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The 7 Best Flatscreen TVs - Fall 2018
Reviews

Best Flatscreen TVs
206 Televisions Tested
  • Store-bought TVs; no cherry-picked units
  • Retest after major updates
  • Easily comparable results
  • No ads; unbiased reviews
Learn more about our approach to product reviews here.

If you're planning on buying a new TV in the near future, chances are it's a flatscreen. Modern flatscreens have gotten thinner and bigger, and many of them 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 markets.

We've reviewed 77 TVs, and below you'll find our recommendations for the best flatscreen TVs available for purchase in 2018. See also our recommendations for the best 4k TVs and the best smart TVs.

Note: Prices and availability fluctuate a lot at the end of the year and especially after Black Friday.

  1. Best Flatscreen TV: LG B8

    Usage Ratings - Version 1.2

    Test Benches:

    • 1.2: Winter 2018
    • 1.1: Summer 2017
    • 1.0: Winter 2015
    • 0.9: Winter 2014
    • 0.8: Winter 2013
    8.8
    Mixed Usage
    What it is: General purpose. The TV will be used for a variety of content and usages. Movies at night, TV shows during the day, video games from time to time, etc.
    Score components:
    9.3
    Movies
    What it is: Movies in the dark. The TV will be used for watching movies in a controlled environment, directly in front, in a home theater way. Mostly only high quality content, like Blu-rays, UHD Blu-rays, streaming and a little bit of HDR.
    Score components:
    8.4
    TV Shows
    What it is: TV Shows in a bright living room. The TV will be used in to watch TV shows, in a bright room during the day, from multiple viewing positions at different angles. The content watched has an average quality: cable, streaming, SD channels, etc.
    Score components:
    8.6
    Sports
    What it is: Sports in a living room. The TV will be used to watch sports during the day, like football or hockey. Usually watched with a group, so from multiple viewing position.
    8.9
    Video Games
    What it is: Video games. The TV will be used to play video games, directly in front, in a controlled light environment. Usually fast games, like online FPS, where motion blur and input lag is important.
    9.0
    HDR Movies
    What it is: HDR Movies and TV shows. The TV will be used to watch 4k UHD HDR content, with a wide color gamut and a high peak brightness. Either via UHD Blu-rays or HDR streaming.
    Score components:
    8.6
    HDR Gaming
    What it is: HDR Gaming. The TV will be used to play HDR video games using consoles that support it or on current generation gaming PCs. Xbox One S, PS4 Pro, GTX 10 series and AMD RX series graphics cards.
    8.3
    PC Monitor
    What it is: PC Monitor. The TV will be used as a PC monitor, from 2-3 feet away, either for productivity purposes or gaming. Sharp text is important, as well as a high resolution.
    Score components:
    Type : OLED
    Sub-Type
    What it is: Type of display technology used by the TV.
    When it matters: Different technologies have different performance and are suited to different uses
    Good value: IPS maintains good color accuracy at an angle, but has a poor contrast ratio from in front. VA has great picture quality in front, but loses saturation at an angle. OLED maintains good color accuracy at an angle without any of the other issues seen with IPS and VA, as they keep good brightness and contrast at an angle.
    :
    WRGB
    Resolution : 4k
    Sizes : 55" 65"

    The LG B8 is the best flatscreen TV that we've tested so far. Thanks to the self-emissive OLED panel, the B8 delivers outstanding dark room performance, since individual pixels can be turned off or dimmed, negating the need for a local dimming system. It runs LG's excellent WebOS 4.0, which is fast and easy to use, and it has one of the widest selections of apps of any TV brand.

    The LG B8 also delivers outstanding HDR performance, great for watching the latest 4k UHD Blu-Rays, and it is an outstanding gaming TV thanks to the low input lag and nearly-instantaneous response time. This fast response time may bother movie lovers though, as low frame rate content tends to stutter more than on LED TVs, although this can be reduced through motion interpolation.

