Buying The Best TV Deals 2023 4k qled hdr oled
Buying The Best TV Deals 2023 4k qled hdr oled
The best 4K TV 2023: top Ultra HDTVs for all budgets
Getting a new TV has become quite the challenge due to the abundance of outstanding options from major, mid-tier, and even entry-level brands. We've been rigorously testing flat-screens since the era of 1080p, and we have extensive insights on the leading 4K, 8K, QLED, OLED, and QD-OLED models of 2023.
While the new models often come with higher price tags, many of the 2022 models are still holding their ground. So, if you're looking to save some money on a TV, we'll guide you to the more budget-friendly options.
But, which is the absolute best TV you can buy right now? It's proven to be an incredibly tough question to answer, with our TV expert, Caleb Denison, torn between the LG G3 OLED and the Samsung S95C OLED. Yes, both TVs are exceptional, and we're having a hard time deciding. The 65-inch LG G3 OLED Evo, with its new micro-lens array technology (MLA), achieves QD-OLED-rivaling brightness and more. On the other hand, Samsung's S95C OLED impressed Denison to the point where he called it the "hardest comparison I’ve ever done". It's a quantum dot OLED (QD-OLED) that stands toe-to-toe with the LG G3 in almost every aspect, including brightness, color, upscaling abilities, and motion handling. These TVs are so closely matched in features and price that we're calling it a tie for now, which is great news for you — either way, you're getting a phenomenal TV. Keep reading for all the details and more TVs to explore.
LG G3 OLED Evo: The Best TV You Can Buy Right Now
LG’s C3 OLED is the company’s follow-up to the C2, our top pick TV of 2022. The new model is every bit as impressive as its predecessor, and then some, with a new Alpha9 Gen6 chip used for picture processing that brings new HDR-improving features including OLED Dynamic Tone Mapping Pro and Expression Enhancer, both of which have an impact on image quality.
The C3’s extensive feature set makes it a great choice for gamers and movie fans alike. It has four HDMI 2.1 inputs with support for 4K 120Hz, VRR, ALLM, along with FreeSync Premium Pro and Nvidia G-Sync. Cloud gaming options include Nvidia GeForce Now and Utomik.
The webOS 23 smart TV interface used in the C3 is also a step above the version found in last year’s LG models. It has a more streamlined and pleasing appearance, as well as new features like Quick Cards for grouping apps by theme and an editable Quick Menu for accessing picture, sound, and other adjustments.
It may not be a dramatic advancement over last year’s C2, but LG has delivered another winner with the C3 OLED.
Samsung S90C: The Best 4K TV for Most People
The S90C is Samsung's first attempt to make its exciting QD-OLED technology, first introduced in 2022, more affordable without compromising on any of the quality and thankfully, it mostly succeeds.
Although not as bright as the company's flagship S95C, the S90C still offers a fantastic, bright picture that is complimented with rich detail and deep blacks. The LG G3 also provides a brighter picture, but both it and the S95C are much more expensive than the S90C, meaning you still get an excellent picture without blowing your budget.
The S90C also carries excellent gaming features, with 4K 120Hz on four HDMI ports, VRR support and a dedicated game bar to make this an excellent choice for gamers who are looking to improve their gaming experience. However, like all other Samsungs on the list, it doesn't support Dolby Vision, but we feel the excellent picture quality and brightness more than compensate for this.
You may not be getting the full QD-OLED experience (look to the S95C for this) but with such a big price difference between the two, the S90C really shows its value. Marrying the brightness of QLED with the detailed blacks of an OLED for less money is a welcome thing and it's this reason that the Samsung S90C is our pick for best 4K TV in 2023.
Sony X90K: The Best 4K TV All-Rounder on a Budget and Perfect for PS5
The Sony X90K is be a good shout for those with a large enough budget who aren't bothered about a high-end OLED screen.
As Sony’s next-to-flagship LCD TV, the X90K series delivers impressive performance for the price. Its full-array LED backlight features local dimming for deep blacks, and its LCD panel has quantum dots for enhanced brightness and color.
