Finding the best TV for your needs depending on how you’re going to use it and where you’re going to place it as well. There are two different types of panels in the TV market, OLED and LED, and they each have their own strengths and weaknesses. There’s no perfect TV and choosing the right option for you also comes down to personal preference. Generally, even the lowest-end 4k TVs offer decent picture quality, and the higher-end models are only good if you’re going to use them to their full ability, such as for watching native 4k content.
The LG CX OLED is the best TV we’ve tested with an OLED panel. This type of panel’s advantage over its LED competitors is how it’s able to individually turn off pixels, and it doesn’t have a backlight. This results in a perfect black level thanks to the near-infinite contrast ratio and perfect black uniformity, so there’s no blooming around bright objects. It also has very wide viewing angles, so the image remains accurate when viewing from the side.
It’s packed with features and offers excellent overall performance that should please most people. It delivers a great HDR experience with its very wide color gamut and decent HDR peak brightness, but it’s not as bright as most high-end LEDs. Gamers should appreciate its near-instant response time, low input lag, and variable refresh rate (VRR) support that aims to match the refresh rate with the frame rate of your game. It also has Black Frame Insertion and motion interpolation features, which both help improve the appearance of motion, and it removes judder from any source. Lastly, it has great out-of-the-box color accuracy, but this may vary between units.
The main downside to owning an OLED is the risk of permanent burn-in. This could be a problem if you constantly watch the same content with static elements, such as the news, or use it as a PC monitor. That said, we don’t expect this to be an issue for people who watch varied content, and LG includes a few settings to help reduce the issue, such as ‘Pixel Refresher’ or ‘Logo Luminance Adjustment’ options. All things considered, this is one of the best TVs we’ve tested.
Best OLED TV: LG CX OLED
The best TV on the market with an LED panel that we’ve tested is the Samsung Q80/Q80T QLED. LED TVs don’t face the risk of permanent burn-in like OLEDs, so you can easily use it as a PC monitor or leave it on the same news channel all day without worrying about damaging it. They also get much brighter than OLEDs, and this TV is no exception. It offers impressive overall performance and is packed with features.
It gets brighter than the LG CX OLED, and combined with its wide color gamut and very good gradient handling, it delivers a great HDR experience. The native contrast ratio is great, but it’s lower than most VA panels because of the ‘Ultra Viewing Angle’ layer that improves the viewing angles at the cost of its contrast. It has fairly wide viewing angles, and the decent full-array local dimming feature helps further deepen blacks level. This TV has a 120Hz refresh rate with HDMI 2.1 support on one input, meaning it supports 4k @ 120Hz content, which is great if you own a PS5 or Xbox Series X. It also has VRR support and low input lag, but note that the 49 and 50 inch models are limited to a 60Hz panel and don’t have VRR, so we expect them to perform differently.
Unfortunately, our unit has some uniformity issues with dirty screen effect in the center, but your experience may vary. It’s an excellent choice if you want to use it as a PC because it displays chroma 4:4:4, which is important for reading fine text, it has outstanding reflection handling, and gets bright enough to combat glare. Lastly, it has excellent out-of-the-box color accuracy, but like with gray uniformity, this may vary between units. All said, this is the best TV with an LED panel that we’ve tested.
Best LED TV: Samsung Q80/Q80T QLED
The best TV for watching HDR content is the Vizio P Series Quantum X 2020. It’s Vizio’s premium 2020 LED model and delivers great overall performance that you expect to find in a high-end model. It’s well-built and has a sleek and modern design that should look great in any setting. It offers excellent picture quality, especially if you’re watching movies in a dark room.
Its VA panel has an outstanding contrast ratio and remarkable black uniformity, and when combined with its great full-array local dimming feature, it displays deep blacks when viewed in the dark. It supports both HDR10+ and Dolby Vision, displays an incredibly wide color gamut for HDR content, and gets incredibly bright in HDR, so highlights pop the way they should. It supports VRR technology for gamers, but it doesn’t currently work and may require a firmware update to function properly. It has a quick response time, a Black Frame Insertion feature, and a low input lag. Lastly, it displays chroma 4:4:4 if you want to use it as a computer monitor, so it displays text clearly.
Unfortunately, it has narrow viewing angles, so it’s not suggested for a wide seating arrangement. It has trouble upscaling 480p and 720p content, so DVDs and cable boxes may not look as good on it as other TVs. The built-in SmartCast operating system is easy-to-use, but you can’t download any extra apps besides the pre-installed ones. If picture quality is important to you and you don’t need extra gaming bells and whistles, this is one of the best TVs that we’ve tested.
CHEAPER ALTERNATIVE: HISENSE H9G
If you want to save some money, then check out the Hisense H9G. It displays a wide color gamut for HDR content, but it’s not as wide as the Vizio P Series Quantum X 2020. However, it upscales 480p and 720p content better than the Vizio, and the built-in Android TV has a massive selection of apps you can download. The Hisense has an outstanding contrast ratio and great local dimming feature that further deepens any blacks. It gets bright enough to bring out highlights in HDR or to simply combat glare in well-lit environments. Some may be disappointed to know it doesn’t have any VRR support, but if you want to use it for gaming, it has low input lag even in HDR, a very quick response time, and a Black Frame Insertion feature. Sadly, it has narrow viewing angles, so you lose image accuracy when viewing from the side.
If you want the best TV for watching HDR movies, you can’t go wrong with the Vizio, but if you prefer something cheaper, the Hisense is a good choice.
Best Budget TV: Hisense H8G
The best TV in the budget category we’ve tested is the Hisense H8G. It’s an upper mid-range model in Hisense’s 2020 lineup, and despite its wallet-friendly price, it can compete with higher-end, more expensive TVs. It delivers good picture quality for nearly every type of content and is suitable for any viewing condition. Its viewing angles are sub-par, though, so it isn’t ideal for wide seating arrangements.
The contrast ratio is excellent, and even though it’s not as good as some other VA panel models, it has a full-array local dimming feature that deepens black level. It can display a wide color gamut for HDR content; however, its HDR peak brightness is just okay, so some highlights don’t pop as they should. It’s great for gaming due to its good response time and exceptionally low input lag, but sadly, there’s no VRR support to reduce screen tearing.
Unfortunately, it has some uniformity issues as the screen’s edges are darker, and its out-of-the-box color accuracy is just okay. On the upside, it has built-in Android TV, which is somewhat easy to use and has a very wide selection of apps available to download. If you’re on a budget and want something with good performance, you can’t go wrong with this one.
ROKU ALTERNATIVE: TCL 5 SERIES/S535 2020 QLED
If you want a TV with built-in Roku TV, which is easier-to-use than Android TV, check out the TCL 5 Series/S535 2020 QLED. The Hisense H8G is much brighter, but the TCL displays a much wider color gamut for HDR content. Like the TCL, the Hisense lacks many extra gaming features, but that’s what you expect for an option in this price range. However, it has a very quick response time, incredibly low input lag, and a Black Frame Insertion feature to reduce motion blur. It has great out-of-the-box color accuracy, upscales lower-resolution content without any issues, and removes 24p judder from any source, which is rare for a 60Hz TV. Sadly, it has narrow viewing angles, and it’s not the best option for use in bright rooms because it doesn’t get very bright, and its reflection handling is just decent. On the upside, it displays chroma 4:4:4 if you want to use it as a computer monitor.
The Hisense is the best TV in the budget category that we’ve tested, but if you prefer something with Roku TV included, so you don’t have to buy an external box, then look into the TCL.