Do you have your heart set on finally experiencing the high-definition splendor of 4K magic in the comfort of your own home? Maybe you’re shopping for a loved one or you just want to make sure you’re getting the best future-proofed technology that’s worth your investment.
Whether you’re a 4K console gamer, a movie lover or a tech geek, choosing to buy a 4K TV can turn up the wow-factor in all of your media and entertainment experiences. Use this guide to find the best 4K TV that has the perfect specifications, quality and price point for your needs.
How to Choose the Best 4K TV
TVs aren’t just TVs anymore. They’re gaming monitors, Blu-ray players, VR screens, internet streamers and so much more. If you’re looking to buy a TV, the one you choose will depend on your preferences for size, features, functionality and picture clarity.
With so many 4K TV options on the market today, it can be difficult deciding which one to spend your hard-earned money on. Here are some easy steps to follow:
- Size. Start by considering how much room you have and the importance of viewing angles in your home to determine the size of your TV. We’ll give you a tip for this below.
- Price. The best 4K TVs can range from under $1,000 to over $4,000, depending on the size and type of screen. Consider how much money you are ready to spend and also keep an eye on bargain deals.
- Screen type. You know you want 4K resolution, but what about the type of screen itself? Your two main options are either OLED or LCD/LED. Each has their pros and cons related to color brightness, contrast and viewing angles; we discuss more below.
- Sound. Do you plan on using an external sound system or are you going to rely on the built-in sound system of the TV?
- Smart features. Almost all 4K TVs have Smart TV. You should start thinking about what types of online features are important to you.
Today 4K TVs are available in nearly all sizes (from 32 to 70 inches and even more). If you have a bigger living room or there will be multiple people viewing the TV, a TV with a bigger screen might be a better choice (65 or 75 inches). However, if it’s just you and your spouse in a smaller apartment, you might look at 4K TVs that are 55 inches or smaller.
There are some techniques you can use to determine what size of TV you should get according to how much room you have for viewing. You can divide the diagonal width of the screen by 0.84 inches to find the location of the viewing area using the angles. Here is a viewing distance calculator to help you out.
It can be tempting to go as big as possible, but remember to consider screen type, HDR, refresh rate and contrast ratio before making your final decision.
High Dynamic Range (HDR) is a term that you will find on the majority of 4K TVs nowadays.
HDR is a technology that brings a more realistic picture to your TV by showing you a better pallet of colors (Wide Color Gamut) and enhancing the differences between light and dark tones (Contrast Ratio).
- Wide Color Gamut (WCG). Wide color gamut is what makes the colors on your TV truly pop. With WCG, the colors on your TV become richer and more lifelike, making your experience as immersive as stepping into a forest or a battlefield. You may also come across the term “Dolby Vision”, which is a type of HDR that can help the TV portray billions of colors for incredible depth and brightness.
- Contrast ratio. If you want the best possible picture quality, you need a TV that has a high contrast ratio. The contrast ratio is the relationship between the brightest and darkest colors, which together determine the realism and sharpness of the picture. Blacks will appear truly black, rather than dark shades of other colors. Whites will also be truly white and not slightly yellow or pinkish.
If you want the most out of your 4K TV when it comes to color realism and breathtaking vibrancy, finding one with HDR is a must. Therefore, HDR should play a large role when choosing the best 4K TV for your needs.
Picking the largest sizes and resolutions doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll get a better picture; this just means that you can see all of the little cells more clearly. HDR means that the colors in those cells are more vibrant and lifelike.
Measured in hertz or Hz, the refresh rate of a TV is how quickly it can update the image on the screen. The more times the picture can be updated in a second, the smoother the picture is to the human eye. This is very important in high-octane media such as action movies and video games.
The refresh rate can be important to minimize the motion blur that’s created by your brain anticipating where the picture (or frame) will be next. The more images that are captured and displayed at a high speed will minimize the amount of blur you will see with your eyes.
