We're pretty picky about our TVs, which is why we've spent more than 500 hours testing and reviewing more than 40 sets in the last 12 months. In doing so, we evaluated the smart features, lab-tested the displays and ran the apps to find the best TVs out there.
After testing dozens of smart TVs, our favorite 4K model overall is the Samsung 65-inch Q9FN QLED TV, which delivers outstanding picture quality and surprisingly robust audio for less money than comparable OLED systems.
Looking to spend less? The TCL 6 Series 65-inch Roku TV is the best value-priced 4K TV around, delivering a premium smart TV experience and excellent picture quality for under $1,000. If you want to save the most money, the TCL 43S517 Roku Smart 4K TV is a steal, selling for under $400, but you'll need to settle for a smaller screen size.
But there's a lot more out there, from entry-level OLED TVs to giant, 70-inch big screens. You'll even find a great outdoor TV on our list. And if you want to learn more about the latest changes in the TV world, we've got answers to questions like "What is HDMI 2.1?" and provide a look at how iTunes is coming to Samsung's 2019 TVs.
Whatever your needs or budget, here are the best TVs to buy right now.
1. Samsung 65-inch Q9FN QLED TV
The best 4K TV overallRating: 4/5 stars
Screen Size: 65 inches | Screen Type: LCD with Quantum Dots | Refresh Rate: 120 Hz | HDMI ports: 4 | Size: 57.1 x 32.7 x 1.5 inches | Weight: 58.9 pounds
Pros: Sleek design reduces cable clutter; Near-OLED levels of picture quality; Strong HDR support; Excellent 4.2-channel sound; Great smart features
Cons: No Dolby Vision support; Bixby is slightly less polished than competing voice assistants
Samsung's 65-inch Q9FN QLED TV is packed with premium touches, from the quantum-dot display to the polished smart-TV experience. The excellent display boasts the superior brightness of LCD and black levels that give OLED displays a run for their money, and Samsung backs it up with the Bixby voice assistant and superb built-in sound.
The Q9FN QLED TV offers strong HDR performance and support for most major formats (well, everything but Dolby Vision), along with killer backlight with full-array local-dimming and proprietary anti-blooming technology. And while this set looks good on the included stand, it's even better up on the wall, where the included One Connect Box and nearly invisible single-cable connection virtually eliminate the tangle of cables that come with most TVs.
Read our full Samsung 65-inch Q9FN QLED TV review.
2. TCL 6 Series 65-inch Roku TV
Our favorite smart TV valueRating: 4/5 stars
Screen Size: 65 inches | Screen Type: LCD | Refresh Rate: 60 Hz | HDMI ports: 3 | Size: 57.1 x 32.9 x 3.0 inches | Weight: 52.3 pounds
Pros: Great picture quality; Impressive backlight with 120 dimming zones; Roku's smart TV platform is reliably good
Cons: Off-angle viewing isn't perfect; No private-listening headphone jack on remote
If you want the best value for your money, the TCL 6 Series Roku TV is the smartest buy around. Excellent picture quality, stylish design and a refined smart-TV experience combine to make this a truly premium smart 4K TV — and the best you'll get for under $1,000.
The display offers rich color, smooth action and excellent black levels for an LCD TV, but the features don't stop there. TCL's refined brushed-metal design looks better than the basic black used on many more-expensive sets, and the Roku TV interface is enhanced with voice search, using a mic built right in to the remote. Throw in some unexpected premium touches, like Dolby Vision support, and you've got a smart TV bargain that we recommend to anyone shopping for TVs.
Read our full TCL 6 Series 65-inch Roku TV review.
3. LG 55-inch C7 OLED (OLED55C7P)
Top-notch affordable OLEDRating: 4.5/5 stars
Screen Size: 55 inches | Screen Type: OLED | Refresh Rate: 120 Hz | HDMI ports: 4 | Size: 48.4 x 28 x 1.8 inches | Weight: 38.1 pounds
Pros: Excellent 4K OLED display; Support for multiple HDR formats; Superb smart TV features; Thoughtfully designed remote
Cons: Rear ports inaccessible when wall mounted; Good audio with Dolby Atmos support
The best display technology around is OLED, but OLED TVs aren't cheap. The exception to this rule, however, is when an older model goes on sale at a deeply discounted price. The LG 55-inch C7 OLED is just such a set, offering impeccable picture quality and a premium feature set, all for less than $2,000.
With a gorgeous OLED display, the LG 55-inch C7 OLED offers everything you want from a top-tier smart TV, from flawless black levels to Dolby Atmos sound. It has a sleek, premium design and a feature set to match, with 4K resolution, robust HDR support and LG's excellent smart-TV interface. As retailers hustle to get the last 2017 TVs off of store shelves, the C7 has become more affordable than ever, making it an easy pick as the best value for anyone looking to get an OLED display without paying an arm and a leg.
