There aren’t many things more exciting than making the decision (or getting permission) to buy a new TV. But excitement can soon turn into anxiety when you realise how many specs, features and technologies there are to consider. And then there are all of the individual TVs that are available within each category. You probably want your new TV to last a good few years so you definitely don’t want to make the wrong choice.
That’s where we come in. Every TV of note (and many of disappointingly little note) has been extensively tested by our team of expert reviewers in our dedicated testing labs. Our reviews aren’t just comprehensive, they’re comparative, so we know precisely how well each TV performs when compared with the other TVs in its class. In short, we’ve made all of the effort so you don’t have to. We know what we’re talking about and you can trust our verdicts.
Towards the bottom of this page, below the specific TV recommendations, you will find our exhaustive guide to choosing the right TV, but following on from here is an abridged version.
And do also check out our just-published LG G3 review. LG's new MLA-equipped TV may not appear in this list yet because of its high launch price, but that doesn't mean it's not an excellent TV...
What to look for in a new TV
Why you can trust What Hi-Fi? Our expert team reviews products in dedicated test rooms, to help you make the best choice for your budget. Find out more about how we test.
There’s no single TV that’s perfect for everyone, but your ideal TV is almost certainly on this page. You just need to figure out your budget, how big you can / are able to go, and what technologies are important to you.
Only you know your budget and space (although you will find a handy guide to choosing the right size of TV further down this page), but we can help on the technology side.
The biggest thing to consider is the panel technology. OLED now rules the roost at the premium end of things and is hugely popular thanks to its perfect blacks and pixel-level contrast control. LCD is still a huge deal too, though, particularly at the budget end of the market that OLED currently can’t touch. There are plenty of premium LCD-based TVs that are great, too, most notably Samsung’s top QLEDs, which combine Quantum Dots with Mini LED backlights to deliver the brightest, most vibrant pictures possible.
You also need to consider whether the TV you’re looking at has all of the streaming apps you want. While some apps, such as Netflix and Prime Video, are now commonplace, there may be an app that you love that’s less common. It’s also sadly the case that some streaming apps don’t work as they should on certain TVs. For example, many Google/Android TVs support Disney+, but not with Dolby Atmos. That’s why we manually check not only that every major app is present, but that it’s working at its best.
Serious gamers also need to check that their prospective new TV supports all of the latest gaming features. The most technically advanced and therefore rarest of these is 4K/120Hz, but VRR and ALLM are also worth looking out for. There are a number of TVs on this list that support all of these features, but we have a dedicated best gaming TVs guide for those to whom gaming is the primary concern.
Finally, you need to really consider sound, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t consider a TV that doesn’t sound good. Confused? That’s understandable, but the disappointing truth is that even the best-sounding TV is far behind a decent soundbar for audio quality, so we always recommend focusing on picture quality when buying a TV and budgeting for a dedicated sound system to go with it. We do know that’s not an option for everyone, though, so we do of course test a TV’s speakers as thoroughly as its screen. If the audio quality matters a lot to you, you’ll find all of the necessary info below. There’s also a TV in this list that’s serious about Dolby Atmos sound.
The best TVs you can buy
LG’s C-series TVs have been wildly popular for years now, and with very good reason, as they essentially represent the perfect intersection between performance, features and price. That’s never more been the case than with 2022’s C2, here represented by the 65-inch model. Before we get into comparisons with other TVs, though, let’s take a fresh look at the C2 in isolation.
This is an OLED TV that features LG Display’s OLED EX panel, which was introduced in 2022 and is brighter than those that went before it. To this, LG added its own algorithms and processing to produce what it refers to as an OLED Evo TV with Brightness Booster.
HDR is supported in the HLG, HDR10 and Dolby Vision formats (there’s no HDR10+ support but that’s not really a big deal), and all four of the C2’s HDMI sockets are 2.1-certified and support all of the most advanced gaming features – 4K/120Hz, VRR and ALLM. Dolby Vision gaming is supported right up to 4K/120Hz, and there’s an HGiG mode for more accurate tone mapping with the HDR games that support it. In short, there’s no better-specified gaming TV, and it performs brilliantly with the latest consoles.
But it’s a brilliant TV for non-gamers, too. The brighter OLED technology makes for a more excitingly punchy viewing experience, but there’s nothing forced about the delivery. On the contrary, this is the same, balanced delivery we’ve come to expect from LG’s OLEDs, but now with more dynamism and shadow detail.
