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Best OLED TVs in 2021: LG, Vizio, Sony and more

Best OLED TVs
(Image credit: LG)

The best OLED TVs offer great smart TV functions and 4K resolution, but the addition of OLED technology delivers the best picture you can get in today's TVs, thanks to the superior contrast and color that OLED offers. But when it comes to finding the best OLED TVs, there are plenty of factors to consider, from price to smart features, not to mention picture and sound quality. After testing and reviewing all of the major OLED offerings from different manufacturers, we've picked the top OLED sets on the market.

OLED technology outperforms traditional LCD panels and even QLED models, thanks to OLED's pixel-level lighting that delivers perfect black levels, amazing color saturation, perfect blacks and wide viewing angles. And manufacturers have embraced the technology as a way to offer truly premium TVs. 

As OLED has increased in popularity, new players are joining the game, with budget-friendly OLED TVs appearing at the best prices ever offered. LG leads the way, but Vizio and Sony also offer great OLED sets, and more brands are reportedly on the way. 

What are the best OLED TVs?

LG offers the widest selection of OLED TVs, with everything from budget-priced entry-level models to high-end premium sets. As a result, there are multiple LG OLED TVs on this list, with the best-in-class LG CX OLED, the entry-level LG BX OLED, and the premium LG GX OLED TV, all offering great performance and features that earn them a spot among the best TVs.

But LG is not the only manufacturer selling OLED TVs, and competing models from Sony and Vizio also earn a spot on the list. The Sony Bravia A80J OLED is a premium OLED TV is one of the best TVs of the year, with next-gen smart functions and some of the best performance we've ever seen, not to mention some of the best audio on any TV ever. Meanwhile, the Vizio OLED TV is one of the most affordable to ever be sold, and delivers immense value for the money.

The best OLED TVs you can buy

Sony Bravia A80J OLEDEditor's Choice

(Image credit: Sony)

1. Best new OLED: Sony Bravia XR A80J

An excellent OLED with next-gen tech

Specifications
Available Screen Sizes: 55, 65, 77 inches
Screen Type: OLED
Refresh Rate: 120 Hz
HDMI ports: 4 (2 HDMI 2.1)
Size: 57.1 x 33 x 2.1 inches
Weight: 49.2 pounds
Reasons to buy
+Outstanding picture, audio quality+Lots of dynamic and smart features that really work+Powerful Google TV interface
Reasons to avoid
-Dynamic adjustments needed for best picture-Not all HDMI ports support HDMI 2.1-Bravia Core streaming service doesn’t dazzle

If you want impeccable quality and next-gen capabilities, we love the Sony Bravia XR A80J. This 4K OLED is absolutely packed with futuristic technologies: 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.

Best OLED TVs: Vizio OLED TV (OLED55-H1) review

(Image credit: Vizio)

2. Best OLED TV value: Vizio OLED TV

Incredible OLED quality at an affordable price

Specifications
Available Screen Sizes: 55, 65 inches
Screen Type: OLED
Refresh Rate: 120 Hz
HDMI ports: 4 HDMI
Size: 48.3 x 30.6 x 2.2 inches
Weight: 44.9 pounds
Reasons to buy
+Low price for an OLED+Generally strong picture and audio quality+SmartCast provides plenty of smart features 
Reasons to avoid
-Gaming performance could be better-Cumbersome stand

Vizio's first foray into OLED TVs is a big step for the budget TV maker, but a giant leap for affordable OLED TVs. With the 55-inch model selling for $1,299 and often dipping below the $1,000 mark during sales, Vizio's OLED TV is a value monster, delivering all of the quality you expect from OLED without the premium pricing. 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 SmartCast has also shaped up to become a solid smart TV platform, with an expanded app selection and built-in support for Google Cast and AirPlay 2. 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.  

Best OLED TVs: LG CX OLED review

(Image credit: LG)

3. A killer OLED overall: LG CX OLED

The hottest OLED TV of the year

Specifications
Available Screen Sizes: 48, 55, 65, 77 inches
Screen Type: OLED
Refresh Rate: 120 Hz
HDMI ports: 4 HDMI 2.1
Size: 57.0 x 32.7 x 1.8 inches
Weight: 52.9 pounds
Reasons to buy
+Stunning picture+Excellent smart TV features+Top notch sound capabilities+Ultra thin design
Reasons to avoid
-Relatively high price

The LG CX OLED is our favorite OLED TV – and the best OLED TV overall – thanks to rock solid performance, a deep bench of smart features, and a price that's actually not bad for such a premium product. The 4K OLED panel delivers top-notch color and contrast, with the added benefit of powerful video processing and excellent HDR performance with Dolby Vision IQ, and it even sounds great with AI-powered audio tuning.

