Shopping for a new TV can be tough, especially if it’s been a few years since you last bought a big screen. TVs can have complicated names, complicated feature sets and price tags that seem to shoot up without reason. It’s so easy to give up searching that most folks just plunk down money on whatever’s cheapest – even if that means getting the worst TV on the shelf.
We don’t want that happen. In fact, we’re going to do everything in our power to help you find the best TV in your price range. That’s what this list is all about.
The TVs listed below are based on scores assigned by our sterling team of reviewers and compiled by us based on performance. At the top of our list you’ll find the brand-new Samsung Q90, available now, which is an early contender for TV of the year. Behind it is LG’s new 2019 C9 OLED and a stellar Vizio screen that can reach up to 3,000 nits of peak brightness.
We’ve got models from Samsung, LG, Sony, TCL and Vizio below, so if you’ve got a particular brand affiliation – or an ecosystem you want to stay within – there’s something for you. After you’ve found a TV on page one, the second page will teach you more about what makes a TV tick and why those specs matter so much.
“Should I buy a TV now or wait it out?”
This is a question we get a lot. Like most technology (cough, iPhones) TVs are getting incrementally better all the time – which means, yes, if you wait a year – or even a few months – there will probably be a bigger, flashier TV out there for less money.
But while doing so will certainly net you a larger screen at a better price, some of the best panels are already being manufactured today. Tomorrow’s screens might be a bit larger, a bit brighter and a bit cheaper, but today’s screens are just as competent in their own right.
We can say that with confidence knowing that most manufacturers have finally embraced the three most important standards in TVs: Ultra HD, Wide Color Gamut and HDR (HDR10 and Dolby Vision). If a TV you’re looking at doesn’t support at least one of these, you should probably look somewhere else.
Not sure where to start? Here are the best TVs we tested this year.
Best TV 2019
1. Samsung Q90R QLED TV (2019)
Bright and beautiful but still missing some key components
Last year, the Samsung Q9FN was the TV to beat. It won plaudits galore for its features and image quality, not to mention its excellent, improved smart platform that came with Bixby support and Samsung SmartThings.
However it wasn’t perfect and there were legitimate complaints about viewing angles and an over-aggressive local dimming system that crushed detail just above black.
Samsung has clearly taken these criticisms to heart, and directly addressed them in the Q90. The new model has a visibly superior viewing angle that holds its own against an OLED TV, and the local dimming delivers deep blacks without losing shadow detail. To that end, the new Ultra Black Elite filter is nothing short of a revelation, rejecting ambient light in a way that just staggers belief.
The Q90 is able to deliver images that can directly compete with an OLED, with natural colors, bright highlights, deep blacks, and well defined shadows. It can also surpass any OLED when it comes to HDR, with images that are often breathtaking in their detail and dynamic range.
In fact our only real criticism would be that, unlike some of the competition, the Q90 doesn’t support Dolby Vision. However in all other respects the Samsung Q90 is an absolutely stellar TV that takes QLED to another level.
2. LG C9 OLED Series (2019)
LG’s new OLED has evolved into the smartest TV on the planet
The LG C9 is a truly exceptional 4K OLED TV that takes what was so impressive about last year’s C8 OLED and builds on it. The major difference is the inclusion of the 2nd generation Alpha9 processor, which uses AI enhancements to deliver stellar SDR and HDR images, and helps make the upscaling and processing second-to-none with incredible levels of detail and image fidelity.
As is the case with all OLED TVs the panel brightness pales when compared to an LCD TV, but brightness isn’t everything. The absolute blacks and pixel level of precision afforded by the self-emissive technology ensures that HDR looks stunning. There’s support for Dolby Vision as well, and only the absence of HDR10+ disappoints.
3. Vizio P-Series Quantum X (2019)
This is Vizio’s best and brightest TV
Full array backlightQuantum dot technology3,000-nit peak brightnessLackluster soundSmartCast interface
The Vizio P-Series Quantum X is a home run for Vizio. Sure, the SmartCast interface isn’t all the great, and the speakers are worth bypassing, but the TV is packed with awesome features and backed up by an excellent image quality. We’re looking forward to AirPlay 2 and HomeKit support, but even without those features the TV is still one of the best options in its price range.
4. Samsung Q900R QLED TV (2018)
An 8K LCD-LED TV for the history books
With most people – *cough* content providers – only just getting to grips with 4K resolution, you’d be forgiven for thinking that Samsung had gone nuts by introducing the world’s first true 8K TV. And yet, while it’s easy to be critical about the Samsung Q900R, it truly does usher in a new era of TV picture quality.
