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The 6 Best Smart TVs For Streaming - Summer 2022 Reviews

Updated
Best Smart TVs

All new 4k TVs come equipped with a smart platform. Some manufacturers choose to use proprietary platforms, while others prefer to integrate third-party options like Google TV, Android, or Roku. No matter the case, the selection of apps is great, and the most common streaming apps are available on almost all platforms. Choosing the best smart platform is based on your needs and personal preferences for which smart OS you enjoy using the most, and there's no perfect solution for everyone.

We've tested more than 100 TVs on our latest test bench, and below are our recommendations for the best smart TVs you can buy. See our picks for the best Roku TVs, the best TVs, and the best 4k TVs.


  1. Best OLED Smart TV For Streaming

       
    Pros Cons
       
    • Wide viewing angles.
    • Great selection of streaming apps.
    • Upscales non-4k content well.
    • Not bright enough for very sunny rooms.
    • Risk of permanent burn-in with static content.

    The best OLED smart TV we've tested is the LG C1 OLED. It provides excellent overall performance that delivers stunning picture quality in dark rooms, and it's also good enough to use in well-lit rooms. The built-in LG webOS is easy-to-use and has a bunch of apps available to download, and there are also gaming features if you want to play video games. It also does an excellent job at upscaling lower resolution content, which is great if you don't stream in 4k.

    OLED TVs are unique because they don't have a backlight and instead have individually-lit pixels that turn themselves on and off. It means that it has a near-infinite contrast ratio for deep blacks, and there's no blooming around bright objects either, making it a fantastic choice for dark room viewing. LG TVs like this one come with a unique remote called the Magic Remote. It's different than remotes from other brands because it has a point-and-press feature, like a Wii remote. It allows you to easily navigate through the menu to open your favorite apps.

    If you watch HDR movies, you should be happy to know it has excellent performance for this, but its HDR peak brightness is a bit limited. It means that some highlights don't pop the way they should. Also, while it has excellent gradient handling, you'll still notice banding in scenes with shades of similar color. If that doesn't bother you, it's the best smart OLED TV that we've tested.

    See our review

  2. Best OLED Smart TV For Movies

       
    Pros Cons
       
    • Google TV platform is smooth and easy to use.
    • Image remains accurate at a wide angle.
    • Fantastic reflection handling.

    If you tend to watch a lot of movies, then the Sony A90J OLED is the best TV for streaming movies that we've tested with an OLED panel. Although all OLEDs deliver the same perfect black levels without any blooming, this one stands out versus the LG C1 OLED because it uses a brighter OLED panel, so highlights are vivid and pop more, especially in HDR. 

    While it doesn't get bright enough for very well-lit environments, it's fantastic for watching movies in dark rooms, whether you're watching content in SDR or HDR. It displays a wide range of colors in HDR, and it has excellent out-of-the-box accuracy, so you won't need to get it calibrated to enjoy it to the fullest. It also has amazing gradient handling, so you won't see any banding in scenes with shades of similar colors, and it doesn't have any trouble upscaling lower-resolution content like from DVDs and Blu-rays.

    Sadly, while it's better for watching movies than the C1, it's not as good for gaming because it has higher input lag and doesn't support FreeSync VRR to reduce screen tearing with an AMD graphics card. So get this TV if you watch movies, but it's not the best choice if you also want to use it for gaming. If gaming isn't your top priority, it's the best OLED TV for streaming movies.

    See our review

  3. Best LED Smart TV For Streaming

       
    Pros Cons
       
    • Great selection of streaming apps.
    • Gets bright enough to combat glare.
    • Fantastic reflection handling.
    • Some dirty screen effect visible in the center.
    • No Dolby Vision support.

    The best TV for streaming with an LED panel that we've tested is the Samsung QN90A QLED. If you're worried about the permanent burn-in risk with OLEDs or simply want something brighter, a TV with an LED panel is a good choice because it's immune to burn-in. This model has Mini LED backlighting that lets it get extremely bright, important for bright room viewing.

