Let’s be honest: TVs have gotten so good that even the small and cheap ones look pretty great. But the decision of what TV to buy is more complicated than ever. There’s OLED screens and QLED and LED, smart TVs and not so smart, 8K and 4K, and a laundry list of inscrutable features like HDR and VRR. Where to start?
We’ll make things simple. In this article we’ve put together a list of our recommendations for the best TVs you can buy right now.
What TV should I buy?
There’s something exciting about buying the newest and greatest TV in the store, but the truth is, you may not want or need the high-tech innovations offered by the latest TV models. 8K televisions are the current cutting edge, and they’re incredibly impressive, offering four times the resolution of 4K high definition, with approximately 33 million pixels in the display. But they’re also total overkill for most users —in order to get an 8K picture, you have to provide an 8K source, and most streaming sources top out at 4k. So unless you really like to live at the bleeding edge of tech, a 4k screen might be best for you.
You want a crisp and clear picture, you want great sound, you want fluid motion...and all these televisions will deliver that and much more. We’ve tried to cover a number of different price points too, to give you an option or two whatever your budget.
What TVs are coming in 2023?
In late February, Sony introduced the new 2023 L lineup, and we visited the company to untangle all the new information about the latest TVs. You can read that story here to find out what’s coming from Sony, and also what trends are cooking industry-wide, especially in the image processing realm.
Meanwhile, to see what your best options are now, read on. The following options aren’t in order—consider them all recommendations. As for the prices mentioned on each one, they reflect what we’re seeing online at the time of writing, and you may see different deals and offers when you’re doing your own shopping.
LG C2 OLED Evo 4K
- Available sizes: 42, 48, 55, 65, 77, 83 inches
- Display tech: OLED
- Starting price: $1,400
The LG C2 OLED Evo 4K has been earning rave reviews from just about everyone who’s tried it, and it’s easy to see why: You get superb brightness and particularly contrast (as you would expect from an OLED panel), you get a top-end processor for object enhancement and dynamic processing, and you get a super-slimline, minimal design.
Available sizes go from the plenty large enough 42 inch to the simply gigantic 83 inch, with the 4K, 3840 x 2160 pixel resolution consistent throughout. You get some very decent HDR support as well, compatibility with the eARC standard for soundbars, and integrated 2.2-channel audio that offers a total of 40W of output together with Dolby Atmos support.
You’ve got four HDMI 2.1 ports to plug all of your various devices into, and the webOS software that comes on board the television is actually not bad either (you might not even need to plug anything in). For an outstanding picture with a punch, and action that grabs you, the LG C2 OLED Evo 4K is clearly one of the best options out there at the moment.
Samsung Q70A QLED 4K
- Available sizes: 55, 65, 75, 85 inches
- Display tech: QLED
- Starting price: $1,300
Samsung is a name you can rely on when it comes to televisions, and with the Q70A QLED 4K, we have a set that checks a lot of boxes. It offers a 3840 x 2160 pixel resolution, extensive HDR support, eARC compatibility, three HDMI 2.0 ports and one HDMI 2.1 port, and 40W of built-in 2.2 channel audio that intelligently optimizes itself in real time.
The QLED technology is Samsung’s own take on an upgrade to LED, with an extra Quantum attached in front: It’s intended to create superior brightness and contrast through the addition of a quantum dot filter on the standard tech. Here, an extra Dual LED backlighting system also aims to provide deeper contrast and more accurate colors.
One of the key features here—and one that applies particularly to sports—is the way the picture can be adjusted on the fly via the on-board processor to match what you’re watching and the conditions (like brightness) in the room you’ve put it in. Add in the fast 120Hz refresh rate and it’s perfect for anything where images are moving quickly.
TCL 6-Series Mini-LED QLED 4K
- Available sizes: 55, 65, 75 inches
- Display tech: Mini-LED QLED
- Starting price: $950
Stylish and packed with features, the TCL 6-Series Mini-LED QLED 4K scores highly in just about every department, and would be a perfect pick for Super Bowl day. It’s also cheaper than many comparable sets of the same size and resolution, which of course counts in its favor—as does the superior brightness and color you’re going to get from this model.
TCL uses the same QLED technology as Samsung (see the previous TV in our slideshow), while the Mini-LED approach means dimming that’s more precise and sharper across the screen. It all adds up to a vivid and rich 4K (3840 x 2160 pixel) picture, with great HDR standards support and four HDMI ports (two with HDMI 2.0 and two with HDMI 2.1).
This set can actually be found with either Google TV or Roku TV software on board, so take your pick. As far as audio goes, you’ve got two 15W speakers built in, plus options (including eARC) for connecting up separate audio devices. It handles motion very well too—very handy for sports of course—and maxes out at a 120Hz refresh rate.
Vizio MQX Series QLED 4K
- Available sizes: 50, 65, 75 inches
- Display tech: QLED
- Starting price: $600
Come for the very affordable price, stay for the quality of the video you’re going to get on this—whether it’s watching movies, games, or sports. The Vizio MQX Series QLED 4K is capable of making almost anything look good on screen, and it’s particularly adept at improving the visual appeal of content from lesser quality sources.
