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The 9 Best TVs to Buy Right Now

TV technology has come a long way in the last decade. Resolution has increased dramatically, better lighting technology makes colors richer (blacks especially show with more depth and texture), and the TVs themselves are slimmer and smarter, with bigger screens that have minimalist frames. If you’re in the market for a new TV, you’ll find sets that offer a sharper and more realistic picture than ever before at various prices. Here are some of the best.

Specs to Consider

Screen Size

With so many TVs to choose from, the first step to narrowing your search is to determine what size screen you want. The 55-inch screen is by far the most popular size TV for most households—not so large that it looms over your cozy living room but also not so small that the family will be on top of each other trying to watch a program. It’s the average, ideal size for an immersive viewing experience.

That said, if you have the space for a TV larger than 55 inches, and the budget to match, go with the biggest TV you can afford and accommodate. TVs with screens 65 inches or more can transport you to a movie theater experience without you having to leave your home. Keep in mind, though, that the larger the screen, (typically) the bigger the price tag.

Likewise, if your space is limited or you’re shopping for a smaller room like a bedroom, consider a TV with a 32- or 40-inch screen.

Resolution

A TV’s resolution is the number of pixels that make up the picture on the display. The more pixels a TV has, the sharper the image, so it’s best to invest in a higher-resolution screen when you can. Most modern TVs have over 2 million pixels, a resolution known as 1080p. Newer TVs have 8 million pixels, often called 4K (you may also see this referred to as UHD, or Ultra High Definition). The newest TV tech is 8K resolution, which quadruples the number of pixels from 4K. The bottom line is that more pixels produce sharper images and finer details, so go for a higher-resolution screen when you can.

All the TVs on this list have a resolution of at least 4K, which offers sufficient picture quality for any content currently on the market. If you’re interested in 8K, keep in mind that most streaming content can’t take advantage of this technology yet, although more is expected to become available soon and buying an 8K TV is a way to prepare for the foreseeable future.

One consideration with 8K screens is that they are more expensive (sometimes by a lot) than similarly sized 4K models. So, if you want to save some money, it’s fine to stay with 4K.

Check Out the Top Models from These TV Brands: Best Samsung TVs, Best LG TVs, Best Sony TVs

Display Technology

Manufacturers like to throw around complicated-sounding terms when talking about displays. Some common ones you’ll see are LED (or LED/LCD), OLED, and QLED.

Less-expensive TVs often are made with LCD/LED panels that use light-emitting diodes that backlight an LCD display. While LCD TVs are bright and durable, they often have limited viewing angles and don’t control light in the picture as well as other technologies.

Jumping up a notch in price and performance are TVs with QLED, which uses a thin film of quantum dots in the display to emit a wider range of colors than standard LED. While technically still an LED screen, QLED provides richer and deeper color ranges than you can get with most basic LCD panels.

One of the most popular new TV display technologies is OLED, which uses organic phosphors. Instead of a backlit display, each pixel emits its own light, making for better contrast and light precision than LCD TVs. OLED TVs can be seen from wider viewing angles than LCD TVs without losing color or reducing contrast. However, OLED TVs tend to be expensive and don’t get as bright as LCD TVs, so they may not be the best choice for bright, sunlit rooms. The relatively new and costly Mini LED technology shrinks the LED modules that provide backlighting to LCD screens, resulting in deeper blacks.

How We Evaluated

I’m a technology journalist who regularly reviews all types of gadgets, including laptops, tablets, computer mice, keyboards, TVs, and other devices. My work has appeared in The Atlantic, The Guardian, The Los Angeles Times, and many other publications.

To evaluate the best TVs, I reviewed specifications such as screen quality, resolution, size, and cost. I also visited brick-and-mortar stores to see the TVs on this list in person and compare them to other models in their price range. These are the best TVs you can buy right now.

Best Budget Model TV

Samsung 65-Inch Class Crystal UHD

Samsung
amazon.com

$697.99

Key Specs

  • Size: 65 in.
  • Display Technology: LED/LCD
  • Resolution: 4K
  • Model No.: UN65AU8000FXZA

The minimalist frame of this Samsung model highlights the sharp screen and realistic colors that punch above its weight at this price point. I was impressed with the depth of sound that the tiny speakers emitted; although, as with most TVs, you’re still better off purchasing a separate sound bar. Samsung lets you choose between various voice assistants including Amazon’s Alexa and Google Assistant.

  • Great screen quality for the price
  • Excellent sound
  • Blacks aren’t as deep as they are on higher-end models

Best Smaller Economy TV

Sony 43-Inch 4K Ultra HD LED

Key Specs

  • Size: 43 in.
  • Display Technology: LED/LCD
  • Resolution: 4K
  • Model No.: X85J

The X85J brings much of Sony’s famed picture quality to a small, more affordable package. This is the ideal TV for a home office or apartment living room. Watching a movie on this model recently, I was impressed with the realistic colors and crisp screen images. It has a 120 HZ refresh rate, which makes videos look smoother, and features Google TV and Alexa voice assistant as well as Apple Airplay.

