Almost all new TVs come equipped with a smart platform. Some manufacturers choose to use their own smart platforms, whereas others choose to integrate smart platforms like Android or Roku (see our recommendations for the best Roku TVs). No matter the case, the plethora of apps is great and most common apps are available on almost all platforms.
Note: Since new TVs tend to launch at very high prices, it's unlikely that these newer models will become reasonable choices until the latter half of the year. Because of this, some of the 2018 models remain as picks in our recommendations.
The LG B8 is the best smart TV we tested so far. This TV runs LG's smart platform webOS, a very intuitive operating system that's easy to use and has access to LG's app store. The app store is one of the most versatile app stores available, with lots of content to help you find what you need. This TV has a remarkable picture quality, just like the LG C8 and the LG E8 TVs from the 2018 LG OLED lineup that have a more premium look and are more expensive. This TV can display perfect blacks, delivering an outstanding dark room performance. HDR content is full of vivid colors and bright highlights. The viewing angles are great, so you can easily place it in a room with a wide seating arrangement. Motion handling is excellent due to the nearly instantaneous response time. The low input lag makes games feel very responsive.
All OLEDs, including this one, run the risk of temporary image retention and permanent burn-in if you display static content over a prolonged period of time. However, in normal varied use, we don't expect this to be an issue.
Overall, this is the best TV for streaming and it delivers an outstanding performance.
If you're too concerned about the burn-in risk of the LG B8, then get the Samsung Q80R. It's the best QLED/LCD Smart TV that we've tested so far. It has the 'Ultra Viewing Angle' technology that helps it maintain an accurate image even when viewed from the side. The dark room performance is excellent, even though the TV doesn't have the perfect blacks found on the OLEDs. The picture quality is great and the TV can get very bright, suitable for any room. HDR performance is full of vivid colors and highlights that pop. This TV runs the latest version of Samsung's Tizen OS, an easy-to-use, modern interface with a great selection of apps; it also features an 'Ambient' mode that displays pictures or even artwork while the TV is on standby. Overall, this is an excellent LED TV that will keep most users happy.
If you find the LG B8 expensive, the Sony X900F is the best TV for streaming in the mid-range category. The Sony does not have the perfect blacks of the LG, and the image loses accuracy when viewed from the side. On the upside, this TV delivers an impressive picture quality with deep blacks in a dark room thanks to the high native contrast ratio and full array local dimming support. It runs the Android TV smart platform, which is easy to navigate and gives you access the to Google Play Store where you will definitely find what you want. This TV has excellent motion handling and can get very bright both in SDR and HDR.
Most gamers will be happy with the TV's low input lag, but more competitive gamers might not find it low enough. Just like all VA panel TVs, this one might not be the best choice if you have a wide seating arrangement since the image degrades at an angle.
Overall, this is an impressive TV that will meet your expectations.
If you find the viewing angles on the Sony X900F limiting, then check out the LG SM8600. The dark room performance does not compare to the Sony, nor can it get as bright. On the upside, this is a TV with wide viewing angles that can easily accommodate large groups for watching the Super Bowl. This TV has a decent picture quality and runs the latest version of LG's smart operating system, which gives you access to a very large selection of apps that'll surely meet your needs.
If you're looking for a great smart TV with better gaming performance than the Sony X900F, check out the Samsung RU8000. The input lag is much lower and gamers will appreciate the gaming goodies that this TV has. This TV supports FreeSync for a nearly tear-free gaming experience. It also has a low input lag with motion interpolation, and finally features an auto low latency mode to detect when you're gaming and provide you with the lowest input lag. This TV lacks the Sony's full array local dimming feature, and although it delivers a good picture quality it can't get as bright as the X900F. This TV also has the same great smart features as the Samsung Q80R, with an excellent selection of apps.
If the Sony X900F is above your spending limit, then the best budget smart TV we’ve tested is the TCL 6 Series R617. This TV lacks the very fast response time or the outstanding reflection handling of the Sony.
On the bright side, this is a very good TV with good picture quality. It can get very bright and has great HDR performance with saturated colors and highlights that pop. Dark room performance is also very good, thanks to the deep blacks produced by the high native contrast ratio and good local dimming. The TCL has great motion handling and a remarkably low input lag that's not found in more expensive models like the Sony X850F. This TV runs Roku, a user-friendly smart platform that provides access to thousands of channels of internet streaming content including Netflix, YouTube, or Hulu. It's almost certain that you'll find what you're looking for.
Overall, this is a very good TV that's equipped with great smart features.
If you find the TCL R617 expensive but want a smart TV that is cheaper and performs well, get the TCL 4 Series S425 2019. This TV can't get as bright, nor does it have local dimming or motion interpolation features, so the picture quality and the motion handling are not as good as the TCL R617. However, it runs the same Roku TV smart platform, has a very low input lag that makes the TV very responsive to gaming, and its picture quality is decent with great contrast and deep blacks.
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 definitely 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.
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.