The best smart TV brings connectivity right to your living room. Smart TVs connect to your internet network via an ethernet cable or Wi-Fi to stream online content directly to your TV. These devices make it simple to watch your favorite online content, without the need for an external device. 

The best smart TVs share the same features as the best analog TVs, such as a suitable screen size, sharp resolution, and good image and sound quality. They also have the connectivity features to bring streaming to your fingertips and suit your watching or gaming habits. Read on for the best smart TV options to upgrade your entertainment system.

Best Overall: LG OLED C1 Series 4K Smart TV
Best Budget: Samsung TU8000
Best 43-Inch: Sony KD-43X85J
Best 55-Inch: Hisense U8G
Best 65-Inch: TCL 6-Series R635

How We Picked The Best Smart TVs

With so many options on the market, buying a new smart TV can feel overwhelming. We conducted extensive product research and analyzed reviews from reputable sources to narrow down our top picks from over 50 smart TVs.

Performance: Sharp 4K resolution, excellent image quality, and good sound quality were a must for our top picks. Other factors like a sleek design, user-friendly interface, high refresh rate, or other standout performance features earned a TV extra points.

Connectivity: All smart TVs can connect to the internet, but the best options can do even more. We prioritized smart TV options with additional features, like voice-assistant compatibility, Bluetooth connectivity, or seamless smart home connectivity.

Affordability: Like with other smart tech, smart TVs usually cost more than “dumb” TVs, but that doesn’t mean that some options aren’t affordable. We included TVs at different price points so shoppers can take advantage of smart features, without breaking the bank. Stay connected with the best modems.

The Best Smart TVs: Reviews and Recommendations

Best Overall: LG OLED C1 Series 4K Smart TV

Good for Gaming. LG

Why It Made The Cut: This OLED TV includes a host of premium features that makes it the best smart TV overall for watching shows and movies, as well as gaming.

Specs:
-Type: OLED
-Sizes: 48, 55, 65, 77, and 83 inches
-Smart TV Platform: WebOS

Pros:
-Stunning picture
-Excellent for gaming
-Four HDMI 2.1 ports

Cons:
-Reflective screen can catch light

The LG C1 Series OLED TV comes at a premium price, but it’s an exceptional product. This smart TV features a stunning OLED display, which is one of the best options available today. Paired with the 4K screen and HDR compatibility, this model has some of the best picture quality available for its price. It’s also ultra-thin and sleek, so it looks nice in any living space.

The built-in WebOS system is easy to use with tons of available smart TV apps so you can access your favorite content. The TV is controlled with the included LG Magic Remote, which functions as a point-and-press remote (similar to a Wii remote) for easier browsing. Both Google Assistant and Alexa are built in, so you can also control this TV using your voice. 

The included Dolby Vision IQ and Dolby Atmos feature adjusts picture settings based on ambient surroundings and plays media with multi-dimensional surround-sound for more immersive movie watching and gaming. Plus, with four HDMI 2.1 ports, a 120-Hz refresh rate, and a Game Optimizer feature, this TV is also an excellent choice for gamers.

Best Budget: Samsung TU8000

Great Value. Samsung

Why It Made The Cut: While it’s not the absolute cheapest option, this smart TV includes several attractive features (like a 4K HDR screen and voice-control compatibility) to give you excellent value for money.

Specs:
-Type: LED
-Sizes: 43, 50, 55, 65, 75, and 85 inches
-Smart TV Platform: Tizen

Pros:
-Several screen size options available
-Very slim design
-Good value

Cons:
-Rather narrow viewing angles

Nowadays, smart TVs are so ubiquitous that plenty of affordable options are available. The Samsung TU8000 is the best budget smart TV because it balances a reasonable price with several attractive features. This entry-level 4K TV comes in several sizes, so shoppers can choose the best option for their room size and price range. 

At any size, this 4K TV boasts excellent screen resolution and HDR compatibility for beautiful colors and contrast. Although this TV is on the more affordable side, it doesn’t lack in style. It’s a very slim option that looks great set up with the included TV stand or mounted against a wall. 

While the Samsung TU8000 doesn’t have HDMI 2.1 support, it does include 3 HDMI ports for plugging in devices. For streaming, this TV runs Samsung’s Tizen platform and also features Alexa, Bixy, and Google Assistant connectivity for voice control. When connected to compatible devices, users can also mirror their phone, PC, or laptop onto this TV screen.

Best 43-Inch: Sony KD-43X85J

Small But Mighty. Sony

Why It Made The Cut: With 4K HDR, Dolby Vision, and a 120-Hz refresh rate, this smart TV fits powerful features into a small package.

Specs:
-Type: LED
-Sizes: 43, 50, 55, 65, 75, and 85 inches
-Smart TV Platform: Google TV

Pros:
-Small footprint
-Four HDMI 2.1 ports
-Great connectivity options

Cons:
-Relatively narrow viewing angle

Having the best 43-inch screen is ideal for smaller living rooms, bedrooms, and dorm rooms. But just because you have a smaller screen doesn’t mean you need to give up on big features. The Sony KD-43X85J is a well-rounded model that performs just as well for watching media as it does for gaming. 