The screen type you choose will depend entirely on your personal preference and your budget. When talking about new TV screens, there are a few terms you should know:
- LCD. LCD means “liquid crystal display”. This is a type of panel technology that uses liquid crystals to display the pictures on the TV.
- LED LCD. LED means “light-emitting diode”. This is the primary TV display technology that’s on the market today, rivaled primarily by OLED. LED is actually a type of LCD TV, which explains why you sometimes hear LED TVs referred to as “LED LCD TVs”. Essentially, the LEDs are used as a backlight for the LCD. This produces a much clearer, more detailed picture.
- OLED. The “O” stands for “organic”. This type of panel technology uses electrical currents to emit bright lights. OLED TVs don’t need backlighting, so they’re typically thinner and more energy efficient (but also more expensive).
- QLED. The “Q” stands for “quantum”. This type of panel technology uses quantum dots to filter light, offering wider color ranges than normal LCD TVs.
- Curved. If you’ve walked into an electronics store that sells TVs, you’ve probably seen the large curved TVs on display. While these look cool, they’re generally not practical for normal TV use. This is because your viewing angle is really limited and the screen may have distorted reflections if you’re not looking at it in just the right spot. Curved TVs can be good for those who sit close to their screens at the ideal viewing angle.
LED LCD Versus OLED: Pros and Cons
- LED LCD TVs are generally much brighter than OLED TVs due to the backlighting technology.
- LED LCD TVs are usually more affordable and durable than OLED TVs.
- OLED TVs can have better black levels than LCDs, making dark colors truly dark. However, some LED LCD TVs come with local dimming, which helps with displaying dark areas.
- OLED TVs have a better contrast ratio because they can be both extremely light and extremely dark, making the picture seem more realistic.
- OLED TVs can have wider viewing angles that don’t sacrifice color and contrast.
The sound of your TV can be just as important as the visual quality. If you’re investing in a high-quality 4K TV, chances are that you’re also looking into getting an external sound system, such as surround sound or a soundbar. While TVs generally come with built-in speakers, the sound quality can leave you wanting more if you’re relying on the TV alone.
The speakers built into your TV can make a large difference in how you hear the sound. If they are pointed downwards, then the speakers that are facing the viewer through the screen will sound much better and perhaps more realistic. Likewise, if the speakers are facing away from the viewer and bouncing off the wall, it may sound muffled to a slight degree. It’s usually recommended that you get surround sound or a sound bar with your 4K TV.
The majority of new 4K TVs come with built-in Wi-Fi, although there are some exceptions. This means that you can easily enter in your Wi-Fi password and get access to a variety of online services and applications, depending on which TV you have.
With wireless connectivity, you can easily stream movies and TV shows from applications such as Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime. With some TVs, you can even use compatible devices to make calls and voice commands (for example, Amazon Alexa). With some features or simple add-ons, you may be able to stream media from other devices to your TV.
You can also choose to hook your TV up to your router using the Ethernet port; this would require an Ethernet cable, which needs to be bought separately.
8 Best 4K TVs in 2020
The Perfect Image in your Living Room
The time of low-quality videos is long gone, which is why more and more people go for a TV like the Sony A9G. This is an OLED 4K Ultra HD Smart TV (Android OS) with HDR and Alexa & Google Home compatibility that delivers pristine image clarity.
To make sure you get the complete cinematic experience, Sony integrated this TV with IMAX Enhanced and Dolby Vision technologies. Also, the X-Reality PRO technology upscales images to near 4K clarity and reduces any on-screen noise.
Furthermore, the technology inside is promoted by an elegant low profile that fits in any indoor setting. The 65-inch flat-screen TV features a triluminos display, meaning that the red, green, and blue are available a broader spectrum to create an image that’s closer to reality.
Of course, such an image can only be accompanied by a good audio system. With the Sony A9G, the audio seems to come from the entire screen (not just the speakers) due to Acoustic Surface Technology.
