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The 6 Best Flat Screen TVs - Spring 2021 Reviews

Updated
Best Flat Screen TVs
304 Televisions Tested
  • Store-bought TVs; no cherry-picked units
  • Easily comparable results
  • No ads; unbiased reviews
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Learn more about our approach to product reviews here.

If you're planning on buying a new TV soon, chances are it's a flat screen. Modern flat screens have gotten thinner and bigger, and many are designed to look like pieces of art when wall-mounted. There are still some curved TVs available, but they are slowly disappearing from the market. Finding the best flat screen TVs for you all depends on your needs and what you're going to be watching; watching a ton of sports with friends requires a different type of TV than if you watch movies alone. Also, choosing one TV over another may simply come down to personal preference.

We've tested more than 80 TVs in the last two years, and below you'll find our recommendations for the best flat screen TVs available. Make sure to check out our recommendations for the best TVs, best TVs for Xbox Series X, and best TVs for PS5.


  1. Best Flat Screen OLED TV: LG CX OLED

    8.8
    Mixed Usage
    9.3
    Movies
    8.2
    TV Shows
    8.6
    Sports
    9.2
    Video Games
    8.7
    HDR Movies
    9.0
    HDR Gaming
    8.7
    PC Monitor
    Type OLED
    Sub-Type
    WRGB
    Resolution 4k
    Sizes : 48" 55" 65" 77"

    The best flat-screen TV we've tested with an OLED panel is the LG CX OLED. It's an amazing 4k TV that delivers stunning picture quality in a sleek, well-designed package. Its thin screen should look great in any living room, although if you really want to make an impression, check out the LG GX OLED, which has a razor-thin design that's meant to resemble a gallery frame.

    Thanks to its OLED panel, the LG has a practically infinite contrast ratio and is capable of producing perfectly uniform blacks. This is especially noticeable when watching dark content in a dark room, so it's a great choice if you prioritize movies and TV shows. On top of that, LG's webOS is one of the smoothest and most easy-to-use smart platforms out there, so you can quickly access all your favorite content. Gamers should also appreciate its near-instantaneous response time for smooth motion, variable refresh rate (VRR) support, HDMI 2.1 ports, and low input lag.

    Unfortunately, since OLED TVs don't typically get as bright as LED TVs, it's not necessarily recommended for very bright lighting conditions, as glare can be an issue. OLED TVs are also susceptible to permanent burn-in, but that likely won't be a problem if you watch varied content. Taking everything into consideration, this is among the best flat-screen TVs we've tested.

    See our review

  2. Best Flat Screen LED TV: Samsung Q80/Q80T QLED

    8.3
    Mixed Usage
    8.1
    Movies
    8.4
    TV Shows
    8.4
    Sports
    8.5
    Video Games
    7.9
    HDR Movies
    8.3
    HDR Gaming
    8.8
    PC Monitor
    Type LED
    Sub-Type
    VA
    Resolution 4k
    Sizes : 50" 55" 65" 75" 85"

    If you're looking for an LED TV, the Samsung Q80/Q80T QLED is the best flat-screen TV we've tested with an LED-backlit LCD panel. It's an impressive model from Samsung's 2020 lineup that offers great picture quality and performance, as well as a ton of extra features. It looks fairly sleek and shouldn't stick out when wall-mounted.

    Its VA panel produces rich blacks thanks to its high native contrast ratio and local dimming feature. That said, it's lower than typical for a VA panel. That's because of Samsung's 'Ultra Viewing Angle' layer, which improves viewing angles at the expense of contrast. On the upside, its viewing angles are wider than most VA panels, meaning you can watch from the side without losing too much image accuracy. Glare also shouldn't be an issue due to its remarkable reflection handling and high peak brightness.

    It has a ton of gaming features, including an excellent response time, extremely low input lag, and VRR support. However, its local dimming feature performs significantly worse when the TV is in 'Game Mode,' and so does its brightness in HDR with 'Game Mode' enabled. We also received reports from users that they experienced stuttering when watching cable sports. Despite these issues, however, this is still among the best flat-screen TVs we've tested, and most people should be happy with it.

