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The 5 best 4K TVs: Ultra-high definition screens

What is the best 4K TV? Our expert pick is the Samsung QN90B for its picture quality, variable refresh rate support, object tracking sound, and built-in voice controls via Alexa or Samsung's Bixby. It's easier and more affordable than ever to get your hands on a 4K TV We researched and compared big brands like Samsung, Sony, and LG, as well as more affordable options from TCL if you need to stick to a budget.
taylor-clemons
Written by Taylor Clemons, Staff Writer on

Since 4K TVs were first introduced to customers back in 2013, they have become much more affordable and easier to find, allowing you to get a great TV to upgrade your home theater or to use as a second screen without spending a fortune. Brands like Samsung, LG, and Sony are known for their premium models with features like object tracking sound, ambient light and sound sensors, and machine learning processors. They also have excellent mid-range options if you're looking for a balance of price and features. 

And if you're looking to stick to a modest budget, brands like Hisense and TCL have made a name for themselves by offering quality 4K TVs for much lower prices. While they are more stripped-back than offerings by more well-known brands, they still provide features you've come to expect for home entertainment: video and music streaming, hands-free voice controls, and Bluetooth connectivity. 

With so many options available, it can be a bit of an overwhelming task to shop for a new 4K TV. So to help you decide which is the best fit for your budget, space, and entertainment needs, I've gathered up five of the best 4K TVs you can buy right now. I've broken down their features and price points to help you find the TV of your dreams.

Screen size: 43-85 inches | HDR: Quantum HDR 32X | Resolution: 4K | Refresh rate: 120Hz | Audio: Dolby Atmos, Object Tracking Sound+ | Panel type: Neo QLED | Voice controls: Alexa, Hey Google, Bixby 

Samsung has consistently ranked within the top three picks of our TV best lists, and the QN90B is no exception. It comes in screen sizes from 43 to 85 inches, so you can find one that will perfectly fit your space, and the updated Neo QLED panel provides excellent color saturation, detailing, and contrast. The screen is also treated with an anti-glare coating for better visibility with overhead and ambient light. If you're a movie buff, you'll love the object tracking sound, which creates audio that follows the on-screen action for a more immersive experience; and with Dolby Atmos, you'll get room-filling, virtual surround sound. 

The voice-enabled remote has Alexa, and Samsung's Bixby built in as well as support for Hey Google to give you hands-free controls. Console gamers can take advantage of the AMD FreeSync Premium Pro support for variable refresh rates, lower input latency, and enhanced HDR support for smoother playback and action sequences. And if you work from home or have a hybrid home/office schedule, you can use the Google Duo app on your QN90B to make video calls with co-workers and managers, letting you stay productive without being tied to a desk. 

Pros:

  • Updated QLED panel
  • Dolby Atmos 
  • AMD FreeSync Premium Pro support
  • Google Duo support

Cons:

  • Pricey, especially at bigger screen sizes
  • No Dolby Vision support

Screen size: 55 inches | HDR: HDR | Resolution: 4K | Refresh rate: 60Hz | Audio: Dolby Digital Plus | Panel type: LED | Voice controls: Hey, Google 

Buying a new 4K TV doesn't mean you have to spend a fortune to get one that fits all of your entertainment needs. The 55-inch TCL 4-Series Google TV retails for just over $300, making it one of the most affordable midsize TVs on the market. And just because it's budget-friendly, that doesn't mean you have to sacrifice features. With the Google TV platform, you'll get access to hundreds of apps like Netflix, Hulu, and Disney+ so you can start streaming right out of the box, plus the voice-enabled remote works with Hey Google for hands-free controls. 

With Bluetooth compatibility, you can set up wireless connections to sound bars and speakers for a custom home theater configuration or share media from your mobile devices for more ways to view photos and videos or listen to music. And if you've cut the cord with your cable or satellite provider, the 4-Series Google TV has a built-in digital tuner so you can pick up over-air channels and stay up-to-date with local news, sports, and live TV for free. 

Pros:

  • Affordable
  • Hey Google built in
  • Chromecast built in
  • Digital TV tuner

Cons:

  • Somewhat low refresh rate
  • No Dolby Atmos or Dolby Vision support

Screen size: 42-83 inches | HDR: Dolby Vision IQ, HDR10 | Resolution: 4K | Refresh rate: 120Hz | Audio: Dolby Atmos | Panel type: OLED | Voice controls: Alexa, Hey Google 

For customers who prioritize picture quality above all else, an OLED TV is the only choice; and the new C2 Evo continues to prove why LG is the king of OLED. This model is available in screen sizes from 42 to 83 inches, and the updated OLED panel is 20% brighter than its predecessor. This gives you better visibility in brighter rooms without sacrificing contrast, color accuracy, or detailing. The C2 Evo supports both Dolby Vision IQ and Dolby Atmos for a truly immersive experience when streaming movies, shows, and music. 

