Almost all new TVs come equipped with a smart platform. Some manufacturers choose to use their own smart platforms, where others choose to integrate smart platforms like Android or Roku. No matter the case, the selection of apps is great, and most common apps are available on almost all platforms.
We've tested more than 90 TVs in the past two years and below are our recommendations for the best smart TVs you can buy. Also, check out our recommendations for the best Roku TVs, the best TVs, and the best 4k TVs.
The best smart TV we've tested so far is the LG CX. It delivers all-around excellent picture quality and it's able to turn off individual pixels, resulting in extremely deep blacks. It's a really well-built TV with a sleek and stylish stand that holds it well.
It performs well in both dark and bright rooms. The perfect contrast ratio and black uniformity make it ideal for watching movies at night, and it has outstanding reflection handling if you want to watch TV during the day in a bright room. It also has wide viewing angles for when you want to stream your favorite shows with the entire family or with friends. It has LG's built-in WebOS, which is easy to use and has a great selection of apps available. You can use its remote as a traditional remote with its navigation buttons or you can use it to point and press, like a computer mouse. The remote also has built-in voice control so you can ask it to pull up your shows on Netflix or YouTube.
Unfortunately, like any OLED TV, it has the risk of permanent burn-in. This could be a problem if you constantly stream stuff with static elements, like the news, but we don't expect this to be a problem if you watch varied content. Lastly, this TV has good built-in speakers, so if you don't want to pay extra to get a soundbar, it provides a well-balanced sound profile. Most people should be happy with this TV.
If you're worried about the permanent burn-in risk and prefer an LED TV, then check out the Samsung Q80T. It doesn't produce perfect blacks like the LG CX OLED, but it gets much brighter and it has better out-of-the-box color accuracy. This is a VA panel TV that has an 'Ultra Viewing Angle' layer that improves the viewing angles at the cost of its contrast ratio. Luckily, it has a full-array local dimming feature that helps darken any blacks. It uses Samsung's Tizen OS as its smart interface, which is easy to use and very smooth to navigate, and the app store has a ton of apps available. Sadly, it has some uniformity issues, but this could vary from unit to unit. On the upside, HDR content looks excellent as this TV displays a wide color gamut and makes highlights pop.
All in all, the best TV for streaming that we've tested so far is the LG, but if you prefer an LED TV, the Samsung is a great alternative.
The best smart TV with accurate colors is the Sony X950H. If you don't want to pay extra to get your TV calibrated, then this one has excellent out-of-the-box color accuracy and most people won't notice any inaccuracies. It has built-in Android TV, which is fairly easy to use and it has a massive selection of apps available to download, so you'll likely find the one you need.
It delivers an excellent overall picture quality. It has outstanding coverage of the DCI P3 color space used in most HDR content and it gets extremely bright, enough to make highlights pop. It has a VA panel that delivers a great contrast ratio, but it's lower than most VA panel TVs because of Sony's 'X-Wide Angle' technology. It slightly improves the viewing angles, but they're still mediocre. It performs really well in bright rooms too, as it gets bright enough to combat glare and it has outstanding reflection handling, ideal for watching TV during the day.
Unfortunately, if you also want to use this TV for gaming, its input lag is a bit too high for competitive gamers. Still, it has a 120Hz refresh rate and it has a great response time too, resulting in clear motion. Lastly, it upscales lower-resolution content well and it removes judder from any source. Overall, this is the best smart TV with accurate colors that we've seen so far.
The best smart TV in the budget category that we've seen so far is the Hisense H8G. It delivers good overall picture quality available for a price that won't dig too deep into your wallet. Like the Sony X950H, it has built-in Android TV, so you'll likely find the apps you need to watch your favorite content, and there aren't any ads on the home page, either.
This TV delivers really deep blacks due to its VA panel and it has decent black uniformity. It has a full-array local dimming feature that improves the contrast ratio, ideal for watching movies in the dark. It's also a good choice for watching TV during the day in fairly bright rooms as it gets bright enough to combat glare and it has decent reflection handling. Despite only having a 60Hz refresh rate, it's still a great choice for gaming as it has a good response time, a black frame insertion feature to improve the appearance of motion, and really low input lag.
Unfortunately, it has just okay out-of-the-box color accuracy and like most VA panel TVs, it has narrow viewing angles, so you have to sit directly in front to get the most accurate image. However, for a budget TV, it's well-built and it has a nice and simple style. All things considered, this is the best smart TV in the budget category we've seen.
If you've already had a good experience with Roku TVs and prefer it over Android TV, you should take a look at the TCL 6 Series/R625 2019. Like the Hisense H8G, it has a VA panel that performs remarkably well in dark rooms. It can also deliver an incredible HDR experience with its wide color gamut and good peak brightness, but unfortunately, its viewing angles are disappointing. Motion handling isn't as good either, as it has a slow response time and a 60Hz refresh rate. However, most gamers should be satisfied with its low input lag. Best of all, it runs on the Roku platform, which is very easy to use and has tons of streaming services readily available.
Overall, if you want the best picture quality, look into the Hisense, but if you prefer the Roku platform, then the TCL is a better choice.
In their most basic form, a smart TV is a television that is connected to the internet and provides web-related features. It can be a web browser, but their appeal usually comes from their ability to use online services such as Netflix, YouTube, and Spotify. If you've ever used something like an Apple TV, a Roku, or a Chromecast, then you are already quite familiar with their capabilities as they are quite similar.
Unfortunately, though, while they offer the same features, they tend to be a bit slower and less stable. This has become less of an issue in recent years, but most TVs still don't quite match the speed and reliability of something like a Roku set-top box.
Not only does almost every TV include smart features today, but most of them are pretty good. LG's WebOS and TCL's Roku stand out for their quality, but most shoppers should be pleased by the features of any of them. If you're shopping for a TV, don't fret too much on their smart features since little of your time is going to be spent using them. Instead, focus on the picture quality or other features that complement your usage. You'll get much closer to finding your perfect TV that way.
07/14/2020: Replaced the LG B9 with the CX, the Samsung Q80R with the Q80T, the Sony X950G with the X950H, and the Hisense H9F with the H8G; removed the LG SM9500.
06/10/2020: Replaced the Samsung Q70R with the Q80T.
05/15/2020: Minor text and structure changes, no change in recommendations.
04/17/2020: Replaced LG SM9000 with LG SM9500.
03/20/2020: Added TCL 5 Series 2019 to notable mentions.
Our recommendations are based on what we think are the best TVs for streaming currently available with smart features. They are adapted to be valid for most people in each price range. Rating is based on our review, factoring in price and feedback from our visitors.
If you would like to do the work of choosing yourself, here is the list of all our reviews of smart TVs. Be careful not to get too caught up in the details. While no TV is perfect, most TVs are great enough to please almost everyone, and the differences are often not noticeable unless you really look for them.