The Ultimate Guide To Choosing The Best OLED, QLED& LED TV: The Top 10 Models Of The Year 2024
Are you in the market for a new TV, whether in the United States, Europe, or Asia? You've come to the right place. Here, you'll find a curated selection of the finest TVs currently available. We understand that navigating the TV market can be a daunting task, given the array of brands, intricate feature sets, and sometimes perplexing price variations.With your best interests at heart, we've conducted thorough research to compile a comprehensive list of the top-performing TVs on the market today. Each TV listed here has undergone rigorous review, testing, and certification, ensuring that they represent the pinnacle of what's available. Whether you're seeking the best value in affordable TVs or budget-friendly options, you'll find them all right here.Our selection encompasses a diverse range of renowned brands, including Samsung, LG, Sony, TCL, Vizio, and more. Moreover, we've considered various sizes to cater to different preferences. Consequently, this post features the cream of the crop in 65-inch TVs, alongside exceptional options in 75-inch and 85-inch TVs.
Best Cheap Smart TV 2023-2024, Top 16K, 8k, 4k, OLED, QLED & LED TV and Budget TV’s
When it comes to finding the perfect TV for you, it's not necessarily about opting for the largest or most expensive model. TVs come equipped with various features, ranging from exceptional picture quality and impressive sound to intuitive smart capabilities, OLED and QLED displays, mini LED technology, HDR support, smart home integration, voice control, and more. With such a multitude of options, making a decision can be overwhelming. We highly recommend perusing the 2024 TV buyer's guide before proceeding.
Our team has conducted thorough reviews of the latest TVs from major manufacturers like LG, Sony, and Samsung. Our aim is to assist you in selecting the ideal television for your home. To address the question of which TV to purchase in 2024, we've compiled a list of the best TV brands for 2024 below. This will help you find a TV that aligns with both your budget and requirements. Many people tend to throw around a lot of technical jargon and numbers when discussing TV brands. However, we're dedicated to offering practical advice that cuts through the complexity, providing clear explanations of what these TVs can deliver. While we do delve into technical specifications, we also highlight the enhanced viewing experiences you can expect, such as the striking picture quality of 4K resolution or the vivid colors offered by HDR TVs.
If you're wondering what factors to consider before making a TV purchase, you can refer to our article for a more straightforward answer to the question of which television is right for you.
Here are some top picks for best cheap TVs in 2024:
- QN900 series Neo QLED: Best Samsung TV.
- LG G1 OLED series: Best 4K OLED TV.
- SONY BRAVIA X90J series: Best TV to buy in 2024.
- VESTEL ANDROID 4K UHD UA9 series: Best budget TV with affordable prices.
Ultimate TV Buying Guide: Everything You Need to Know
Intro: When it comes to buying a new TV, there are essential factors to consider that can greatly impact your viewing experience. From timing your purchase to choosing the right size and understanding key features like resolution and screen type, we've got you covered. In this comprehensive guide, we break down everything you need to know before making that important decision.
- Timing Matters: Spring and Summer vs. Fall and Winter
- Buying in the spring or summer may cost you more. Prices tend to drop significantly by November, offering substantial savings. Waiting until the following year for a TV released in 2023 is a smart move.
- Size Matters: Finding the Perfect Fit
- Opting for the right size is crucial. A TV that's too big or too small for your space can diminish your viewing experience. Learn how to select the ideal size for your room.
- Embrace 4K: The New Standard
- Main TVs should be 4K. With an abundance of 4K content available, the enhanced visual experience is worth it. Discover why 4K is the way to go and why 8K might not be necessary just yet.
Bonus Tip: Screen Type: Breaking the Myth
- While OLEDs are highly regarded, don't dismiss LCD or QLED options. The best TV for you may not necessarily be an OLED. Learn why screen type isn't the sole deciding factor.
What Size TV Should I Buy?
- 32-inch TVs: While not available in 4K due to their size, smaller smart TVs offer internet access and streaming capabilities.
