When it comes to modern TVs, there’s a lot to consider—let’s take it step-by-step.
- Resolution: Nowadays, the vast majority of TVs are either 1080p or 4K. The former is more for budget TVs at this point, and 4K is for everything else. While 8K TVs exist, they’re few and far between and also not very practical due to the lack of 8K content produced today.
- Display: Pretty much every TV you come across will use some form of LED display, and the two most popular (besides standard LED) are QLED and OLED. QLED displays are popular, as they’re a cost-effective way to make images look way better. QLED screens perform better in color accuracy and contrast than standard LEDs, and as such are used on most mid-range and high-end TVs. OLED displays are less popular as they cost more, but are characterized by deep blacks and vibrant colors. QLED and OLED are different from each other, though, so neither is necessarily better than the other.
- Refresh Rate: This refers to the maximum frame rate a TV can support. 60Hz is the most common refresh rate and means the TV can support up to 60FPS, but 120Hz has been growing in popularity in higher-end models. You likely won’t need 120Hz unless you’re interested in some next-gen gaming, so 60Hz will be far more practical for most use cases. Still, having a higher refresh rate doesn’t hurt anything (except your wallet).
- Smart Features: Almost every TV you come across today will have some sort of operating system for easily accessing streaming services. Different brands will usually have their own OS, but besides that, it’s a pretty standard feature. Still, there are other smart features a TV can include to sweeten the deal, such as supporting third-party voice assistants (Siri, Amazon Alexa, and Google Assistant for example) and tapping into smart home ecosystems.
- Gaming Features: When it comes to gaming, the main features you want to see in a TV are Variable Refresh Rates (or VRR) and low response times. Both of these make games look and run much smoother on a TV, so they’re preferable for modern games. When it comes to VRR in particular, this usually takes the form of either NVIDIA G-Sync or AMD Freesync which are both different pieces of software for VRR.
- ✓ Runs at 4K, 120Hz
- ✓ OLED screen
- ✓ In-depth smart features
- ✓ Comphrensive gaming mode
- ✗ Expensive
LG’s OLED displays are always a winner if you’re looking for a TV that makes images pop, but its C1 model doesn’t stop there—it includes a bunch of other great features as well. The impressive TV runs at 4K at 120Hz, and supports various forms of HDR including Dolby Vision. It also has webOS, which is great for streaming your favorite shows and it can support both Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. You can also use voice controls on the “Magic Remote” to control compatible smart home devices.
Even for gamers, the C1 is an excellent TV, with support for both NVIDIA G-SYNC and AMD Freesync along with low response times. While the C1 is by no means cheap, it offers plenty of high-end features to make the price tag worth it.
A 4K, 120Hz TV with a beautiful OLED display and plenty of extra features to boot.
- ✓ 4K, 120Hz
- ✓ QLED
- ✓ Good gaming features
- ✗ Pricey
However, it’s not the only option, and Samsung’s QN90A does a good job giving LG a run for its money while also offering a few unique features. First off, it uses Samsung’s “Neo QLED” display which, when combined with HDR, goes a long way towards making the screen’s 4K resolution look wonderful. On top of this, the display can auto-adjust brightness levels depending on its surroundings and upscale videos to 4K.
The QN90A supports 120Hz and AMD Freesync as well, so it’s still a pretty good option for gamers. It may be slightly more expensive than the C1, but it’s an alternative worth considering if you’re shopping in this price bracket.
Samsung's Neo QLED display plus some great smart features make this a TV well worth the asking price.
- ✓ Nice QLED display
- ✓ 4K
- ✓ Smart Features
- ✓ Good gaming mode
- ✗ No 120Hz
There are some very good midrange TVs around, but Vizio’s M-Series certainly impresses for the price. The QLED display looks great, as it runs at 4K at 60Hz. It has numerous options for HDR, like Dolby Vision and HDR10+, and even features AMD Freesync along with a comprehensive gaming mode. The M-Series’ uses Vizio’s “SmartCast” OS as well, so finding your favorite shows regardless of the platform will be a snap.
Considering it costs well under $1000, there’s little to complain about here.
Vizio M Series Quantum
A great QLED display for a price that won't devastate your wallet.
- ✓ QLED
- ✓ 4K
- ✓ Excellent smart features
- ✗ Not as many gaming features as other midrange TVs
- ✗ No 120Hz
Keeping things under $1000, the TCL 5-Series is another fantastic QLED display for a reasonable price. TCL’s been a big name in the budget to midrange TV space for a while now and the 5-Series keeps that up. It runs 4K at 60Hz, has a game mode that automatically kicks in when a game is opened for lower response times, and it plays well with Siri, Google Assistant, and Amazon Alexa. TCL uses the RokuTV OS in most of its TVs, so the 5-Series is especially great if you’re interested in a straightforward yet feature-rich OS as well.
An all-around solid QLED TV with a straightforward OS and impressive specs.
- ✓ Affordable
- ✓ Impressive display for the price
- ✓ Decent gaming mode
- ✗ SmartCast can be slow
- ✗ No 4K
For the money, the D Series puts forward an extremely impressive 1080p, 60Hz LED display that still provides vivid colors. While none of the specs are particularly impressive here, they all come together to create a TV that punches well above its weight class. You’ll also still receive the modern conveniences of smart TVs thanks to Vizio’s SmartCast OS.
- ✓ OLED display
- ✓ 4K, 120Hz
- ✓ A lot of smart features
- ✓ Excellent gaming mode
- ✗ Expensive
If you’ve got a larger budget to drop on a TV this year, the G1 offers the opportunity to do so and is one of the best displays on the market to boot. The “OLED Evo” screen LG includes here looks brilliant; while running at 4K, 120Hz is expected for the price, it doesn’t stop it from coming together beautifully.
The G1 is also covered when it comes to gaming and smart features. For the former, you have NVIDIA G-SYNC and AMD Freesync to help games look and play smoothly, along with low response times. And the latter sees compatibility with both Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, easy access to streaming services, and the ability to control smart home devices all with voice commands.
This TV checks all the boxes, which you would certainly hope so for how much you’ll be spending on it. However, if you’re after the best, then spending a lot is what you should already be expecting (and in this case, it’ll also be worth every penny).
In terms of features and image quality, this is easily one of the best TVs on the market.