But, as we’ve said hundreds of times before, not every TV is created equal and just because a set has an incredibly enticing discount, doesn’t mean it’s worth your money.
All too often during Black Friday stores give massive discounts on TVs they’re looking to clear stock of – many of which are outright terrible when it comes to key things like picture, sound, and gaming performance.
Having had more TVs pass through our test rooms than can easily be counted since they first opened decades ago, trust us when we say there are plenty of TVs that are simply not worth it, even if they’re cheap.
And that’s why we’ve created this Black Friday TV guide, where our experts detail the top sets they’re personally keeping an eye on this Black Friday.
Each set has been tried and tested in our test rooms to ensure it’s worth your time and money. We’ve also made sure to factor in which sets “should” get discounts based on our experience bargain hunting during past Black Fridays.
If you’re still confused about which TV to get or want some more personal advice, feel free to get in touch with our expert reviewers on social media or the What Hi-Fi? forums.
LG C3 OLED TV
The LG C3 is the step-down option in LG’s line of OLED sets, sitting below the company’s flagship LG G3.
While we found it’s not a huge upgrade on the company’s previous LG C2, featuring a basic OLED panel that doesn’t have the brightness-boosting Micro Lens Array (MLA) seen on 2023 flagships like G3 and Panasonic MZ2000, it’s fantastic value.
Performance per pound (or dollar if you’re across the pond) is a key metric we use to judge every product we test. In this key metric despite not being “next-gen” or a massive step forward for OLED the C3 is still one of the best performers you’ll find in this area, offering crisp, detailed picture quality and great connectivity thanks to its inclusion of four HDMI 2.1 slots, rather than the standard two seen on most rivals.
The smaller, What Hi-Fi? Award-winning 42-inch LG C3 particularly impressed in our test rooms when we reviewed them earlier this year, with the only big foible we detected is that its sound is a little weedy – so you’ll want to invest in a soundbar to go with one if you pull the trigger this Black Friday.
The other reason we recommend looking at the C3 this Black Friday is that, traditionally, Amazon and specialist retailers have offered the best deals on C-series LG sets. Last year this was the case with the C2, which had its price drop by over 30 per cent during Black Friday.
This year's Prime Day and Amazon Big Deal Days events also saw stocks of the C2 all but dry up, which is why we’re expecting Black Friday 2023 to be the turning point where retailers focus their efforts on the newer model. This would make particular sense as we’re expecting the next generation C4 line to appear at the Consumer Electronics trade show in Las Vegas in January 2024.
We’ve already seen plenty of evidence for this, with discounts on the smaller LG C3 already appearing in the run-up to Black Friday proper at the end of the month.
If that wasn't enough to tempt you, here's what our Editor-in-Chief had to say about the LG C3:
The LG C3 isn't this year's most exciting set, but based on my experience covering past Black Fridays, it's the most likely OLED to get a hefty discount and a great option for buyers on the hunt for a reliable set with no real weaknesses.
Sony A80L OLED TV
The Sony A80L is a direct rival to the LG C3. The reason we recommend it on this list despite it costing more than its LG rival is that not only have we already seen several decent discounts, during the early Black Friday sales, but based on our testing the larger 55- and 65-inch models offer better picture and sound quality.
Running the two head-to-head our testers were amazed at quite how well the A80L performs. Despite using a regular OLED panel, rather than the QD-OLED seen on the more expensive Sony A95L, the A80L offers brilliant max brightness levels.
The sound offered during our checks is also infinitely superior to what we experienced with the C3, with Sony’s under-screen speaker tech letting it offer a much better sense of direction during surround sound scenes in particular.
This is why we recommend people who care about getting the best home cinema experience possible without spending their life savings keep an eye on the A80L this Black Friday.
The only downside is that with only two HDMI 2.1 inputs, one of which acts as eARC, next gen’ gamers with multiple consoles who want to connect a Dolby Atmos speaker system or soundbar, the LG C3 is a better option. Next-gen consoles need HDMI 2.1 connectivity to run at full speed, and Atmos needs an eARC input, so only having two can quickly lead to fiddly and regular cable swapping if you have multiple consoles.
