Best 4K TV Buying Guide: Welcome to What Hi-Fi?'s round-up of the best 4K TVs you can buy in 2020.
There's just one problem with 4K TVs: there are so damn many of them that it can be almost impossible to work out which one is best for you. But before you tumble down the well of indecision, allow us to take you by the hand and lead you along the path to your perfect 4K TV.
We've run the rule over all the major televisions we've tested to bring you the best of the best. If a TV is on this list it's a bonafide belter, so you know you're getting top bang for your buck.
These TVs are the very best options for feasting your eyes on all the Ultra HD content that's now available - the likes of Amazon, Netflix, Google Play Movies, Apple TV and Sky Q are jam-packed with 4K at this point. Plus you can buy 4K Ultra HD Blu-rays. Basically, there's never been a better time to take the plunge.
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.
Our most recent TV Product of the Year Award-winner, the 55-inch LG OLED55C9PLA (also available and equally good in a 65-inch guise) is a surprisingly big improvement on its predecessor despite OLED panel technology having more or less peaked.
The key is extra processing power and AI smarts, which bring unexpected improvements to contrast, colours and detail. This is a simply stunning, near-flawless picture performance.
And considering it's around the bottom of the current range in terms of its speaker system, it sounds pretty good, too - although we would, as ever, recommend buying a quality sound system to do justice to the fabulous picture.
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 a 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 wallet-friendly priced.
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 in the UK, 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
The TX-55GZ2000B's headline-grabbing feature is a speaker system that includes rear-mounted, upward-firing drivers for Dolby Atmos sound. And mighty impressive it is, too.
But it also takes the attention away from the picture upgrades that Panasonic has bestowed upon this flagship OLED. Those picture upgrades are so special, in fact, they make the GZ2000 a better performer than LG’s current OLEDs – meaning that this is the best OLED we’ve tested.
So why isn't it at the very top of this list? Simple: price. It costs a great deal more than a LG C9 of the same size. Sonically, it’s much better, but the picture is only a marginal step up. Therefore, as brilliant as the GZ2000 is, it doesn’t replace the LG C9 as our performance-per-pound TV recommendation. It is, though, the new money-no-object 55in TV of choice. If you can afford it, you certainly won't regret it.
Want a bigger screen size than 55-inch? We recently reviewed the 65-inch GZ2000 and called it "the TV by which all others can be measured".
Read the full Panasonic TX-55GZ2000B review
Read the full Panasonic TX-65GZ2000B 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 had prevented it from winning a What Hi-Fi? Award. Sure enough, the 2019 Q90R QLED proves every bit the belter that its predecessor was, but with practically all of its flaws fixed.
Now that's what we call progress.
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, including Apple TV.
Better than OLED? For those who favour punch and want the very best operating system in the business, it might just be.
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 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
The LG B9 is a mixture of the old and the new – it combines the company's 2018 TV processor with its 2019 OLED panel. This makes it the most affordable model in LG’s current (and excellent) OLED range and a very tempting proposition indeed.
The picture is natural, colourful and well-measured for contrast whether you’re watching in 4K or upscaling from HD, and whatever processor power is missing certainly won't ruin your TV experience.
Looks-wise, this LG is typically neat. From the front, it’s virtually all screen with a miniscule frame and a small, central, black plastic plinth taking the weight of the set. Just four screws anchor the panel to the stand but it feels sturdy enough.
Fully-certified HDMI 2.1 sockets bring with them a degree of future-proofing and there are more than enough sockets to accommodate any device you might care to attach. Positioning of the ports should pose no problem for wall mounting either.
There are small discrepancies in light and dark detail that the top LG processor offers and it’s worth paying the extra for them if you can. As far as this price proposition goes, though, the LG OLED65B9PLA gets our full vote of confidence.
Read the full LG OLED65B9PLA 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 (no.11 on this list) is 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.
Colours are brilliantly judged, proving tonally natural and nuanced in their gradients. Subtle shades are smoothly blended and avoid the sort of blocking produced by less sophisticated sets, and that makes skin tones in particular appear natural and realistic.
