Best 4K TVs 2018: 4K, HDR, OLED, QLED

Wondering where to start with a 4K Ultra HD TV? We've done the hard work for you, running the rule over all the major TVs released to sort the wheat from the chaff. Here we're highlighting only the best of the best, so you know you're getting top bang for your buck.

After all, there's no other way to feast your eyes on all the Ultra HD content that's becoming more common - you can now watch it on Amazon, Netflix, Sky Q and BT Sport Ultra HD. Plus you can buy 4K Ultra HD Blu-rays. There's never been a better time to go 4K - and with Black Friday around the corner, you might be able to buy a bargain.

Under £500

Philips 50PUS6272

Philips 50PUS6272

Great 4K picture quality from an affordable 50in Philips TV.

SPECIFICATIONS

4K | HDR10, HLG | Ambilight

Reasons to Buy
Impressively punchy and dynamic picture quality for the price
Strong detail and definition
Good selection of apps
Ambilight
Reasons to Avoid
Looks dreadful out of the box and is a pain to calibrate
Fairly poor viewing angles
OS is a faff to use

The Philips 50PUS6272 is a 50 inch TV with 4K and HDR support, as well as Philips' eye-catching Ambilight picture technology, all for £460. What’s more, it goes beyond simple specs by offering picture performance that’s genuinely superb for the money. It can be a little bit fussy to use but there's no arguing with the value.

Under £750

Philips 50PUS6703

Philips 50PUS6703

A punchy, insightful picture for the money, with the bonus of Ambilight. Whatever you're watching, this 50in 4K Philips TV is a great bet.

SPECIFICATIONS

4K HDR | Smart apps | Ambilight

Reasons to Buy
Popping, dynamic image
Great handling of detail
Good range of streaming and catch-up apps
Ambilight
Reasons to Avoid
Dull user interface
Amazon Prime Video isn’t HDR
Uninspired remote
Difficult to set up

Another great budget Philips 4K TV, for £600 you get a 50in 4K HDR panel, with three-way-Ambilight thrown in for good measure. And it looks darn good too. Much like Philips’ other televisions, the 50PUS6703 comes with the expected streaming apps, including Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, plus the full suite of UK catch-ups. 

Under £1000

Samsung QE49Q7F

Samsung QE49Q7F

Samsung has produced another quality QLED at a size that OLED doesn't touch. The QE49Q7F produces a vibrant, colourful picture that's tough to beat at this price.

SPECIFICATIONS

4K | HDR10, HDR10+, HLG | QLED

Reasons to Buy
Punchy, bright and vibrant pictures - particularly in HDR
Fabulous detail and definition
Great operating system
Excellent for gaming
Broad selection of apps
Reasons to Avoid
Iffy viewing angles
Can be beaten for motion
Sony rival is cheaper and more subtle

A great QLED TV for not a lot of money from Samsung. Samsung has prioritised punch with its QLED TVs, not least because that’s a point of differentiation between them and OLED equivalents. And even though this 49in version of the Q7F is without an OLED rival, the panel’s punch is instantly persuasive. Whatever you watch on the Q7F is also accompanied by good, if unspectacular, sound. There's a simple, clean and intuitive OS, two remote controls, all the expected streaming services and great HDR pictures. An excellent TV, and almost the best in class - it just falls just short of the Sony KD-49XE9005 below for motion processing and viewing angles.

Under £1250

Sony KD-49XF9005

Sony KD-49XF9005

A small step forward, but a step forward all the same

SPECIFICATIONS

4K LED | 4 HDMI inputs | Supports HDR

Reasons to Buy
Good handling of detail
Nuanced yet punchy colours
Impressive contrast
Full range of apps
Reasons to Avoid
Android TV is a bit clunky

This Sony TV has pedigree, building on the success of previous generations to deliver Award-winning performance. Despite the relatively affordable price there's a fair amount of trickle-down from flagship sets on here, so it's not short of processing power. 4K and HDR is supported, with Amazon, Netflix, iPlayer and more on board, all within an Android TV interface, which is OK if not as impressive as LG's webOS. HDMI, USB and optical inputs are here, too. But it's the picture that really impresses, most notably in terms of colours and contrast.

Under £1500

Philips 55POS9002

Philips 55POS9002

Adding Ambilight to OLED is brilliant, but this Philips has much more to offer

SPECIFICATIONS

4K HDR | Smart apps | Ambilight

Reasons to Buy
Stunning HDR performance
Ambilight is as lovely as ever
Decent sound
Nicely balanced delivery of non-4K content
Reasons to Avoid
Glaring app omissions
Some rivals offer greater nuance
Motion processing isn’t quite perfect

This is the 4K OLED that marked Philips return to the TV top table. And it remains a great TV. We’re big fans of Philips’ Ambilight – a technology consisting of LEDs at the back of the TV extending the colours of the onscreen action onto the wall around the set in a way that’s not only spectacular but also makes the screen seem bigger than it really is. So the idea of an LG OLED panel combined with the tech had us excited from the start. And thankfully, the Philips 55POS9002 didn't disappoint. In fact, even without the Ambilight, this would be one of our favourite TVs currently available.

55in under £2000

LG OLED55B8PLA

The most affordable 2018 OLED TV we've seen so far this year - and it's a brilliant bargain.

