Best TVs 2019

Brian Westover ·

We're pretty picky about our TVs, which is why we've spent more than 500 hours testing and reviewing more than 40 TV in the last 12 months. We evaluate the smart features, lab test the displays and run the apps to find the best sets out there. If you want the most jaw-dropping TV on the market, look no further than the Samsung 65-inch Q9FN QLED TV, our pick for the best overall 4K TV. Looking to spend a lot less? The TCL Roku TV 55P607 is the best value-priced 4K TV around. 


News and Updates (January 2019)

Best Overall
Samsung 65-inch Q9FN QLED TV
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Best Value
TCL Roku TV 43S517
The TCL 43S517 Roku Smart 4K TV offers a 43-inch 4K TV that's packed with premium features, excellent performance and a sweet bargain price.
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Best Under $1,000
TCL 6 Series 65-inch Roku TV
TCL's 6 Series Roku TV gives you a 65-inch 4K set with HDR support for a reasonable price. It's everything great about TCL's value-packed TVs, with the same clean Roku interafce, but with better backlighting and an elegant design.
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Recommended TV Deals

  • Samsung QLED 4K Smart TV Sale

    Samsung's QLEDs display more light than OLEDs, which makes them excellent for bright rooms. Amazon has the entire 6 Series on sale including the 49-inch, 55-inch, and 65-inch TVs.

    $1,099.99 $797.99 @ Amazon
Best Overall
Samsung pulls out all the stops for it's best 4K smart TV, the 65-inch Q9FN QLED TV. The QLED display combines a bright LCD panel with quantum dot technology, sophisticated filtering and precision dimming for the best black levels you'll see on an LCD and vivid brightness that OLED struggles to match. This impeccable display is paired with superb audio, offering 4.2-channel sound that delivers clear sound a solid bass. The slim display also benefits from Samsung's One Connect box, which shifts all of the ports and even the power connection off of the TV and into a separate box, and combines them all into the barely-there Invisible Connection, a single semi-transparent cable that delivers power, picture and sound for all of your home theater devices. And smart functions abound, with Samsung's SmartThings platform, the interactive Bixby voice assistant, and a minimalist remote that's one of the best around. You can also use the TV as the dashboard to control all of your connected home devices, from thermostats to smart plugs and camera doorbells. Wrap it all up in a design that looks as good fromt he back as it does from the front, and it's easy to see why the Samsung 65-inch Q9FN QLED TV is the best 4K smart TV we've seen all year. Key Specs — Screen Size: 65 inches; Screen Type: QLED (Quantum Dot LCD); Refresh Rate: 120Hz; HDMI ports: 4; Size: 57.1 x 32.7 x 1.5 inches; Weight: 58.9 pounds
  • Sleek design reduces cable clutter
  • Near-OLED levels of picture quality
  • Strong HDR support
  • Excellent 4.2-channel sound
  • Great smart features
  • No Dolby Vision support
  • Bixby is slightly less polished than competing voice assistants
Read the full review
Best Value