- 40 to 43-inch TVs: Popular sizes with a range of HD and 4K options. High-end models may lack cutting-edge features.
- 48 to 50-inch TVs: These sizes offer a balance between affordability and advanced technology. Expect 4K and HDR support.
- 60 and 65-inch TVs: Larger screens with high-quality visuals. These sizes are typically 4K with smart capabilities.
Screen Types: Making an Informed Choice
- LCD TVs: Common and cost-effective, utilizing a backlight to create images. Suitable for various budgets and sizes.
- Organic LED (OLED) TVs: Known for superior contrast and motion, offering a premium viewing experience. Considered the best but come with a higher price tag.
- QLED TVs: Samsung's alternative to OLED, using quantum dots for vibrant colors. Neo QLEDs offer enhanced contrast.
Full HD vs. 4K: The Resolution Dilemma
- 4K TVs: With four times the pixels of Full HD, 4K sets offer sharper detail and more vibrant visuals. Even non-4K content looks better on them.
How Much Should You Spend?
- 32-inch HD TVs: Typically range from $ 200 to £300.
- 40 to 43-inch 4K TVs: Add around $ 30.51 a year to your energy bill.
- 48 and 50-inch 4K TVs: Cost approximately $ 35.57 in energy.
- 55 to 58-inch 4K TVs: Estimate an annual cost of $ 39.89.
- 65-inch 4K TVs: Add around $ 49.66 per year.
Software and Security Support: What Brands Offer
- Hisense: Impressive 10-year support.
- Panasonic: Minimum five years of support.
- Philips: Offers three years of support with crucial security updates.
- LG: Commits to two years of support, with the potential for five years for critical security vulnerabilities.
- Sony: Provides software updates for eight years post-end-of-life, but guarantees new security updates for two years.
- Samsung: Guarantees support and updates for at least three years from product launch.
Where to Buy Your TV
- AO.com: Offers a variety of smart TVs from major brands, starting around £200.
- Argos: Stocks a wide range of TVs, with prices starting at £400 for larger screens.
- Currys: Provides a broad selection of 4K, OLED, and QLED TVs, with prices starting at £230.
- John Lewis: Offers popular brands like LG, Samsung, Sony, with prices ranging from £350 to £1,000.
- Richer Sounds: Provides a diverse selection of TVs, with interest-free credit options.
The Best TV Brands: A Snapshot
- Samsung: Offers a wide range of TVs, with good customer satisfaction, but watch out for picture quality issues.
- LG: Known for its OLED range, LG TVs enjoy high customer satisfaction, with occasional picture quality concerns.
- Sony: Offers a variety of cutting-edge TVs, with high customer satisfaction, albeit occasional connection issues.
- Panasonic: Favored for its impressive OLED sets, Panasonic TVs enjoy satisfied owners, with occasional picture quality issues.
Is My TV Repairable?
- New laws mandate manufacturers to make certain parts available for seven years after the TV's release.
- Parts available to everyone for seven years include external power supply and remote control.
- Parts available to professional repairers for a minimum of seven years include internal power supply, connectors, and more.
Why No Eco Buy TVs?
- TVs are generally inefficient in terms of energy consumption.
- Energy labels rarely exceed an F rating, making true eco-efficient TVs a rarity.
- We'll continue to monitor energy use, but for now, no TVs meet the criteria for Eco Buy.
When's the Best Time to Buy?
- New TVs are released annually between April and July.
- Prices drop significantly around November, offering the best deals.
- Look out for discounts on Black Friday, during January sales, and when successors are released.
Conclusion: Armed with this comprehensive guide, you're well-equipped to make an informed decision when purchasing your next TV. From timing and size considerations to understanding resolutions and screen types, you're now prepared to find the perfect television for your needs and budget. Happy viewing!
Best TVs list 2023: Which? Best Buy TVs and expert buying advice
"The Best TVs of 2023: Top Picks from LG, Samsung, Sony, TCL, Vizio, and More
Finding the perfect TV shouldn't be a chore. Our carefully curated list of the finest TVs ensures you get the best performance for your investment. We rigorously evaluate all the leading TVs each year, both in our labs and in our living spaces, and these are the 4K TVs that we endorse.