    Even in a dark room, it has a VA panel with a great native contrast ratio. However, it's lower than other VA panel TVs because it uses Samsung's 'Ultra Viewing Angle' layer technology for a fairly wide viewing angle. Still, it has a great Mini LED local dimming feature that further deepens any blacks with minimal blooming. It's excellent for watching movies, thanks to this, and the Tizen OS makes it easy to stream your favorite content because it has a ton of apps available to download.

    Unfortunately, it has some uniformity issues with dirty screen effect in the center, which could get distracting while watching some movies or shows with large areas of bright colors. It supports the HDR10+ format but not Dolby Vision, which is disappointing as a lot of streaming content uses this format. If that isn't a problem, it's the best LED TV for streaming.

    See our review

  4. Cheaper Alternative

       
    Pros Cons
       
    • Non-4k content is upscaled without any issues.
    • Excellent reflection handling.
    • High peak brightness.
    • Not suitable for a wide seating arrangement.
    • Some uniformity issues.

    If you prefer spending less money, then check out the Hisense U8G. It has a worse viewing angle than the Samsung QN90A QLED because it doesn't use any viewing angle technology. However, that means it also has a higher native contrast ratio. Even though the U8G doesn't have Mini LED backlighting, it still gets bright enough to make highlights stand out in HDR, and the local dimming feature is also great. The Android TV is user-friendly, and the Google Play Store has a massive selection of apps you can download, but it also takes a bit of time to get used to. If you want to use it for gaming on the side, it has HDMI 2.1 bandwidth and variable refresh rate support but has some motion issues like red ghosting.

    If you want an LED TV to stream your favorite content, the Samsung is a great all-around choice. If you want something cheaper, then the Hisense is a good alternative.

    See our review

  5. Best Budget Smart TV For Streaming

       
    Pros Cons
       
    • Huge selection of streaming apps.
    • Lower resolution content is upscaled well.
    • Decent reflection handling.
    • Not suitable for a wide seating arrangement.

    The best smart TV you can get for a low cost that we've tested is the Hisense U6G. It's a great all-around TV that offers versatile performance and is good enough for people using it for most uses, whether you like to watch movies or sports, or if you're also a gamer, and it's available in a wide range of sizes.

    It comes with Android TV built-in, so you have a massive selection of apps right at your fingertips. The remote has a mic for voice control, and it gives you access to both Google Assistant and Alexa, so you can use it to control other compatible devices. Some people find that Android TV isn't the easiest to use, but navigating through menus feels smooth. In terms of picture quality, it has a VA panel with a high native contrast ratio and remarkable black uniformity, and the full-array local dimming feature helps it display deep blacks in dark scenes.

    Unfortunately, as expected for a VA panel, it has a narrow viewing angle, and the image looks washed out from the sides, meaning it's not ideal for wide seating arrangements. Although it gets bright enough in SDR to combat glare, its HDR peak brightness is just okay, and some highlights aren't as vivid as they should be. Besides that, it's one of the best smart budget TVs we've tested.

    See our review

  6. Best Budget Smart TV With Roku

       
    Pros Cons
       
    • Great selection of streaming apps.
    • Upscales lower-resolution content well.
    • Decent reflection handling.
    • Not suitable for a wide seating arrangement.
    • Doesn't get bright enough to overcome glare in bright rooms.

    The best budget smart TV we've tested that uses the Roku TV platform is the TCL 5 Series/S535 2020 QLED. Although this is a 2020 model, you can still find it in 2022 because TCL hasn't released a newer model with Roku. It's an easy-to-use smart platform, amongst the most user-friendly interfaces out of all the platforms available, and it has a great selection of apps you can download through the app store.

    It performs great in dark rooms because it has a high native contrast ratio that produces deep blacks, and it has a decent local dimming feature that improves the picture quality in dark scenes. The black uniformity is also good, but there's some blooming around bright objects in dark scenes. It displays a really wide color gamut for HDR thanks to its quantum dot technology, and it has impressive gradient handling with minimal banding, so HDR content looks good.

    Unfortunately, it's not a bright TV as it has low peak brightness in SDR and HDR, meaning it doesn't get bright enough to fight glare in well-lit rooms or make highlights stand out in HDR. Also, its reflection handling is only decent, so it's best to avoid placing it in a bright room. However, it's still one of the best smart budget TVs we've tested.