In picture terms, there’s really nothing not to like at the price, but it has to be said that the sound is decidedly average, even by the fairly low standards of modern flatscreen TVs. As with the vast majority of sets, we recommend that you also budget for at least a soundbar if you’re going to buy the LG C2.
In terms of alternatives, LG’s own G2 is the most obvious. In many ways, it’s the same TV, but it goes even brighter thanks to the addition of a heatsink. It also has a picture frame-style ‘Gallery’ design. In fact, it comes with a wall mount rather than a pedestal stand. The G2 is undeniably a better TV than the C2 until you take pricing into account, at which point the C2 becomes the one that most people should actually buy.
You also need to consider that LG's 2023 TVs are now arriving in shops. We've already tested the G3 and it's superb, particularly in terms of brightness, which has been boosted by new Micro Lens Array technology. However, its high launch price means that the heavily discounted C2 is still the more sensible TV to buy for now. We haven't yet tested the C2's direct replacement, the C3, but we're not expecting it to be a big upgrade and it, too, has a launch price that's much higher than the current price of the C2.
There are many other TVs that should also be on your shortlist, with the Sony A80K, Samsung S95B, Panasonic LZ980 and Philips OLED807 being the most similar in terms of technology (they’re all OLEDs) and price. Ultimately, though, while each of those TVs has its merits, the LG’s brilliantly balanced performance, exhaustive feature set and aggressive pricing give it an all-things-to-all-people status that can’t be matched.
And if you’re after a smaller or larger TV, you can apply all of these findings to the 55-inch and 77-inch models. There are 83-inch and 97-inch versions, too, but they would require more testing before we were prepared to stick our necks out and say they’re just as good. There are also 42-inch and 48-inch variants of the C2, but they’re a bit different to the rest so we’ll get to them in a separate entry.
Read the full LG OLED65C2 review
Read the full LG OLED77C2 review
We’ve already covered the larger versions of the LG C2 at the very top of this list, but now it’s the turn of the 42-inch and 48-inch models. By and large, these are the same as their bigger siblings, but they don’t go quite as bright. This is the norm for smaller OLED TVs, which can’t be driven quite as hard on account of how tightly packed their pixels are. The 42-inch model also has a slightly different design that features desktop-friendly feet rather than the sleek stand of the other models.
Otherwise, you’re getting the same features, performance and user experience as that offered by the larger versions of the C2. That slight reduction in brightness really isn’t a big deal unless you regularly use your TV in a very bright room. In normal or ideal viewing conditions the smaller C2s are plenty bright enough and, thanks to OLED’s perfect blacks and pixel-level light control, contrast is truly stunning. While many TVs raise or lower their brightness as the ratio of light to dark ebbs and flows from shot to shot, the C2 exhibits a consistency that means you’re never distracted from the action by the way in which it’s interpreted by the display.
The C2 also strikes a near-perfect balance between black depth and shadow detail, exaggerating neither. You see what you’re supposed to see without there being any sacrifice to the dramatic intensity of the darkest parts of the picture. Colours, while at times just a touch warmer than is truly correct, are a lovely balance of richness and authenticity, and remain consistent across shots and scenes.
The only areas where the smaller C2 models are beaten are motion processing, which is good here but even better on the Sony A90K, and sound, which is lightweight and lacking volume. Those who would prefer an LCD-based premium TV should also check out the Samsung QN90B, which is also good but exhibited some distracting backlight inconsistencies during our extensive review.
Overall, the C2 is quite comfortably the best TV available at the size, particularly if you combine it with a soundbar. But do stay tuned for our review of the new C3, which is expected to arrive in shops very soon.
Read the full LG OLED42C2 review
QD-OLED, which is (broadly speaking) designed to blend the best qualities of both OLED and QLED, arrived in 2022 via the Samsung S95B and this Sony A95K.
OLED has become the premium TV technology of choice thanks to its perfect blacks, pixel-level contrast control, near-perfect viewing angles, super-thin designs and increasingly aggressive pricing, and QD-OLED is designed to overcome its main limitation – brightness.
If you are therefore expecting the A95K to be vastly brighter than the best standard OLED TVs, you might be slightly disappointed. Side by side with LG's G2 (2022's brightest standard OLED) there is little to choose between the two in terms of peak brightness.
But while the A95K isn't brighter than the brightest traditional OLED TV, it does deliver better bright highlights with subtle shades and colors that its non-QD-OLED rivals miss.