    See our review

  3. Best Flat Screen TV For HDR: Vizio P Series Quantum X 2020

    8.3
    Mixed Usage
    8.5
    Movies
    8.0
    TV Shows
    7.9
    Sports
    8.7
    Video Games
    8.6
    HDR Movies
    8.6
    HDR Gaming
    8.0
    PC Monitor
    Type LED
    Sub-Type
    VA
    Resolution 4k
    Sizes : 65" 75" 85"

    The best flat screen TV for watching HDR content that we've tested is the Vizio P Series Quantum X 2020. It's an impressive model that delivers stunning picture quality for nearly every type of content and one of the brightest TVs we've tested. It has excellent reflection handling and fights glare easily, so you shouldn't have any visibility issues, even in the brightest environments.

    It has an exceptional DCI P3 coverage, the color space used in most HDR content, allowing it to produce rich and vibrant colors. As mentioned, it gets extremely bright, enough to make highlights stand out the way the creator intended. Fast-moving scenes look clear thanks to quick response times and a Black Frame Insertion feature. It can also interpolate low frame rate content up to 120fps to make motion appear more fluid, also known as the 'Soap Opera' effect. Also, it has an outstanding contrast ratio that's enhanced by full-array local dimming, producing deep blacks for a great dark room viewing experience.

    The main downside is its poor viewing angles, which isn't ideal for wide seating areas as the image looks washed out when viewed from the side. Vizio's SmartCast platform is fairly easy to use, but it has a limited number of apps since there's no app store. For gaming, it has a very low input lag as well as FreeSync support, but it has a narrow VRR range. Nonetheless, if you're looking for the best HDR experience, this one is worth checking out.

    See our review

  4. Cheaper Alternative: Hisense H9G

    Type LED
    Sub-Type
    VA
    Resolution 4k
    Sizes : 55" 65"

    If you want something cheaper, look into the Hisense. It doesn't display as wide of a color gamut as the Vizio P Series Quantum X 2020, but HDR content still looks great. The Hisense gets bright enough to make highlights pop, it has remarkable black uniformity, the contrast ratio is outstanding, and the full-array local dimming feature significantly deepens any blacks. It upscales lower-resolution content without any issues and interpolates motion up to 120fps, known as the 'Soap Opera Effect.' It doesn't have VRR support for gaming, but it has low input lag and excellent response time, and because its backlight flickers at such a high frequency, you likely won't notice image duplication. It also has narrow viewing angles, but that's expected from a VA panel. The built-in Android TV isn't the most user-friendly, but it has a ton of apps available to download.

    If you watch a lot of HDR content, you can't go wrong with the Vizio, but if you prefer something cheaper to save some money, look into the Hisense.

    See our review

  5. Best Budget Flat Screen TV: Hisense H8G

    7.8
    Mixed Usage
    8.0
    Movies
    7.6
    TV Shows
    7.5
    Sports
    7.9
    Video Games
    7.8
    HDR Movies
    7.7
    HDR Gaming
    7.7
    PC Monitor
    Type LED
    Sub-Type
    VA
    Resolution 4k
    Sizes : 50" 55" 65" 75"

    The best flat-screen TV in the budget category that we've tested is the Hisense H8G. It's a higher-end model in Hisense's lineup and offers very good performance for a low price. It competes with some higher-end TVs in terms of picture quality, but it has a somewhat limited HDR experience. It's also fairly well-built with a design that should look nice in any environment.

    With a VA panel, it displays deep blacks, and it has decent black uniformity. If you watch movies in dark rooms, you should be happy to know it has a decent-performing full-array dimming feature that helps deepen any blacks. If you watch TV in bright rooms, it gets bright enough to combat glare, and it has decent reflection handling. It's also a great choice for gaming as even though it's limited to a 60Hz refresh rate, it has a quick response time and a very low input lag, ideal for any type of gamer.

    Unfortunately, even though it displays a wide color gamut for HDR content, it doesn't get bright enough to bring out all highlights, so HDR content doesn't look as good as some higher-end TVs. On the upside, it uses Android TV as its smart OS, which has a ton of apps available, but it isn't the easiest to use at times. It upscales lower-resolution content well, and it removes judder from 24p sources like native apps or Blu-ray players. Overall, this is the best flat-screen TV in the budget category we've tested.

