We've tested over 100 Samsung TVs. Samsung TVs, generally speaking, are very versatile and can provide good to excellent picture quality. Samsung is known for its LED models that generally have great gaming features. Samsung introduced their new Neo QLED TVs in 2021, which is an improvement on their more traditional QLED lineup because it introduces Mini LED backlighting, and combined with the quantum dot layer, their high-end TVs provide great picture quality. Along with Sony, they also released the first QD-OLED TV in 2022 to compete with LG's OLED lineup.
Note: Since new TVs tend to launch at very high prices, it's unlikely that these newer models will become reasonable choices until later in the year. Because of this, some of the 2021 models remain as picks in our recommendations.
The Samsung QN90A QLED is the best overall Samsung TV we've tested. Alongside the Samsung QN95A QLED, it's the flagship 4k Mini LED from Samsung's 2021 lineup. It's an excellent TV with many features and amazing all-around performance that should please most people. What makes this one of their best TVs is that it has a very high contrast ratio, and the Mini LED backlighting helps provide a great local dimming feature. It means that blacks look black when viewed in a dark room, with minimal blooming around bright objects. Combined with its wide color gamut and high peak brightness in HDR, it's excellent for watching HDR movies, as highlights pop.
It's also a great choice for watching shows in bright rooms because it has fantastic reflection handling and easily gets bright enough to fight glare, so visibility isn't an issue even in the brightest rooms. It also comes with Samsung's 'Ultra Viewing Angle' technology that provides a decent viewing angle, which is good for wide seating areas. While its viewing angles aren't as good as the Samsung QN85A QLED, they're still good enough to watch shows with the entire family, making this an excellent TV.
Below Samsung's flagship Mini LED lineup is their mid-range QLED lineup that includes the Samsung Q70/Q70A QLED, which is the best mid-range Samsung TV we've tested. It's a good overall TV that doesn't have the same picture quality as the higher-end Samsung QN90A QLED, but it still has a few extra features. It looks great in dark rooms as it displays deep blacks with excellent black uniformity, but it doesn't have a local dimming feature to further improve the picture quality in dark scenes. It also has excellent peak brightness in SDR, meaning glare isn't a problem in most rooms, and the reflection handling is decent.
It comes with the same Tizen OS as the higher-end Samsung TVs, with an easy-to-use interface and many apps available to download. It's also a better gaming TV than some other mid-range TVs from other brands because it has HDMI 2.1 bandwidth and a 120Hz panel like the QN90A, so you can use it to take full advantage of the PS5 and Xbox Series X. Although it sits below the Samsung Q80/Q80A QLED, the Q70A is the better mid-range TV because it has better dark-room performance with less blooming, while the Q80A is better for wide seating areas.
The Samsung AU8000 is the best budget Samsung TV we've tested. Although Samsung isn't known for their budget models, this TV offers decent overall performance at a low cost. It's available in a wide range of sizes, from 43 to 85 inches, and they all perform like the 65-inch model we tested. Unlike the Samsung QN90A QLED and Samsung Q70/Q70A QLED, it doesn't use quantum dot technology to display a wide color gamut. Luckily, the color gamut is still decent and has good out-of-the-box accuracy, so colors look life-like without any calibration.
Like the higher-end Samsung models, it performs well in dark rooms because it has a high native contrast ratio, meaning blacks look deep, and it has excellent black uniformity with minimal blooming. However, it doesn't have a local dimming feature to improve the contrast. It comes with the same Tizen OS smart platform, and you still get the same remote with a built-in mic and a ton of apps available to download. Even though there's a higher-end entry-level QLED TV, the Samsung Q60/Q60A QLED, the difference between that TV and this one is minimal, so if you're on a budget, go for this one instead.
If you have a home theater setup, the Samsung S95B OLED is the best TV for home theaters. It's a new TV in 2022 and is Samsung's first OLED TV, but it's different from OLEDs from other brands because it features the new QD-OLED technology. It allows it to combine its perfect black levels with the wide range of colors that Samsung has become known for with their QLED lineup. It means the S95B has better overall picture quality than the Samsung QN90A QLED, but the QN90A is the top pick because there are some firmware issues with the S95B, and colors look over-saturated at times.
Still, if that doesn't bother you, it's a remarkable overall TV with the best HDR performance we've tested on any TV yet, as it gets bright enough to make small highlights stand out, even more than a regular OLED. Unfortunately, while it supports HDR10+, it doesn't support Dolby Vision, a widely-used HDR format with streaming services, so you need to watch HDR10+ content to take full advantage of it. If you want to enhance your home theater setup, it also has eARC support, allowing you to pass Dolby Atmos signals to a compatible soundbar or receiver.
Samsung TVs usually have more gaming features than Sony TVs, like VRR support, and they also have a lineup with more TVs. Sony TVs, in comparison, are usually built a bit better, with a mostly metal construction. They also tend to have better color accuracy, but Samsung isn't far behind in that regard.
Samsung TVs generally have better picture quality than the average LG LED-backlit LCD TV. Samsung TVs usually get a fair bit brighter and have better contrast, while LG TVs generally have much wider viewing angles and have better smart features. While LG has more OLEDs, Samsung released their first QD-OLED that produces brighter colors than LG's OLEDs.
Samsung TVs provide a performance suitable for most buyers, but they can also be costly compared to some competing brands. They generally perform very well and are among the best TVs on the market, especially if you want gaming features. However, competition is currently tightening up, so Samsung LED TVs don't seem to provide as much value as they previously did, but they also released one of the first QD-OLED TVs available.