This TV features a 4K display with HDR compatibility and Dolby Vision, and includes Dolby Atmos for multi-dimensional sound. These features provide excellent image contrast and immersive sound for a better viewing experience. A 120-Hz refresh rate plays fast-paced media smoothly and clearly and also makes this display a suitable choice for gaming. This TV also has four HDMI 2.1 inputs (which is less common on smaller TVs) to connect to newer consoles. 

Users can browse through a range of apps through the Google TV platform or using Google Assistant. This TV is Alexa-, Apple AirPlay-, and HomeKit-compatible to work with other smart devices. Plus, it has Chromecast built in to cast media from your smartphone to the screen. To suit different rooms, this smart screen also comes in 43-, 50-, 55-, 60-, 65-, and 75-inch sizes. If you’re looking for another 43-inch option that’s less expensive, this refurbished Vizio smart TV could fit the bill. Find out more about how we gauge sustainability.  For a slightly smaller screen, here’s our guide to the best 40-inch TVs.

Best 55-Inch: Hisense U8G

Excellent Display. Hisense

Why It Made The Cut: This smart TV is highly rated for its bright display and features excellent contrast and color for an extra boost when viewing HDR content.

Specs:
-Type: LED
-Sizes: 55 or 65 inches
-Smart TV Platform: Android TV

Pros:
-Bright display
-Very good color and contrast
-High stand can fit most sound bars beneath

Cons:
-Only available in two sizes

Many homes will opt for the best 55-inch smart TV, since this mid-range size is an affordable and suitable choice for most living rooms. The Hisense U8G is a highly-rated pick that should suit the majority of homes. This TV features a 4K screen with Hisense’s ULED technology, which uses quantum dots to achieve richer contrast and colors than regular LED displays. This results in a beautiful picture at a reasonable price point.  

The Hisense U8G is a bright option that performs nicely, even in sunnier rooms. With included features like Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos, it’s able to deliver stunning HDR image and sound quality. 

The Android TV interface behind this smart TV comes with Google Assistant and is compatible with Alexa, plus it has Chromecast built in for screen sharing. A 120-Hz refresh rate and Ultra Motion feature creates a smooth picture, whether you use this screen for watching movies, sports games, or for gaming. Plus, it has two HDMI 2.1 ports to connect to newer gaming consoles. 

Best 65-Inch: TCL 6-Series R635

QLED Display. TCL

Why It Made The Cut: A QLED display boosts image quality, contrast, and color volume to set this mid-price TV apart from other LED smart TV options.

Specs:
-Type: QLED
-Sizes: 55, 65, and 75 inches
-Smart TV Platform: Roku

Pros:
-Vibrant QLED display
-Bright image and great image quality
-Adjustable legs
-Easy-to-use interface

Cons:
-Lacks HDMI 2.1 ports

TCL is known for their reasonably-priced TVs that are packed with features. As the best 65-inch smart TV this TCL 6-Series R635 is a highly-rated favorite from this brand. This 4K HDR TV features a QLED screen, which uses quantum dots to boost color volume and contrast over regular LED screens. This results in a more compelling picture, but for a comparable price to regular LED TVs. Dolby Vision also gives this screen a lifelike image. 

The TCL 6-Series R635 runs on the Roku TV interface to access a range of channels for streaming online content. Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant compatibility allow for simple voice control with compatible devices, but if you don’t have a smart home system yet, you can use the Roku mobile app or included voice-enabled remote to control the TV.

When it comes to gaming, this TV also excels with a 120-Hz refresh rate and an Auto Game Mode with variable refresh rate. Although this TV lacks HDMI 2.1 ports for newer consoles, it more than makes up for it with its other features. 

Things to Consider Before Buying the Best Smart TVs

Shopping for the best smart TV for your home is a lot like shopping for any TV; you’ll want to consider TV size, resolution, and image quality, as well as connectivity features.

Screen Size

TV screen size is measured diagonally from corner to corner. Common sizes include 43-, 50-, 55-, 65-, and 75-inch screens. A TV’s screen size has a big influence on price, and they’ll generally get more expensive as the screen gets larger. 

When choosing a screen size, consider the intended room size, how many people watch the screen at a time, how far you will sit from the screen, and your budget. Many shoppers opt for a screen between 55 and 65 inches in size, but you can read TV screen size guides to find the best size for your space. When in doubt (and if your budget allows it), few shoppers complain about splurging for the larger screen. 

Resolution

Resolution refers to the number of pixels that fit on the TV screen and is a way to measure image sharpness. Common TV resolutions from lower to higher resolution include: High Definition or HD (1,280 x 720p), Full HD (1,920 x 1,080p), 4K or Ultra HD (3,840 x 2,160p), and 8K (7,680 x 4,320p). 