It sounds good too. The X90K’s Acoustic Multi-Audio feature uses separate tweeters located on the top left and right sides of the TV to deliver above-average sound quality, with consistently clear dialogue and even spatial effects with Dolby Atmos soundtracks. You can get much better audio quality by using a separate soundbar system, but until you make that buying decision, the X90K’s built-in speakers will tide you over.
The X90K’s excellent suite of gaming features ranks it up there with the best 120 Hz 4K TVs. Aside from 4K/120Hz video support (available only on two of the set’s four HDMI inputs) it has both variable refresh rate (VRR) and auto low latency mode (ALLM). Input lag as measured by our 4K test meter was 13.8ms, a very good result.
It’s not the brightest TV you can buy – you’ll need to step up to a mini-LED model for that – and some blooming and uniformity issues make it a lesser choice compared to OLED TVs, but the X90K’s video and audio quality, Google TV interface, ATSC 3.0 tuner, and extensive gaming features including 4K 120Hz support make it great value.
Hisense U8H: A Great 4K TV Option for High Quality on a Budget
The U8H series’ chief claim to fame is its mini-LED backlight, a feature first implemented in LCD TVs by rival TCL that was quickly adopted by Samsung, LG, and Sony in their own sets. A major benefit to mini-LED is high brightness – something the U8H series readily delivers.
But high brightness isn’t the only thing about the U8H that impresses. It uses a Quantum Dot filter for enhanced color, and the 504 local dimming zones on the 65-inch model deliver deep and detailed blacks. Some backlight blooming – a typical artifact with LED-backlit TVs that feature local dimming – can be seen with challenging material, but that’s the exception rather than the norm.
With support for Dolby Vision, HDR10+, and HLG, the U8H series is ready for any HDR format you stream or feed to it, and it also has a Filmmaker mode that provides mostly accurate out-of-box color. Another impressive aspect of the U8H is its extensive support for next-gen gaming consoles: along with 120 Hz display, it offers Variable Refresh Rate (VRR), Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM), and FreeSync Premium Pro.
There’s a lot to say about U8H series, but the key takeaway is that Hisense provides great value here.
Samsung QN95C: The Best 4K TV for Astounding Image Quality
Samsung’s 2022 mini-LED models certainly improved on their predecessors, thanks to better processing and a new shape adaptive light control feature that refined how light was used within each dimming zone. But the brand’s flagship 4K TV for 2023 – the QN95C – nearly doubles the number of dimming zones over last year’s Samsung QN95B, and the results are nothing short of spectacular.
Black levels are sublime by LCD TV standards, hitting depths so pure and inky that they’re pretty much indistinguishable from the sort of stuff we once thought we’d only see from self-emissive technologies such as what's found in the best OLED TVs. Even better, thanks to the massive dimming zone count, the rich blackness of the QN95C’s dark scenes is remarkably consistent and cloud-free across the screen, even when a mostly dark scene has some tricky bright bits to handle.
The Samsung QN95C’s push for better black colors doesn’t mean it can’t still deliver the same level of extreme brightness that is premium LCD TVs' trademark though. This ensures that it remains a great bright room option, despite also being able to adapt better to lights-off movie nights.
Add a stellar gaming experience and much-improved sound to the mix and there’s no doubt that mini-LED still refreshes some picture parts that other technologies cannot reach.
Sony A80K OLED Series: A Mid-Range OLED with Top-Tier Performance
Sony’s A80K lies in the middle of the company’s OLED TV line at the time of writing. Even so, the performance delivered by the 65-inch A80K set we tested proved it to be a great all-around offering for the price, and one that provides some competition to LG’s similarly priced C2 OLED TVs.
Overall picture brightness is satisfactory, if a bit below what you’ll get from the very best OLED TVs, such as the LG G2 and also the LG C2 series. Still, Sony’s mid-tier OLED manages to look great even in well-lit rooms, and it stuns in ones that are dimmed for best-quality movie viewing.
The A80K has a sleek, attractive design and a useful multi-position stand. For a set this slim, audio performance is impressive thanks to Sony’s Acoustic Surface Audio+, a feature that vibrates the screen itself to make sound, helped by two bottom-mounted subwoofers.
