- 4K TVs come in a variety of pricing ranges and performance levels.
- For breathtaking visuals and reliable streaming, the finest 4K TVs strike a mix between picture and smart features.
- With its sharp OLED panel and next-gen gaming help, LG’s CX is our choose for greatest 4K TV total.
In 2021, 4K Ultra HD (UHD) TVs will be the norm for everyone wanting to buy a new display. While all 4K TVs have a resolution of 3,840 x 2,160 pixels, image quality and smart connection can range dramatically between models.
LCD televisions (including those labeled as LED or QLED) are known for their great brightness, whilst OLED televisions are noted for their deep black levels. Once you’ve decided on a display type, make sure the 4K TV you buy is compatible with the apps you want to view and the smart home system you want to utilize.
We chose the top 4K TVs on the market based on image quality and overall usefulness. All of our recommendations fall into the 65-inch category because it is the standard flagship size for manufacturers. However, many of the models listed below come in smaller and bigger sizes as well. Most of our selections are also expected to go on sale for Black Friday and Cyber Monday, so bargain hunters should be on the lookout.
One of the best 4K TV total
The LG C1 OLED offers the finest combination of picture quality, smart connectivity, design, and value of any 4K TV on the market.
- HDR10, Dolby Vision, and HLG are examples of HDR formats.
- Sizes: 48, 55, 65, 77, and 83-inch models HDMI version: HDMI 2.1
- LG ThinQ AI, Google Assistant, and Alexa all have voice control.
Pros: Infinite contrast OLED display, HDMI 2.1 connections, voice control, a variety of sizes to pick from, wide viewing angles
Cons: It’s not as bright as an LCD TV, and it’s a bit costly.
The C1 is the greatest 4K TV you can buy when it comes to blending stunning visual quality with trustworthy smart features. Despite the fact that the C1 isn’t all that different from our prior pick in this category, the CX from last year, the CX is being phased out. Due to Black Friday and Cyber Monday discounts, the C1 is now a better bargain.
Unlike LCD TVs, including those labeled as LED and QLED, the C1’s OLED display boasts pixel-level contrast. This allows for excellent black levels and crisp highlights, making this a great TV for those who enjoy watching movies in the dark.
With a peak brightness of around 700 to 800 nits, the OLED performs admirably. Most living rooms should be fine with that, but those who watch TV in a setting with a lot of sunlight may need to upgrade to a brighter LCD model.
The C1 is well-suited to video games, especially those on next-generation consoles such as the PS5 and Xbox Series X. The panel has a low input lag and supports VRR, Nvidia G-Sync, and a high frame rate of 120Hz. This year’s model also includes a new Game Optimizer feature that makes it easy to examine and alter the TV’s gaming settings.
When it comes to smart TV features, the C1 relies on LG’s webOS and ThinQ platforms for a wide range of streaming apps and voice control. The Apple HomeKit feature is also incorporated. The magic remote even has a special pointer function that lets you explore menus by aiming a virtual cursor at the screen.
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One of the best QLED 4K TV
The QN90A from Samsung has one of the best overall picture quality of any 4K TV model.
- HDR10, HDR10+, and HLG are examples of HDR formats.
- HDMI 2.1 is the latest version of HDMI (one port)
- Models in 50-, 55-, 65-, 75-, and 85-inch sizes are available.
- Bixby, Google Assistant, and Alexa are just a few of the voice assistants available.
- Read our evaluation of the Samsung QN90A 4K QLED TV (2021).
Pros: Bright screen, Mini LEDs for local dimming, quantum dot color, broader viewing angles than other LCDs, SolarCell voice remote
Cons: No Dolby Vision, contrast isn’t as good as an OLED, Apple HomeKit isn’t supported, and there’s only one HDMI 2.1 port.