Samsung's focus this year is mainly on improving the software that powers their smart TVs, with mainly incremental improvements to most of their lineup. The obvious exception is their new S95B, which is their first Quantum Dot OLED display (QD-OLED), which uses blue OLED panels combined with quantum dot color filters to achieve a brighter image and more accurate colors. Gaming is a definite priority for Samsung this year, as most premium models have new gaming features, including an all-new Gaming Hub, a 144Hz refresh rate, and HDMI 2.1 bandwidth on all four ports. They've also refreshed their Lifestyle TVs, including the Frame, Serif, and Sero. All three models now feature matte finishes to reduce glare, and there are new mounting options for the Frame, including a rotating slim mount.
Samsung's lineup covers everything from budget to high-end models. As a rule of thumb, the higher the number, the better it is, although sometimes the improvements aren't worth it. The suffix letter in their model number corresponds to the year:
Samsung uses the prefix Q* to denote their high-end QLED models, and the last letter of these models also demonstrates its year, corresponding to the list above (i.e., the Q90T is a 2020 QLED TV). They introduced the Mini LED lineup in 2021, labeled with QN in the model name, like the Samsung QN90A. As for their non-QLED models, the prefix letters denote the year. For example, the AU8000 is the 2021 entry-level model.
In the infancy of smart TVs, Samsung was the leader in functionality and smart features. It isn't to say that they were very good, as it took quite a few years for Smart TV platforms to mature into something comparable to external set-top boxes. However, other companies have caught up to Samsung and offer similar all-around performance, like Roku TV or LG's webOS, so the best Samsung smart TV isn't much better than smart TVs from other brands.
Samsung has constantly been updating its Tizen platform to ensure it competes with its competitors. In 2017, they added voice capabilities to their remote and smart platform, making it easier to navigate through menus. In 2018, they added Bixby virtual assistant, so you can use voice control to control other Samsung devices in your house, like lights, fridges, and door locks. The 2020 update featured a new, sleeker look with a 'Dark Mode' that isn't as bright as the white theme in older versions, and the 2022 version has a new full-screen webpage, which is an improvement over past versions that had all the apps and settings in a toolbar.
The interface is very simple and easy to navigate. As of 2022, they now have a full-screen webpage instead of the toolbar they had in past years. You'll find downloaded apps here, and you can quickly access the different inputs and settings. The interface works well, and there are many animations, but these can be slower on lower-end TVs.
Unfortunately, Samsung's Smart Hub also shows ads on the home screen. It shows up in the same row as the installed Samsung Smart TV apps, and they can't be disabled.
You can opt-out of personalized advertising in the settings, but that, unfortunately, only means that you'll see very repetitive ads instead of targeted ones.
The app selection is pretty extensive nowadays. All the popular video and music services are available and more. Fortunately, the search function is quite good, and results come up very quickly. Like LG's webOS and Google TV on Sony TVs, Samsung TVs have an excellent selection of apps, and the vast majority of streaming services are available.
Voice Command was overhauled in 2017, and they're pretty good now. Other smart interfaces were updated in 2018 to search for content, apps, and change settings, something Samsung has been able to do for a few years. Even more in-depth stuff like calibration settings are only a button press away, which is quite nice.
It's also possible to search within apps, but only a few apps are supported. It isn't possible to search Netflix, for example, but it's possible to search YouTube.
Samsung updated their remote with the release of the 2022 TVs. It features the same buttons as remotes from previous years, except with a redesigned body with brushed plastic on the bottom. There are quick-access buttons to popular streaming services and for your voice control. It's pretty minimal compared to traditional TV remotes, as you don't get a Numpad, but you still get navigation buttons. It's small and sleek-looking.
What sets this remote apart is that the QLED lineup comes with a solar-powered remote. It means that you can charge it via the solar panel on the back, and if that's not possible, you can still charge it via USB-C, but it doesn't come with a USB-C cable. The entry-level AU8000 from 2021 has the same remote, but it uses disposable batteries instead.
It's less common now than in previous years, but Samsung TVs often have issues with Wi-Fi connections. They'll randomly stop functioning after leaving the TV off for a while and require the connection to be set up again, which is quite annoying.
Aug 02, 2022: Renamed the Samsung QN90A to 'Best Samsung TV' and removed the Samsung QN85A; added the Samsung Q70A as the 'Best Mid-Range TV' to reflect market placement and added the Samsung S95B as the 'Best For Home Theaters'; updated Smart Features section to reflect changes to Tizen OS.
Apr 08, 2022: Updated text for clarity.
Feb 07, 2022: Added the Samsung QN85A QLED as the 'Best For TV Shows' and renamed the Samsung QN90A as the 'Best For Movies' to reflect user needs; removed the Samsung QN900A 8k QLED.
Dec 09, 2021: Verified picks for availability and updated the text for accuracy.
Oct 13, 2021: Added the Samsung QN900A 8k QLED as the Best 8k TV and removed the Samsung QN85A as Best for Wide Seating Arrangements to have 4k and 8k categories; updated text for clarity.
Samsung, in general, makes very good TVs. Their range has crept up in price over time, but most people should still find a TV that suits their needs within it. Their smart features aren't the best, but they're still quite good. They're usually quite versatile and fit most uses. You might have to pay a premium for their TVs, but you'll get excellent picture quality, especially with the higher-end models. Whether you're looking for the best Samsung smart TV or the best overall TV, you'll find great picture quality.