In less cultured hands, the added color vibrancy of QD-OLED’s Quantum Dots could lead to exaggerated vibrancy, but Sony’s careful, authenticity-led approach means the A95K is balanced and natural, and the fine detail, sharpness and three-dimensionality that its flagship OLEDs are known for remains.
The bundled Bravia CAM – a camera that magnetically attaches to the rear of the set and peeks over the top of the screen – isn't terribly useful now and possibly never will be, but for picture quality the A95K is a star. It sounds great by TV standards too, thanks to its bespoke Acoustic Surface Audio+ technology, which utilizes actuators that imperceptibly vibrate the whole screen to make sound.
In short, for movies and TV shows, in SDR and HDR and at all resolutions, the Sony A95K is exceptional. Hardcore gamers, particularly those on Xbox Series X, will still be better served by an LG, which has more HDMI 2.1 sockets, a Dolby Vision game mode and an HGiG setting, but for everyone else this is an exceptional option.
Do bear in mind, though, that second-generation QD-OLED TVs are on the way. While we haven't yet fully tested them, both the Sony A95L and Samsung S95C looked very promising in our recent hands-on sessions. There's a new generation of brighter standard OLED TVs around the corner, too, most notably the recently reviewed LG G3, which is a better picture performer than the Sony A95K but is lacking in the sound department.
Read the full Sony XR-55A95K review
Let’s address this right out of the block: there’s currently no 8K content that’s really worth watching. What’s more, no streaming service has even announced plans to start streaming 8K content and it seems unlikely that an 8K disc format will ever exist. In other words, you definitely don’t need to buy an 8K TV.
Having said that, there’s every reason you might be tempted to buy a Samsung 8K TV. That’s because Samsung has done a better job than its rivals of making its 8K TVs excellent performers with the content you already watch, and pricing them so aggressively that they don’t cost vastly more than their 4K equivalents.
The big deal here is that the QN900B’s upscaling is so effective that it makes 4K content look sharper and more detailed than it does on native 4K TVs. On top of that, it’s capable of going incredibly bright – more so than any other TV we’ve tested, in fact. Its Quantum Dot-boosted colours are exceptionally rich and vibrant, too, and the Mini LED backlight allows for superb contrast, from near-OLED blacks to awesomely bright highlights.
On top of all of that, the QN900B is one of the most stylish TVs ever created, with the thinnest bezels imaginable. And the feature set is exhaustive, from the app-packed operating system to the One Connect design, which moves all of the connections to a separate box and features four HDMI 2.1 sockets that support features such as 4K/120Hz, 8K/60Hz, VRR and ALLM.
The QN900B’s closest rival is the LG Z2 8K OLED, but that costs more than twice the price and is really no better a performer with 4K content than the company’s much more affordable G2 model. So, if it’s an 8K TV you want, either to make the most of the content you already watch or so that you’re ready for the 8K content that might one day appear, the QN900B is the TV to buy – at least until its replacement, the QN900C, turns up.
If you’re after a bigger or smaller 8K TV, the QN900B is also available in 65-inch and 85-inch sizes. We haven’t tested those specific versions but Samsung’s 8K TVs tend to scale up and down very consistently, so we expect them to perform just as well as the 75-inch model tested.
Read the full Samsung QN900B (QE75QN900B) review
How we test TVs
How we test TVs
Testing a TV is a long and complex process because a modern TV simply does so much. Not only does it need to handle a variety of content resolutions – standard-def, 1080p, 4K and sometimes 8K – and both standard dynamic range and high dynamic range (the latter in a number of formats), all of which need to be specifically tested, it also has a sound system with various advanced settings and a full smart platform. A TV is an all-in-one device in the best sense, but that also makes it a challenging review proposition.
As part of our testing process we manually check that every major app – from Netflix to Stan, Prime Video to Spotify – is not only present, but also outputting in the video and sound formats that it should. Just because there's a Disney+ app doesn't necessarily mean it's working in Dolby Vision and/or Dolby Atmos. In fact, in many recent cases it hasn't been.
We also connect both a PS5 and Xbox Series X in order to establish which advanced gaming features are and aren't supported, and on which of the TV's HDMI ports. Is 4K/120Hz supported? How about VRR? Is there a Dolby Vision game mode? Is there an HGiG preset for more accurate HDR tone mapping? We check all of these things, and measure input lag using a Leo Bodnar device.
We then test the TV's picture quality using a huge variety of content, from old DVDs to the latest 4K Blu-rays and plenty of streamed movies and TV shows in between. Every TV is tested against the best model at its price and size – we have a stockroom packed full of Award-winners for this very purpose.