Though brands such as Vizio, TCL, and Hisense have done an excellent job of incorporating quantum dot color technology into their low-cost LCD TV models, Samsung’s QN90A QLED TV is a clear cut above the rest, giving high-end picture quality and style. It’s also on sale during the Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping seasons right now.
For deep black levels and brilliant HDR, the TV has local dimming. It’s also the first QLED from Samsung with a Mini LED backlight. Mini LEDs are smaller than traditional LEDs, allowing for additional dimming zones and greater contrast control. The 65-inch QN90A boasts a staggering 792 zones, and it offers the finest black level performance outside of an OLED that I’ve seen.
The display’s peak brightness is also outstanding, reaching over 1,700 nits for HDR images that leap off the screen. The strong brightness makes it excellent for living rooms with lots of natural light. The QN90A also boasts solid viewing angles, unlike other LCD TVs, so you can sit out to the side without worrying about distorted colors.
Samsung’s Smart Hub platform supports a wide range of apps on the screen. One HDMI 2.1 port is also featured, allowing for next-gen gaming features, but most competitors’ flagship sets have at least two ports.
Voice control is available via the bundled remote, and you can pick between Samsung’s Bixby, Amazon Alexa, or Google Assistant. The remote even contains a special solar panel that can be charged by sunlight or interior lighting, eliminating the need for batteries. This is a super cool added function that’s only available on Samsung TVs for now.
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One of the best funds 4K TV
On a budget, the Hisense U6G Android TV provides solid streaming and visual quality.
- HDMI version: HDMI 2.0 Sizes: 50-, 55-, 65-, and 75-inch models HDR formats: Dolby Vision, HDR10, HDR10+, HLG HDMI version: HDMI 2.0
- Google Assistant provides voice control.
Pros: Supports all major HDR formats, local dimming, quantum dots, Google Assistant voice remote, and good brightness for the money.
Cons: There are no HDMI 2.1 ports, the contrast isn’t as great as on more expensive TVs, and the viewing angles aren’t as good.
When you buy a TV on a budget, you usually have to forego some of the more complex features offered on more expensive models. That isn’t always the case, as the Hisense U6G demonstrates.
The Hisense H8G will be replaced by the U6G in 2021. It keeps everything I liked about that package while staying within a similar pricing range. Every major format is supported by HDR, and the brightness levels are enough for a TV in this price range. Local dimming improves contrast, but you won’t get the same level of precision as with more expensive TVs.
The U6G, like other Hisense devices from 2021, runs Android TV rather than the newer Google TV OS, yet app navigation and playing are both smooth. For dependable voice control, Google Assistant is also available via the provided remote.
Last year, I reviewed the 2020 edition of this TV, and this year’s model is projected to be even better. Buyers who want more sophisticated capabilities, such as HDMI 2.1 for next-generation gaming, will have to pay more for the U7G or U8G, but the U6G is a steal at this price.
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One of the best mid-range 4K TV
For its budget, the Hisense U8G offers the best-in-class brightness.
- Dolby Vision, HDR10, HDR10+, and HLG are examples of HDR formats.
- HDMI 2.1 is the latest version of HDMI (two ports)
- Models in 55- and 65-inch sizes are available.
- Google Assistant provides voice control.
- Our Hisense U8G review can be found here.
Pros: Incredible HDR brightness for the price, Dolby Vision and HDR10+, local dimming for strong contrast, quantum dots for wide color range
Cons: Poor viewing angles, thick screen profile, and obvious blooming
The Hisense U8G has the brightest picture of any monitor in this price range that I’ve seen. In some test patterns, peak brightness actually outperforms our top QLED pick, the Samsung QN90A. Even if there is a lot of light in your environment, the TV can give remarkable HDR performance.
However, brightness isn’t everything, and the TV can’t quite match the performance of more expensive Samsung QLED or LG OLED models in terms of deep black levels. The display’s 360 dimming zones, on the other hand, provide excellent contrast. Although some blooming and lighting abnormalities might be seen on occasion, the U8G looks great in a dark home theater room.
