Best 4K TV Buying Guide: Welcome to What Hi-Fi?'s round-up of the best 4K TVs you can buy in 2019.
Wondering where to start with a 4K TV? We've done the hard work for you, running the rule over all the major televisions we've tested 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 better 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. Basically, there's never been a better time to go 4K.
Below you'll find TVs of various sizes, budgets and technologies, from 55 inch TVs to OLED TVs, small TVs to cheap TVs, and even 8K TVs. Do take a look at our guide on how to choose the right TV for your needs, and check out our round-up of the best TV wall mounts if you're looking to get your set on the wall.
- Want to find a bargain? See our round-up of the best 4K TV deals
Last year's LG C8 was our TV Product of the Year, and its successor, the C9 is very much in contention for the same Award this year. The panel for this LG TV is broadly the same, but extra processing power and AI smarts have brought unexpected picture improvements, making the best even better. Contrast is glorious, colours are rich and vibrant, and detail levels are exemplary.
Considering it's around the bottom of the 2019 range in terms of its speaker system, it sounds really rather good, too - although we would, as ever, recommend buying a quality sound system to do justice to the fabulous picture.
Also check out the OLED65C9SLC, which is the same but for the design of the pedestal stand.
Read the full LG OLED65C9PLA (65in) review
Read the full LG OLED55C9PLA (55in) review
The Samsung UE43RU7470 seems like impossibly good value. It ticks all the right tech boxes – 4K, HDR (including HDR10+), and peerless selection of streaming apps that includes the brilliant Apple TV and arguably the best user experience in the business. All of this wrapped up into a lifestyle-friendly 43 inches and priced at a wallet-friendly £429.
To top it all off, the performance is excellent. A more premium (and therefore almost certainly bigger) TV will go even brighter than this, but the RU7470 is punchy in its own right and takes a much more sophisticated and subtle approach to colours and definition than you might expect. All told, it's a lovely TV to watch and to live with.
It’s worth noting that UE43RU7470 is a Currys exclusive, but that Samsung says its performance is identical to that of the UE43RU7400 and UE43RU7410, with the only differences between the three models being aesthetics. Having not tested all variants we can't vouch for that, but there's little reason to doubt Samsung's claim.
Read the full Samsung UE43RU7470 review
Only the very best will do for Samsung. That’s why, despite its 2018 4K flagship being the best TV it had ever produced, with a performance way beyond that of any other backlit set, Samsung fixated on the few flaws that prevented it from winning a What Hi-Fi? Award. Sure enough, the new Q90R QLED is every bit the belter that the Q9FN was, but with practically all of its flaws fixed.
The Q90 is a backlit TV that goes almost as black as an OLED and has OLED-like viewing angles, while retaining its own advantage of greater brightness. It also boasts brilliantly judged colours and excellent dark detail, not to mention an excellent operating system packed with apps. Better than OLED? It's mighty close.
Read the full Samsung QE65Q90R (65in) review
Read the full Samsung QE55Q90R (55in) review
If you're looking for a high-end TV at a smaller size than 55in, the Sony KD-49XG9005 should be at the top of your list. It doesn't get every feature of its bigger XG9505 siblings (hence the slight difference in model number), but it does get most and delivers an excellent picture for its size and price. A worthy 2019 What Hi-Fi? Award-winner.
Brilliantly balanced, natural colours, lots of detail and super-sharp edges combine to deliver a picture that's both authentic and enticing, not to mention consistent across all sources. And it requires almost no tweaking to get the TV performing at its best.
The Android TV operating system, while still a bit behind the Samsung and LG alternatives, is steadily improving and boasts all of the apps you're likely to need. Sony has also added YouView to ensure all of the usual UK catch-up services are on board.
Read the full Sony KD-49XG9005 review
Looking to go big for relatively little money? Then you simply have to check out the TX-58GX800B. The 50in version of this TV is already good value, but for just a little extra cash you can add an extra 8in of screen, turning an engaging viewing experience into something really cinematic.
Not that size and price are the only things that this Panasonic has going for it. It also boasts both Dolby Vision and HDR10+, an operating system that looks a bit basic but is very simple to use and contains all of the vital apps, and a performance that's effortlessly natural and detailed.
The viewing angles aren't amazing and you really need to add a soundbar to get an audio performance worthy of the picture, but for the money this is an absolute belter.
Read the full review: Panasonic TX-58GX800B
Samsung's QLED TVs might grab the headlines, but there's loads of value to be had further down the company's TV ranges. Take the UE49RU8000 - it's a fantastic 49in set that offers a big chunk of the performance of its more expensive models at a fraction of the price.
It boasts one of the best operating systems in the business, caters for all major flavours of HDR, including HDR10+ and Dolby Vision, and has no fewer than four HDMI inputs for all your sources. And picture quality isn't bad, either. Crisply drawn edges, impressive detail levels and punchy bright colours are the order of the day here, especially with 4K content. Sound quality is decent enough, but you'll benefit by adding a properly sorted soundbar.
Read the full Samsung UE49RU8000 review
Let's get this out of the way: the Panasonic GZ950 OLED is not quite as good as the LG C9 in terms of picture quality. It's just that little bit less punchy and eye-popping.
