire TV review.
The Hisense U8G Android TV is our favorite 4K smart TV from Hisense, and one of the best Android TVs around. With a quantum dot color and integrated Chromecast and Google Assistant, it's a full-featured smart TV that offers great quality for a reasonable price. With support for both Dolby Vision and HDR10+, it also offers the best HDR format support you can find, along with excellent Dolby Atmos sound. It has room-listening microphones for built-in voice control, effectively letting you use the TV as a smart speaker, and offering the sort of smart home integration and control that would normally cost much more.
In our review, we were especially impressed by the U8G's 700+ nits of peak brightness and how it combines with the better-than-average HDR support for great performance that brings out highlights and shadows. With few complaints and lots of great perks, the Hisense U8G Android TV is easily our new favorite Hisense model.
Read our full Hisense U8G Android TV (65U8G) review.
Though it's not quite as weatherproof as some SunBriteTV models, the new SunBriteTV Veranda 3 stands above the competition by offering a performance that's worthy of plenty of indoor 4K TVs. It's designed for full-shade environments such as patios, porches, and sunrooms, rather than being entirely exposed to the elements, and lacks the tempered-glass screen that the SunBriteTV Pro 2 has, but it's still rated IP55 for protection against dust, solid objects, and water, and can handle temperatures from -24 to 104 degrees Fahrenheit.
Just as importantly, it puts in a fine all-round performance. In our testing, we measured an impressive max brightness of 528 nits, while color reproduction is also on a par with plenty of good indoor sets. A low lag time and 120 Hz screen make it a good option for outdoor gamers, if that's a thing, while the addition of Android TV finally gives SunBrite a quality interface. Even the remote is vastly better than previous outdoor options. It's not cheap, but if you're after a 4K outdoor TV, look here first.
Read our full SunBriteTV Veranda 3 Outdoor TV review.
New 4K TVs in 2022
While we await review samples of 2022 sets, the list that follows is largely made up of the very best sets from 2021, and also some bargain star performers that you can still get your hands on from 2020. But if you're interested in what's to come from the biggest manufacturers in 2022 and whether it's worth holding out, read on.
From the first 42-inch OLED TV from LG to a 98-inch Mini LED screen under $8,000, there's an increasing range of screen sizes to suit all living spaces (check out our guide on 'what size TV should you buy' if you need tips).
We should also see screen technologies including MicroLED, QD-OLED, OLED evo and Neo QLED, meaning OLED isn’t the only TV technology you’ll want to keep your eye on in 2022.
Pricing and availability on these newer models is limited at the moment, so while we wait to get our hands on them, the TVs on this list are still the very best 4K TVs you can buy this year. Even better, with the new models now announced, there's a good chance the prices of the TVs above will be discounted to boot.
How to choose the best 4K TV for you
When it comes to finding a great TV, the best advice is to find the TV that meets your budget, and has the features you want. From smart functions to port selection, we offer plenty of advice in our TV buying guide. Here, you'll find everything you need to know about features like HDR, the different types of display, and even extended warranties. And if you still have questions about smart TV features and capabilities, check out Smart TVs: Everything you need to know.
For the best picture, we recommend getting a set that offers high dynamic range (HDR) support. HDR10 is the base standard, while Dolby Vision is a higher-caliber format. We recommend opting for Dolby Vision support when you have the choice.
Port selection is another chief concern. More HDMI ports will let you connect more devices, like game consoles and satellite boxes. And if you have a soundbar, you'll want to connect it using an HDMI port with eARC for the very best sound.
Finally, you'll want to find a smart TV platform that you like. Companies like Samsung and LG use their own proprietary software, but many use more broadly available software, like Android or Roku TV.
According to our guide What size TV should you buy?, you'll want to position the TV roughly the same distance from the TV as the diagonal measurement of the screen size – 50 inches from a 50-inch TV, 65 inches from a 65-inch TV, and so on.
You can expect to pay about $500 for a good budget 55-inch 4K TV. And at least $900 for a 65-inch model. Models with better picture, speakers and features will cost more, and premium 65-inch TVs often cost $2,000 or more.
How we test 4K TVs
Evaluating TVs is about more than just kicking back to watch a movie. That's why every TV we review is put through a rigorous testing process that measures key standards of picture quality and performance.
We lab test every TV, measuring color gamut, color accuracy and brightness to objectively see which sets are the best for these key indicators. We also test for lag time – a key detail for gaming – measuring to the millisecond how long it takes for content to travel from the original source to the screen. We use these results to make numbers-based comparisons about color and display quality.
We also spend time with each set for real-world evaluation and see how our lab results translate into more subjective performance. We also compare sets side by side and view samples from the latest movies, specialized test patterns that highlight strengths and weaknesses of each display, and a range of content across several sources. With that information, we can tell you which TVs look best, sound best and offer the best viewing experience.
Finally, we evaluate the smart TV functions and apps for each TV, looking at everything from the remote control design to the voice interaction and app store selection. This gives us a good feel for the navigation and ease of use on the TV, and lets us meaningfully discuss which smart TVs may be better or worse than others.
If you've narrowed down your TV shopping by brand, price range or screen size, check out our picks for the best TVs in each.
Best TV brands | Best Samsung TVs | Best TCL TVs | Best LG TVs | Best Roku TVs | Best Google TVs | Best OLED TVs | Best QLED TVs | Best 8K TVs | Best HDMI 2.1 TV | Best TVs with ATSC 3.0 | Best TVs with Chromecast
And don't forget to watch out for the latest TV reviews.