You'll also get a suite of preloaded apps like Prime Video, HBOMax, and Apple TV+ so you can start streaming your favorite shows and movies right out of the box. Plus, with the LG Channels app, you'll get access to free live TV so you can watch sports, news programs, and on-demand movies. The C2 Evo also supports both Nvidia G-Sync and AMD FreeSync Premium VRR, so you get the best gaming experience. 

You can even use it with Google Stadia or Nvidia GeForce Now for playing cloud-based PC games from the comfort of your couch. The voice-enabled remote works with Alexa, Hey Google, and even Siri for hands-free controls.

Pros:

  • Excellent picture quality
  • Nvidia G-Sync and AMD FreeSync Premium support
  • Cloud gaming support

Cons:

  • Very expensive, especially at bigger screen sizes

Screen size: 85 inches | HDR: Dolby Vision, HDR10 | Resolution: 4K | Refresh rate: 120Hz | Audio: Dolby Atmos, Acoustic Multi-Audio | Panel type: LCD | Voice controls: Hey Google

Getting a big-screen TV is important if you have a very large living room or home theater. And the 85-inch Sony X90K is an almost perfect choice for creating a cinema-like experience at home. It uses Sony's Bravia XR LED panel technology to mimic the contrast and color accuracy you'd see in their OLED models but at a (comparatively) more affordable price. The updated processor uses machine learning algorithms and artificial intelligence to process and analyze both movies and TV shows scene-by-scene for more accurate upscaling, detailing, and colors. It uses the Google TV platform to give you access to all of your favorite streaming apps as well as sharing media from your mobile device via Bluetooth or AirPlay2 connectivity. 

The X90K also uses Sony's Acoustic Multi-Audio technology to turn the entire screen into a speaker for near-perfect audio and video syncing, and with support for Dolby Atmos, you'll get excellent virtual surround sound. If you're a movie buff, you can take advantage of the X90K's support for Dolby Vision HDR and its Netflix Calibrated Mode and IMAX Enhanced mode, allowing you to watch movies and shows as their creators intended. If you've managed to get ahold of a PlayStation5, the X90K is optimized for play on the console, with input reaction times as low as 8.5ms and 120fps at 4K for a smoother, lower latency experience. And if you work from home or have a hybrid schedule, you can connect a Bravia Cam to your X90K TV to make video calls and attend virtual meetings without needing to be at your desk. 

Pros:

  • Great audio quality
  • Great picture quality
  • Optimized for PlayStation5
  • Bravia Cam video calling is available

Cons:

  • On the pricey side
  • No object tracking sound

Screen size: 43-75 inches | HDR: HDR10, Dolby Vision (65 and 75-inch models) | Resolution: 4K | Refresh rate: 60Hz | Audio: Dolby Digital Plus | Panel type: LED | Voice controls: Alexa 

The Amazon Fire TV Omni Series is the perfect choice for anyone who has decided to cut the cord with their cable or satellite provider and move exclusively to streaming. It runs on the Fire TV platform, which integrates things like Alexa and Alexa Skills as well as Amazon Music and Prime Video into a single package to turn your living room into the ultimate entertainment hub. Along with Amazon-branded apps, you'll also get access to hundreds of others like Discovery+, YouTube, and Spotify. With 4 HDMI inputs, you can connect all of your playback devices like DVD and Blu-Ray players, game consoles, and soundbars to create a custom home theater setup. 

The 43, 50, and 55-inch versions have HDR10 and HLG support for enhanced contrast and clarity, while the 65 and 75-inch models work with Dolby Vision HDR. You'll also get great audio quality with support for Dolby Digital Plus. You can even use Alexa Communications and Zoom on your TV to make video calls to co-workers, family, and friends or hop into virtual meetings. With AirPlay support, you can share photos, videos, and music from your iOS and macOS devices for more ways to entertain family and friends.

Pros:

  • Lots of screen sizes to choose from
  • Plenty of inputs
  • Video calling 
  • AirPlay

Cons:

  • Dolby Vision only on 65 and 75-inch versions
  • No Dolby Atmos support

What is the best 4K TV?