Great things can come in small (and affordable) packages. The TCL 43S517 Roku Smart 4K TV is smaller than most TVs we recommend, but with a super affordable price, great picture and sound quality, and a slew of unexpectedly premium features, this 43-inch model is a screaming deal. (And you can find larger sizes at similarly affordable prices). We've reviewed plenty of inexpensive Roku TVs, but TCL's reputation for better-than-average quality and some genuinely exciting features – like Dolby Vision HDR, Dolby Atmos audio support, and integrated voice search – make this substantially better than most cheap sets we've seen. Key Specs — Screen Size: 43 inches; Screen Type: LCD; Refresh Rate: 60Hz; HDMI ports: 3; Size: 37.8 x 22.1 x 2.9 inches; Weight: 18.5 pounds
  • Great color reproduction and accuracy
  • Excellent HDR support with Dolby Vision
  • Better-than-average Roku experience with voice search
  • Dolby Atmos sound support
  • Inconsistent backlight
  • Limited port selection
Read the full review
Best Under $1,000
The TCL 6 Series 65-inch Roku TV raises the bar for affordable 4K with excellent picture quality for a sub-$1,000 display, with rich color, smooth action, and excellent black levels for an LCD.
The refined brushed metal design looks better than many more premium sets, and with support for HDR10 and Dolby Vision, along with Roku TV with voice search, it’s easily the best TV you can get for this price. Key Specs — Screen Size: 65 inches; Screen Type: LCD; Refresh Rate: 60Hz; HDMI ports: 3; Size: 57.1 x 32.9 x 3 inches; Weight: 52.3 pounds
  • Great picture quality
  • Impressive backlight with 120 dimming zones
  • Roku's smart TV platform is reliably good
  • Off-angle viewing isn't perfect
  • No private listening headphone jack on remote
Read the full review
Best Picture Quality
The Sony Bravia XBR-65A1E is a truly superior OLED TV with superb picture quality, impressive sound and robust Android TV features.
The 65-inch OLED panel delivers deep blacks, strikingly sharp pictures and excellent viewing angles. Even stacked against our favorite premium OLED, the XBR-65A1E provides better color, more brightness and great accuracy, especially with skin tones. The 4K set also includes support for Dolby Vision and other HDR formats to deliver better brightness and more colors. Sony also adds some of its own proprietary video processing, providing the secret sauce that lets the XBR-65A1E offer a better picture than LG's E7 OLED despite Sony using an OLED panel manufactured by LG. Equally impressive is the audio, which uses Sony's Acoustic Surface technology. By placing the speakers directly behind the OLED display and vibrating the glass itself to generate sound waves, Sony delivers dialogue as if it were coming straight out of an actor's mouth on-screen. This is paired with a hefty built-in subwoofer for a full, rich sound. Sony's use of Android TV also makes it one of the best smart TVs out there, with all of the major streaming apps, support for Google Chromecast and Sony's own PlayStation Vue streaming service. The TV also has Google Home functionality built in for voice search and smart-home control. Key Specs — Screen Size: 65 inches; Screen Type: OLED; Refresh Rate: 120Hz; HDMI ports: 4; Size: 62.5 x 7.8 x 39.2 inches; Weight: 108 pounds
  • Excellent OLED picture with great viewing angles
  • Impressive built-in sound
  • Well-rounded smart-TV features
  • Odd leaning tabletop stand
  • Abysmal remote control
Read the full review
Best for Cord Cutters