But there's still so much more to it, with both Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant support built in, and plenty of smarts with webOS 5.0 and connected home controls that make it the center of your gadget ecosystem. More than just our favorite LG model, the LG CX OLED TV has been our favorite TV regardless of the brand. The mix of performance and features and overall value makes it the TV to beat.

Read our full LG CX OLED review

Best OLED TVs: LG BX OLED 4K TV review

(Image credit: LG)

4. Affordable OLED: LG BX OLED

A solid entry-level OLED model and great gaming TV

Specifications
Available Screen Sizes: 55, 65 inches
Screen Type: OLED
Refresh Rate: 120 Hz
HDMI ports: 4 HDMI 2.1
Size: 48.3 x 27.8 x 1.8 inches
Weight: 41.7 pounds
Reasons to buy
+Striking picture+Good for gamers+Admirable sound+Competitive price for OLED
Reasons to avoid
-Not the best video processing

LG's own entry-level OLED TV is another huge step towards affordable OLEDs. Matching the Vizio in price, the LG BX OLED TV delivers many of the same features you'd get on the more expensive LG CX models, but takes a step down in processing capability. That's a change you might notice if you were to compare it side-by-side with the more premium models, but sitting in your living room all you'll see are the crisp details, impressive contrast, and sleek looking design.

From rich picture quality to impressive response times for gaming, the LG BX OLED is one of the best 4K smart TV values on the market today. It boasts support for Dolby Vision HDR, has integrated Amazon and Google voice assistants, and even offers HDMI 2.1 connectivity, all for much less than most of the TVs on this list.

Read our full LG BX OLED review

Best OLED TVs: LG GX OLED TV review

(Image credit: LG)

5. Best home theater OLED: LG GX OLED TV

A premium OLED with stunning design

Specifications
Available Screen Sizes: 55, 65, 77 inches
Screen Type: OLED
Refresh Rate: 120 Hz
HDMI ports: 4 HDMI 2.1
Size: 56.9 x 32.7 x 0.9 inches
Weight: 63.9 pounds
Reasons to buy
+Stunningly thin design+Great wide-angle viewing+Reliable webOS smart TV platform
Reasons to avoid
-Similar lab scores as cheaper LG CX OLED-Stand not included

The LG GX OLED is the first model from the manufacturer to use the new Gallery design, a super-thin, wall mountable design that has a built-in recessed wall mount. This lets the 20-millimeter-thick TV hang flush against the wall, offering the sort of clean and unobtrusive installation that used to require cutting into the drywall and installing a custom cavity for the TV. Now, anyone can get the same ultra-premium installation without having to call a small team of professionals.

The only real reason not to buy the LG GX OLED  is that the same performance is available for less money on the LG CX OLED TV, due to the fact that both sets use the same 4K OLED panels and video processing hardware. But if you want the best looking OLED TV, the LG GX is worth the extra money, and deserves a place in your home theater.

Read our full LG GX OLED TV review

How much do OLED TVs cost?

The cheapest 4K OLED TVs on the market are the LG BX OLED and the Vizio OLED TV, which both sell at $1,299 for the 55-inch model. During sales events, such as Black Friday, these prices will drop lower, often selling for less than $1,000.

The majority of OLED TVs in the 55- and 65-inch range sell for between $1,500 and $2,000, but premium models will often cost more, and larger screen sizes can routinely sell for $3,000 or more. 

What is OLED?

OLED stands for Organic Light Emitting Diode, a display technology that uses organic compounds to create clusters of red, green, blue, and white points of light to make up the individual pixels of the TV. On a 4K TV with 3840 x 2160 resolution, that means a single OLED panel will have 8.29 million pixels. And unlike standard LCD TVs, each one of those pixels produces its own light, and can be individually turned on or off, brightened or dimmed.

That pixel-level control of brightness lets OLED offer the best contrast of any display technology, with neighboring pixels delivering everything from intense brightness to true black, and every color imaginable.

