The best 4K TVs deliver everything you need for streaming shows and movies, gaming, or sharing the latest funny video. But finding a great 4K TV is about more than picture quality and advanced smart features. You want a TV that offers quality performance and plenty of capability without costing an arm and a leg, that looks great whether you’re watching a 4K movie or catching up on YouTube videos, and that is easy to use.
We’ve spent hundreds of hours testing and reviewing the latest TVs to find the best 4K sets on the market. Whether it’s major brands like LG, Samsung and Sony, or budget friendly 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.
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Our mission is to provide real-world advice that cuts through the jargon and explains the features in a way that makes it easy to know what you’re getting when you buy a new TV. We’ll let you know about the specs and the test results, but more importantly we’ll help you know what sets look the best, what features are worth paying for, and how to get the best bang for your buck while you look for your next TV.
What are the best 4K TVs?
Our favorite of the best 4K TVs is the Samsung QN90A Neo QLED TV, 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’ve reviewed this year.
A close second is the LG C1 OLED, which not only boasts a gorgeous OLED display and a full complement of HDMI 2.1 connections, it’s also the best gaming TV we’ve ever seen, with superb performance and several exclusive gaming-oriented features.
If you’re on a budget, the TCL 6-Series Roku TV (R635) is the best affordable 4K 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 2021
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’ve seen this year, and the 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 C1 OLED is a fantastic value among premium TVs, offering an amazing OLED display, a full complement of HDMI 2.1 ports, and the best gaming performance and features you can get. The display offers rich picture quality with impeccable contrast and sharpness, superb HDR support and gaming performance that beats everything else we’ve seen. 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’ve seen all year.
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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 LG G1 OLED TV is the updated version of LG’s superb Gallery OLED, boasting a premium 20 millimeter-thick design and sleek flush-to-the-wall mounting setup. It’s still the best 4K OLED TV made by LG, but as the first TV with LG’s second-gen OLED evo technology, it falls short of some claimed performance improvements we were pretty excited for.
That said, the LG G1 OLED is still an impressive OLED set, and LG has even knocked the price down a bit, while updating almost everything else about the set. The slim OLED features more comfortable remote control, enhanced gaming features, and the latest version of webOS, all while delivering the same excellent picture quality and impeccable sound that we expect from LG’s best OLED models. The LG G1 OLED TV stands as a reminder of just how far modern TV technology has come — we just hope it hasn’t plateaued.
Read our full LG G1 OLED TV 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, 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’s not Samsung’s most premium 4K smart TV, it’s really, really close. The only real differences between the Q80T and the more expensive Samsung Q90T QLED TV is that the Q80T has it’s ports on the TV, instead of a separate box – well, that and a couple hundred dollars in the purchase price.
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.
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