Although the bundled remote includes voice control for Google Assistant, the set runs on the older Android TV operating system rather than the newer Google TV platform. However, Android TV performs admirably and navigation is seamless. When connected to a PS5 or Xbox Series X, two HDMI 2.1 connectors are included for next-gen gaming features.
The Vizio P-Series and TCL 6-Series are two other mid-range TVs in this price range that we recommend. All three displays work similarly, and it’s tough to tell which is superior because they all have their own set of advantages and disadvantages. Finally, because the U8G has the maximum brightness of the three, I’m giving it a little edge.
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One of the best high-end 4K TV
When it comes to visual fidelity, Sony’s A80J is the premium TV champ, although it’s a touch pricy.
- HDR10, Dolby Vision, and HLG are examples of HDR formats.
- Sizes: 55-, 65-, and 77-inch models HDMI version: HDMI 2.1
- Google Assistant provides voice control.
Pros: Infinite contrast OLED panel, innovative processing for improved image accuracy, acoustic surface audio technology, HDMI 2.1
Cons: It’s not as bright as LCD TVs, and VRR functionality isn’t available yet (coming in future firmware)
The Sony A80J OLED (2021) is the successor to the highly regarded A8H. (2020). Though most people will be content with the older model, both TVs are presently available for the same price, and the A80J comes with a few critical changes that help it secure this position.
The new model also includes HDMI 2.1 connectors, allowing for next-generation gaming capabilities such as 4K/120Hz. It also makes use of Sony’s innovative image technology, which uses cognitive processing to cross-analyze picture parts at once rather than individually. Without a side-by-side comparison with the A8H, it’s difficult to judge how significant this increase is, but the A80J certainly looks great in person.
Sony’s OLEDs frequently come close to matching the aesthetic of professional broadcast monitors in yearly TV contests, and we expect the A80J to be no different. This implies that, once calibrated, the A80J has the ability to portray movies in a way that is closer to how the directors intended them to appear than most competing displays.
The A80J also has a unique audio system with acoustic surface technology, which sets it apart from ordinary TVs. Instead of using traditional speakers, this method uses actuators hidden beneath the panel to generate sound from the screen. This makes dialogue sound as if it’s coming straight from the mouths of the characters on screen.
In addition, the A80J is one of the first TVs to use the new Google TV platform rather than the older Android TV platform. The new interface features a sleek design that emphasizes information over apps. It’s OK, however there are a few hiccups here and there. Although Google TV has a lot of potential, it still has several bugs that need to be dealt out via firmware upgrades.
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What to search for in a 4K TV
Is it really worth it to buy a 4K TV?
In 2021, 4K TVs will be the norm, and models will be available at all price points. With that in mind, 4K TVs are well worth the investment, particularly if you’re replacing an older HDTV.
Many 4K TVs have high dynamic range (HDR) features in addition to a higher screen resolution. This feature isn’t usually found on high-definition televisions. HDR allows for richer colors and increased contrast, giving photos a stronger sense of reality and depth.
Are you able to distinguish between 1080p and 4K?
In comparison to 1080p, 4K offers four times the total amount of pixels. Images with more pixels have more detail. However, two key factors influence how well you can see the increased detail of 4K: the size of your TV and how near you sit to your display.
When you sit at a distance of one to 1.5 times the size of your monitor, the benefits of 4K become most apparent. To get the most out of a 65-inch 4K TV, for example, you need sit between 5.4 and 8.1 feet away from it. Crutchfield has a handy chart that shows optimum viewing distances based on the size of your 4K TV.
Should I buy a 4K TV on Black Friday or Cyber Monday?
If you want the best deal on a new TV, wait until Black Friday or Cyber Monday to purchase it. During these sales, TVs of all types and sizes are frequently reduced to all-time low rates.
What to Look for When Buying a 4K Television
When deciding which TV is the greatest fit for your needs, there are a few crucial features to keep in mind.