We don't accept the out-of-the-box settings that a TV comes in either. While we intentionally don't go down the route of professional calibration (you shouldn't have to have your TV professionally calibrated in order to get the best out of it), we do spend hours adjusting settings using a mixture of test patterns and real-world content until we are sure we're getting the most out of a TV so that it has the best chance to shine.
While we almost always advise that a new TV is combined with a dedicated sound system such as a soundbar or AV amplifier, many people still prefer to stick with their flatscreen's built-in speakers, so we thoroughly test these too, using a wide variety of movie and music content and with great attention spent to the TV's many processing modes and individual settings.
We have state-of-the-art testing facilities in London, Bath and Reading, where our team of expert reviewers do all of our testing. This gives us complete control over the testing process, ensuring consistency. What's more, all review verdicts are agreed upon by the team as a whole rather than an individual reviewer, again helping to ensure consistency and avoid any personal preference.
The What Hi-Fi? team has more than 100 years experience of reviewing, testing and writing about consumer electronics.
From all of our reviews, we choose the best products to feature in our Best Buys. That's why if you take the plunge and buy one of the products recommended above, or on any other Best Buy page, you can be assured you are getting a What Hi-Fi? approved product.
How to choose a TV
What size TV should you buy?
While it might be tempting to think that bigger is better, the size of set that’s right for you is closely dependent on how close to the screen you’ll be sitting, and the resolution of the source material you’re watching.
Luckily, an organisation called SMPTE (which stands for the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers) has published detailed guidelines on exactly how far you should sit in order to optimise the performance of your TV.
If you’re sitting the correct distance from your TV, you’ll see lots of detail, good edge definition and smooth, clean motion, but if you’re sitting too close to the screen, then you’re going to see more picture noise and artefacts.
On the other hand, sit too far away from the TV and you’ll struggle to pick up all the picture detail your TV has to offer.
The following distances are a good place to start:
- 65in – around 2.1m
- 50-55in – around 1.7m
- 46in – around 1.5m
- 40-43in – around 1.3m
- 32in – minimum 1.3m (Full HD)
Should you buy a 4K or Full HD TV?
This question is pretty much moot now, as the vast majority of TVs are now 4K. It's actually rather hard to find Full HD (1080p) models, even at relatively small sizes.
If you're buying a TV below 32 inches and can save a lot of money on a Full HD model, by all means go for it (4K won't be a huge benefit at that sort of size anyway), but otherwise 4K is both worthwhile and, in all likelihood, your only option.
Should you buy an 8K TV?
You can now buy 8K TVs from a number of brands, including Samsung, LG and Sony. It's arguably Samsung that has lead the way, and our favourite 8K TV so far is the excellent QE75QN900B.
It's important to note, though, that almost no native 8K content is available. If you buy an 8K TV and want to show off its ridiculously high resolution, you'll have to do so using nature, scenery and space footage from YouTube. At this stage, no streaming services have even hinted at launching 8K content, and it seems unlikely that an 8K disc format will ever materialise.
For those reasons, it's hard to recommend that most people pay the extra for an 8K TV at this stage. That said, if you've got deep pockets and want to be as ready as possible for the potential 8K content of the future, there's no real harm in going for an 8K TV now, particularly as models such as the Samsung QN900B make current 4K content look better than ever.
Should you buy an HDR TV?
High Dynamic Range is without a doubt a much bigger deal than 8K, and certainly something you should consider before buying your next TV.
Essentially, the higher the dynamic range (brightness and colours), the more lifelike the picture. HDR offers greater subtlety and depth of gradations of colours, plus stronger contrast.
There are various types of HDR out there, and with different TV brands backing different variants, it can be a minefield trying to find the best option. Allow us to explain.
First up is HDR10, which is essentially the core HDR format that every HDR TV should support.
HDR10 is a static HDR format that applies the HDR values on a scene-by-scene basis (i.e. whenever the camera cuts to a new scene). Dolby Vision, on the other hand, applies this image information (called metadata) on a frame-by-frame basis. This dynamic form of HDR, when implemented properly, has the potential to improve upon the standard HDR10 presentation.
HDR10+ is a rival format to Dolby Vision. Created by Samsung, it also uses dynamic metadata but, whereas Dolby Vision is licensed, HDR10+ is a free, open format that any company can deploy as it sees fit.
