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  1. Table of Contents
  2. Intro
  3. Best TV
    1. Alternative
  4. Mid-Range TV
    1. Alternative
  5. Budget TV
    1. Alternative
  6. All Reviews
  7. Q&A
Updated

The 6 Best LED TVs - Winter 2018
Reviews

Best LED TVs

You won't get the same picture quality as OLEDs with traditional LED/LCD TVs (check out our article about OLED vs LED), but they can get pretty close nowadays. In exchange though, there is many more TVs to choose from and a much wider variety of sizes and budgets that are filled by LCD TVs. Their biggest advantage is their brightness, sometimes getting close to to twice as bright as what OLEDs can. Unlike OLEDs, they are not really prone to burn-in, which is another good plus.

Our recommendations below are based on the 38 LED TVs we've reviewed in 2017. We've updated our picks for the winter of 2018.

Best LED TV: Sony X930E

Usage Ratings - Version 1.1
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Test Benches:

  • 1.1: Summer 2017
  • 1.0: Winter 2015
  • 0.9: Winter 2014
  • 0.8: Winter 2013
8.2
Mixed Usage
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What it is General purpose. The TV will be used for a variety of content and usages. Movies at night, TV shows during the day, video games from time to time, etc.
Score components:
8.5
Movies
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What it is Movies in the dark. The TV will be used for watching movies in a controlled environment, directly in front, in a home theater way. Mostly only high quality content, like Blu-rays, UHD Blu-rays, streaming and a little bit of HDR.
Score components:
8.1
TV Shows
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What it is TV Shows in a bright living room. The TV will be used in to watch TV shows, in a bright room during the day, from multiple viewing positions at different angles. The content watched has an average quality: cable, streaming, SD channels, etc.
Score components:
7.8
Sports
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What it is Sports in a living room. The TV will be used to watch sports during the day, like football or hockey. Usually watched with a group, so from multiple viewing position.
Score components:
8.4
Video Games
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What it is Video games. The TV will be used to play video games, directly in front, in a controlled light environment. Usually fast games, like online FPS, where motion blur and input lag is important.
8.6
HDR Movies
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What it is HDR Movies and TV shows. The TV will be used to watch 4k UHD HDR content, with a wide color gamut and a high peak brightness. Either via UHD Blu-rays or HDR streaming.
8.5
HDR Gaming
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What it is HDR Gaming. The TV will be used to play HDR video games using consoles that support it or on current generation gaming PCs. Xbox One S, PS4 Pro, GTX 10 series and AMD RX series graphics cards.
7.8
PC Monitor
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What it is PC Monitor. The TV will be used as a PC monitor, from 2-3 feet away, either for productivity purposes or gaming. Sharp text is important, as well as a high resolution.
55" 65"

The best LED TV for most people is the Sony X930E 4k Android TV. It's one of the brightest TV's we've ever tested, which combined with a few other features, make it one of the best choices for HDR.

While it technically uses an edge-lit system instead of the generally more powerful Full-Array type, its local-dimming is surprisingly effective. When combined with its already high native contrast, its picture quality gets quite close to the more expensive Sony Z9D. It's not far off when it comes to brightness either; with 1442 cd/m2 of peak brightness, it is the second brightest TV we've reviewed this past year.

While all those aspects affect HDR and general picture quality, it's no slouch with gaming or sports either. The X930E produces some of the best motion currently available, and its input lag is low. Its biggest downside is its viewing angle which is a bit narrow, but that is to be expected of VA Type LED TVs.

See our review

Larger Alternative: Sony Z9D

100" 65" 75"

If the size range of the Sony X930E is too small or if you have a high budget and really want the best of the best, the Sony Z9D is the model to buy. It is the flagship model in Sony's line of TVs and it can be found in sizes ranging from 65 inches up to an enormous 100 inches. Its local dimming is the best we've tested, making it an HDR powerhouse.