The Vizio P-Series 65-Inch P65-F1 delivers affordable quality to match more expensive competitors and plenty of content options, making it our top pick for cord cutters.

The Vizio P-Series 65-Inch P65-F1 isn’t just a good TV, it’s one of the best Vizio has ever made, and cord cutters will love the combination of apps and content it offers.

Vizio’s smart TVs have been hobbled in recent years by funky smart functionality and the marked absence of a built-in tuner, but the Vizio P-Series 65-Inch P65-F1 corrects these missteps by bring back local apps and adding an integrated coaxial connection and tuner. Add to this solid picture quality and great sound, and the P-Series becomes a contender for any TV shopper.

But the real benefits come from the major flexibility offered by the built-in Chromecast, which opens up the TV to hundreds of apps, on top of the free over-the-air content an antenna brings. Add it all up and this TV looks like the best option for anyone who wants to ditch their cable or satellite subscription.

Key SpecsScreen Size: 65 inches | Screen Type: LCD | Refresh Rate: 120Hz | HDMI ports: 5 | Size: 57 x 32.7 x 2.7 inches | Weight: 54.3 pounds

  • Excellent picture quality
  • Local dimming with 100-zone backlighting
  • Antenna connection and tuner
  • Limited local app support
  • No voice assistant
Read the full review
Best Entry-Level OLED
If you want an OLED display without paying thousands of dollars, the LG C7 gives you everything that’s great about OLED without the huge price tag.
With a gorgeous OLED display and sleek premium design, the LG 55-inch C7 OLED offers everything you want from a top-tier smart TV, like 4K resolution, HDR support, and flawless black levels. As the price drops on last year's models, the C7 becomes more affordable than ever, making it an easy pick as the best value for anyone looking to get an OLED display without loosing their shirt. Key Specs — Screen Size: 55 inches; Screen Type: OLED; Refresh Rate: 120Hz; HDMI ports: 4; Size: 48.4 x 28 x 1.8 inches; Weight: 38.1 pounds
  • Excellent 4K OLED display
  • Support for multiple HDR formats
  • Superb smart TV features
  • Thoughtfully designed remote
  • Rear ports inaccessible when wall mounted
  • Good audio with Dolby Atmos support
Read the full review
Best Smart TV
The Sony XBR-65X900E would be a pretty great TV on its own, but we really loved its smart TV features.
Thanks to a high-quality LCD display and surprisingly great audio, it's easy to recommend the Sony XBR-65X900E. But what we love most about it is Sony’s smart TV offering, an optimized version of Android TV that has an excellent interface, a wide number of apps, built-in Google Chromecast support and integration for Google Home and Amazon Alexa. Key Specs — Screen Size: 65 inches; Screen Type: LCD; Refresh Rate: 120 Hz; HDMI ports: 4; Size: 57 x 32.75 x 2.75 inches; Weight: 54 pounds
  • Clean design
  • Excellent performance
  • Bright backlight
  • Google Chromecast and Assistant built in
  • Awkwardly angled port placement
  • Mediocre audio
  • Clunky remote
  • Android TV has its flaws
  • Waiting for Dolby Vision support
Read the full review
Best OLED Alternative

Samsung Q8FN QLED TV

The Samsung Q8FN QLED TV uses quantum dot technology and advanced filtering to provide some of the richest colors and deepest black levels you can find on an LCD TV.

If you want an excellent picture without the high price of an OLED TV, consider the Samsung Q8FN QLED TV. With quantum dot technology for brighter colors, local dimming for better backlight control and special filters for impressive black levels, Samsung’s QLED displays provide the best LCD-based option for great picture quality.

Combine this with Samsung's elegant design, polished smart TV platform and rich feature set, and it's easily one of the best TVs on the market today.

Key Specs — Screen Size: 65 inches | Screen Type: LCD | Refresh Rate: 120Hz | HDMI ports: 4 | Size: 57.1 x 32.6 x 2.3 inches | Weight: 58.4 pounds


How We Test TVs

Tom’s Guide has been testing and reviewing TVs since 2014. Since then, we've watched the TV landscape evolve from stand-alone devices that relied on cable or satellite for 1080p content to today's connected, immersive 4K smart TVs. We've watched prices fluctuate, dropping from astronomical to extremely affordable, and watched as cord-cutting has grown from a niche hobby to a viable alternative to expensive cable packages.

Throughout the year, we meet with the manufacturers and experts behind today's TVs, learning from product engineers and display technicians to understand what goes into a great display. We're briefed on the latest technical developments, from new HDR formats to voice assistants with AI. We've seen early demonstrations of technologies that enhance the viewing experience and gotten close looks at the latest advancements in display technology, all so that we can keep you up to date with what’s changing in the TV industry, and help you to know where things are heading.

But it's not all about the latest tech and fancy features. We also gather expert advice on finding the right model and features for you, whether it's determining the best TV size for your home, or helping you find the best TV for the best price.

To evaluate TVs, we use a combination of instrument-based testing and eyes-on viewing. Our dedicated lab staff tests displays using an Xrite i1 Pro colorimeter and SpectraCal’s CalMan ColorChecker software, allowing us to gather clear, objective data about brightness, color accuracy, color gamut and more. 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 displaying on the screen. We use these results to make numbers-based comparisons about color and display quality.

We spend time with each set for more subjective evaluation. In our testing facility, we compare sets side by side, using a variety of content sources and media formats. In our reviews, we combine these real-world findings with our lab test results to provide as clear a picture as possible of a given TV's performance and viewing experience.

