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 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 80 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 we've tested so far is the Samsung Q90/Q90R QLED. This 2019 flagship TV has nearly every imaginable feature available, and it delivers an incredible picture quality that's suitable for every type of content. It has a stylish design and a thin profile, so it hangs almost flush to the wall when using Samsung's no-gap wall mount. The inputs are located on a separate box, which is great for a clean setup, as there's only a single cable leading to the TV.
Like most Samsung TVs, it has a VA panel with a great native contrast ratio, and it is further improved by its full-array local dimming. Blacks look deep and inky and black uniformity is excellent, with very little blooming around bright objects. Its peak brightness is more than enough to fight glare, and its reflection handling is also superb. Viewing angles are very decent for a VA panel, as it has Samsung's 'Ultra Viewing Angle' technology, although it comes at the cost of a lower contrast ratio. Motion handling on this TV is outstanding due to its quick response time and black frame insertion feature. Input lag is low enough for even the most serious gamers, and the panel has a 120Hz refresh rate. There's even FreeSync support for those with an Xbox One or a PC equipped with an AMD graphics card.
Unfortunately, there's some vignetting around the corners of the screen, but luckily, there's no noticeable dirty screen effect. However, it runs on Samsung's Tizen OS, which is user-friendly and has tons of apps available through the app store. Overall, it's an excellent TV that most people should be happy with.
If you're looking for something a bit cheaper, then check out the Samsung Q80/Q80R QLED. It's basically a minor step down from the Samsung Q90/Q90R QLED, as it doesn't have a 'One Connect' box, and the inputs are located on the back of the TV. Additionally, it can't get as bright, although it's enough to deliver a great HDR experience. Other than those minor differences, this TV performs almost just as well. Response time is great, the input lag is very low, the panel has a 120Hz refresh rate, and there's FreeSync support to reduce screen tearing when gaming. It also has the 'Ultra Viewing Angle' technology, which greatly increases viewing angles but at the expense of a lower contrast ratio.
Overall, if you can afford it and you want the best that Samsung has to offer, then look into the Q90R. However, if you don't mind compromising on the convenience of the 'One Connect' box, and the slightly lower peak brightness doesn't bother you, then the Q80R is a better choice, and it'll save you some money.
The best 8k QLED TV is the Samsung Q900/Q900R 8k QLED. There aren't many 8k TVs available for purchase in 2020, mainly because not many devices broadcast in 8k, but getting a TV with this resolution makes it future-proof as 8k content starts to roll out. It's a great overall TV that delivers an excellent picture quality.
This TV has a VA panel, which normally has great contrast and sub-par viewing angles. Instead, on this TV, due to its 'Ultra Viewing Angle' layer, it has good wide viewing angles and only a decent contrast ratio, so blacks appear closer to gray. Luckily, there's a great local full-array dimming feature that greatly improves the contrast, resulting in deep blacks. It performs very well in bright rooms thanks to its excellent peak brightness and amazing reflection handling. Also, it has great out-of-the-box color accuracy. HDR content looks great on this TV thanks to its very wide color gamut and very high peak brightness in HDR, bringing out highlights the way they should.
Unfortunately, it has uniformity issues as there's visible dirty screen effect in the center, which is distracting during sports, but this could vary from unit to unit. However, it's also a great choice to use for gaming as it has a low input lag, a fantastic response time, and FreeSync support. Overall, if you're looking for an 8k TV, this is the best QLED TV with this resolution that we've seen.
The best QLED TV for its value that we've tested so far is the Vizio P Series Quantum X 2019. It's one of the better TVs we've seen for a price that should please even people on a budget, but it's only available in 65 and 75-inch models. It delivers great overall picture quality but lacks smart features found on modern TVs.
This TV has one of the best contrast ratios that we've seen, and it gets much better with local dimming enabled, as it's able to display extremely deep blacks. It's a great choice for watching movies in the dark, and it performs equally as well in bright rooms due to its excellent brightness and reflection handling. Its color gamut is one of the widest we've seen so far as it has near-perfect coverage of the DCI P3 color space used in most HDR content, and it gets bright enough to bring out highlights. It has a low input lag and an excellent response time, but since it uses pulse-width modulation (PWM) to dim its backlight, there's some duplication in motion.
Unfortunately, it doesn't upscale lower-resolution content well, and it can't remove judder from 24p sources via 60i/p like a cable box. The SmartCast operating system is laggy, not very smooth, and you can't install any apps. It still comes with a few pre-installed apps, and you can cast anything you want from your phone. This TV provides great value for its price, and most people should be happy with its performance.
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. 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 very 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.
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. If you want to give QLED technology a try without spending a fortune, the Hisense is the best QLED TV in the budget category we've tested so far.
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 on an LED TV. Unfortunately, its peak brightness in HDR mode is mediocre, and there are some gray uniformity issues, as you see visible banding and dirty screen effect throughout the screen. On the bright side, it has a great 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. It also has good out-of-the-box color accuracy, so you won't need to pay extra to get it calibrated if you don't want.
Overall, the Hisense performs better, but if its blooming issue bothers you, consider the Vizio.
06/16/2020: Minor changes to text for clarity; updated notable mentions.
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.
11/10/2019: The Vizio P Series Quantum X 2019 replaces the Vizio P Series Quantum 2018, which is becoming harder to find.
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.