Gamers will find much to like about the A80K, which provides two HDMI 2.1 inputs that support 4K 120Hz video, variable refresh rate (VRR), and auto low latency mode (ALLM). Rounding out Sony’s excellent and highly competitive feature package is a built-in ATSC 3.0 tuner, making the A80K primed to receive next-gen digital TV broadcasts in the US.
TCL 6-Series Roku TV (2023): The Best Budget 4K TV, with Great Brightness and Gaming Features
TCL’s 6-Series TVs are known for their combination of impressive picture quality and high value, and the latest version of the company’s flagship not just continues that tradition, but improves upon it. The new 6-Series arrived in late 2022, and it offers both movie fans and gamers on a budget a great big-screen option.
In the 6-Series, mini-LED tech enables high brightness, while a quantum dot layer enhances color reproduction and full array local dimming processing creates deep and detailed shadows. The set features Dolby Vision IQ to make high dynamic range images look good in both dim and well-lit environments, and HDR support extends to HDR10+ and HLG.
Gaming features on 6-Series TV are enabled via a pair of HDMI 2.1 inputs, with onboard support for 120Hz, Variable Refresh Rate (up to 144Hz), and Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM). FreeSync Premium Pro is also supported, making TCL’s flagship an obvious choice for gaming.
A new design with a sturdy center stand (55-, 65-, and 75-inch models only) improves the look of TCL’s 6-Series, and a vanishingly thin bezel creates an “all-picture” effect. Sound quality is a bit disappointing: dialogue is clear, but there’s very little bass, and a resulting thin overall audio balance. The TV’s Roku smart TV interface (a version with Google TV is also available), meanwhile, is one of the less cluttered and easy to navigate options on the market.
Overall, the TCL latest 6-Series is a high-value TV lineup with a surprisingly high level of refinement.
Samsung S95C: The Brightest OLED TV Delivers Mind-Blowing Contrast
Samsung's QD-OLED TV combines the famous self-emissive properties of OLED with the brightness and color range potential of QLED, delivering superb picture quality and exceptional brightness – around 70% brighter than the LG C2 – with better blacks and contrast than non-OLED displays. In our review, we said that with a bit of tweaking it provides a combination of brightness, black depth, contrast and color that we just haven’t seen before on a home TV. It's something special.
There are four HDMI ports that all support 4K at 120Hz, variable refresh rate and automatic low latency mode switching features now available to Xbox Series X, PS5 and PC gamers with the latest premium Nvidia and AMD graphics cards. The built-in sound system is very impressive for such a slim set, with Dolby Atmos and Samsung's Object Tracking tech for positional audio.
There's no Dolby Vision gaming support for the Xbox, but the HDR is so good you probably won't really mind – still, between that omission and Sony's more refined processing, we think hardcore movies lovers may still prefer the Sony A95K's pictures. The only issue is that it's very expensive, but if your budget stretches to it, and you want something with the high brightness to break through the light of bright rooms, it's fantastic.
TCL QM8 Class: The Best Budget 4K TV, with Great Brightness and Gaming Features
TCL’s QM8 Class 4K TVs are the company’s only mini-LED TVs for 2023, but the company clearly wanted to offer something special for its flagship line. What’s notable about the new QM8 Class sets is they are being offered in screen sizes up to a staggering 98 inches.
Peak light output is also higher than earlier TCL mini-LED TVs, a factor that in many ways lets them compete with similarly featured but higher-cost models from the big-name brands. The QM8 Class does a great job on the local dimming front, and its powerful picture processing upscales regular HD images in a clean manner, while also excelling on motion handling and noise reduction.
The QM8 TVs are a great option for gaming with next-gen consoles as well. Dual HDMI 2.1 ports support 4K 120Hz input while a Game Accelerator feature allows for up to 240Hz VRR gaming at 1080p resolution. TCL’s top TV also has a Game Master mode that reduces input lag significantly when active and provides a transparent game bar menu option with gaming-specific settings.
The QM8 has a slim, bezel-free design, with a center-mounted stand that’s height adjustable. TCL’s backlit remote features a built-in mic for voice commands, and there’s also a mic built into the TV itself for hands-free commands. The sets use Google TV as the smart interface, but also work with Alexa and Apple’s HomeKit.
Value is a big factor with TCL, and the QM8 Class certainly delivers on that front. You’d have to pay quite a bit more to get better performance from a mini-LED TV than what you’re getting here.