My pick for the best 4K TV is the Samsung QN90B. It comes in screen sizes ranging from 43 to 85 inches, object tracking sound for immersive, 3D audio that follows the on-screen action, and Dolby Atmos support for virtual surround sound. 

It also features Alexa and Samsung's Bixby built in for hands-free controls, an anti-glare coating on the screen for better visibility, and support for AMD FreeSync Premium Pro for smoother motion when playing video games.

4K TV

Price

HDR

Refresh rate

Samsung QN90B

$1598

Quantum HDR 32X

120Hz

TCL 4-Series 55-inch

$320

HDR

60Hz

LG C2 Evo OLED

$1697

Dolby Vision IQ

120Hz

Sony X90K 85-inch

$2798

Dolby Vision

120Hz

Amazon Fire TV Omni Series

$420

HDR10, HLG, Dolby Vision (65 and 75-inch models)

60Hz

Which is the right 4K TV for you?

The 4K TV that is right for you is the one that is going to not only fit your budget, but your entertainment needs as well as your space. To find out your ideal TV size, measure the distance (in inches) from where you'll be sitting to where your TV will be placed on a stand or wall mounted, then divide that number in half. So if your couch is 10 feet (120 inches) from where your TV will be, your ideal screen size would be 60 inches. 

You can go bigger or smaller depending on what your budget is and what is available from different brands, but you don't want a screen so big that it overpowers your living room or one that's so small it forces everyone to crowd around. 

You should also look for a TV that has a suite of preinstalled, popular streaming apps like Netflix, Hulu, and Prime Video to get you started right out of the box; though you can download your other favorites later. And if your smart home network relies on a virtual assistant like Alexa or Hey Google, choose a TV that either works with your Echo or Nest devices or has a voice-enabled remote for hands-free controls.

Choose this 4K TV…

If you need…

Samsung QN90B

A well-rounded 4K TV for streaming movies and shows or playing video games

TCL 4-Series 55-inch

An affordable 4K TV for your living room or as a second screen in your bedroom

LG C2 Evo OLED

A 4K TV with the best possible picture quality

Sony X90K 85-inch

A big-screen 4K TV for larger home theaters and living rooms

Amazon Fire TV Omni Series

A 4K TV with a suite of preinstalled streaming apps for cord-cutters

How did we choose these 4K TVs?

I chose 4K TVs from both well-known brands like Samsung and Sony as well as lesser-known companies like TCL. This provided a good variety of price points to fit different budgets as well as feature packages to suit different entertainment needs and tastes.

Should I buy a 4K TV or wait for 8K?

As of right now, you can buy an 8K TV for a relatively reasonable price compared to when they were first introduced. But unless you're exceptionally concerned about future-proofing your home theater, it's kind of a waste of money. There is no native 8K content anywhere to stream or with cable and satellite, and gaming consoles aren't able to produce native 8K graphics. 

The TVs will have a processor that can upscale 4K and 1080p content to 8K, but in my opinion, it isn't really worth it to spend the money just yet. You're better off taking your money and buying the best 4K TV your budget will allow, giving you at least another 5 to 7 years before you even need to think about upgrading.

Which TV has the best picture?

In general, OLED TVs are going to give you the best picture quality available on the market. More specifically, my pick for the TV with the best picture is the LG C2 Evo OLED. The individually lit pixels mean you can get bright whites and deep blacks for better contrast as well as fine details and bolder colors than LED or QLED counterparts.

The C2 also has a brighter screen than its predecessor for better viewing in almost any environment without sacrificing contrast or color saturation. It works with Dolby Vision HDR for even better detailing when upscaling non-4K content while the Filmmaker Mode lets you watch your favorite movies and shows just as their creators intended.

Which TV brand is the most reliable?

It's hard to find a TV manufacturer that isn't going to give you a decently reliable model. But if you're really worried about how long your TV is going to last, spring for a model from one of "the big three": Samsung, Sony, and LG. These well-established brands have plenty of R&D to back up their tech, giving them all an edge over lesser-known brands like TCL or Hisense. 

But that's not to say that you should completely disregard smaller brands. TCL and Hisense have started to make a name for themselves by offering dependable 4K TVs at lower prices without sacrificing features that you've come to expect for home entertainment: voice controls, preinstalled streaming apps, HDR support, and virtual surround sound audio.

Are there alternative 4K TVs worth considering?

These days, it's harder to find a TV that isn't 4K. You name a brand, and it's almost guaranteed that they have 4K TV models on store shelves. And with so many to choose from, it can be difficult to know where to start when shopping for a new 4K TV. So here's a short list of other models that I thought were great choices:

Editorial standards

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