Given the rapid evolution of TV technology, we're continually updating this guide to stay in step with the latest and most impressive models, whether it's a QLED TV from Samsung, an OLED from LG or Sony, or a Mini-LED TV from the likes of Hisense or TCL.
Our goal is to provide you with the complete package when you make a new purchase: outstanding picture quality, immersive sound, and a suite of cutting-edge smart features. And if you can save a few bucks in the process, even better.
So, which TVs reign supreme right now? The LG G3 OLED currently holds the crown as the best TV we've put to the test. It not only boasts an exceptional OLED display panel, but also features a premium design, exceptional versatility, and an impressive smart TV platform. While the new LG C3 OLED is an excellent choice for gamers, we believe the LG G3 offers an overall superior picture.
As a slew of new TVs hits the market this month, we're diligently reviewing them as they become available. Those that pass our tests and prove their worthiness will be promptly added to the list below."
"Samsung S95C 65-inch: Where OLED Meets Quantum Dots for Brilliance
Size: 65-inch | Type: QD-OLED | Resolution: 4K | Refresh rate: 144Hz | Operating system: Samsung Tizen | HDR: HDR10, HDR10+
Best for: Immersive movie and gaming experiences with stunning, vivid colors.
The Samsung S95C, the latest flagship OLED from Samsung, takes the already impressive S95B from last year and elevates it with significant and valuable enhancements. The integration of QD-OLED, merging quantum dot technology with the deep blacks of an OLED panel, achieves higher peak brightness and more vibrant imagery than conventional OLED displays. It surpasses its predecessor in brightness, making it an exceptional choice for indulging in HDR content, whether in games or movies.
Furthermore, it boasts an enhanced refresh rate of up to 144Hz, positioning it as an excellent option for console gamers. Its improved resilience against burn-in, slimmer design for easier installation, and seamless appearance add to its appeal. The inclusion of a new slim connect box simplifies access to crucial HDMI 2.1 ports, crucial for high-end gaming and media consumption. Available in 55, 65, and 77-inch sizes, the largest option is a new addition this generation.
Our Tech editor, Rebecca Isaacs, comments, “The S95C’s vibrant colors, courtesy of the self-lit pixels, make it an ideal TV for gamers. I particularly enjoyed the 4K upscaling I observed while playing Skyrim. For viewers, this OLED panel truly brought the Painted Table to life during House of the Dragon.”
Reasons to Buy:
- Remarkably bright for an OLED TV
- Colors are more vivid than ever
- Reduced risk of burn-in compared to standard OLED
Reasons to Avoid:
"LG G3 OLED Evo 4K: Elevating OLED Excellence with Enhanced Brightness
Size: 65-inch | Type: OLED | Resolution: 4K | Refresh rate: 120Hz | Operating system: LG WebOS | HDR: Dolby Vision, HDR10, HDR10+, HLG
Best for: Experience movies and TV shows with exceptional contrast and brightness.
LG's flagship LG G3 OLED Evo takes a significant leap forward from its predecessor, the G2 panel, by incorporating Micro Lens Array (MLA) technology. This innovation focuses OLED light through its multiple filter layers, rather than allowing it to disperse, resulting in significantly brighter HDR images and highlights. Impressively, this enhancement comes without drawing additional power, granting the TV approximately 50 percent greater peak brightness, reaching up to 1,500 nits—an extraordinary achievement for an OLED. While OLED displays truly shine in environments with subdued lighting due to their nearly infinite contrast ratio, the newer, brighter OLED models allow for comfortable viewing even in the presence of ambient light.
