When it comes to the best 4K UHD TVs that you can pick up today, you’ve come to the right place, we’ve put our heads together to bring you to the top 4K resolution TVs of the moment.
Despite some very early teething problems, 4K – also known as Ultra HD or UHD – now dominates the television market, and all the major players are on board, pushing their sets to be the very best they can be.
As a result, there’s never been a better time to buy a 4K Ultra HD TV. The technology is improving all the time, while 4K content from the likes of Netflix and Amazon has become the new norm (and that’s before you get to physical Blu-ray discs).
Putting out the best 4K TV isn’t just about how many pixels you can push to a screen though – it’s about the quality of those pixels too. With that in mind, we’re excited about the very latest add-ons to UHD, including High Dynamic Range and Wide Color Gamut, which promise to take all those pixels and make them really shine.
We’ve been testing TVs since the dawn of 4K, and using that wealth of experience alongside the hundreds of TVs that have crossed our paths, we’ve created a list of the best 4K TV sets. We regularly update this list with new suggestions, so keep on checking back.
What’s so great about 4K TVs?
Not only do 4K UHD screens have four times the amount of pixels as their 1080p predecessors, these 4K TVs also usually pack in screen technology like High Dynamic Range (HDR) and Wide Color Gamut (WCG) that really make the most of those extra pixels.
The other reason 4K TVs have taken off is that game consoles, like the PS4 Pro and Xbox One X, have totally embraced the 4K future, as have the Blu-ray industry and streaming video player market. Pretty much everyone is on board the 4K Ultra HD train these days, so what better time to get a set?
If all of this sounds weird or archaic or tough to understand, don’t worry. We’re here to help decipher the wild, wonderful world of Ultra HD. Give us a few minutes of your time and we’ll help you take home the best 4K TV on the market.
1. Samsung Q9FN (65Q9FN)
The best 4K TV of 2018, bar none
Spectacular HDR picture quality
Powerful, well-rounded sound
Good smart system
Limited viewing angles
After an underwhelming debut, Samsung’s QLED technology really needed to bounce back in style in 2018. It didn’t surprise us in the least, then, to discover Samsung threw the kitchen sink in with its new Q9FN QLED Series of 4K TVs.
As well as being even brighter and more colorful than last year’s equivalent model, Samsung’s 2018 flagship screens use a completely different lighting system to combat its predecessor’s contrast problems: Full Array Local Dimming rather than edge-lit LED lighting. The FALD panel works in tandem with Samsung QLED Quantum Dots to produce a picture that’s brighter and more colorful than near any we’ve seen come from the South Korean manufacturer.
Do those features alone make Samsung Q9FN the best 4K TV on the market? No, but throw in technology like HDR10+ and Q HDR EliteMax – what Samsung bills as its maximum High Dynamic Range experience that’s exclusive to the Q9FN – and there’s very little doubt in our mind that this is Samsung’s best TV ever.
2. Sony Bravia X900F
The best mid-range 4K TV available now
Excellent motion handling
HDR isn’t the brightest
Remote doesn’t feel as premium
Short and sweet, the 65X900F is a brilliant mid-priced 4K TV. Every one of the improvements Sony has introduced over and above last year’s already excellent X900E series – better processing, more brightness, slightly more backlight dimming zones, improved motion performance – delivers the goods, resulting in picture quality that humbles many more expensive TVs.
Its Android TV system and some generally minor backlight clouding stop it short of perfection, but it’s hard to imagine any similarly priced upcoming 65-inch UHD rival getting the better of it.
3. TCL 6-Series (R615, R617)
The best budget 4K TV for those of us with shallow pockets
Bright, colorful HDR
Supports Dolby Vision
Roku TV is amazing
Loss of darker details
Limited motion settings
If you have deep pockets and a checkbook filled with blank checks, we’d tell you to reach deep and shell out for only the best 4K TVs on the market – LG’s crazy-thin OLED W8 or Samsung’s ultra-bright Q9FN QLED. But that’s not always realistic: for the vast, vast majority of us, our budget to spend on a 4K UHD TV is limited to somewhere under $1,000 – and often it’s even less than that.
To that end, it’s absolutely fair to say that the TCL 6-Series is the best TV you can possibly get in this price range. Its performance per dollar is unmatched and its picture quality – despite a few minor flaws – will truly impress you.
