Best OLED TVs Buying Guide: Welcome to What Hi-Fi?'s round-up of the best OLED TVs you can buy in 2022.
If you're looking for the best TV, you're most likely focused on OLED TVs, such is their reputation for awesome performance. Best of all, while OLED TVs were eye-wateringly expensive when they first launched, prices have slowly dropped and you can now find some excellent OLED (Organic Light-Emitting Diode) TVs below that don't cost the earth – though they are still undeniably still more premium than most LCD TVs.
So what is OLED? It's basically the next step on from LCD. Unlike LCD TVs, OLED flatscreen TVs don't need a backlight. This means they can be ultra-thin, and because each pixel can be switched off and on individually, they tend to deliver some of the best black levels and contrast in the TV business.
OLED is also a more efficient and eco-friendly technology than LCD. They are more expensive to produce, though. Previously, this meant you didn't see OLED TVs under 55 inches, but 2020 saw a 48-inch set from LG hit the market and Sony followed with its own 48-inch model, and more arrived in 2021.
If you're wondering how OLED compares to Samsung's rival QLED technology, check out our OLED vs QLED comparison.
The very best OLED televisions combine 4K and HDR technology to devastating effect, so you'll find support for HDR10+ and/or Dolby Vision plus HDR10 and HLG as standard. We've rounded up the best OLED TVs out of all the ones we've tested below, including discounted models from 2020 and 2021 – 2022 TVs will likely start appearing from March onwards.
LG actually manufactures all of the OLED panels used in OLED TVs today, but don't go thinking that means they all perform the same. While you can pretty much guarantee excellent blacks and contrast from any OLED, there are lots of differences between models, from sharpness and motion processing, to colour accuracy, brightness and shadow detail. Specifications vary, too, particularly where HDMI features are concerned.
So, which OLED TV should you buy? Time to find out.
In a world of ever larger TVs, the 48-inch OLED remains a beacon of hope for those with more modest needs. The Philips 48OLED806 is one of the second generation of such televisions, which promise genuine flagship performance at a more manageable screen size – something that’s impossible to find on the LCD side of the market.
You might have a smaller living space, or want a great gaming TV, a screen for the bedroom or perhaps the 48-inch option is a compromise with your less AV-enthusiastic housemate. Whatever the situation, the 48-inch OLED is an excellent choice, and the Philips 48OLED806 is the best 48-inch OLED you can currently buy.
It takes more effort than most to find the best picture settings, and the default picture presets offered for each signal type are often less than ideal (Dolby Vision signals don't activate a proper Dolby Vision mode, for example), but with a bit of tweaking the OLED806 can be made to look both very accurate and supremely sharp and punchy. The performance is further enhanced by the beautiful Ambilight technology, which extends the onscreen action to the wall around the TV in the form of coloured light.
Last year's Philips OLEDs, while generally excellent, were notably lacking next-gen gaming features, but that isn't the case with the OLED806, which has two 48Gbps HDMI 2.1 sockets that support 4K@120Hz, Variable Refresh Rate and Auto Low Latency Mode. Input lag is very low, at around 14ms, and there's an HGiG picture setting for more accurate HDR tone mapping.
One thing to bear in mind is that one of the two HDMI 2.1 sockets is also the one that handles eARC (Enhanced Audio Return Channel), which means that if you have two HDMI 2.1 sources you’re not also going to be able to send sound via eARC to a soundbar or AV amplifier. This is a limitation of all TVs that we’ve tested that have two HDMI 2.1 sockets and, unlike those others, Philips does somewhat mitigate the issue by supporting standard ARC via its other three HDMI sockets.
While we'd certainly suggest taking advantage of the eARC/ARC functionality by adding a separate soundbar or AV receiver, the Philips OLED806 does sound decent by TV standards, producing a more detailed and dynamic sound than most (though not Sony's A80J or A90J).