The MLA technology, coupled with the heightened brightness, enhances color vibrancy, ensuring vivid visuals regardless of what's on screen. Moreover, this TV boasts formidable internal processing capabilities, excelling in tasks such as image upscaling and dynamic adjustments encompassing picture quality, color saturation, sharpness, and more. Through AI algorithms, the TV consistently delivers an impeccably rendered image. For gaming enthusiasts, this TV offers support for both Nvidia G-Sync and AMD FreeSync Premium. Furthermore, LG continues its trend of reducing bezel size, granting the G3 a sleek and seamless appearance from every angle.
- MLA technology significantly elevates brightness and color vibrancy
- Minimal input lag, perfect for gaming
- Supports both G-Sync and FreeSync Cons:
- High price point
- Audio quality could be enhanced"
"Sony Bravia XR A95K: Your Ultimate Home Theater Experience
Size: 65-inch | Type: QD-OLED | Resolution: 4K | Refresh rate: 120Hz | Operating system: Google TV | HDR: HDR10, Dolby Vision, HLG
Best for: Elevating your movie-watching experience to new heights.
The Sony Bravia XR A95K combines the brilliance of OLED with quantum dots, delivering an unparalleled visual experience characterized by high-contrast imagery and an extensive color palette, surpassing even the best previous-generation OLED TVs. This TV boasts bright, vivid, and intricately detailed visuals, offering the same deep blacks and minimal input lag, catering to both movie enthusiasts and gamers alike. While its brightness peaks at 1,000 nits, the TV compensates with impeccable color accuracy and vibrancy, complemented by profound blacks and support for all the latest HDR standards, including Dolby Vision, making it the ideal choice for an immersive movie-watching experience.
The Sony Bravia XR A95K is further enhanced by Sony's potent XR onboard processor, which excels in upscaling lower-resolution content and dynamically fine-tuning contrast, color levels, brightness, and more to optimize the viewing experience. With the added bonus of Sony's acoustic surface technology, where the screen itself functions as an additional speaker, you can expect robust audio quality.
- Exceptional upscaling capabilities
- OLED display delivers brilliant and vibrant visuals
- Impressive out-of-the-box sound quality Cons:
- Relatively higher price point compared to TVs of similar size"
"Samsung QN900C 8K Neo QLED: Elevate Your Visual Experience with 8K Brilliance
Size: 75-inch | Type: Neo QLED | Resolution: 8K | Refresh rate: 144Hz | Operating system: Samsung Tizen | HDR: HDR10, HDR10+, HLG
Best for: Immerse yourself in the latest 8K content on platforms like YouTube and Vimeo.
Samsung's cutting-edge QN900C introduces Neo QLED panel technology, combining quantum dot LEDs with an extensive array of Mini LEDs to achieve exceptional brightness and precise local dimming. This TV dazzles with a vibrant 2,500 nits, providing a visually stunning experience. With a high 144Hz refresh rate, it ensures seamless sports viewing and responsive gaming, particularly benefiting PC gamers with room for higher frame rates. Its Game Mode significantly reduces input lag, while AMD FreeSync Premium Pro support ensures smooth gameplay. Equipped with four HDMI 2.1 inputs, it accommodates the latest-generation gaming consoles, streaming devices, and gaming PCs—ideal for high-end PCs capable of 8K gaming, a feat beyond the capability of any gaming console.
Samsung's refined upscaling algorithms enhance the quality of older and lower-resolution content, compensating for the limited availability of native 8K content, primarily found on platforms like YouTube and Vimeo. With its striking design, near-invisible bezels, and expansive 75-inch display, this 8K model delivers an immersive cinematic experience, especially when viewing HDR content, where the exceptional brightness and deep contrast truly shine.
- Unmatched detail with 8K resolution
- Mini LEDs deliver extraordinary brightness
- Extensive HDR support Cons:
- Limited availability of native 8K content
- Premium price point
- Lacks Dolby Vision support, consistent with all Samsung TVs"
"LG C3 OLED Evo 4K: Elevate Your Gaming Experience to New Heights
Size: 65-inch | Type: OLED | Resolution: 4K | Refresh rate: 120Hz | Operating System: LG WebOS | HDR: Dolby Vision, HDR10, HDR10+, HLG
Best for: Elevating your high-end 4K gaming experience without breaking the bank.
