4K TVs Reviewed
If you want the ultimate detailed picture, 4K or ultra-HD TVs are the sets to buy. They pack four times more pixels (3840 x 2160) than traditional HD TVs, and they are the first models to get new technologies such as wider color gamut and high dynamic range (HDR) video.
In our labs, we've tested all of the most popular 4K TV sets, evaluating them based on sharpness, color and viewing angles, as well as design, smart TV features and sound. Based on our reviews, our top budget pick is the Insignia Roku TV, which delivers a striking 50-inch picture with excellent contrast. Our favorite 55-inch set for the money is the Vizio P-Series, which offers HDR support for the best possible colors and comes with a 6-inch tablet for finding and streaming content. Vizio just announced its 2017 P-Series, which ditches the tablet, but still makes it easy to find and stream content via its SmartCast app, and is compatible with Google Home.
If you're looking for the best picture possible and can afford it, you should buy the LG E6, whose stunning OLED display delivered some of the best images we've seen yet, along with amazing contrast and good audio. Check out our other top picks below.
Latest TV News
Amazon is launching its own Alexa-enabled TV. The Amazon TV Fire Edition, as it's called, will start at $449 for a 43-inch model, and will let you search by voice across multiple streaming services, and aggregate the results into a single screen. The TV can also be used to control any smart home devices connected to Alexa. Amazon is also bundling an AmazonBasics Ultra Thin Indoor HD TV Antenna (35-mile range), which retails for $14.99, for a limited time.
Vizio updated its P-Series and M-Series TVs for 2017. The first thing you'll notice is that the company got rid of the the tablet remote (for streaming content), instead prompting users to download an app to their own phone or tablet. The P-Series starts at $1,299 for a 55-inch set; the M-Series starts at $799 for a 55-inch model.
Samsung's QLED TVs, announced in January, are now available, starting at $2,799 for the 55-inch Q7F, $3,499 for the 55-inch Q8C Curved, and $5,999 for the 65-inch Q9F. Sony announced that its new flagship XBR-A1E OLED TV will be available in April, starting at $4,999. Here's a look at 11 new TV sets coming soon, and when you can buy them.
The Best Time to Buy A TV
If you're planning to purchase a new television, the best times to buy are in November, December, and January, according to our sister site ShopSavvy. However, deals on smaller models can be found in the back-to-school timeframe of June-September, too. For more deals and advice on purchase timing, check out ShopSavvy's TV section.
Ultra-HD sets aren't just for McMansions. Apartment dwellers can get a better picture, too, in the form of this 55-inch Insignia with Roku built in. It not only handles 4K content with aplomb but also ably upscales Blu-ray and standard HD content without hiccups. On action scenes, it manages to keep up with speeding motorcycles and flying stuntmen. It also features Roku's interface, which makes finding 4K content from streaming sources, such as Netflix, a lot easier. And, an app also lets you control the TV from your smartphone.
Your TV is one of the central hubs of the home, so it only makes sense for you to be able to control all of your smart home devices while sitting on your couch. The KS9000 connects to Samsung SmartThings, which will let you adjust things like the lights, door locks and thermostat, right from your remote. Plus, this quantum-dot TV delivers an excellent 4K HDR picture for a reasonable price and, design-wise, looks amazing from all angles.
With HDR capabilities and the ability to stream all manner of content, Vizio's P-Series provides a lot of features for a very reasonable price. In our tests, it was highly accurate, and its 126-zone full-array backlight offered great contrast. The set supports Dolby Vision HDR, and comes with a 6-inch Android tablet to make finding content as simple as possible.
LG's latest flat OLED 4K TV delivers state-of-the-art performance that reveals picture details other sets miss. The 65EF9500's stunning contrast, impressive brightness, and excellent viewing angles make it the ideal set for any room. Moreover, this LG TV is compatible with the latest high dynamic range (HDR) content and boasts one of the most attractive and easy to navigate smart TV interfaces. Rounding out its market-leading list of features, the LG 65EF9500 boasts a gorgeous design and smart remote that makes it easy to surf the Web or find your favorite programs.