    Unfortunately, like all OLED TVs, there is a chance that you will experience temporary image retention, or even permanent burn-in on the B8. With varied enough content, we don't expect this to be an issue for most people. Overall, the B8 is an outstanding TV that should please even the most demanding shoppers.

    See our review

  2. LED Alternative: Samsung Q8FN

    Type : LED
    Sub-Type
    What it is: Type of display technology used by the TV.
    When it matters: Different technologies have different performance and are suited to different uses
    Good value: IPS maintains good color accuracy at an angle, but has a poor contrast ratio from in front. VA has great picture quality in front, but loses saturation at an angle. OLED maintains good color accuracy at an angle without any of the other issues seen with IPS and VA, as they keep good brightness and contrast at an angle.
    :
    VA
    Resolution : 4k
    Sizes : 55" 65" 75" 82"

    If you like the performance of the LG B8, but are concerned about burn-in and would prefer an LED TV, check out the Samsung Q8FN. Although the Q8FN doesn't have the same outstanding dark room performance of the OLED B8, it performs admirably thanks to the excellent native contrast ratio and decent full array local dimming. It also doesn't have as much stutter as the B8, great for movie buffs. The Q8FN also has some great gaming features if you have an Xbox One or AMD graphics card, including FreeSync variable refresh rate support, auto game mode, and low latency motion interpolation for gaming.

    See our review

  3. Harder to find Alternative: Vizio PQ65-F1

    Type : LED
    Sub-Type
    What it is: Type of display technology used by the TV.
    When it matters: Different technologies have different performance and are suited to different uses
    Good value: IPS maintains good color accuracy at an angle, but has a poor contrast ratio from in front. VA has great picture quality in front, but loses saturation at an angle. OLED maintains good color accuracy at an angle without any of the other issues seen with IPS and VA, as they keep good brightness and contrast at an angle.
    :
    VA
    Resolution : 4k

    The Vizio P Series Quantum is the best LED TV that we've tested so far, better even than the Samsung Q8FN, but it can be extremely difficult to find. It looks excellent in any setting. It has outstanding dark room performance thanks to excellent native contrast and a great local dimming feature. It is also one of the brightest TVs we've ever reviewed. Unfortunately, the Vizio Quantum has a rather limited smart interface, that while very well designed, lacks the capability to add additional apps. It is also only available in one size, 65".

    See our review

  4. Best Mid-Range Flatscreen TV: Sony X900F

    Usage Ratings - Version 1.2

    Test Benches:

    • 1.2: Winter 2018
    • 1.1: Summer 2017
    • 1.0: Winter 2015
    • 0.9: Winter 2014
    • 0.8: Winter 2013
    8.3
    Mixed Usage
    What it is: General purpose. The TV will be used for a variety of content and usages. Movies at night, TV shows during the day, video games from time to time, etc.
    Score components:
    8.5
    Movies
    What it is: Movies in the dark. The TV will be used for watching movies in a controlled environment, directly in front, in a home theater way. Mostly only high quality content, like Blu-rays, UHD Blu-rays, streaming and a little bit of HDR.
    Score components:
    8.2
    TV Shows
    What it is: TV Shows in a bright living room. The TV will be used in to watch TV shows, in a bright room during the day, from multiple viewing positions at different angles. The content watched has an average quality: cable, streaming, SD channels, etc.
    Score components:
    8.1
    Sports
    What it is: Sports in a living room. The TV will be used to watch sports during the day, like football or hockey. Usually watched with a group, so from multiple viewing position.
    8.6
    Video Games
    What it is: Video games. The TV will be used to play video games, directly in front, in a controlled light environment. Usually fast games, like online FPS, where motion blur and input lag is important.
    8.4
    HDR Movies
    What it is: HDR Movies and TV shows. The TV will be used to watch 4k UHD HDR content, with a wide color gamut and a high peak brightness. Either via UHD Blu-rays or HDR streaming.
    Score components:
    8.6
    HDR Gaming
    What it is: HDR Gaming. The TV will be used to play HDR video games using consoles that support it or on current generation gaming PCs. Xbox One S, PS4 Pro, GTX 10 series and AMD RX series graphics cards.
    8.3
    PC Monitor
    What it is: PC Monitor. The TV will be used as a PC monitor, from 2-3 feet away, either for productivity purposes or gaming. Sharp text is important, as well as a high resolution.
    Score components:
    Type : LED
    Sub-Type
    What it is: Type of display technology used by the TV.
    When it matters: Different technologies have different performance and are suited to different uses
    Good value: IPS maintains good color accuracy at an angle, but has a poor contrast ratio from in front. VA has great picture quality in front, but loses saturation at an angle. OLED maintains good color accuracy at an angle without any of the other issues seen with IPS and VA, as they keep good brightness and contrast at an angle.
    :
    VA
    Resolution : 4k
    Sizes : 49" 55" 65" 75" 85"

