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The best TVs from Samsung, LG, Sony, and TCL compared

Based on hands-on testing and comparisons of the latest sets, the best TVs to buy right now include 4K, QLED, and OLED.

OLED or QLED? 48 inches or 55? There are so many TV options out there. If you need to upgrade your TV, it may feel overwhelming to sift through all the TV deals and promotions. 

To help you find the best TV, not to mention the best deals on top TVs, ZDNET experts combed the web and selected top picks. We've rounded up the best TVs overall, and we're also constantly updating our coverage to save you time and money.

Also: The best Sony TVs: Top OLEDs and more

Brands like LG and Sony are known for producing high-end OLED models, which offer excellent cinema-grade picture quality. Samsung and Hisense offer solid mid-range TVs with features like Dolby Vision, HDR support, dedicated gaming mode, and adaptive sound. TCL is known for budget-friendly models, even at bigger screen sizes, and the TCL TVs use the Roku platform for a streamlined browsing experience while you flip through apps. 

Here are the best TVs you can buy in 2023.

Samsung QN90B QLED TV
Rebecca Isaacs/ZDNET
Pros & Cons
  • VRR support
  • Dolby Atmos and Object Tracking Sound+
  • Multi-View
  • Video call capable
  • Pricey at larger sizes
  • No Dolby Vision support
More Details

Samsung QN90B tech specs: Screen size: 43 to 85 inches | HDR: Quantum HDR 32X, HDR10+ | Audio: Object Tracking Sound+, Dolby Atmos | Panel type: Neo QLED | Resolution: 4K | Refresh rate: 120Hz | VRR support: AMD FreeSync Premium Pro

The Samsung QN90B is the ultimate entertainment unit for the living room or home theater. It offers a range of screen sizes from 43 to 85 inches, ensuring there is one that fits your space. The anti-glare coating enhances visibility by reducing reflections of overhead and ambient light. 

ZDNET's Rebecca Isaacs had the opportunity to have a hands-on experience with the QN90B, and said that the overall image quality was fantastic: "the [3D] layering is packed into this TV, and even on older classics like Seinfeld, the effect makes you feel like you're in the middle of the cafe with Jerry and George."

Review: Samsung 65-inch QN90B QLED TV

The integrated speakers work with Dolby Atmos and Samsung's Object Tracking Sound+ technologies, creating virtual surround sound that follows the on-screen action. Console gamers will appreciate the variable refresh rate support via AMD FreeSync Premium Pro, which enables smoother playback and lower latency. Video calls can be made with the Samsung QN90B by connecting a compatible webcam and using the Google Duo app, which is perfect for virtual classes and meetings from the comfort of your couch.

With the Multi-View feature, two video sources can be watched simultaneously, making it ideal for catching up with both news headlines and your favorite Netflix show or following along with a yoga routine while browsing YouTube.

Pros & Cons
  • Excellent picture quality
  • AI sound and picture
  • VRR and voice control support
  • Expensive
More Details

LG C2 tech specs: Screen size: 42 to 83 inches | HDR: Dolby Vision IQ | Audio: Dolby Atmos | Panel type: OLED | Resolution: 4K | Refresh rate: 120Hz | VRR support: Nvidia G-Sync, AMD FreeSync Premium

If picture quality is a top priority when shopping for a new TV, the new C2 from LG is the best option -- it even made the top pick in our best LG TVs list. It features an updated OLED panel with a brightness booster for better visibility while still maintaining perfect black levels for enhanced detailing and contrast. The TV is compatible with Alexa, Hey Google, and Siri, allowing for hands-free voice controls to launch apps, switch HDMI inputs, or adjust settings.

The C2 also supports Dolby Vision IQ and Dolby Atmos, creating an immersive cinematic experience that movie buffs will appreciate. The dynamic tone mapping feature of the C2 divides the screen into 5,000 blocks, allowing for the analysis and rendering of even better color accuracy, contrast, and detailing. The 5th generation a9 processor provides excellent native and upscaled 4K resolution, along with automatic setting adjustments for the best viewing and listening experience.

Pros & Cons
  • XR Motion Clarity, XR OLED Contrast, and XR Triluminos Pro Color
  • Acoustic Surface+ Audio
  • Google TV built-in
  • LImited screen sizes
  • Might not be suitable for bright spaces
More Details

Sony A80J tech specs: Screen size: 55 inches | HDR: Dolby Vision, HDR10, HLG | Audio: DTS Digital Surround | Panel type: OLED | Resolution: 4K | Refresh rate: 120Hz | VRR support: Yes, via Game Mode 

Compared to other panels on this list, the A80J may be smaller at 55 inches, but it doesn't skimp on features. The OLED screen offers excellent 4K resolution, color, and contrast which placed it among our top picks for the best Sony TVs and best OLED TVs. Sony's signature DTS Digital Surround Sound and Acoustic Surface Audio+ technology transform your films for a near-perfect audio and video syncing experience. Coupled with Dolby Vision and HDR10 technology, you'll get the best of both worlds for your streaming needs.