SPECIFICATIONS

Dolby Vision | Dolby Atmos | ThinQ AI

Reasons to Buy
Rich, refined colour palette
'Lights-out' black levels
A benchmark user experience
Voice control support
Price
Vast HDR format support - including Dolby Vision
Reasons to Avoid
More expensive 2018 LG models offer slight picture improvements
Peak brightness second to Samsung QLEDs

We’re not so detached from the real world we would ever suggest £2000 is ‘cheap’ for a TV. It’s way off the price of many range-topping TVs, of course - but this is an era in which you can buy a big 4K TV for well under £1000. What a time for couch potatoes to be alive. But still, that £2000 is a very attractive price for a television that’s a) brand new, and b) OLED. You can get an upgraded processor in the more expensive LGs for a slight improvement to the picture but for those on a stricter budget, the better value probably comes in the shape of this OLED55B8PLA. 

65in under £2000

Sony KD-65XF9005

Sony KD-65XF9005

Flagship features and midrange price make for a stunning Sony TV

SPECIFICATIONS

4K LED | 4 HDMI inputs | HDR10, HLG

Reasons to Buy
Fantastic detail in the brightest and darkest picture elements
Brilliantly bright and punchy
Stunning but natural colours
Loads of apps
Clear sound
Reasons to Avoid
Minor backlight blooming
Bass-light audio
Can be beaten for viewing angles
Android OS is still frustratingly sluggish

It can be hard to generate excitement around midrange TVs. But there are rare occasions when they throw up something rather special – a television that combines some of the best features of the top-end with a price that’s affordable to more people. That’s what we’ve got on our hands here. Sony has chosen to stick with Android TV as its operating system, which results in the expected blend of pros and cons. On the pro side you get more apps than you’re likely to need. Netflix and Amazon have you covered for subscription-based TV shows and films in up to 4K HDR quality, while BBC iPlayer, ITV Player, All 4 and Demand 5 provide catch-up content. There’s Google Play Movies & TV, too. Strong colours, smooth motion processing, impressive dark levels, it may not be a bells and whistles OLED, but this Sony is a great all-round option. And look at that price for a 65-inch screen.

55in under £3000

LG OLED55C8PLA

LG OLED55C8PLA

Possibly the best pound-for-pound LG OLED that we've seen, the 55in C8 is nice to use and delivers a class-leading 4K picture.

SPECIFICATIONS

4K | HDR10, HLG, Dolby Vision | OLED

Reasons to Buy
Brighter, punchier and sharper than last year’s models
Fantastically natural images
Amazing upscaling
Loads of apps
Stylish design
Reasons to Avoid
Motion processing could be better
Setting menus are confusing
Mediocre sound for the money

All of LG’s OLEDs have pretty much the same panel and picture processing smarts, you select your model based on speaker arrangement, aesthetic appeal and price, apart from the entry-level B8 which has a different processor. If you want the best picture LG offers, your entry-level point is the OLED55C8, or OLED55C8PLA to give this TV its full name. This 55in set still costs £3000, but the benefits of the upgraded processor certainly sound worthwhile. It's not a giant leap forward for LG’s OLEDs. Instead it has improved on last year’s models in a number of (individually small but collectively significant) ways. The upshot is an image that’s brighter, punchier and more detailed, while maintaining the black depth and naturalism we love.

65in under £3000

LG OLED65C8PLA

LG OLED65C8PLA

A big and beautiful TV with a vibrant picture rich in detail

SPECIFICATIONS

4K | HDR10, HLG, Dolby Vision | OLED

Reasons to Buy
Sensational 4K picture, breathtaking black levels, awesome levels of detail
Impressive upscaling
Easy to use OS
Reasons to Avoid
Motion processing can be bettered

The way LG positions its OLED TVs means that features and specs are virtually the same across models and screen sizes, with the key variables being the speaker configurations and stand designs. Apart from the show-stopping, wafer-thin W8 wallpaper TV, the C8 line is probably the best looking of the bunch. Within the elegant table-top stand lies a wide recessed and ridged channel which helps direct the sound from the downward-firing speakers out towards the listener. The speakers and the TVs connections (four HDMIs, three USBs, aerial, satellite, optical and headphones) are all contained inside a wide, chunky enclosure that takes up around a quarter of the TV’s back panel. There's support for HDR and Dolby Vision, too. Ultimately there's a jaw-dropping level of detail and clarity on show here, with punchy bright whites and colours, good viewing angles, and decent motion processing.

Under £4000

Samsung QE65Q9FN

Samsung’s impressive QLED TV is a significant step forward for the technology

SPECIFICATIONS

4K | HDR10, HLG | Direct LED backlight

Reasons to Buy
Astonishingly punchy, bright and vibrant images
Deep, detailed blacks
Loads of apps and features
Genius evolution of OneConnect
Strong handling of motion
Reasons to Avoid
OLED offers even deeper blacks and better viewing angles

There’s no shortage of reasons to buy the QE65Q9FN – the first being it produces a genuinely stunning picture. It combines bright, punchy colours with genuinely deep but detailed blacks. Some OLED sets might go deeper but they may not deliver the same level of punch and colour. Add an excellent user interface, capable sound quality, an abundance of apps and thoughtful features to keep gamers happy, and you have a complete package.