Best 65-inch TV Buying Guide: Welcome to What Hi-Fi?'s round-up of the best 65-inch TVs you can buy in 2021.
It's really no surprise that 65-inch TVs have risen so much in popularity. As broadcasters, streaming services and Blu-ray discs evolve and push out increasing numbers of pixels, having a screen that's large enough to showcase the quality of what you're watching really does matter.
If you're concerned about the space needed for a larger screen you can rest assured it needn't dominate your space. HD and now 4K video means you can sit closer to your TV, while smaller bezels make modern 65-inch TVs significantly less massive than those that have gone before. They're getting ever thinner, lighter and easier to wall-mount, too.
Below you'll find our pick of the best 65-inch TVs you can buy, including LCD, OLED and QLED models from the likes of LG, Samsung, Sony, Philips and Panasonic, and offering support for HDR video in various forms, as well as streaming from Amazon Prime, Netflix, Apple TV, Disney+, BBC iPlayer and loads more besides.
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.
UK catch-up apps are currently missing but we don't expect that to remain the case for very long. 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. It’s pricey, but it’s also a clear cut above the competition.
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 in 2021. 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.
Read the full LG OLED65C1 review
This year looks very much like the year of Mini LED. The technology, which sees the traditional LEDs of a TV backlight miniaturised to increase contrast, is a feature of the 2021 line-ups of most major TV brands, including LG and Philips.
Mini LED TVs sit below their OLED models for those brands, but for Samsung, Mini LED is its flagship technology (assuming you discount its eye-wateringly expensive new Micro LED sets).
The company has developed its own Mini LEDs, which it says are even smaller and more efficient than those of its rivals, and combined them with its existing Quantum Dot tech to create a range of premium TVs that it calls Neo QLEDs. The QE65QN95A is the first Neo QLED we've tested and Samsung's flagship 4K set for 2021.
In real-world performance terms, Mini LED might not quite be the revolution that Samsung is pitching it as, but it is still a substantial upgrade to an already excellent range of TVs. The overall contrast offered is staggering, and the QN95A combines near-OLED black levels with awesomely crisp white highlights and fabulously vibrant colours, all while retaining an effortless sense of naturalism.
Throw in the best, most app-packed operating system in the business, a delightfully slim design and a full set of next-gen HDMI sockets, and this is (a lack of Dolby Vision support aside) as complete a package as can be imagined.
It’s early days for 2021 TVs, but Samsung has thrown down the gauntlet in emphatic style, and it will be fascinating to see how its rivals respond.
Read the full Samsung QE65QN95A 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.
For 2021, 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.
Read the full LG OLED65G1 review
The 65XH9005 is one of the TVs that Sony is selling as "ready for PS5". That means it will have 4K@120Hz (often referred to as HFR), VRR (Variable Refresh Rate) and ALLM (Auto Low Latency Mode). We say "will" because the set requires a firmware update, but Sony assures that it is expected to land in time for the PS5's launch.
With or without these console gaming features, this is an awesome TV. There are plenty of connections for hooking up partner kit, and you won't be wanting for onboard tech: this is a full-array LED-backlit TV with local dimming and supports the HDR10, HLG and Dolby Vision HDR standards, and Dolby Atmos for sound. It’s also Netflix Calibrated and IMAX Enhanced.
And the picture quality? Excellent. Sony’s X-Motion Clarity motion processing technology is reliably superb, making fast-moving pictures like games, sports and action films as smooth as butter. There are plenty of options to fiddle with, but leave it on auto, and you'll still be treated to a great experience visually. It's got good sound, too. A little lightweight compared to some, but it's clear, precise and well-projected. An ideal option for both gamers and non-gamers alike.
Read the full Sony KD-65XH9005 review
The 65OLED805 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.
Read the full Philips 65OLED805 review
No TV carries with it a greater sense of expectation than a C-class LG OLED.
For the last few years, this has been the most affordable model in LG’s OLED range that gets you the company’s best panel and processing tech – that’s a huge deal when you consider that LG is the progenitor of the current OLED TV revolution and the brand responsible for manufacturing the panel of every OLED TV you can currently buy, regardless of the badge on the bezel.
The C9 was a brilliant TV, and this CX improves upon it in several small but significant ways, such as increased dark detail, richer colours and better motion.
The Philips 65OLED805 offers an even sharper and punchier picture, plus Ambilight and HDR10+ as well as Dolby Vision, and all for a lower price – but the CX responds with a better operating system and a complete set of next-gen HDMI features.
Ultimately, which you go for will depend on what you’re looking for from your next TV (and where you live – the Philips isn’t available in the US or Australia), but the LG CX’s popularity is well deserved.
Read the full LG OLED65CX review
The Samsung QE65Q80T will be many people’s idea of a great value, high performing 4K TV. It has a big screen with a bold picture and superb HDR images; it delivers impressive sound and has just about every smart feature and app streaming service under the sun.
What’s more, the Tizen OS makes calibration and navigation easy, meaning this set is a good choice for those who want to tweak, as well as those who wish to do no more than take it out of the box, place it on the stand and switch it on.
The Q80T range’s popularity is well-founded, but before you get out the credit card, you should also consider the Award-winning Sony KD-65XH9005 above. For a little less money, you get a picture with a touch more maturity, just as much impact and even better motion processing. There isn’t a huge amount in it, though – both are killer TVs.
Read the full Samsung QE65Q80T review
While most people will opt for LG's C-class OLED, which is the most affordable set with all of the best picture processing, this GX takes that same picture and adds more powerful sound and a beautiful design.
This is LG's 'Gallery' model, and as such, is entirely intended for wall-mounting. You don't even get a stand in the box (although feet can be bought separately), with a low-profile mount provided instead. The set is a uniform 2cm deep, which is exceptionally slim. The CX, by comparison, is 4.7cm deep at its thickest point.
Picture-wise, LG has taken the exemplary performance of its 2019 OLEDs and improved it in a few key areas, with dark detail, colour richness and motion handling all getting a worthwhile boost. The set sounds decent, too, particularly for one with essentially invisible speakers.
The only issue for UK buyers is the current lack of catch-up apps such as BBC iPlayer, but LG assures us it's working on this. Either way, this is a stunning TV and currently the best 65-inch TV you can buy.
Read the full LG OLED65GX review
New for 2020, the Q95T isn't the successor to the Q90R that we were expecting it to be, but it is a brilliant TV in its own right and has launched at a lower price than did its 'predecessor'.
It has fewer dimming zones and goes less bright in real terms than the Q90R, but the Q95T is otherwise better in every meaningful way. It delivers a richer, more solid and more natural picture, much improved motion processing, and better sound.
The Tizen operating system is largely unchanged, and that's no bad thing. No other operating system has as much content or more quickly gets you to what you want to watch. All in all, definitely one of the best 65-inch TVs you can buy.
Read the full Samsung QE65Q95T review
The LG B9 is a mixture of the old and the new – it combines the company's 2018 processor with its 2019 OLED panel. This makes it the most affordable LG OLED you can currently buy and a 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.
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
Sony's flagship Master Series OLED TV aims to get closer to the content creator's intention than ever before. And it does a mighty fine job of doing so. If the combination of brilliant motion processing, excellent detail levels and impressive upscaling isn't enough to convince you to give this TV an audition, the Sony KD-65AG9 (known as the XBR-65A9G in the US) has an extra trick up its sleeve.
Its next-gen acoustic surface tech delivers some of the most impressive sounds we've ever heard from a flatscreen TV. You can even use the TV as the centre speaker in a surround sound system thanks to the standard speaker terminals on its rear.
Read the full Sony KD-65AG9 review