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 70 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.
Update 07/23/2021: Added the Sony A90J OLED as an alternative pick for the LG C1 OLED, as it's better for HDR but significantly more expensive.
The best 4k TV we tested with an OLED panel is the LG C1 OLED. It replaces 2020's LG CX OLED and delivers the same excellent overall performance that OLEDs are known for. It can individually turn off pixels, resulting in a near-infinite contrast ratio and perfect black uniformity, so there's no blooming around bright objects in dark scenes. The built-in webOS was redesigned in 2021, making it very easy to use, so you shouldn't have issues finding your favorite apps on it.
It's packed with gaming features like FreeSync and G-SYNC variable refresh rate (VRR) support. It has a near-instant response time that makes motion look extremely smooth, and the input lag is very low. There are four HDMI 2.1 inputs, so you can connect your PS5 or Xbox Series X and enjoy 4k gaming up to 120Hz, even in HDR. Speaking of HDR, it displays a wide color gamut. Its HDR brightness is just okay, and it may not be enough to truly make highlights pop, but it still delivers excellent HDR performance thanks to its high contrast ratio.
Unfortunately, OLEDs can suffer from the risk of permanent burn-in. This can happen with constant exposure to static elements like a news channel or computer interface, but we don't expect this to be an issue for most people. Our unit also has bad out-of-the-box accuracy, but this can vary between units, so your experience may be different. Regardless, this is one of the best 4k TVs we've tested.
If you want the best HDR experience possible from an OLED and don't care as much about gaming features, check out the Sony A90J OLED instead of the LG C1. It's quite a bit more expensive, but it delivers a better HDR experience when watching movies. It's a bit brighter with some content, so small highlights stand out more, and it has much better gradient handling. Sony TVs are well-known for their better processing, but we don't currently test TVs with these features enabled. It's also much more accurate out of the box, but this could vary between units, and we may have just been unlucky with our C1.
Overall, due to the significant price difference, the LG is the better choice for most people. If you don't mind the price difference and want the best HDR experience, the Sony is an amazing choice.
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, a new lineup that features Mini LED backlighting. It's packed with features that most people should enjoy. An advantage of owning an LED TV over an OLED is that it appears to be immune to permanent burn-in, so you don't have to worry about damaging the TV after constant exposure to static elements.
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 means that it makes highlights stand out in HDR content. 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.
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 want something cheaper, then look into the Hisense U8G. It doesn't have viewing angle technology like the Samsung QN90A QLED, so it has narrow viewing angles and isn't meant for a wide seating arrangement. However, that means it has a higher native contrast, and combined with its great local dimming feature, produces deep blacks for a great dark room viewing experience. Even though the Hisense doesn't have Mini LED backlighting like the Samsung, it still has excellent SDR peak brightness and impressive HDR brightness, so highlights pop how they should. New to this model compared to 2020's Hisense H9G is that it has HDMI 2.1 inputs and VRR support to reduce screen tearing. However, it has issues where the local dimming isn't available when VRR is active from an Xbox Series X.
If you want the best 4k TV in the LED category, you should be happy with the Samsung, but if you want to spend less money and don't mind the narrow viewing angles, check out the Hisense. As a budget brand, Hisense TVs don't seem as well-built as some of the competition, so if you're worried about longevity, the Samsung might be a safer choice as well.
The Vizio P Series Quantum X 2020 is the best 4k TV for watching HDR content we've tested. It's mainly available in larger sizes, so it's a good choice for rooms where you sit far from the TV. It's well-built and should look nice in any setup. Its SmartCast interface isn't the best because it feels laggy, and you can't download any extra apps, but you can cast nearly anything you want from your device.
It displays one of the widest color gamuts that we've tested, with near-perfect coverage of the commonly-used DCI P3 color space and great coverage of the wider Rec. 2020. It gets incredibly bright in HDR, so small highlights pop the way they should. With its VA panel, it has an outstanding contrast ratio, remarkable black uniformity, and its full-array local dimming feature further deepens any blacks, so it's great for watching HDR movies in dark rooms. If you also watch content in bright rooms, it gets bright enough to combat glare and has excellent reflection handling.
Sadly, it has trouble upscaling 480p and 720p content, so we don't suggest it for watching DVDs or content from cable boxes, but you shouldn't have issues with Blu-rays or native 4k content. Our unit has mediocre out-of-the-box color accuracy and a reddish tint that stays even after calibration, although this may be an issue with our unit alone. Regardless of these small problems, this is one of the best 4k TVs for watching HDR content.
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. Hisense TVs like the U6G don't seem to be as well-built as the more expensive competition, though, and some users have reported some quality issues.
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. It doesn't have extra gaming features, but you should still 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, so motion may stutter a bit 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 getting 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. Hisense TVs like the U6G don't seem to be as well-built as the more expensive competition, though, and some users have reported some quality issues.
If you prefer something with built-in Roku TV, which is easier to use than Android TV, then check out the TCL 5 Series/S535 2020 QLED. It doesn't get as bright as the Hisense U6G, so it's not as good of a choice for use in well-lit rooms or even for watching HDR content. However, the TCL has a higher native contrast ratio, and it displays deeper blacks because it still has a decent local dimming feature. It has a few good gaming perks like a quick response time, low input lag, and a black frame insertion feature, but it's limited to a 60Hz panel and doesn't support VRR. It displays a very wide color gamut for HDR, but as mentioned, it doesn't get bright enough to truly make highlights pop.
If you're on a budget and want the best 4k TV possible, you should be happy with the Hisense, but if you're a fan of Roku, then check out the TCL.
Jun 30, 2021: Replaced the Hisense H8G with the newer U6G; added the Samsung Q80A, Sony X85J, and LG A1 to Notable Mentions.
Jun 04, 2021: Replaced the Sony X90J with the Samsung QN90A because it gets brighter and performs better; replaced the Hisense H9G with the Hisense U8G and moved it to an alternative to the QN90A; updated Notable Mentions based on market availability.
May 05, 2021: Replaced the LG CX with the newer LG C1; replaced the Samsung Q80T with the Sony X90J because the Sony is easier to find and gets brighter in HDR; updated Notable Mentions based on market availability.
Apr 07, 2021: Verified accuracy of picks. No change in recommendations.
Mar 08, 2021: Reviewed accuracy of picks with minor updates to text.
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.