With four times the amount of pixels of their Full HD forebearers, 4K televisions have a frankly stunning amount of pixels.
But aside from all having the correct amount of pixels, there’s a huge amount of variation in the quality of the various sets. Some have better user interfaces, others make better use of content, and some are frankly beautifully designed.
Our constantly updated list of the best 4K TVs is the best way to find a set that does what you need it to do without spending more money than you need to on extraneous features.
The world of TV buying can feel unapproachable when you’re first getting into it, but give it some time and it will all make sense. Let’s try and make your buying decision at least a bit easier with our picks for the best 4K TVs.
Here’s our current line-up, with details down below:
1. Samsung Q9F
2. LG E7 OLED
3. Sony X900E
4. Samsung KS7000
5. LG B6 OLED
6. Sony X930E
(Editor’s note: If you’re looking to purchase a 4K Blu-ray player then be sure to check out our list of the , or alternatively check out the , which comes equipped with a 4K Blu-ray player of its own.)
Samsung was the first brand to introduce an HDR-compatible screen way back in 2015, but it’s not been resting on its haunches ever since.
It’s latest flagship, the Q9F, is a perfect example of this. It ups the brightness to 1500 nits, 50% higher than the level required for UHD Premium certification, and the brightest TV we’ve ever tested.
Outside of an impressive-sounding number this brightness has a real impact on the set’s image quality. Detail is preserved in even the brightest areas of the image, and colors are exceptionally vivid and bright.
Even non-HDR content looks fantastic thanks to Samsung’s SDR upscaling technology.
No television is perfect, and the Q9F can occasionally suffer from some backlight clouding around bright objects. Additionally some settings cause color striping in HDR colours, but in all other respects this is the best television around at the moment.
Read the full review: Samsung Q9F
Thanks to the thinness the technology affords, OLED televisions often look striking, but LG’s OLEDE7’s ‘picture on glass’ design looks especially fantastic.
However beyond its aesthetic appearance, the set delivers the same great picture quality we’ve come to expect from OLED, with blacks that are far darker than any you’ll see from an LCD TV.
It’s black levels were already impressive, but LG’s development this year has been to boost the maximum brightness level that the set is capable of, resulting in images that really pop.
LG’s flagship this year is the crazy-expensive OLED W7, but frankly the E7 offers a very similar level of quality at a much lower price. It still looks great, it’s still packing Dolby Atmos, and although it can’t boast the wallpaper thinness of the W7, it’s not far off.
For all those reasons and more, the E7 OLED is a worthwhile addition to any home theater.
Read the full review: LG OLED E7
Although LCDs haven’t quite achieved the same black levels as their OLED rivals like the LG E7 above, the Sony X900E’s HDR performance comes tantalizingly close.
This is achieved through the set’s direct LED backlight, which allows it to achieve a brightness uniformity that edge-lit displays often fall short of.
Add in fantastic detail and motion handling, and you’ve got yourself a set that strikes an excellent balance between price and performance, and is well worth a look, even if its Android TV interface can feel a little cluttered, and its remote a little cheap.
Read the full review: Sony X900E
Despite being much cheaper than the year’s more premium KS9500 range, Samsung’s KS7000 series still meets the demanding specifications set out by the Ultra HD Premium standard. Which means, essentially, that it’s got enough brightness, contrast, colour and resolution to produce an uncompromising high dynamic range performance.
So it is that HDR sources look unprecedentedly dynamic and rich for the KS7000 range’s level of the market. The sets also do an emphatic job of getting the maximum impact from their native 4K pixel counts.
The TVs look brilliant with standard dynamic range sources too – though a recent firmware update means that all Samsung’s 2016 SUHD TVs offer a surprisingly effective processing system for upscaling SDR to HDR.
There’s no 3D support, and very high contrast HDR images can suffer with fairly obvious signs of backlight striping and clouding. Neither of these issues, though, stop the KS7000 from being a great value way of finding out what all the HDR fuss is about.
Read the full review: Samsung KS7000
The brilliantly simple attraction of the LG OLEDB6 4K TV range is that they bring you a similar level of OLED-based picture quality thrills that saw the OLEDE7 range bag a slot right near the top of this list, but they do it at a much more affordable price.
The thing is, the reasons the OLEDB6 models are so much cheaper than the E-series models are down to things like design, build quality and reduced audio performance rather than massively compromised image reproduction. So it still delivers the unbeatable black levels, lovely rich colours, extreme contrast and pixel-level light control of its step-up OLEDE6 siblings.
As a last-generation set (we’ll have a review of the current generation B7 soon) the OLEDB6 suffers more with OLED’s tendency to lose detail in very bright areas of HDR pictures, but it’s as good as it gets with the SDR content we still watch for most of the time and remains the natural successor to the plasma TVs so beloved of AV enthusiasts.
Read the full review: LG OLED B6
The Sony X930E range is the more premium range that sits alongside the XE90 above and it’s certainly a more ambitious set.
The X930E features a Sony innovation known as ‘slim backlight drive’ which attempts to deliver areas of concentrated light in the screen while maintaining a slim form-factor.
For the most part this system performs admirably, and creates fantastically bright images that have real punch and intensity to them.
But the system does have it’s issues with keeping this brightness to the bright areas of the image, where it can occasionally see this light ‘bleed’ out into darker parts of the image.
Thankfully this set is also no slouch in the sound department; it’s happily one of the better sounding TVs out there.
So the X930Eis a great looking set, but while it may be much more premium than the X900E listed above, it doesn’t quite go all the way in justifying its increased cost.
Read the full review: Sony X930E
By John Archer
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