- Impressive 4K clarity
- Natural colors and vivid images
- Smooth rendition of videos and images
- Good sound quality that seems to come from the screen
- Low profile and narrow bezel
- 65-inch diagonal
- Auto-brightness setting
- A bit expensive
- The Smart TV interface is a bit difficult to navigate
The Perfect TV to Immerse Yourself in New Worlds
Equipped with a 4K UHD processor, the Samsung RU8000 lets you watch every show in 4K picture quality by upscaling the image without adding any noise. Furthermore, the image features high dynamic range which lets you see a wide array of color shades that come close to a lifelike picture.
Furthermore, the RU8000 can be connected with your favorite gaming console to enjoy the immersive gaming experience on a large screen TV (49-inch diagonal). The processor prevents any tearing and stuttering, even when you’re playing at the highest settings.
This is a Smart TV that runs on an Android OS with Alexa and Google Assistant compatibility. It also features a simple and easy to understand interface that lets you enjoy your favorite streaming apps.
Finally, the TV features a slim design with a small bezel and a wide viewing angle, so it’s easy to integrate in any indoor settings.
- Amazing video and audio quality
- Low profile that’s elegant and sleek
- Easy to set up
- Works well with voice commands
- Compatible with Alexa & Google Assistant
- Great price point
- Audio quality could have been better
- Remote is small and slick, which makes it a bit difficult to operate
- Feet position is not adjustable
For the Perfect Black & Most Realistic Images
The LG C9 OLED boasts the idea of a perfect black representation that allows viewers to discover new details in images and videos. Furthermore, the TV has infinite contrast, which lets you customize the level of shadow detail.
The TV is equipped with the best 4K processor with built-in AI that makes the action smooth and creates an incredibly realistic image with natural colors and contrast. Furthermore, the TV comes with Google Assistant and Alexa built in and runs on Android OS.
Finally, the TV comes with an incredibly thin design, made possible by the fact that each of the 8.3 million pixels are individually lit (there’s no need for a backlight).
The LG C9 is ideal for experiencing the real cinematic experience due to its advanced image and sound technologies (Dolby Vision and Atmos).
- Impressive image quality
- Individually lit pixels
- Incredibly thin profile
- Good sound technology
- The best 4k processor from LG
- Alexa and google assistant are built-in
- Perfect black and shadow detail
- Pandora doesn’t seem to work on the TV
- It is rather heavy and requires careful setup
- Some smart settings tend to turn on uninvited
A Gorgeous 65-inch QLED Design
The Q90 series from Samsung features 4K HDR image technology with vivid colors full of detail and natural nuances. This is due to the Quantum Dot technology, which enhances the color volume and brings a lot of richness to the image.
The TV features several concentrated zones of precision-controlled LEDs that bring out the details in the darkest scenes. Furthermore, the technology (Quantum processor 4K) manages to display the purest whites and deepest blacks and adjusts the contrasts without adding any noise into the image.
The thin bezel (almost inexistent) and low profile combine perfectly with the ultra-wide viewing angle. The screen is engineered to reduce glare and enhance color in order to create a vibrant picture regardless of your viewing position.
Finally, the TV supports OneRemote functionality, Bixby voice command, and has a universal guide that lets you control other compatible home appliances (such as Alexa and Google Assistant smart speakers).
- Impressive QLED image quality
- The processor upscales regular HD content without any extra noise
- The interface is intuitive and user-friendly
- The voice controls work well
- Great viewing angle
- You can’t connect headphones to it
- Setup is a bit difficult and requires at least two people
- A bit on the expensive side
LG Electronics B8PUA
The Best Budget 4K OLED
The LG B8PUA is one of the least expensive 4K Ultra HD Smart OLED TVs out there. And since everything revolves around price, this baby makes for a very interesting choice for budget-conscious users.
However, don’t let the price tag fool you. Despite its affordability, the LG B8PUA delivers spectacular image quality, as the company made zero compromises in this regard. The black levels are superb, uniformity is flawless, the colors are accurate and the wide viewing angles make it perfect for watching movies. On top of that, the LG B8PUA features an elegant and slim design, with an ultra-thin panel.