As a result, OLED TVs consistently outperform LED-lit LCD TVs, whether they use standard LCD panels or boost the picture quality with enhancements like quantum dots or discrete dimming zones. As far as picture quality is concerned, there's OLED, and then there's everything else.

Are OLED TVs worth buying?

If you want a truly excellent TV, you won't do better than OLED. It offers better picture quality than standard LCD and QLED TVs can match, and even the more affordable OLED models deliver that superior level of performance. In testing and reviews, OLED TVs have consistently offered the best picture quality available.

There are areas of performance where LCDs offer better performance. Brightness on OLED TVs is no match for the greater intensity you can produce with an LED backlight, and LCD sets don't have the same risk of burn-in or color drift that OLEDs have to contend with long-term. But in virtually every other area, from viewing angles to color accuracy, OLED sets match or beat LCD-based competitors hands down.

But there is some question of whether that improved quality is worth the added expense. When there are 4K models selling for under $500, why spend $1,000 or more on an OLED set? There is definitely a case to be made for spending less for quality that is comparable, if not exactly the same.

But if you want the best color, contrast and overall quality you can get from a TV today, OLED is the way to go.

How to choose the best OLED TVs for you

The above selection of OLED TVs offer an embarrassment of riches for TV shoppers to choose from, with everything from basic functionality to advanced smart features and premium designs.

The biggest factor in most shopper's decision making will be price. And when it comes to OLED TVs, there are three clear price bands to choose from. There's the more affordable models that come in for less than $1,500, such as the LG BX OLED or the Vizio OLED TV, as well as the smallest screen size of the 48-inch LG CX OLED. More mainstream OLED TVs fall between $1,500 and $2,000, which will let you get a solid 55- or 65-inch model. More premium models will cost more than $2,000 and larger screen sizes will range even higher.

But other differences include physical designs, from the slim pedestal base looks of the Vizio OLED TV or the LG BX and CX models, to the ultra-slim wall-hanging design of the LG GX OLED.

Smart features are also a differentiator. LG sets offer a pretty consistent experience across all of its models thanks to the webOS platform, but Sony's Android TV and Vizio SmartCast sets have strengths and weaknesses of their own.

Sony's OLED sets use Android TV, which offers both a rich selection of apps and services along with Google-powered capabilities like Google Assistant voice control and built-in Chromecast functionality. The Vizio OLED TV, on the other hand, also has a Chromecast built-in, but offers a more limited selection of apps and more basic functionality.

Interested in a specific TV brand, price range or screen size? Check out our picks for the best TVs in each.

Best TVs | Best 4K TVs | Best smart TVs for streaming | Best TVs for gaming

Best TV brands | Best Samsung TVs | Best TCL TVs | Best LG TVs | Best Roku TVs

The best TVs under $1000 | The best TVs under $500

The smallest smart TVs | Best 43-inch TVs | Best 50-inch TVs | Best 55-inch TVs | Best 65-inch TVs | Best 70-inch TVs | Best 85-inch TVs

How we test OLED TVs

Reviewing a TV involves more than just firing up a few Blu-ray movies and hooking up a game console. We evaluate TVs for picture and sound quality, with a rigorous testing process that measures key standards of performance.

That's why every TV we review goes through lab testing, measuring color gamut, color accuracy and brightness to objectively determine which sets offer a better picture according to these key indicators. Using an industry-standard spectrophotometer and calibration software, we measure the color gamut and accuracy in multiple picture modes to get a clear understanding of what sort of viewing experience a TV will offer. On OLED TVs particular attention is paid to contrast, brightness and HDR performance, areas where OLED panels are known to diverge from standard LCD sets.

We pair this lab testing with hands-on time, viewing video samples and movies to see how these numbers translate into real-world performance. With that information, we can tell you which TVs look best, sound best and offer the best viewing experience.

We also test lag time so that we can speak to gaming performance, measuring to the millisecond how long it takes for a video signal to travel from the original content source to the screen. That lag time result gives gamers the best measure of how responsive a TV will be, and how well suited it is to fast paced, competitive gaming.

Finally, we also evaluate the smart TV software and menus, getting a feel for the navigation and functions of each TV. We look at everything from the remote control design to the voice interaction to let us meaningfully talk about the smart features and overall ease-of-use for a smart TV.

Brian Westover
Brian Westover is an Editor at Tom's Guide, covering everything from TVs to the latest PCs. Prior to joining Tom's Guide, he wrote for TopTenReviews and PCMag.