Picture quality is one of the primary characteristics that make a TV stand out. Motion, sound, inputs, and smart features are also important, but if the picture isn't good, everything else becomes secondary. There are different TV technologies you can find in the market, each with its advantages and disadvantages. One of the dominant technologies is LED LCD TVs. As with every technology, there are quite a few variations, some of which are discussed here. One of those variations is the quantum dot technology, which uses a quantum dot color filter that results in a wider color gamut. Since 2017, Samsung rebranded its 'SUHD' TVs as 'QLED'. Although QLED has been mostly associated with Samsung, other manufacturers like Vizio and currently TCL produce quantum dot technology TVs.
We've tested more than 70 TVs, and below are our recommendations for the best quantum dot technology TVs you can buy.
The best QLED TV we've tested is the Samsung Q90/Q90R QLED. This is a remarkable TV with impressive picture quality that delivers an excellent performance in any use. It has a high contrast ratio and very good local dimming; these allow the TV to deliver deep blacks that greatly improve the picture quality in a dark room. It's a very bright TV that you can easily place in a bright room, where it'll fight glare and handle reflections well. It has a wide color gamut, and thanks to its high HDR peak brightness can display vivid colors and highlights that pop in HDR content.
Even though this TV has a VA panel, the image remains accurate when viewed from the side thanks to the 'Ultra Viewing Angle' technology. Fast-moving content is crisp due to the fast response time, which will keep sports fans happy. This TV also has something for gamers. The input lag is very low, and among other gaming features, this TV supports FreeSync for nearly tear-free gaming. Unfortunately, just like all TVs, it's not without faults and some enthusiasts might find the vignetting that this TV has disturbing.
Overall, this is an excellent TV for everyone.
If you find the Samsung Q90/Q90R QLED expensive, check out the Samsung Q80/Q80R QLED. It delivers a very similar overall performance to the other Samsung but lacks the convenience of the One Connect box that hosts all the inputs. Some people, however, prefer it when all the inputs are on the TV since you don't have to accommodate for the extra box. This TV has an excellent overall performance and, just like the other Samsung, it incorporates an 'Ultra Viewing Angle' layer, that improves viewing angle while slightly hurting dark room performance.
If a higher cost and the need for extra space for the One Connect box aren't an issue, get the Q90R; otherwise, the Q80R will deliver just as good a performance in any use.
If you want to future-proof your purchase, check out the Samsung Q900/Q900R 8k QLED. It's an excellent 8k QLED TV with great picture quality. Regarding 8k content, the TV's supported resolutions, and commercially available devices that can take advantage of the TV's capabilities, see our full review.
This is a TV that can get very bright and can handle reflections well, so you can easily place it in a bright room. It has a wide color gamut and can display vivid HDR images with highlights that pop thanks to its HDR peak brightness. The TV has the 'Ultra Viewing Angle' layer, which maintains an accurate image when viewed from the side. However, this happens at the expense of lower contrast, and although it has very good local dimming support, the dark room performance is great but not as excellent as on the Samsung Q80/Q80R QLED or the Samsung Q90/Q90R QLED. Motion on this TV is excellent, and gamers will appreciate the very low input lag and the full set of gaming features that all premium Samsungs have had since 2018.
Overall, this is an excellent TV with remarkable performance for most uses.
If you're looking for the best value QLED TV for the money, then get the Vizio P Series Quantum X 2019. It doesn't have the new viewing angle enhancing technology found on the higher-end Samsung TVs, so the viewing angles aren't as good. However, this is an excellent TV with great overall picture quality. It's one of the brightest TVs we've tested and you can easily place it in a very bright room as glare isn't an issue. It has a wide color gamut and delivers HDR content with vivid color and highlights that pop. The Vizio also performs exceptionally when in a dark room, thanks to the deep blacks due to the high native contrast ratio and local dimming support. It has good motion handling and a very low input lag that will please even the most competitive gamers.
It isn't perfect, though, as the image degrades at an angle and the backlight flickers at 120Hz; this causes duplications that can bother some people. Finally, gamers might find the lack of support for more advanced gaming features like AMD's FreeSync variable refresh rate, common on Samsung higher-end models, limiting.
Overall, this TV is a great value for the money.
The best budget QLED TV we've tested so far is the Hisense H9F. This is a TV that's suitable for both dark and bright rooms. It has an outstanding contrast ratio and decent black uniformity that can deliver deep blacks, though there's a bit of blooming if you enable the local dimming feature. Its peak brightness is high enough to combat glare, and combined with its impressive wide color gamut, HDR content looks stunning, with rich, vibrant colors, and specular highlights that pop. However, images tend to look washed out when viewed from the side due to its poor viewing angles, but that's expected of most VA panels.
Response time on this TV is excellent and there's very little blur in fast-moving scenes, but there's some duplication of the image due to the backlight's flickering. If you're planning on using this TV for gaming, it has remarkably low input lag, though it doesn't support any variable refresh rate technology, and the refresh rate is limited to 60Hz. This TV runs on Android, which means you have access to the Google Play Store and its immense library of apps. It can also interact with the Google Assistant, which allows you to control the TV, search for content, or ask for information such as the weather and time.
If you want to give QLED technology a try without spending a fortune, check out this TV.
If you want a TV that has even better dark room performance without the Hisense H9F's blooming issue, take a look at the Vizio M Series Quantum 2019. This TV has one of the best black uniformity that we've seen so far. Unfortunately, its peak brightness in HDR mode is somewhat mediocre, and there are some gray uniformity issues too, as you'll see visible banding and dirty screen effect throughout the screen. On the bright side, it has excellent response time and low input lag, and it can display chroma 4:4:4 properly if you want to use it as a large monitor. Vizio's SmartCast interface is easy to use, and it comes with the most popular streaming apps pre-installed.
Overall, the Hisense performs better, but if its blooming issue bothers you, then go with the Vizio.
Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the best quantum dot technology TVs to buy for most people with different tastes. We factor in the price (a cheaper TV wins over a pricier one if the difference isn't worth it), 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 TVs with their mixed-usage performance. 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.
02/18/2020: Minor text and structure changes, no change in recommendations.
12/20/2019: Added Hisense H9F as 'Best Budget', changed Vizio M Series Quantum 2019 as dark room alternative, and added TCL 6 Series R625 to notable mentions.
12/10/2019: Same picks; changed the text for clarity and accuracy.
11/10/2019: Minor updates to the text and verification for accuracy. The Vizio P Series Quantum X 2019 replaces the Vizio P Series Quantum 2018, which is becoming harder to find.