See our review

Best Mid-Range LED TV: Sony X900E

Usage Ratings - Version 1.1
Show Help

Test Benches:

  • 1.1: Summer 2017
  • 1.0: Winter 2015
  • 0.9: Winter 2014
  • 0.8: Winter 2013
8.1
Mixed Usage
Show Help
What it is General purpose. The TV will be used for a variety of content and usages. Movies at night, TV shows during the day, video games from time to time, etc.
Score components:
8.5
Movies
Show Help
What it is Movies in the dark. The TV will be used for watching movies in a controlled environment, directly in front, in a home theater way. Mostly only high quality content, like Blu-rays, UHD Blu-rays, streaming and a little bit of HDR.
Score components:
7.9
TV Shows
Show Help
What it is TV Shows in a bright living room. The TV will be used in to watch TV shows, in a bright room during the day, from multiple viewing positions at different angles. The content watched has an average quality: cable, streaming, SD channels, etc.
Score components:
7.9
Sports
Show Help
What it is Sports in a living room. The TV will be used to watch sports during the day, like football or hockey. Usually watched with a group, so from multiple viewing position.
Score components:
8.3
Video Games
Show Help
What it is Video games. The TV will be used to play video games, directly in front, in a controlled light environment. Usually fast games, like online FPS, where motion blur and input lag is important.
8.4
HDR Movies
Show Help
What it is HDR Movies and TV shows. The TV will be used to watch 4k UHD HDR content, with a wide color gamut and a high peak brightness. Either via UHD Blu-rays or HDR streaming.
8.1
HDR Gaming
Show Help
What it is HDR Gaming. The TV will be used to play HDR video games using consoles that support it or on current generation gaming PCs. Xbox One S, PS4 Pro, GTX 10 series and AMD RX series graphics cards.
7.7
PC Monitor
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What it is PC Monitor. The TV will be used as a PC monitor, from 2-3 feet away, either for productivity purposes or gaming. Sharp text is important, as well as a high resolution.
49" 55" 65" 75"

The Sony X900E 4k LED TV is the best pick in the mid-range category. It's essentially a Sony X930E, with the biggest difference being the brightness levels.
That isn't to say that the Sony X900E is a dim TV. While it can't reach the impressive levels of the X930E and Z9D, it still sits on the upper end of the TVs released in 2017. Its local dimming is also quite good, and it shares the same versatility of higher-end Sony TVs.

Overall, if you don't mind sacrificing a little bit of the HDR performance for some pretty significant savings, the Sony X900E is easily the way to go. It clearly outperforms competing models like the Samsung MU8000 and LG SJ8500.

See our review

Simpler Alternative: Samsung MU8000

49" 55" 65" 75" 82"

If the picture quality in a dark room isn't your main focus and you're fine with a TV that offers a little less of it but is still very versatile, go for the Samsung MU8000 4k LED TV. It does well with most usages and comes with a snappier and more intuitive set of smart features, all for a little less than the Sony X900E.

See our review

Best Budget LED TV: TCL P607

Usage Ratings - Version 1.1
Show Help

Test Benches:

  • 1.1: Summer 2017
  • 1.0: Winter 2015
  • 0.9: Winter 2014
  • 0.8: Winter 2013
7.6
Mixed Usage
Show Help
What it is General purpose. The TV will be used for a variety of content and usages. Movies at night, TV shows during the day, video games from time to time, etc.
Score components:
7.6
Movies
Show Help
What it is Movies in the dark. The TV will be used for watching movies in a controlled environment, directly in front, in a home theater way. Mostly only high quality content, like Blu-rays, UHD Blu-rays, streaming and a little bit of HDR.
Score components:
7.2
TV Shows
Show Help
What it is TV Shows in a bright living room. The TV will be used in to watch TV shows, in a bright room during the day, from multiple viewing positions at different angles. The content watched has an average quality: cable, streaming, SD channels, etc.
Score components:
7.0
Sports
Show Help
What it is Sports in a living room. The TV will be used to watch sports during the day, like football or hockey. Usually watched with a group, so from multiple viewing position.
Score components:
8.5
Video Games
Show Help
What it is Video games. The TV will be used to play video games, directly in front, in a controlled light environment. Usually fast games, like online FPS, where motion blur and input lag is important.
7.6
HDR Movies
Show Help
What it is HDR Movies and TV shows. The TV will be used to watch 4k UHD HDR content, with a wide color gamut and a high peak brightness. Either via UHD Blu-rays or HDR streaming.
8.2
HDR Gaming
Show Help
What it is HDR Gaming. The TV will be used to play HDR video games using consoles that support it or on current generation gaming PCs. Xbox One S, PS4 Pro, GTX 10 series and AMD RX series graphics cards.
7.7
PC Monitor
Show Help
What it is PC Monitor. The TV will be used as a PC monitor, from 2-3 feet away, either for productivity purposes or gaming. Sharp text is important, as well as a high resolution.
55"