What is 4K?
4K, also known as Ultra High Definition (UHD), refers to an extremely high screen resolution. It has become the standard resolution for televisions and many PC monitors available in stores today. The best 4K TVs have over eight million pixels, which is four times the number found on Full HD panels in smaller TVs.
You don't necessarily need 4K content to appreciate the benefits of 4K resolution. Many top-tier 4K TVs incorporate advanced upscaling technologies that enhance content originally filmed in HD. Additionally, the popularity of 4K-capable gaming consoles like the PS4 Pro, Xbox One X, PS5, and Xbox Series X, along with 4K Blu-ray players and streaming devices, has contributed to the widespread adoption of 4K TVs.
Should I buy a 4K TV in 2023?
Absolutely! While 8K TVs are emerging, they are still not widely available and tend to be significantly more expensive. 4K TVs, on the other hand, are more affordable than ever, with numerous deals and options on the market. The advent of 8K technology and the increasing size of TV screens means that many excellent 4K TVs are now accessible and no longer exorbitant.
There is such a diverse range of 4K displays available today that it's highly likely you'll find one within your budget that delivers an outstanding viewing experience. While some high-end models may still come with a hefty price tag, there are plenty of budget-friendly options that offer impressive performance.
Types of 4K TVs: There are various screen technologies available, each with its own strengths and weaknesses. Here are some key types to consider:
- LED TV: Direct LED
- Backlit by an array of LEDs placed directly behind the screen, enabling localized dimming for improved contrast.
- More power-efficient and capable of a wider color gamut compared to CCFL sets.
- LED TV: Edge LED
- LEDs are mounted along the edges of the panel, allowing for extremely slim displays and offering good contrast levels.
- OLED TV
- Uses an electroluminescent film to produce backlighting, resulting in vibrant colors, high contrast, and ultra-thin, flexible screens.
- Quantum Dot
- Utilizes tiny particles called quantum dots to enhance color accuracy and brightness, offering vivid pictures.
Choosing the Best OLED TV:
When selecting an OLED TV, consider factors like size, HDR support (preferably Dolby Vision), and the presence of features like HDMI 2.1 ports for next-gen gaming. Additionally, assess your room layout, viewing angles, and preferred brightness levels.
OLED TV Prices Predicted to Fall:
A study suggests that OLED TV production costs are expected to decrease over the next two years, potentially leading to lower prices for premium models. This is attributed to increased efficiency and improved yields in manufacturing facilities.
OLED vs. QLED:
Both OLED and QLED technologies have their strengths. OLED excels in providing deep blacks and true-to-life colors, while QLED offers exceptional brightness and color accuracy. Consider secondary characteristics like processing power, backlighting, and format support when making a choice.
Burn-In in OLED TVs:
While burn-in can occur in OLED TVs, modern models incorporate features to minimize this issue. Techniques like image analysis, pixel shifting, and automatic brightness adjustment help reduce the risk of burn-in. Advances in OLED technology have made it much less of a concern than in the past.
How We Test OLED TVs:
TechRadar employs a comprehensive testing process, including calibrating the TV for accuracy, measuring white balance, gamma, color accuracy, and assessing peak light output. They also evaluate real-world content from various sources to provide a final verdict on each TV.
Is a Budget 4K TV Worth It?
Budget 4K TVs can offer great value, but they may not match the picture quality of higher-end models like OLED or QLED. Look for quantum dot LED TVs for the best balance of price and picture quality.
Can a 4K TV be Used as a PC Monitor?
Yes, most 4K TVs can function as PC monitors, provided your computer has an HDMI output. Adapters can be used for other output types, though they may not always pass along audio.
Do 4K TVs Have Voice Assistants?
Many modern TVs can be paired with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant through compatible devices. Some TVs even have built-in support for these voice assistants. However, Siri is not typically integrated directly into TVs, but you can control AirPlay 2 and HomeKit-enabled TVs using Siri on Apple devices.
Do 4K TVs Have Burn-In Issues?
Only OLED TVs have the potential for burn-in, though it's rare. Modern OLED TVs incorporate features to minimize this risk, making it less of a concern for most users.