Read our full LG 55-inch C7 OLED (OLED55C7P) review.
4. Vizio P-Series 65-Inch P65-F1
Our favorite Vizio TVRating: 4/5 stars
Screen Size: 65 inches | Screen Type: LCD | Refresh Rate: 120 Hz | HDMI ports: 5 | Size: 57 x 32.7 x 2.7 inches | Weight: 54.3 pounds
Pros: Excellent picture quality; Local dimming with 100-zone backlighting; Antenna connection and tuner
Cons: Limited local app support; No voice assistant
Vizio TVs are popular with the cost- and cord-cutting crowd, thanks to inexpensive prices and a good number of free content options that come built in to the company's smart TVs. The Vizio P-Series 65-inch P65-F1 is the best of the bunch. The 4K panel offers 120-Hz refresh rates, excellent backlighting with local dimming and an impressive number of HDMI ports for hooking up your other devices. This set also has great picture quality and HDR support, including Dolby Vision.
You will give up some conveniences, like a voice assistant (Vizio doesn't have one) and a limited selection of local apps. But with built-in Chromecast supporting thousands of apps and easy content sharing from your phone or tablet, there's still a wealth of content for people ditching cable or satellite subscriptions.
Read our full Vizio P-Series 65-Inch P65-F1 review.
5. TCL 43S517 Roku Smart 4K TV
The best 4K TV under $500Rating: 4/5 stars
Screen Size: 43 inches | Screen Type: LCD | Refresh Rate: 60 Hz | HDMI ports: 3 | Size: 37.8 x 22.1 x 2.9 inches | Weight: 18.5 pounds
Pros: Super affordable; Slick design; Great color reproduction and accuracy; Dolby Vision support; Dolby Atmos support; Better-than-average Roku experience
Cons: Inconsistent backlight; Limited port selection
Great things can come in small (and affordable) packages. The TCL 43S517 Roku Smart 4K TV is smaller than the 65-inchers we usually recommend, but with an attractive sub-$500 price, great picture and sound quality, and a slew of genuinely exciting features, this 43-inch model is a great deal. (And you can find larger sizes at similarly affordable prices.)
TCL's reputation for better-than-average quality is well-earned, and the TCL 43S517's feature set make this TV one of the best values we've seen. Despite the inexpensive price, you'll get Dolby Vision HDR, Dolby Atmos audio support and integrated Roku voice search, giving you an outsize smart-TV value in a size that's perfect for a second TV or for use in smaller apartments.
Read our full TCL 43S517 Roku Smart 4K TV review.
6. Samsung 65-Inch Q6F QLED TV
A great OLED alternativeRating: 4/5 stars
Screen Size: 65 inches | Screen Type: LCD with Quantum Dot | Refresh Rate: 120 Hz | HDMI ports: 4 | Size: 56.9 x 32.8 x 2.2 inches | Weight: 53.4 pounds
Pros: Great color and brightness; Decent HDR support; Strong audio; Innovative smart TV features
Cons: Edge-lit backlighting; No Dolby Vision support; Some features need a little more polish
Samsung's quantum-dot technology just keeps getting better, and the Samsung 65-inch Q6F QLED TV proves it, offering picture quality that narrows the gap with more-expensive OLED TVs. If you want big savings without a huge sacrifice in picture quality, the Samsung Q6F QLED TV is a good choice, boasting strong color and brightness and impressive audio, along with the Bixby voice assistant and super-simple setup for anyone with a Samsung phone.
In addition to being a well-made smart TV, it's also well-designed, with a look that's more sophisticated than that of the average TV. And it has an Ambient Mode that makes the TV both beautiful and functional even when you aren't sitting down for a show.
Read our full Samsung 65-inch Q6F QLED TV review.
7. LG 65SK9500 Super UHD 65 Inch
The smartest smart TV yetRating: 4/5 stars
Screen Size: 65 inches | Screen Type: LCD | Refresh Rate: 120 Hz | HDMI ports: 4 | Size: 57.2 x 32.8 x 2.5 inches | Weight: 59.7 pounds
Pros: Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos support; ThinQ AI with Google Assistant; Great HDR performance; Short lag times for gaming; Excellent sound quality
Cons: Unwieldy stand; Slightly skewed color; Minor haloing
Part of LG's line of Super UHD LCD TVs, the LG 65SK9500 is the smartest TV we've ever reviewed. LG's ThinQ AI is the best voice assistant around, combining LG's proprietary content search and Google Assistant for broader voice functionality. It's like having a Google Home without ever setting up a smart speaker. Amazon users are also invited to the party, with full compatibility for Amazon Alexa devices.
And there's more to the LG 65SK9500 than just smarts, with features like Dolby Vision support, Dolby Atmos audio and short lag times for excellent gaming performance. The 4K display boasts a 120-Hz refresh rate and uses LG's Nano Cell technology for improved color accuracy and black levels. From smart functions to picture quality, it's one of the best LCD TVs we've seen.