The A80J also boasts all the benefits of Sony's XR technology, including XR Motion Clarity, XR OLED Contrast, and XR Triluminos Pro Color features, which enhance the display picture. As a Google TV, you can stream all of your favorite apps and more, even with voice commands through the built-in Google Assistant.

Pros & Cons
  • Under $500
  • Google TV platform
  • Voice controls
  • Chromecast support
  • No Dolby Vision or Dolby Atmos
  • No VRR support
More Details

TCL 55S446 4-Series tech specs: Screen size: 65 inches | HDR: HDR | Audio: Dolby Digital Plus | Panel type: LED | Resolution: 4K| Refresh rate: 60Hz | VRR support: No

The TCL 55S446 4-Series is proof that a great 4K TV doesn't have to come with a high price tag. The 55-inch version retails comfortably under $500, making it an excellent choice for a first TV or a second screen in a bedroom or kids' playroom.

It supports Bluetooth connectivity for wireless audio and Chromecast for sharing videos, photos, and music from your phone. The preloaded apps include Netflix, Hulu, and YouTube, allowing you to start watching your favorite shows and movies right out of the box. The remote control is also capable of voice controls via Hey Google for hands-free commands over your new TV.

Unlike other TCL options, this TV uses the Google TV platform, providing access to even more apps and an easy-to-navigate home screen for quickly finding something to watch. You can add shows and movies to your watchlist from your phone; simply search on Google, and add the title to your watchlist from the results page to pick up on your TV later. It even has a built-in tuner, allowing you to watch free, over-the-air channels and stay updated with local news headlines, sports scores, and entertainment.

Pros & Cons
  • Dolby Vision and Atmos support
  • Calman calibration
  • 120Hz refresh rate
  • Bravia Cam compatible
  • No Acoustic Surface Audio
  • No dedicated VRR support
More Details

Sony X80K tech specs: Screen size: 85 inches | HDR: Dolby Vision, HDR10 | Audio: Dolby Atmos, DTS Digital Surround | Panel type: LED | Resolution: 4K| Refresh rate: 120Hz | VRR support: Via dedicated game mode 

The Sony X80K, an 85-inch true big-screen TV, is perfect for upgrading your living room or home theater. The screen boasts a flush, narrow bezel for more viewing area and an updated LED panel for better color, contrast, and detailing. With support for Dolby Vision, details and contrast are further enhanced, while Dolby Atmos creates room-filling, virtual surround sound for an immersive experience.

Similar to its cousin, the A9S, you can use the Calman calibration app to perfect the X80K's screen. Built-in light sensors automatically adjust the brightness to provide better visibility in almost any lighting environment. If you connect an available Bravia Cam, you can use your TV to make video calls or set up gesture-based controls to augment the voice-enabled remote for truly hands-free command over your new TV. The native 120Hz refresh rate, combined with Sony's X-Reality Pro technology, makes motion blur a thing of the past, so you never miss a second of the action in your favorite shows and movies.

What is the best TV?

When it comes to choosing the best TV, the Samsung QN90B is my top pick. 

It offers an extensive range of screen sizes that cater to various living spaces, ensuring that you get the perfect viewing experience. What's more, it has a powerful audio system that features Dolby Atmos and Samsung's Object Tracking Sound+ technology for immersive, virtual surround sound. 

Gamers will appreciate the support for AMD FreeSync Premium Pro, enabling them to experience smoother playback with lower latency. Additionally, the Samsung QN90B comes with the Google Duo app, allowing you to make video calls right from your TV. With these exceptional features, this TV is sure to take your entertainment experience to the next level.

Best TV modelScreen sizeHDR supportAudioPanel typeResolutionPriceRefresh rateVRR support
Samsung QN90B43-85 inchesQuantum HDR 32X, HDR10+Object Tracking Sound+, Dolby AtmosNeo QLED4K$1598120HzAMD FreeSync Premium Pro
LG C242-83 inchesDolby Vision IQDolby AtmosOLED4K$1397120HzNvidia G-Sync, AMD FreeSync Premium
Sony A80J55 inchesDolby Vision, HDR10, HLGDTS Digital SurroundOLED4K$1000120HzYes, via Game Mode
TCL 55S446 4-Series65 inchesHDRDolby Digital PlusLED4K$60060HzNo
Sony X80K85 inchesDolby Vision, HDR10Dolby Atmos, DTS Digital SurroundLED4K$1598
120HzVia dedicated game mode

Note: Prices may vary depending on merchants and promotions.

