We started testing the new 2017 4k UHD TVs. However, the new models are currently priced too high, so we still recommend most people to opt for cheaper 2016 TVs instead, especially that they can be found heavily discounted. Here are our top recommendations if you are looking to buy a 4k TV.
Best high-end 4k UHD TV
The best 4k TV for most people is the LG B6 OLED TV. It’s matched by its OLED siblings, the C6 and E6, but without any perceivable difference in picture quality between them. Because it’s a totally different technology (Learn about it here), it comes with an expensive price tag – usually about twice as much as our second place recommendations.
OLED takes care of most downfalls that LCD type displays would have. Blacks are pure and contrast is essentially infinite, without wide viewing angles coming at a cost. There is also no motion blur, so it’s also great for sports. LG also has our favorite smart platform this year, so that aspect shouldn’t disappoint either.
If money is no object, this is the best 4k TV for most people available today.
If OLED is simply too expensive, or if you’d prefer getting an LED TV, the Samsung KS8000 is an excellent UHD TV that should please most people thanks to its versatility. It has some of the best picture quality available and reaches high peaks of brightness (some other Samsung KS models scored ever so slightly higher, but not a difference big enough to warrant the expense). The KS8000 does well with HDR, including games since it doesn’t suffer from any additional input lag while displaying HDR content.
It’s not perfect though, and you do get fairly narrow viewing angles. The build quality also isn’t stellar: it doesn’t compare to competing Sony or LG TVs for example. However, most users will be quite pleased and it is definitely a safe purchase. If you can't find it, the KS8500 offers the same thing but curved.
If you're going to be watching movies in a dim environment, the Vizio P Series 2016 performs even better than the Samsung KS8000. It has a full array local dimming backlight, which produces even better blacks in the dark.
Unfortunately, the Vizio P 2016 cannot get as bright as the KS8000, especially in HDR content. Cable TV also looks a little bit softer. In the living room, the Vizio P 2016 produces more reflections than the KS8000 and its picture deteriorates faster when watched at an angle. While the Vizio P does have excellent input lag for gaming, it cannot be used in conjunction with HDR, so it isn't a good choice for HDR gaming.
In the end, it isn't as versatile than the KS8000 but comes close.
Best mid-range 4k UHD TV
Mid-range 4k TVs are close to the high-end ones, except they don't perform as well for HDR content. For normal content though, they will look great.
If you’re looking for a TV to watch movies in a dark room, the Vizio M series 2016 is essentially the same as the Vizio P but without the HDR related features. You get excellent contrast and local dimming. It doesn’t have a TV tuner, and it doesn’t display lower resolution images like a cable TV signal as sharp as its competition. It doesn’t have much input lag (as long as you’re not planning to play with HDR), so it’s quite good for gaming.
The Sony X800D is a very capable 4k UHD TV that excels at HDR compared to competing TVs in this price range. It has good picture quality, handles motion well and doesn’t have much input lag, even with HDR. It upscales lower resolution content like live TV better than the Vizio and gets a bit brighter, so it works well for daytime television.
All this makes for quite a versatile TV that doesn’t have many flaws. However, it’s quite limited in its sizes, and is only available in smaller 43 and 49 inch.
If you’re looking for different sizes, the Samsung KU6300 covers almost all of them available. It gets quite bright and upscaling is good unlike the Vizio M 2016. If you need something to put in a bright living room, this is a good choice. It also does quite good in games, and the input lag isn’t affected much with HDR.
While it is not the best at anything, it performs evenly across a wide range of usages. It is a good versatile TV, especially considering the price.
Best budget 4k UHD TV
There is a drop in overall picture quality when opting for a budget UHD LED TV. Nonetheless, some are great value for the money, and even though they are not the best, you will still be satisfied with them if your budget is limited.
The best budget 4k UHD TV is the Hisense H8C. It performs quite similarly to the Samsung KU6300, but is quite a bit cheaper.
It has similar contrast and blacks, and grey uniformity on our unit was a bit better. It doesn't have as good input lag, but response time is quite a bit better on the Hisense. It also recently received an update that enabled it to support HDR10, which helps make it a bit more versatile.
For even better smart features, the TCL US5800 is a superior option. It offers one of the best smart platform around with tons of available apps. Low resolution content even looks sharper than on the Vizio D 4k 2016.
Unfortunately, the TCL US5800 isn't as bright, has a little more blur on action scenes like for sports and has an average-high input lag of 46.3 ms. For smart features though, there is no better option for the price.
Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the best 4k TVs to buy for most people in each price range. We factor in the price (a cheaper TV wins over a pricier one if the difference isn't really worth it), feedback from our visitors and availability (no TVs that are difficult to find or almost out of stock everywhere).
A few examples of 4k TVs that didn't make the cut:
- Samsung KS9500. The price difference with the Samsung KS8000 is not worth it, even if the picture quality is slightly better. See our review
- LG UH8500. Great TV and an improvement over the equivalent model from last year, but priced too high for what it is. See our review
- Sony X930D. Great TV, but the Samsung KS8000 is better in almost all aspects. See our review
- Samsung JS8500. Almost out of stock everywhere now, or priced too high. See our review
If you would like to do the work of choosing yourself, here is the list of all our reviews of TVs that have UHD screen. Be careful to not get too caught up in the details. While no TV is perfect, most TVs are great enough to please almost everyone and the differences are often not noticeable unless you really look for them.