Downsides? 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 flagship 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.
Crisply drawn edges, impressive detail levels and punchy bright colours are the order of the day here, especially with 4K content. On the subject of content, the app-packed operating system gives you instant access to more of it than is offered by any non-Samsung set. You even get the new and excellent Apple TV app.
Sound quality is decent enough, too, although you will benefit from adding a properly sorted soundbar.
It even looks the part. The lighter finish and comparative prominence of the bezels make them look bigger, even though they aren’t. What’s more, thanks to its edge backlighting, the RU8000 is a tiny bit slimmer than its direct, full array-backlit sibling, the Q70R. The only telltale is the sightly plasticky feet. But if you can overlook them, you're getting a premium set at a knockdown price.
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 (or, therefore, Panasonic's own GZ2000) 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. So it's not worse off in all regards by any stretch of the imagination.
In its own right, it also produces a great picture, with brilliantly natural colours and perfectly deep blacks. Plus it's a very accomplished upscaler.
Don't look its slightly utilitarian looks fool you - this is a very well designed TV. The simple, black finish means the thin bezels disappear in a dimly lit room and allow the picture to do the talking. The pedestal stand is slim enough to easily fit a soundbar, and its footprint is small enough to suit most furniture. 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 55-inch (at least not until LG's highly-anticipated 48-incher arrives later this year), 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 49-inch version (as well as many bigger sizes, including an excellent 65-inch model). 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 55-incher. 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 fantastic operating system bursting with apps (including Apple TV) make this an excellent option if 49-inch is as big as you're willing or able to go.
Read the full Samsung QE49Q70R 49in review
Read the full Samsung QE65Q70R review
Panasonic (and other brands) claim that HDR formats with dynamic metadata are actually 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.
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 2019 LG proves one of the exceptions to that rule. It produces just the kind of picture we'd hope for and supplements it with good sound quality.
This E9 has more speakers than its C9 sibling (4.2ch compared with 2.2ch), more amplifier power (60W against 40W) and slightly different positioning (forward-firing vs down-firing). You’d need to drop a fair few hundred on a soundbar that would improve the audio significantly. If you're not willing to do that (and we can't blame you), then this is an excellent do-it-all choice.
So what about that picture? It's a match for the C9 at the top of this list, with scenes lent superb detail and insight. There's an immense sense of depth, while the image always stays stable and controlled. Very highly recommended.
Read the full LG OLED55E9PLA review
Just below Sony's flagship 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 LG OLEDs but you simply will not find such a beautifully performing TV without paying much, much more.
Android TV comes as standard. It might not be as welcoming as LG's or Samsung's own UIs, but it does boast an absolute bevy of apps, and it's highly responsive thanks to the XG95's immense power.
The fact we compare it with far more expensive rivals tells you all you need to know about the quality of this set. Full marks.
Read the full Sony KD-65XG9505 review
There are not many 8K TVs around just now and that's at least partly because there's currently no 8K content to watch. 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.
If you can find some 8K footage (the only content we could lay our hands on was demo footage), you'll be blown away. It's stunningly punchy and vibrant, and a real step on from 4K. If this is the future of TV, then we have a lot to look forward to.
Of course, £14k is a lot to pay for a whole load of resolution that can't currently be utilised, but for some being ahead of the curve is part of the pleasure. If that's you and you're exceptionally wealthy, the ZG9 is the telly to get. Now would you like the 85-inch model or the 98-incher? Decisions, decisions...
Read the full Sony KD-85ZG9 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. The XF9005 is the 2018 predecessor to the XG9505 and it is, remarkably, still available to buy. Between its heavy discounting and excellent picture quality, it remains a tempting purchase.
Its bright, with the eye-popping whites boasting a great level of detail and nuance. But the black levels are dealt a similar level of distinction - the set delineates darker shades, rather than lobbing on one inky level of blackness.
Not many sets at this price can match this level of texture and definition. And being a Sony, its motion processing is probably the best around.
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