The LG C3 boasts all the exceptional features of its predecessor, the LG C2, including a high-brightness panel, striking contrast, and outstanding gaming capabilities. What sets the C3 apart is the new LG Alpha a9 Gen6 processor, enhancing the upscaling of lower-resolution content and dynamic image adjustments. This means your picture quality, color vibrancy, and brightness are dynamically fine-tuned by the processor to suit your viewing content. Consequently, the C3 offers a brighter and more vivid display compared to its predecessor, achieving improved contrast and picture quality, even without altering the actual brightness.
The LG WebOS operating system has also received upgrades, resulting in a more responsive and seamless transition between streaming apps and menus. While this enhancement may seem minor compared to the hardware and software improvements, it contributes to an overall superior experience with the LG C3. The only drawback? The price tag. With the C2 available at a newly discounted price, the C3 faces some stiff competition as long as supplies last.
Reasons to Buy:
- Incredibly deep blacks and vibrant colors
- New upscaling processor enhances colors and brightness
- Impressive brightness characteristic of OLED displays Cons:
- Relatively costly compared to the previous-generation model
- Incremental improvement over the LG C2"
"Samsung QN95C Neo QLED 4K: Elevate Your Sports Viewing Experience
Size: 65-inch | Type: Neo QLED | Resolution: 4K | Refresh rate: 144Hz | Operating system: Samsung Tizen | HDR: HDR10, HDR10+, HLG
Best for: Enjoying weekend sports action in broad daylight.
For sports enthusiasts, a TV with impeccable motion handling and high brightness is crucial for watching afternoon games with the curtains drawn. The QN95C features Samsung’s Neo QLED panel, a fusion of a quantum dot layer with mini LED technology. This combination provides an exceptional viewing experience for sports, regardless of ambient light levels, delivering dazzling brightness and incredibly vivid colors. Moreover, the QN95C’s rapid response time and impressive motion resolution minimize ghosting during intense action, ensuring you catch every play. The variable refresh rates, reaching up to 144Hz, guarantee silky-smooth gameplay, whether you're on consoles or a gaming PC, while low input lag ensures responsiveness.
With a maximum brightness approaching 2,000 nits—significantly surpassing what you'd find on any OLED and many LED panels—this TV ensures a clear picture even in direct sunlight. In darker environments, the model's robust contrast ratio and superb HDR support enable bright sections of the screen to shine vividly. Boasting an enhanced 1,344 local dimming zones, the HDR performance is nuanced with minimal blooming. Additionally, Samsung's anti-reflective screen coating, akin to the matte finish on The Frame models, minimizes reflections, allowing you to stay immersed in the viewing experience. The QN95C stands out with its wide, consistent viewing angles, ensuring everyone enjoys the game to the fullest.
- Exceptionally bright panel
- Outstanding motion handling
- Robust AI upscaling Cons:
- Audio output is relatively weak"
"TCL 5-Series Google TV (S546): Affordable Brilliance with Google TV
Key Highlights: The TCL 5-Series Google TV (S546) impresses with its blend of intelligent TV capabilities, robust performance, and exceptional value. Elevating the already commendable 5-Series, the transition to Google TV introduces a more premium smart TV platform. This new interface offers tailored and adaptable recommendations, a vast array of smart functionalities, and seamless integration with Google Assistant, establishing it as a central hub for all connected devices in your home. Furthermore, it raises the bar in various other aspects.
After extensive testing, we observed that the 5-Series Google TV outshines its predecessor, the 5-Series TV, in areas ranging from color accuracy to response times. Alongside the outstanding QLED 4K display, you'll find an intuitive remote control and surprisingly diverse gaming features for a 60Hz TV. Priced under $1,000 for most size options, it undeniably stands among the top TVs available.