Its native 8K pictures are incredible, looking just like the real world – only better. But even more crucially given the dearth of true 8K content for the foreseeable future, the 85Q900R makes all today’s lower resolution sources look better than they do anywhere else, too.
Whether 8K delivers the same impact on smaller screens remains to be seen, but if you have a big enough room and budget, the 85Q900R is a vision of the future that’s actually spectacularly worth buying today.
5. Sony Bravia A9F OLED (2018)
Sony’s second-generation OLED flagship, the A9F, is coming at a good time – just as Samsung and LG have stepped up their games with the Samsung Q9FN QLEDand LG E8 OLED, Sony has fired back with a phenomenal OLED of its own.
Even better than the A1E before it, the A9F is unquestionably Sony’s best OLED offering to date, and arguably a strong contender for high-end screen of the year.
While we experienced some minor issues (notably Black level crushing on Dolby Vision, and that Netflix Calibrated mode), niggles are to be expected on a set as ambitious as this.
6. LG E9 OLED Series (2019)
An astonishing OLED panel
LG isn’t the only OLED maker in town – the A9F is Sony’s killer screen
Overall, the LG E9 OLED offers a dazzling picture, with crisp detail and truly cinematic visuals. LG’s organic LED displays lack the brightness of competing models, but those after a proper movie night in won’t be disappointed.
The E9 differs mostly from other LG OLEDs in its shape and its size options – both the more premium W9 and cheaper C9 offer a larger 77-inch model – but we’d be surprised if the E9’s all-glass panel design didn’t impress you. With a unique look, and the multi-channel audio to elevate it above other OLED sets in the range, the E9 is a fantastic addition to any living room if you can afford one.
7. Samsung Q70R QLED TV (2019)
The Q70R is a solid mid-range model that has most of the flagship’s shine
Samsung’s flagship Q90R QLED TV blew us away recently with its wider viewing angles, deeper blacks, and superior HDR images – sadly, however, not everyone can afford the flagship model. So what can Samsung offer for those wanting to experience QLED picture quality on a budget?
Despite sitting lower down in the QLED line-up, the Q70R includes the same comprehensive smart platform, extensive connections, and cutting-edge features found further up the range. This isn’t the flashiest-looking TV that Samsung has ever made, but if your funds are limited the Q70 is a cracking QLED all-rounder that’s worth checking out.
8. Sony Bravia X900F Series (2018)
Sony’s mid-range model offers affordability and stellar images
Direct LED with local dimmingExcellent motion handlingUnfussy but elegant designHDR is a bit dim
OK, so you don’t want (or can’t afford) Sony’s new A9F OLED or the fantastic-but-pricey Z9F. So what should you buy? Check out the X900F series. With superb 4K image clarity, powerful SDR-to-HDR remastering, and a smooth direct LED backlight, Sony is offering something very different with the X900F. We loved the consistency of its images, the eye-popping vibrancy of its wide color gamut panel and its easy-to-watch HDR – you get spectral highlights without accompanying eye fatigue.
9. TCL 6-Series (R615, R617) (2018)
An exceptional 4K HDR TV for the budget-minded buyer
If you had deep pockets and checkbook filled with blank checks, we’d tell you to reach deep and shell out for only the best TVs on the market – LG’s crazy-thin OLED W8 or Samsung’s ultra-bright Q9FN QLED (both featured on this list). But that’s not realistic. For the vast, vast majority of us, our budget to spend on a TV is limited to somewhere under $1,000 – and often less than that.
10. Hisense H8F (55H8F, 65H8F) (2019)
The Hisense H8F offers the best image quality
Hisense’s H8 Series has long offered high quality, but this year’s new H8F really takes the cake in terms of value and performance: It’s the company’s best value TV yet and offers both Android TV and the company’s proprietary ULED TV tech that it claims offers better contrast than rival LED TVs.
When it comes to raw picture quality, the Hisense H8F is simply the best TV. The TV offers a stellar image quality, with beautifully deep black-levels and crisp colors – all in a manageable 55-inch package.
Sure, the audio leaves a lot to be desired, and you may or may not like Android TV, but you can always buy a Roku streaming stick or Apple TV, and use the TV with a stereo surround system or other speakers – leaving the Hisense H8F to do what it’s best at: display a great image.