The best budget LED TV is the TCL P607 4k Roku TV. It comes packed with features not usually found on budget models like wide color gamuts and full-array local dimming.

While its general picture quality is above average, gaming is where the TCL P607 stands out the most. Its HDR capabilities and impressively low 14ms of input lag keep it responsive and make it a perfect match for newer consoles like the Xbox One X. Not only that, its Roku smart platform is also better than average, and a lot more intuitive than most comparable systems found in budget TVs.

Its viewing angle is quite narrow, but that is, unfortunately, to be expected of most LCD TVs. While the Vizio M Series 2017 offers a little better picture quality in a dark room, the added versatility and ease of use of the TCL P607 make it the best budget TV for most people.

See our review

Cheaper Alternative: TCL S405

43" 49" 55" 65"

If you're just looking for a basic 4k LED TV that offers good smart features and decent picture quality, go for the TCL S405. It is essentially a stripped down version of the TCL P607 without the HDR related features like wide color gamut and local dimming. It otherwise comes with the same smart features and low input lag, although it isn't as bright as the more expensive model.

See our review

Notable Mentions

  • Samsung Q7F. Good TV, but performs worse than the Sony X930E. See our review
  • Samsung Q8C. Rare high-end curved TV, but its performance doesn't match its price. See our review
  • Samsung Q9F. Good TV with great colors, but highly overpriced. See our review
  • LG SJ8500. Decent TV with wide viewing angle, but not very competitive. See our review
  • Vizio P Series 2017. Very good TV for the money, but the Sony X900E is more versatile. See our review
  • Vizio M Series 2017. Similar performance to the P607, but its simpler smart platform might not suit everyone. See our review

All Reviews

Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the best LED 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 reviews of LED LCD TVs. 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. 

Questions Found an error?

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Questions & Answers

6 ANSWERED QUESTIONS
48
Is it possible to review the Insignia NS-55DR420NA16 please? Thanks!
We currently don't have anything planned for that one, but if we get enough requests, we might schedule a review.
26
Will you be reviewing the Panasonic CX850U?
We don't currently have any plans to do so, but maybe if we get enough requests for it and if Best Buy or Amazon start selling it.
16
I too am hoping you'll add the Insignia NS-55DR420NA16 from Best Buy. It has hundreds of user reviews on the Best Buy site and Consumer Reports has now reviewed it. However I find your reviews/tests to be the best and most thorough.
Unfortunately, we have no plan to review it at the moment.
7
Hi. Will you be reviewing the new Vizio D-series? Do you have any intel on that model? I was looking to buy the latest one, since they were improving over the last couple of series. Thanks.
We will be reviewing the UHD version of the D-series within the next couple of weeks.
2
Lost my owner's manual for my Samsung 5/5201 32 inch TV and I need to re-do it's setup. Any suggestions?
Since it is basically the same TV as the H5203 we reviewed, you can try our settings. You can also find the user manual here.
2
I hung my 55" Samsung TV on the wall in my bedroom. It was hung quite high with 15 degree angle. The viewing angle seems to have improved the picture quality. Is this possible?
From an objective standpoint, we doubt it, as vertical angles weaken contrast and desaturate colors. But it's entirely possible that your personal preferences are better met by putting the TV up high. If you like the look, don't overthink it. Just enjoy your TV.
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