Design: While TCL's mid-range TV designs may not be groundbreaking, the no-nonsense black plastic build serves its purpose well, providing a robust enclosure for a solid 4K smart TV. It may not boast a flashy appearance or be the slimmest option in the TV section, but it gets the job done. The chassis includes slots for a 200 mm by 300 mm VESA bracket, facilitating easy wall mounting using any bracket from our selection of the best TV mounts.
Performance: The 2020 TCL 5-Series Roku TV pleasantly surprised with some cosmetic enhancements, but we were even more delighted to discover that performance had seen an across-the-board improvement. The display now offers superior color quality, brightness, and reduced lag times compared to the already impressive Roku model. Out of the box, color accuracy was excellent, boasting a Delta-E average of 1.3 as measured by our X-Rite spectrophotometer. Lower scores indicate better accuracy. Additionally, color reproduction was remarkable, with the S546 covering 99.97% of the Rec 709 color space.
Smart TV: Arguably, Google TV stands out as the premier smart TV operating system available, presenting a clean, easily navigable home screen with valuable content recommendations, seamless access to live TV, and the convenience of voice control via the remote's integrated microphone or the TV's integrated far-field microphones. The home screen and menus of Google TV offer a polished experience, building upon the already robust foundation laid by Android 10.
- QLED display with local dimming for exceptional HDR performance
- Impressive color quality and fluid motion
- Google TV represents a significant upgrade from Roku
- Affordably priced
- Limited viewing angles
- Audio quality is good, but not exceptional"
"Hisense U7H Google TV: Exceptional Gaming Experience
Key Highlights: The Hisense U7H stands out as a compelling choice in its price range, a testament to Hisense's reputation for delivering quality. While it may not outshine every competitor, such as the TCL 6-Series, in every scenario, it presents a strong overall package and proves itself worth the investment. Boasting a QLED panel and the ever-evolving Google TV operating system, the U7H offers an impressive and budget-friendly QLED TV viewing experience, though there are a few considerations to bear in mind.
Design: The Hisense U7H's design, while not groundbreaking, exudes a sleek and stylish aura that harmonizes well with most living spaces. Although it lacks the updated stand design found in the U8H, the understated legs of the U7H remain visually appealing and provide two installation options—closer to the center or nearer to the edge. The TV features relatively slim bezels, with the bottom edge being slightly thicker. In terms of thickness, the TV is slimmer towards the top, gradually thickening towards the bottom. Whether placed on a TV stand or wall-mounted, it presents a slender and chic profile.
Performance: While the Hisense U7H may not incorporate Mini-LED backlighting like its higher-end counterparts such as the Hisense U8H and Samsung QN95B, its image quality nearly matches their excellence. Without a direct side-by-side comparison, distinguishing between them can be challenging. The TV is lauded for its exceptional gaming performance, a testament to its two HDMI 2.1 ports. It's worth noting that its input lag, just under 15ms, is considered more than sufficient for the majority of gaming scenarios.
Additional gaming-centric features, including VRR, ALLM, and Dolby Vision Gaming, cater to avid gamers. The TV excels in backlight control, ensuring minimal blooming that might prove distracting. This is achieved while maintaining a commendable level of brightness, both in everyday viewing and controlled lab testing.
Smart TV: Google TV makes a strong case for being the premier smart TV operating system available, providing a streamlined, user-friendly home screen with valuable content recommendations, seamless access to live TV, and the convenience of voice control via the remote's integrated microphone or the TV's built-in far-field microphones. The interface of Google TV enhances the already solid foundation set by Android 10, delivering an exceptional user experience.
In summary, the Hisense U7H combines gaming prowess with impressive visual performance and the convenience of Google TV, making it a standout option in its class."
REASONS TO CONSIDER BUYING:
- Impressive brightness levels enhance viewing experience
- Swift and responsive Google TV interface
- Offers a solid array of gaming features
ASPECTS TO CONSIDER:
- Audio quality is satisfactory but not exceptional
- Limited HDMI 2.1 ports, with only one supporting eARC
Vizio M-Series Quantum X: Elevating M-Series with P-Series Performance
Overview: The Vizio M-Series Quantum X successfully incorporates much of the cutting-edge technology from its pricier counterpart, the Vizio P-Series Quantum X, into a more budget-friendly option. Boasting quantum dot technology, full array local dimming, a native 120Hz refresh rate, and updated HDMI ports, the M-Series Quantum X covers all the essential bases. However, its slightly bulky build and less-than-optimal peak brightness prevent it from surpassing other top performers in its price category.