Best Picture

Sony 77-Inch Bravia XR OLED 4K Ultra HD

Sony
amazon.com

$3,498.00

Key Specs

  • Size: 77 in.
  • Display Technology: OLED
  • Resolution: 4K
  • Model No.: A80J

The A80J comes with a hefty price tag, but it’s worth it for anyone who cares about superb picture quality. This home cinema-size TV is stunning both in terms of clarity and color depth. Watching a rerun of Finding Nemo recently on this TV, I felt like the fish were about to jump out of the screen.

  • Stunning clarity
  • Large display

Best Mid-Range TV

LG OLED48A1PUA

Key Specs

  • Size: 48 in.
  • Display Technology: OLED
  • Resolution: 4K
  • Model No.: OLED48A1PUA

This LG model is an excellent pick for anyone looking to fit a good quality TV into a small space. The 48-inch display is on the smaller size compared to most TVs these days, but the picture is crisp with the deep blacks you’d expect from OLED technology. Game Optimizer mode reduces latency for faster picture response when gaming. The minimalist frame lets the quality of the picture shine.

  • Deep blacks
  • Crisp picture
  • Screen is on the smaller side

Best LED Screen

Sony 50-Inch Bravia XR Full Array LED 4K Ultra HD

Key Specs

  • Size: 50 in.
  • Display Technology: LED/LCD
  • Resolution: 4K
  • Model No.: X90J

Even though this Sony model used an LED panel, it matches the usually more expensive OLED technology with deep blacks for contrast. This display boasts a wide range (billions, says Sony) of realistic colors. Gamers will also find this TV to be a good choice with Sony’s BRAVIA Game Mode for increased frame rate and reduced input lag.

  • Sound quality isn’t as good as others in the price range

Best 8K Screen

Samsung 85-Inch Class Neo QLED 8K

Samsung
samsung.com

$5,499.99

Key Specs

  • Size: 85 in.
  • Display Technology: OLED
  • Resolution: 8K
  • Model No.: QN85QN900AFXZA

There’s no good reason to buy an 8K TV at the moment because very little content is available at such high resolution. However, if you are spending a lot of money on a TV, you might as well get one that’s likely to be future-proof. In the meantime, Samsung says this model upscales content to 8K with OLED’s deep blacks and rich colors (although final quality will depend on the source content). The sound quality of the built-in speakers is noticeably excellent. Samsung claims this is due to object sound-tracking, which simulates a full surround sound system. Unlike some simulated surround tech, this one is actually good.

  • Beautiful image quality
  • Great sound
  • Premium for 8K, which isn’t necessary yet

Best OLED Screen

LG OLED C1 Series 83-Inch 4K

Key Specs

  • Size: 83 in.
  • Display Technology: OLED
  • Resolution: 4K
  • Model No.: OLED83C1PUA

This LG TV is a lot like having a movie theater in your home. The huge screen is nearly overwhelming in its clarity and detail. LG says this model’s α9 Gen 4 AI processor uses deep-learning algorithms to detect scenes and genres to make your content look its best. Along with OLED’s saturated colors and subtle blacks, you get a Game Optimizer mode, Google Assistant and Alexa built in, and support for top audiovisual standards like Cinema HDR and Dolby Atmos.

Best-Looking TV Overall

Samsung 75-Inch The Frame QLED 4K

Samsung
amazon.com

$2,525.98

Key Specs

  • Size: 75 in.
  • Display Technology: QLED
  • Resolution: 4K
  • Model No.: QN75LS03AAFXZA

In my opinion, this Samsung TV is the best-looking model on the market; there are even optional colored bezels for the frame. The QLED technology has excellent clarity and precise colors. It’s even beautiful when you’re not watching. In Art Mode, the built-in motion sensor triggers the TV to display one of your favorite selections whenever you walk into the room. The screen also shows off its QLED technology with excellent clarity and precise colors, for movies or sports.

  • Beautiful picture and frame

Best Big OLED TV

LG OLED G1 Series 77-Inch 4K

Key Specs

  • Size: 77 in.
  • Display Technology: OLED
  • Resolution: 4K
  • Model No.: OLED77G1PUA

The OLED screen on this LG TV is among the best I’ve ever seen for rendering blacks and brilliant colors. When you combine the excellent picture quality with the vast 77-inch display, this model is like having a movie theater in your home. It mounts flush to the wall without a shadow, so it looks like a picture frame. I do think that for the price LG could have put in better speakers, but it’s one of the few TVs available that is WiSA-ready, a high-quality wireless audio standard that supports true 3D audio formats via WiSA-certified surround sound systems.

  • Huge screen
  • Mounts flush to the wall

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