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 (see our recommendations for the best Roku TVs). No matter the case, the selection of apps is great, and most common apps are available on almost all platforms.
The LG B9 OLED is the best smart TV for streaming we've tested so far. It performs almost identically to the LG C9 OLED and the LG E9 OLED, but it doesn't have the more premium design of these two models, so it's less expensive. All these TVs run LG's WebOS, which is an easy-to-use and very intuitive smart platform. It gives you access to LG's app store where you'll find all of the latest apps that can cover almost any need. This is an excellent TV that delivers a fantastic performance in almost any use thanks to the amazing picture quality, remarkable motion handling, and low input lag.
Unfortunately, just like any other OLED TV, it has the risk of temporary image retention and permanent burn-in. We don't expect most people to experience this with normal varied content, as it's usually the cumulative result of prolonged exposure to static content. On the upside, this TV has wide viewing angles, and the image remains accurate even when viewed from the side, making it a great choice for watching your favorite game with a group of friends or doing chores while watching your TV shows.
Overall, like all OLEDs, this TV has outstanding picture quality with perfect blacks and nearly instantaneous response time. It does an excellent job with HDR content and supports Dolby Vision, making it great for streaming HDR content from Netflix, Apple TV+, or Disney+. This TV is well-suited for nearly every use, and its smart interface should be smooth and easy enough for anyone.
If you don't want to have any burn-in concerns, then the Samsung Q80/Q80R is the best smart TV with an LED panel. Although it can't display the perfect blacks of the LG B9 OLED, this is a remarkable TV overall. It has a great picture quality, can get very bright, and will deliver excellent performance in any use. It runs Samsung's Tizen OS smart platform, which is easy to use and has an abundance of apps where you'll find what you need. Unfortunately, it doesn't support Dolby Vision, so for the majority of streaming services, you'll be reduced to HDR10, which doesn't offer as good an HDR experience.
For the smart TV that delivers the best overall performance, consider the LG, but if burn-in is a concern, then the Samsung is a good alternative.
The best streaming TV with the most accurate colors we've tested so far is the Sony X950G. It runs on Android TV, which means that you have access to the Google Play Store, where you can find nearly any streaming app you need. It also means that you have the Google Assistant readily available, making it easy to control your TV, smart devices, or ask for info like the weather or time. This platform has improved a lot in the past few years and runs smoothly in most cases, with a clean interface that's easy to understand and navigate.
As mentioned, this TV's color accuracy is outstanding. Its VA panel has an excellent contrast ratio, supported by a full-array local dimming, and it can get extremely bright to deliver an amazing HDR experience. Uniformity is decent, although the corners look a bit darker; luckily, there's almost no dirty screen effect. Motion handling is superb, with fast response time and a 120Hz refresh rate, and the TV's 'Game' Mode' provides low input latency for a responsive gaming experience. The only downside is that there's no support for FreeSync variable refresh rate technology.
Unfortunately, this TV's poor viewing angles cause images to look washed out when viewed from the side, which is expected of most VA panels. The larger variants have Sony's 'X-Wide Angle' technology that can significantly improve viewing angles, but at the cost of a lower contrast ratio, and you'd have to go up to the 75 inch or 85 inch variant to get it. That being said, this is still a great TV if accurate color reproduction is important to you.
If your seating arrangement requires good viewing angles, then check out the LG SM9500. Its IPS panel provides much better viewing angles than the Sony X950G, and it has excellent color accuracy. The main drawback is that IPS panels usually have a poor contrast ratio; that's the case here, making this TV less suitable for viewing in dark rooms. On the upside, it has an outstanding peak brightness in HDR mode, a fast response time, and low input lag. It also has a 120Hz refresh rate, but just like the Sony, it doesn't support FreeSync to reduce screen tearing when gaming. It runs on LG's WebOS, which is easy to use and has a large selection of apps, although you'll have to endure some ads and suggested content on its home page, as they can't be disabled.
Overall, the Sony has better color accuracy, but if you need wide viewing angles, then the LG is a better choice.
If you want better gaming performance, the Samsung Q70/Q70R is a good alternative. You won't get the Sony X950G's reflection handling, but this TV has a much lower input lag and gamers will appreciate the goodies that come along with the TV. It supports FreeSync, has low input lag with motion interpolation, and features an auto low latency mode to detect when you're gaming. This TV has the same great smart features as the Samsung Q80/Q80R QLED with an excellent selection of apps. Unfortunately, like all Samsung TVs, it doesn't support Dolby Vision, so if you stream from Netflix, Apple TV+, or Disney+ you'll be stuck with HDR10, which doesn't give as good an HDR experience.
If color accuracy is more important, the Sony is a great choice. However, if you care about gaming just as much as color accuracy, the Samsung has a better balance of both.
The best TV for streaming in the budget category we've tested so far is the Hisense H9F. This is a great VA panel TV, capable of producing rich and vibrant colors, as well as deep and inky blacks. Its excellent peak brightness fights glare easily and delivers HDR content full of punchy highlights. Motion handling is outstanding due to its fast response time and high refresh rate, and its input lag is low enough to please even serious gamers. Unfortunately, there's no FreeSync support and it doesn't have an 'Auto Low Latency Mode', which is rather disappointing.
With Android TV, you can be sure that you'll find nearly anything you want. The Google Play Store is truly gigantic and most apps run very smoothly. You can also cast content to the TV using your smartphone or use voice control to search for content through the Google Assistant. The user interface is easy to understand and navigate, although you may have to get used to seeing some ads and suggested content on the home page.
The main downside with this TV is its poor viewing angles, so it's less ideal for large rooms or wide seating arrangements. On the upside, it handles reflections extremely well, making it suitable for viewing in very bright settings. Overall, this is an impressive TV for its budget-friendly price and it's definitely worth checking it out.
If you've already had a good experience with Roku TVs, then you should take a look at the TCL 6 Series/R625 2019. Like the Hisense H9F, 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 impressive peak brightness, but unfortunately, its viewing angles are just as bad. Motion handling isn't as good either, as it has a slower response time and a 60Hz refresh rate. However, black uniformity is significantly better and 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, go with 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.
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.