If image quality is important to you, pay attention to a TV’s high-dynamic-range (HDR) capabilities while shopping for a new display. HDR has become the defining component for visual quality in current TVs, even more so than resolution. When viewing specially graded HDR shows and movies on several streaming apps and 4K Blu-ray discs, this capability allows a TV to give better contrast and colors.
HDR10, HDR10+, and Dolby Vision are some of the competing HDR standards. HDR10 is the standard that is supported by all HDR televisions. Although Dolby Vision and HDR10+ have more advanced features, Dolby Vision content is more frequent than HDR10+ content.
2.1 HDMI ports
Another characteristic to bear in mind is HDMI 2.1 compatibility. The current HDMI spec allows for next-gen gaming features like as 4K/120Hz and VRR, which may be significant for anyone planning to purchase a PS5 or Xbox Series X.
Features of Smart TVs
Smart TV connectivity is also important, as each manufacturer utilizes either their own operating system or a third-party system like Roku TV, Google TV, or Fire TV. When it comes to app selection and performance, each of these platforms has its own set of strengths and weaknesses, but for basic streaming needs, they’ll all suffice.
If the built-in system on your TV isn’t working for you, we recommend purchasing a separate streaming stick or box. These devices usually have the best streaming app support, and Roku frequently has entry-level units with 4K playback for as cheap as $30.
Apple HomeKit and Digital Assistants
Many smart TVs now offer built-in Alexa or Google Assistant compatibility, allowing you to use voice commands to ask inquiries, manage other smart home devices, and more. If smart home integration is important to you, be sure the television you choose is compatible with the ecosystem you already have.
LG, Vizio, and Sony all have Apple HomeKit connectivity in their mid-range and flagship models. With HomeKit integration, you can turn your TV on and off, as well as change the inputs, all from the Home app or Siri on your iOS smartphone. You may also use HomeKit to automate many smart gadgets at once.
OLED vs. QLED: Which is Better?
There are two primary types of TVs to choose from when it comes to modern display technology: OLED and LCD. LCD TVs are labeled QLED, QNED, or LED depending on the features they offer, but they all have LCD panels.
Brightness (measured in nits), black levels, contrast ratio, color gamut, and viewing angles are all important elements to consider when choosing between an OLED and an LCD TV.
The screens of OLEDs are self-illuminating. This means they can generate an endless contrast ratio by carefully dimming and brightening each pixel. As a result, OLED TVs perform exceptionally well in terms of black levels and viewing angles. This makes OLED the greatest option for consumers who seek the highest possible image quality, especially if they watch movies in a dark home theater.
LCD televisions, particularly those labeled as QLED, rely on backlights to illuminate their displays. Even the most advanced QLED models can’t match the pixel-level contrast of an OLED. These backlights can feature several zones to brighten and darken certain areas, but even the most advanced QLED models can’t match the pixel-level contrast of an OLED. This might result in an uneven appearance in dark settings, with halos surrounding brilliant objects or washed-out black levels that appear gray.
However, when it comes to maximum brightness, LCD TVs have a distinct advantage. LCD TVs in the mid-range and high-end can be substantially brighter than OLED TVs. As a result, an LCD TV is a better choice for environments with a lot of natural light. LCD TVs are also less expensive than OLED TVs and do not have the issue of burn-in.
This guide will help you find the finest 4K TV bargains.
We see deals on dozens of TVs every week, but it can be tough to know what you’re getting. There are hundreds of variations available, and some merchants sell distinct versions, making comparison difficult. As you might assume, Black Friday and Cyber Monday are the greatest times to buy a television.
At the time of writing, Amazon has a $200 discount on the 65-inch Hisense ULED 4K Premium 65U6G Quantum Dot QLED Series Android Smart TV, and Best Buy has a $250 discount on the 65-inch Hisense U8G Series Quantum 4K ULED Android TV.
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