When’s the last time you went to a friend or relative’s house and sat down to watch a show or game only to cringe at the quality of their TV? If you’re feeling generous this year, you could do them a solid and get ’em a new set—and you won’t even have to break the bank to do it. Here are the best TVs across a variety of price points you can buy today.
What to Look for in a Modern TV
There are a few things to consider when buying a TV in 2020.
- Resolution: For most people, 4K or 1080p are the resolutions to go with. Obviously, 4K looks better, but it does come at a price (even if that price is lowering over time). You’ll also still find some 720p TVs kicking around still, but because most media is produced with a minimum of 1080p in mind nowadays, it’s best to avoid those.
- Display: The main types of displays out there are various forms of LED displays. LED displays have mostly replaced LCD screens, which makes sense—LED screens produce brighter images, and OLED displays, in particular, produce deeper blacks and more vibrant colors. There are other types of LED displays as well, such as QLED, which is brighter than OLED screens and gives off better colors.
- Refresh Rate: The refresh rate (measured in “Hertz”) just represents what the maximum frame rate the TV can display is. While most TV shows and movies are still filmed in 24 FPS (frames per second), things are changing over time to have a greater focus on higher frame rates like 60 FPS. For gamers, refresh rate is particularly important as higher frame rates allow for quicker reaction times and just make games more enjoyable to play. So because of all of that, the minimum refresh rate you’ll find on this list is 60 Hz (which can display 60 FPS).
- Operating System: Basically every major TV manufacturer has its own smart TV OS, but they all do a lot of the same: allow you to adjust TV settings and inputs, install various media apps like Netflix, or use voice assistants while using the TV.
Best Overall: VIZIO Class M-Series
For balancing price and performance exceptionally well, the VIZIO Class M-Series gets our pick as the best TV on this list. This 60 Hz 4K TV will show-off anything you throw at it with vivid colors and smooth motion. Whether you’re playing the latest games or watching a favorite movie, it will look fantastic.
Vizio’s SmartCast 3.0 OS runs the show here, which not only allows you to play most content, but it also makes it extremely easy to cast media from both Apple and Android devices (AirPlay and Chromecast are both built-in). This TV is available in seven sizes: 43-inch, 50-inch, 55-inch, 58-inch, 65-inch, 70-inch, and 75-inch.
Best Budget: TCL 32S327
Even though we’re looking at the lower ends of things, you can still find many TVs here that impress for the price. And frankly, there are many people who will be completely satisfied with a normal, 1080p display, which is exactly what the 32S327 offers. The display is a 60 Hz LED panel and the TV features built-in Roku TV for your media needs. While the 32S327 is nothing remarkable, it’s a great value for the price and is completely serviceable for viewing most modern media.
The 32S327 is available in five sizes: 32-inch (this specfiic version is 720p, all others are 1080p), 32-inch (1080p), 40-inch, 43-inch, and 49-inch.
TCL 32-inch 1080p Roku Smart LED TV - 32S327, 2019 Model
A low-price 1080p TV with Roku TV built-in.
Best Premium 8K: Samsung Q900TS
If you’re looking to drop a pretty penny on the best of the best, then an 8K TV is the way to go. With a 240 Hz QLED display, this TV won’t need to be replaced for a long time—but honestly, 8K TVs are still overkill for most of us. For now, it features AI-based 8K upscaling for media regardless of the original resolution. Results will vary and it won’t look as good as “true 8K,”but there’s very little content produced at 8K currently. The TV also has a nearly invisible frame for edge-to-edge viewing.
You can choose to use Alexa, Bixby, or Google Assistant as your voice assistant while using the TV, and the TV itself is run by Samsung’s “Smart TV” OS. You can get it in three large sizes: 65-inch, 75-inch, and 85-inch.
Samsung 65" Q900TS QLED 8K UHD Smart TV with Alexa Built-in QN65Q900TSAFXZA 2020
With a 240 Hz, 8K display this TV is sure to blow you away.
Best for Gamers: LG OLED65CXPUA
4K is the new standard for console gaming, but higher refresh rates are also sought after as games push for more stable framerates of 60 and 120 FPS. Because of that, this 4K OLED TV from LG is perfect for gamers. It has a refresh rate of 120 Hz, so it will take full advantage of all the power the new consoles can muster. The input lag has also been optimized to be under one millisecond—an impressive feat for a TV.
On top of that, the large displays ensure every little thing can be seen in detail, which is especially important for modern triple AAA games. And with compatibility with NVIDIA G-Sync and AMD FreeSync (they make PC games run smoother), even PC gamers can see the benefits of this massive display.
The TV uses LG webOS for viewing all your standard media apps and has Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa built-in. The OLED65CXPUA is available in four sizes: 48-inch, 55-inch, 65-inch, and 77-inch.
If you’re looking for a solid gaming TV but aren’t ready to drop your entire savings on one, this 4K 120 Hz TV from TCL is where it’s at. You’ll get similar performance to the LG but miss out on some features like the ultra-low input lag and G-Sync and FreeSync compatibility.
LG OLED65CXPUA Alexa Built-in CX 65-inch 4K Smart OLED TV (2020 Model)
With a resolution of 4K, 120 Hz refresh rate, and compatibility with Nvidia G-Sync and AMD FreeSync this TV is a great choice for gamers.