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Updated , Dimitris Katsaounis

The 4 Best 1080p TVs - Fall 2018
Reviews

Best 1080p TVs
206 Televisions Tested
  • Store-bought TVs; no cherry-picked units
  • Retest after major updates
  • Easily comparable results
  • No ads; unbiased reviews
Learn more about our approach to product reviews here.

1080p TVs are no longer the norm. Almost every new model that comes to market is a 4k one even for budget models (see our 4k vs. 1080p TV comparison). So, unless there is a very specific reason you are looking for a 1080p model, upgrading to a 4k model will allow you to choose from a wider selection of TVs.

We've tested 5 TVs available in 1080p and below are our recommendations for the best 1080p TVs you can buy in 2018. See also our recommendations for the best cheap TVs.

Note: Prices and availability fluctuate a lot at the end of the year and especially after Black Friday.

  1. Best 1080p TV: TCL S305

    Usage Ratings - Version 1.2

    Test Benches:

    • 1.2: Winter 2018
    • 1.1: Summer 2017
    • 1.0: Winter 2015
    • 0.9: Winter 2014
    • 0.8: Winter 2013
    6.2
    Mixed Usage
    What it is: General purpose. The TV will be used for a variety of content and usages. Movies at night, TV shows during the day, video games from time to time, etc.
    Score components:
    5.8
    Movies
    What it is: Movies in the dark. The TV will be used for watching movies in a controlled environment, directly in front, in a home theater way. Mostly only high quality content, like Blu-rays, UHD Blu-rays, streaming and a little bit of HDR.
    Score components:
    6.9
    TV Shows
    What it is: TV Shows in a bright living room. The TV will be used in to watch TV shows, in a bright room during the day, from multiple viewing positions at different angles. The content watched has an average quality: cable, streaming, SD channels, etc.
    Score components:
    7.0
    Sports
    What it is: Sports in a living room. The TV will be used to watch sports during the day, like football or hockey. Usually watched with a group, so from multiple viewing position.
    7.0
    Video Games
    What it is: Video games. The TV will be used to play video games, directly in front, in a controlled light environment. Usually fast games, like online FPS, where motion blur and input lag is important.
    4.6
    HDR Movies
    What it is: HDR Movies and TV shows. The TV will be used to watch 4k UHD HDR content, with a wide color gamut and a high peak brightness. Either via UHD Blu-rays or HDR streaming.
    Score components:
    4.1
    HDR Gaming
    What it is: HDR Gaming. The TV will be used to play HDR video games using consoles that support it or on current generation gaming PCs. Xbox One S, PS4 Pro, GTX 10 series and AMD RX series graphics cards.
    6.6
    PC Monitor
    What it is: PC Monitor. The TV will be used as a PC monitor, from 2-3 feet away, either for productivity purposes or gaming. Sharp text is important, as well as a high resolution.
    Score components:
    Type : LED
    Sub-Type
    What it is: Type of display technology used by the TV.
    When it matters: Different technologies have different performance and are suited to different uses
    Good value: IPS maintains good color accuracy at an angle, but has a poor contrast ratio from in front. VA has great picture quality in front, but loses saturation at an angle. OLED maintains good color accuracy at an angle without any of the other issues seen with IPS and VA, as they keep good brightness and contrast at an angle.
    :
    VA
    Resolution : 1080p (except 28", 32")
    Sizes : 28" 32" 40" 43" 49"

    The best TV we’ve tested that is available in 1080p is the TCL S Series (S305). The S305 has decent picture quality, with great dark room performance thanks to a very good native contrast ratio. It has excellent low input lag for gaming on older 1080p consoles. The S305 is available in a variety of sizes, although the 28" and 32" models are limited to a 720p resolution.

    Unfortunately, it isn't very bright and can't overcome glare in a bright room. Motion handling is mediocre; it has a decent response time but lacks any advanced motion processing including motion interpolation.

    See our review

  2. Cheaper Alternative: TCL D100

    Type : LED
    Sub-Type
    What it is: Type of display technology used by the TV.
    When it matters: Different technologies have different performance and are suited to different uses
    Good value: IPS maintains good color accuracy at an angle, but has a poor contrast ratio from in front. VA has great picture quality in front, but loses saturation at an angle. OLED maintains good color accuracy at an angle without any of the other issues seen with IPS and VA, as they keep good brightness and contrast at an angle.
    :
    VA
    Resolution : 1080p
    Sizes : 32" 40" 49"

    If you find the TCL S305 expensive and do not care for the Roku TV smart platform, then get the TCL D100. It has a very similar performance to the S305 and it is cheaper. It has a mediocre picture quality with a high contrast ratio and it displays deep blacks in a dark room. It does not have any advanced features to improve the picture quality. The D100 does not have a smart platform and can be a good choice for those who already have a TV box or only care for Free To Air channels. Note that the 32'' model is limited to a  720p resolution.