All told, the 48OLED806 is a superb TV choice, and the 65-inch version is brilliant, too – you can read the review of that model by clicking below. You'll also see the latest, lowest prices for all versions of the OLED806 (it's also available in 55-inch and 77-inch sizes) if you scroll just a tiny bit further.
Read the full Philips 48OLED806 review
Read the full Philips 65OLED806 review
We rate products on a performance-per-pound basis. That’s always been the What Hi-Fi? way. We’re not looking simply for the absolute best product in each category, as that would invariably involve recommending one of the most expensive products in each category; we’re looking for the best bang for your buck. The product that best balances performance, features and price.
That isn’t to say that we’re averse to recommending a premium product when it justifies its high price, and that’s why we were delighted to bestow the full five stars upon Sony’s A90J flagship OLED when we reviewed it a little earlier in the year. Simply put, it’s the best TV we’ve seen so far this year, and we suspect that might well still be the case when we’re all singing Auld Lang Syne on 31st December.
It's not be the best performance-per-pound TV available right now, though, because this A80J beats it on that metric. This step-down model in Sony’s new OLED range certainly isn’t quite as good as its flagship sibling but, by offering most of what makes the A90J great at a much more competitive price, it’s turned out to be one of the very best TVs you can buy.
We knew that the A80J had the potential to be a very good TV, thanks to its shared DNA with the awesome A90J, but we had expected the gap in performance to be fairly big, given the huge gap in price.
That simply isn’t the case. It might not be quite as bright and punchy as its flagship sibling, but it's not far off, and that means it's still capable of producing more impactful highlights than rivals such as the LG C1. It's just as sharp and detailed as the A90J, too, which makes it an incredibly crisp and three-dimensional performer. What's most impressive is how the A80J combines the spectacular with the natural and authentic – no other TV available right now, bar its flagship sibling, delivers on creative intent as faithfully.
The A80J has a 30W Acoustic Surface Audio+ sound system, which uses actuators to vibrate the screen in order to create sound. It means the audio is tied to visuals in a way that TVs from other manufacturers can't match. The sound is also weightier and more spacious than that produced by similarly priced rivals, and there's impressive punch and dynamic range on offer, too.
A lack of Variable Refresh Rate and fairly patchy implementation of 4K@120Hz means hardcore gamers will still be better served by the LG C1 or Philips OLED806, but if your priorities are movies and TV shows, the A80J is a marvellous choice.
We've tested the A80J in its 55-inch size. It's also available as a 65-inch and 77-inch model. We've not yet reviewed it at those bigger sizes but you'll find the latest, lowest prices available for each version below.
In the UK, there’s also a variant of the A80J called the A84J. This version has a microphone integrated into its bezel for completely hands-free voice-control (the A80J has only a remote-mounted mic), plus a feature called Rich Colour Enhancer, which adds a tiny bit of extra richness to colours. Otherwise, the sets are identical and equally brilliant.
Read the full Sony XR-55A80J review
While Sony’s OLEDs are highly regarded, it’s typically hard to justify buying one over a rival LG. Historically, the Sony has a more authentic picture and better sound but is also a step behind on features and usability – and at least a level or two more expensive.
But what if Sony could produce a TV with most of those previously missing features, a more satisfying user experience, and a unique high-quality movie streaming app, all while raising the picture and sound quality to even greater heights? That's exactly what the company's done with the A90J.
In performance terms, the Sony A90J is an absolute stunner. It takes OLED picture performance to new, thrilling levels while maintaining the authenticity for which Sony is justifiably renowned. It also sounds significantly better than all of the other TVs you might be considering. The new Google TV operating system means the user experience is better than that of any pre-2021 Sony TV, too, and the exclusive Bravia Core streaming service is a genuine value-added feature.
Hardcore gamers might want to take a wait-and-see approach, though, as the set doesn't yet support VRR (an update has been promised but not dated) and we found the 4K@120Hz support a little buggy. However, if movies and TV shows are your priority and you have a big budget, we haven’t tested a better television than the Sony A90J.
