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.
We've tested 81 TVs and below are our recommendations for the best smart TVs you can buy in 2019. See also our recommendations for the best 4k TVs.
Note: Prices and availability fluctuate a lot at the beginning of the year. Since the beginning of the year, most manufacturers have started releasing replacements for their TV lines. Usually, these TVs tend to launch at very high prices and it is unlikely that these newer models will become reasonable choices until the latter half of the year, thus keeping the 2018 models in our recommendations for a few more months.
The best smart TV we tested so far is the LG B8. Just like all of 2018 LG's OLED lineup, this TV runs LG's smart platform webOS. It is a very intuitive operating system, easy to use, and gives you access to LG's app store. It is one of the most versatile app stores available, with lots of content and it is unlikely that you will not find an app to cover your viewing needs. This TV has a remarkable picture quality, just like the LG C8 and LG E8 of the 2018 LG OLED lineup which have a more premium look and thus are more expensive. This TV can display perfect blacks, delivering an outstanding dark room performance. HDR content sparkles with vivid colors and bright highlights. The viewing angles are great, so you can easily place it in a room with a wide seating arrangement. Finally, motion handling is excellent due to the nearly instantaneous response time and the low input lag makes games feel very responsive.
All OLEDs, and the LG B8, 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, the LG is the best smart TV for streaming that delivers an outstanding performance.
If the burn-in risk associated with OLEDs and thus the LG B8 is a concern, then get the Samsung Q9FN. It is the best LED/LCD Smart TV that we've tested so far. You will not get the wide viewing angles of the B8, and although blacks are deep in a dark room they are not perfect as on the OLED. On the upside, this TV has a great picture quality with excellent brightness and great HDR performance full of vivid colors and highlights that pop. It runs the latest version of Samsung's Tizen OS which is an easy-to-use, modern interface, with a great selection of apps and an 'Ambient' mode that displays pictures and even artwork while the TV is on standby. Overall, this is an excellent LED TV that will keep most happy.
If the LG B8 is too expensive, the best TV for streaming we've tested in the mid-range category is the Sony X900F. It does not have the wide viewing angles of the LG, nor will you get the perfect blacks of the OLEDs.
This TV has an impressive picture quality, with better dark room performance than more expensive models like the Samsung Q7FN, due to better local dimming that produces deeper blacks. HDR content playback is excellent, as it can produce bright and vivid highlights with very accurate colors. Motion handling is excellent, as the TV has a fast response time and the ability to flicker the backlight to make motion crisper.
Overall, the Sony X900F is a TV that can handle most usages very well. It runs Sony's version of the Android TV interface and will keep most people happy with its features and performance.
If you have a room with a wide seating arrangement and you want a TV with better viewing angles than the Sony X900F, get the LG SK9000. Blacks on the LG do not look as deep as on the Sony, due to the IPS panel. However, the picture quality is good, and the TV will perform well in most usages. It runs the latest version of WebOS, LG's smart operating system. On LG's app store, you will find a large variety of apps for download to suit any taste.
If you are looking for a great smart TV with better gaming performance than the Sony X900F, check out the Samsung NU8000. Although it lacks the X900F's full array local dimming feature, the NU8000 delivers very good overall picture quality, and it has less input lag for a more responsive gaming experience. It also supports new gaming features, including support for AMD's FreeSync variable refresh rate technology and auto low latency mode. The NU8000 also has the same great smart features as the Q9FN, 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. The R617 lacks the very fast response time or the outstanding reflection handling of the Sony.
On the bright side, the R617 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 is not found in more expensive models like the Sony X850F. The R617 runs Roku, a user-friendly smart platform that provides access to thousands of channels of internet streaming content including Netflix, YouTube, or Hulu. It is almost certain that you will find what you are looking for.
Overall, the TCL 6 Series is a very good TV that is 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 S Series 4k 2017 S405/S425. If you cannot find it, get the similar TCL 5 Series S517. The S405 cannot 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.
The S405 is being gradually replaced by the S425. They are the exact same internally, but there are some slight cosmetic changes.
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.