Read our full LG 65SK9500 Super UHD 65-Inch Smart TV review.
8. Sony X690E 70-inch TV
A very good big-screen TVRating: 3/5 stars
Screen Size: 70 inches | Screen Type: LCD | Refresh Rate: 60 Hz | HDMI ports: 3 | Size: 61.7 x 35.5 x 3.7 inches | Weight: 61 pounds
Pros: Sleek design; Great price-to-size ratio; Decent 10-watt speakers
Cons: Opera TV is only so-so; Remote control design is confusing; Sound quality drops off at higher volumes; App selection is limited
While 65-inch TVs may be the common size today, bigger TVs are more popular than ever. The Sony X690E 70-inch TV steps you up to a larger size without an equally outsize price, making it our favorite bigger TV. Sony outfits the X690E with a smart stand and so-so feature set, but we were impressed by the decent viewing angles and deft handling of darker images. A pair of 10-watt speakers offers strong volume and pretty good sound quality. You will contend with a mediocre smart TV experience, though, as Sony uses Opera TV here instead of the Android TV offered on most Sony sets. But with a screen that's more than 5 feet wide on this TV, what you're really paying for is size.
Check out our full Sony X690E 70-inch TV review.
9. Insignia 43-Inch 4K Fire TV Edition
The best Amazon Fire TVRating: 3.5/5 stars
Screen Size: 43 inches | Screen Type: LCD | Refresh Rate: 60 Hz | HDMI ports: 3 | Size: 38.2 x 22.5 x 3.2 inches | Weight: 19.6 pounds
Pros: Affordable 4K smart TV; HDR support; Alexa voice assistant built in
Cons: No far-field mics for Alexa; Annoying ads
Amazon keeps trying to make Fire TV work as a competitor to Roku, and that's finally happening with the Insignia 43-inch 4K Fire TV Edition. After a few disappointing early attempts, the Insignia made us sit up and take notice with respectable performance for an inexpensive TV, offering good picture quality and sound, with color gamut and accuracy that beat that of other Amazon-powered TVs. This Sony Insignia is easily the best Fire Edition TV we've seen, and the only one to get our recommendation.
It's also packed with features for the Amazon faithful, with Alexa voice interaction built in, Amazon's huge selection of Fire TV apps, and a smart TV experience that puts Amazon Prime Video front and center. This is a solid sub-$500 smart TV and the best Amazon-based TV on the market.
Read our full Insignia 43-inch 4K Fire TV Edition review.
10. SunBriteTV Signature Series 55-inch
The best outdoor TVRating: 4/5 stars
Screen Size: 55 inches | Screen Type: LCD | Refresh Rate: 60 Hz | HDMI ports: 2 | Size: 50.5 x 29.7 x 3.8 inches | Weight: 68.5 pounds
Pros: Attractive, weatherproof design; Relatively lightweight; HDR support
Cons: Pricey; No smart-TV functions; No built-in speakers
If you want to take your TV out into the cold, the wind or the rain, you'll probably just wind up killing your TV. But the SunBriteTV Signature Series 55-inch outdoor TV is another story. It's built to withstand the elements, from freezing cold to blistering heat, and we've seen firsthand how easily it shrugs off rain and moisture. With a weather-sealed aluminum chassis and a screen made to be viewed in partial sunlight, the SunBriteTV goes where normal TVs can't. That can mean chilling in a cold garage, sitting poolside in a cabana or out on a covered patio.
It's also a strong performer, with decent HDR support. You'll need to provide your own (weather-proof) speakers, and you'll need a streaming stick for any sort of smart TV functions. But when you want to take your TV out of the house, this is the only way to go.
Read our full SunBriteTV Signature Series 55-inch outdoor TV review.
How We Test TVs
Evaluating TVs is about more than just kicking back to watch a movie. 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 using a Leo Bodnar HDMI input delay tester, which measures 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 spend time with each set to get more-subjective evaluation and see how our lab results translate into real-world performance. We 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.
For details on our testing methodology, please see How Tom's Guide Tests and Reviews TVs.
We also evaluate the smart TV functions and apps for each TV, looking at everything from the remote control design to the voice interaction. Get a more detailed look at each smart TV operating system in our look at Who Makes the Smartest Smart TV?
What 4K TVs Cost
You can find smaller 4K TVs that sell for less than $500, though you'll want to pay more for features like HDR support and a decent number of HDMI ports. Generally speaking, you'll pay around $500 for a lower-price, 55-inch, 4K TV and at least $900 for a 65-inch model. Premium 4K TVs can sell for thousands of dollars, but we find that the sweet spot for superior performance and value is right around the $2,000 mark.
Credit: Tom's Guide