What is the right TV for you?

After determining your budget, it's important to ensure that your new TV will fit comfortably in your space. Start by measuring the distance (in inches) between your couch and where the TV will be wall-mounted or placed on a stand. Divide that number in half to find the ideal TV size for your room. For example, if your couch is 120 inches (10 feet) away from your TV, the recommended TV size for your room would be about 60 inches.

Additionally, it's a good idea to consider accessibility features such as voice controls, screen readers, and closed captioning to ensure that everyone can enjoy the entertainment. These features can provide an enhanced viewing experience for those who are hearing or visually impaired, and they can be especially helpful for households with young children or elderly family members.

Choose this best TV...If you want...
Samsung QN90BA well-rounded TV with great picture and sound quality. The Samsung QN90B has a wide range of screen sizes to suit a variety of spaces, as well as support for Dolby Atmos and Samsung's Object Tracking Sound+ for room-filling, virtual surround sound. It also supports AMD FreeSync Premium Pro to provide console gamers with smoother playback and lower latency, and the Google Duo app lets you make video calls with your TV.
LG C2An OLED that provides the best viewing experience. The LG C2 is an OLED TV that provides an immersive cinematic experience with perfect black levels and enhanced detailing and contrast. It also has a brightness booster for better visibility and supports Dolby Vision IQ and Dolby Atmos. The TV is compatible with Alexa, Hey Google, and Siri, allowing for hands-free voice controls to launch apps, switch HDMI inputs, or adjust settings.
Sony A9SA smaller TV for apartments, dorms, or bedrooms. The Sony A9S 55-inch OLED TV provides excellent 4K resolution, color, and contrast, and it comes with Dolby Vision, HDR10, and HLG for the best streaming experience. It also has Sony's signature DTS Digital Surround Sound and Acoustic Surface Audio+ technology for an enhanced audio experience. The TV is small but mighty and is perfect for a smaller living space.
TCL 55S446A high-quality TV for under $500. The TCL 55S446 65-inch TV may not have Dolby Vision or Dolby Atmos, but it has HDR support and Dolby Digital Plus audio. It uses the Google TV platform and comes with built-in Chromecast support, voice controls, and preloaded apps like Netflix, Hulu, and YouTube. It's an excellent choice for a first TV or a second screen in a bedroom or kids' playroom.
Sony X80KThe best big-screen TV on the market. The Sony X80K 85-inch LED TV has support for Dolby Vision and Atmos, a 120Hz refresh rate, and Bravia Cam compatibility. It also has Calman calibration and automatic brightness adjustment for better visibility in any lighting environment. The native 120Hz refresh rate, combined with Sony's X-Reality Pro technology, makes motion blur a thing of the past. This TV is perfect for upgrading your living room or home theater.

How did we choose these TVs?

Choosing the best TVs required extensive research and comparison of the top TV brands, as well as speaking to other ZDNET editors for their opinion. I also combed through user reviews on retail websites to get a better sense of customer satisfaction with the different TV models. To ensure that I made the best selection, I went hands-on with one of the TVs and evaluated its picture, sound quality, and more.

Finally, I considered the accessibility features that these TVs provide, such as voice controls, screen readers, and closed captioning to provide great entertainment for everyone.

My ultimate goal was to provide a selection of TVs that offer the best possible viewing experience and a range of features to meet different needs. I believe that my careful selection process, combined with extensive research and testing, has resulted in a list of TVs that offer excellent quality and value for a variety of budgets and room types. Whether you're looking for a TV for your living room, bedroom, or home theater, I'm confident that I've found the best TVs on the market to suit your needs.

What is the best TV for gaming?

My pick for the best gaming TV is the LG C2. Not only does it deliver exceptional picture quality, but it also supports both Nvidia G-Sync and AMD FreeSync Premium variable refresh rate technology for smoother playback and lower latency. It even supports cloud gaming via Google Stadia and Nvidia GeForce Now, so you can play your favorite PC games on your couch.

Which is better: Roku or Android TVs?

