Shopping for the best TV of the year? Look no further. TechRadar has brought together the biggest, brightest, and highest-performing televisions to have ever passed by our eyeballs – and they’re all available to buy today.
We’re a decent way into 2020 now, meaning that this year’s new TV ranges are starting to enter the market – and the first big-hitters of the year already trickling into buying guides such as these.
Many of the sets below are from 2019, but don’t let that put you off: upgrades between TV generations tend to be pretty incremental, and you usually won’t miss out on a huge amount by sticking with last year’s model – especially when TV brands support and update the software of their smart TVs going back three or four years at least.
There are other TVs we’re keeping an eye out for as they’re available to review, including the new LG CX OLED, upcoming Vizio OLED, and TCL 6-Series with Mini-LED. All of these (and more) have the potential to make this list, and we’ll be sure to update this guide once we’ve put them to the test ourselves.
- The Best OverallTCL 6-Series (2019)Most of us don’t have gargantuan budgets for a new TV, but we do want to buy one that will last. For that, our favorite TV at the moment is the TCL 6-Series, a beautiful 4K model that marries advanced technology like quantum dots (great for bright colors) and local dimming (for deeper blacks) with a built-in Roku interface.TCL is known for competitive pricing, and the 6-Series is no exception, providing the image quality we’d expect from LG and Samsung models that cost nearly double the price. It even has Dolby Vision support, our favorite high dynamic range format, which provides exceptionally vivid colors.$549 AT AMAZON$550 AT WALMART
- PHOTOGRAPH: LGBest PictureLG C9 OLED (2019)If you want to own the best picture possible, you should seek out an OLED TV, and LG is the only TV maker that manufactures them (Sony even buys its OLED displays from LG).LG OLED TVs are better for a simple reason: They are the only TVs available right now that light up pixel by pixel. They don’t have a backlight, so when you see black areas of the screen, they’re as black as possible. This means excellent contrast—perfect for darker scenes in The Mandolorian. LG’s WebOS interface isn’t our favorite (though we do like the company’s Wiimote-style remote for inputting passwords), but the picture quality trumps any qualms we have.$1,497 AT AMAZON
- PHOTOGRAPH: VIZIOAnother Affordable OptionVizio M-Series Quantum (2019)Vizio is another of our favorite affordable TV makers. We prefer the Roku interface on TCL models, but we’re huge fans of the cost-to-performance ratio of Vizio’s M-Series Quantum. Like the TCL 6-Series, the M-Series Quantum features quantum dots, which help improve color performance. Since Chromecast and Apple AirPlay support is built-in, it’s also very easy to stream to it from a phone, tablet, or laptop. It even supports Alexa and Google Home speakers, should you want to talk to your TV.The M-Series Quantum has a lot of functionality for such an affordable model, and the screen also looks great, thanks to full-array local dimming, where rows of LED lights brighten or darken the screen in small chunks for more accurate black levels. It also seems to keep steadily slipping in price, which makes this a great buy.$358 AT WALMART
- PHOTOGRAPH: SAMSUNGIf Money Is No ObjectSamsung Q900R QLED (2019)We love the deep black levels offered by LG’s OLED models, but if money was no object, we’d buy Samsung’s latest flagship model, the Q900R. It has an astonishing 8K display (the first to hit the market), full-array local dimming for deeper blacks, and an amazingly wide viewing angle for bigger rooms. We also love that it has AMD’s FreeSync technology, which makes games look smoother.You might not be able to find any 8K content for the time being (honestly, it’s still hard to find a ton of 4K content), but if you just got a big bonus and you’re looking to buy an amazing, (somewhat) futureproof TV for the coming 8K era, the Q900R is the best you’ll find.$2,198 AT AMAZON$2,198 AT WALMART
- PHOTOGRAPH: LGA Cheap(er) OLED TVLG B9 OLED (2019)If you’re into horror movies, rewatching The Dark Night, or other cinematic TV, the best way to enjoy it is on an OLED TV. Problem is, models like the LG C9 (mentioned above) cost a lot. The B9 is the most affordable new option you’ll find, with the same deep blacks, striking highlights, and hyper-usable interface as its more expensive siblings, but slightly weaker processing and a smaller, less stable stand. Neither of those downgrades are deal-breakers as far as we’re concerned, and the B9 still has some of the best picture quality that we’ve seen this year.Want an even more screaming deal on an OLED? Check out last year’s B8 model, which is nearly the same and can be had for even cheaper than the new B9 model.$1,297 AT AMAZON$1,297 AT WALMART
- PHOTOGRAPH: TCLBest TV Under $500TCL 5-Series (2019)TCL’s partnership with Roku has made its TVs quite popular—and they deserve the praise. The 6 Series offers the most perks, but this 5 Series 4K TV with HDR is the top entry-level TV we recommend.The 5 Series is edge-lit, which means it doesn’t have a deep level of contrast that most TVs in this guide feature, but the picture quality holds up to some scrutiny. It’s usable for gaming and looks better than the HD set you have right now. It comes with Roku built-in, which means the remote is easy to use, and it streams right out of the box. We recommend the 50-inch model because it’s the best bang for your buck, but they sell other sizes.$350 AT AMAZON$330 AT WALMART
- PHOTOGRAPH: SAMSUNGWIRED and TIRED TVsSome TV Buying TipsOur favorite major TV manufacturers right now are LG, Samsung, TCL, Vizio, Sony, and Hisense. If a TV isn’t made by one of these companies, make sure you’ve done your research. A cheap TV set might look enticing for the price, but try to avoid dirt-cheap models from brands like Sceptre, which can seem like great deals, but may not offer good picture or build quality.If your budget is so tight that you can’t afford a new model from the above brands, we recommend looking into last year’s TVs (often sold at steep discounts) or factory refurbished options.