    The Sony X900F is the best mid-range flatscreen TV that we've tested so far. It is a great 4k UHD TV with very good picture quality, excellent motion handling, and low input lag for gamers. The X900F is available in a wide range of sizes, from 49", up to a massive 85". It has an excellent, modern design that fits well in any design.

    The X900F delivers great picture quality. It can get bright enough to overcome glare in a bright room, and small highlights in HDR really stand out. It performs just as well in a dark room, thanks to the excellent native contrast and decent local dimming feature.

    Unfortunately, the X900F runs a slightly older version of Android TV, and the interface can be a bit slow. It is still very easy to use and has one of the widest app selections of any TV brand. Overall, the X900F is a versatile 4k TV that should please most people.

    See our review

  5. Alternative for Gaming: Samsung NU8000

    Type : LED
    Sub-Type
    What it is: Type of display technology used by the TV.
    When it matters: Different technologies have different performance and are suited to different uses
    Good value: IPS maintains good color accuracy at an angle, but has a poor contrast ratio from in front. VA has great picture quality in front, but loses saturation at an angle. OLED maintains good color accuracy at an angle without any of the other issues seen with IPS and VA, as they keep good brightness and contrast at an angle.
    :
    VA
    Resolution : 4k
    Sizes : 49" 55" 65" 75" 82"

    If you like the performance of the Sony X900F, but want something with more advanced gaming features, take a look at the Samsung NU8000. It is a bit worse than the X900F in a dark room, as it doesn't have a full array local dimming feature, but it still has an excellent native contrast ratio, so blacks look black in a dark room. The real benefit of the NU8000 is in its gaming features. It supports AMD FreeSync VRR, ensuring a tear-free gaming experience when gaming on an Xbox One, or on a PC with an AMD graphics card. It also automatically enters game mode when you start playing, so you don't have to scramble for the remote, and it can improve the frame rate of low frame rate games through motion interpolation without adding much input lag.

    See our review

  6. Best Budget Flatscreen TV: TCL R617

    Usage Ratings - Version 1.2

    Test Benches:

