Unless there's a specific reason that you're looking for a 1080p TV, you should be able to cover your needs with one of the many 4k models that are available on the market. There are many factors you have to consider when looking for the best 4k TV, including the environment in which 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 really come down to personal preference and there's no perfect choice.
We've tested more than 80 TVs in the last two years, and below are our recommendations for the best 4k TVs you can buy. Also, check out our recommendations for the best TVs, the best flat screen TVs, and the best smart TVs.
The LG CX is the best 4k TV that we've tested with an OLED panel. The biggest advantage of an OLED panel against a more traditional LED panel is that it can individually turn off pixels. This results in a near-infinite contrast ratio and perfect black uniformity, so blacks appear deep and inky when viewed in dark rooms. It also has wide viewing angles, which is great for large viewing areas.
It's packed with features that should please most people. It has variable refresh rate (VRR) support that helps to reduce screen tearing when gaming. All four of its HDMI inputs support HDMI 2.1, allowing it to display 4k @ 120Hz content, such as from a PS5 or Xbox Series X. It has a low input lag and a near-instant response time that produces clear motion. For fans of the 'Soap Opera Effect', it's able to interpolate lower frame rate content up to 120fps. It also has good built-in speakers, but if you want the best sound experience possible, it has eARC support, allowing you to send high-quality, uncompressed audio to a compatible receiver over an HDMI connection.
Sadly, like any OLED TV, it has the risk of permanent burn-in. This could be a problem if you constantly watch the same content with static elements, such as the news, but we don't expect this to be a problem for those who watch varied content. Luckily, it has great out-of-the-box color accuracy, so you may not need to get it calibrated to enjoy it to the fullest. All said, this is the best 4k TV if you want an OLED panel.
The best 4k LED TV that we've tested is the Samsung Q80/Q80T QLED. One advantage of owning an LED TV over an OLED is the fact that they're immune to permanent burn-in. You won't have to worry about damaging your screen even if you constantly leave it on the same news channel all day or use it as a PC monitor. Speaking of which, it displays proper chroma 4:4:4, which is important for reading fine text.
It has great peak brightness and outstanding reflection handling, so you shouldn't have many issues even in the brightest of rooms. It displays a wide color gamut, has very good gradient handling, and gets bright enough to make highlights stand out in HDR. Its VA panel has an added 'Ultra Viewing Angle', which helps it provide fairly wide viewing angles at the cost of its contrast; however, it still has a great native contrast ratio, and the full-array local dimming feature helps further deepen any blacks. Even the most serious of gamers should appreciate its 4k @ 120Hz and VRR support, excellent response time, and incredibly low input lag. It also has excellent out-of-the-box color accuracy, but this may vary between units.
Our unit has some uniformity issues with dirty screen effect in the center. This could get distracting during sports or when it displays areas with uniform color, but it also varies between units. It displays lower-resolution content without any issues and removes judder from any source. The built-in Tizen OS is easy-to-use, and there are many apps you can download on it. Overall, most people should enjoy this LED model.
The Vizio P Series Quantum X 2020 is the best 4k TV for watching HDR content we've tested. It's great overall with excellent HDR performance. It's mainly available in larger sizes, from 65 to 75 inches, and an 85 inch model should be released eventually. It's well-built and should look nice in any setup.
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 really pop the way they should, and it has excellent gradient handling. 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 it's not suggested 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, but this may be an issue with our unit alone. Regardless of these small problems, if you want to watch HDR content, this is one of the best 4k TVs for doing so.
If you want a cheaper option, then check out the Hisense H9G. It doesn't display as wide of a color gamut as the Vizio P Series Quantum X 2020, but it still delivers an excellent HDR performance. The Hisense has an outstanding contrast ratio, incredible black uniformity, and a great local dimming feature, making blacks appear as they should when viewed in the dark. It has great peak brightness in HDR, so highlights pop the way the creator intended. It upscales lower-resolution content well, and it removes 24p judder from any source. Sadly, it has narrow viewing angles, which is expected from a VA panel, and some may be disappointed to know it doesn't support any VRR for gaming. It has excellent reflection handling and amazing peak brightness in HDR if you also want to use it in a well-lit environment.
If you simply want the best 4k TV for watching HDR content, the Vizio delivers an excellent HDR experience, but if you want to save some money, then you can't go wrong with the Hisense.
The best 4k TV in the budget category we've tested is the Hisense H8G. It's an all-around good model that delivers great picture quality and suitable for nearly any type of setting. Like most VA panel TVs, it has a high contrast ratio to deliver deep blacks, and it has a full-array local dimming feature to further enhance black level. It has decent reflection handling and gets bright enough to fight glare, so visibility shouldn't be an issue in well-lit environments. Unfortunately, you do lose image accuracy when viewing from the side, which isn't ideal for wide seating areas.
It can deliver an okay HDR experience, as it has outstanding coverage of the commonly-used DCI P3 color gamut, but it doesn't get bright enough in HDR to truly make highlights stand out. It's reasonably well-calibrated out-of-the-box, but if you want the best viewing experience, it might be worth getting a professional calibration. It has a good response time and a Black Frame Insertion feature to deliver fast-moving scenes with minimal blur, great for watching sports or playing fast-paced games. Input lag is amazingly low; however, some gamers may be disappointed by the 60Hz refresh rate and lack of VRR support.
The Android TV platform is somewhat easy to use, and you can find nearly everything you need thanks to the Google Play Store, but you may feel like it's laggy at times. The remote control has a built-in microphone, allowing you to search for content or ask for info like the weather using the Google Assistant. It's also cast-capable, so anyone connected to your Wi-Fi network can cast content onto the screen. All in all, this is a wallet-friendly option that most people should be happy with.
If you want a 4k TV with built-in Roku TV, which is easier-to-use than Android TV, look into the TCL 5 Series/S535 2020 QLED. The Hisense H8G is much brighter, but the TCL displays a much wider color gamut for HDR content. It has great out-of-the-box color accuracy, upscales lower-resolution content without any issues, and removes 24p judder from any source, which is rare for a 60Hz TV. The TCL also lacks many extra gaming features, but that's what you expect for an option in this price range. However, it has a very quick response time and an incredibly low input lag. Sadly, it's not the best choice for bright or large rooms because it has narrow viewing angles and low peak brightness. On the upside, it displays chroma 4:4:4 if you want to use it as a computer monitor.
The Hisense is the best budget 4k TV that we've tested, but if you prefer something with Roku TV included, so you don't have to buy an external box, then look into the TCL.
12/22/2020: Moved the Samsung Q80T QLED to its own 'Best LED' category; replaced the Vizio M7 Series with the TCL 5 Series.
11/26/2020: Replaced TCL 5 Series/S535 2020 QLED with Vizio M7 Series Quantum 2020.
10/30/2020: Minor updates to text for clarity; no changes to picks.
10/01/2020: Removed the Vizio P Series Quantum X 2019 and moved the Samsung Q80T in its spot; replaced the Sony X950H with the Vizio P Series Quantum X 2020 and added the Hisense H9G; replaced the TCL 6 Series 2019 with the 5 Series 2020.
07/09/2020: Replaced the LG B9 with the LG CX; replaced the Sony X950G with the X950H; replaced the Hisense H9F with the H8G and added the TCL 6 Series as Roku Alternative; removed the Q80R from the picks.
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.