Competitive Edge: Compared to similarly priced competitors, the M-Series Quantum X stands out for its gaming-centric features, including a native 120Hz refresh rate, HDMI 2.1 ports, and support for Dolby Vision Gaming. Yet, it concedes some ground in HDR performance and design finesse to certain TCL models within the same price bracket. Ultimately, if you prioritize impressive gaming capabilities and a serviceable smart platform, and can overlook the TV's bulkiness and moderate peak brightness, the M-Series Quantum X is a solid choice.
Design: While the M-Series Quantum X introduces commendable elements like an ultra-thin bezel and a sturdy metal strip along the bottom, its overall profile appears somewhat hefty compared to similar-sized TVs. Nevertheless, a notable feature is the inclusion of HDMI 2.1 ports, with one capable of 4K/120Hz gaming and up to 240Hz in tandem with a PC. It's worth noting that the 240Hz mode is exclusive to the 50-inch model. More ports with this specification would have been preferable.
Performance: In terms of performance, the M-Series Quantum X lives up to expectations for a mid-range 4K HDR TV, and then some. Operating in Bright SDR mode, which essentially reflects default settings aside from picture mode, the TV delivers around 500 nits of peak brightness—a suitable level for standard cable TV. Thanks to Vizio's IQ Ultra+ Processor, upscaling proves commendable, and motion handling remains smooth.
For gaming enthusiasts, the M-Series Quantum X excels, rivaling or even outperforming some of the best TVs of the year. Game mode yields an input lag of 13.2ms, comfortably below the 20ms threshold recommended for swift and responsive gameplay. Moreover, with support for Dolby Vision, select games exhibit heightened brightness and richer color palettes.
Smart TV: When functioning smoothly, Vizio's SmartCast stands out as one of the stronger, if not the premier, smart TV platforms available. This is partly due to its engaging and practical layout. The top tier features categories encompassing recommended movies, shows, free content (ad-supported), and live TV through Vizio's WatchFree+ service. Below are curated shows and movies, followed by a recommendation section, and a fixed array of customizable apps in the center row—arrangeable based on user preference. The interface is streamlined and efficient.
REASONS TO CONSIDER BUYING:
- Supports 4K/120Hz for gaming consoles
- Offers Dolby Vision and HDR10+ formats
- Features a 240Hz gaming mode for PC
ASPECTS TO CONSIDER:
- Only one full-spec HDMI 2.1 port
- Limited peak brightness
- Audio quality is average
Roku Plus Series: An Exceptional Bargain for First QLED TV
Overview: The Roku Plus Series 4K QLED TV marks a significant leap for the streaming giant, transitioning from software and plug-in devices to actual sets — and the result is a resounding success. Priced at a starting point of $499, these TVs offer an impressive amount of screen real estate while surprisingly delivering commendable picture quality and sound. These aspects, often compromised in budget sets, remain robust here, despite the sub-$650 price range.
While a sub-$650 set won't provide top-tier features like blazing brightness or a full complement of HDMI 2.1 ports, the Roku Plus Series 4K QLED TV makes minimal concessions. With a refined picture boasting vibrant HDR color and remarkably good audio, it accommodates a wide range of content without demanding significant compromises.
Comparatively, there are pricier options on the market, surpassing the Roku Plus Series 4K QLED TV with a budget exceeding $1,000. Yet, even stacked against its higher-priced counterparts, this Roku TV stands out as a remarkable value proposition.
