The best 4K TVs you can buy

The best 4K TVs you can buy

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the best 4K TVs

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  • 4K TVs have gotten significantly cheaper in the past few years, and the LG C8 shows just how much value you can get for your money.
  • With its impressive OLED panel and wide range of features, the LG C8 is the best 4K TV you can buy.

Only a few years ago, 4K TVs and content were a luxury. However, with 4K support moving to nearly every streaming platform and computer monitors reaching up to 8K resolutions, the writing is on the walls: 4K TVs will soon become the new norm.

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Thankfully, as technology pushes forward, prices push down. 4K TVs are no longer a luxury item, meaning you can enjoy the full fidelity of "Bandersnatch" without going broke.

In case you're wondering what 4K actually means, the Digital Cinema Initiatives defines 4K as a horizontal resolution of at least 4,096 pixels. However, there are many Ultra HD TVs with resolutions of 3,840 x 2,160 pixels that are also widely considered 4K TVs.


We won't split hairs, because to quote CNET, "since the pixel difference is 13% and it's nearly impossible to see even larger differences, we'll file this under "why does anyone care" (but people really care, as I'm sure we'll see in the comments)."

We've found the best 4K TVs on the market through hands-on testing and reading reviews online from experts and actual buyers.

While we tried to avoid choosing into egregiously overpriced TVs, we didn't shy away from high-ticket items. There's a wide range of prices below, so feel free to jump around to particular sections if you're on a budget.

Here are the best 4K TVs you can buy:

Read on in the slides below to check out our top picks.

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The best 4K TV overall

The best 4K TV overall
Why you'll love it: With LG's ever-impressive OLED technology at the helm, the LG C8 ticks all the right boxes for a 4K TV.

OLED screens provide a seriously special TV watching experience, and no 4K TV combines value, picture quality, and features quite like the LG OLED C8P. Instead of using a backlight, OLED TVs use two thin films, and only the pixels that have color data light up. As such, when there's black in a scene, the screen is simply not emitting light, leading to deeper contrast in the image.

In short, it's the best way to watch 4K content right now. In addition to leading in our best OLED TV guide, the C8 is just the best 4K TV in general. It features LG's a9 processor, which prior to the C8, was exclusive to LG's luxury TVs. The LG W8, for example, retails for between $7,000 to $1,500 depending on size, and it, too, has the a9 processor.

As far as the real-world effect of the processor, it's better to be seen than explained. Though, Consumer Reports sums up the picture quality nicely, simply calling it "excellent." The C8 is unique in that, while looking great in something like a Magnolia testing center, it looks just as good when you set it up at home.

OLED TVs still aren't cheap, though, so if you're looking to keep your wallet fat, the C8 isn't right for you. Just because it's expensive doesn't mean it lacks value, though. The C8 is the best bang for your buck 4K OLED TV on the market. With a retail price of $2,500 and frequent sales that knock off $1,000 or more, the C8 is actually pretty cheap when compared to other luxury 4K TVs.

The picture quality is the star of the show, but the C8 has a lot of other features. Google Assistant is built-in to the remote, for example, so you can simply speak into it and search for what you want. Furthermore, the C8 still includes LG's excellent WebOS, which has just about every app you could want — though, oddly, no HBO.

Pros: Excellent image quality, great value, Google Assistant integration

Cons: Expensive

Buy the LG OLEDC8P on Amazon for $1,696.99

The best 4K TV under $650

The best 4K TV under $650
Why you'll love it: While it doesn't deliver the pinnacle of image quality, the TCL 6-Series includes seriously impressive 4K TVs considering the price.

TCL TVs have been the go-to recommendation for 4K TVs on a budget for a while. The 6-Series makes an even stronger argument with Dolby Vision HDR and Contrast Control Zones (CCZ). Contrast Control Zones are individually controlled dimming zones in the LEDs that bring dynamic contrast to the image.

In short, it allows the TV to have better contrast without a static backlight. While not as impressive as, say, an OLED panel, CCZ panels are the closest you'll get on a budget. There's still a backlight, but that backlight can be controlled in multiple areas simultaneously. It's still a mile off from any premium offering, but for the price, it can't be beat.

That's always been the strong point of TCL TVs, but even the price can't overshadow the interface. The integration with Roku makes the TV familiar and accessible, and frequent updates ensure the UI runs smoothly. Even LG's WebOS, which is one of the better smart TV interfaces, doesn't hold a candle to Roku TV in terms of simplicity and ease of use.

The same can be said for the remote, which has the same form factor as the included ones with Roku boxes. In addition to the normal controls and quick-access buttons for Netflix and Hulu, the 6-series remote also includes voice control. It's not as robust as Google Assistant or Alexa, but it gets the job done for searches and simple commands. Note that voice control isn't available in the Best Buy version of 6-series TVs.

While TCL markets the 6-series as a premium line of TVs that can go toe-to-toe with premium options from LG, Samsung, and Sony, that simply isn't the case. It doesn't look as good as any OLED or premium LED TV. However, for the price, it has the best balance of features and image quality.

Pros: Roku TV, CCZ panel, inexpensive

Cons: Doesn't look as good as an OLED

Buy the TCL 55RG17 on Amazon for $629.99 (normally $799.99)

The best 4K TV for deep pockets

The best 4K TV for deep pockets
Why you'll love it: Sony's A9F may be expensive, but if you're looking for the best 4K experience, this is your TV.

