Most TVs sold these days have a 4k resolution, except 8k and a few 720p or 1080p TVs. Since a lot of streaming content is in 4k, it's beneficial to have a 4k TV so it doesn't have to upscale anything. There are many factors you have to consider when looking for the best 4k TV, including 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 picks 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 mount it.
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 prefer something that's slightly better overall for watching movies and delivers the best movie-watching experience than the LG C1 OLED, then check out the Sony A90J OLED. All OLEDs deliver similar picture quality due to their near-infinite contrast and perfect black levels, but the few differences are in the processors or type of OLED panel used. Sadly, it doesn't currently have the same gaming features as the LG, like VRR support. However, it uses a different OLED panel type that lets it get brighter, especially in HDR, and highlights pop more. Also, it has much better gradient handling, so you shouldn't notice any banding, and some people may prefer its upscaling. Also, the out-of-the-box accuracy is excellent, which Sony TVs are known for.
If you want the best 4k TV with an OLED screen, the LG offers the best value and has a ton of gaming features, but if you're looking for the best movie experience possible, then 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. It also results in a more impactful HDR experience, as highlights stand out more than 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.
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. It also has fairly wide viewing angles thanks to Samsung's 'Ultra Viewing Angle' technology, but that comes at the cost of slightly lower native contrast. 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, you may notice some motion artifacts like red ghosting, particularly in Game Mode, which is 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.
If you're on a budget, then the Hisense U6G is the best 4k TV we've tested. It's a great all-around TV with a user-friendly Android TV interface, which is fairly easy to use. You get a massive selection of apps available to download through the Google Play Store, and the remote has a mic that gives you access to Google Assistant.
It doesn't have any trouble upscaling lower-resolution content, like from cable boxes or DVDs, making it a great choice to watch shows. Visibility won't be an issue even in rooms with a few lights around because it has excellent reflection handling, and it gets bright enough to fight glare. If you enjoy watching movies, it displays native 4k content perfectly, and the VA panel displays deep blacks, thanks to the high contrast. Its full-array local dimming feature is also decent at improving the picture quality in dark scenes, and even though there's a bit of blooming, it's not too noticeable.
Sadly, it's not a good choice for wide seating arrangements because, like other VA panel TVs, it has narrow viewing angles, and the image looks inaccurate as you move off-center. Also, while it displays a wide color gamut and supports both HDR10+ and Dolby Vision HDR formats, its HDR peak brightness is just okay, so some highlights don't pop the way they should. All things considered, if you don't want to spend too much money on a TV and don't mind only a few compromises, then the U6G is the best 4k TV we've tested.
Nov 19, 2021: Updated text for clarity and verified picks for availability; added the TCL 5 Series/S546 2021 to Notable Mentions.
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.
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.