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 80 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 as last year's models are gradually replaced by newer ones.
The LG B8 is the best smart TV we’ve tested so far. It runs LG's smart platform webOS, which is packed with apps available for download. It is highly unlikely that you will not find the right app to cover your viewing needs. The picture quality of the B8 is remarkable and equally good as the more expensive LG C8. The B8 displays perfect blacks and this makes dark room performance outstanding. It has a wide color gamut with vivid colors and bright highlights that look great when watching HDR. Viewing angles are very good, and this makes the TV suitable for a room with a wide seating arrangement. Finally, it has excellent motion handling and a very low input lag which make it a good choice for playing games or using it as a PC monitor.
Just like all OLEDs, the B8 runs the risk of temporary image retention and the risk of burn-in if you display static images over a prolonged period of time. However, in normal varied use, we don't expect people to experience this.
Overall, the LG B8 is the best TV for streaming and it has an outstanding performance in most usages.
If you are concerned about the burn-in risk of the LG B8, then the best smart LED TV is the Samsung Q9FN (the Samsung Q8FN, has very similar performance, but the Q9FN is better in a dark room). You will not have the instantaneous response time or the great viewing angles of the LG B8, but on the upside, the Samsung Q9FN will keep you happy with its performance in almost any usage. The Q9FN has a great picture quality, excellent brightness, and very good dark room performance. It runs the latest version of Samsung's Tizen OS, also known as Smart Hub, which gives you access to Samsung's app store with a large number of apps to cover almost any need.
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 B8 nor will you get the perfect blacks of the OLEDs.
The Sony X900F 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 gaming alternative to the Sony X900F with lower input lag, then get the Samsung NU8000. The NU8000 does not have as good a local dimming as the Sony and the picture quality is not as great. However, it has an excellent low input lag and supports variable refresh rate that will be appreciated by gamers. It is a very good TV that runs Samsung's 2018 Tizen smart platform, also known as Smart Hub, with a great number of available apps. This TV will perform well in almost any usage.
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 and 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.