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 best smart TV we've tested so far is the LG B9 OLED. It runs the latest version of LG's smart platform, webOS, an easy to use and very intuitive operating system. It gives you access to LG's app store, one of the most complete app stores. Just like all OLED TVs, the B9 has a remarkable picture quality. Darkroom performance is outstanding thanks to the perfect blacks, while HDR content displays vivid colors and bright highlights. It has excellent viewing angles and is a good fit for wide seating arrangements. It has an almost instantaneous response time, and fast-moving content looks very crisp. Finally, it has a low input lag that offers a very responsive gaming experience.
Just like all OLEDs, this TV runs the risk of temporary image retention and permanent burn-in if you display static content over a prolonged period. However, in normal, varied use, we don't expect this to be an issue.
Overall, the LG B9 the best TV for streaming and it delivers an outstanding performance.
If the risk of permanent burn-in concerns you, then get the Samsung Q80/Q80R QLED. You will not get the perfect blacks or the excellent wide viewing angles of the OLEDs, but you will be getting an excellent overall TV with great smart features. It has 'Ultra Viewing Angle' technology that enhances viewing angles at the expense of contrast ratio, but nonetheless will still deliver great dark room performance and can get very bright. It has great smart features thanks to the latest version of Samsung's Tizen OS. It is a modern and easy-to-use interface with a large selection of apps, sure to cover any need. This TV features an 'Ambient' mode that displays artwork or pictures while the TV is on standby.
Get the LG B9 if you want the best picture quality, but if burn-in is a concern, the Samsung Q80R is an excellent QLED with great smart features.
If you care for accurate colors out of the box just as much as for a great interface, then get the Sony X950G. Although it doesn't have the perfect blacks of the OLEDs, you can get this TV to display outstanding color accuracy right out of the box, with just a few minor setting changes. This TV has something for everyone. Colors are impressive, the picture quality is great, motion handling is excellent, and input lag is low. It also supports HDR10 and Dolby Vision, including from most supported streaming apps, so you can enjoy the latest formats.
The X950G runs Android Oreo 8.0 and provides you access to Google Play Store where you can find almost any app you need. It has a well-organized interface, and you can easily choose what to watch with no need to browse countless menus.
Unfortunately, just like most VA panel TV, the image loses accuracy when viewed from the side, so it isn't ideal if you watch while moving around. Overall, though, this is a great TV for almost any use.
If you often move around while watching TV, the LG SM9000 is a better choice than the Sony X950G. This TV has much better viewing angles than the Sony, so the image remains accurate for wider angles when you're walking around. The LG SM9000 runs LG's proprietary WebOS, which has very large app selection. Unfortunately, this TV doesn't perform so good in a dark room, and can't get as bright as the Sony.
Overall, if you're looking for the best color accuracy and prefer the Android OS, get the Sony X950G. If wider viewing angles are more important, get the LG SM9000.
If you want better gaming performance than the Sony X950G, then get the Samsung Q70/Q70R QLED. You will not get reflection handling of Sony, but this TV has a much lower input lag, and gamers will appreciate the gaming goodies that come along with this TV. The Q70R 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.
If color accuracy is more important, the Sony X950G is the way to go. However, if you care for gaming just as much as color accuracy, the Samsung Q70R has a better balance of both.
The best smart TV in the budget category we’ve tested is the Hisense H9F. This TV lacks the Sony's excellent reflection handling, but on this upside, the overall performance is not far behind and it is significantly cheaper.
The H9F has a good picture quality that performs very well in most uses. It can get very bright and can deliver HDR content with vivid colors and highlights that pop. It looks great in a dark room, thanks to the deep blacks produced by the high native contrast ratio and its local dimming support. Motion handling is excellent and fast-moving content looks crisp thanks to the very fast response. Gaming is also an exceptional experience thanks to remarkably low input lag. It runs the Android TV 8.0 smart platform, just like the Sony X950G, and offers you access to the Google Play Store and its great app selection. Its interface is easy to navigate and quite intuitive.
Unfortunately, just like all LED TVs, the image deteriorates at an angle and our unit had some gray uniformity issues, but overall, this TV will keep most people happy.
If you are a fan of the Roku TV smart platform, then check out the TCL 6 Series/R617 2018. This TV doesn't have the same fast response time as the Hisense H9F, but on the upside, it has a better black frame insertion feature to compensate for the extra motion blur and can display more uniform blacks. The picture quality is great, and this TV won't let you down in any use. It 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, if you like the Android TV interface and you want the best budget smart TV out there, get the Hisense H9F. If, on the other hand, you prefer the Roku TV smart platform, then the TCL R617 is a great 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.
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.