4K resolution is the standard in new TVs, and for most shoppers, it’s the sweet spot between excellent resolution and a reasonable price, especially since many streaming services now offer 4K content. There’s not much benefit in going under a 4K resolution TV now that these screens are at a more accessible price point. 

The term 4K is often used synonymously with UHD or Ultra High Definition, although they are slightly different. 8K is the newest and most expensive TV type; some consumers might find them worth the splurge, but most shoppers end up sticking to 4K TVs.

Picture Quality

While resolution is an important factor to consider, it’s not the only one that determines good picture quality. Contrast ratio, high dynamic range (HDR) performance, and color accuracy all contribute to a better picture. 

Contrast ratio is the ratio between the brightest and the darkest the TV can be, while many manufacturers no longer display contrast ratio, the wider the contrast range, the better the image looks. 

High dynamic range (HDR) compatible TVs have an enhanced range of colors, contrast, and brightness levels. HDR capability can offer a big boost in image quality over regular standard dynamic range (SDR). HDR TVs have a wider color gamut and contrast range for brighter bright tones and darker dark tones—which means a more impactful picture. 

4K HDR TVs are the best choice for most homes since they balance high resolution with great image quality. 

Connectivity and Compatibility

All smart TVs can connect to the internet and run on an operating platform with apps to access online content, but some connectivity features will vary from TV to TV. The operating platforms will also differ across TVs, so keep that in mind if you have a preference. Common smart TV operating systems include WebOS, Tizen, Android TV, Roku TV, Amazon Fire TV, and SmartCast. 

Check that the TV will be suitable for your most common uses, which can include web browsing, gaming, accessing computer content, or screen sharing. Consider voice control features and smart home compatibility, if needed, as well as physical connectivity options (such as an adequate number of HDMI or HDMI 2.1 ports) to connect game consoles, DVD players, and other devices.

Pretty much every smart TV will have access to the main streaming apps like Netflix, Disney Plus, and Amazon Prime Video, but some may not have access to niche apps or channels. If you have specific apps or content in mind, check for compatibility before buying a smart TV.

FAQs

Q: What is the highest-rated smart TV?

With so many excellent options available, as well as different rating systems, it’s nearly impossible to narrow down one highest-rated smart TV. Not to mention, the TV that works best for one home may not be the right choice for yours. To find the best smart TV for your needs, start with your ideal screen size, specs, and budget and look for highly-rated and well-reviewed smart TVs from there. Keep in mind that seeing and experiencing a TV with your own eyes will give you a much better idea than online ratings, so if you are able to test the TV in person, that’s even better.

Q: QLED vs OLED?

OLED TVs offer better picture quality than QLED TVs, but also tend to be much more expensive. Most TVs are LCD TVs. QLED (quantum light emitting diode) TVs are a type of LED LCD that incorporates quantum dots to boost its brightness and color. OLED stands for “organic light emitting diode” and is a different technology altogether. Unlike in LCD and QLED TVs, which have an LED backlight, each pixel in an OLED TV emits its own light. This results in a more impactful picture quality and the ability to make a thinner TV, and even flexible screens. If you don’t want to splurge for an OLED TV but want to try one of these technologies, QLED TVs are a more affordable option with magnificent picture quality.

Q: Which TV should I buy for under 500?

The Samsung TU8000 comes in at around $500 for a 50-inch TV (and is sometimes on sale for less), making it a budget-friendly choice for its size. It’s a 4K HDR TV with several attractive features, including a slim design, good picture quality, and Alexa-, Bixy-, and Google Assistant-compatibility.

Q: Which smart TV is the best value for money?

The TCL 6-Series R635 comes at a reasonably affordable price for its stellar image quality. It has a QLED display for a more impactful picture than regular LED TVs, but without the major price bump of an OLED screen.

Q: How much does a smart TV cost?

Expect to pay around $500 for a decent, 55-inch 4K smart TV. This price can easily jump into the thousands for larger sizes, better image and sound quality, and other premium features. Smaller, lower resolution smart TVs are a cheaper (coming in around $300) and better-suited for those on a budget. Complete your setup with one of the best gaming laptops.

Q: Can I recycle my old TV?

Yes, old TVs can be recycled at the appropriate facility. Before choosing to recycle a TV, consider donating or selling the TV if it is still in working condition. If the TV no longer works, it’s best to check for local electronic recycling facilities in your area to ensure the TV is dealt with properly. Some big retailers also offer recycling services. Learn more about how to recycle electronics.

Final Thoughts on the Best Smart TVs

The LG OLED C1 Series 4K Smart TV is the top pick for those who want to splurge a little bit for the best smart TV. This 4K HDR TV features a stunning OLED display, ultra-thin design, and has a very user-friendly interface for a great viewing experience from start to finish. 

This post was created by a non-news editorial team at Recurrent Media, Futurism’s owner. Futurism may receive a portion of sales on products linked within this post.

 


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