That said, it is a fair bit more affordable than the C9, it supports both Dolby Vision and HDR10+, and it sounds significantly better.
In its own right, it also produces a great picture, with brilliantly natural colours and perfectly deep blacks, plus a very accomplished upscaler. In other words, this is a great option when choosing your next TV.
Read the full Panasonic TX-55GZ950B review
A 49in premium TV is something of a rarity. OLEDs don't currently go below 55in, and neither does Samsung's flagship Q90R (or the Q85R and Q80R, for that matter).
With the Q70R series, though, Samsung has opened up the options and is offering a 49in version. In other words, this is the best (or, at least, most advanced) TV that Samsung will sell you if you can't squeeze in a 55incher or the excellent QE65Q70R. That alone makes it a tasty proposition.
Thankfully, this is more than just a great on-paper proposition. Punchy and vibrant QLED colours, great detail and sharpness, and a great operating system bursting with apps (including Apple TV) make this an excellent option if 49in is as big as you're willing or able to go.
Read the full Samsung QE49Q70R review
Read the full Samsung QE65Q70R review
The GX800 range is one of the first we’ve tested that supports both of the two competing dynamic metadata-based HDR formats, Dolby Vision and HDR10+, and this 50in set comes at a bargain price. Panasonic (and other brands) claim that HDR formats with dynamic metadata are of more use to lower-end sets than flagship models, as they tailor the image to the specific capabilities of the set. It’s a compelling argument, and while this TV can't match the premium TVs, this is an undeniably great budget TV for the money.
Amazon and Netflix are here, in all their HDR 4K glory, as well as a whole host of the usual catch-up streaming TV apps, but no sign of Now TV or Spotify. There are enough HDMI and USB connections, plus optical and headphone outputs. The picture produced is natural, clean and free from motion judder. Black levels are pretty good, though they're let down by poor viewing angles, the picture losing brightness off-axis.
Still, despite typically lightweight sound from a flat TV (even with 'Atmos' mode on board) we still think the performance here is good enough to make it a great deal at this price. A simple but effective 50 inch 4K TV and its 58in sibling is just as brilliant (not to mention a 2019 What Hi-Fi? Award-winner).
Read the full Panasonic TX-50GX800B (50in) review
Read the full Panasonic TX-58GX800B (58in) review
Our advice when reviewing televisions tends to be buy a flatscreen and then add a soundbar, but this LG proves one of the exceptions to that rule. It produces just the kind of picture we'd hope for and supplements it with excellent sound quality.
This E9 has more speakers than its 2019 sibling, the also five-star C9 (4.2ch compared with 2.2ch), more amplifier power (60W against 40W) and slightly different positioning (forward-firing vs down-firing). The result is a sonic performance unmatched by any soundbar we've tested below £500, and with no extra boxes or cables!
Read the full LG OLED55E9PLA review
Just below Sony's Master Series is this 4K LCD cracker. What this TV offers is a very watchable and forgiving picture with wonderfully balanced colours, superb detail and simply the best motion processing tech around at the moment. It's smooth and sharp and without either flicker or any of the ‘soap opera effect’.
It's exceptionally bright and vibrant for the price. It may not have the black levels, viewing angles or extreme contrast abilities of the far more expensive Samsung QLEDs and LGs OLEDs but you simply will not find such a beautifully performing TV without paying much, much more. Full marks.
Read the full Sony KD-65XG9505 review
Our favourite TV of 2018 is still great and still available. This 55in model started out life at £3000, but can now be yours for well under £1500. The new C9 is better, but the C8 still produces an image that’s wonderfully bright, punchy and detailed, and manages to maintain that black depth and naturalism we've come to love from OLED. At this price, it's an amazing buy.
Read the full LG OLED55C8PLA review
There's not many 8K TVs around just now and that's partly because 8K content is in exceedingly short supply. Nonetheless, what Sony has produced with the ZG9 points to a bright future.
The extra resolution comes at little-to-no cost in performance compared to the 4K members of the Sony family. The picture is stunning, balanced and the sound quality is right up there too. Of course, £14k is a lot to pay for a whole load of resolution that's largely unavailable right now but, with the 2020 Olympics coming up in Japan, it's only a matter of time.
We wouldn't necessarily advise going down the 8K route much before then but, if you must, then do it with the ZG9; 85in or 98in for you?
Read the full Sony KD-85ZG9 review
What a time for couch potatoes to be alive. This 2018 LG 4K OLED TV can now be yours for just under £1200 - a very attractive price for a television that's capable of delivering such a stunningly good picture. The 55in C8 in this list boasts a more powerful processing engine and does deliver a better picture, but if you're running to a tight budget, this B8 model is irresistible.
Read the full LG OLED55B8PLA review
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. Strong colours, smooth motion processing, impressive black levels. It may not be a bells and whistles OLED, but this Sony LCD set is a great all-round option. And look at that price for a 65-inch screen.
Read the full Sony KD-65XF9005 review
Within the C8's elegant table-top stand lies a wide, recessed and ridged channel that helps direct the sound from the downward-firing speakers out towards the listener. The speakers and the TVs connections (including four HDMIs) 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 10 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.
Read the full LG OLED65C8PLA review