LED TVs are dominating the market. Manufacturers release a great number of models every year including different features. You might not get the excellent picture of an OLED, but the gap is narrowing (check out our article about OLED vs LED). Their biggest advantages are their brightness, that allows them to get almost twice as bright as the OLEDs, and the fact that they are not prone to burn-in.
We've tested 68 LED LCD TVs and below are our recommendations for the best LED TVs you can buy in 2018.
Note: Prices and availability fluctuate a lot at the end of the year and especially after Black Friday.
The Samsung Q9FN is the best LED TV that is widely available. The QLED Samsung Q9FN has a great picture quality. Blacks look deep in a dark room thanks to the high native contrast ratio and the very effective local dimming feature. The Q9FN has excellent HDR performance with vivid colors and highlights that pop. It can get very bright to fight bright room glare and has excellent reflection handling. This TV is also good for gaming as it has a very low input lag, FreeSync support, and a very fast response time that only leaves a small blur trail in fast-moving content.
Unfortunately, the Q9FN has bad viewing angles and thus it is not the best choice if you will be watching the TV at an angle.
Overall, the Samsung Q9FN is an excellent TV that performs well in any type of usage.
Although it can be difficult to find it in stock, the Vizio P Series Quantum is the best LED LCD TV we've tested. It doesn't offer variable refresh rate or display excellent gradients like the Samsung Q9FN, but it is slightly better as it gets brighter with SDR and HDR content and has a faster response time. The Vizio P Quantum should also be cheaper if you manage to find it.
If you find the Samsung Q9FN and the Vizio P Series Quantum too expensive, the best mid-range LED TV is the Sony X900F. It isn't quite as bright as the Quantum or the Q9FN, and the BFI feature isn't as versatile, but this shouldn't change much for most users.
On the upside, the Sony X900F is a great TV with deep blacks due to its high native contrast ratio and local dimming support that helps it do great in dark rooms. It has a wide color gamut with rich and saturated colors that make highlights look great in HDR content. Motion handling is very good, and sports fans will appreciate the fast response time whereas gamers will enjoy the low input lag.
Overall, the Sony X900F is an LED LCD TV that will keep most people satisfied with its great performance in almost any usage. If you can still find it, the X900E is an equally good choice.
If you find the Sony X900F pricey but still want to get a mid-range LED TV without compromising picture quality, then get the Vizio P-Series 2018. The Vizio can’t get as bright as the Sony and does not have as good gray uniformity. On the other hand, it has an excellent picture quality with deep blacks, excellent motion handling and a very low input lag which will please most gamers. The Vizio P Series 2018 is an LED LCD TV that delivers more for its price tag.
If you want a good mid-range TV with better gaming features than the Sony X900F, get the Samsung NU8000. It delivers very good performance for most uses, but it has some additional features over the X900F that make it a great choice for gamers. It has lower input lag, and it supports a variable refresh rate that reduces screen tearing and it will automatically enter game mode when it detects a game being played on a supported console. The NU8000 has a much more limited edge-lit local dimming system that isn't as advanced as the X900F, so dark room performance isn't quite as good.
If the Sony X900F is too expensive, the TCL 6 Series R617 is the best budget LED TV that we have reviewed. The R617 delivers great performance for most uses. It has excellent dark room performance thanks to the deep contrast ratio and full-array local dimming system. It also has excellent low input lag, perfect for gaming or for use as a PC monitor.
Unfortunately, there have been widespread reports of gray uniformity issues with the R617 which may or may not have been fixed, so sports fans might not be pleased with this model.
Overall, the R617 is a very good 4k LED TV that fits well in most rooms and should please most people.
If you want an even cheaper alternative to the TCL 6 Series R617, then get the TCL S405/S425. It cannot get as bright as the R617 nor does it offer advanced features like local dimming or motion interpolation to improve picture quality. On the upside, the TCL S405 has a decent picture quality with an impressive contrast ratio, that helps blacks look deep in a dark room. It is a great choice if you play a lot of video games as it has a low input lag and little motion blur. The TCL S405 is a decent entry-level 4k LED TV, but if you have difficulty finding it, the TCL S517 performs quite similarly. The S405 is being gradually replaced by the S425. They are the exact same internally, but there are some slight cosmetic changes.
Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the best LCD 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.