    • 1.2: Winter 2018
    • 1.1: Summer 2017
    • 1.0: Winter 2015
    • 0.9: Winter 2014
    • 0.8: Winter 2013
    7.9
    Mixed Usage
    What it is: General purpose. The TV will be used for a variety of content and usages. Movies at night, TV shows during the day, video games from time to time, etc.
    Score components:
    8.0
    Movies
    What it is: Movies in the dark. The TV will be used for watching movies in a controlled environment, directly in front, in a home theater way. Mostly only high quality content, like Blu-rays, UHD Blu-rays, streaming and a little bit of HDR.
    Score components:
    7.6
    TV Shows
    What it is: TV Shows in a bright living room. The TV will be used in to watch TV shows, in a bright room during the day, from multiple viewing positions at different angles. The content watched has an average quality: cable, streaming, SD channels, etc.
    Score components:
    7.5
    Sports
    What it is: Sports in a living room. The TV will be used to watch sports during the day, like football or hockey. Usually watched with a group, so from multiple viewing position.
    8.6
    Video Games
    What it is: Video games. The TV will be used to play video games, directly in front, in a controlled light environment. Usually fast games, like online FPS, where motion blur and input lag is important.
    8.1
    HDR Movies
    What it is: HDR Movies and TV shows. The TV will be used to watch 4k UHD HDR content, with a wide color gamut and a high peak brightness. Either via UHD Blu-rays or HDR streaming.
    Score components:
    8.4
    HDR Gaming
    What it is: HDR Gaming. The TV will be used to play HDR video games using consoles that support it or on current generation gaming PCs. Xbox One S, PS4 Pro, GTX 10 series and AMD RX series graphics cards.
    8.1
    PC Monitor
    What it is: PC Monitor. The TV will be used as a PC monitor, from 2-3 feet away, either for productivity purposes or gaming. Sharp text is important, as well as a high resolution.
    Score components:
    Type : LED
    Sub-Type
    What it is: Type of display technology used by the TV.
    When it matters: Different technologies have different performance and are suited to different uses
    Good value: IPS maintains good color accuracy at an angle, but has a poor contrast ratio from in front. VA has great picture quality in front, but loses saturation at an angle. OLED maintains good color accuracy at an angle without any of the other issues seen with IPS and VA, as they keep good brightness and contrast at an angle.
    :
    VA
    Resolution : 4k
    Sizes : 55" 65"

    If you want a great budget flatscreen TV, check out the TCL 6 Series (R617/R615/R613). The R617 is a very good 4k TV that delivers very good picture quality, and good motion handling. It has excellent low input lag, great for gaming, or for a responsive PC monitor. It also has great smart features, including a massive collection of streaming apps covering any need.

    The TCL R617 delivers great picture quality. It looks good in a dark room, thanks to an excellent native contrast ratio, but unfortunately, it has a mediocre local dimming feature. In a bright room, it can easily get bright enough to overcome glare, and it has good reflections handling. HDR content looks amazing, thanks to the wide color gamut and excellent HDR peak brightness.

    Unfortunately, the image degrades on the TCL 6 Series when viewed at an angle. It also has mediocre gray uniformity, which may disappoint sports fans. Overall, it is a great budget TV that should please most people.

    See our review

  7. Cheaper Alternative: Vizio E Series 2018

    Type : LED
    Sub-Type
    What it is: Type of display technology used by the TV.
    When it matters: Different technologies have different performance and are suited to different uses
    Good value: IPS maintains good color accuracy at an angle, but has a poor contrast ratio from in front. VA has great picture quality in front, but loses saturation at an angle. OLED maintains good color accuracy at an angle without any of the other issues seen with IPS and VA, as they keep good brightness and contrast at an angle.
    :
    VA
    Resolution : 4k
    Sizes : 43" 50" 55" 65" 70" 75"

    If you like the TCL R617, but would prefer something a bit cheaper, check out the Vizio E Series 2018. It is a good budget TV that delivers decent overall picture quality. Like the R617, it has an outstanding native contrast ratio, but unfortunately, the local dimming feature isn't very good. It also isn't as bright as the TCL 6-Series, so it can't overcome glare as well and small highlights in some scenes in HDR don't stand out as much.

    See our review

Notable Mentions

  • Sony Z9F. A great 4k TV, but the Vizio P Series Quantum is better and cheaper. See our review
  • Sony A1E. Excellent OLED TV, but doesn't offer much over the LG B8 for the higher price. See our review
  • Sony A9F. Excellent OLED TV, more expensive but not much improvement over the LG B8. See our review
  • Sony A8F. Excellent OLED TV, but very expensive not worth it over the LG B8. See our review
  • TCL S517. Decent versatile 4k TV, but more expensive than the S405 for similar performance. See our review
  • LG E8. Excellent OLED TV, with a dedicated soundbar, but more expensive than the B8 for similar picture quality. See our review
  • LG C8. Excellent OLED TV, but doesn't offer much more than the B8. See our review

All Reviews

Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the best flatscreen 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 TV reviews. 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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