Of these two 'dynamic' HDR formats, Dolby Vision is by far the most prevalent, both in terms of TVs and content, and if you have to choose between one and the other, that's the one we'd recommend. That said, you can now buy TVs from the likes of Philips and Panasonic that support both Dolby Vision and HDR10+.
Finally in our rundown of HDR formats is HLG (Hybrid Log Gamma), which was developed specifically for broadcasting by the BBC and Japan's NHK. It's used to deliver all of the HDR content offered by the BBC and Sky, so can be considered very important. Luckily, it's now almost as common as standard HDR10 in TV spec lists, so you should have little problem finding a model that supports it.
What inputs and outputs does your TV need?
These days, it's all about HDMI, which is used to connect everything from set-top boxes to video streamers, Blu-ray players to games consoles. Thanks to ARC/eARC (Audio Return Channel / Enhanced Audio Return Channel), a single HDMI connection can even be used to output sound to an AV receiver or soundbar at the same time as it receives a video signal.
Currently, three HDMI connections is standard on budget and mid-range TVs, while four is the norm for premium models.
The specification of the HDMI connections tends to differ depending on the price of the TV, too, with premium models now commonly getting at least one or two HDMI 2.1 sockets. These have greater bandwidth than their HDMI 2.0 counterparts and can support advanced formats such as 4K@120Hz and 8K@60Hz. Fancy gaming features such as Auto Low Latency Mode and Variable Refresh Rate are often supported via HDMI 2.1 (and some HDMI 2.0) sockets, too, though not always. It's sensible to check the specs thoroughly if there are particular features you're after.
After HDMIs, USB ports are the most abundant on modern TVs. You can use these to keep devices charged (often particularly useful for stick- or dongle-style streamers), and some TVs allow the connection of flash drives and hard drives for the recording of live TV content.
On the subject of live TV, you can expect practically every TV to have an aerial socket via which it can receive Freeview broadcasts, but many also have a satellite connection. Be warned, though; the presence of a satellite connection doesn't guarantee that there's a Freesat tuner on board. Without one, you'll receive only a patchy and disorganised selection of satellite TV channels.
Other useful connections include optical and stereo outputs, which can be used in lieu of HDMI ARC to connect legacy audio equipment. Headphone outputs are still fairly common, too, though Bluetooth is also supported by most TVs now and some models now feature the latter but not the former.
Lastly, while some TVs feature composite inputs (often via an adapter), most – even at the budget end – have phased out legacy connections such as SCART. So those clinging on to old video cassette recorders, for example, should be aware of that.
Should you buy an OLED, QLED or LCD TV?
LCD TVs, which require a backlight usually made up of white LEDs to show a picture on the LCD panel, are available in a wide variety of screen sizes and, thanks in part to the technology's low cost of production, at affordable prices.
OLED (Organic Light-Emitting Diode) is a panel technology that uses self-emissive particles – so there's no need for a backlight. This allows OLED TVs to be unbelievably slim, while also offering convincing pitch-dark blacks, strong contrast and superb viewing angles. LG, Sony, Panasonic, Philips and now Samsung are the big brands with OLED TVs in their line-ups and, broadly speaking, they're excellent.
QLED (Quantum-dot Light-Emitting Diode), meanwhile, is Samsung’s rival technology to OLED. A QLED TV is an LCD TV but with a quantum dot coating over the backlight. However, the quantum dots (tiny semiconductor particles) in current QLEDs do not emit their own light. So QLED TVs, like conventional LCDs, rely on a backlight. The advantages of a QLED TV? You tend to get brilliantly vibrant colours, plus bright, sharp and crisply detailed images. Samsung's QLEDs have got better and better over the years, existing as a fine alternative to OLEDs TVs. Interestingly, though, Samsung has now launched its own range of OLED (QD-OLED) TVs.
Which TV smart features and streaming apps do you need?
As with 4K, it's now hard to buy a TV that doesn't have a smart platform packed with streaming apps. Almost every TV will have Netflix and Amazon Prime Video on board, and Disney+ is fast approaching a similar level of ubiquity. Apple TV (which is great for pay-as-you-go movies as well as the Apple TV+ subscription service) is becoming increasingly common, too.
Beyond those, you're going to want to look out for services such as Stan, Binge, Foxtel Now and Paramount+, with priority given to those to which you already subscribe.
- Looking for a bargain? Here are the best cheap TVs
- Hardcore gamer? These are the very best gaming TVs
- Need a certain size? We've rounded-up the best 55-inch TVs
- Need something bigger? What about the best 65-inch TVs
- Want a future-proof TV? Here are the best 8K TVs