Unless there's a specific reason that you're looking for a 1080p TV, it's likely your next TV purchase will be a 4k TV. There are many factors you have to consider when looking for the best 4k TV, including the environment where you're going to watch TV. OLED models are ideal for watching content in dark rooms, while LEDs get much brighter. Choosing one TV over the next can come down to personal preference, and there's no perfect choice.
We've tested more than 90 TVs under the latest test bench, and below are our recommendations for the best 4k TVs you can buy. Also, check out our recommendations for the best TVs, the best TVs for PS5, and the best TVs for Xbox Series X.
The best 4k TV we've tested with an OLED panel is the LG C1 OLED. It's a premium TV that offers good value for its price compared to other OLEDs as it has a ton of gaming features, and it's excellent for most uses. It comes with a sleek center stand, and it has a thin design that sits close to the wall if you want to wall-mount.
OLEDs have an advantage because of how fantastic they look in dark rooms. They can turn each individual on and off, resulting in a near-infinite contrast ratio and perfect black uniformity, meaning blacks look deep and inky, and there's no blooming around bright objects. It has a 120Hz panel with four HDMI 2.1 inputs, meaning you can play 4k games up to 120 fps on it. It has native FreeSync and HDMI Forum Variable Refresh Rate (VRR) support to reduce screen tearing, and it's G-SYNC compatible. Lastly, it has low input lag and a quick response time.
Sadly, OLEDs risk permanent burn-in if exposed to the same static elements over a long period, but we don't expect this to be an issue if you watch varied content. Also, its HDR peak brightness is just okay, so some highlights may not stand out the way the creator intended, and there are some signs of banding in scenes with shades of different colors, like a sunset. Unless you need it for the best HDR experience possible, this is the best 4k TV we've tested in the OLED category.
If you're a movie lover and want the best movie-watching experience, check out the Sony A90J OLED. It doesn't have VRR support like the LG C1 OLED, but although OLED panels deliver similar picture quality, the Sony is a bit brighter, and it has much better gradient handling, so there's less banding in areas of similar shades. It's also far more accurate out of the box, so you don't have to worry about having it calibrated for an accurate image. Most people also tend to prefer the upscaling and image processing on Sony TVs. Unfortunately, the Sony is a bit limited for gaming, as even though it's supposed to receive an update to get some of the advanced gaming features like on the LG, its input lag may be a bit too high for competitive gamers.
If you want the best 4k TV with an OLED panel and want gaming features, you should be happy with the LG. If you want to spend a bit more on a brighter TV, check out the Sony.
The Samsung QN90A QLED is the best 4k TV with an LED panel that we've tested. It's Samsung's flagship 4k TV in their 2021 Neo QLED lineup, which features new Mini LED backlight technology. Mini LED is designed to achieve higher peak brightness and offers finer control of the backlight system, intending to deliver similar picture quality to an OLED panel without the risk of burn-in.
The Mini LED backlighting helps make this TV one of the brightest we've tested. Combined with its fantastic reflection handling, visibility shouldn't be an issue even in the brightest environments. This also results in a more impactful HDR experience, as highlights stand out more than on conventional LED or OLED TVs. In terms of dark room performance, it has a VA panel with a high native contrast ratio, exceptional black uniformity, and a great local dimming feature that makes blacks look black when viewed in the dark. It also has fairly wide viewing angles thanks to Samsung's 'Ultra Viewing Angle' technology, but that comes at the cost of slightly lower contrast.
Unfortunately, our unit has some dirty screen effect in the center, which could get distracting if you watch sports or if you want to use it as a PC monitor, but this can vary between units. Another thing that may change from unit to unit is the out-of-the-box accuracy; ours is outstanding, so you may not need to get it calibrated to enjoy it to the fullest. Overall, this is one of the best 4k TVs we've tested.
If you prefer a cheaper option, then check out the Hisense U8G. Although it lacks a few extra features like the 'Ultra Viewing Angle' layer compared to the Samsung QN90A QLED, it still delivers impressive performance and is a good choice for dark and bright rooms. It has a VA panel that displays deep blacks, and the great local dimming feature further deepens any blacks. Even in a well-lit environment, it has excellent reflection handling and gets bright enough to fight glare. It supports both Dolby Vision and HDR10+, so you won't have to worry about which HDR format your content is in, and it gets bright enough to make highlights pop. Sadly, though, you may notice some motion artifacts, particularly in Game Mode, like red ghosting that's an issue on the TV.
If you prefer an LED TV over an OLED, the Samsung is the best 4k TV we've tested, but if you want to spend less money, then look into the Hisense.
The Hisense U6G is the best budget 4k TV we've tested. Despite its low cost, it offers great overall performance that competes with more expensive options, and most people should be happy with it. It performs well both in dark and bright environments, and it has a few extra features to enhance the user experience. Its build quality isn't premium, but it's what you would expect for a budget TV.
It displays deep blacks thanks to the VA panel's high native contrast. It has a decent full-array local dimming feature that improves the contrast, and black uniformity is outstanding with minimal blooming around bright objects. It supports both HDR10+ and Dolby Vision HDR formats, displays a wide color gamut, and even though its HDR brightness is just okay, it still delivers a great HDR experience. If you tend to watch TV during the day in a bright room, it gets bright enough to combat glare and has excellent reflection handling. Gamers should be happy with the low input lag and quick response time.
Unfortunately, it doesn't have a motion interpolation feature, which is rare for modern TVs, meaning motion may stutter in lower-frame rate content. It can remove 24p judder from native 24p sources, but it can't do it from 60p/60i sources. The built-in Android TV has a ton of apps available to download, but it can take some time to get used to. Once you do, you should enjoy the smooth interface, and overall, this is one of the best budget 4k TVs we've tested.
Oct 21, 2021: Updated text for clarity; added the TCL 6 Series/R646 2021, TCL 5 Series/S535 2020, Hisense U7G, LG QNED90, Vizio P Series 2021, and TCL R745 to Notable Mentions.
Sep 23, 2021: Added the Sony X95J to the Notable Mentions, and removed the Vizio P Series Quantum X 2020, as it's starting to become hard to find. Verified the other picks for accuracy and refreshed the text.
Aug 27, 2021: Verified picks for accuracy; updated text for clarity.
Jul 30, 2021: Added the Sony A90J as HDR alternative to the LG C1 and moved the TCL 5 Series 2020 to Notable Mentions; added the LG G1 and Vizio M7 Series Quantum 2021 to Notable Mentions.
Jun 30, 2021: Replaced the Hisense H8G with the newer U6G; added the Samsung Q80A, Sony X85J, and LG A1 to Notable Mentions.
Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the best 4k TVs to buy for most people in each price range. We factor in the price (a cheaper TV wins over a pricier one if the difference isn't 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 4k TV reviews. 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.