IT depends on your personal preference. Both platforms have pros and cons. Roku TVs tend to be some of the most affordable on the market while still providing a great streaming experience via a suite of preloaded, popular apps. Roku TVs also have a simplified home menu with your most-used apps and HDMI-connected devices in one easy-to-navigate hub, so you never have to scroll through confusing menus or memorize input locations. The downside? They often don't have native voice control or support for Dolby Atmos and Dolby Vision. 

Android-based televisions are a bit more expensive, but you get more features, like built-in voice controls, Bluetooth connectivity, support for variable refresh rate technology, as well as Dolby Vision HDR and Dolby Atmos sound processing. 

When comparing Roku and Android-based TVs, consider your must-have features so you can choose the model that best fits your needs and budget.

What size TV do I need?

The best way to find your ideal TV screen size is to measure the distance (in inches) between your couch and where the TV will be wall-mounted or placed on a dedicated stand. Next, divide that distance by two. So if your couch is 120 inches (10 feet) from where the TV will be, the ideal size would be 60 inches. 

You can always go a bit bigger or smaller depending on your budget and what's available, but you don't want to go wild and get a huge screen if you don't need to. Not only do you run the risk of having your new, expensive TV not fit your space, but a screen that's too big can overwhelm a room and even cause motion sickness. On the other end of the spectrum, while smaller screens tend to be more affordable, a TV that's too small for a room can make the space feel cavernous and force everyone to crowd around in order to see.

Is it worth buying an 8K TV?

As of right now, we're inclined to say no. Not only are 8K televisions very expensive, but there isn't any 8K content available over broadcast, streaming, or gaming outlets to justify buying one. A conservative estimate would say that 8K streaming and gaming will be available within the next five years or so -- and it will require a very fast internet connection to handle the bandwidth needed to consistently stream in ultra-high definition. 

If you've always been an early adopter of tech, want to get a jump on future-proofing your home theater, and have extra cash to spend, you might get more value out of an 8K television than someone who just wants to watch Succession on HBO Max.

If you're looking for an 8K panel, I personally recommend checking out the Samsung QN900C. I had a chance to check it out, and during my initial testing, I really, truly enjoyed the display.

What's the difference between OLED and QLED?

OLED and QLED panel types use the same basic component to create images on screen: a power source, a light source, and a color source. The key differences are exactly how these panels get power, light, and color. 

A QLED screen, mostly seen in Samsung, TCL, and Hisense models, uses a modified LED panel and a "quantum dot" screen to create images. The "quantum" in QLED seems to be more of a catchy marketing term than an allusion to actual quantum tech, but it does give you enhanced color and detailing over a regular LED display. 

An OLED panel, found in LG, Sony, and Vizio TVs, uses an array of mini LED lamps that are individually lit along with organic substrates for color. The individual LEDs allow for true blacks to create stunning contrast and make colors pop. It's an expensive technology to produce, so OLED TVs are pretty pricey. But if picture quality is your top priority, it's a worthwhile investment. 

What is the best TV for a living room?

The best TV for a living room can vary depending on the size of the room and your budget. However, some of the best options available include the Samsung QN90B, the LG C2, and the Sony X80K. These TVs provide excellent picture and sound quality, a range of features, and a variety of screen sizes to suit different room types.

Do I need a soundbar or can I rely on the TV's built-in speakers?

It really depends on your preferences and the TV model you choose. Some TVs have excellent built-in speakers that provide ample sound quality for most viewers, while others may benefit from a separate soundbar or audio system for a more immersive audio experience. If you're a movie or gaming enthusiast, you may want to consider investing in a soundbar or dedicated audio system to complement your TV.

Also: The best soundbars

Are there alternative TVs worth considering?

There are about as many TVs on the market as there are customers shopping for them. No matter what your priorities are (surround sound, picture quality, or smart networking), there's a TV model out there to suit your needs. Here's a short list of other models that are great choices:

A Samsung S95B on a grey background


Samsung S95B OLED - Runner-up best OLED TV

The Samsung S95B OLED offers stunning image quality and is an excellent choice for those looking to save, as it's currently $1,200 off.

View at Amazon
The Amazon Fire TV Omni Series QLED TV showing a still from the movie Emma


Amazon Fire TV Omni QLED - Great for Alexa users

The Amazon Fire TV 65-inch Omni QLED Series 4K UHD smart TV is a great option for those who want a feature-packed TV with Alexa voice controls and Fire TV built-in.

View at Amazon
A Samsung QN900B 8K TV on a grey background


Samsung QN900B - Best 8K TV

The Samsung QN900B is a premium TV that offers cutting-edge features, such as 8K resolution and full-array local dimming. Plus, it's currently available at a $2,000 discount.

View at Walmart
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