As for key specs, the 4K (3840 x 2160 pixel) resolution tops out at 120Hz (and even more if you’re willing to dial that resolution down), there’s support for Dolby Vision, HDR10+, and AMD FreeSync Premium, and you get four HDMI 2.1 ports to make use of. Support for eARC is included as well, and there are a couple of 10W speakers built into the television too.
Thanks to the QLED technology and the integrated processor, you get very decent contrast and brightness for the price you’re paying, and there’s good uniformity across the screen as well as intelligent HDR handling. That speedy refresh rate means that sports are going to come across as slick and fluid, and the television also handles reflections very well.
Hisense U8H Series 4K
- Available sizes: 55, 65, 75 inches
- Display tech: Mini-LED
- Starting price: $650
With fluid motion handling and excellent brightness levels, the Hisense U8H Series 4K is a fine choice when it comes to watching sports—and it handles everything else pretty well too. The Mini-LED technology brings contrast levels that are almost as good as OLED without sacrificing quality in other areas, and Dolby Vision and HDR10 are also supported.
This television set can output up to a 4K (3840 x 2160 pixel) resolution at up to a 120Hz refresh rate, and it’s more than competent at upscaling sources that are coming through at a lower resolution too. There are four HDMI ports (two HDMI 2.0 and two HDMI 2.1), eARC compatibility, and a pair of stereo speakers outputting 20W in total for built-in sound.
The design of the TV is fairly unspectacular, which suits us just fine, and you get the Google TV software on board—one of the better integrated software options on the market at the moment. It’s versatile, it’s fluid, it’s bright, and then there’s the price: This set proves that you don’t necessarily have to pay top dollar to get one of the best TVs.
Sony Bravia XR Master Series A90J OLED 4K
- Available sizes: 55, 65, 83
- Display tech: OLED
- Starting price: $1,800
Sony has been putting out high-quality Bravia TVs for many years now, and the A90J is a really good choice for all your content consumption, assuming you have the budget to afford it. This is a cut above most similar sized sets in terms of price, but it also has enough about it to justify the additional expenditure.
Every aspect of this TV is superbly done, from the real time image processing and optimization, to the fantastic contrast, deep blacks and vivid colors provided by the OLED panel, to the implementation of HDR (HDR10, HLG and Dolby Vision are all supported). The picture itself is a 4K, 3840 x 2160 pixel one, with all kinds of customizations available.
Those customizations cover motion smoothing as well as all the usual adjustments to brightness, contrast and so on. The refresh rate goes as high as 120Hz, there’s eARC support as well as the rather unusual option to use the screen itself as a built-in speaker, and four HDMI ports (two with HDMI 2.0 and two with HDMI 2.1), plus Google TV.
Amazon Fire TV 4-Series 4K
- Available sizes: 43, 50, 55 inch
- Display tech: LED
- Starting price: $260
Our next pick is aimed at those who want to spend as little as possible on their TV upgrade, in contrast to the Sony Bravia option we just mentioned. It doesn’t offer the superior screen tech of OLED, QLED or Mini-LED, but it still produces a very decent picture, and it has Amazon Alexa smarts built into it as well.
You do get a 4K, 3840 x 2160 pixel resolution screen with support for HDR 10 and HLG, and a refresh rate up to 60Hz. You’re well covered with ports too, with the set offering three HDMI 2.0 ports and one HDMI 2.1 port with eARC support. As far as integrated audio goes, there are a pair of 8W stereo speakers, and the set is compatible with Dolby Digital Plus.
Amazon makes a bunch of smart TV gear of course, and so the Fire TV OS software is better than most, especially when it comes to app support. There’s even an Ethernet port here if you want to ensure a rock solid connection to the internet for your streaming needs. Not the best TV you can buy at the moment, but one of those that offers the best value.
XGIMI Horizon Pro
- Available sizes: Up to 200 inches
- Display tech: Projector
- Starting price: $1,700
We’d be remiss if we didn’t put at least one projector on this list. The one we’re opting for here is on the pricey end, but is competitive with some of the more high-end TVs on the list. What you get in exchange for that cost is a full 4K picture that can stretch up to 200 inches while still staying bright enough to watch during daytime.
You might be tempted to go for a cheaper, ultra short throw projector instead, but those are often so dim during the day that it’ll be hard to see. The XGIMI Horizon Pro can instead hit 2,200 lumens, which should be more than enough to ensure a lively view even in a well-lit room.
Meanwhile, that large screen size and projected image will give your viewings a more cinematic feel, and built-in Google TV compatibility and a solid Harman Kardon speaker system will help you stream with ease while making sure you won’t be distracted by the admittedly minor dim of the projector actually running.
It’s not for everyone, but showing a giant display from a projector might be just the trick you need.
This list is updated regularly with new recommendations and product forecasts. Want more of Gizmodo’s consumer electronics picks? Check our our guides to the best phones, best laptops, best cameras, and best tablets and eReaders. And if you want to know about the next big thing, see our guide to everything we know about the iPhone 15.