    See our review

  3. Alternative with better viewing angles: LG LJ5500

    Type : LED
    Sub-Type
    What it is: Type of display technology used by the TV.
    When it matters: Different technologies have different performance and are suited to different uses
    Good value: IPS maintains good color accuracy at an angle, but has a poor contrast ratio from in front. VA has great picture quality in front, but loses saturation at an angle. OLED maintains good color accuracy at an angle without any of the other issues seen with IPS and VA, as they keep good brightness and contrast at an angle.
    :
    IPS
    Resolution : 1080p
    Sizes : 43" 49" 55"

    If you are looking for an alternative with better viewing angles than the TCL S305, then get the LG LJ5500. Blacks of the IPS panel of the LG are not as good as the TCL S305 and neither is the picture quality. On the other hand, the LG LJ5500 has wider viewing angles than the TCL, making it a better choice for large rooms where people might be watching from the side.

    See our review

  4. Best 32 inch 1080p TV: Samsung N5300

    Usage Ratings - Version 1.2

    Test Benches:

    • 1.2: Winter 2018
    • 1.1: Summer 2017
    • 1.0: Winter 2015
    • 0.9: Winter 2014
    • 0.8: Winter 2013
    6.2
    Mixed Usage
    What it is: General purpose. The TV will be used for a variety of content and usages. Movies at night, TV shows during the day, video games from time to time, etc.
    Score components:
    4.8
    Movies
    What it is: Movies in the dark. The TV will be used for watching movies in a controlled environment, directly in front, in a home theater way. Mostly only high quality content, like Blu-rays, UHD Blu-rays, streaming and a little bit of HDR.
    Score components:
    7.3
    TV Shows
    What it is: TV Shows in a bright living room. The TV will be used in to watch TV shows, in a bright room during the day, from multiple viewing positions at different angles. The content watched has an average quality: cable, streaming, SD channels, etc.
    Score components:
    7.6
    Sports
    What it is: Sports in a living room. The TV will be used to watch sports during the day, like football or hockey. Usually watched with a group, so from multiple viewing position.
    6.5
    Video Games
    What it is: Video games. The TV will be used to play video games, directly in front, in a controlled light environment. Usually fast games, like online FPS, where motion blur and input lag is important.
    4.4
    HDR Movies
    What it is: HDR Movies and TV shows. The TV will be used to watch 4k UHD HDR content, with a wide color gamut and a high peak brightness. Either via UHD Blu-rays or HDR streaming.
    Score components:
    4.5
    HDR Gaming
    What it is: HDR Gaming. The TV will be used to play HDR video games using consoles that support it or on current generation gaming PCs. Xbox One S, PS4 Pro, GTX 10 series and AMD RX series graphics cards.
    6.7
    PC Monitor
    What it is: PC Monitor. The TV will be used as a PC monitor, from 2-3 feet away, either for productivity purposes or gaming. Sharp text is important, as well as a high resolution.
    Score components:
    Type : LED
    Sub-Type
    What it is: Type of display technology used by the TV.
    When it matters: Different technologies have different performance and are suited to different uses
    Good value: IPS maintains good color accuracy at an angle, but has a poor contrast ratio from in front. VA has great picture quality in front, but loses saturation at an angle. OLED maintains good color accuracy at an angle without any of the other issues seen with IPS and VA, as they keep good brightness and contrast at an angle.
    :
    IPS
    Resolution : 1080p
    Sizes : 32"

    If you want a 32 inch TV and find that the 720p resolution of the TCL S305 is not enough, then get the Samsung N5300 (or last years Samsung M5300 if you can still find it). The Samsung N5300 is a decent TV with decent picture quality. It has a native resolution of 1080p and the image remains accurate when viewed at an angle. The gray uniformity is good and you will hardly notice any dirty screen effect when watching sports. 

    Unfortunately, the Samsung UN32N5300 cannot display deep blacks due to the low contrast ratio and dark room performance is lacking.

    Overall, this TV is suitable for smaller rooms like a kitchen or garage.

    See our review

Notable Mentions

  • Vizio D Series 1080p 2017. Decent budget TV available in a wide variety of sizes, but more expensive than the LG LJ5500. See our review

All Reviews

Our recommendation above is what we think is currently the best 1080p TV to buy for most people. We factor in the price (a cheaper TV wins over a pricier one if the difference isn't really worth it), feedback from our visitors and availability (no TVs that are difficult to find or almost out of stock everywhere).

If you would like to do the work of choosing yourself, here is the list of all our reviews of TVs that have a 1080p screen. 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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