Quick Tips for TV Shoppers

TV buying can be a flurry of obscure-sounding acronyms and confusing specs, which is why we have our in-depth buying guide and articles that explain everything from OLED technology to HDR content. Here are a few key details you should pay attention to on every TV you consider buying.

4K is the way to go: You'll get better picture quality with 4K resolution than you will with the older 1080p HD format, and 4K sets have replaced HDTVs as the standard for modern TVs.

Get the right size: We recommend picking the largest screen size that will fit your home and budget. You can expect to pay about $500 for a lower-priced 55-inch 4K TV and at least $900 for a 65-inch model.

Pay attention to refresh rate: The higher the refresh rate, the more realistic the motion or video should appear on-screen. While 60Hz is common, we recommend 120Hz rate or higher.

Pay the right price: You can spend thousands on a new TV, but it's often possible to find most of the features you want for under $500.

Additional Shopping Advice

As you shop for TVs and read reviews, you'll see that not all TVs use the same display technology. Most TVs use LCD display panels with LED backlighting. These TVs offer great brightness and can have superb color quality, but struggle with blacks and dark imagery. The best displays available today use OLED, which stands for organic light-emitting diode. Using organic material to create individual light-emitting pixels, there's no need for a backlight, making for slimmer display panels that offer the deepest black levels available. Of the two, OLED is more expensive.

MORE: Buying a TV? Here Are 11 Things You Should Know

Many manufacturers are also offering enhanced versions of LCD technology under brand names like Samsung's QLED. These are still backlit LCD displays, but they use quantum-dot technology and local backlight dimming to narrow the gap in quality between LCD and OLED panels.

Another important feature if you want the best picture available is high dynamic range (HDR) support. This technology lets TVs deliver more colors, better contrast levels and increased brightness. There are different formats of HDR, with a basic standard called HDR10 and several competing premium formats, like Dolby Vision, HDR10 Plus and Technicolor Advanced HDR. Each format has its benefits, but you'll  see the full capability of each only when playing media that is supported by the display.

MORE: Smart TVs: Everything You Need to Know

Skip the curved TV sets, though. Flat screen TVs have remained the standard for premium home theater gear because they can be easily enjoyed by multiple viewers. With a curved panel, sharing the screen with other people is hampered by severely limited viewing angles. The bottom line is that curved TVs are mostly a marketing gimmick.

Finally, you will almost definitely be getting a smart TV, because nearly every TV on the market has both network connectivity and support for streaming apps like Netflix and Hulu. However, not all smart-TV platforms are created equal. Some of the larger manufacturers, like Samsung and LG, offer their own proprietary TV interfaces, while others opt for third-party solutions, like Roku and Android TV.

MORE: Who Makes the Smartest Smart TV? Here Are the Results

What Else You Should Get with Your TV

Streaming Services: There are several streaming options ready to serve up all the shows and movies you can binge-watch. Many current TVs have major services like Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Video baked in, with apps preinstalled. Some smart TVs also come with cable-replacement apps built in, such as Sling TV and PlayStation Vue.

Streaming Devices: If your TV doesn’t already offer these sort of smart features, you can easily add them with a separate streaming device, like a Roku Stick or a Google Chromecast.

HD Antenna: When it comes to free content, there's still nothing quite as robust as the free local and network HDTV channels you can get with a simple antenna. Today’s HDTV antennas are affordable and effective, pulling in channels from miles away while stowing away out of sight, thanks to slim designs.

Soundbar: You'll also want to think about getting a soundbar. Most TVs are built to be slim, attracting shoppers with svelte designs that can be hung on a wall. The narrow confines look slick for a gorgeous display, but they make for lackluster audio. A soundbar gives you big sound and booming bass without the tangle of wires and clutter of a 5.1 or 7.1 surround system.

Universal Remote Control: You'll need a way to command all these devices, along with whatever Blu-ray player, cable or satellite box and other devices you connect to your TV, but it seems like every device has its own remote control. Tame the clutter with a universal remote, which lets you condense these clickers into one handy device. Some even let you control your smart-home gadgets.