If you're still on the fence, here's what our resident TV tester Lewis Empson had to say on the matter:
The Sony A80L proves that "traditional" OLED TVs still have plenty to offer. It's bold, striking and dynamic picture performance continues to impress me the more I use it, and its speakers and feature set are nothing to be sniffed at either. It's also just been crowned 'Product of the Year' at the 2023 What Hi-Fi? Awards - need I say any more?
TCL C845K LCD TV
If you’re not set on getting an OLED but still want solid picture quality and gaming features, then we’d recommend keeping an eye on the TCL C845K.
The 65-inch C845K was one of 2023’s surprise hits for our team of product testers.
Though TCL doesn’t have the same brand recognition as LG or Sony, it’s been slowly carving a place as one of the best value brands, with its sets offering fantastic value for money. The C845K is a great example why.
The mini LED TV’s primary selling point is that it’s able to offer astounding max brightness levels, resulting in fantastic HDR performance, despite the blacks not being quite as inky as the above OLEDs during our tests.
Add to this its super gaming features and the 65-inch model in particular is worth watching this Black Friday if you want a big-screen TV that won’t break the bank.
As you’ll see if you, jump to our should you buy a TCL TV guide, you’ll also see that they often drop in value much faster than many bigger name rivals – which is why we’re expecting hefty discounts to appear on sets like the C845K this Black Friday.
If you're still not convinced, here's what our TV and AV Editor had to say about the TCL C845K:
The TCL C845K absolutely blew me away when we got it in for testing. No, it's not quite up there with flagship sets from LG, Samsung and Sony, but it's closer than it should be, given its price, and it redefines the performance and features that can be expected at its level.
Amazon Fire Omni QLED TV
While the TCL C845K is cheap compared to many OLEDs, it’s still a little bit of stretch to call it truly affordable. Which is why we’re also recommending keeping an eye on the award winning Amazon Fire Omni QLED sets.
If you’re on a strict budget, then the 50-inch Omni QLED is the one to watch. We gave it 5-stars and a What Hi-Fi? Award when we tested it earlier this year.
While there are always compromises on a set this price, in the Omni QLED’s case it’s slightly lower than expected max brightness and smeary motion handling, for the money there’s nothing better.
Featuring Amazon’s Fire software it supports pretty much every streaming service under the sun, and despite costing surprisingly little to begin with (tested at £650 / $530) it offers a nicely balanced, consistent picture and can run a PS5 or Xbox Series X/S at full speed, featuring HDMI 2.1 connectivity.
What’s more, Amazon tends to offer serious discounts during Black Friday on its Fire kit. We saw the 50-inch model retail for as little as £400 during the Amazon Big Deal Days – a discount so enticing it led our editor-in-chief to pick one up for his parents during the event. We’re expecting the 50-inch Omni QLED to go at least that low during Black Friday, making it the cheap TV to watch this deals season.
If that's not enough to convince you, here's what our TV and AV Editor, Tom Parsons had to say about Amazon's Fire Omni QLED line:
While they don't quite have the performance or features of the TCL C845K, I was really impressed by the consistency and balance of the picture performance of Amazon's Omni QLEDs when they came in for review. They're well-specced for the money, too. Do not pay full price, though – expect a discount of at least 30 per cent.
What about the cheaper TVs?
If you’re yet to find a set on this list that meets your fancy, or budget, then don’t worry. These are just the sets we expect to get the best discounts that we personally recommend. There will be a wealth of deals on other sets.
But before you go racing for your wallet, keep in mind we always recommend only checking out TVs we’ve reviewed or that you've seen in the flesh as a spec sheet never tells the whole story – we’ve tested plenty of incredibly expensive sets with great specs that fail to deliver decent, let alone class-leading picture and sound quality with real-world testing.
If you’re not sure what size you want, we also have “what sized TV should I buy” guide which lists the key questions to ask when deciding – cliff notes, measure the space, and try to avoid placing it somewhere near very bright lights. Once you’re set on a size we also have best small TV, best 55-inch TV and best 65-inch TV guides.
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