Curved TVs can potentially provide a more immersive experience for viewers; Samsung's KS9800 is the best of them. Its quantum-dot LCD panel delivered a great and accurate 4K image, and full-array backlighting made blacks seem deeper. It also has a comprehensive connected interface, which can also be used to control smart home devices.
Where to Get 4K Content
If you're wondering where to get native 4K content, streaming services such as Amazon Instant Video, Vudu and Netflix now shoot and stream some original programs in 4K ultra HD. Sony and Samsung offer media players that let you download 4K movies from multiple studios. Although live 4K broadcasts don't exist yet, the best 4K TVs can upscale HD content to look convincingly more detailed, and the smaller pixels allow you to sit closer to the screen without seeing a distracting grid.
What is HDR, and why should you care?
New for this year are some HDR formats traveling under various labels. Ultra HD Premium, Dolby Vision and HDR 4K are tags companies are applying to indicate their sets offer more colors and improved brightness over standard 4K ultra HD sets. With HDR content still difficult to find, these sets do offer a more strikingly realistic picture.
But as HDR sets proliferate, there will be plenty of confusion about formats: Some will be Ultra HD Premium compatible (like Samsung), others will be HDR10 or Dolby Vision compatible (like Vizio) and some will be compatible with both standards (like LG). Sony will go it alone (at least for now), choosing to eschew both the Ultra HD Premium label and Dolby Vision licensing and instead call its sets "4K HDR Ultra HD" TVs.
The good news is that prices for 4K ultra HD sets continue to fall.
How We Test
We evaluate TVs both with instrument-based measurements, such as color accuracy and gamut, as well as subjective tests, to see how well the screens display real-life video. For ultra HD 4K TVs, it's especially important to see how they upscale the HD content that will make up the vast majority of the content people view on the screens. We also consider design and usability. For details on our testing methodology, please see How Tom's Guide Tests and Reviews TVs.
New & Notable 4K TVs
LG OLED W7 Wallpaper
LG's flagship TV for 2017 is so thin—a tenth of an inch thick—you'll barely know it's there, but once you turn it on, you'll be wowed—as we were—by this OLED panel's rich colors and deep blacks. The W7 "Wallpaper," as it's called, also comes with a soundbar, whose upfiring speakers rise up from either end when the system is turned on. The W7 will be available in both 65- and 77-inch sizes later this year.
Sony Bravia XBR-A1E
With the Sony Bravia XBR-A1E, you can do away with the soundbar entirely. That's because a panel behind this gorgeous OLED display acts as both left-and right-channel speakers, using Acoustic Surface technology. The result is an unadulterated view, with nothing else around the set to distract you from what you're watching. Plus, audio now comes from the TV itself, which helps to improve your overall viewing experience. The A1E will be available in April, and will cost $4,999 for the 55-inch model and $6,499 for the 65-inch model. Pricing for the 77-inch model has not been set.
Samsung Q Series
Who needs OLED? Samsung claims its new QLED sets, which have a 20 percent wider color gamut than its TVs from last year, are on a par with OLED panels, and deliver a brighter picture, too. The rear of the TV has also received some attention, as there's now just a single wire that runs down the back. The Q7F Series will start at $2,499 for the 55-inch version, while a 65-inch model costs $3,499 and the 75-inch model costs $5,999. The Q8C series, which are all curved sets, cost $3,499 for the 55-inch model, $4,799 for the 65-inch model, and $6,799 for the 75-inch model. Lastly, the flagship Q9F series will cost $5,999 for the 65-inch model and $9,999 for the 77-inch model.
Vizio's TVs have offered a lot of value for the price, and the company's 2017 P-Series lineup is no exception. This set features 128 local dimming zones, supports Dolby Vision and HDR10, and can display nearly 100 percent of the DCI P3 color gamut.It also comes with Vizio's SmartCast interface, which will let users stream content from a variety of sources; a new version of SmartCast will be sent as an over-the-air update this summer. And, because it uses SmartCast, the P-Series is also compatible with Google Home, which will enable consumers to change channels and look for content using nothing but their voice. The P-Series costs $1,299 for the 55-inch model, $1,999 for the 65-inch version, and $3,499 for the 75-inch set.
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