- despite being an entry-level OLED (reflected in price), the image quality is stunning
- Flawless deep blacks thanks to emissive technology
- excellent motion handling
- Instantaneous response time makes it great for gaming and watching sports events
- Almost zero motion blur in video games
- wide viewing angles
- sleek design, excellent build quality, premium look and feel
- amazing value for money
- some brightness issues specific to OLEDs
Great 4K TV For The Money
The Sony X900F plays in the “best bang for the buck” category, making for a 4K Ultra HD Smart LED TV, which delivers great value for money. One of the most important features of the X900F in terms of image quality is the fact that Sony used Direct Led lightning technology for this smart TV, which confers it deep black levels and great color accuracy, along with high dynamic performance.
Even if the Sony X900F doesn’t have an OLED panel, it still delivers excellent image quality due to full array local dimming (FALD) support. Tech wise, the Sony X900F uses the company’s X1 Extreme video processor, a new MotionFlow “X-motion Clarity system and support for Android 8.0 Oreo via firmware updates.
- great picture quality, both SDR and HDR
- uniform deep blacks
- native 120-Hz refresh rate
- direct LED lighting system in conjunction with local dimming works amazingly well
- motion reproduction is phenomenal due to Sony’s patented Motionflow processing
- impressive backlight
- elegant metal-framed design
- built-in 2×10 watt speakers are rather good for the price asked
- built-in Google Assistant and Chromecast
- 40 ms input-lag for HD in game mode not really suited for gaming
- relatively narrow viewing angles
- remote control is clunky
Extraordinary Color in a Thin Design
If you’re looking for an affordable QLED TV, the TCL 6-Series may be the right option. This is a 4K Roku TV with Dolby Vision HDR Imaging that delivers superior contrast and brighter, incredibly accurate colors.
The smart interface is easy to understand and user-friendly, and the TV supports thousands of streaming channels. Furthermore, content is available not just from streaming sources. You can watch cable or satellite, or even enjoy free over-the-air channels. The TCL 6-Series TV is not pretentious when it comes to the source of your content!
The TV also connects with your gaming consoles and automatically detects when you’re playing. This triggers the Game Mode settings, which make the action smoother and the image more vivid and immersive.
In terms of design, the TV features a brushed metal finish and a FullView edge-to-edge glass display. This makes it look like there is no bezel, which is the ideal design for today’s modern TVs.
- Low profile and thin bezel
- QLED color & image quality
- The image quality approaches lifelike settings
- Due to Roku interface, you have access to different sources of content
- The interface is easy to understand and use
- Auto Game Mode settings
- Dolby Vision HDR
- Great value for the money
- The feet are poorly designed
- There are some problems with quality control
A New World of Color
The Quantum Dots (QLED) technology transforms the screen of the Samsung Q60R TV into a window towards new and mysterious worlds! The colors are represented to an almost lifelike scale and the depth and details are incredible!
This flat 55-Inch QLED 4K Ultra HD Smart TV is equipped with a Quantum Processor that upscales video and image content to 4K without losing quality or adding noise to the picture. Furthermore, you can set it to ambient mode, which will turn the empty screen of the TV into a work of art (the TV will randomly display images, décor elements, and more).
Finally, the Samsung Q60R is a Smart TV and features settings like OneRemote, Bixby voice command, and integration with Google Assistant or Alexa. It also has a very thin profile, narrow bezel, and a wide viewing angle.
- Impressive color richness and details
- Game enhancement module
- Good cable management
- Smart TV features
- Ambient mode
- It can upscale any content to 4K
- Great value for the money
- The remote needs some getting used to
- There are some buggy apps
- The interface is a bit confusing at times
Whether you’re shopping for the best 4K TV, gaming monitor, streaming devices or projectors – quality and personal preference is key. If you want a future-proofed TV with online features and extraordinary picture quality, going 4K is probably a choice that won’t disappoint.
4K entertainment is the future, and the future is now. Stay current with a 4K TVs that works for your lifestyle and budget!