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 4k models available on the market. 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 50 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 TVs for PS5, and the best TVs for Xbox Series X.
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. It has HDMI 2.1 support on all four 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, and your experience may be different. Regardless, this is one of the best 4k TVs we've tested.
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 has fairly wide viewing angles thanks to Samsung's 'Ultra Viewing Angle' technology, so it's not a bad choice for wide seating arrangements.
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 the U8G 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.
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 H8G is one of the best TVs we've tested for those on a budget. It's a very good 4k TV that can compete with more expensive, higher-end models. It sits below the Hisense H9G in Hisense's 2020 lineup but still delivers the picture quality and many of the features you might expect from a more premium TV. It has Android TV built-in, which offers many apps to download through the Google Play Store, but may not always be the easiest to use.
It's great for watching movies in the dark, thanks to its high contrast ratio and full-array local dimming feature. It's also suited to well-lit rooms because it has decent reflection handling and gets bright enough to combat glare. HDR content looks good, and the TV has a wide color gamut, but it just doesn't get quite bright enough to make highlights in HDR content pop. It also supports both HDR10+ and Dolby Vision for HDR content.
As with most VA panels, it has narrow viewing angles that make the image look washed out when viewed from the side, so it's not the best option for a wide seating arrangement. It also lacks VRR support to reduce screen tearing in games. That said, it has a good response time, a Black Frame Insertion feature to reduce motion blur further, and low input lag, which should satisfy casual gamers. Overall, this is one of the best 4k TVs to get if you're on a budget.
If you prefer something with Roku TV as its operating system, look into the TCL 5 Series/S535 2020 QLED. Roku TV is easier to use than Android TV, the menu navigation feels smoother, and you still get a great selection of apps you can download. It doesn't get as bright as the Hisense H8G, but it displays a wider color gamut for HDR content. It has a VA panel with an incredible contrast ratio, good black uniformity, and a decent local dimming feature. It's also limited to a 60Hz panel, but the response time is still quick, and the input lag is low. Sadly, it's best to avoid using it in well-lit rooms because of its low peak brightness and only decent reflection handling. It's available in a wide range of sizes, and if you want to use it as a PC monitor, it displays proper chroma 4:4:4, which is great.
If you're on a budget and want one of the best 4k TVs that we've tested, then you can't go wrong with the Hisense, but if you're a fan of Roku TV, you should enjoy the TCL as well.
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.
Feb 18, 2021: Updated text for clarity; no changes to 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.