Do check out the A80J at the top of this before handing over your money, though, as it offers much of (but not all) the A90J's excellence at a significantly lower price.
We've tested the A90J in its 55-inch and 65-inch sizes. It's also available as an 83-inch model, which we've not yet reviewed. You'll see the latest, lowest prices available for each version below.
Read the full Sony XR-55A90J review
Read the full Sony XR-65A90J review
LG’s C-series model has been the go-to pick of its OLED range for several years. It has always been the most affordable model with the company’s best panel and picture processing wizardry. Spending more would get you a fancier design and potentially better sound, but the picture would be no different.
That’s not the case anymore. LG has introduced a new, brighter and sharper ‘OLED Evo’ panel, and the C1 doesn’t have it.
With so much of the focus on the upgraded G1, it’s perhaps predictable that the C1 isn’t much of an improvement on its predecessor, but there wasn’t much that needed improving. The picture performance and feature set were already exemplary, and LG has slightly improved the former with its new Cinematic Movement motion processing and enhanced de-contouring feature (which reduces banding), and slightly improved the latter with a better menu system and a more complete app selection (all UK catch-up apps are present).
The G1's picture is undeniably better in terms of brightness, sharpness and detail, but we're not talking huge margins and most people will struggle to justify the extra £500 ($500), particularly when the niche design and weaker sound are taken into account.
Ultimately, in performance-per-pound terms, the C1 is the better buy. In fact, it's one of the most recommendable TVs available right now.
We've now tested the C1 in its 65-inch and 48-inch sizes, and both are brilliant. It's also available as a 55-inch, 77-inch and 83-inch model. We've not yet reviewed these versions but you'll see the latest, lowest prices on all versions below.
Read the full LG OLED65C1 review
Read the full LG OLED48C1 review
Panasonic has embraced the OLED era in a wholehearted, star-crossed lovers-style, producing some of the best TVs of the last few years. But, for the last couple of those, the company’s flagship picture has been tethered to its flagship sound.
Whether you rate that flagship sound or not (we did in 2019 but didn’t in 2020), the fact remains that in buying Panasonic’s best picture, you’re also forced into paying for something that you might not use because you’ve already got (or are getting) a dedicated sound system.
For 2021, though, Panasonic changed tack so that its best picture is no longer exclusive to this year’s 2000-series models but is also a feature of the 1500-series, seen here in 55-inch, TX-55JZ1500B guise.
The result is an excellent TV that makes Panasonic’s top picture performance more affordable than ever before. Its rich but natural colours are a particular highlight, and it's brilliantly detailed and sharp, with excellent motion handling to boot.
It’s still an expensive set, though, and the Sony A90J and A80J (both above), which are a good deal pricier and cheaper respectively, should both also be considered before you settle on the JZ1500B. We can well imagine that plenty of people will still choose the Panasonic’s beautifully vibrant performance even after seeing the very best that Sony has to offer.
We tested the JZ1500B in its 55-inch size. It's also available as a 48-inch and 65-inch model. We've not yet reviewed those versions but you'll see the latest, lowest prices for them below.
Read the full Panasonic TX-55JZ1500B review
For the last few years, the C-class model has been the sensible choice of each new LG OLED range. Until now, it has been the most affordable model with the latest panel and picture processing tech: go further up the range and you might get better sound and a fancier design, but you won’t get a better visual performance.
Now though, LG has introduced a new ‘OLED Evo’ panel that promises increased brightness and sharpness, and to get the Evo panel you have to step up to the G1. That’s slightly disappointing because you also end up paying extra for a rather niche design (the G1 is designed to be wall-mounted, to the extent that there's no stand or feet in the box) that you may not want.
Still, if the design works for you and you don't mind forking out the extra £500, the G1 is undoubtedly the best OLED that LG has ever produced. It takes the picture performance of last year’s GX and CX and improves upon it in almost every way, particularly in terms of brightness, sharpness and detail. That makes it a seriously stunning picture performer. It's also packed with apps and next-gen HDMI features, including 4K@120Hz on all four sockets.