    See our review

Notable Mentions

  • Samsung QN85A QLED: The Samsung QN85A is a great TV with a wide viewing angle, but the Samsung QN90A QLED is a much better choice for watching movies because it delivers deeper blacks. See our review
  • Sony A80J OLED: The Sony A80J OLED is similar to the LG C1 in terms of picture quality, but considering its price, it's worth getting the more versatile C1. See our review
  • TCL 6 Series/R646 2021 QLED: The TCL 6 Series/R646 2021 QLED is a great TV with Google TV, which is similar to the Android TV on the Hisense. However, its local dimming feature isn't as good, so it's worth getting the Hisense instead. See our review
  • LG QNED90: The LG QNED90 is a high-end LED TV with Mini LED backlighting like the Samsung QN90A, but it has a much worse contrast because it has an IPS-like panel. See our review
  • Sony X90J: The Sony X90J is comparable to the Hisense U8G as it has Google TV and the same gaming features, but it's more expensive, so the Hisense offers better value. See our review
  • LG G1 OLED: The LG G1 is a slightly brighter alternative to the LG C1, but considering their cost and how they deliver similar picture quality, it's worth getting the C1 instead. See our review
  • Hisense U6GR: The Hisense U6GR has Roku TV like the TCL 5 Series/S535 2020, and it has more gaming features like VRR, but it's also a bit harder to find as it's only sold at a couple of retailers. See our review
  • TCL 5 Series/S546 2021 QLED: The TCL 5 Series/S546 is a newer version of the TCL 5 Series/S535 2020 QLED TV with more gaming features, but it has Google TV and not Roku TV. See our review
  • Hisense U7G: The Hisense U7G is between the Hisense U8G and Hisense U6G in terms of cost and performance, but if you want the best value go for the U8G, and if you're on a budget, go for the U6G, so the U7G isn't worth it. See our review
  • Insignia F50 QLED: The Insignia F50 is an entry-level TV that comes with the Amazon Fire TV interface, and it uses quantum dot technology to display a wide range of colors, but for a bit more, you can get the Hisense U6G which has local dimming. See our review
  • Sony X85J: The Sony X85J is a good TV that's available in a wide range of sizes, and it has more gaming features than the Hisense U6G, but it's also too expensive to be considered a budget TV, and it doesn't have a local dimming feature. See our review
  • LG C2 OLED: The LG C2 OLED is a slight improvement over its predecessor, the LG C1 OLED, but it's currently significantly more expensive. If you can find the C2 for less than the C1, get the new model. See our review
  • Samsung QN90B QLED: The Samsung QN90B QLED is a bit brighter than the Samsung QN90A QLED in some scenes, but the QN90A is slightly better overall. The QN90B isn't worth spending more on over the QN90A. See our review

Recent Updates

  1. Apr 21, 2022: Moved the Sony A90J OLED to its own category as 'Best OLED For Movies' for consistency and moved the TCL 5 Series/S535 2020 QLED to its own category as 'Best Budget Roku TV' to reflect user needs; added the Sony X85J to Notable Mentions.

  2. Mar 25, 2022: Verified picks for availability and updated text for clarity; added the Insignia F50 QLED to Notable Mentions.

  3. Feb 25, 2022: Updated text for clarity and verified picks for availability.

  4. Jan 26, 2022: Verified picks for availability and updated text for accuracy; added the Hisense U6GR and the Amazon Fire TV Omni Series to Notable Mentions.

  5. Dec 22, 2021: Verified our picks for accuracy and refreshed the text.

What Is A Smart TV?

A smart TV is a television connected to the internet that provides web-related features. There are built-in apps for streaming, and there's usually an app store where you can download your favorite apps. Built-in smart platforms are similar to streaming boxes from Apple and Roku, and while smart TVs were once slower, they've since equaled the performance of a streaming box.

Not only does almost every TV include smart features, but most of them are also pretty good. LG's WebOS and TCL's Roku stand out for their quality. However, most shoppers should be pleased by the features of any of the smart platforms. Don't fret too much about features if you're shopping for a TV because the picture quality is still more important. Instead, focus on the picture quality or other features that complement your usage, and you'll get much closer to finding your perfect TV that way.

Learn more about smart platforms

All Reviews

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.

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