    See our review

  6. Roku Alternative: TCL 5 Series/S535 2020 QLED

    Type LED
    Sub-Type
    VA
    Resolution 4k
    Sizes : 50" 55" 65" 75"

    If you prefer a TV with built-in Roku TV, which is easier to use and has smoother navigation than Android TV, then the TCL 5 Series/S535 2020 QLED is a good alternative. It doesn't get as bright as the Hisense H8G, so highlights in HDR don't pop how they should. However, the TCL has a much better contrast ratio and displays a much wider color gamut for HDR content. It has great out-of-the-box color accuracy, and it upscales lower-resolution content well. Unfortunately, it has narrow viewing angles and a noticeable dirty screen in the center, but this may vary between units. Despite being limited to a 60Hz refresh rate and no VRR support, it's great for gaming because it has incredibly low input lag and quick response time. Lastly, it removes 24p judder from any source, which is rare for a 60Hz TV.

    The Hisense gets brighter, and it's the best flat-screen TV we've tested in the budget category, but if you prefer a Roku option, then the TCL is a good choice.

    See our review

Notable Mentions

  • LG GX OLED: The LG GX OLED has an incredibly thin design that makes it look like a piece of art on your wall. It's among the flattest of flat screens. However, it's more expensive than the LG CX OLED and not really worth the price difference, unless you prefer its design. See our review
  • Sony A8H OLED: The Sony A8H OLED is an excellent OLED TV. It is more expensive but not much of an improvement over the LG CX OLED. See our review
  • Samsung QN90A QLED: The Samsung QN90A QLED is better overall than the Samsung Q80/Q80T QLED, with an improved local dimming feature and the latest Mini LED backlighting that lets it get exceptionally bright. That said, it's more expensive. See our review
  • Samsung Q90/Q90T QLED: The Samsung Q90/Q90T QLED is a bit better overall than the Samsung Q80T, but it's not worth the price difference. See our review
  • LG BX OLED: The LG BX OLED is a cheaper version of the LG CX with similar performance, but it may be harder to find. See our review
  • Sony X950H: The Sony X950H has much better color accuracy than the Vizio P Series Quantum X 2020, but it doesn't display as wide of a color gamut. See our review
  • TCL 6 Series/R635 2020 QLED: The TCL 6 Series/R635 2020 QLED is much brighter than the TCL 5 Series/S535 2020 QLED, but it may cost too much if you're on a budget. See our review
  • Vizio P Series Quantum 2020: The Vizio P Series Quantum 2020 is cheaper than the Vizio P Series Quantum X 2020, but the Hisense H9G gets brighter. See our review
  • Sony X900H: The Sony X900H is a good overall 4k TV, but it doesn't get as brighter as the Quantum X and doesn't currently have VRR support. See our review
  • Vizio M7 Series Quantum 2020: The Vizio M7 Series Quantum 2020 is a budget TV with gaming features, but it's not as well-rounded as the H8G or 5 Series. See our review
  • LG NANO90 2020: The LG NANO90 is a premium 4k TV packed with gaming features, but its IPS panel results in a low contrast ratio. See our review
  • Samsung Q900TS 8k QLED: The Samsung Q900TS 8k QLED is a beautifully designed flat screen with a virtually bezel-free frame and exceptionally thin panel, but it's expensive and 8k technology may not be worth the investment just yet. See our review

Recent Updates

  1. Apr 13, 2021: Added the LG GX OLED, Samsung Q900TS 8k QLED, and Samsung QN90A QLED to Notable Mentions.

  2. Feb 12, 2021: Renamed the LG CX to 'Best OLED' and moved the Samsung Q80T to its main pick as 'Best LED' to maintain consistency with other recommendations.

  3. Dec 15, 2020: Minor text and structure changes; no change in recommendations.

  4. Oct 16, 2020: Removed the Vizio P Series Quantum X 2019 and moved the Samsung Q80T in its place; replaced the Sony X950H with the Vizio P Series Quantum X 2020 and added the Hisense H9G; replaced the TCL 6 Series 2019 with the 5 Series 2020.

  5. Aug 19, 2020: Replaced the LG B9 OLED with the LG CX OLED and replaced the Sony X950G with the Sony X950H.

All Reviews

Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the best flat screen TVs available to buy for most people in each price range.

If you would like to do the work of choosing yourself, here is the list of all our reviews of flat screen 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.

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