Sound is less strong, but if you were always planning to combine your new TV with a separate sound system and the design works for you (and you've got deep pockets), the G1 should be seriously considered.
We tested the G1 in its 65-inch size. It's also available as a 55-inch and 77-inch model. We've not yet reviewed these versions but you'll see the latest, lowest prices below.
Read the full LG OLED65G1 review
Time was that getting an OLED TV under 55in was impossible, but then LG launched the world's first commercially available 48in OLED set. And now Sony has one of its own. It's a petite-looking OLED TV with tiny bezels and low pedestal stand. The enclosure bolted onto the back houses the speakers, processing hardware and connections.
Disappointingly, it lacks some next-gen HDMI features like 4K@120Hz (HFR), VRR (Variable Refresh Rate) and Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM – basically automatic switching to the TV's game mode when appropriate). Which is bad news for gamers looking to hook up a PS5 or Xbox Series X.
But that's really the only fault we can find with this TV. Sony's X1 Ultimate processor produxes stunning images, there's plenty of dark detail on show, and you have access to virtually every streaming app you could hope for. Motion control sensational, and in terms of sharpness and detail, you won't find a better TV at this size. If you can stump up the funds, you will not be disappointed.
Read the full Sony KD-48A9 review
The 55OLED805 is a Philips OLED as it should be; genuinely excellent. If you’re prepared to forego the odd next-gen feature, it's the best performance-per-pound OLED you can currently buy.
It produces stunningly crisp and detailed pictures from all sources, delivers far more accomplished audio than most rivals, adds awesome Ambilight (which extends the onscreen action onto the wall around the TV in the form of coloured light) to the mix, and has a lower price tag than its LG, Sony, Panasonic and Samsung equivalents.
If you're in the market for a bigger TV, there's also a 65-inch version available (the 65OLED805) and it's just as good.
Read the full Philips 55OLED805 review
Read the full Philips 65OLED805 review
We've already covered the new 48-inch version of the CX above, but it's worth remembering that the 55-inch and 65-inch models are also still available and the bigger you go, the better value you get.
The picture performance is just as excellent on these bigger sets, and simply more cinematic to boot, and of course the next-gen HDMI feature set and smart platform is the same, too. What's more, the bigger sets sounds a little bigger and fuller, too, thanks to the bigger chassis, although it's worth bearing in mind that the CX isn't the best-sounding TV in its class and that you're well advised to also budget for a soundbar.
All told, this is a superb all-rounder in whichever size you buy it.
Read the full LG OLED55CX review
Read the full LG OLED65CX review
The Philips 65OLED935 offers brilliant OLED picture quality, plus the added convenience of a built-in Dolby Atmos soundbar from Bowers & Wilkins. On paper, it's a solid combination and in practice, there's a lot to like about the pairing.
There's support for all major flavours of HDR and the Philips produces a suitably punchy picture, packed full of detail and boasting lusciously deep blacks. The soundbar spits out soundtracks with precision, depth and height although it could sound a bit more dynamic and dialogue a tad more expressive.
HDMI sockets total four in number, although HDMI features are thin on the ground, though: there's no support for 4K@120Hz (also known as HFR), VRR (Variable Refresh Rate) or eARC (Enhanced Audio Return Channel), although standard ARC and ALLM (Auto Low Latency Mode) do feature.
The soundbar houses no fewer than ten separate drivers including up-firing height speakers to help you get that full Dolby Atmos effect. It even showcases B&W's tweeter-on-top design.
Philips uses Android OS to drive this set and it works well enough - there's a solid app offering too, which includes Disney+, Netflix and Amazon Prime Video.
All-in-all, the 65OLED935 is an elegant soution for those looking for convenience and who don't mind paying a premium for it.
Read the full review: Philips 65OLED935
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