Design: Despite its affordability, the Plus Series exudes a sense of quality. The 65-inch review unit showcases dimensions of 33.1 x 57 x 4 inches (H x W x D) and a weight just shy of 37 pounds sans the stand. A sleek gray metal bezel frames the screen, measuring less than an eighth-inch on three sides and approximately two-thirds inch at the bottom, providing ample space for a prominent chrome Roku logo.
Performance: Leveraging quantum-dot LED technology, the Plus Series delivers richer, more vivid colors and heightened brightness. While picture vibrancy diminishes towards the edges of the screen, it takes a considerable distance for the display to become noticeably less enjoyable. Overall, the Plus Series capably handles a diverse array of content, though it may not be the ideal choice for ultra-fast action scenarios like sports, given its capped 60Hz refresh rate.
Smart TV: As expected from Roku, a pioneer in streaming technology, the interface offers a gratifying and user-friendly experience. A text-based menu on the left grants easy access to an array of top-level options, including Live TV, Featured Free, What to Watch, Sports, The Buzz (a curated selection of trending videos), Streaming Channels, and My Offers. On the right side, the screen dynamically displays the contents of the selected menu, ensuring seamless navigation.
REASONS TO CONSIDER BUYING:
- Unbeatable value proposition
- Outstanding HDR color reproduction
- Impressive audio quality
- Robust Roku TV smart interface
ASPECTS TO CONSIDER:
- Moderate brightness levels
- Limited to 60Hz refresh rate
- Absence of HDMI 2.1 ports
Hisense U8K ULED TV: A Brilliant Display of Color and Brightness
Overview: The Hisense U8K Mini-LED dazzles with vivid colors that maintain their brilliance even in well-lit environments. Its exceptional performance is attributed to the Mini-LED Pro with Full Array Local Dimming panel, ensuring impressive black levels amidst bright scenes, and a quantum dot layer that enables coverage of an impressive 80% of the Rec2020 Color Space. While the front display exudes vibrancy, the engineering prowess lies in the rear.
Despite its commendable features, the Hisense U8K isn't without minor drawbacks. During testing, we observed modest input lag at 13.2ms and slightly extended load times when transitioning between streaming apps. Although the TV boasts an expansive color volume, its accuracy measured at 4.46 in our Delta-E test leaves room for improvement. While these considerations arise, they don't diminish the U8K's standing as one of the market's premier TVs—an entrancing choice for enthusiasts, even though gamers seeking swift response times and cinephiles prioritizing color precision may explore alternatives like the LG C3 OLED or Samsung S95C OLED.
Design: Weighing in at 56.4 pounds, the TV commands substantial heft, necessitating a two-person effort for mounting—especially for wall installations. Fortuitously, the U8K adheres to the 400mm x 400mm VESA Wall Mount Standard, simplifying the search for a compatible mount. If opting for a table or entertainment center placement, the provided metal legs offer sturdy support. The U8K affords two leg configurations—wider and narrower stances—allowing adaptability to diverse spaces. While the broader stance ensures superior stability for the nearly 60-pound TV, the narrower stance functions adequately.
Performance: The Hisense U8K astounds with its test results, rivaling the significantly pricier Samsung QN90C and surpassing it in pivotal aspects like SDR brightness and color saturation. It's a compelling underdog story, with Hisense emerging victorious. Noteworthy areas of differentiation include color accuracy (Delta-E)—ranking the lowest among the four tested TVs—and input latency. The former implies vibrant yet less natural colors, while the latter, with values under 20 milliseconds, remains nearly imperceptible. Serious gamers may find alternative TVs more suitable.
Smart TV: The U8K hosts Google TV, the successor to Android TV, and arguably one of the most refined smart TV platforms today. Notably, Google TV excels at curating content recommendations across various streaming services without bias, offering a level of service akin to Roku's impartiality towards specific platforms.
REASONS TO CONSIDER BUYING:
- Remarkably bright display
- Impressively vivid color reproduction
- High-quality sound output
- In-built ATSC 3.0 tuner
ASPECTS TO CONSIDER:
- Potential color accuracy concerns
- Slightly elevated lag
- Color desaturation at off-angles
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.