One of the primary characteristics that make a TV stand out is picture quality. 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 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 in the last two years, and below are our recommendations for the best quantum dot technology TVs you can buy. Also, see our recommendations for the best smart TVs, the best TVs, and the best budget TVs.
The best QLED TV that we've tested is the Samsung Q80/Q80T QLED. It's impressive all-around, and even though it's lower in Samsung's 2020 lineup than the Samsung Q90/Q90T QLED, it offers similar performance for much less. It's an option that provides a performance that most people should be happy with.
It delivers stunning picture quality with its excellent out-of-the-box color accuracy and its VA panel that displays deep blacks. Samsung added its 'Ultra Viewing Angle' layer, improving the viewing angles to make it suitable for fairly wide seating arrangements at the cost of its contrast ratio. Luckily, it has a full-array local dimming feature that improves the contrast quite a bit. The stand-out feature is its gaming performance. It has a 120Hz refresh rate, FreeSync variable refresh rate (VRR) support, an excellent response time, and extremely low input lag. It also has a Black Frame Insertion feature to help clear up motion blur.
Sadly, it has uniformity issues, and there's a visible dirty screen effect in the center, which could be distracting while watching sports. However, this is something that varies between units. It's also a great choice for watching HDR movies because of its wide color gamut, good gradient handling, and it gets bright enough in HDR to truly bring out highlights. All in all, this is the best QLED TV we've tested.
If you want something cheaper and still get great picture quality, then the Hisense H9G is a good option. It doesn't have extra gaming features such as VRR support like the Samsung Q80/Q80T QLED, but it gets even brighter. The Hisense displays a great wide color gamut, and combined with its high HDR peak brightness, HDR content looks excellent, and highlights pop the way the creator intended. It has an outstanding native contrast and remarkable black uniformity, and its full-array local dimming feature performs very well. If you also want to use it in a well-lit room, it has excellent reflection handling. Sadly, it has narrow viewing angles that make the image look washed out when viewing from the sides. Despite the lack of VRR, it has an amazing response time and low input lag, so it's still a great choice for gamers.
The Samsung is packed with features and delivers excellent picture quality, but if you don't need as many gaming features and want to save some money, you can't go wrong with the Hisense either.
The best QLED TV for watching HDR content that we've tested is the Vizio P Series Quantum X 2020. A premium LED model, it offers excellent picture quality. Although it has some flaws with lower-resolution content, most people should be happy with it, especially if you're watching native 4k content.
It displays one of the widest color gamuts we've tested on any TV. It has near-perfect coverage of the commonly-used DCI P3 color space used in most HDR content and great coverage of the wider Rec. 2020. It's also one of the brightest TVs we've tested as it gets incredibly bright in HDR, delivering vivid colors that pop. It has an excellent contrast ratio thanks to its VA panel, the full-array local dimming feature further improves any blacks, and there isn't too much blooming. Fast-moving content looks smooth thanks to its quick response time, but the backlight's 120Hz flicker causes image duplication. It has VRR support and low input lag for gamers that stays low even when gaming in HDR.
Unfortunately, it doesn't do a good job of upscaling lower-resolution, such as from DVDs or cable boxes. However, this shouldn't be a problem if you're just watching 4k HDR content. The Vizio SmartCast system isn't the most advanced as you can't download any extra apps besides the pre-installed ones, and it's laggy at times. Luckily, you can cast whatever you want from your phone, and HDR is available on both Netflix and YouTube. Overall, it offers excellent picture quality, making it one of the best QLED TVs we've tested.
The best QLED TV with an 8k resolution that we've tested is the Samsung Q800T QLED. 8k models are starting to make their way onto the market, and even though there isn't much 8k content available right now, it's still great.
It has a unique VA panel. With Samsung's 'Ultra Viewing Angle' layer added, it has one of the lowest contrast ratios we've tested on a VA panel, and at the same time, it has one of the widest viewing angles. The viewing angle is even better than some IPS panel TVs we've tested, so the image remains fairly accurate when viewing from the side. It also has a full-array local dimming feature that significantly improves the contrast ratio, making blacks appear black when viewed in the dark. It also gets extremely bright, enough to combat glare and truly bring out highlights in HDR. It's also packed with Samsung's gaming features, with FreeSync VRR support, a good response time, and low input lag.
Sadly, even though it's an 8k model, it doesn't display 8k content perfectly. There's some dithering visible in shadows, but it's only noticeable if you sit extremely close to the screen. It also has some upscaling artifacts with 4k content, but it's not something you can easily see. It has disappointing out-of-the-box color accuracy, which is a bit of a let down for a high-end model. Regardless of these problems, if you're looking for 8k, this is the best QLED TV we've tested.
The best QLED TV in the budget category that we've tested is the Hisense H8G. Like its bigger sibling, the Hisense H9G, it's a VA panel model that can produce deep blacks for a great dark room viewing experience. It's well-suited for bright rooms, as it has decent reflection handling and impressive peak brightness to fight glare. It doesn't have the best viewing angles, though, so it isn't ideal for large rooms with wide seating arrangements.
It has a good response time and a Black Frame Insertion feature that improves motion clarity, but unlike its bigger brother, the refresh rate is limited to 60Hz. There isn't much stutter in low frame rate content despite its fast response time, and it can remove judder from 24p sources and native apps. Most gamers should be satisfied with its low input lag; however, it lacks advanced gaming features like VRR support and Auto Low Latency Mode.
The HDR experience is okay. It has outstanding coverage of the DCI P3 color space used in most HDR content, but it doesn't get quite bright enough to make highlights pop the way they should. Some highlights stand out, but it's more noticeable in a dark room than in a bright one. It runs on Android TV, which means you can access the Google Play Store and voice control through the Google Assistant. Overall, this is a good TV that should satisfy most people regardless of the content that you watch.
If you prefer a TV that runs on Roku, then check out the TCL 5 Series/S525 2020 QLED. It has a VA panel with a high contrast ratio just like the Hisense H8G, and it has a full-array local dimming feature that further enhances black level, making it an ideal choice for dark rooms. It has great accuracy out of the box and an excellent HDR color gamut to produce a wide range of colors. Its response time is just as good and input lag is incredibly low, but there's still no VRR support to reduce screen tearing when gaming. Unfortunately, it doesn't get as bright, so visibility may be an issue in well-lit rooms, and it can't produce vivid colors and bright highlights in HDR content. On the upside, its Roku interface is very user-friendly and has plenty of apps.
Overall, the Hisense is a better choice, mainly due to its higher peak brightness. However, if you prefer a Roku TV, the TCL is a good alternative.
12/18/2020: Minor text and structure changes, no change in recommendations.
10/19/2020: Replaced the Vizio P Series Quantum X 2019 with the Quantum X 2020 and renamed it to 'Best For HDR'; removed the Samsung Q70T and moved the Hisense H9G in its place; added the Hisense H8G and TCL 5 Series 2020.
08/20/2020: Added the Samsung Q80T, Samsung Q70T, Samsung Q800T, and Hisense H9G; removed the Samsung Q90R, Samsung Q80R, Samsung Q900R, and Hisense H9F.
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.
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 LED TVs, but some of them may not be QLEDs. 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.