Said simply, if there’s a better value 4K TV on the market, we’ve yet to see it.
4. Sony BRAVIA A1E
The best premium 4K TV for those of us with money to spare
Gorgeous picture quality
Innovative and excellent sound
It’s not very bright
Android TV is clunky
If you have the money to bankroll them, the 55A1 – and the A1 OLED series overall – are 4K TV crowd pleasers in just about every way. Their ‘picture only’ design has been beautifully realized, managing to be simultaneously subtle and dramatic. Their vibrating screen delivers a far more powerful and effective sound performance than I’d thought possible, too.
The real stars of the show here, though, are the A1’s exquisitely detailed, contrast-rich and colorful pictures. These prove emphatically what we’ve long suspected: more brands using 4K UHD OLED technology can only lead to good things.
5. LG E8 OLED
The best OLED 4K TV of 2018
Awesome picture quality
Opulent and beautiful design
Excellent operating system
Much improved gaming potential
Occasional picture noise
Lacks brightness vs LCD
Having potentially pushed the hardware capabilities of its current OLED screen technology as far as they can go, LG has for 2018 turned its attention to the software that drives these screens – and this shift in focus has yielded surprisingly impressive results, improving and even removing many of the residual niggles associated with 2017’s already in truth outstanding 4K OLED sets.
The OLED65E8 loses a bit of ground sonically from its predecessor, and there’s some stiff competition this year from Samsung’s new Q9FN flagship LCD TV, but all the growing legions of OLED fans will probably need to hear is that the OLED65E8 is comfortably the best OLED 4K TV LG has ever made.
6. Sony XBR-65Z9D
One of the best LCD-LED 4K TVs ever made
Brilliant SDR picture quality
LOOK AT THAT PRICE TAG
Limited effective viewing angle
Look, there aren’t many people out there willing to drop $5,500 on Sony’s 2016 flagship 4K TV. But those who are will be treated to some of best images this side of a high-tech movie theater. There’s just nothing better in the LED-LCD world.
In fact, it might just be the holy grail of television: a 4K UHD TV able to combine the extreme, high dynamic range-friendly brightness of LCD technology with a 600 LED backlight arrangement capable of getting LCD closer than ever before to the stunning light control you get with OLED technology.
If all that wasn’t enough, the 65Z9D also sports the ‘X1 Extreme’ video processing system and the latest version of Sony’s reliable Triluminos wide color technology for unlocking the extended color spectrums associated with HDR sources – a must-have if you want to get the most from your movie collection.
7. LG C8 OLED
The best budget 4K OLED TV
Superb picture quality
Highly effective smart platform
Limited peak brightness for HDR
More expensive than last year
We’ve long loved LG’s B-Series of OLED 4K TVs with last year’s B7 OLED as the pinnacle of affordable OLED technology. But this year, LG has delayed the B-Series and has instead made the C-Series its front-running screen.
While we’re a bit miffed at the price increase from last year’s B7 to this year’s C8, it’s hard to say it’s unwarranted: LG’s C8 builds on the success of last year’s models, resulting in a TV that can deliver astonishing HD/SDR images and equally impressive 4K/HDR pictures. It’s not as bright as an LCD TV but those deep blacks make a huge difference to the dynamic range of the image. It’s also capable of vibrant and gorgeous colors, not to mention an astounding level of detail with native 4K content.
The WebOS smart platform remains the best available and the choice of streaming services is second to none. Once you add the gorgeous design and a comprehensive set of features, you have one of the most complete 4K UHD TVs that we’ve ever reviewed.
8. Samsung Q7FN QLED TV
The best 4K TV for overly bright rooms
Startling color accuracy
Great for daytime viewing
Edge-Lit VA panel
Limited viewing angles
While Samsung’s Q7FN isn’t quite the pinnacle of 4K QLED technology – that honor is reserved for the Q9FN – it is a great compromise between price and performance, offering a bright screen, three forms of HDR and incredibly accurate colors for $1,799 (£1,999, AU$3,699).
Ambient Mode adds a design aesthetic sure to please even the keenest of eyes and its low-latency game mode makes it a competent companion for the Xbox One X and PS4 Pro. HDR+ mode helps liven up HD/SDR content and of course, 4K/HDR content has an eye-watering sheen when viewed on this set. While the Q7FN isn’t quite a home run, it’s still a solid swing at the mid-range for 4K UHD TVs.