Now that we've covered two value-focused options, it's time to go high-end. The Sony A9F has no business being as expensive as it is, especially when OLEDs from LG produce similar image quality for around half the price. However, it is still the best high-end 4K TV you can buy.

First is the design. Instead of using a traditional stand, Sony uses a kickstand on the A9F. The beefy panel kicks back from the TV, propping it up on your entertainment center. It's nerve-wracking, but the robustness of the build puts any worries to rest. Unlike the A1E, which also used a kickstand, the A9F can be wall-mounted, as well.

The kickstand isn't just for turning heads at tradeshows, though. Sony uses it as a sound source. The kickstand has three actuators and two bass drivers, all of which utilize the surface area of the TV to disperse sound into the room. While dedicated audio solutions still sound better, Sony's Acoustic Surface Audio+ is seriously impressive.

Although it's not as intuitive as Roku TV, the streamlined Android Oreo interface makes up for any usability issues with raw power. It includes everything that Android fans have grown to love, including simple integration with Google Play apps and access to nearly any streaming platform. The Google Assistant integration is much less clunky here than it is on LG TVs, too.

As far as image quality goes, there isn't much to say. Put simply, the A9F is breathtaking. Ture HDR performance is excellent, as is the contrast boost for SDR content. That said, the C8 is only slightly less impressive than the A9F, so the extra cost isn't buying too much in the way of image quality.

Pros: Excellent image quality, great built-in audio, updated Android interface

Cons: Overpriced

Buy the Sony A9F on Amazon for $4,498

The best 4K TV for the money

The best 4K TV for the money
Why you'll love it: Vizio’s P-Series isn’t budget or high-end, but it strikes an impressive balance between cost and picture quality.

Before TCL cemented itself as the budget TV, Vizio was the de facto option. While not really a budget brand anymore, Vizio still creates impressive TVs that offer great value. The P-Series TVs sit somewhere in between the TCL 6-series and premium OLED offerings. The P-Series doesn’t hit the mark set by TVs north of $1,500, but it’s an impressive 4K TV considering the price.

The P-Series most directly compares to Samsung’s QLEDs, which use LED-LCD panels with high brightness levels. In terms of quality, the P-Series is close, but Samsung still holds the crown when it comes to non-OLED image quality. Even so, the P-Series is impressive, and even supports a wide range of HDR content, including HDR10, Dolby Vision, and HLG.

Vizio’s OS is noticeably clunkier than WebOS, Android TV, and Roku TV, but it still has its strong points. In addition to excellent app support, Vizio also has integration for Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa. Vizio calls its OS SmartCast and, while it doesn’t streamline the experience as well as competitors, it offers some unique features.

SmartCast is built to cast content from your mobile device or browser to your TV. While you can still go at it manually, the experience leaves a lot to be desired. Vizio’s combination of suggested free apps and curated content makes finding what you want cumbersome, and, furthermore, causes the UI to slow down significantly.

Despite a few niggles in OS performance and SDR handling, the P-Series offers a great value at around $1,000 — depending on the size, of course. The true 120Hz panel is great for gaming, and Vizio’s handling of HDR content is just as good as Samsung or LG. While it doesn’t get to OLED levels of contrast, the P-Series providers better-than-average image quality at a great price.

Pros: Inexpensive, excellent HDR performance, high refresh rate panel

Cons: Sluggish interface

Buy the Vizio P-Series at Best Buy for $649.99 (originally $799.99)

The best 4K TV for gaming

The best 4K TV for gaming
Why you'll love it: The Samsung Q8FN 4K TV, with its high refresh rate and low input lag, proves that companies are still making TVs with gamers in mind.

In the past, the choice in TVs for gaming wasn't as big of a deal as it is today. With consoles like the PS4 Pro and Xbox One X capable of pushing 4K60P games in HDR, though, the tech inside your TV becomes way more important. The Samsung Q8FN 4K TV is an ideal choice, offering a high refresh rate panel and impressive response time.

The TV has around a 13ms response time, as measured by Rtings. Response time measures how long it takes pixels to transition from one color to another. For gaming, it's especially important, as high response times means your input will lag behind what's happening on screen, making for broken and cumbersome gameplay.

Additionally, the 120Hz panel is great for games running at 60 frames per second. Samsung uses motion interpolation to estimate the frames of content running below 60 fps and place those frames between the true frames. This helps smooth content, which, for console gaming, is important. While titles like "Spider-Man" or "God of War" can run at 4K60P, the frame rate usually drops in scenes with heavy action. Interpolation can kick in, then, to smooth out the experience.

Furthermore, the Q8FN supports FreeSync, which is an open-source variable refresh rate technology. FreeSync allows the panel to sync its refresh rate with the device's output, minimizing frame drops and screen tearing. You can turn on FreeSync by enabling Samsung's “game mode.”

The gaming specs are impressive, but the Q8FN isn't lost as a normal 4K TV, either. Samsung's Eden OS is smooth, with support for just about every streaming platform available. It also has excellent image quality thanks to the quantum dot technology that the QLED TVs use. While you can get a better movie watching experience from LG for the same price, the gaming experience is unmatched.

Pros: Low input lag, high refresh rate, great motion interpolation

Cons: For the same price, the LG C8 offers a better image

Buy the Samsung Q8FN on Amazon for $1,597.99 (originally $2,199.99)